If you rent, it doesn't hurt to talk to your landlord and find out if they can lower your rent in exchange for some handy work around the property or if they can give you a discount if you pay your rent before the first of each month.
I recently finalized refinancing my home loan. The last time I refinanced was about 2 years ago. My previous loan's rate was 4.75% -- now it's a fixed rate of 3.25%. My savings is approximately $150 a month. However, I plan on paying at least $100 or more towards the principal in order to reduce the loan amount. By locking in the lower interest rate, I will pay a lot less interest throughout the loan's term. My ultimate goal is to pay off the mortgage as soon as possible, or rent it out and buy the next house in cash!
My experience the last time I refinanced was okay, but the process took more than 4 months to get finalized. This time around, my experience was beyond pleasant. I initially received a letter in the mail with an offer to refinance with a really good interest rate. I initially didn't think I would work with this company, but I called them a second time and spoke to one of their mortgage specialists who I immediately liked and trusted. After he explained what my options were, I knew I was in good hands. The entire process took only a month -- plus, I was able to skip 2 months of payments, which is a super nice bonus! Read my Yelp review about the company here.
In summary, I highly recommend lowering your housing expense by either refinancing your current mortgage or negotiating with your landlord to reduce your rent. Why pay more when you can pay less for housing! With the money you save, you can treat yourself to a nice dinner, a new outfit or something for the house, you can even use the extra money towards a down payment for a new car or towards that dream vacation!
Click HERE for other frugal tips on Housing. Click HERE for resource books on Frugal Housing, or see below.