Yep, I'm still trading the car for a more gas-friendly bike commute a few days every week. It's amazing because as the weeks go on, I'm choosing the bike over the car more and more (4/5 days last week). I'm loving the $$ savings and additional 200+ calories I burn each day... but I'm not sure that either have made me as excited as the bonus I found out about this week.
thrifty little tip: Ask about the "what ifs" when speaking with sales associates (think- insurance, cars, phones). You might find ways to save money now, but you're more than likely going to learn handy pieces of info that will carry on to future money saving decisions!
While I was on the line, I went ahead and got a few quotes our home and future home purchases. Maybe there would be other ways to cut $100 here or there? Kate, the agent on the line, let me know about a few key factors that would significantly impact home insurance costs:
*Buying a solid brick house vs. one with siding (in the size and price range of my area) would save $200+ per year.
*Having an active alarm system adds a 10% discount to a policy. She let me know that this would probably end up covering around half of the carrying costs of the alarm.
*Buying a newer house makes the insurance a lot less expensive, but making sure that the basics like plumbing, roof, and electrical are updated will help as well.
*The only difference between two-story and one-story houses is the cost to rebuild which will affect the coverage amounts.
*Keeping a higher deductible will save another $150 per year... which is fine because making a lot of smaller claims can raise the bill right back up.
*A seller might not fully disclose all of the problems with a property so, if I want to avoid any potential money traps, I can call her if I'm ever interested in making an offer on a home and she can pull up the claim history for a house. I'm definitely going to keep that trick in my back pocket!!