Whether your child is off to college this year or next, you are thinking about the needs. There are a lot of things a new student needs aside from their supplies list for classes. There are tons of commercials and ads on bedding, laptops, and mini-fridges. When is the right time to buy? How do you know if you are saving money? Here are some of my recommendations.
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Clothing swaps are becoming a big trend right now and it really is one great way to modify your closet and save money. If you are unclear of how one works, a group gathers together and brings clothes and accessories they are looking to get rid of. They literally swap clothes and anything that is not claimed can either go home with the original owners or be donated to a local thrift store (this is the most popular option). While some circles focus on clothing swaps for children, we are seeing more people do it for adult clothing as well. Here are some ways you can start a clothing swap and part ways with clothes you just aren’t wearing.
Sometimes you want more than your home cooking or a hamburger from a local fast food eatery. But if you have kids, dining out can be expensive. Thank goodness some restaurants offer free meals for kids so parents can enjoy being served instead of serving. You can check your local restaurants for deals, but here are five of the best restaurant deals (and some reward programs and apps) that will help you save money next time you’re out.
College is a huge step in life, which is why it’s so important to make sure that you have enough saved up in order to get you through the next few years of education. It’s an exciting and life-changing experience, but one that adequately needs to be prepared for. There are quite a few ways that your bank can help you to save up for college and get ready for the next chapter in your life, and five of them are listed below.
- Open a savings account. This is really important, and it should be the first step you take with your bank. A savings account means that you can keep money separate from your spending, ensuring that you don’t spend it haphazardly and that you just keep adding to the amount every time you get paid. Everyone should have a savings account, and you may even be able to find one dedicated to saving up for things like college with your bank.
- Use online banking. Pretty much everyone uses online banking now, and if you aren’t then you definitely should start ASAP! You can even download the app for your bank onto your phone, allowing you to keep track of everything no matter where you are. You’ll be able to view personal, business, checkings, and savings accounts, and see what where the money is flowing in and out. You can even look at pending transactions so that you are fully prepared for anything that is leaving your accounts. It’s a great way to get organized and make sure you are saving (and not spending) money.
- Get paid early. During the end of the month crunch time, it can be a great idea to receive your paycheck from work early. Many banks now have a get paid early app that can be the perfect way to get those monthly bills paid without fretting. Banking systems like Chime allow you to receive your paycheck two days early. This is great for keeping on top of bills and rent as well as organizing your finances and ensuring that you have enough in savings.
- Get financial advice. When it’s time to prepare for college, it’s always worth making an appointment with a financial adviser your bank. You can usually do this in person, over the phone, or even online – which means there’s an option for everyone in every location. They will take you through good spending and saving habits to help you overcome any issues you’re having, as well as help you save as much as possible for your future education. These sessions are often free, but it’s important to check with your bank first.
- Learn more about interest rates. Some banks charge fees, and this can end up costing you quite a lot every year. Many online banks, however, have taken a modern approach and are now considered a no fee bank because you don’t need to pay in order to keep your money safe. Interest rates on savings accounts are also important to find out so that you know which type will work best for you. Accounts with higher interest rates are often good to pick as the more you deposit in them, the more the bank will give you, and there are plenty of free options to pick that have reasonable rates.
To Conclude. Hopefully, this has helped you with the first steps towards saving for college. It may take a while and can at first feel quite stressful, but your bank is here to help you out when you need them. There are loads of options for you, but make sure you start by opening up a good savings account and speaking with the financial adviser at your bank so that you have a clear idea of where to go. Happy saving – and learning!
How early is too early to start saving?
Warren Buffett’s multi-billion empire arguably started at age 6, when he bought packs of gum at his grandfather’s grocery store and spent his evenings selling them door-to-door in his neighborhood. The successful gum enterprise soon led to selling six-packs of Coca-Cola, which led to delivering the Washington Post and later to magazine subscriptions. Throughout his childhood, Buffett challenged himself to earn more and save more. By the time he was 11, he had saved $114 (or about $2,000 in 2018 dollars) and invested in his first stock. The rest, as they say, is history.
It’s so easy to overspend on groceries that there are plenty of ways to cut back. However, you’ll want to pace yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed — try one of the following savings tips at a time. [Read more…]
There’s no denying that providing for and taking care of a family is tough, not to mention expensive. Just this year, the Department of Agriculture reported that the cost of raising one child through the age of 17 is between $174,690 and $233,610. That, of course, does not include all of the expenses pertaining to yourself.
The costs of raising a family have led many to seek out a side hustle in order to make extra cash, but can these additional jobs actually make a difference? This article is here to show you how they can save you from financial woe and help pad your monthly budget.
Understanding The Side Hustle
Simply put, a side hustle is anything you do for extra money aside from your normal job. Most people might relate the term to driving for a rideshare, but side hustles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some people pick up night shifts at places like UPS, while others walk dogs or babysit.
