Smart Ways To Teach Children About Money

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Being able to make good financial decisions doesn’t just happen. We have to teach our children the value of money and do so in ways appropriate to their ages. It’s never too early to get these lessons started, especially nowadays. Since marketers have begun aiming ads at children with every media channel, they must understand that certain purchases aren’t worth the investment. If you don’t teach your children how to manage money, someone else surely will. But that isn’t a risk you want to take. With that in mind, here are ten smart ways to teach children about money. 

 

Play Classic Board Games

Many classic board games are more educational than most people realize. Rather than just teaching board game etiquette, Monopoly introduces children to important life skills, like saving for retirement and purchasing real estate. Playing these games as a family gives you a chance to explain to your children how the rules of the game apply in real life. Other childhood games, like house and grocery store, also teach kids about finances, along with cooking and cleaning. 

 

Write Letters To Santa

Once the weather turns frosty, children get excited for Christmas. They want to decorate the house, make gingerbread houses, and, most importantly, write letters to Santa. Although this is a fun annual activity, it could be an educational experience too. Rather than letting your children ask for whatever they want, give them a spending limit. Having a spending limit makes your kids consider what gifts are really important to them. This is a great opportunity to practice math too. 

 

Make Them Earn Money

Although Christmas is a time for giving, that rule doesn’t apply for the rest of the year. Instead of handing over money whenever your children ask for it, you should make them earn it. Depending on their ages, there are a few ways to do this. Teenagers can take on summer jobs, while younger children carry out chores at home. Entrepreneurship is another option to consider. Even a lemonade stand throughout the summer is a business, so teaches many important lessons. 

 

Chat With Financial Experts

A financial adviser is an important resource, both for adults and children. Taking your kids with you the next time you speak to money experts gives them a chance to ask questions. If you have a living trust set up for your children, allow them to meet your living trust attorney too. At this meeting, you can explain what a living trust is and under what circumstances your child would be given money from it. Having these meetings now will make financial experts seem less scary. 

 

Open A Savings Account

After meeting with your financial adviser, you might decide to open a savings account for your child. When you do so, make sure that you take them to the meeting. Explain exactly what a savings account is, how interest works, and how to access that money. If your child has earned their own money, ask if they would like to invest that into their savings. Once your child is old enough, you can open a checking account. This would give them greater control of their money. 

 

Shop For Groceries Together

Certain chores take much longer with children in tow. Shopping for groceries certainly makes that list. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave your little ones at home. After all, shopping is an important chore and life skill. Unless your children know how to shop smartly, they’ll waste money when they’re older. Before heading to the store, write a grocery list, make a budget, and gather coupons. Each of these tasks is important and helps with money management.

 

Download Money-Related Videos

Most parents are always trying and failing at limiting their child’s screen time. While you shouldn’t give up this battle entirely, you could be flexible. The internet doesn’t just waste time and can instead be incredibly educational. YouTube is a great example. Although there are many pointless videos on the platform, you can find a few that teach children about money. These are fun, interactive, and fairly short, which means your child could easily see one during a car ride. 

 

Choose Different Bedtime Stories

Just like videos, books can be both fun and informational. When choosing your child’s bedtime story, pick a book that talks about money. There are hundreds out there that focus on different financial topics, including entrepreneurship, investing, and money trouble. If you don’t own any books about money, then head to your local library. Without having to spend a penny, you can take home a variety of books. Alternatively, you can download and listen to audiobooks. 

 

Set A Good Example

Children learn by what they see. This means that, if they see you managing money well, they will understand that they must do the same. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Overspending, lying about money, and other bad financial habits can make your kids question your teachings. That is why you must set a good example for them. Make sure you also explain what you’re doing when using an ATM or writing a check to help your children learn basic money concepts. 

 

Leave Room For Mistakes

Part of allowing your kids control of their money is letting them make mistakes. While you can explain to someone the consequences of bad money management, they’ll never truly understand them until faced with them. While it’s tempting to step in and steer children away from costly errors, doing so could hold them back. A mistake might seem disastrous to them now, but the lessons they learn from it would benefit them later and keep them from making a bigger blunder. 

 

Money is a topic many children think very little about. With parents buying everything they need, kids usually assume that money comes easily. Teaching your children the value of money will not only benefit them in the future but help you now. Once a child knows that things cost, they usually become less demanding. Hopefully, the tips above help you teach your kids about money.

4 Ways To Boost Your Savings With Change

When you’re trying to save money, drawing up a good budget is the best thing that you can do. But making small savings here and there is also a good way to boost your savings account. A lot of people don’t bother saving small change because they don’t think that it’s worth it, but that isn’t true. If you do it right, you can actually earn a lot of money by saving your small change, and it’s a great way to add to your savings without having to make any changes to your overall budget. There are a few simple tricks that will help you get the most out of your change. These are some of the best ways to save more change. 

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Save Bigger Change 

 

When people save change, they usually just put their small change in a jar, but you should consider saving bigger change. The best way to save a lot of change is to empty your pockets whenever you come back home. If you start putting in dollars instead of pennies, your change jar will build up a lot quicker. All of that change you have in your pocket is likely to get wasted anyway, so you may as well save it. 

 

Get More Change Jars 

 

When you find loose change lying around the house, it’s easy to shove it in your pocket but you’ll end up spending it later on. But if you have change jars dotted around the house, you’ll be more likely to save all of that change. It’s a good idea to put on in each room to encourage you to save more regularly. 

 

Small Investments

 

Now that you’ve boosted your change, you need to start doing something with it so you can turn it into a more substantial amount. When people think about investing their money, they usually assume that you need a huge amount of money, but that isn’t the case. You can get started with small amounts, so if you save your change for a year and invest that money, you can watch it grow. 

 

If you want to make a bigger return on your money, you could even put the money into casino sites. If you look for deals at deluxcasinobonus.com, you can get free games when you put money in. Ordinarily, it’s not the best way to spend your savings, but if you have extra money from saving change, it could be a good way to earn more. 

 

Change Apps 

 

It’s not just physical change that you should think about either, you should try to save change when you are spending on a card as well. A lot of people find that they don’t have much change because they hardly ever use cash. But if you use prepaid cards like Revolut or round-up apps like Acorn, each purchase that you make will be rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the spare change will be saved. Check out Forbes.com for a good list of the best round-up apps. Some of these apps even put the money into investments automatically.   

 

These are all great ways that you can turn a bit of spare change into some real savings for the future.

