Saving Starts With Spending: Top Tips for Tracking Your Daily Expenses

Somehow, you can’t work out where all the money goes. You’ve got a reasonably good job, and you don’t live in Beverly Hills, but your debts creep up and there never seems to be any money. The problem, probably, is that you are not using the “b” word. Getting control of your finances nearly always starts with a budget.

 

Chicken or Egg

 

It’s so difficult to know which comes first—making the budget or living by it. Logically it is obvious that making the budget comes first, but gathering the information you need takes time, and while you’re doing it the spending goes ahead.

 

Making a proper budget is a long-term process, but that doesn’t stop you setting up an interim one. One month is probably all you need to gather the information that will get you started. After that, you can make the first draft, although it will take at least a year to identify where all the money goes as quarterly, annual, and one-off costs are added.

 

Ins or Outs

 

For most people, it is relatively easy to work out what comes in each month. Being clear about what goes out takes longer. The more you pay by credit or debit card, the more information you have at your fingertips. Whenever you pay cash, keep a receipt or write it down in a notebook—nerdish but useful!

 

At the end of the month gather the statements and receipts, and analyze your spending into categories: groceries, gas, meals out, utilities, mortgage, savings, etc. Compare the monthly income with the expenses. If the expenses are greater, it is time to look for areas where you can cut costs.

 

Cash or Card

 

Once you have set yourself a budget, sticking to it requires constant monitoring. As you began in the first month, so you must continue for every subsequent month. If you can check each week how you are doing, so much the better.

 

Credit cards may seem like symbols of profligate irresponsibility, but they can be a real ally if you use them wisely. Every month you have a convenient list of your spending, which you can then analyze under headings. Some cards even do the job for you by assigning each payment to a category. With a shared account couples can keep watch over their joint spending. Try this website to compare available cards.

 

Cash still has its place. Its best use is to decide at the start how much money you can afford to spend on “luxuries” like coffees and lunches out. Put that amount in your wallet as cash and when it is gone, you stop buying until next month. It’s an effective way to get under control the money that can easily melt away.

 

Start or Delay

 

There is probably only one good time to start living on a budget, and that is today. Like many things, it seems like hard work to begin with, but by the time it has become a habit you will only notice the benefits.

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Easy ways to save money and budget it better as a family

Most families are on the lookout for ways to save money, but oftentimes there’s just too much going on to think about saving, which causes budgeting to go haywire and affect the entire family’s financial future.

The problem is that most money-saving tips require a full lifestyle overhaul in order to see a return. Whether it’s converting to a more sustainable lifestyle or removing precious family vacations, some families simply might not be willing to make such sacrifices that frugal living often requires.

If you currently live in a rented home and looking to buy your own place as a family, then saving money with the goal of investing in a Lendlease Brisbane housing and land or other great suburban communities is a good idea. Most housing projects are now developed near the CBD, boasting complete amenities/facilities for families.

These are some of the simple things you can do to ease your monthly finances and start saving.

 

Shop smart. A more organised shopping list will save you a LOT of money. You may be doing this already, but are you doing it right? Start by listing items you have to buy, then bring an envelope filled with coupons if you have them. Decide a maximum budget you’ll spend and shop early in the week when stores are least crowded. Crowds mean added stress that isn’t good for budget-conscious shoppers.

Unsubscribe to services you don’t really need. Here’s where your potential is unlimited since most of us are subscribed to services that we barely use, sometimes not even at all. Consider cancelling a hardly used gym membership one year, or your land line telephone service, how about the cable TV subscription if you can live with the free local channels? You could end up saving around a $100 monthly, and it can add up over the years.

Refrain from buying off the shelf. Incessant and splurge buying is sometimes considered normal in a way. Well, not with families who want to save. Anytime you feel tempted to buy something costly, do your homework first. For starters, surf the web to see who has the item priced lower, or if sales are coming up.  You should also check the manufacturer’s website to see if any coupons are available. If you’re patient, you can buy the same item second hand.

Take advantage of rewards programs. These days many companies offer rewards programs as part of their marketing efforts. Sign up for them when you can and keep tabs of what’s sales are happening in the local market or shopping outlets.

Prefer driving over flying. Don’t let the ease of travelling by air prohibit you from saving money. If the trip is within a few hundred miles, then consider driving. Say you have a family of four, just think about the savings you get from not having to book for four.

Where to invest your family’s savings. There are many ways you can invest the money you spent as a family. One option is investing in stocks (which can be learned and done online), properties, jewelleries and education.

Of course, there are tons of ways to save money and manage your finances better as a family. Start with the above suggestions and then go out your way to look for other strategies. Best of luck!

