More Than Finances

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How to Save Money on Celebrations

birthday-cake-380178_640There is a lot of pressure on parents and families these days to create the biggest and best parties for birthdays, Christmas, and other celebrations. It can lead to a lot of stress and financial difficulty that can take a long time to resolve.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on parties or birthdays to give the one you love a good time. Here are some ideas that can help you find alternatives to excessive spending.


No one likes budgeting; it can be upsetting when you see other people spending money when you cannot. However, if you are to stay within your finances, you need to set a limit on what you spend.

Set aside an amount that you can spend on a birthday or celebration and stick to it. It can be easy to creep over the limit, but it has been set there for a reason.

Resist Obligation

Some people feel obliged to follow their friends or family when it comes to celebrations as well as other things like holidays. You won’t feel as happy if you do what others are doing, especially if you will be without money as a result.

If you have a big family, sending cards to each other can become an expensive habit. You can always use free printable greeting cards that you can get from applications such as Adobe Sparks. It will allow you to send cards as well, but for a fraction of the price.


Presents, particularly on holidays like Christmas can become very expensive if you’re buying for a lot of people. Don’t be afraid to set a new trend by just getting one gift per family for the adults instead of a present each. You can also consider making your gifts that can be personalized for each person.

Some people will only buy gifts for the children in the family until they reach a certain age, then they just give a family present. It might sound harsh, but when you have to stick to a budget, it can be the only way to manage.

Sales and Clearances

A good way to get gifts and spread the cost is to buy things in advance when there are sales in the stores. January sales usually have big discounts, and you can store the gifts until you need them.

The same applies for clearances, always be on the look-out for any discounts or clearance shelves where you might be able to pick up a cheap gift. You might even be able to save some money by getting items in bulk. These can be separated as gifts for more than one person.

Plan Parties Around Experiences

You don’t want to be spending a lot of money on entertainers or bouncy castles. Your children can have a lot of fun by having a day out at the beach or playing at the local park. If you take along a picnic as well, you can have a whole day there.

Just doing these simple things, can make big savings and help you to stay within your budget.


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3 Good Reasons to Maintain a Household Emergency Fund

How to Work Towards a Healthier Bank BalanceManaging money calls for a great deal of planning, but flexibility is another key feature of effective personal financial management.  Although most spending needs can be anticipated well in advance, flexibility in your personal budget allows for unexpected expenses.  And an emergency fund gives you a cash cushion to fall back on, when extraordinary demands emerge.  If, like many households, your emergency resources fall short; consider the following good reasons to establish and maintain a personal contingency fund.

Create your own safety net

As you plan your budget and account for myriad household spending demands, efforts should be made to reserve savings for an emergency fund.  For the best results, sequester the resources in a separate account, rather than comingling emergency savings with other incoming resources.  That way, you’ll be less tempted to unnecessarily draw from the account for ill-advised purchases.  If possible, establish an interest bearing fund, to help your emergency resources grow.  And make it as inconvenient as possible to access the money – even setting-up your contingency account at a separate bank, away from your primary financial institution.

1.     Personal Insurance

Regardless of the cause of financial difficulties – and there are many; a contingency fund acts as an insurance policy, preventing a manageable issue from snowballing into a bigger problem.  In fact, you can use the analogy to stay on track with savings.  By thinking of your emergency fund as an insurance policy, and paying corresponding premiums to your own reserve account, you essentially mirror the benefits of insurance coverage, administering the benefit yourself, rather than hiring a provider.

A personal emergency account reserves resources you can use to address these and other common financial crises:

  • Temporary unemployment
  • Costly car repairs
  • Medical bills
  • Mechanical breakdowns at home
  • Job loss
  • Divorce expenses
  • Special property assessments
  • Income tax obligations

2.     Avoid Costly Alternatives

Unexpected expenses pop-up quickly, so there isn’t always time to wait for funding – money is usually needed on the spot. When an urgent demand strikes, you may find fast financing online, and it is important to recognize; certain choices make more sense than others.  Credit cards, for instance, carry high interest rates and stiff penalties for late payment, making it easy to get into financial trouble overusing revolving credit.  Cards also have credit limits, which may not cover your entire financing need.  As a result, credit cards should be used only as a last resort. Unfortunately, without an emergency account, your options may be limited – and costly.

