Learning about Money- the Financial A, B, Cs

When it comes to learning about money there is so much information that it is challenging to know where to start. That is no excuse however for burying your head in the sand and making money someone else’s responsibility.

This simple guide outlines a few essential money principals.

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A is for Awareness

Typically people know how much they earn. Whether it’s by the week, month or hour, you know how much you earn and notice when something is different. But what about the other side of the equation? Do you know how much you spend?

Lack of awareness of spending can lead you to run out of cash, go overdrawn or rely on credit cards. Each of these has financial consequences. Being in charge of your money gives you a sense of wellbeing and control. A good place to start is by checking your bank statement, either online or a paper version. Go through line by line, can you identify each item? Many people find things they do not recognise or regular payments which they had forgotten about such as subscriptions. Maybe you accepted a trial offer which now is being charged?

Another example of awareness is being conscious over small regular amounts which you might spend every day. If you spent for example £5 a day on lunch, that may equate to over £1000 during a year. Would it be worth making a sandwich or salad at home and have £1000 for a holiday or other purpose?

B is for Budget

For many, Budget is a four letter word, but it need not be a negative. Taking a few minutes to plan what you are going to spend is a great step to putting you in control of your money and not the other way around. You can set a budget for any area of your life including fun and socialising. Many people find that by setting aside money for fun purposes means they can enjoy it more and be free of any guilt that they should be saving or spending the money elsewhere.

Setting a budget is a really simple task. Take a few minutes to list all the areas in which you spend money, then put your best estimate of the amount you currently spend next to it. When you add up the figures hopefully the total will be less than you earn. If not you will need to adjust the spending until it does. While you are feeling virtuous why not include a category for saving and reward yourself with a fun or play budget which you have to spend each month.

C is for Compound Interest

Einstein described compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world. The trouble is that it can work for you or against you. If you are paying interest on loans or credit cards the power of compound interest is increasing the debt and draining your current and future income.

If you have an outstanding balance on a credit card and just pay the minimum percentage each month it may take over 20 years to clear the debt! If you are only able to pay a fraction each month, make sure you are paying a fixed money amount rather than the percentage sometimes offered when you take out the card.

With interest so low at the time of writing there may seem like little incentive to save. This may be true in terms of financial gain from the savings alone, but the accumulated money saved can eventually be invested and grow at a better rate. The habit of saving money and living on less than 100% of your income is the important financial gain.

Monthly Budgeting Plans: Teach Your Kids The Importance

It can be challenging to budget each month and still have cash left to enjoy, and save, especially in a busy family home. However, for a young family to thrive, and maintain financial wellbeing and security; it’s a skill that parents need to be adept at, and pass on to their children. Young minds are impressionable, and like little sponges; therefore, the life skills you show them, will sink in and help them in their future adult lives. The sooner you teach your little ones skills with budgeting and saving their money, the better they’ll become with financial skills.

Consumerism is only growing stronger, and there are more ways to shop and spend money than ever before. Therefore, you’ll want to equip your kids with as many money skills as possible before they head out, to study, work, and take on adult responsibilities. The following are some tips and ideas on how to begin influencing your children and their long-term financial choices, so they too can enjoy a secure and comfortable future.

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Lead By Example

The best way to influence your little ones is to lead by example. Your kids will constantly be soaking up what you do and mirroring their parent’s behaviour, even if they don’t realise it, so become a great financial role model for them. Explain how your household bills work, and the reasons that you go out to work; ensure that they can grasp the idea of generating an income so that you have the means to pay for life’s essentials.

You may have taken out a loan for your home, or still be juggling student debts; you can check out sites like cashloans.co for ideas and information on working out the correct repayment plan for your family. You can pass on the knowledge about budgeting your monthly outgoings to older children and teens, so they understand how all borrowed money has to be paid back. Educating your kids on how and why adults spend their income, will ensure they’re financially savvy when it comes to leaving the family home and setting out into the big wide world.

Give Them An Income

A great way for your kids and teens to learn how to budget is to let them put it into practice while they still live at home. Providing weekly pocket money, or a monthly allowance, in exchange for jobs and chores will reiterate how they can earn in the future. If they want to buy something in particular; encourage them to save their own cash so that they can buy it themselves. Working towards something they want, saving successfully, and eventually going to buy it will give them plenty of positive associations with saving money, and ensure they continue their good habits into adulthood.

Set up a bank account for your kids and go through their monthly statements with them. Children and teens will soon get to grips with how and income, savings, interest, and spending will work on a larger scale in the future. Providing your kids with enough information regarding finance will make sure they make smart decisions when it comes to cash in the future, and won’t be coming back to mum and dad (all the time) for handouts and loans.

