Thursday, 21 September 2017

Teach Your Teen About Money In A Pinch



Many people are worried about what will happen if they are unable to meet a bill or a payment. More people are living from paycheck to paycheck than ever, and when it comes time to provide for your family, a loss of this regular income or too high a financial demand can face you feeling very demotivated from a fiscal standpoint.

One of the best ways for someone to go through life with a strong understanding of how to ethically behave with their finances is to be taught by their parent at a young age. For this reason, teaching and showing your older teenager the way money moves and how to provide for their household when money is tight can be one of the most beneficial things you can do.

If you are struggling financially, that doesn’t mean you need to hide that from your older teenagers. Many parents do to prevent them from worrying, and this is more than understandable when the child has grades or responsibilities which could become adversely affected by the financial needs of a household.

However, there is great opportunity here to teach them the value of being frugal in the hard times. Not only that, but teaching them how to gain money in a pinch can be valuable as well. Here are the best methods of doing so:

The Value of Work & A Paycheck

Many teenagers who have been comfortably looked after by their parents often identify what industry they’ve loved to work in, no matter how competitive, and strive for that only. While chasing dreams is admirable, it can often neglect the reality of needing to keep up with the payments that aren’t as easy to meet. Pursuing a career as an actor, musician or artist is usually supplemented by a part or full-time gig in bartending or hospitality, or another entry-level job which can provide them with a paycheck.

As an artist, this can be demotivating, to say the least. However, it’s important they go through this period to understand the exact value of working hard for what they get and the value of a paycheck. Teaching them your story and what they can expect, such as drawing up a mock income and expenditure lesson could help them get to grips with the world they face in their late 20’s. If attending college, it will also help them avoid the crushed feeling when they don’t ascertain their perfect job in the first days after graduation.

Credit

Teaching your child the benefits of having good credit can help them avoid the mistakes made from bad financial planning. Showing them the process of applying for a lucrative signature.loan and helping them understand how this can build your credit if you act wisely can help them take a reasoned and rational approach to their finances. Seeing you go through this process will make it seem less scary, and help them understand that getting out of a financial pinch has many options of resolution, provided repayments are understood and available to be met.
With these tips, your teenager will likely be much more wise about their financial future.

Here’s How You Can Lower All Your Bills

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Don’t work harder just to pay off those high bills. Instead, take action to lower those expenses. Many of us don’t realise how much we could be saving by investing in a few different tools. Here are just a few ways to drastically reduce your rates.

Go green

Going eco-friendly won’t just save the planet, it will save you money. There are endless ways to go green. When it comes to electricity bills, buying Energy Star rated appliances and halogen light bulbs can make a big difference – these use much less power whilst still providing the same task. When it comes to gas bill, insulation is the key way to lower your rates – the likes of double-glazed windows and loft insulation will contain heat more and have you reaching for the thermostat less.

It’s possible to go all the way and install water recycling systems and solar panels (the latter of which could prevent you from ever paying an electric bill again). A more economical car meanwhile will lower your road tax and have you paying for less fuel.

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Shop around

Don’t settle with your current providers. If they start raising their rates, start shopping around to see if you could be paying a better deal. Sites such as insurance.me are great for shopping for the best insurance deals, whilst sites like saveonenergy.com can save you money on your utility bills. Shop around every few years and see what deals are out there.

Up your insurance deductibles

Your deductible is the amount you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket before getting compensation from your insurer. For example, you may be willing to pay a couple hundred towards any car repairs before your insurance company has to pay up. Upping your deductible can dramatically lower your insurance rates. If you don’t make regular claims, this will save you a lot of money – just make sure you have the means to pay this deductible when disaster strikes.

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Get a smart monitor

For helping to lower your energy rates, you could consider installing a smart monitor. This gives you constant readings of how much money you’re spending on gas and electricity. Seeing these costs has been found to lower people’s bills by 15%.  