How You Can Get Through A Wonderful Holiday On A Budget

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When you think about heading on vacation to a gorgeous destination, your mind immediately rushes to the idea of staying at a luxurious area and sipping cocktails in the sun. Now, for most of us, that is literally the definition of paradise. Not all of us get to go through with that kind of bliss, however. The majority, it will be, for the most part, a distant fantasy in our imaginations. 

 

That’s not a completely heart-breaking thing, though. Vacations are only as good as you make them. You could stay in a five-star hotel with the sun beaming down on you; it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a good time! You will probably enjoy it, but if you’re minds not in the right place, then the vacation won’t rank in your list of all-time greats. Likewise, you can head to a sub-standard spot with pretty average weather and have the greatest week of your life. 

 

Are you heading out on a pretty low-budget vacation soon due to your financial situation? Good for you. Getting away from your usual, mundane nine-to-five, and experiencing new things is what this life is all about – no matter how emphatic the trip might seem. If you’re thinking it’s going to be an anti-climax or a let-down, then don’t panic. It’s probably all in your head. Here’s how you can get through a holiday on a budget while enjoying each and every moment: 

 

Eating Out Isn’t Necessary!

 

Going on vacation traditionally means scanning the area every evening and choosing the best restaurant to eat at. This can take quite the hit on your bank account. Now, obviously it’s nice to eat somewhere else and not cook for yourself, but preparing your own meals isn’t the worst thing in the world. You are on vacation, after all, so you can make pretty much whatever you want – you’re allowed! 

 

Limit Your Ability To Splash Out

 

When you have the money available, it can become very easy to spend it – the temptation can get the better of a lot of people. This becomes especially more of a temptation when you’re on vacation and when you’re in a better mood. You feel as though you’re away from your ‘normal’ life; so you can act a little differently. It happens all of the time! Perhaps you should load a limited amount of money onto a prepaid account so that you have those funds and those funds only to play with. If that sounds like a good idea, then you can go online and look at things like Green Dot Prepaid Card reviews, as well as many other options. Leaving a debit card at home and using a limited about would be a great idea if you’re worried about throwing money away and tainting your vacation somewhat!

 

Value The Experience More

The whole point of doing the vacation in the first place is to enjoy the moments it gives you. We’re a material bunch, whether we like it or not, and we’ve been taught to enjoy the amazing, luxurious aspects of life. We don’t need them, however. The world naturally gives us great moments. Just enjoy the area you visit for what it is!

Your Finances Don’t Have To Suffer From These Things

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It might not be something many of us like to admit but, when it all comes down to it, a great deal of our lives revolve around money. Your personal finances are always going to have a huge impact on every aspect of your life. Money is by far the most common cause of anxiety for the vast majority of people, and nothing serves to increase that level of anxiety than being forced to reevaluate your financial position. No matter what you do; there are always going to be things that affect your finances in both positive and negative ways. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to do anything about it. There are always ways in which you can avoid getting into serious financial trouble, even in the face of an unexpected event. In order to help you navigate those, occasionally rather muddy, financial waters, here are some of the more common things that might negatively affect your finances, and what you can do to keep yourself afloat during any difficult times. 

 

Unemployment

 

Spending any amount of time unemployed is one of the things that the majority of people are understandably pretty scared of. After all, how many of us could really continue to live our lives without a reliable source of income. Losing your job can have some seriously far-reaching repercussions on your life as a whole. Not only does it put you in a scary financial position, but it can also affect you on a deeply personal level. This is especially true if your work was a big part of your life and identity. Without it you can feel adrift and confused, it can lead to tensions within relationships, and even periods of depression. The biggest problem that a lot of people face is that these feelings prevent them from being able to get back out there and find a new job. It can be so discouraging to be made unemployed that finding the motivation to go job hunting can feel downright impossible. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do in order to minimize the negative effects of being made unemployed, and most of them come down to planning ahead. It might seem cynical, but it really is important to plan for something like this, even if things seem to be going well. Start putting money away into a savings account for this purpose alone. Even if it’s just a small amount each month, over time, it will build up and can offer you a buffer in the event that you find yourself without a source of income. The other important thing to do is keep your resume as up to date as possible, that way you don’t have to spend extra time and energy on it when you really just want to be spending your time actually looking for a new job. If your resume is ready at a moment’s notice, then you can jump straight into the job hunt without any delays.

 

Injury

 

There are few things in life that are more traumatic than being injured in some form of accident. Of course, the most obvious thing to come from it is the physical injury itself. But a lot of people also find themselves experiences some severe psychological and emotional trauma as well. All of these things combined can make getting back into your daily routine extremely difficult. Even if your body is fully healed, your mind may not be and that can make working, having functioning relationships and even leaving the house extremely difficult. Not only that but you may also have to deal with extremely large medical bills. Even if you can still work following an injury, those bills are going to cause your finances to take a serious hit. Again, this is a time when having some savings set aside is a great idea, anything that can act as a financial cushion for you is very helpful. But in this case, you’re almost certainly in a position to make a legal claim against whoever was responsible for the accident, whether that’s your employer or another driver on the road. Some people are unsure about hiring a lawyer following a situation like this, but when you’re put into a bad financial position as a result of someone else’s action or negligence, then you have every right to at least some degree of compensation for that. 

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Having a balance on your credit card

 

Credit cards can sometimes be a pretty risky financial proposition. Of course, plenty of people have credit cards and are able to manage their finances carefully without running into any problems, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own set of problems and risks. The point where people get into trouble is when they start carrying a balance on their credit cards. If you’re carrying a balance on your credit cards that means you’re going to start paying higher rates of interest on your purchases. This, in turn, causes you to spend more and more on each purchase that you actually have to as the interest piles up on top of the price of your purchases. There’s nothing wrong with having a credit card, but you should always try and make sure that you pay it off as regularly as you can. That way you can avoid facing high-interest rates, and you also make sure that your credit score stays reliably high. Nothing damages your credit rating more than unpaid credit card debts. Debt can be one of the scariest things in the world for a lot of people but it’s important to understand that there are always things you can do to get yourself out of debt. Working with a company like McCarthy Debt Settlement Law gives you the chance to put your debts in the hands of people who really know what they’re doing. That way they can help you find the best ways to clear your debts.