Living A Champagne Lifestyle On A Lemonade Budget

We all want to live a champagne lifestyle, but if we don’t have the 5-star budget that is needed to fund it, there is no way it’s going to be possible. Don’t think you will be able to increase your finances anytime soon to pay for a deluxe life? No problem! There are actually some ways you can make your lemonade budget stretch to cover all those champagne life choices, whether you are based in the UK or US. Read on to find out more!

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Always Go With The Budget Alternative

 No matter what you buy to treat yourself, there is going to be a wide range of products for you to choose from. For instance, if you love indulging in a few glasses of wine on a Friday night, you will always see that there are a few different bottles to choose from in UK supermarkets at different prices. But don’t just go for the most expensive option. Otherwise, your finances will quickly drain away, and you won’t be able to splash out on other things. So, if you are going to treat yourself with something luxe, it’s always a good idea to go with the cheapest option.

Consider Relocating

Did you know that there are some neighborhoods that can impact on your finances? This is especially the case in the UK and US. Those areas and boroughs that are often considered quite high-class and posh often feature exclusive supermarkets while the cheapest grocery stores are located in areas that aren’t so well off. So, take a look at current property for sale in the UK and the US to see if you could move to a cheaper location. Once you’ve paid for all the initial moving costs, you will find that life works out a lot cheaper over the long run!

Search Coupon Websites

If you have your eye on something that is slightly above your budget, don’t fear – there might be a very simple way to make it a lot more affordable. And that solution is to take a look at coupon websites. Most UK and US coupon and voucher sites feature deals and discounts for fashion stores and big name brands. If you are lucky, you might even find some designer names on there as well! Most vouchers and coupons can be used online or in-store.

 Cut The Fat

It’s a good idea to sit down and take a look at all your receipts from the past month. Did you buy anything that you don’t really need? Or maybe you still have a direct debit leaving your account each month for a service that you haven’t used in a while. If so, you need to cut down on these purchases. That way, you can cut the fat, and will find that you have a lot more money left over to spend on luxury items. Plus, managing your money in this way will make you a lot more responsible with your finances.

As you can see, being able to afford the champagne lifestyle that you’ve always dreamed of shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s just about being more careful about how you look after your finances!

The Ultimate Guide To Spending Less

Extracted from The Ultimate Guide To Spending Less: 117 Tips! by Klaus Nymand.

Are you the type of person who wants to save money but isn’t about that spreadsheet life? You don’t live for crunching numbers and you don’t need an in-depth course in personal finance. This guide to money saving tips is exactly what you’ve been hoping for.

Use this guide on how to save money to pick up savings tips you like and skim over the rest. There is something in here for everyone. Remember that the smallest change can yield big results over time.

1. Use The Envelope Budgeting Method

This method works best for cash stashers. You have to have some willpower or the ability to not rob Peter to pay Paul. Work out your monthly expenses and assign an envelope for each. Deposit the correct amount of cash in each envelope each pay period to equal the amount due at month’s end.

2. Segment Your Money In Multiple Bank Accounts

These days, most of us need our income available in digital form. We pay bills online and that’s a challenge with the envelope method above.

Luckily, you can accomplish the same end by opening a second checking account. This second account is your master envelope. Put all of the correct apportioned amounts into that account each pay period.

When it’s time to pay your bills, all of the money is ready to send out from that account.

Paypal has a great prepaid debit card that you can use for this purpose if you can’t or don’t want a new bank account.

3. How To Use Prepaid Cards To Budget

In fact, prepaid debit cards can really help with budgeting! For starters, there are no overdraft fees to drain your already strained finances. If you play your budget to the razor’s edge, a prepaid card will give you some peace of mind. Use them to pay bills and shop online.

4. Why You Should Keep An Allowance In Cash

If the methods above sound like too much work, reverse engineer it! Figure out what your weekly bill figure is. Leave that amount in your bank account and take cash as your spending money.

Of course, if you prefer your spending money on a card, grab a prepaid debit and load it with your weekly allowance.

5. How To Earn More With A Side Gig

Depending on your talents, you may find a side job is a great way to budget since it creates more money to work with. Websites like Fiverr, Upwork, and People Per Hour make it relatively easy to pick up some digital side work you can do from home. You can even monetize your photos through platforms like Pixabay.

The Penny Hoarder is a great resource for learning about potential side hustles. Just be sure to research anything you find there before you jump into it.

6. Leverage Rounding In Your Budget

If you have some room in your budget after bills, try rounding all of your bills up a few dollars. If your electric bill is generally $37.50 a month, stash around $40. This will slowly pad your bill account for emergencies.

