More Than Finances

Get your finances in order!

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Saving Made Easy

When it comes to our personal finances, there’s a lot to worry about. There are a number of parties interested in taking as much of our money as they can. For example, you spend a lot of your money on groceries and bills each month. And, that’s just for starters. The point is, it can seem impossible to save the money you’ll need to get ahead in life, or even to just be prepared for the worst. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge needed in order to save your money. We all know it’s important, but we don’t always know how best to approach saving. Here are some tips to help you out.

First and foremost, make use of sales and coupons to save money on the things you need. While some purchases are unavoidable, and others still important on some level, that’s no to say that they have to be costly. For example, here’s a Best Western coupon to help you save money on a hotel room in case of travel. This is just one example, however. Retailers frequently employ sales and coupons in order to drum up new business from customers new and old, and that presents a savvy shopper with the opportunity to get most, if not all, of their shopping done at a severely reduced cost. You just have to know where to look in order to see these special cost cutting offers. There are online resources aplenty, such as Groupon, to help you find these savings, so keep your eyes peeled.

Another important element of saving is to know when and where to save your money, and when to spend it. For example, there are a great many purchases that we make that are simply unnecessary, so you can reduce or eliminate this spending. However, in some cases, an item is of enough of the right kind of importance that me be wise to spend more than average. This ensures quality, which means replacing these items less and saving money in the end. Such items can including things like shoes and Winter coats.

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Teaching Your Kids How to Manage Money

Teaching your kids to be responsible with money is perhaps one of the very most important tasks for any parent. After all, if you don’t want to be supporting them for the rest of your life, you’re going to need them to know how to manage their own financial affairs.

 

The earlier you start helping your kids to develop good spending habits, the more likely they will be to be financially secure later in life. Here are 5 tips to help you help your kids learn to manage their own money.

1. Make them earn money

Giving kids and allowance is a great way to get them to start managing their own money, but if you don’t want them to just expect handouts later in life, you need to not just start handing it out early on either. Kids have a difficulty making the connect between the work you do to earn money and the cash you pull from the ATM or the purchases you make on your credit card.

 

The first step in helping them make this connection is paying them for work. Whether it’s washing the dishes, washing windows, making their bed or cleaning their room, make sure that any allowance you give them is earned in some way.

2. Make them responsible for certain expenses

It doesn’t help make a connection between work and finite income if you simply give them money for whatever they need whenever their own runs out. Whether it is buying their own candy, their own clothes or their own video games, make sure that they are responsible for purchasing something all on their own.

 

If they run out of money, do not bail them out unless you want to still be bailing them out when they don’t have enough rent in their 20’s because they spent their money on other things.

3. Help them learn to save regularly and for large purchases

This is a good time to help your children start building the habit of setting aside some money from every allowance or paycheck. In addition, this is also a good time to help them learn the financial discipline it takes to save up for major purchases. Instead of buying them things like a car, cell phone or television, offer to match funds with them.

The more they participate in buying their own things, the more likely they are to take better care of them. Particularly if they know you won’t be simply replacing them if they get lost, stolen or broken.

4. Help them learn how to budget

As your children get older, you can start making them responsible for budgeting their money to cover their own expenses. At the beginning of each semester of school, you can give them a lump sum that will have to last them for several months. When or if the money runs out, there will be no more.

 

Help them to learn to budget for expenses like clothing, entertainment and gas or transportation expenses. Again, however, the importance thing is not to bail them out if they blow through it too quickly.

5. Help them understand credit

As teenagers, you may consider getting your child a secured credit card (which automatically keeps the limit fixed in place) or a pre-paid debit card. This will help them understand that plastic is not “magic money” that just appears out of thin air when they need it. When they are 18, you can check their credit score with them and help them understand the importance of maintaining good credit.

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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.

Budgeting

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

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.

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

A Complete Paribus Review From How It Started To T

This post was sponsored by Paribus

Have 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, but how? Below you’ll find a 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 100% of it goes to you, they don’t receive a penny of your cash.

How Does Paribus Review Your Purchases And Save?

First, you have to give Paribus your information to tie into your accounts. You provide your sign in information to Paribus and it will track everything you purchased in the last 30 days.

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 takes care of getting your refund and does so without you having to lift a finger. 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 it isn’t currently available.

However, the Apple Paribus app 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:
Paribus-review-sign-up

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.