 

Irresponsible spending

 

There’s a saying that the most obvious solution is probably the correct one, and that applies here as well. A lot of the time, you may find yourself in a risky financial position and won’t be able to pinpoint why that is exactly. Nothing especially dramatic or significant has happened in your life, and you can’t quite fathom exactly what it is that could have caused your finances to take such a hit. If that’s the case, then the likeliest answer is probably just that you need to get your household spending under control. It might be down to you, your partner or both of you, but the most common reason that people run into money troubles is simply that there weren’t responsible enough with their money. You might think to yourself “that can’t be right! I only spend a little bit here and there, surely that’s not going to put me in any danger?” But the problem with this line of thinking is that those little purchases here and there start to add up pretty quickly. In fact, if you were to add together all of those small purchases that you make over the cause of a month you’d probably be shocked at just how much you were actually spending. The solution to this problem is probably pretty obvious: be more careful with your money! Of course, there are some useful things that can help you do this. The best thing that you can do is to create a detailed household budget. Make a clear note of all of your regular incomes and outgoings. That way you can see exactly how much you have before doing any extra spending. Once you know that you can set yourself a very clear limit on how much you should be spending over the course of a month. It’s a simple, mostly psychological change, but it can drastically change your relationship to your money. You may want to start saving as well but the most important thing at the start is just to get into a position where you’re not losing money every month. Once you’re in a position where your finances are more secure on and monthly basis, that’s the point when you can start thinking about putting money aside for a rainy day.

 

Money might be a cause of anxiety for a lot of people, but the most important thing to remember is that you’re not powerless when something bad happens. The biggest pitfall when you got into a situation like that is to end up feeling so discouraged that you can see a way out of it. Your finances might take a hit but there are always ways to work around it. Whether it’s through small things like cutting back on non-essentials in order to stick to a tighter budget, or by doing something significant like taking on a second job or relocating to a smaller property. If you’re in a financial rut, it can often feel close to impossible to pull yourself out of it, but you simply have to remember that you’re never out of options and that you shouldn’t let your money worries stop you from living your life.

Six Ways to Profit From Your Land

If you live in a rural area and have plenty of extra land available that you’re not using, then it’s possible to turn it into a form of passive income that is surprisingly lucrative. If it’s land you no longer have time to look after or land that’s in a very desirable area, then here are six ways that you could potentially profit from your land.

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  1. Renting your land as garden plots

 

There are a lot of people that wish they had a larger garden. If you’ve got a lot of land lying around with no real use then there are probably a lot of people that envy you right now. One way you could profit from your land is to simply rent out sections of it as a garden plot where others can use it to grow crops, flowers or anything they want.

 

  1. Contact large businesses

 

There are actually many ways to profit from your land through other businesses. For instance, you may want to contact a cell tower attorney if a company has approached you regarding building a cell tower on your land. Even if there’s currently a cell tower near your home, it could be possible to renegotiate your contract for more money.

 

  1. Offer storage

 

Whether you build a large shed and give locals the option to store their belongings inside or even just outdoor storage such as parking spaces, storage can be a great way to profit from your land. You’ll need to check for local pricing for storage if you want to maximize profits.

 

  1. Raise animals and set up a petting zoo

 

This is quite a lot of effort but ultimately a fun and interesting way to make money if you have a passion for raising animals. It could be cows, goats, chickens or pigs–if you’re willing to keep these animals healthy and raise them, then it could be turned into a lucrative venture.

 

  1. Building up a local playground

 

If you want to do something nice and give back to the community, then it’s possible to set up a local playground for kids and families. You won’t get any money from this immediately, but you could use it as an attraction for other services like your produce or by hosting events and charging organizers a small fee.

 

  1. Let campers onto your land for a fee

 

If you own a large open space near a lot of other nature attractions such as rivers, lakes and forests, then giving campers the option to set up on your land for a price is a great way to make a bit of money. Set up some toilets and you have a fully-functional and attractive camping location.

Your land is your own and you’re free to do whatever you want with it, but it’s worth considering these ideas if you’re ever in need of a bit of extra income for a minimal amount of work.

What To Do Today to Be Financially Prepared for the Future

When you have a growing family it can feel like you are paying out for things all of the time. There can be school things to pay for here, and sports fees to cover, as well as thinking about savings for the future, for emergencies, as well as for college funds, and so on. The list really does go on and on. So being savvy with your finances is a must, especially with a family as your money is often spread much more thinly. So here are some things to be thinking about, especially if you need to save more to be better prepared for the future.

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  • It is a simple thing, but making a budget for each month, and making sure that you stick to it, is one of the best ways to help you keep on track with your finances. So think about putting things like each and every dollar that you earn and then work out your expenditure from there. Then you can calculate what money you have left and then you can decide what to do with the excess. It can be a simple way to keep things on track.

 

  • One of the things that you might need to use your money for, that is leftover from your budget each month, is to pay off debts. And not just any debts, things like your mortgage or car payments can be pretty normal. But make sure that you are able to pay off things like credit cards so that you can stop paying any unnecessary interest.

 

  • There are plenty of things that can come with having children, and one of them is the thought that everything will be fine later down the line. It is normal for parents to want to make sure that their children can be taken care of in the best way possible. So things like health insurance, life insurance, and having a will in place are all really good ideas. Could you be using your budget to plan and set aside some money for all of these kinds of things?  

 

  • Having a rainy day fund, which doesn’t have to be massive, is also something that can be a really good thing to think about. You never know why you may need one. It might be that you lose a job, which would have a massive impact. Or perhaps you’d need something like a roof repaired after a storm; you just don’t know. Luckily there are things like a bail bond agent that can help you out in certain circumstances. But for a lot of emergencies, you need to make sure that you can take care of it and cover it for yourselves.

Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas of what you could be doing to make sure that you are changing your financial future. Just starting small with something like budgeting and getting out of any stupid debt can be a place to start, with a long-term plan to live frugally and get yourselves to where you want to be.

How To Manage Your Small Business Finances

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 Whether you’re a start-up or further down the business road, you’ll be on a journey that’s both exciting and sometimes tough. With so much to consider from your marketing and branding, to managing your employees, it can be easy to get a little overstretched. As a business, you certainly will want to avoid becoming overwhelmed with your finances. Of course, this is easier said than done, with so much hard work and competition in the market, it’s not uncommon for the small business to face challenges. If you’re looking for ways to better manage your finances, then you’ll likely want to take a look at these top finance tips. 

 

Keep your expenses low 

 

 When you’re starting out, or in the early stages, you will definitely want to keep your expenses as low as you possibly can. There are plenty of inexpensive, or free, and easy to use website building tools out there which can allow anyone to build a beautiful website and blog for their small business. Advances in tech mean that it’s easier than ever before to utilize social media for marketing purposes or to teach yourself about SEO optimization. Learning SEO can improve your rankings on google via the use of keywords, or key questions, associated with your industry. 

 

 If you can work as a virtual business operation, and manage your staff, products and services remotely, this can also save you money on rent, utilities and hardware. The critical thing to do is to plan ahead for your expenses; work out how much you will be spending on the production of your products and services, on taxes, and on paying your staff. 