7. Remember To Pay Yourself First

When money is tight it’s so easy to scramble to pay your bills and forget to set any aside for a rainy day. Whether you invest in a retirement account or keep a meager savings, putting your own savings at the top of your bill list helps you actually save.

This tip covers matching your employer’s contributions to your retirement accounts if you can.

8. Eliminate A Luxury On A Rotating Basis To Save

Think of this tip like financial Lent. You’re going to look at your debit account and see where you spend the most money on a luxury. Hopefully, there is more than one so you can rotate your cuts. If not, you can go a week on and a week off.

Once you see where you are spending extra money, abstain from those purchases for a week. When the week is over, add that bonus back in and remove something else.

This way you never feel too depressed about skimping to save money.

9. Choose Accounts That Work For You

Bank of America’s Keep The Change program rounds up every purchase using your debit card and deposits the change in your savings account. This is a brilliant way to save if your problem is actually setting money aside.

If you can’t swing that kind of increase in your spending, look for new accounts you can open that give cash with sign up. This may be actual cash or in the form of a gift card.

Many online banks provide higher interest rates to their customers to entice them to sign up. If you are paid through direct deposit you can open a high-interest checking account at a bank like Allied Bank and earn more interest than most standard accounts.

10. Try Micro-Investing

The Stash app and others like it capitalize on the popular trend of micro-investing. Users invest as little as $5 in fractional shares. Buy as often or as rarely as you like. You can also combine this tip with skipping a luxury and invest the cash instead.

In addition to Stash, Acorns and Clink work similarly but with slightly different features.

To read more of Klaus Nymand’s excellent money saving tips (there are 117 in all) please visit 

https://moneybanker.com/us/blog/ultimate-guide-to-spending-less-117-tips/

Ways to Save on Daily Expenditure

Ways To Save on Daily Expenditure

Saving money is something that everyone could agree is a good idea. While not everyone has to rub pennies together to get by, a tighter budget might not necessarily be such a bad thing. There are many people who have seen the benefits of making their money stretch a little farther. If this is something that you too are interested in, you can find five quick tips to help you limit your spending without limiting yourself.

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Cut Out The Extras

You might be able to save quite a lot of money just from limiting the areas that are high cost with low usage. A great example of this would be your home phone (landline). It is easy to get caught in an idea that having a landline is great for emergency situations or to limit the use of your cell phone while you are at home. But given that nearly all wireless plans are now offering unlimited minutes for even the most basic of packages, you are adding an unnecessary bill each and every month.

Energy Efficiency

While it is certainly a noble effort to “go green” for the environment’s sake, being energy efficient for your wallet’s sake might inspire you a little bit more. There are a few ways that you can help cut your costs, and subsequent energy consumption.

  • Make sure that all of your windows and doors are sealed properly. Drafts through any season cost you money, as they require either your air conditioner or your furnace to work more than it should have to in providing the ideal temperature you have selected.
  • Ensure that your electronics are not just turned off, but completely unplugged if they are not being used for a while. Even something as simple as a phone charger can draw a lot of energy throughout a month just from being plugged in.
  • Cut your thermostat down a few degrees. A simple change like this could spell big savings for you, even if you have to wear a sweater some of the chilly nights.

Shop Around Online

The internet is a vast marketplace and a plethora of information. When you are utilizing the latter, you should appreciate the simplicity of your shopping experience and take full advantage of your ability to instantly shop around. Some websites are big on competitive pricing, without skimping on the quality of the products they offer, from foods, clothes, hobbies, entertainment, office supplies, home improvement and even travel, a vast choice for wants and needs are offered. A few great examples would be www.tkmaxx.com, www.sportsdirect.com and Glasses Direct. If you combine quality eCommerce experiences like these with the use of promo codes and coupons then you can really see some big savings.

Use Coupons and Price Matching

Printable coupons to use in physical stores are kind of dying out, but it isn’t gone completely yet. So as it stands right now, this is a suitable means of saving money. The trend that is taking over physical retail locations now is price matching, which most of the major stores are doing in an effort to stay competitive and promote customer loyalty. You only need to show your cashier a competitor ad featuring a cheaper price on the product you are buying, and you get it for that rate. It’s simple and it keeps you from having to drive all over town hunting good deals.

Consolidate Your Car Trips

The last point goes directly into the next way that you can save money on a tighter budget, and that is through consolidating your errands into a single trip when possible. You might not live all that far away from your local grocer, but that little bit of gas really will add up quickly when you are making several trips a week. Stock up, plan ahead, and consider all of the things that you need to do and attempt to make those all happen with as little wasted gasoline as possible.

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These are five quick tips (that are really easy to do) that can have you saving money this month. With just a few changes to your routine, and a few minor changes to your life, you can make a tight budget not feel quite so limiting.