Though various types of loans provide funding at lower rates and with flexible repayment terms, no form of financing is as cost-effective as drawing from your own emergency reserves.  In effect, maintaining emergency resources helps you avoid making ill-advised financial decisions.

3.     Maintain Cash Flow

Some financial emergencies relate to specific purchases, repairs, or replacement needs.  In other cases, emergency reserves are needed when income or household cash flow are interrupted.  Job loss and temporary layoffs, as well as injury and disability, cause these types of unanticipated financial inconsistencies. If you are impacted by these unforeseen events, your well-funded emergency account bridges the financial gap, as you grapple with these challenging circumstances.

Many financial advisors recommend a particular savings threshold, though any progress in the right direction is better than facing financial difficulties with nothing in reserve.  Finance experts commonly suggest emergency savings totaling at least three months’ worth of customary household spending.  With such a lofty goal, it may take some time for you to set aside ample funds, but holding a few months’ worth of cash reserves substantially lowers your vulnerability to financial distress.

Maintaining a healthy emergency fund helps limit risk and prevents small financial problems from growing into unmanageable concerns.  Not only do emergency resources cover pop-up expenses, but keeping a rainy day fund can also save you from costly alternatives.


The Secret to Quality Dental Care at a Low Cost

zahnreinigung-1514693_640Whether you have dental insurance or not, more and more people are avoiding going to the dentist all together because of the high cost. Research shows oral health care is without a doubt the most unmet health care in America. Family USA, “found that dental care was the most common type of health care service adults with non-group coverage (insurance not provided by an employer) skipped because of affordability issues.”

Even if you brush and floss every day, dental issues still arise if regular dental visits are missed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 27 percent of adults in the United States ages 20 to 44 have cavities that have gone untreated. Over time these issues get worse and before you know

it, you are having a painful dental emergency. Not only are dental problems painful and a financial burden, for many it can also be embarrassing.

Lack of quality dental care has become a detrimental problem among adults. Unless something is wrong, most Americans won’t go to the dentist. This has led to the number of emergency room visits for “long delayed dental care” to double among adults, the USA Today reported.

The Secret to Lowering Your Dental Cost

A growing number of Americans are realizing the features of True Dental Discounts. With easy access to a wide network of participating dentist and significant discount for dental services. No need to worry about waiting period or pre-existing conditions. There also isn’t any paperwork to fill out. Specialty care, such as periodontics and orthodontics are also included.

Don’t Put Off That Dentist Visit Any Longer!

Getting your dental care up to date involves a routine exam, cleaning, and x-rays. Any issues small or large need to be treated before they get out of control. Oral cancer screening is also important.”

Close to 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 9,575 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 48,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years,” according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. “Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors.”

Dental Discount Plans are much less expensive that traditional insurance and cover everyone in the family. Even expensive procedures such as extraction, crowns and root canals are covered. You will be able to choose your dentist from a large network of quality dentist. Most dentists prefer patients with dental discount plans because they don’t have lengthy wait for insurance companies to process the claim.


A Complete Paribus Review – From How It Started To The App

A Complete Paribus Review From How It Started To THave you ever bought something and only a few days later found the same exact thing but for a lower price? Of course you would like that price difference refunded to you, who wouldn’t? With Paribus that’s completely possible and easier than ever. So here is More Than Finances Paribus Review.

What Is Paribus, And How Did It Start?

Paribus was created by Harvard Alumni Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh in 2014 on the belief that you shouldn’t always pay full price. Paribus reviews your recent purchases comparing the price you paid and the price it currently is. If the price has fallen within the products price match guarantee they get the refund and keep 25% of what they save you. If they don’t save you anything then they don’t make anything.

How Does Paribus Review Your Purchases And Save?

First, you have to give Paribus your information to tie into your accounts. With Amazon you simply provide your sign in information and it will automatically track everything you have purchased in the last 30 days. You can also have Paribus review your email account checking for other merchants such as Best Buy, Walmart, Overstock, Costco, Macy’s, and others.  Here is a screenshot from the Paribus website showing all the retailers they currently work with.