Negotiate

Believe it or not, but you can sometimes lower rates simply by ringing up your providers and trying to negotiate a discount. With phone contracts, TV licenses and sometimes even insurance companies, threatening to leave may result in the company offering you lower rates to stay. Similarly, if bills are overdue, you can often ring up and negotiate an interest-free instalment plan for paying the amount back over a longer period of time – useful for if you’re having a bad financial month. Bartering of course will only get you so far and you won’t get away with it on repeat tries, but it’s worth trying at least once in each instance.

Snagging That Dream Home, Whilst Remaining Frugal

When you first moved into your home you loved it. Fast forward a couple of years and your circumstances have changed. You now need more space for your growing family.

You have spent months looking for the perfect family home. Everyday has seen you trawling the latest real estate listings. Finally, you think you have found the house of your dreams. But is it the right home for your family and is it frugal friendly?

The Perfect Home Checklist For Those On A Budget


Can You Afford It?

Before you get too emotionally attached to the new property, you need to check that you can actually afford it. The homeequitylineof.credit website has a helpful mortgage calculator which will give you an idea of how much money you can spend on your perfect home. You don’t want to stretch yourself too much.

Location

Once you know that you can afford the property you need to check that it meets your other criteria. Looking for a home on a budget shouldn’t mean that you need to sacrifice living in a good neighborhood.  Location is often one of the most important factors in buying a new home. Is it a nice neighborhood? Are you close to good schools? Is it a safe place to live? Look at your neighbors yards. Are they clean and tidy, or is there trash laying around? If you buy a home in a good location then you know that it’s usually a solid long-term investment. A real estate agent will often tell you that it is best to buy the worst house on the best street. Buying a fixer-uper means that once you have made some home improvements you should see a return on your investment. It will also be easier to sell later on.  Never let the finish of a house sway you. Buying a beautiful home in a dodgy area because it fits your budget could be a big mistake. You always need to think about resale value and how easy it would be to sell your home on.

Size

Moving home is an expensive business and that means you should be looking for a home that will last you 5 to 7 years. If you pack your own stuff then that will help save you some money. Just make sure you label your boxes clearly.  A more frugal way of moving would be to forget the removal guys and to use your friends instead! Reward them with some cold beers and they will be more than happy to help. You could also hold a yard sale. Get rid of those old clothes you no longer wear. The less you take to your new house, the less you have to pay to move.

Floor Plan

Do you like the floor plan of the home. Would it work well for you and your family? Would it make a warm and inviting home for your family? Are there enough bedrooms? If you have a young family then you might want a home with lots of open space so that they can play and you can keep an eye on the children. But you also want to bear in mind that when they are older they will be spending more time in their bedrooms. So are the bedrooms big enough? Is there enough storage for the family? If not look to see if there is room to add storage. You want a home that functions well for your family now and in the future. Also, is their the potential to rent out a room or the basement? This could provide you with a great source of cash that will help with the mortgage repayments.

Does It Make You Smile?

Finally, being on a budget doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your dream home. You want a home that makes you feel happy as soon as you step inside.  Is it a home that you can picture yourself living in? Sometimes you have to trust your gut as well as your checklist. When you have found the right house, you just know it. 

The Real Reason You're Drowning In Debt


Debt is one of every parent's worst fear. It threatens your financial ability to look after and provide for your children, and that in itself is enough to make you never want to experience it, but unfortunately, getting stuck in debt is a lot easier than people seem to expect. People think it will only happen if you're terrible with money and never pay attention to what you're spending, but in fact, even the most minor of decisions can end up leaving a huge negative impact, so it's important to know how to avoid this as much as possible.
Here are some of the most common reasons.

No communication skills.
If you have a partner, it's essential that you both communicate openly about your finances, especially if you're living together. You should always feel as though you can openly bring up your financial situation when you need to - even if there isn't an issue - talk about your different spending styles, future goals and your problem areas. Discuss budgets and figure out who's covering what costs. Will you alternate, or will you split everything down the middle? Look on www.foxnews.com for tips on starting the conversation.

Underemployment.
If you've just come out of a job, a lot of you may believe it will only be temporary. - A couple of weeks to a month max before you find something else. - While this positive thinking is encouraged, you may not be thinking as realistically as you should. Sometimes it just doesn't work out how we had assumed, whether that be lack of work available, or motivation, and this means you're not making an income, but still have monthly expenses to pay. Although you can't always avoid bad situations - you can work your butt off to make sure you're never left without an income.