 

Separate accounts 

 

 You’ll need to ensure that your business account is entirely separate from your personal one; otherwise things can get confusing. If you don’t have different accounts, it will be much harder to gather the info that you’ll need for your tax returns, or to see where any losses came from. Ensure that you don’t forget to pay yourself, yet make sure that you are doing this in a structured way as opposed to taking funds for personal use as and when you need. How much you pay yourself will, of course, depend on your turnover and your profit. It may also be helpful to consider what another business in your field would pay for this position? 

 

Professional help 

 While DIY accounting software is an option, you may want to consider using the services of a professional accountant to keep things all shipshape. The harsh reality is that many small businesses will run into financial problems; however hard-working or ambitious that they may be. The crucial thing is that you know where to go for help if you do. If a business is experiencing tough financial problems and could benefit from legal advice, the issue is that these legal services can sometimes just feel like another un-affordable expense. Rashad Blossom offers quality legal advice at a reasonable price, so could be a great go-to if you find yourself in a sticky situation.

How Do You Finance That Dream Business?

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How often have you thought about starting up your own business? Perhaps you have a dream to follow, or maybe you just fancy having more flexibility in your working life. Although it’s hugely exciting, the financial implications of starting a business can be a little intimidating. You may have heard talk about seed funding and angel investors and be feeling out of your comfort zone. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated- you can get your business off the ground with a few simple steps. 

 

Add In Your Savings 

 

Have you considered the idea of putting your own savings into the business? If not, why not? If you do truly believe in your business and you’ve done your market research, you should be convinced enough that it will work to take a chance. Trading off equity for money at the beginning means less control over the direction of your business, so it’s best to minimize it anyway. If you have some savings to add in, you’ll need to do this less, and it also shows investors that you have faith in your ideas. 

 

Find A Specific Lender

 

If you’re having trouble convincing a bank to make a loan to you, you may not know that there are some industry specific funding routes available. Services like www.4bsf.com allow you to access business capital based around the industry that you want to work in, and can be a great source of support when you’re just starting out. 

 

Minimize Costs To Bare Minimum

 

A lot of new business owners fall into the trap of convincing themselves that they need to spend straight away on things which really could wait. Get into the habit of questioning yourself before you make a purchase. Do you really need to splash out on a logo design before you’ve even made a sale? And why hire office space if you can work from your spare bedroom? Source any equipment you use pre-used as well. You can always upgrade once you’re making more of a profit. 

 

Keep It Professional 

 

Everything you do financially when it comes to your business has to be done professionally. Start as you mean to go on and you won’t be storing up mistakes which are hard to correct later. For example, if you end up borrowing money from a relative or friend, don’t just do it on a handshake. Make sure there is proper legal documentation in place, signed by all parties. Create a formal agreement on interest rates, repayment schedules and all other details and put it all in writing. Stick to this like the letter of the law – always make payments on time, even among family members. This is creating better business habits which will benefit you and establishes your trustworthy business reputation. 

 

Build Great Relationships 

Strong relationships are at the heart of business – with your customers, with your suppliers and especially with your creditors. Prepare income statements and supply them on a regular basis, share your financial projections with your lender and communicate any problems early. What you are trying to do is establish trust – once that’s built up you are likely to be extended more credit or given favorable terms next time.

How To Prepare Yourself For Those Financial Rainy Days

Finances are one of those things that everybody has to make an effort to get right, and if you don’t do this, you could find yourself in the dark pretty quickly. Financial knowledge is something that you are always adding to in life, and as the economy – and your options as a consumer – change, your spending habits have to change, too. One thing stays the same, though, and it’s the reality that financial rainy days do just come around sometimes. We’ve put together a simple list so that you can be prepared for the worst if it ever does occur!

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Put a little aside each week

OK, we know what you’re thinking. People always talk about saving money, but the reality is that you just can’t afford to do it sometimes, and you may think that the amount of money you can add to your savings is just too minimal for it to be significant. However, saving up even $10 a week will be $520 over a year, and this can really help you out if you ever need it. Think about it this way: this is $520 that you don’t have to add on to your debts if you ever need some cash, and it can really change your financial outlook as a result. Put aside whatever you can, and you’ll be glad that you did this in the future!

 

Focus on getting rid of your existing debts

If you’re already in debt, you may be pretty worried about those darker financial days that could be around the corner, as getting another loan when you have a bad credit score can be a really difficult task (and you may end up with one with a high interest rate, too). Focusing on only purchasing the essentials right now, so that you can pay off any debts, is greatly important, especially if you may need to borrow again. It’s also a good idea to see a bankruptcy attorney if you need to, to get you back on the right track. The same rules apply here, that every little help, so pay off what you can, when you can.

 

Prepare a budget

A simple, but really efficient, the financial tip is to prepare a budget, so that you can plan out exactly where you’re going to spend your income, and what you can actually save. In an age where we can just swipe our cards whenever we want to buy something, the costs can rack up without us even realizing, and before we know it we’ve actually spent a lot of money. There are plenty of budgeting apps out there if you’re not quite sure how to go about this, but try your best to stay on top of what you’re paying out for. Breaking it down can be an easier way to work out where you need to cut down on some of your spendings!

 

So, if you want to make sure that you’re prepared for those financial rainy days, follow these simple tips, and see whether they can help you to get back in the clear!

Tips for planning for your retirement

This is a Sponsored Post from Bravomark, although this is 100% my own opinion.

My husband’s retirement countdown as began. We are officially 3 years from retirement, therefore we are looking over every expense to try and eliminate or lower those unneeded expenses. In doing so we have come up with what we are calling our retirement plan. This plan will consist of making sure we are following the following steps to assure us a successful retirement.

I am going to share a few things we have found interesting!

  1. Take advantage of the company met 401K plans! Our retirement income is based a lot on the amount we will have in our 401K account.
  2. Make sure your life insurance offers cash surrender value! When or if we can no longer keep this policy any longer we just simple cash it out and receive money back we invested.
  3. Pay off your debts. I can’t stress this enough, we have worked hard to not owe and now only pay cash for everything we need.
  4. Save money! I read somewhere recently that around 80% do not save for the future. I choose to not have to work in my 70’s & 80’s so we save every penny we can.

These tips are what is making our retirement even possible. We have gone from a dream to almost reality. I can’t wait to travel the world while we are still young enough to enjoy it!

What are you doing to prepare for your retirement?? It is never to early to start!

 

 

 

Borrowing Money – Is It Always A Bad Thing?