Completed paribus review

This is money you are technically already owed, they will give you a refund of the price difference if you ask. However, you have to do a lot of work in order to do so. Paribus does all the hard work for you and does so automatically. You never really need to check in with it, Paribus will let you know when they have done their job and email you.

How Much Will Paribus Really Save You?

Do you shop online often? Do you use major sites like Amazon or Walmart? Then Paribus can save you a ton of money. If you buy online from time to time it may not save much. The more shopping you do online the more money it could possibly save you.

For instance if you buy on average 100 things a month (go with me here) you could very well find 1 to 10 things a month that will save you money. However, if you only buy 1 to 10 things a month you may only see a few dollars a year in savings.

Personally though, I would have it activated anyway all the time. Even if you don’t buy things often when you do this is a nice backup to make sure you get the best price available.

How Good Is The Paribus App?

On top of having a great service that you can look at online anytime there is a Paribus App. Right now unfortunately the Paribus app is unavailable for android. As part of this Paribus Review, I reached out to customer service I discovered that at one time they did also offer a Paribus android app however it isn’t currently available. They are in the process of completely redoing it and should have it working in the near future.

The Apple Paribus app however, works great. What I love is that you can go through and see how much others have saved today. It also shows the “top payout” which on the day I looked was $102.84 for a mini bike. The majority of things on there though save anywhere from $1 to $15.

Another way the Paribus app saves you money is by allowing you to buy things others have saved money on. If you see something someone else has received a refund for and you would like to buy it then the option is available to you.

How Do I Sign Up For Paribus?

Sign-up is easy. There are four steps, taken directly from Paribus’ sign-up page. These should help you get started:

So, pretty much:

1. Get the app.
2. Give your email and credit info to Paribus.
3. Shop online
4. Sit back and get paid.

Finally, if you have a few spare moments, consider checking out this video on Paribus.


3 Ways To Stop Spending Too Much Money When You’re Sad

3-ways-to-stop-spending-too-much-money-when-youre-sadWhen I have a bad day, I come home and order food, books, or whatever else I think will make me feel better. Sad people often do this and call it retail therapy. But there has to be another way, something else you can do.

A Study On Sad People

Studies show that when people are sad they spend more money. This is especially bad if what make the person sad in the first place is their finances.

Imagine that you get the credit card bill, or an emergency comes up costing you more than you have. Instead of dealing with the problem you go out and buy something that will make you feel better. In the study it was simply a bottle of water, but what if that something was a new outfit or even a new car.

So how can you avoid spending more when you are sad?

Change How You View Spending

Instead of feeling like buying something new will make you more important. View spending as it truly is, something that will enrich your already amazing life.

One suggestion is to think of every expense as a part of your autobiography. Every time you spend something think “is this who I am? Will people really think more of me if I buy this? Or, worse will they think less of me?”

Sad people want to feel better, spending won’t do that so change how you view spending.

Put Your Wallet In The Freezer

When you’re sad if you don’t have easy access to your money then you can’t spend. You could do something as drastic as freezing credit cards. Or,  leave your money at home not allowing yourself to even be tempted to spend.

Regardless of how you decide to keep your money away, if you are truly sad and depressed and can’t stop yourself from spending. Then removing the ability all together is probably the best option.

Do Something Fun, Different, and Free

The best way for sad people not to spend money is to simply stop being sad. That can require as little as going for a nice walk or as much as seeking professional help.

But you can curb spending and increase your happiness by simply changing what you typically do. If you would normally binge watch Netflix all night, then get out of the house. If you live on the beach then go to a park. The important thing is to do something different.

Odds are that there is plenty of fun free things to do around your town. Pick up your local newspaper and find out what’s going on. Some places have movies in the park that are free. Or if you want to get some exercise some places have running groups. Perhaps you could even just go out with a friend.

Change your surroundings, change what you typically do with something that is no cost curbing your spending and decreasing your sadness at the same time.

It’s true that sad people spend more, but with just a few changes you can stop this cycle.

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