What other ways have you found to let your family save money?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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Making a Good Start: Preparing Your Finances for a Family

As an expectant parent, there will be a lot of things you’re trying to get your head around, from how you’re going to juggle your work when the baby arrives, to what on earth an epidural anesthesiology is.

But have you considered your finances?

Recent figures released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have revealed some astonishing things! Up to the age of 17, it costs the average middle-class family $170,460 to raise a baby that’s born now. If a family’s income is more than $65,800, this figure jumps to $249,180. And that’s without taking college expenses into consideration, which can average $11,976 per year for public schools and $26,070 at private ones.

However, by doing a bit of planning before the baby arrives, you can make sure you’re not caught out with your finances – both now, and in the future.

Consider Your Current Budget and What You Might Need

If you’ve already got a budget plan in place – great. But if you haven’t, now’s the time to sit down and analyze your spending habits. Having a budget in place can really help you take control of your finances, especially before your baby arrives.

Because of how much your budget will change once your baby’s born, you’ll ideally want to settle your debts if you can. This will allow you to meet the costs of diapers, clothes, bedding, strollers, cribs, and so on, which can soon add up over time. However, in a lot of cases, you will start to save money in other areas, as you won’t be going out as much and you might not go on vacations as frequently.

Furthermore, if you need a bit of help getting all of the essentials together for your baby – why not hold a baby shower? Have a list of things you need and invite family members and friends along who can help contribute to your baby fund.

Make Sure You’ve Got Enough Saved Up for Emergencies

Even though it’s a daunting prospect, you’re soon going to be responsible for someone else other than yourself. So, to reduce how much pressure is on your shoulders, plan ahead for all eventualities.

Emergencies aren’t something we want to think about, but they can happen. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider adding life insurance to your monthly expenditure if you haven’t already. This will help provide financial stability for you baby should the worst happen. Equally, you might want to consider health insurance, which will cover medical expenses and doctor’s bills; and disability insurance, which will keep your head above water if you’re suddenly unable to work.

Another key part of preparing for emergencies is having a savings account in place. In general, this should cover about three to six months’ worth of your outgoings, helping to reduce any financial pressure that might arise in an emergency.

Finally, don’t forget that, no matter how young they are, your children will learn their financial habits from you. So, get into those good habits now before your baby arrives, and commit yourself to creating a good financial budget and plan that you’ll stick to.

 

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Investing in a Coffee Maker – What You Ought to Know

Coffee – The most popular drink of the world. It’s Hard to find someone who dislikes coffee. Starting a day with a cup of coffee will make you more active.

According to the survey, people are drinking coffee whenever they are getting dull, tired and exhausted. Some set of people drinks coffee whether they are tired or not they used to drink coffees more than three times a day.

Coffee plays major roles in our day to day lifestyle. I could not find a day without coffee in my life.

The Secret of Coffee

Coffee can be drunk with sugar, milk or without of the both. The recent survey says, people whoever working with a computer, are drinking more coffee per day when compared to others. Coffee can make someone so active and recover from the tired.

Why should I drink coffee?

You should drink coffee regularly as it has the wide range of health benefits. Coffee has the natural stimulant called caffeine which has proven health benefits. Check out the benefits of drinking a cup of coffee per day.

  1. Drinking a coffee in the morning will active your brain cells to work more.
  2. It gives the refreshment to the body and mind.
  3. It makes you relax from the stress and pressure.
  4. Get the relief from the pain
  5. It reduces the chance of being affected by the type 2 diabetes
  6. Coffee helps to protect against the Alzheimer’s disease
  7. It improves the immune system
  8. It helps to recover from the depression
  9. It improves liver functions

Planning to invest on a coffee maker?

Investing in a coffee maker would be the best option. If you are someone who drinks more than 3 cups of coffee a day, then coffee makers are the right choice for you. You can save your time by preparing it by yourself. Pressing a single button will prepare your coffee.

Things to Consider While Choosing a Coffee Maker

Choosing the best coffee makers are important as it going to work on 24×7 if you are going to buy it for your commercial place. Certain things should be noted before purchasing the coffee maker.

Features

The coffee maker should have a number of features. Everything should automate that reduces the manual participation. It should have the user-friendly control panel that should be understood by everyone. A featured coffee maker will let you choose the preparation time and quantity as well.

Quantity

You should select the coffee maker based on how many cups of coffee you are going to operate per hour. If you plan for the commercial place coffee maker then you should choose the large one.

Cost

The cost is the important factor to be considered. Affordable coffee makers will be the best option for someone who looking for the coffee makers with a limited budget.