Loans.
Taking out a loan can seem a good idea at the time, whether you need to put down a deposit on that house, or the car, or the holiday. The problem is when you take out multiple loans to feed into your wants and overlook the priorities - like paying your bills on time every month, ensuring there is food on the table, and paying off your existing loans. Sites like debtsettlement.co can help you do this by providing you with a final loan in order to pay off all of your existing debts. That way all you have left is one sum as a pose to multiple numbers and costs.

Not saving enough.
One of the easiest ways to fall into the debt trap is by not saving up enough, if anything at all. As soon as you get your paycheck, the first concern is putting the money aside that cover the monthly bills. Then whatever is leftover, leave ten to twenty percent for your general spending money, and put the rest into another account that isn't allowed to be touched. If you do that every month, you'll make it to the end of the year with a wonderful number looking back at you. The temptation is real, but the end result is so worth it.

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Credit: What’s it Good For?

Credit and credit cards are not bad things in themselves. Of course, when used incorrectly, these things can lead to people getting in all kinds of financial trouble. That’s why you need to know what they’re good for and when you should use them. That way, you’ll find yourself in a financial tangle less often, which has to be a good thing for you and your family. So, read on to learn more about the instances when credit becomes extremely useful indeed.

Weekly Food Shopping

The weekly food shopping can be a budgeting nightmare, and that’s the main reason why it’s a good idea to make use of your credit card in these situations. You can delay the payment because it’s on your credit card. Many people organise their monthly budgets this way, and it can genuinely make things a lot easier for you. You can learn more about budgeting and credit cards at thesimpledollar.com/how-to-create-a-budget-with-a-credit-card.

Christmas Gift Shopping

As we all know, shopping for Christmas gifts is never very easy, and it can be incredibly expensive. It’s a good idea to use your credit card when moving through this big-spending period. That’s because credit cards allow you to spread the burden nicely, and you don’t have to pay it all off right now. When you’re buying a huge number of gifts, that can be a real saviour.

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One-Off Buys

If you don’t have enough money in your debit account, you can use a credit card to pay for large one-off purchases. This will help you to make the purchase even if you don’t have the money right now. As long as you will be able to access it later, you will be fine and the costs will be covered. Compare the options using reviews.creditcard; it’s best if you can find a 0% card. That will allow you to spread the cost without being hit by interest penalties.

Holiday Payments

Holiday costs, flights and hotel bills can often be pretty big. If you’re paying for all these things in advance, it makes sense to use your credit card. That’s because all these things can be subject to cancellation. And you’ll be far more likely to get your money back if anything is cancelled if you used your credit card to pay for it all. THere are far better protections in place when you use a credit card.

When You Need to Start Building Your Credit Score

Credit can be helpful if you need to borrow from a lender in the future. They will always look at your credit score to see whether or not you’re the kind of person they can safely lend money to. If you don't have a good credit score, you might find yourself getting rejected by banks and lenders. It’s possible to build up good credit by using your credit card to make purchases. But this will only produce the right outcomes if you make the payments on time.

All of these examples show you when credit can be used to your advantage. Keep what you’ve learned in mind going forward.

Breaking That Month-To-Month Cycle

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Most people work hard to earn enough money to support themselves and their family. The national statistic of employed individuals in the UK has risen (at over 34 million people), and the unemployment rate has dropped over recent years.
But, unfortunately, many people find themselves in a horrid cycle of month-to-month living. Meaning that the money earned one month is just enough to see a person through to their next payday. This causes a multitude of issues; if one pay is less one month for some reason, it can throw off the whole balance. If a surprise bill appears during the month, or an emergency situation occurs, then it is likely that you would struggle through the rest of the month.

And the pressure can become worse when approaching birthdays and Christmas where the income has to, not only pay for the usual monthly bills, but for the celebrations too.

Living month-to-month is one of the main ways people can fall into personal debt, which is then yet another thing to chip away at your monthly income.

There are a few things that you can do to help break this cycle and to prepare for situations where you don’t have enough income to see you through one month.