 

Borrowing money – whether it’s $50 to pay your mobile phone bill or $100,000 for a new house, there is a lot to think about! There are many different ways of getting the money you need if you do indeed need it… that’s always the difficult part, being honest with yourself! Do you really need the latest Xbox? Probably not! Do you need a car to get to work? More than likely!

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Show me the money!

When borrowing money, you have various options, all of which have pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of the most common solutions in further detail:

 

  •    Borrowing from family and friends – The first option you have is to borrow money from your friends and family. The good thing about this is that it is unlikely your loved ones are ever going to charge you any interest. Interest is the percentage you pay back on top of the money you have borrowed. You can think of it as a fee you pay for being given the money.
  •    Borrowing from the bank – Most people borrow from a bank when they want to buy a house or when they need funds for starting a business, for example. Being accepted for a bank loan is a lot more difficult because they take a lot of factors into consideration, including your credit history. The daft thing about a credit rating is that you actually need to show you’ve paid off loans and other forms of credit in the past in order to get a good rating. So it’s rare that your first ever loan will be from the bank.
  •    Borrowing from loan companies – There are many different types of loan companies. You have payday loan companies, where you borrow a small amount of money for a short period of time and pay it back with a lot on top. There are then secured loans, where the cash you lend is secured against something you own. For example, with logbook loans, the money you borrow is secured against your vehicle. So, if you don’t pay the loan back, the company can take your car! You also have the likes of Altrua Financial, who help with home loans. With lending companies, you have plenty of different options available, but you can always expect to pay back a lot more than you have borrowed.

 

Is borrowing money really so bad?

We tend to think that borrowing money is a negative thing! You’ve no doubt heard the horror stories about people ending up in lots of debt because they borrowed money and didn’t pay it back, leading to more and more charges. However, it’s not always that way! Borrowing money can be a positive step, and knowing when to borrow money and when not to is a key part of how to manage money.

 

Of course, we would all like to make our purchases outright, but it’s never that easy! Do you know many people that have a spare $200,000 handy to buy a house? It’s unlikely. A mortgage is a type of loan for those who want to purchase a property. You will usually need to put down a deposit, say 10 – 20 percent of the property price. The lender will then lend you the rest of the money and you’ll pay it back monthly over many years. Property is a great investment and for most people and this is the only way to get on the property ladder. Most people also take out a loan when they buy a vehicle, which again is an important purchase, ensuring you can get to and from work. These are investments. You need to think about whether something is going to bring value to your life and long-term gain.

Grow Your Money Through Investment

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Investing is a means of spending money in order to make a greater return in the future. Many people get involved in investing as a way of making some extra money on the side. Here’s just a brief guide to some of the opportunities out there for those that want to their first taste of investing.

 

Put your money into a savings account

 

If you’re looking for a risk-free form of investing, a savings account could be the best option. These accounts collect interest over time, allowing you to earn some extra money on your savings. The more you put into a savings account, the more interest you’ll earn. There are so many account options out there each with their own separate interest rates and conditions (some may have limited access, preventing you from dipping into them, whilst others may require you to contribute a certain amount each month in order to collect interest).

 

Try peer to peer lending

 

Peer to peer lending is another fairly risk-free form of investment that involves lending money to someone online as a loan. This loan then gets paid back with interest, allowing you to make a return in the long run. By going through an official peer to peer lending site, you can guarantee more security. Interest rates could be anywhere from 5 – 20%, making this a much more financially rewarding option than a savings account.

 

Invest in assets

 

It’s also possible to put your money into assets. Over time these assets may increase in value, at which point you can sell them for a higher price than you bought them and make a profit. A few examples include property, gold, old coins, and wine. In some cases, you may be able to rent out assets to make a more instant income such as renting property or renting equipment to businesses.

 

Try your hand at the stock market

 

Stocks and shares are often something seen as investments reserved solely for serious investors. It’s a lot riskier than other investment types and you generally need more money to get involved, however, the returns can be greater is speculate right. There are options out there for beginners such as financial spread betting and mutual funds which could allow you to contribute less money. You can also consider hiring a stockbroker to choose the best stocks to invest in for you.

 

Start trading currency

 

Another possible way to invest your money could be to buy and sell currency. Because currency values are always changing, it’s possible to make money by buying a foreign currency and waiting for it to increase in value before selling it for a profit. The latest trend in trading currencies is cryptocurrencies – these are often more volatile but as a result, you can make a return more quickly. Cryptocurrencies also come with a smaller minimum investment – if you don’t want to risk losing too much money this could an investment option worth considering.

Ways to Become a Better Business Person

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Whether you run a business as a side venture or your main source of income, one of your main responsibilities is to make sure that it is run well. And there are plenty of ways that you can make yourself a better business person. In this article, we will talk about a few of the best ways that you can do this.

 

Get Organised

 

Getting organized provides you with the basis for all other things. If your desk and your desktop are cleared, you can free up your mind to focus on the more creative aspects of your business rather than simply being consumed by admin. Essentially, you need to put some decent filing and organizational systems in place, which will stand you in good stead as you begin to grow your business.

 

Prioritise Your Tasks

 

Prioritising tasks is something which you should be doing on a weekly or even a daily basis. People have a natural inclination towards doing the easiest task first rather than the one that really needs doing. But if you tackle the most challenging task straight away, you don’t have to have it hanging over your head for the rest of the day. You should also have a rough time estimate of how long each task is going to take you. Obviously, you may have to adjust your priorities during the day.

 

Keep Learning

 

The world of business is one which continues to change over time, and if you don’t keep your skills fresh, you risk falling behind. You can do this through formal systems such as online masters of business, but you can also do it in more simple ways such as reading articles and attending networking events. Too many business people get stuck in their ways, but if you want to be an innovator in your field, you need to commit to lifelong learning.

 

Become a Better Leader

 

A big part of being a good business person is improving your leadership skills. Rather than micromanaging and simply telling everyone what to do, the best leaders are the ones who lead by example and communicate well with their staff members. It takes time and practice for you to become a better leader, but if you get all your team on-side, your job will be made so much easier.

 

Manage Your Personal Life

 

If you have a greater level of control of your personal life, this will often help with your business life as well. For example, making sure that you get enough sleep on a regular basis will help your mind to work at 100 percent. Making sure that you get plenty of exercises, drink enough water and eat a healthy diet will all contribute towards improving yourself as a business person.

 

Becoming a better business person is a lifelong endeavor, but following these five principles will go a long way towards achieving your aims and growing your business.     

