6 Tips to Trim Your Household Budget

6 Tips to Trim Your Household Budget

Running a household is expensive business but the good news is that you can make some relatively painless cuts to keep more of your hard earned cash in your pocket, or preferably your bank account. Here are some ways to minimize your expenses and trim down your monthly household budget in the process:

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How Much Money Do I Need to Buy a House?

How Much Money Do I Need to Buy a House?

Have you been bitten by the HGTV bug? While renovation costs are often covered in TV shows, there are a few hidden price tags that come with purchasing a home that are never discussed. It may be more fun to crunch numbers when it comes to the projects and possible resale (cha ching!), but there are a few lump sums you’ll need to cough up before you can even get the keys. Because I don’t want you to be blindsided, I’ll go over the basics that you should start saving for now. Don’t be discouraged; just be informed!

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5 Tips for Making Extra Cash in Facebook Garage Sale Groups

5 Tips for Making Extra Cash in Facebook Garage Sale Groups

You’re looking to make some extra cash, right? Look no further than Facebook! There are a ton of garage sale groups available for your area and the areas around you and new ones are popping up every day. So much easier than trying to organize an actual garage sale. Especially if the weather isn’t cooperating! If you’re interested in getting into selling in Facebook garage sale groups, follow our 5 tips for making some extra cash.

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15 Ways for Teens to Earn Extra Money

15 Ways for Teens to Earn Extra Money

Have your teens been looking for ways to earn extra money? Yes, older teens can go and find a job, but what about younger ones? Teens that are 13, 14 or even 15 can all find ways to earn money without having to worry about being too young for an actual job. These 15 ways for teens to earn extra money are easy to do and great for teens of all ages.

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6 Tips for Saving Money on a Road Trip

6 Tips for Saving Money on a Road Trip

Do you have a family road trip planned? How would you like to go on a road trip with your family without having to break the bank? Here are some great tips to remember when preparing for a road trip that can save you some bucks:

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7 Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Be Financially Independent

7 Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Be Financially Independent

Our job as parents is to teach our children to be strong, confident adults who can become successful members of society. Of course, a teen is still a kid, but there are some things you can do to better prepare them to be financially independent.

1) Have them Work

School is the most important thing, but a summer job or after school job is a great way for a teenager to become financially independent. Even young teenagers can find ways to make money such as a paper route, grass mowing, snow shoveling, or detassling corn. Most fast food jobs hire at the age of 15 or 16 with parental permission.

2) Charge Rent

Another way to help your teenager be financially independent is to charge a small monthly amount for rent. This teaches your teenager how to pay bills and gives them a feel for the real world. This could be $25 a week or a month depending on how much money they make working.

3) Open Accounts

In this day and age, it isn’t always safe to carry around cash. Opening a checking and savings account with your teenager is not only a safer way for them to manage their money, but gives them a little more independence and education on balancing accounts.

4) Encourage Savings

It is recommended that 20% of everything a person earns should be put in savings. Teach this saving tip early so it continues through adulthood. When opening up accounts, encourage your teenager to put 20% of each paycheck into their savings account.

5) Let them Buy a Car

Buying a car is a huge decision, but a great incentive for saving. If your teenagers know they want a car and they have to buy it, it will give them more incentive to put that 20% in their savings account each paycheck. Not only does this teach financial savings, but it also teaches teenagers the value of money, and how much work it takes to actually buy a car.

6) Have them Pay Insurance

Another way to build financial independence is to have your teenager pay their own car insurance. Car insurance for a teenager is expensive, so it may be best to keep them on your policy and allow them to pay the discounted price.

7) Have them Buy Essentials

You provide everything for your child while they are young, but as they get into their teen years, it is important to make them start buying things on their own. Instead of buying five name brand pair of jeans at the beginning of the school year, set a budget that you will pay for their clothes, and if they want extra, make them pay for it themselves.

Teaching a teenager to be more financially independent isn’t going to happen in a few days. Gradually build your teenagers responsibilities as they get older starting from their earlier teens. The earlier you start this transition, the better equipped for life your teen will be when they reach 18.

5 Painless Tricks to Build Your Emergency Fund

5 Painless Tricks to Build Your Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund is vital but it can be hard to do when you are living paycheck to paycheck. Build your emergency fund with small steps that you will barely notice and you can stop the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Small steps add up and you’ll enjoy the padding of a nice savings account.

Use these painless tricks to build your emergency fund.

 1) Look for bonus money

that you can transfer right to savings. This can be ATM fee refunds, interest on accounts, or cash back points. Check with your bank to see if it has options to send funds over directly to your savings. If not mark you calendar for the appointed dates these deposits come in and move them over yourself.

2) Save the change

When you find or receive change don’t spend it, save it instead. Put the change right into a coin jar and fill it up. When the jar is full take half for fun money as a reward for sticking it out and toss the other half into your savings account. You have gone without spending this money for a long time and you won’t even notice it missing.

3) Look for rebates on items you already buy 

Rebate money saving apps are a great way to do this. Build your emergency fund with these by putting the rewards amount into your savings. If you receive payment in a way you can not add to savings just swap and use cash for the savings and spend the reward on things you need. Walmart has a great Savings Catcher program and app that helps you get money back when something you buy is cheaper at another local store.

4) Get a side job as a mystery shopper

Mystery shoppers make a small amount of money but they get reimbursed for the things they buy. This lets you earn a bit of extra money you can put into savings and get something you want or need for virtually free. The extra bonus of free stuff and a bit of cash means you can toss the money you earn into savings without feeling any hit to your budget.