Bottom Line

Coffee is the only drink which has the power to recover yourself when the stress and depression let you down. The coffee makers are used across the world. Invest your money on good coffee makers and enjoy your coffee. It’s time to have a cup of coffee! Have you had your coffee today?

 

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Family Financial Planning: $15K a Year Can Cover It

Bringing a child into the world is no small decision. Aside from the whole responsibility that goes hand in hand with creating a human life and making sure turns into a happy healthy adult, becoming a parent is also a big financial decision. According to the US Department of Agriculture, middle-income families can expect to pay around $15k per year to raise a child, which is a lot more than many people anticipate when they make the decision to start a family.

 

Budget, Budget, Budget

 

Making a budget and sticking to it is really important. While you can’t always account for incidentals like a hospital visit or unexpected home repairs, avoiding overspending on food or personal items really adds up over time. Use an app like mint.com to help you keep track of your day to day finances. Even small things like a coffee or a lunch out here and there can add up over time. Start small and put away a few dollars each day, it’ll be empowering when you start to see the benefits.

 

Consider a 529 Plan

 

529 plans are college savings accounts that are available in all 50 states. The minimum balance to open an account is only $25, and you can put away money whenever possible to invest in your child’s future. The plans are tax-advantaged and anyone can contribute—so friends and family who feel generous can throw a few bucks in to celebrate a birthday or other milestone.

 

Consider a Flexible Spending Plan for Healthcare Expenses

 

Flexible spending plans allow you to put a little money aside each month, or each pay period and come with pre-tax savings as a further incentive. These plans supplement your insurance, and cover things like hospital visits, copays, eye exams or other services, though the specifics vary depending on your plan. There are also some limits as to how much you or your partner can contribute. Check healthcare.gov for more specifics.

 

Get a Handle on Your Debts

 

Hopefully, you’ve gotten a chance to pay down your debts. Ditch your credit cards and learn to consolidate your loans. While in an ideal world, we’d all be starting a family without any debt weighing us down. Consider that you may need to lower your payments to fit your child into your budget.

 

Get Life Insurance

 

Few things are less pleasant to think about than planning what happens after your death, but as a new parent, you want to prepare for the absolute worst. If you are the family breadwinner, you’ll need to purchase life insurance and name your child as the beneficiary. You’ll also want to figure out when your child or partner would inherit the money after your death.

 

Communicate with Your Partner

 

This is a big one. If you are raising your kids with a partner, you’ll need to get on the same page regarding spending priorities. Even if you have separate accounts, planning a monthly budget regarding child raising costs is a critical element to your financial success and the success of your relationship.

 

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Applying for Reverse Mortgages

 

There are many great reasons to apply for a reverse mortgage, but there are also some potential disadvantages and complications associated with them. It’s important for you to know both the good and bad sides of what you may be getting into when you sign a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), as opposed to a standard home loan agreement. Here are some things to consider, both positive and negative, before you make your final decision.

 

 

HECM Closing Costs and Interest Fees Can be Confusing and Increase Over Time

One thing to be aware of is that home equity conversion mortgages have closing costs and associated fees. They are not fee-free. However, you won’t pay those fees out of your own pocket. Instead, they will be subtracted from the amount of money you receive from the loan.

 

As for interest fees, those increase as time passes. So, while you won’t have to make any monthly payments, the amount you owe in the end will be much higher than the amount you borrowed in the beginning. That is something that you need to anticipate and prepare for before you ever sign a loan agreement for a reverse mortgage.

 

The Amount You Can Borrow with a Reverse Mortgage May be Lower Than Expected

Even though reverse mortgages are home equity conversion loans, not all of the equity can be changed into spendable money. But what is a reverse mortgage borrowing limit and how is it calculated? It is an amount set according to the law that is designed to keep you from having to pay back more than a certain amount and protect lenders from loaning too much money to any one borrower. It means that you’re only going to get a percentage of your home’s equity converted to cash. The exact amount you will be eligible for depends on the appraised value of your home, how old you are, and other factors that the lender can outline for you.

 

Reverse Mortgages Offer Low Default Risks

One of the nicest advantages of a reverse mortgage is that you can’t default on it easily. A regular mortgage requires you to make monthly payments. When you miss one the lender can threaten you with default notices. Eventually they can actually take your home and assets.

 

It is possible to default on a reverse loan like this, but not easily. You don’t have to make any monthly payments, so there is no way to “miss” a payment. The only way you can generally default is by moving out of your home. Even if you do move, the lender can only sell your home and keep the amount of the proceeds that is equal to what you owe. The rest of the money goes to you. If there is no money remaining and there is still a balance on the mortgage, you don’t have to worry. The lender can’t attack any of your other assets, just the home itself.

