Tips for Spending Less Money on Everything

Learning how to spend less money on your family’s budget will help you build a savings account. A savings cushion will help protect your family from financial disaster. Learn how to easily spend less money.

 

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Price-conscious consumers have an advantage over the average shopper because they know how to pay the lowest cost for a variety of items. Smart spending is more than just clipping coupons. It may take some effort and planning at first, but finding ways to save money on various items can become second nature after a short while.

 

1. Use Shopping Apps

Use smart phone apps to find great deals, comparison shop and get cash back.

  • Ibotta (I-bought-a) is a cash back app that searches for discounts and rebates on groceries, clothing, medicine, etc. without having to clip coupons. Discounts are found by scanning receipts with your camera. Over 750 retailers are participating, including Walmart, Best Buy and Walgreens.
  • Snap by Groupon is designed for saving online and in stores. The app is now formatted to view retailer specific offers rather than being product-specific. Groupon continues to promote great discounts on a variety of services, classes, events, products, etc.
  • The Jet app offers online shopping deals with a reward for frequent purchases. A large assortment of items are available (food, pet products, appliances). You can unlock additional savings by adding more purchases. There is an additional discount of 1.5% when using a debit card. Free shipping is offered for purchases over $35.

2. Subscribe to Store Email Offers

Avoid applying for those additional credit cards offered by retailers, but do agree to join their email lists! Many retail businesses, such as clothing or department stores, will ask for an email address since they want to notify customers about upcoming flash sales and special deals. Stores will frequently send special offers, coupons or discounts to subscribers, so this is a great way to have money-saving opportunities delivered to your inbox.

Tip: There is always the option to cancel the subscription email if it is not providing value.

 

3. Furniture Shop Online

Furniture and bedding are big budget items. Furniture stores typically have huge mark-ups, in part because they are covering the cost of the retail space and sales staff. Many online retailers offer a variety of home furnishings at discount prices along with free shipping. For example:

  • Wayfair offers quality brands on hundreds of household items that range from kitchen tables to patio furniture. Free shipping is …

 

Read more: http://save.lovetoknow.com/ways-save-money/tips-spending-less-money-everything

5 Ways to Save on Family Entertainment

 One of the easiest expenses for most families to reduce is the entertainment budget. It is possible for the average family to keep themselves entertained and save hundreds of dollars on entertainment every year.

 

Financial Health – It’s About Your Attitude!

Believe it or not, for most people, their financial success in terms of paying their bills, accumulating wealth and staying out of debt has very little to do with how much money they earn. Sure, your salary is an important factor in your financial success, but it is only one of several key factors, and it is far from the most important one.

 

What is financial health and why do I care?

As defined in the Business Dictionary:

“A way in which to measure the overall financial aspect of an individual that includes the amount of assets they own and how much income they must pay out to cover regular and other expenses.”

Having healthy finances means you can afford comfortable life for you and your family throughout your life.

Let’s simplify this and say that good financial health is when your Net Worth (the sum of everything you have) is positive and forecasting your future finances has a positive trend (i.e. your Net Worth will grow). MoneyWiz has a built-in forecasting tool that allows you to quickly check all this.

In this article, we’d like to focus on the psychological aspect of achieving financial health.

So, how do I get there?

We’ve been serving hundreds of thousands of customers who use MoneyWiz to improve their financial health. Over the past 4 years, we’ve spoken to tens of thousands of them, and we’ve observed common traits between people with good financial health and people with bad financial health.

In this article, we’d like to focus on the very core of improving your financial health. And that is, believe it or not, your attitude towards it.

If you’ve read the article this far, congratulations, you’re on the right track! Read on!

Rule #1 – Reality Check

So, you think everything’s all right. Are you sure? Most people don’t realize that they’re on the way to a financial disaster, before it’s too late. So, it’s time to face the reality. If your debts are more than your savings, if you consistently get loans/credits or make purchases on installments plans, or if you earn less than you spend, you have a problem. And it’s a big one. Don’t worry, it’s fixable, as long as you realize you have a problem and take actions to fix it.