Check Your Payslip

In all seriousness, when you receive your payslip do you look further than the total amount earned? Because you should be. Understanding your payslip is one of the most important things when it comes to your finances. Whether you receive a printed copy or an electronic one, the components are the same.

You need to be checking whether you are being taxed correctly by keeping an eye on your tax code - particularly if you have started a new job. Whether your holiday and sick pay has been calculated correctly - check your entitlements in your contract and with this statutory sick pay guide.

For shift workers - it is always a good idea to track your hours so that any mistakes on your payslip can be queried and backed up with evidence.


Budget

You’ve heard it a thousand times, but the only way you will be able to break the cycle is to plan out your outgoings. This way you can distribute your finances appropriately and know that everything is covered. Get into the right frame of mind and either build your own, use a template on programs like Excel or find a budgeting tool online.

Figure out your necessities and be ruthless with the extras. Do you absolutely need Netflix? If yes, then what can you sacrifice to pay for it? For the first few months, there may not be much wiggle room, if any at all. By cutting the luxuries out, you are able to save a set amount each month, which will give you a cushion to work with later on to afford the occasional treat.


Bank Accounts

While you are looking at your finances, look at your accounts too. Open up a high interest savings account, if you don’t already have one, and set up a standing order for your pay-day for a set amount of money. This may be as little as £10 a month, but over the year you may find you can add a bit more here and there and will add up to a nice amount.

You might, also, want to think about opening a second account purely for bills to leave from. Send over the money to cover the bills on payday, and then you don’t have to worry about it. And what is left in your regular account can be used for things like food and fuel, and any little luxuries you have allotted yourself this month.


Double Check Suppliers

You can’t switch companies halfway through a contract, but it never hurts to shop around while in one. Being prepared with another offer helps when the time comes to renew your contract. Look at comparison websites for deals. It’s easier to say know when you have a plan than when it catches you unaware. Quite often companies like your broadband provider will try and offer you a deal when they hear you are leaving for a competitor.

Which doesn’t mean that you should make up offers - the salesperson has access to the same information as you do. And remember that you don’t have to say yes straight away - while on the phone, write down the details of the offer, take the seller’s name and ask them to call you back later. This gap will allow you time to crunch the numbers and to talk to any other bill payers in the household.


Shopping

Only buy what you need. When it comes to food shopping, buying packs of food might not always be the best option - particularly when it comes to fresh food. Create a meal plan before you go shopping if you only need two peppers all week then only pick up two peppers. Not only will this reduce your food bill, but it will lower your food waste.

Buy Christmas and birthday presents year round. Use seasonal sales to your benefit - including the January sales; there’s no better time to pick up Christmas-themed gifts or decorations at a much lower price. The same for the end of summer sales when preparing for next year.


Extras

Any extras you get, throw them into your savings. From monetary gifts for birthdays and Christmas, to work bonuses and inheritances. Add them all to your savings. This will help to pay for any holidays or days out. For emergencies and surprises.

There is also the option of asking for help off family and friends, or off the government. If you are struggling to pay for the necessities each month, then see if you are eligible for some extra government funding using this benefit guide. There are many ways in which you can receive help, from income tax credit to housing benefit.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Putting The "Fun" In Saving Funds

Maybe you rolled your eyes at that title but bear with me here. Saving money isn’t something that boring, old people do when they reach “that age”. It doesn’t mean that you’ve finally become a dull adult once you start to count the pennies and make jars for odd change or open savings accounts to create safety nets. Think of it this way: the better you become at saving, the less guilty you can feel about the occasional night out. In fact, you might be able to have more nights out and fewer nights in front of the TV if you learn to manage your money better throughout the month. If you want to learn how to put the “fun” in saving funds then here are some pieces of advice.


Look at your bank account.
Let’s start with the boring part of this fun task. If you want to become better at saving money for the things that matter to you then you need to know how much money you have in the first place. This isn’t a cruel prank to make you cry at the low figure you see before you but a lesson in basic money management. You know how much you earn on an annual basis and you can calculate how much money that leaves for you on a monthly basis. Once you have that figure, you need to work out how much of your earnings go on the necessities which keep you alive (or at least make life comfortable).

