When it comes to money-saving tips, here are my greatest hits for 2013.
1) January and February usually are the two best months of the year to buy a house — because there are a lot of eager sellers and fewer buyers — and that is especially true this year. It’s especially true because home prices are creeping up throughout much of the country, and mortgage rates are still incredibly low for those with good or excellent credit. So why wait? Do whatever you need to do this year to qualify for these low, low rates. Usually that means paying down debt. Which is always a good thing to do.
2) If you’re drooling over a certain 2013-model car, wait. 2013 models will be discounted more aggressively starting in September – and more and more with each passing month. If you buy now, the discounts aren’t nearly as good. If you want a new car now, consider a 2012 model, and you’ll save a ton of money. They have been on car lots for several months now, and dealers are very eager to sell them.
3) Now that the fiscal cliff has been averted, the big question is: Is the economy looking up or down? If you think the economy is on the upside, consider selling gold that you may have bought in 2008, 2009 or 2010. Gold prices soar when the economy is tanking, as it mostly has since 2007, so if the economy continues to improve, gold prices will sink.
4) Timing really is everything. I’ve researched hundreds of topics for two books, and there is a best time to buy just about everything. If you know the best times, you can save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars. Educate yourself.