 

You Can Live in Your Home as Long as You Wish

Some elderly people choose to sell their homes, move into small apartments or assisted living facilities, and use the money to help their families. But a reverse loan gives you the chance to use the money the way you want and still keep your large home and your independence. You can live there as long as you wish because you will still be the owner of the property. You don’t have to pay rent to anyone or worry about your home possibly being taken away.

 

You Can Receive Loan Payments on Your Own Time Schedule

Finally, keep in mind that a reverse mortgage can be customized for your needs in terms of the payment schedule. You can get a credit line, annuity, or lump sum. You can collect payments each month for a set number of months or permanently. It all depends on how much equity you need to convert at the time of the application versus over a long period of time for purposes like paying monthly bills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plan a Money Free Weekend: Fun Activities for Frugal Families

A typical weekend can cost a bundle, but it doesn’t have to. Families who know how to have a good time without breaking the bank offer some great tips for planning a money-free weekend. Could you have a wonderful weekend without shelling out a lot of cash? Of course you can, if you follow a few smart tips for frugal families.

 

Have a good time locally

 

Visit your city’s official chamber of commerce or tourism website to find a boatload of fun things to do for free. Drop by the sites of nearby towns, too. Chances are there are a whole lot of local attractions and fabulous freebies you don’t know about. Visit your local library and get a card for each family member. Most libraries offer DVDs, music CDs along with all the books you could ever want to read. Check your library’s calendar to find out about storytimes for kids, book clubs, guest author readings and other interesting free events, advises The Simple Dollar magazine.

 

If your town has a local sports league, find out when there’s a weekend game and attend it with the family. Most community sports teams are grateful to have an audience and you’ll have a good time rooting for them, too. Better yet, join a team and get some healthful exercise.

 

Enjoy a family staycation

 

Instead of going anywhere, have some good old fashioned family fun at home. Turn off the cell phones and bring out the board games. Two-player games such as checkers and chess are fun; multi-player board games like Monopoly are fun for everyone at once.

 

Bake bread, make a cake, prepare a family meal together. If you already have the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator, it won’t cost anything but friendly time spent as a family group.

 

Creative playtime to boost family happiness

 

Find a how-to-juggle video on YouTube and learn to do circus tricks. Put on a play. Wash the dog. Look around the yard and decide where to plant a summer garden and thumb through seed catalogs together. Let everyone download an art app on Google Play and have a friendly competition to see who makes the most marvelous mandala.

 

Money gurus at Kiplinger magazine offer a bunch of beautiful tips for enjoying a moneyless weekend with kids. Go bird watching and try to identify all the flying critters in your town. Fill colorful balloons with water and have a boisterous but friendly backyard balloon battle. When the weather’s nice, let the kids take a bubble bath in an inflatable pool in the yard. Pitch a tent in the backyard and enjoy a family dinner of fire-roasted hot dogs, potato chips and pop. Hide a bunch of cheap toys in the yard and let the kids invite their friends over for a scavenger hunt.

 

When you find out how easy it really is to have a great time without spending a small fortune, you’re sure to come up with your own great moneyless weekend tips.

 

Freddie Oliver is a family man with 3 kids under the age of 10. He enjoys spending quality time with his family on weekends and holidays.

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When Convenience Meets Cost Savings: The Many Benefits of Online Mattress Shopping

Experts recommend that you replace your mattress once it’s become older than 7 years. This means it’s highly likely you’re going to be purchasing a few mattresses throughout your lifetime, and you certainly don’t want to end up with something that’s not going to last until that 7-year mark – especially if you’re part of the 1 in 3 adults not getting enough sleep!

 

And it’s for this exact reason many people are worried about purchasing mattresses online. Online shopping means you aren’t able to sit on the mattress or even see it in real-life before you purchase it, and it’s this factor that puts a lot of people off. However, there are many hidden advantages to buying a mattress online and, as long as you do your research, you’ll likely still end up with a mattress you can depend on for years to come.

 

Convenience and no pressure

 

As with almost every form of online shopping, buying a mattress online means you’re able to do so at any time from the comfort of your own home. You won’t have to make specific plans to go to the store during opening hours and you’ll never have to deal with busyness or stress.

 

Online shopping also completely eliminates pressure. Generally, mattresses are an extravagant purchase – and what often comes hand-in-hand with an extravagant purchase at the store? A pushy salesman! Whilst they’re clearly doing their job and often just trying to help, it can be quite overwhelming and you may feel pressured into making a decision you don’t really want to.