The necessary costs in your life most likely include your rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, petrol money (probably a necessity for work commutes), and food money (a necessity for... survival). You’ll also need to pool your remaining money towards any debts you might have incurred throughout your life. If you’re struggling in this regard then you could head to sites such as debtrelief.xyz for a little help. Most importantly, as explained over at wikihow.com, you need to avoid new debt. Once you know how much you’re spending on the important things in life, you’ll know how much excess money you have left over for non-necessities in life. This will be very important towards your quest to save money better; that disposable income is yours to do with as you please. Time to look at how to manage it sensibly.

Resist your inner shopaholic.
Don’t cry. It’s hard, I know. But as explained simply over at bankrate.com, the best way to save money is to start by shopping more smartly. And sometimes shopping smartly isn’t about looking for the best deals but avoiding spending money altogether.


Offers are your friend.
As we’ve discussed before, offers are something you need to chase wherever your shopping takes you. Shopping malls, grocery stores, and online businesses are all offering deals throughout the year. It’s about having a keen eye and spotting opportunities to sign up to a website so that you get a one-time free deal or purchasing a piece of furnishing once it’s in the sale. As suggested over at thesimpledollar.com, if you find a free customers reward program then sign up for it. You also need to keep an eye on deals after holiday seasons such as Christmas; stores are desperate to get rid of the excess goods which remain.

Paper, Plastic, And Payment Methods A New Business Needs To Consider

If you’re looking to start a business and become a mompreneur, your first priorities are likely going to be coming up with a product or service, finding the market that fits it, and branding it. However, there’s one step of the service you should consider a little more closely. How are your customers going to pay for it? Cash is old fashioned and not the preferred way to pay by a growing number of consumers. What options should you start thinking about?

Credit cards
Online, credit cards are the most common form of payment, but they play a huge role in real-life business revenue, as well. 66% of all point-of-sale payments are done with plastic but a huge amount of small businesses still doesn’t allow for it. Picking a processing service with the help of sites like creditcardprocessing.xyz can instantly welcome more revenue in any business. It’s all about finding the right processing service with fees that you can manage and an acceptance of a broader range of cards.

Payment services
The fees and work involved with managing processing systems can sometimes be too much for small businesses to handle, however, and some prefer to handle it indirectly through alternative payment methods. These include PayPal, Amazon Payments, and WePay. However, the problem with many of these services is that they often redirect customers from your site, which can be confusing for them as often they feel like they’re not paying you directly.

Check
Taking checks from customers might sound even more old fashioned and it requires several steps, agreeing to the sale, getting the check, then taking it to the bank and processing it. As paysimple.com states, however, electronic checks have greatly simplified the process for businesses and consumers alike. Checks allow customers to pay conveniently, but they do carry a greater risk of bouncing and fraud which businesses should look out for.

Invoicing
Direct payments aren’t always the most effective for a small business, however. If you’re carrying out a service rather than delivering a product, you might not be able to accept payment until the service is complete. Invoicing is the most commonly used payment method, involving a transfer directly from the client after the invoice has been sent off. One of the larger problems with invoicing, that it takes time and effort from business owners and is prone to mistakes, can be fixed by simplifying the process with tools like invoicely.com, too. Just make sure you have customers sign an agreement to short payment terms so you don’t spend most of your time waiting for the money you’re owed.

Direct debit
If you provide an ongoing service, it might be inconvenient for the customer to keep having to go through the payment process again and again. It adds extra stress for business owners who are waiting for “pay day” to come around and seeing whether or not they’ll get their money. Direct debit allows you to automate recurring payments, making it easier for all parties involved to stay hands off and let the transaction happen. However, businesses often have to prove significant revenues to successfully apply for direct debit services.
The business model and the preferred methods of payment by are your target market should determine which payment methods make the most sense for you. Do your research to help you explore the options above. 

Can’t Afford Your Veterinary Bills?

