How to Plan a Memorable Family Vacation Without Going into Debt

How to Plan a Memorable Family Vacation Without Going into Debt

Isn’t is sad that most vacations people go on are financed? It is hard to enjoy a vacation that you know isn’t paid off yet! But you can take a memorable family vacation without going into debt. The world tells you to put your vacation on credit and take care of it later. I promise you will enjoy your vacation that much more if you don’t go into debt for it. Check out these tips!

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How to Save Money on Your Home Mortgage

How to Save Money on Your Home Mortgag

If you are looking to save money on your mortgage, you have come to the right place. Whether you have a mortgage or are looking to take one on, it can be intimidating. There is a lot that goes into a mortgage, so saving money where you can is important.

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Tips for Saving $5,000 in One Year

Tips for Saving $5,000 in One Year

When you think about trying to save $5,000 in one year, it gets overwhelming. I like to break my goals down so they’re much easier to achieve. This year, I have a goal of saving $5,000 in one year. Sounds like a lot, but I am up for the challenge. I wanted to share some of my tips for making this goal a reality.

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10 Things to Stock Up On During the Holidays

10 Things to Stock Up On During the Holidays

This time of year we have sales happening left and right. Sure you are thinking about gifts for the holidays and food for those smorgasbord meals. If that is all you are shopping for you are losing a great chance to stock up during the holidays for the best prices of the year. These ten items are worth stocking up on even if you have to mix your budget up a little.

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6 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill

6 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill

Is your cell phone bill spiraling out of control? Do you feel like no matter what you have tried you have no option but to spend big bucks each month? The truth is there are ways to save on your monthly cell phone bill; you just need to know these tips and tricks and implement them! Take a look below at 6 ways to save money on your monthly cell phone bill, so you can cut those cell costs down and save money for other necessities in life.

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6 Tips for Raising Smart Consumers

6 Tips for Raising Smart Consumers

The financial lessons we learn at home as children are ones that will shape how we view money for a lifetime. One of the best services we can do for our children is to teach them financial responsibility from a young age. Here are a few tips to help along the way.

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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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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.