 

Higher quality for a cheaper price

 

Often, mattresses you’ll find online have better specifications and are made using higher premium materials. Whilst you can find mattresses of this quality in store, it’s much quicker and easier to come across them online simply because there’s a more varied choice.

 

Better still, buying your mattress online could save you an average of up to 15% of how much you’d spend in store! Since mattresses are often expensive, this could mount up to a lot of money. To discover more inspiration and detailed reviews of a wide variety of pre-priced mattresses, check out Sleep Scouts.

 

Cheaper return policy

 

Whilst it’s likely you’ll end up with a mattress you love online after doing your research, there’s always a chance it may arrive and isn’t quite what you imagined. When this happens with a store-bought mattress, return fees can be very expensive – online shopping generally avoids this problem.

 

There will still be some form of return fee for an online mattress purchase, but it’s likely to be a lot cheaper than a store’s return policy!

 

If convenience and cheaper prices are what you’re looking for when buying your next mattress, don’t shy away from the concept of online shopping. With a huge variety of better-quality products to choose from, shopping online for a mattress doesn’t have to be as stressful and disappointing as people assume.

 

Calin Yablonski is the founder of SleepScouts.com, a website dedicated to testing, rating and reviewing the world’s most popular sleep products. Stay up to date with Calin on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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3 Tips for Teaching Your Kids About Credit

Of all the lessons you teach your children as you’re raising them within your home, how to manage money may be the lesson that can have the most impact on their ability to be self-sufficient once they leave the comfort of your nest.

However, because money is often such a taboo topic, even within familial ties, many parents find it hard to know how to talk about money with their kids, especially when it comes to complicated and confusing topics like credit. So to help you prepare your children for the world outside, here are three tips for teaching your kids about credit.

Explaining What Credit Is

The concept of credit can be hard to explain to your kids, especially if they don’t quite understand basic financial principles yet. For this reason, Real Simple suggests first explaining what credit is by talking about earning money, borrowing money, and repaying money.

If these ideas are understood, the idea of credit shouldn’t be too hard to convey. To help teach these principles, you may even want to go over your own credit report with your child to show them examples of how to use credit and what goes into a credit score.

Understanding Buying Decisions

Knowing what you can afford is a great financial lesson to teach children. However, this lesson often becomes more convoluted when credit is involved. Because you don’t have to have the physical money on your person to use a credit card, buying decisions can often be easily influenced when using credit.

That’s why, according to LaToya Irby, a contributor to TheBalance.com, it’s important to teach your children how to make good purchasing decisions when using credit. Show them that just because something may seem like a necessity or a good deal at the time doesn’t mean it’s worth risking your credit over.

Talking About Debt

When discussing credit, you also have to discuss debt. Your child should understand that if they can’t adequately manage the credit they’re given, they could end up with crippling debt. But while debt is something to be aware of, Tim Chen, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, reminds us that not all debt is bad.

It could also be beneficial for your child to learn that some debt is necessary and important for building your credit score, like acquiring a home loan, car loan, or student loan. Too much fear of debt can be just as harmful to your child’s financial future as not enough fear of debt, so make sure you do your best to give them a balanced education.

If you’ve been considering talking to your child about credit, use the tips mentioned above to ensure they understand what credit it, how to use it, and how to manage it wisely.

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Family Financial Fortitude – Check Out These Important Money Hacks

Boosting your family finances is something that’s really important and will help you in the long run. There are so many things you will need to think about, and money is a big part of developing a secure future for your family. You need to think about money, and what is involved in making the right financial decisions for the family. If you can do that you will be well placed to have a more secure home life.

Money is one of the biggest things to think about as a family. The cost of living has become more and more expensive these days. And that’s why you need to make sure you budget well and that you are aware of what you spend and when. There are so many different costs you will need to cover and take into account. And the hacks below should help you figure out what you can use to help fortify your family’s financial position.

 

Make Sure You Have Insurance

 

Any sensible family member will tell you that you have to make sure you have insurance. Now, there are a lot of different types of insurance you need to make sure you have these days. When you take a look at insurance options for the logical family, it’s important to think about what you need as a family. For instance, you’ll have to ensure that you have the right sort of car insurance, as this is a legal requirement. But there are other insurance premiums that you need to consider as a family. For instance, you need to make sure you look into getting home insurance and health insurance. You have to protect the future of the family, as well as your possessions. And these are great ways to achieve that as much as possible.

