Monday Night Finance- Volume 109

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When Does It Make Sense To Refinance Your Mortgage?

Is your neighbor bragging about his 2.5% interest rate he snagged a couple of years ago? Chances are that he didn’t have that mortgage rate when he bought his house, but instead he refinanced it when interest rates were at their lowest. Refinancing a mortgage, a strategy that might sound complex or daunting, is actually a savvy financial move that homeowners can make to adjust their existing home loan terms. Essentially, it involves replacing your current mortgage with a new one, typically to take advantage of lower interest rates, reduce monthly payments, or tap into home equity. But when does it make the most financial sense to consider this option, and what should you know before diving into the refinancing pool? If you’ve heard about refinancing but aren’t sure how it works, then you might want to check out this article.

Last time interest rates dropped I was able to refinance and drop our interest rate. We wound up not only saving about $100 a month but will end up paying over $25,000 LESS in interest over the life of the loan! Let’s take a look at the reasons you might want to refinance and some considerations before doing so.

~Prakash Kolli, Dividend Power

The article by Prakash Kolli, provides practical advice for homeowners considering refinancing their mortgage amidst fluctuating interest rates. Kolli uses his personal experience of saving significantly through refinancing to illustrate potential benefits, including reduced monthly payments and considerable savings on interest over the loan’s lifespan. The tone is informative and encouraging, emphasizing careful consideration of various factors such as the costs of extending loan terms, associated fees, and the potential pitfalls of cash-out refinancing. Kolli states that some reasons you may want to refinance include capturing lower interest rates, switching from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage, extracting equity for urgent financial needs, or eliminating private mortgage insurance. The article underscores the importance of thorough research and understanding all financial implications to ensure refinancing leads to true savings and aligns with one’s financial goals. While it is unlikely that refinancing makes sense in today’s high interest rate environment, understanding the basics of refinancing can help you get a jump on the process when things change.

I’m A Frugal Shopper: Here Is How I Save Money At Goodwill

Thrift stores, like Goodwill, are known for cheap prices. But sometimes the prices don’t feel cheap for buying a shirt that someone has already used. I’m often shocked at price differences between similar items of clothing while browsing the aisles. It turns out there’s a method to thrift store madness. The best thrifters understand the rhythm and rules of thrift shopping can turn sporadic luck into a consistent strategy, ensuring you always leave with a bargain that feels like a steal. If you’ve ever wondered how to unearth incredible deals at the thrift store, you might want to check out this interview of a former Goodwill manager.

If you feel an item is overpriced for what they have it listed for (and they aim for 90%+ off the retail prices), ask them about it. They will be more than happy to look into it and cut you an even better deal than you were anticipating.

~A Dime Saved

This article provides a practical guide on maximizing savings at Goodwill. The author interviewed a former Goodwill manager named Emma to get top secret tips. Did you know that you can actually negotiate prices at Goodwill? Neither did I until reading Emma’s secret tips. Other strategies can include waiting for markdowns on items after a few days and shopping early in the morning to catch new discounts. Additionally, Emma recommends taking advantage of Goodwill’s promotions like the Club Goodwill Reward Program and special discount days based on item tag colors or for certain groups like military members and seniors. If you love thrift shopping, you should check out the article for a a comprehensive guide to navigating Goodwill’s pricing system and taking full advantage of its deals and discounts.

Costco In-Store vs. Costco Same-Day vs. Costco on Instacart: An Investigative Price Comparison Review

Do you love Costco prices and products but hate pushing a cart through crowded aisles during your only free time you have on weekends? If so, you might be tempted to see if you can skip the hassle and do Costco shopping online. But before you trade the cart for your couch, it’s worth investigating the true cost of convenience. Is it cheaper to buy your bulk items in person, or does the online route offer more than just the benefit of shopping in your pajamas? If you wanted to know exactly how much more online shopping costs, this article tracked a dozen different items across every platform to the penny to make an apples-to-apples comparison.

I decided to investigate whether it might make sense to forego some or all Costco in-store shopping for the convenience of Instacart and maybe even if it makes sense to get rid of the Costco membership entirely. So, I decided to do a Costco Same-Day versus Costco warehouse versus Instacart price comparison investigation to see what the price premiums are and where Costco shoppers should purchase Costco items.

~G.E. Miller, 20-Something Finance

The article by G.E. Miller dives into the financial nuances of shopping at Costco every different possible way you can, focusing particularly on price differences and membership benefits. Miller’s investigation reveals a meticulous breakdown of costs associated with shopping in-store versus using Costco’s Same-Day delivery option powered by Instacart, as well as shopping directly through Instacart. Highlighting the financial impact of membership types, promotional discounts, and the strategic use of discounted gift cards, the article provides a detailed analysis that suggests while there are markups associated with the convenience of online shopping, strategic use of memberships and promotions can help mitigate these costs (although it’s always cheapest to buy in-store). The tone is analytical yet accessible, aiming to equip readers with the knowledge to make informed shopping decisions based on their individual shopping habits and financial goals.