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Archive for the ‘Save Money/Budget’ Category

Times are difficult for many but they don’t have to be. Parents are the most important teachers their kids will ever have. If you want your kids to grow up to be financially independent, then be a good role model for them.

  • Tell your kids school is important. Although a college degree is no guarantee of financial success, those with a college degree tend to make more money than those without. Graduate and professional degree earners tend to make more than those with a baccalaureate. https://moneyprovidesfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/the-value-of-an-education/
  • Don’t display wealth. If you look rich (drive an expensive car, own a huge house, wear expensive clothes/jewelry), most likely you are not wealthy. You are probably living in debt. Be a good role model to your children and let them know that having money in the bank is more important than trying to impress their friends. To achieve financial stability, you must save more than you spend – it’s as simple as that.
  • Compounding for decades. When your children are young, open a 529 College Saving Plan for them and set up automatic monthly deposits. I opened 529 College Saving accounts for my kids when they were born. Currently there is about $40,000 in my nine-year olds account and about $34,000 in my seven-year olds account. It’s easy if you start when they are young and make it automatic.
  • Teach your kids how to live on a budget, balance a checkbook and to save. When my kids receive money for their birthday or for Christmas, some of the money can be spent but some must be saved for a “rainy day.” Discuss money and bills with your kids in an age appropriate way.
  • Teaching personal responsibility. Hard work over time is the only way to succeed for most people. Teach that success and wealth are not entitlements. No one is entitled to a “free lunch.” I don’t believe in allowances. Kids shouldn’t get paid for doing nothing. It’s not that way in the real world. If you want your kids to have spending money, tie the money to the amount of age appropriate chores that they do.
  • Don’t bail out your kids too easily. Let them experience the consequences of their actions while they are still living under your roof.

Many parents need to do a better job teaching their children about money. Kids want to learn about money and it is up to parents to successfully nurture their thirst for knowledge. By doing so, you help make sure your kids will have a financially bright future.

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According to research by Harris Interactive, 45% of U.S. adults packed their lunches last fall. A 12-inch turkey-breast-and-ham sub with chips and a drink runs about $8 at Subway. Buy a loaf of bread, lunchmeat, cheese, and fruit or chips for the week and you’ll spend just $3 or so a day. Annual savings (packing four days a week): $1,040.

In today’s economy, packing a lunch is what smart people do. I have been brown bagging my lunch for years. Not only will you save money, but you will eat healthier, tastier food. What works for me is this: I brown bag my lunch daily and then buy lunch on paydays (I get paid every two weeks). This routine lets me save money and splurge a little, too.

I recommend packing fresh fruits and vegetables with deli-style sandwiches. Soups and salads are great as are bagels and cream cheese. So I don’t have to rush, I prepare my lunch the night before and store in the refrigerator.

Do you brown bag for lunch? What’s your favorite meal? What benefits have you found with making your lunch?

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My Money Jar

Guess what’s on my dresser? It’s a money jar. Inside is all my spare change that I collect each day. Instead of putting spare change into a vending machine, I keep it in my pocket. If I see a penny on the ground, I pick it up. All spare change goes into my money jar.

When the money jar gets full, I take it to the Coinstar machine at the local grocery store or to the bank using coin-wraps. From there, I deposit the money into my checking account. Eventually, the money is transferred to my kids 529 College Savings Plan where it grows over time. If it works better for you, deposit the money into a savings account that earns interest. This is a simple and easy way to build up a little extra money.

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If I make more money, will that get me out of debt? Unfortunately, a larger income alone usually won’t get you out of debt. This sounds counter-intuitive at first until we realize that most people don’t go into debt over lack of money. They go into debt because they spend more than they make. For example, there are famous people who made millions of dollars, but filed bankruptcy, anyway. The list includes Mike Tyson (boxer), Donald Trump (entrepreneur), Anna Nicole Smith (model-actress), Ted Nugent (rock star) and Larry King (talk show host) to name a few. Earning more money will not get you out of debt. The real issue is usually bad spending habits. The reason many people have financial problems is because they have bad spending habits. Using a budget and spending plan are great tools that help you develop good spending habits. They work because they prevent you from spending more than you are making.

To learn more about creating a budget, using a spending plan plus lots of money-saving tips, buy my new e-book, How to Create a Budget and Use a Spending Plan. How to Create a Budget and Use a Spending Plan will help solve your money problems. 

Buy now for only $1.99 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VFPKU0 or http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/51739 

Note: This is a downloadable e-book, not a book made out of paper.

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Life is fairly easy when you are young and single but add a marriage or kids and life gets real hard real fast. Planning for your financial future today will ensure you and your family will have a brighter future tomorrow.

There are six basic financial mistakes young families make. Can you guess what they are? Read more: http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/marriage-divorce/the-six-mistakes-young-families-make-15555/

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Your debit card may soon be denied for purchases greater than $100 – or even as little as $50. Find out why in this CNN article. http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/10/pf/debit_cards_limit/index.htm

A question frequently asked is “should you use a credit or debit card at the checkout? Personally, I always use a credit card because I pay the balance in full each month but there are distinct advantages and disadvantages of each. Which do you prefer?  http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout.

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Gasoline and commuting costs are a large part of the average household budget. As gas prices continue to rise, there are smart strategies you can employ to save money.

  1. Find the lowest price gas: Use websites like www.gasbuddy.com and www.gasprice.com to find the best prices in your area before you head to fill up.
  2. Properly maintain your car: A maintained car burns less fuel. Keep your engine tuned up, inflate your tires to their recommended level and make sure your car is in good condition. Taking good care of your car not only helps it last longer, but makes it more fuel efficient.
  3. Slow down: Drive the speed limit. When driving forward after a stop, accelerate slowly and smoothly.
  4. Stop warming up the car: A minute or two is all your car needs to warm up. You can save fuel by reducing your car’s warm up time.
  5. Plan your errands: Plan your errands so that you do them all on one day, rather than making multiple trips. Create an efficient route that gets things done quickly, and with as few left turns as can be managed. Using a GPS can help.
  6. Purchase lower-grade octane: Check your manufacturer’s recommendations and get the lowest grade octane gas you can. It’s cheaper, saving you more at the pump.
  7.  Consider walking or riding your bike: One of the best ways to save money on gas is to avoid using it when possible.  Consider walking, biking or using public transportation when practical. Not only will you save money on gas, but you will develop a healthy habit that can save you money on medical costs down the road.

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