 

Savings are Key

 

You have to understand that savings are so important for any modern family. It’s really important that you have a safety net to fall back on finance wise. And that’s why you have to see how much you can generate great savings as often as possible. This isn’t easy these days, but it’s certainly doable. Try to make sure you have as many savings as you can because this will provide you with a rainy day fund. Emergencies always strike when you least expect them to. And it’s important that you are prepared and ready for this kind of eventuality. That’s why you have to make sure you try to generate as many savings as you possibly can whenever you can.

 

Should You Take Out a Loan?

 

One of the big questions you need to ask yourself is whether you should take out a loan. This is something that a lot of families decide to do and can prove very useful for the family. If you are having a month where you’re struggling to make ends meet it’s important to bring a bit of extra financial support in. And, the way to do that is to make sure you take out a loan. But, before doing so, you need to head to personalmoneystore.com to find out more about personal loans. They can be very useful, but must also be handled with care and attention. You should never take out a loan if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay it back eventually. You want to avoid falling into financial problems and difficulties.

 

Be More Frugal

 

You also have to look at how you can become more frugal as a family in 2017. And a lot of this is to do with what you choose to buy and when. Being more economical with finances is important because it will help you to budget better. If you can spend less to get the same things you’ve gotten before, then this will be beneficial to you. Think about what you can do as a family to become more frugal. Sure, you need to think about how you can make savings. Using things like coupons and vouchers is a good way of making savings. You also have to think about where you buy things to make sure you can get the best possible deal.

 

Run a Greener Home

 

Talking of being more frugal, try to do what you can to save money and become greener. Living a more eco-friendly life is really important for benefiting your health, and saving you money as well. There are so many things you can do that will help your to run a greener home. Look at what you can do to make the property more energy-efficient, and consider investing in renewable energy. You also have to make sure you embrace recycling and computing and try to make your life greener. Ditching the car, or at the very least switching to an electric car, is really crucial for the process.

 

Build Your Credit

 

Another thing you need to try to do is to build up your credit rating as much as you can. It is important to do this because it will benefit you financially in the long-term. Having a good credit rating is really important when it comes to allowing you to maneuver financially. Think about how much better your prospects will be if you can build your credit rating back up. There are a few techniques you might employ to help you build back your credit rating. For instance, you might choose to take out a store card and repay what you spend swiftly and in full. This will help you to build back a decent credit rating and open more doors for you financially.

 

Make Some Extra Money

 

You should always be thinking about how you’re going to make more money and generate extra income. As a family, you have to think about what is involved in the process of making money outside of your job. Sure, your salary is important, and that’s something you can rely on. But, sometimes it might not be enough, so you need to come up with other ways of making money where you can as well. Working from home, and using the internet to find ways of making money is really crucial. The good thing is that it’s possible for anyone to make more money as long as they know where to look.

These days you have to do as much as you can to look out for your money and your family finances. There are a lot of things you will have to do if you want to make yourself more financially stable. And it’s important that you do what you can to achieve financial security and help the family live comfortably.

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Tips For Repairing Your Credit Without Becoming A Hermit

You don’t have to quit shopping cold turkey and you don’t have to stay home and never enjoy any time away from the house just to fix your credit. You still want to shop, but you also want to get rid of debt, and you can do both of those things. You can still have a life and still put money away and pay off bills.

You can still have fun and still have money while you are getting out of debt, you just need to learn what moderation is, and make sure you have your priorities straight when it comes to paying your bills and such.

Try Credit Repair Companies

One thing that can really help you get out of debt and still allow you to have money for other things is to find a credit repair company. They will help get all of your debts into one lump payment so that you don’t have a ton of additional bills each month.

Your credit is not going to fix itself, so if you need help, get it. You might even want to consider a small personal loan that has a better interest rate than the credit cards you already have and use that to help get you started at a better credit rating.

Make Small Payments All The Time

Always make your minimum payments, but try to pay more than that when it comes to paying on loans and credit cards. You want to keep them down so they don’t get out of control and end up with collections and on your credit report as well.

Even if you make a double payment every other month, it will help you may a quicker dent in what you owe. The more you owe the more you end up owing as those interest rates get tacked on. Keeping your balance lower will save you a good deal of money in the long run.

Consider Credit Cards For Bad Credit

If you have bad credit and you’re spending all your money on bills it can be frustrating. Not having any money to ever do anything fun can weigh on you. Consider getting a credit card with a small amount of money on it to use once in awhile to go see a movie or go out for a drink.

There are credit cards out there for people with bad credit. They will have a bit of a higher interest rate, but paying it off on time will also help you increase your credit score.