5 Ways To Breathe New Life In Your Wardrobe On A Shoestring Budget

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Looking into your wardrobe, you sigh as you realize your clothes collection has either become unfashionable or no longer fit to wear. It’s a feeling many of us have, especially when living on a shoestring budget. We consign our days to window shopping, looking at the dress wear that we wished we could own, but only if we had the money. So what can be done about it? Is it really possible to replenish your wardrobe and still pay the rent? The answer is yes! Check out our essential tips below, helping you to look good, despite your meager budget.

 

Tip #1: Compare prices online

 

So what if you can’t afford to shop at some of the more expensive stores online or on the high street? Prices do fall, eventually, and you can often find a bargain online, especially when you look on resale sites, and there are regular sales happening on the high street all the time. Sometimes it pays to wait, and while you may not always keep up with the very latest fashion trend, you can still buy something that suits you at a discounted price.

 

Tip #2: Don’t ditch your old clothes just yet

 

When going through your wardrobe, there may be items of clothing you can no longer fit into. This is a shame, especially if it’s an item you are particularly in love with. While you could give it away to a charity shop or a friend, you could also alter it to finally make it fit you again. There should be a clothes alteration store near you, so look for places near you, such as one of the Stitch It zipper repair and clothes alteration stores, and salvage some of your ill-fitting outfits.

 

Tip #3: Have a clothes party

 

A great excuse to get together with your mates, a clothes party is also a great opportunity to try on each other’s outfits, and swap and share them. So, if you have been eyeing up that lovely outfit in your friend’s wardrobe, organize a social gathering and give that pretty garment a new home! Perfect, especially when your friends share your personal fashion style. And you can all have a good knee up and have fun modeling each other’s outfits as well.

 

Tip #4: Sell your old clothes

 

There’s little point having outfits in your wardrobe that you never intend to wear again, so if your best mate turned up their noses at that lime green dress you shared at the clothes party, you may as well consider selling it instead. There are some online sites, such as Material World, who will pick up your outfits from you, and offer you a trade-in price. There are others, such as eBay and Craigslist, where you can advertise your clothes and charge your own prices. With the extra cash, you may be able to buy that new dress from Zara you always wanted.

 

Tip #5: Head to the menswear department

 

While this is a bit of a stereotype (though probably true), women spend more time buying clothes than men. Clothes stores and manufacturers capitalize on this, charging women exorbitant prices while selling men’s clothes for less. The cheek of it! Still, don’t get down about it, as there are some items of menswear that look great on women, so follow the link and widen your options.

 

Bottom line

 

It is possible to breathe new life into your wardrobe, so we hope you find our tips helpful. Let us know if you have any further advice for our readers – perhaps you have found a great online store that sells fashion at bargain prices, for example, or you may have found a style that will look good on anybody, regardless of budget. Give us a shout and do us all a favor. Thanks for reading, and happy (cheap) shopping!

Making Money With The Environment In Mind

There’s a lot of ways to make money in the world. Some are obvious, like working a regular job and bringing home your paycheck every week or so. Some bring in a side income, like selling off your junk on Ebay, or completing tasks for people in your city for a few good bucks at a time. However, there’s another way you can make some good money whilst serving everybody’s interests at the same time: being environmentally conscious. A business that works for the environment as well as itself can be extremely profitable, and more of them are needed in the world. Here’s a few good ways you could set up your own company that works to save the outside world whilst keeping your inside world comfortable.

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Being Energy Efficient

 

If you’re already running a business, chances are you’re using a lot of technology to keep it going for another day. And that probably means you’re paying a hefty sum of your profits in bills for electricity, and losing a lot on lighting alone! However, simply swapping out your old bulbs for the energy efficient variety can cost you at least $20 less each month.

 

Some of the biggest businesses out there have pledged to lower their carbon emissions by half before the year 2020, and seeing as we’re only 22 months away from that now, it’s time to get serious. Install energy efficient equipment, such as printers in the office and refrigerators in the break room, and you can save hundreds each month on less wasted heat and light output.

 

You could even find a different way to power your shop or your office by installing solar panels on the roof, which can mean thousands less in your electricity bill each year. So simply put, the point here is to save money to make more money with better resources behind you.

 

Removing Waste

 

Waste is something everyone produces, and when it comes to regular rubbish versus recycling, it can be hard to dispose of everything correctly. And this is where your company can step in. Simply having a couple of trucks to your name can mean you’ll make thousands in simply removing waste safely and efficiently.

 

And waste management doesn’t even need to have a physical element to it, if you’re more of an online or nomadic business model take yourself back to your roots by removing e-waste, which can consist of old documents and files, and old technology. On the other hand, you could simply put your profits to a better use by investing in waste management stock, which is currently at an alltime high and thus carries little risk for a person to put to good use.

 

Making money with the environment in mind is soon going to sweep the globe. More and more people, from the younger and older generation alike, are finding new and improved ways to power themselves and their businesses. Make sure you’re a part of the future generation with your business practices.

20 Ways to Save Money on Everyday Items….

Growing up money was tight, I learned at a very young age you had to work hard for everything you want in life. This also taught me the importance of money. Saving it, making it and especially how to spend it.

After marriage and graduating college money issues were not as “tight”, but I still took those young values I learned with me and it has paid off!

Here are ways I like to save money!