If none of the above is valid for you – job well done! Pat yourself on the back and continue doing what you’re already doing, because it’s obviously working.

Rule #2 – Calculate the Scope of Your Problem

The first step to improving your financial health is calculating the scope of your problem. Meaning – how much you owe vs how much you earn.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make a list of all your savings and checking accounts with their balances. That’s your positive balance. Calculate the total positive balance that you have.
  2. Make a list of all your credit cards, loans, mortgages and their balances. That’s your negative balance. That’s the money you have to pay off over time.
  3. Make a list of all your monthly recurring bills, but skip your credit card, loan and mortgage payments. If you are paying off an iPhone for example, that’s a bill. Your electricity, gas, phone, internet …

 

Read more: http://moneywizapp.com/financial-health-its-about-your-attitude/

Car Loans 101: What You Need to Know About Financing a Car

First-time buyers should also be wary of financing deals that sound too good to be true. Weigh your options and get the best deal.

Buying a car is a tough financial commitment.  It might take some help to get all the money for it, but that’s exactly why car loans exist.

Getting a car loan is a relatively painless process, but there are quite a few steps involved that can make it a bit confusing to a first-time buyer. We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for more information about getting a car loan, and what it all means to get saddled up with auto financing.

WHAT IS A CAR LOAN?

If you don’t have the $20,000 or more to purchase a new car, you’re going to have to borrow it from someone. When it comes to borrowing money for any circumstance, there’s going to be a few terms about re-paying the loan. A car payment is separated into the principal amount and interest. Principal is the term used to refer to the actual amount of money being borrowed. While some financing deals offer 0 percent financing, other financing terms require you to pay interest owed on the loan amount.

Agreeing on a car loan also involves a length of time, normally in months of how you’ll pay the borrowed money back. Car loan terms can be anything from 12 months to 72 months or even more in some cases. Knowing your budget and long-term financial situation should help you decide whether you can take a shorter term with higher payments, or a longer term with lower payments.

WHAT KIND OF CAR LOANS ARE THERE?

Car Key and Dollars isolated on white.You can actually shop for a loan, and it’s a good idea to look for a loan before you look for a car. Start by seeing your bank’s interest rates and loan costs. Your bank will usually offer you a good rate since you’re already a customer and they know your financial history.

A credit union is another place you can shop for a loan, which can be cheaper than the bank, but you may need to be a member. Homeowners may also take a home equity loan and pay for their car with cash, helping to reduce the pressure of interest on the car payments.

Finally most auto manufacturers provide their own in-house financing companies at new car dealerships. These companies compete with the banks and credit unions. Remember though, the goal of these companies is to get you into their brand’s cars, so they will likely offer the easiest and best car loan rates.  When it comes to buying a used car, however, the dealership may have another financial institution to provide you with a loan, and often at a rate that benefits the dealer and not you.

Getting a good rate on your auto loan depends on your credit history. If you’ve missed payments in the past, or have a bankruptcy history, then you might not get a loan at competitive rates. Be sure to check your credit history before even shopping for a car loan, so you can correct any mistakes and get the best interest rate on your loan.

LONG-TERM VS SHORT-TERM

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It’s important to understand how much you’ll be spending on a longer term loan. While it does help reduce the monthly payments, you end up paying more money …

 

Read more: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/11/car-loans-101-what-you-need-to-know-about-financing-a-car.html

Saving & Budgeting Tips for Low-Income Families

Sometimes your salary isn’t paying quite enough to cover all your needs. But you know what, there is no problem that cannot be resolved. You simply need to put a few things into perspective and you will have an easy time putting your money into good use.

Saving & Budgeting Tips for Low-Income Families

When your income is limited, having a household budget is not only a good idea; it is imperative. Living on a budget might sound restricting or like too much work. However, having a workable family budget is actually quite liberating and simple. It puts you in charge of your money, rather than allowing money to control your life.