Spend Less

You may also want to do what you can to spend less money. There are all sorts of places you can cut back on expenses, from groceries to utilities.

You may also need to learn to quit unnecessary spending. Learn the difference between the things you need to live and the stuff you are simply wasting money on.

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Getting Your Family Finances Together

Family finances can be a little bit more tricky to deal with as opposed to individual finances, but there are still definite steps that you can take, and definite techniques that you can use, in order to keep everything in the best shape possible.

So if you feel like in your family unit, your financial status isn’t tightened down, consider the following tips to move you in a positive direction – make sure the adults in the family have solid credit, teach kids about allowances early in their lives, buy the least expensive family car that you can, work to maintain your property value, and keep your objects owned to a minimum if possible.

The Adults Need Solid Credit

As a baseline of financial stability, the adults in a family need to have great credit. And if one or both of them don’t, that means the first step is to fix any bad credit. There are a number of ways to do this, but ultimately it’s all about claiming responsibility for any loose debt and then establishing a monthly plan to realistically chip away at it. With the plan in order, credit scores will go up demonstrably.

Teach Kids About Allowances Early

After the adults are settled in some of their financial habits, the next step is to teach kids the value of money by working with them on things like household chores and allowances. There are as many ways to do this as there are parenting methods, so the options are pretty much unlimited, as long as the overall intent is to teach kids fiscal responsibility on a small level so they’ll know how to handle it on a large level later.

Buy an Inexpensive Family Car

One way to keep family finances in order is if you buy the least expensive car that you can that will still get the job done. Cars are money hogs. They’re expensive to buy and maintain, and if they get damaged they’re a tremendous financial liability. Check your ego at the door, and just get one that has enough value as a transportation device.

Maintain Your Property Value

It’s easy to let the appearance of and structural integrity of your home get away from you as you’re busy dealing with kids as well. Doors and windows can get yucky, yards can become ill maintained, and then if you need to sell, or if your home is audited, that’s an immediate hit on your overall perceived value.

Stay As Minimal As Possible

And finally, the fewer things that you have, the cheaper you’re living in general, which means the less money you’re paying for things that you don’t need. It may feel hard to let certain things go, but it’s one of the easiest and best ways to control your overall financial structure as a family unit.

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Insurance Options For the Logical Family

When it comes to choosing the best insurance policies in terms of logical applications for families, there’s a lot of gray area to work with. It’s hard to make reasonable choices sometimes because of cultural or financial pressure, and the fact that sometimes insurance companies are just trying to get you to do certain things out of fear.

To help you make decisions, make sure that you do fairly extensive research on things like car insurance, life insurance, renter’s or home insurance, disaster insurance, and even individual product insurance (like for your computer or phone, for instance). The more you know about average numbers when it comes to input and output within those insurance segments, the better choices you can make.

Car Insurance

Getting car insurance is pretty much a requirement for a logical family unit. So many people depend on their cars so much, that not having one isn’t really an option. So to make sure that in the event of some kind of an accident, you have an immediate recourse, making sure that you have acceptable insurance is vital. In addition, depending on the fault of the accident, you can run into personal bankruptcy issues as well depending on your insurance situation.

Life Insurance

If you have a family with children, then buying life insurance for the parents in the family is going to be a smart choice as well. You don’t want it on your conscience that your kids aren’t going to be taken care of financially in the event of some kind of accident that the family breadwinner has. Different types of life insurance policies have drastically different costs and payouts though, so be sure to research this topic intensely.

Renter’s or Home Insurance

If you have lots of things of value at home, then consider that renter’s or home insurance would be a good idea. People who work from home, or who have expensive hobbies where gear is collected at home, should make this a priority. Just be sure that all of your expensive guitar is properly inventoried at all times.

Disaster Insurance

Another tragedy that happens in many families is if there’s some sort of disaster at home. This can be geographical, like a flood or hurricane occurring, or it can be incidental, like a fire that takes out the family house. Learning about disaster insurance is your best bet before you actually buy it though. There are an incredible number of stipulations regarding payouts.

Individual Product Insurance

The last thing for a family to consider in terms of insurance is what you can purchase for individual items. Getting insurance for things like computers, mobile phones, or tablets is a toss up. If you have young kids that use these devices, it may save you thousands of dollars in damages. However, these one-off insurance policies can be expensive, so if nothing does break, then you’re out a significant amount of cash.

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Funds and Fitness: How to Make Money and Get a Great Workout at the Same Time

To some people, the prospect of exercising when they wake up or after a long day at work is about exciting to look forward to as a trip to the dentist. It’s understandable: between your busy career and your home life, you just can’t find the motivation or energy to work out for an hour.