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Pets can be a part of the family and looking after their health can be important. But a trip to the vets isn’t cheap. Vaccinations and check-ups can start to add up, whilst surgery can cost hundreds – sometimes even thousands – of dollars. Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo a trip to the vets and there are plenty of measures out there that can make veterinary bills more affordable. Here are just a few.

Shop around

Don’t feel that you have to stay loyal to one vet. When it comes to big costs like surgery, it can often be worth shopping around for prices as treatment costs will differ from clinic to clinic. You may find a specialist veterinary centre which can carry out treatment for less.
You can also often shop around for pet medication. This can useful with prescriptions. That said, you should be wary of buying online as there are lots of fake drugs out there. Always buy from an established seller and read reviews from fellow pet owners to ensure that it’s not a scam.

Ask about instalment payments

Many vets will offer the opportunity to pay for treatment in instalments. This may allow you to afford expensive treatment by spreading the total cost out over several months. Just be sure to pay off these instalments on time as it could damage your reputation with the vet and possibly prevent you from paying in instalments in the future.

Take out a loan

Another option could be to take out a loan. For emergencies, sites like Really Bad Credit Offers may come in use, allowing you to take out a loan even with a bad credit score. If your score is clean and you have the time to shop around, you may be able to get a low-interest loan instead. Also consider borrowing money from friends and family as this could be interest free.

Consider CareCredit

Of course you can pay for treatment on credit card too. However, it may be more beneficial to take out a specialist card as provided by CareCredit, which is interest free. Such cards can only be used on medical costs – which includes veterinary bills. You usually have to spend a minimum amount on them per year, but considering that they can be used for all medical costs, you’re likely to get your use out of this card.

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Is pet insurance worthwhile?

Pet insurance can be handy for covering all veterinary costs, but you have to make sure that the fees are worth it. The older the animal is, the higher the rates are likely to be. It’s rarely worth taking out insurance with these older animals, however you may be able to save a lot of money by finding a fixed rate insurance scheme for a young pet such as a puppy or a kitten. These schemes aren’t easy to find and breeds that are prone to common problems may be more expensive to insure.

As pet insurance rates can vary widely, it’s worth using sites like Go Compare to get the best deal. Look out for catches such as treatments that aren’t covered or penalties for making a claim. Also make sure to read reviews from users.

Like any other insurance scheme, you can also raise your deductible to lower rates. You will have to pay this deductible amount each time before making a claim, but this could still help to make treatment more payable.

Get help from a charity

If none of the options above work for you, don’t despair as you may still be able to seek help from a charity to cover the costs. There are lots of animal charities out there such as Blue Cross that specialise in negotiating treatment costs. In other cases, a charity may be able to pay some of the treatment’s cost. Ask around local charities and tell them about your circumstances and whether you’re eligible for help.

Have you tried your local veterinary college?

This one’s a bit of a long-shot but you could get lucky. Veterinary colleges need animals to train on and regularly reach out for volunteer owners and their pets. You usually won’t have to pay anything for treatment. Keep an eye out for ads that are looking for animals to train on.

4 Ways To Save Mega Money With A Family

Having a family can be one of the most rewarding things in the world, but there’s no denying that it’s a little draining on the finances from time to time. Here, you will find 4 ways to save mega money, so you can have more money to do what you like with those you love!

Always Go Shopping With A List
You should never, ever go shopping without a list, especially when you’ve got a family. Shopping without a list makes it too easy to get drawn in by special offers and deals that you don’t really need. Plus, you might just be tempted by your kid’s pleas for a treat!

Sign Up To Cashback Sites
Signing up to cashback sites is a really smart way to make more money. You can make a small amount back on many purchases you make online, and these really start to add up after a while. You basically make money from the money you were going to spend anyway!

Buy Second Hand
Instead of buying everything brand new, start looking for second hand items first. This is a great idea when it comes to things like tablets, phones, watches, and other gadgets. You can even buy second hand clothes! You won’t be able to tell that they are second hand for the most part and you’ll save a lot of money.

Become A Smarter Driver
Driving your family to school, extra curricular activities, and for weekends away from home can really begin to add up. Becoming a smarter driver is the way to go! Make sure you drive carefully, as this will keep wear on your car to a minimum and save petrol. Work out whether buying or leasing is best for you too!