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  1. Cell Phone bill – I had AT&T for years, I would call every so often and explain that I will have to cancel my account since the prices were constantly going up. It wasn’t until a blog conference that I recently found out Cricket is owned by AT&T. I did my research and found out they use the same towers and covered the same area. So I switched from a 160.00 for two lines to 100.00 for four lines.
  2.  Cable bill – I hated writing the 124.00 a month check to Directv every month so I did a little research and sure enough if you call them when they have promotions and ask for it, you can cut your bill to half of what it is. I now pay around 60.00 a month. The only reason we keep it is the husbands wants the SEC channel.
  3. Filters – Changing out your air conditioner/heater filters often will help save on the electricity bill. The more clogged they are the more the air conditioner/heater will have to run.
  4. Shop wisely – When I am browsing in a boutique, I usually take a picture of the tag of something I really, really, like 99% of the time I can find it online way cheaper than in the store!
  5. Dollar Tree – This place will save you 5.00 – 10.00 a week if you shop there first. I buy all my cards and gift bags from here and every now and then you will find something on your grocery list there for a dollar!!
  6. Wash your sheets – Keeping your bed clean will help you not to get sick as much. Besides the fact that clean bed is amazing!
  7. Coupons or Sales– Check for printable or app coupons before leaving to shop, plan meals around what is for sale that week. Regardless of how great the coupon is, only buy what you will use.
  8. Bulk – Take a calculator with you, if it is a lot cheaper to buy it in bulk then do it. I love when something in bulk is on sale and I have a coupon, I stock up!
  9. Budget – Make and stay on a budget regardless!! This is important to learn, I remember weeks when I would say we are going to have a “leftover” night or let’s find a meal at the “Dollar Store”. Really what I meant is that is all we could afford but wanted it to seem like a fun activity. Staying on the budget meant getting creative.
  10. Electricity – It is important to seal off any air leaks or making sure your home is insulated to reduce the electricity bill.
  11. Intrest Rate – Negotiate those as often as possible.  You will be amazed at how willing a company will be to work with you if you make payments timely.
  12. Pyramid payment – This took us several years to master but now I am happy to say we are debt free! You take your smallest bill rather if it is a 300.00 jewelry store account or 500.00 hospital account and you pay extra until it is paid and continue this until everything is paid off. We paid cash this year for my new Cadillac and it sure felt good!
  13. Savings – Regardless if you put 5.00 a week away, make sure you start and have a savings account. You need something to fall back on when you have an emergency!
  14. Education Degree – The more education you have or can receive the more you make in life, as a general rule. Try and get some type of degree even if you can only take one class a semester. There are so many grants and aids that can help you with this.
  15. Church – Most churches have a ton of really fun free activities you can do as a family. Church communities love to help out.
  16. Yard Sales – I can’t tell you how many times, my new wardrobe consisted of my latest yard sale finds. Most yard sales have clothes really reasonably priced. I clothed my children for years from yard sale finds.
  17. Garden – Plant a small garden of veggies your family likes. If you don’t have room for a garden put them in a pot, people love fresh veggies and it is a great way to give to others.
  18. Fix broken items – If there is an issue with something like a vacuum or dripping water faucet, fix it immediately. You will save money in the long run by taking care of it right away.
  19. Money saving sites – Shop sites like slickdeals.net before making online purchases to see if there are any great deal or prices. I recently found a 99.00 gift that I wanted to get my grandson for his birthday on there for 25.00 at a certain store. I was so excited!!
  20. Ebates – If you download Ebates to your dashboard every time you shop online it will pop up and tell you how much $$ you will make from the purchase not only that but it will find if there is any money saving coupons out there. I use it for every purchase and get a check in the mail!!

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These are a few of my favorite ways to save money! I am sure there are a ton more ideas and would love to hear yours!!

Affording A Family Car

This is a sponsored post although this is 100% my opinion.

When your family expands you might find that the two-seater convertible you bought when you were 20 just isn’t practical anymore. It can be stressful trying to find a car which is large enough for your family as well as economic on the road.

The price of a large family car can be pretty steep, and because of this, you can end up with a massive loan to pay back alongside all of your other bills and family costs. It can mount up so much that you question whether you can afford a car at all. This is why you should look around before you purchase a vehicle.

But not to worry, we have some ways you can afford a car for your family without having to worry about anything…

Scrappage

Some car manufacturers will give you the chance to put your old car up for scrappage in return for money towards your new vehicle. This is a type of funding that has been around for years and it will make buying a new car much easier for you and your family. Simply give your car in and they will offer you up to a couple of grand for the scrappage, which you can put towards a family car of your choice.

Government Grant

One of the bonuses with the rise of the electric car is that the government are encouraging people to buy them. The reason for this, of course, is that many countries are now trying to do all they can to reduce CO2 emissions and make the world more sustainable. It means that if you find an electric family car, you could be given a government grant in order to buy it. It can cover up to 35%of the cost of the car!

Part Exchanging

A very popular way that people use to save money on a car is to part exchange their old vehicle. This involves essentially selling your car to the dealer in order to get a discount off the full price of a new car.

Use Finance

These days many people decide to use a finance deal in order to pay off their car. This means that the value of the car will be split up into a term of approximately 3-4 years, and you will pay a chunk of this each month and finish the loan with a balloon payment if you want to keep the vehicle at the end. If you don’t, you can use the value of the car to put towards a new one.

Bad Credit Car Finance

The idea or getting a guaranteed personal loan might be a little bit of a pipe dream if you have bad credit, however, there are some schemes which you can use to buy a car even if your credit score isn’t too great. This is a great option if you have fallen a little on hard times and have a bad credit rating. It means you still have a chance to purchase and own a car for you and your family.

What Would You Do If You Inherited A Fortune?

Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and daydream about what life would be like if money was no object and you could do what you will with it? Maybe getting the surprise of a lottery win or inheriting a family fortune from a long lost relative. It does happen, so it’s fine to start thinking about how you would spend it hypothetically, isn’t it? I thought it would be nice to take a moment to think of some of the ways you could put that money to good use. I’d love to hear what you would do if life changed for you.

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Extend and/or revamp your home

 

Inheriting some cash doesn’t necessarily mean you move home. You may love the street you live on and your current property, but of course, there will always have been jobs you will have wanted to do, or extensions and improvements you will have wanted to make, so why not use the money for this? Getting in touch with websites like milliondollarmakeovers.net.au could be the ideal place to start. Improving what you have means that you don’t’ have the upheaval of a new area, but still get to enjoy the finer things in life. Ne kitchens and bathrooms, a whole new set of furniture to furnish your home, it could be absolutely amazing.

 

Purchase the new place to love into or abroad

 

Perhaps you want a new place entirely, wanting to move into a bigger house or change the area you live for somewhere more upmarket, an inheritance or lottery win could give you the opportunity to do that. You could even consider a holiday home abroad somewhere. Maybe a country that you love to visit, or a place that has guaranteed good weather all year round.

 

Go on the ultimate holiday

 

I think one of the first things people consider when they come into some extra money is a holiday. There may be a big long bucket list that you have full of destinations you want to see and experiences you want to have. If you don’t have a bucket list this website https://personalexcellence.co/blog/bucket-list/ has some great suggestions on how to compile one. The money you have inherited could give you the opportunity to go on an amazing holiday. Maybe even taking an extended break from work and seeing the world. Round the world cruise, anyone?

 

Imagine a never ending shopping spree

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about heading to the shops and buying something new? The phrase “the credit card is going to take a beating” won’t even be necessary to you if money was suddenly no object. Of course, it isn’t always about buying things and filling you life with things, but certainly knowing you can afford things as and when you need it can be a huge weight off your shoulders.

 

The car of your dreams

 

Finally, why not take a spin in the car of your dreams? Many people have a car manufacturer they would like to own, or a certain type of car, so now could be the ideal time to make that purchase?

 

I hope that this has given you some food for thought if you find yourself in the comforting position of an inheritance or lottery win. How would you spend it?