 

But what if you could make money while you exercise? A little extra spending cash each month can go a long way for paying bills or just having the wiggle room to go out for a fun night with friends. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can stay in shape and make money at the same time. Here are a few options that might interest you.

 

Refereeing a Youth/Intramural League

 

If your nights and weekends are free, you can sign up to referee a youth/intramural sporting league, like football, hockey or soccer.

 

Sports leagues are always looking for extra help, and refereeing can be an easy and fun way to make some cash and get your exercise. If you choose to referee a soccer league, you could end up walking or running several miles during the course of a game, depending on the age group and the length of game time. If you can skate, hockey games can provide you with an hour of fast skating up and down the rink.

 

You’ll probably have to attend a class or two on how to properly referee, but after that, you can get in some exercise several times a week while getting paid for it.

 

Bike Courier

 

If you live in a large city, there’s a good chance that there are several courier companies that still use bicycle messengers to get their packages delivered. This is because bikers can maneuver easily through tight traffic and it saves them on gas and maintenance costs that a vehicle would need.

 

Not only is riding a bike is one of the great ways to stay in shape, couriers get paid by commission, so you can probably work a few deliveries into your schedule each week for some extra cash.

 

Bike courier is a demanding job, so even a few time a week may be too much for some people. Make sure you’re very motivated before pursuing this option.

 

Become a Fitness Trainer

 

If you’re really motivated to exercise and make money, you can build yourself a home gym and train people on the side or, if you get enough customers, as a full-time job.

 

There are many different types of home gyms you can put together to make this work. Like a home masseuse, you will need to check into the legal aspects of training in your own home. If you can, this is a great way to make money and stay in shape at the same time.

 

If you can motivate yourself to exercise, look for a way to make money at the same time.

 

Hailey Parsons is a mom who always has one eye on the family finances. Any extra cash she can make goes into the vacation fund. She writes about how to earn a little extra.

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Beautiful on a Budget: Thrifty Tips for the Mother of the Bride or Groom

As the mother of the bride or groom, the wedding day can one of the most expensive and luxurious events of your life, and understandably, you’re a bit confused as to how to look gorgeous yet elegant on a budget.

Similarly, you want a ravishing dress, but at the same time, you want to draw too much attention to yourself. So, how do you go about it? From availing the “sale season” to getting the most from the best deals, you’ve so many options to buy a dress that’s just perfect for you. Below are all the tips you need to know to look beautiful on a budget.

Plan It Out

You need to keep an eye out for reasonably priced outfits delivering the same look as a high-end dress. There are various styles to choose from. This makes your job a lot easier. Since wedding planning starts at least 6 months prior to the actual date, you’ve ample time to look around and choose a dress that looks as if it’s made for you! Given such a long period of time, surely you’ll be able to lay your hands on a grand dress.

Don’t Miss the Sales!

Sales are the ultimate boon of the shopping season. You would always find plenty of outlets that are displaying  dresses on sale. Many shops have a clearance sale or end-of-season sale. Since the sale season can last for three to four months, you have a good chance of finding a splendid dress.

Shop Early

We’ve all heard the phrase, “early bird gets the worm.” Once you’ve set your eyes on the perfect dress with the best deal, don’t keep delaying the purchase till the last moment. Otherwise, there are chances of it being sold out before you take out cash to buy it! So before this happens, it’s always better to be the first one in the queue.

When you do buy it, let the mother of the groom know too as according to tradition, a bride’s mother buys the dress before the groom’s mother!

Simplicity Enhances It

Sometimes, a simple dress is the best one to go for. How about showing your style with a simple and elegant dress with a statement necklace?

Opt for the Whole Look

A brilliant idea would be to shop for the whole look (i.e. the dress itself, the matching handbag/clutch, the jewelry, and the shoes). There are many websites that offer package deals for the mother of the bride or groom. The dress is sold along with accessories and jewelry.

Go for Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaids are going to be your daughter’s favorite people throughout her wedding. Making them smile will actually help you make the bride happy! To do this, buy bridesmaid dresses that aren’t only beautiful but affordable too. You can add embellishments such as sequins, beads, and other trimmings to create a unique charm to these dresses.

The Bottom Line

With all these tips in your mind, you’re sure to nail the right dress for yourself. Whether it’s the color or style of the dress that has conquered your heart, remember that you can make it more appealing by bringing your own style to it. And yes, that too within your budget!

Lauren Wallace saw her youngest daughter get married last year. She shares her tips with other Mom’s who are soon to be Mother of the Bride. Her articles appear on over 50’s sites, wedding blogs and more.

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