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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Tips to Reduce Kids’ Schooling Costs

Organize and Save

Keep an inventory of your children’s school supplies and keep it organized. If you are not organized, you will be spending more money on replenishing your supplies. Small things like pencils and crayons may not cost too much, but if you replenish your supplies unnecessarily, you are losing valuable money.

You should also try involving the kids when making the inventory. This will give them a sense of ownership for their things and would know where to take and put their things.

Tax Holidays

Tax holidays are often offered by many states during the back-to-school season. Price ceilings will be put on different school gears. You might want to do a little research and ask about the schedule and the details of the tax holidays in your area.

Bulk Buying

It’s a basic economic principle – “the more you buy, the more you save”. Well, this is applicable if you are buying a specific item which you will really need in the near future. In buying pencils, for example, you might want to buy a box rather than buying one for each of your kids. Face it, you will be needing to replenish these after some time, so might as well avail of the lower price by buying in bulk.

Transportation

You might want to consider buying your child a bicycle for him to bring to school. This, of course, is not always feasible. Finding a cheap and safe way to bring your children to school daily is an important thing. Car pools and school transportation services are options that you can look at.

Snacks

Whenever you have the time and energy to prepare food for your children, do so. You will not only be saving on the pocket money that you will give to them but you are also secured that your children are eating healthy and safe meals.

Getting your children through school is a hard task and a costly one. Saving money through practical and simple means can assist you in this endeavor. The benefits will eventually add up to bring a brighter future to your children.

 

Tips to Start Trimming Your Budget Around The House

If you want to possibly save hundreds of dollars a year on your electric bill, make sure that any new appliances you buy are energy efficient. You can find this information on the Energy Guide Labels that federal law requires of all major appliances.

Call your utility program and ask them if they have any cost saving programs such as load management programs or off hour rate programs. Enrolling in these could save you a substantial amount of money.

Ask your electric and/or gas company if they do a free or low cost home audit. They can identify ways for you to save hundreds of dollars a year on heating and air conditioning and often they will help you implement their suggestions for free.

Go over your phone bill and see if there are charges on it for services you don’t use, like three way calling or call waiting. You can save about $50 a year if you eliminate unused services.

When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes-24 hours a day!

If you use electricity to heat your home, consider installing an energy-efficient heat pump system. Heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating in moderate climates, providing three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume in electricity. A heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating as much as 30% to 40%.

You can cut the amount of water you use showering in one year in half, by installing low flow shower heads.

Insulate your water heater and turn the thermostat on it down a few degrees, to save quite a bit on your bill.

Carefully placed trees can help to heat a cool your house. Studies show that just 3 trees strategically planted to give shelter and shade can save you up to $250 a year on heating and cooling.

Provide high efficiency lighting to your home by using linear fluorescent and energy efficient fluorescent compact lamps in your fixtures. They last 6-10 times longer and use less energy.

Use solar pathway lights in your yard to provide nighttime light. It costs less than using electricity to run security lamps.

Refrigerators with freezers on the top are more efficient and therefore more cost effective than those with freezers on the side.

Switching your washing machines temperature from hot to warm or cold cuts a loads energy use in half.

Gas dryers are less expensive to operate than electric dryers. The cost of drying a typical load of laundry in an electric dryer is 30 to 40 cents compared to 15 to 25 cents in a gas dryer. That savings adds up over the course of a year.

When you are drying jeans in the dryer, throw a towel or two in with them. The towel will draw moister from the jeans, cutting down on dry time.

With a little thought and minimal effort you can save hundreds of dollars a year around your house. Start saving today, and imagine how much more money you will have in your bank account in the future.

 

Saving Early for Child Education

The best advice that any parent can get is to start saving early. College tuition fees can cause a strain on your family’s budget and lifestyle. You need to have a goal to keep you motivated to save. And what better motivation is there than knowing that the money you save will finance your child’s education.

Normally the best stage to start saving for your child’s finance towards college tuition is at birth. If, however, you have not started, then the time to start saving is now. It is never too late to start saving.

The sooner you start saving, the more time there’ll be for compound interest to build up into a nice college fund for your child. Remember that each child should get his or her school finance savings fund.

You also need to decide the amount you intend to save by the time that your child reaches college age. There are many options available for you to choose from when it dollar amount. This means that you calculate the projected cost of public college tuition by the time your child is ready for college.

The other commonly used method, which many parents prefer, involves devoting a fixed percentage of income to their child’s future college costs. The idea is this: whatever you do, you have to have a defined goal. You should save as much as you can, whether it be a large amount, like several hundred dollars a month or a more modest amount, such as $35 to $70 each month.

A college education is an investment in the future of your child. If you truly want to see your child succeed, as all parents do, what could possibly be a better investment?

 

Signs that You Have Too Much Debt

1. You’re living paycheck to paycheck. If your bank account runs dry towards the end of the week, before you get your next paycheck, you’re probably in over your head with debt. You should be able to pay your necessary bills, and still have money left over to put into savings.

2. You can’t pay every bill each month. If you have to make a decision each month about what bills you can afford to pay (i.e. letting your phone bill run a month behind, so you can keep your electric turned on, or vice versa), then you probably have too much debt. Your bills shouldn’t exceed your income in any amount, but especially not if you’re being forced to make a choice between necessities.

3. You applied for credit and were denied. This is a more obvious sign that you’re in too much debt. If this happens, and you don’t know why, order your credit report immediately and find out what’s wrong. Remember to fix anything on the report that isn’t correct.

4. You regularly overdraft your bank account. If you’re cutting checks to pay your bills, and they’re bouncing, you’re probably in too much debt. The same is true if you write a check for more than you currently have in your account, hoping that a deposit in the next day or two will be processed in time to cover it.

5. Collectors are calling you. This is another of the more obvious signs that you’re in too much debt. Although they may seem frightening, ignoring collectors won’t make them go away. They’ll likely just become even pushier. Your best bet is to answer your phone or call them back, explain your situation, and see what they can do to work with you. Some will be able to lower your interest rates or be able to give you an extension on your payment dates.

6. Your credit cards are maxed out. Credit cards should never be pushed to their limits. You should always keep an adequate amount of money available on them for an emergency, if one comes up. Running them up on material things that you can’t afford is a sign that you’re in too much debt.

7. You have more than five recurring debts. Having more than three credit cards at any one time can be a sign that you’re in too much debt. Couple that with more than two loans or other revolving credit (for a mortgage, car, student loans, or a computer loan), and you’re just asking for debt troubles.

8. You use your credit cards for everyday expenses. If you find yourself using your credit cards to buy groceries or other necessities, because you don’t have enough cash at the time to purchase them, you’re likely in too much debt. Use your credit cards for occasional expenses, not basics like food and utilities.

9. You only make the minimum payments on your debts. Being able to make your minimum payments on all of your debts each month does not mean that you’re in control of your debts. Creditors love people that only pay their minimum amounts, because it means they’ll make the most interest. The longer it takes you to pay your debts back, the more you have to pay over time.

10. You don’t know how much you owe. This is the biggest sign that you’re in too much debt. If you’ve ignored your debt to the point where you don’t even know what you owe, you’re likely in more debt than you think.