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Five Ways To Get Into The Frugal Frame Of Mind


When you find yourself struggling to make a difference to your life financially, there may be one big reasons for why you just can’t make it work. And more often than not, it’s all to do with your mindset. Because we often struggle to make things work when you’re not able to stay strong and stick it out. And this is definitely the case when it comes to money. So if you really do want to ensure that you can be a bit more frugal in life, you’re going to need to work on your approach to it. Because it’s all in the right frame of mind.

1. Budget

First of all, you need to ensure that you’re able to budget yourself. Because when you’re trying to be frugal, you can’t really work out what constitutes as frugal spending without knowing what your budget is. So, to get yourself started, you need to work out what income you have, and what you’re going to allocate to spend on each area of your lifestyle. And be tough on yourself. If you want to ensure that you make the most of your money, you have to be able to restrict yourself in a few areas.


2. Research

Then, you should think about doing some research. You’d be surprised by how motivated and knowledgeable you can feel after simply reading up on all things finance. So whether you want to look into interest rates, options for loans the same day, or even tips and tricks for cutting back, do it now. When you’re trying to get into the frugal frame of mind, any kind of research that you can conduct is going to help to keep you on track.

3. Stop Spending

You should also think about not spending so freely. Because if you’re honest with yourself, it’s highly likely that you’re not always conscious when you’re swiping that credit card. But, if you’re trying to be more frugal, you have to ensure that every single thing you spend your money on is worth while. For this, you may find that working with cash is much more cost-effective for you.


4. Earn More

But frugality isn’t all about cutting back, it’s about maximizing the money that you do have. So, you may find it in your interest to start trying to earn more money in any way that you can. Although you may not be able to get a pay rise right off the bat. You should definitely look into the ways in which you can make money on the side. Because when you’re earning more, you’ll be more inclined to keep that money to yourself.

5. Prioritize

And finally, you should also think about prioritizing your payments. Whether that means working out which debt payments are the most important, or only committing to pay bills that you really need, you should find that prioritizing things helps you to ensure that you’re making the most of the money that you do have, and being frugal in the most effective ways possible.

Are You Financially Ready To Start A Family?

adult, affection, baby

There are a lot of things that you have to take into consideration when you and your partner are deciding to start a family. Of course, you need to be sure that you're secure in your relationship, as well as the fact that you're emotionally mature enough to care for another human being. However, there's one thing that a lot of people tend to forget about, and that's the financial responsibility involved in raising a child. Like it or not, kids are expensive. The average cost of raising a child is up in the hundreds of thousands, so you really do have to be fully aware of whether or not you're in the right financial position to raise a child. In order to make sure that you and your partner are making the right choice, here are some things that you can do to make sure that you're financially ready to be parents.

Ditch your debts

The last thing you want is to be dealing with all of the potential stress that comes with having a baby alongside worrying about potentially large amounts of debt. Debt is a pretty common part of most people's lives, but it's a good idea to get your finances back into the black before the new addition to your family arrives. Check out consolidatingdebt.co for some fantastic debt management solutions. One of the best things that you can do is to consolidate your debts into a single monthly payment which is far easier to keep track off as well as potentially saving you a lot of money each month.

Figure out your income

If you want to figure out whether or not you can actually afford to be parents, the first thing you've got to do is figure out what your income is. Creating a household budget is one of the best ways that you can make sure that you know exactly how much money you have to spend each month once you've factored in all of your necessary outgoings. You might even want to do some research and figure out the average monthly cost of raising a child and factor that into your budget as well.

Start saving

If you decide to go ahead and start a family, then one of the good things about that is that you have a nine-month head start on saving your money. Whether you're saving for a college fund or simply as a safety net for the various expenses that will accompany your little bundle of joy, setting up a savings account the moment that you decide to start a family can offer you the financial safety blanket that you really need.

Of course, there's an argument to be made that, no matter what, it's never really going to be "the right time" to start a family. In the end, the choice has to come down to what you and your partner want. But thinking about your finances before making any permanent decisions is incredibly important and can make your lives far easier and more pleasant in the long run.