Early this week we posted our $27K budget for this year. We did this for a couple of reasons:
- Many of you asked for us to share this so you can get an idea of a real budget, and
- We thought we could use it as a sound board to share articles on how we save in each area.
We have had many articles in the past on how we have saved, like our 10 Ways to Save on Car and Home Insurance, but when you can attach a real-life figure to it, it makes it that much clearer!
So when we shared our budget, we honestly didn’t know how this would compare to others’ budgets. In fact, we know that we still have more to learn from many of you as you are finding ways to drop your budget. Everyday is a new learning experience and we consider our site as bringing you along on our journey – sharing both our successes and our failures – and hoping they can be a benefit to you in whatever financial situation you are in.
Well, one thing that many have commented on in regards to our budget was our car insurance. Basically, the question asked hundreds of times was “Why is your car insurance only $64 for 2 vehicles?”
We don’t want this to discourage anyone, but to be an encouragement on finding ways to lower insurance on cars. However, our factors are not going to be like yours, but we hope that some of the tips we use to pay $64 a year just might help you lower your rates as well.
*Please note, this article is not intended to tell you what you should do with your insurance as everyone’s situation is so different and you need to be advised under an agent. We are just sharing EXACTLY what we have and our circumstance since so many were asking.
1. We don’t have teenagers – we are only insuring 2 adult drivers. And even more we certainly don’t have teenage boys on the policy (yet and not for 9-10 more years – WHEW!). But teens -and especially teen boys – will drive your insurance through the roof!
2. We own our vehicles so we only need liability instead of full coverage - However, neither do we want you to think we have the bare minimum insurance either as we appreciated some of the tips from our insurance agent on why raising some of the limits could be beneficial in an accident. (On a side note, finding an agent you can trust is a real bonus – it took us years to find one that we believe is answering our questions fully and thoroughly with our best interests in mind.)
3. We selected a higher deductible plan - As we mentioned with our home owners insurance, so we do with our auto insurance. Selecting a higher deductible will help lower your premium. As our agent tells us, the hope is that filing a claim from an accident could result in a bad day but shouldn’t be something that will ruin our family’s finances.
4. Our vehicles are old and not fancy - Its possible – even probable – that our rates may go up in a year or so when we need to retire Thrifty Helena with about 200K miles on her right now, but until then we enjoy our low rates and no payments. But while our cars are old and paid off they are definitely cheap to insure.
5. We qualified for the lowest possible rate because of several factors - no claims in the past and with our current company, no traffic tickets or violations in the years that they track – both of which make for a safe driver discount. Good credit was another big one as it shows responsibility (trust us, if you’ve been following our Deep in Debt to Debt Free story, you’ll know that our credit would have never been close to qualifying in the past). These three factors contributed to putting us in the lowest rate category, and then the rates were based on the other factors within that category.
6. We always make sure to discuss all our additional possible discounts that we might qualify for - With that we qualify for “professionals” and low mileage discounts (see those tips here on discounts).
7. We bundled all of our insurances with one company - The more policies we had, the bigger the discount – currently home, life and car are bundled.
8. Finally, we pay for the whole year at once – They had three payment options (monthly, semi-annual, annual) with two discount options – pay for 6 months at a time for a small discount or 12 months at a time for a larger discount. We pay annually, but break it out in our monthly budget throughout the prior year so we have the lump sum each year when it is due.
So, using our personal experience and 10 Ways to Save on Home and Car Insurance ideas, check to see if you can get some lower rates. Some of you actually mentioned that area/region may have something to do with it based on number of car break-ins, traffic, and other factors as well; it seems like our area might be included in a lower risk area so if that is true it might contribute to our lower premium as well.
See our Finance and Managing Money Section of our site for more ideas
See our Finance and Money Pinterest Board for even more ideas