5) Host a yard sale

Get the clutter out of your house and earn a bit of cash for your savings account at the same time. Have fun with it and reap the rewards of building your savings painlessly while clearing out things you probably shouldn’t have spent money on in the first place. This can also help you become more mindful of your spending.

You can build your emergency savings without feeling the pain of extra financial strain by looking for money that you do not already expect and budget for each month. By building up your emergency savings you end the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and the financial devastation of emergencies.

5 Expenses You Should Avoid Paying with a Credit Card

5 Expenses You Should Avoid Paying with a Credit Card

A credit card may seem like a friend when you’re in a crunch, but misuse of the cards can create a lot of stress or even financial ruin. It’s important that you know when to – and when not to – use your credit cards to prevent a mass of debt that you can’t seem to get out from under.

Read on to learn five expenses that you should never put on a credit card!

1) College Expenses

No one wants to graduate from college with a lot of debt, but credit card debt fresh out of school can be the worst. Avoid placing your college tuition on a credit card, as the interest rates will likely be much higher than you can get with a regular loan through your school or the government.

Check out any and all scholarships offered by your high school, hometown, or the college you will be attending. If necessary, get a part time job to help pay for expenses such as books or gas to and from school, so you aren’t tempted to put it all on a card.

2) Wedding Costs

Similar to college, newlyweds shouldn’t begin life together with an alarming credit card balance. Financial stress is not something you want to create in your first years of marriage. A smaller wedding may not be as extravagant as you wish, but it will relieve you of any possible arguments over the debt you have waiting for you as soon as you return from your honeymoon.

Create a wedding budget, and accept that a smaller wedding may be necessary to avoid the hassle of credit cards. Alternatively, push back the date until your wedding account has enough in it to cover the essentials you want for your big day.

3) Furniture

The “0% for 12 months” credit card offers from furniture stores may seem enticing when you want to redecorate your bedroom or the den, but avoid financing such a large purchase. Sure, you have a year to pay it off, but the odds that you will are slim and no one wants to have such a large debt looming over them when trying to enjoy their new purchase.

4) Vacations

It’s fun to take a break from the real world, but not so much when you return to a large credit card bill. It’s very easy to spend more than you planned when you charge your lodging, food, and attractions. Find ways to save money on your trip rather than introducing more stress into your future.

5) Medical/Tax Bills

Sometimes, serious bills arise that we don’t plan for. A child has a hospital stay, or you miscalculated your taxes and owe the IRS. You may want to reach for your credit cards to settle these debts, but it’s usually not a good idea. Instead, remedy the situation by reaching out to the company you owe money to and setting up a payment plan.

 

5 Things You Can Cut from Your Monthly Budget

5 Things You Can Cut from Your Monthly Budget

Have you been looking for ways to beef up your savings account? Take a good look at your monthly budget and you’re bound to come across several things that you might be able to do without. Here are some suggestions on ways to reduce certain monthly expenses or take them off your budget completely:

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7 Tips for Gaining Control of Your Finances in the New Year

7 Tips for Gaining Control of Your Finances in the New Year

The new year is upon us, and that means it is time to start gaining control of your money and getting yourself financially stable. If you have been struggling with getting your finances on track, the start of a fresh year is the perfect time to get focused. If you aren’t sure where to begin, take a peek at these 7 tips for gaining control of your finances in the New Year so you can enjoy the financial peace you deserve.

1. Track your spending.

It can be a difficult to face reality when it comes to your day to day spending. Coffee stops, gas, dining out, clothing purchases, and other day to day purchases can all add up quickly. The best way to face what you are spending is to track your spending. Track your spending for 10 days to see where your money is going and to get a clear picture of where you can start cutting costs.

2. Make cuts.

Once you track your spending for 10 days, start making cuts wherever you can. See which purchases can be eliminated all together, and which can be cut back. Try to identify which ones were impulse purchases, and which ones you couldn’t honestly afford. Take an honest look, and see where cuts and savings can be found.

3. Practice saving methods daily.

There are so many ways to save money: clip coupons, price match, wait for sales, buy second hand, etc. Start utilizing these practices in your day to day life. Even if you haven’t in the past, now is the time to get into the habit of these practices in all areas of spending so you can start saving money wherever possible.

4. Opt for cash only purchases.

One of the best ways to get back on track is to opt for cash only purchases. When you avoid charging items, you avoid buying items you may not be able to afford. You also avoid high interest fees as well as late fees for late payments. Instead, opt to pay cash on everything so you are only buying what is truly in your budget at the moment.

5. Bring your family on board.

Hold a family meeting to let them know about the upcoming changes. If they know you are working on a tighter budget, opting for cash purchases, and utilizing various savings methods, they can best help you meet your goals and support your efforts. If you wish, you can also find a friend or buddy to take on this challenge with you. Support always helps!

6. Go on a spending fast.

When you go on a spending fast, you refuse to buy anything for the designated length of time. It can be a day, a week, or even a month. You will be amazed at how much you can save in this time period and how much “stuff” you really don’t need! You will also be forced to get creative, which is fun and challenging.

7. Find non monetary ways to reward yourself.

We often make purchases we can’t afford because we feel like we deserve them. Well, you deserve financial peace as well. Find non monetary ways to reward yourself for your hard work. Some ideas could be a nap or sleeping in; a visit to a local park, some free music downloads, etc. Find ways to spoil yourself without spending dough.

When you keep these tips in mind, you can enter the New Year ready to save and get your finances in check! Give them your attention and see if they don’t make a difference in your life.