Honest To Blog! Making A Career As A Blogger Is Easier Than You Think!

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A lot of people find themselves fantasizing about a job where they get to have total control over everything from their working hours to where they work. Of course, for a lot of people, it doesn’t seem possible that it could ever be more than a fantasy. However, since the rise of the internet, a lot of things have changed in regards to just how much control you have over your career. One of the most significant ways in which people have been able to take control of their careers is through blogging. Blogs are becoming more and more popular and show very little sign of slowing down anytime soon. Because of that, it’s easy to want to look to blogging as a way to earn money doing something you care about. However, it can often seem like a bit of serious challenge. Make sure you promote your social media, I love the Amazon marketing agency. With that in mind, here are a few things that you can do to get a leg up on the competition and start making money as a blogger.

 

Get your tech chops up

 

Blogging is, first and foremost, a digital platform. Sure, things like magazines involve a lot of the same writing skills, but there are a lot of other things that you have to consider pretty carefully. Whether it’s learning more about the platform that you’re using for your blog, or taking some Microsoft Excel training classes, it’s important that you’re as computer literate as possible. Being aware of how to use these kinds of software is going to help you in everything from your accounting to promoting the blog itself.

 

Learn to promote yourself

 

You could have the best blog on the planet, but it’s not going to matter one bit if no one knows about it. Promoting your blog and getting it out there can be one of the biggest challenges that you face as a blogger. Luckily, there are a few simple things that can help you get people reading your blog without spending huge amounts of money on a large scale marketing push. Social media is one of the very best tools in your arsenal. Being able to promote your blog for free in a way that can potentially reach millions of people all over the world is something that you simply can’t afford to ignore.

 

Make your writing engaging

 

Unsurprisingly, there’s one thing that is more important than just about anything else when it comes to building a career as a blogger: you have to be able to write. Now, this isn’t just a matter of making sure that your spelling and grammar are correct at all times, though that is important. The most important thing is to make your writing as engaging and dynamic as possible. Every sentence to make the reader want to move on to the next one. Ever post should take them deeper down the rabbit hole of content on your blog. If you can’t use your writing to connect directly with your readers, your blog is never going to succeed.

 

Of course, just because you do these things doesn’t mean that you’re going to find instant blogger success. But if you’re willing to put the work in, you’re going to be able to find a career path that offers you far more freedom and control over your life than you ever expected.

Top Tips To Save Yourself Some Cash This Christmas

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As magical as the Christmas Period is, it isn’t half expensive at times. You may not want to think about it yet, but Christmas is right around the corner, so you may want to start thinking of ways to save yourself some cash during the festive period. The most expensive parts of Christmas are the extra energy we use to heat the house, the extra food we buy for Christmas dinner, and, of course, the gifts. Hopefully, the tips below will help you to avoid spending too much money during the winter months.

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Energy

 

Shop Around – The most obvious way to save money will always be to shop around (which is why this tip is going to be featured a lot). You might want to consider doing some research on different energy companies to help you to find ones that are the best value for money. There are lots of comparison website online that should be able to help you out. While gas is the most obvious place to save some money, due to the extra heating, you must remember that you will also start to put up Christmas lights soon, and the earlier nights will mean that you have your normal lights on more, so you need to try to save on electricity too.

 

Add Insulation – It’s a well-known fact that heat rises, meaning that most of the heat being lost from your home will be being lost from the roof. To lower the amount of heat loss, you may want to consider having some roof or loft insulation installed. This will mean that you have to use less gas, as less heat will be being lost from your home, which is certain to save you a lot of money. Similarly, you might also want to consider double glazing windows, to avoid heat loss through your windows.

 

Only Use What You Need – Are you one of the many people that turn the heating on for the whole house, rather than simply the room that you’re sat in? If you are, you may want to stop doing this, as it’s a waste of energy and money. Similarly, avoid leaving on lights that aren’t in the same room as you, and unplug appliances that you’re not using, such as televisions and games consoles, as they continue to use power, even in standby mode.

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Food

 

Use Cheaper Alternatives – Turkey may be your go-to bird for Christmas, but it’s not the cheapest available. Instead, consider buying a chicken or duck, or simply buy a turkey breast, instead of the entire bird. You might also want to consider making a smoked salmon pate, and serve it with breadsticks, either earlier on in the day, or later at night, when you’re watching the Christmas TV, instead of the smoked salmon that you usually serve with dinner.

 

Shop Around – It’s back again! Search through the websites of several different supermarkets to try to find the best deals on Christmas food essentials, such as the bird, the vegetables, and even a bottle of wine or two. You’d be surprised how big the price difference can be from one store to the next, so it pays to put in a little extra effort.

 

Buy A Bigger Bird – This might seem counterproductive, as a bigger bird is sure to cost more than a smaller one. While this is true, you should think of the bigger picture. People tend to cook a lot of vegetables for Christmas dinner, most of which is wasted, as it’s hard to reuse vegetables. Your bird, on the other hand, can continue to be reused a few days after Christmas day. You could have it on a sandwich, in a curry, with salad, and as part of a variety of other meals, which saves you money on other food.

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Gifts

 

Stick To A Budget – It can be incredibly easy to overspend on gifts at Christmas, so it’s important to come up with a budget and stick to it. If you have more people to buy for, you will have to spend a little less on each gift. If you have fewer people, you can splash out a bit more. You might want to save up throughout the year so that you know that you have enough money to cover all of your gifts. This will make budgeting a lot easier, as you can see exactly what you have to spend.

 

Encourage Secret Santas – If you have a group of friends to buy for or a lot of siblings, bring up the idea of Secret Santa. This means that you will only have to buy one gift, so not only will you be able to save a lot of money on all of the other gifts, but you will also have the money to be able to buy that individual a more elaborate gift. This will also reduce the stress of having to come up with ideas for gifts for a lot of people.

 

Shop Around – This is the last time, I promise! Like with you Christmas food, you’d be surprised how many stores sell the exact same thing for completely different prices during the Christmas period. That bath set that you were thinking of getting your Aunt is probably a lot cheaper elsewhere and is sure to be even cheaper online. Start thinking of Christmas gifts earlier on in the year, as stores sometimes raise the prices during the Christmas period.

 

Christmas is expensive, there is no doubt about that, but you need to remember that it’s not money that matter during Christmas. If you don’t have the money to go out and buy elaborate gifts, then don’t. You could always do a Rachel and Monica and bake cookies instead, which is much more meaningful and much cheaper. Your loved ones will be much happier to spend time with you, than having you spend your money on them, so enjoy your family time, and follow these simple tips if you need help saving a little cash here and there.