Track Your Expenses

Before you can create a workable household budget you have to know where your money is going. Certified Public Accountant Mark Noel recommends tracking family spending for at least a month to six weeks before you start working on a budget. “As inconvenient as it sounds, every member of the family should get a receipt for everything, and I mean everything, they purchase,” he says. Use those receipts to get a clear picture of how and where you spend your money. Using personal finance tracking software can help you track expenditures: you might find some obvious expenses you can cut right away.

Create a Budget

“Implementing a workable budget is the single most important thing a low-income family can do to get control their money,” Noel shares. Getting input from each member of the family will help keep you from leaving out budget items. “Because every member of your family will be affected by your family budget, creating that budget should be a family affair. Having extra sets of eyes on your budget always helps,” Noel adds. If everyone has a say in creating the budget, they are more likely to buy into maintaining the budget.

Budget for Sufficiency

The key is making your household budget work is ensuring it is sufficient for your needs. For example, if you need $200 per month for food, but you only budget $125, your budget won’t work. You’ll end up taking $75 from some other budget category to spend on food which will make that category short, so you’ll take from a different category to fill that need. It becomes a vicious cycle. This is the time in the budgeting process when you might have to make some tough decisions, particularly if your income isn’t sufficient to meet all of your needs, much less your wants.

Make Adjustments

If your budgeted expenses exceed your income, you need to make some adjustments. You only have two options: cut your expenses or increase your

– See more at: http://www.quicken.com/saving-budgeting-tips-low-income-families

Are You Too Broke to Go Bankrupt?

“When you go bankrupt certain duties and obligations are placed upon you by law. This includes things such as delivering up an inventory of your estate, disclosing income increases during your bankruptcy and providing business accounts for the previous three years. You will be subject to the bankruptcy restrictions and you will also suffer from other implications. You will also be investigated by the Official Receiver unless it is deemed unnecessary, though it is rare not to be. All of your assets that are not exempt from the bankruptcy estate will come under the control of the trustee. They may have to be sold.”

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A number of cash-strapped Americans, overloaded with debt, will not be able to afford to file for bankruptcy this year. Anywhere between 200,000 and 1 million consumers are estimated to be unable to front the $1,500 average cost to pay for the filing and lawyer fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Chapter 7, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy in the United States, wasn’t always this hard to attain. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets that are non-exempt are turned over to a trustee, who then allocates funds to your creditors, in turn wiping out all or most of your debts. But bankruptcy laws changed in 2005, resulting in bankruptcy filings becoming more expensive and more difficult to execute. The United States Government Accountability Office estimated that the average attorney fee for a Chapter 7 case increased from $712 in February and March 2005 to $1,078 in February and March 2007, a 51 percent increase.

Read more: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/07/26/are-you-too-broke-to-go-bankrupt

Seven Steps to an Organized Financial Life

“Little organization of your financial life could be very good for your budget. Lack of organization can harm your finances as much or more than being short on cash. Not keeping track of your personal finance can cost you some additional charges. Money, or the lack of it, causes a lot of undue stress. Few people have a firm grip on their personal financial situation, and those who do rarely arrived at economic stability by chance. It takes a keen awareness of one’s lifestyle, some planning, and a little discipline. But anyone can get there with the right tools and the right attitude.”

Seven Steps to an Organized Financial Life

Summer is here. Daylight stretches late into the evening and the daily grind loosens up as business slows down to let everyone soak up the sun.

Given the slower pace life seems to take over the next two months, it’s a good time for people to take a look at their finances and make sure they’re on track with their goals.

If financial organization has been a struggle for you throughout the year, now’s a good time to take another stab at it. Here’s a list of seven steps towards an organized financial life.

Step 1 – Make the decision

Choose to be organized and make it a priority. When people turn a should into a must, they’re more likely to follow through.

Step 2 – Have all the information

An individual who is potentially financially organized needs to assess where he/she stands. This includes knowing his/her monthly expenses, income, and overall net worth in order to produce a personal balance sheet, a cash flow statement, and any insurance coverage…

Read more: http://www.raymondjames.ca/mlekushoff/seven-steps-to-an-organized-financial-life.aspx#.VvUjYOJ97Dc