The possibilities are nearly endless, leaving it up to you to figure out what you would be good at and what can fit around your schedule. Picking up more work can be exhausting when you mix it into your daily routine. Make sure to have a steady supply of coffee or a nootropic handy. You can read more here if you haven’t heard about nootropics yet.
The Debt Problem
A steady stream of extra income can help pay down your debts faster, but it also makes increasing those debts tempting. If credit card bills or other debts are piling up, it’s important to have a solid plan of action to make sure your side hustle is as effective as you would like it to be.
There are all sorts of helpful tools out there that can make eliminating your debt less of a burden. You can learn more here about what a debt relief agency can do for you, but it’s time to dive into what side hustles are out there.
Top Ideas For Side Hustles
These are just a few ideas that have proven themselves lucrative for families in need of relief from a tight budget. Hopefully they get your gears turning and help you find something that will work for you.
Sell Your Stuff
First up is Etsy, which is perfect for anyone who has a creative knack for making handmade items. For instance, some Etsy sellers knit beanies and sweaters that sell for anywhere from $20 to $50. If you have a hobby of creating something, sell it.
Alternatively, you could sell things you no longer need (like clothes your kids have outgrown) on sites like Ebay. A garage sale is great, but having your things available 24/7 online gives them a much better chance to sell.
If you’re looking for something you can do while watching TV before bed, then sign up for a survey site. It’s free, and can help you make an extra $100 a month depending on how fast you can complete them. It might not be much, but every dollar counts.
Let’s say you’re passionate about gardening, turn that passion into a blog by writing about how to grow the best fruits and vegetables. Then, all you have to do is sign up for affiliate programs and feature products on your site. Anytime someone clicks through the affiliate link and buys a product, you make a small percentage of the profit.
Of course, there is always driving for a company like Uber as well as hundreds of other ways to make extra money on the side. Best of luck!
When you have a family to care for, saving money is of utmost importance. There have been a few times in the last few years when we needed an item or needed something replaced, and by simply taking a few minutes to ask about, or search out, discounts or replacements, we have literally saved upwards of thousands of dollars.
Both my husband and I wear glasses. I also wear contacts and over the last few years, my preferred method is to order both glasses and contacts online. We both have our eyes examined every 12-24 months with an optometrist, get a copy of our prescriptions and order our frames/lenses and contacts from the comfort of our home. Ordering our glasses online alone saves us a ton of money. I don’t think I have ever paid less than $150 for glasses and lenses at with an optician and the most I’ve paid online was maybe $50. I have paid as little as $9.95. It is also significantly cheaper to order my contacts online.
I recently needed to refill my contact prescription and though my contacts were still cheap, the site wanted to charge me an additional $13 in shipping and taxes. By spending a few minutes doing a quick Google search for a promo code, I was able to save $10 on shipping. I don’t know how many people would think to do this but when I order or book anything online it’s something that usually pays off spending the time to search or call.
Brand New Bed
During my first pregnancy, I noticed how increasingly uncomfortable our bed was becoming. I assumed it was the pregnancy but it wasn’t until I was home from the hospital and realized the mattress itself was actually warped. Since the bed was only five years old I decided to call the store we bought it from to see if they could offer any insight. As uncomfortable as the bed was, buying a new one on my maternity leave budget was not an option. I was happy to find out my phone call paid off. They would replace it no questions asked. I simply had to snap a few pictures for the warranty process and they cut us a cheque to buy a new bed the very next day. Not only did we get a brand new bed almost 50% off, our new bed was cheaper than our old one and we ended up with a little extra cash in hand. If you’re unsure it doesn’t hurt to ask.
One of our luxuries is paying for cable. We go back and forth about canceling it but in the end, we always end up keeping it. It’s something we all enjoy and especially with me going on another maternity leave, I wanted to keep it but that doesn’t mean I like paying full price for anything. I made another simple phone call and after talking to a few people was able to save over $50 per month off our bundle package (cable and internet). $600 per year is a significant savings!
My experience with most of my friends and family is that they’re all too quick to just deal with something before asking any questions. They rarely negotiate bills, replace before seeing if something can be fixed, and in general aren’t comfortable asking questions about money. I have experienced though, many times over that by simply asking a few questions you can save a sizeable amount of money.
How often do you question your bills or ask for discounts?
While you’re at it, here are a few posts from our friends:
Are you looking to save some serious cash this year? There are many reasons you might want to save $2,000 over an eight month period of time. You may be planning a vacation. Or you might have an upcoming large expense such as a car repair.
How to Save $2,000 in Eight Months
In order to save this much cash, you’ll need to save an average of $250 per month. Here are some strategies to help you save $2000 in only two-thirds of a year.
Slash Your Expenses by Living with Only the Basics
Many people can save $250 a month by cutting unnecessary – and even necessary – expenses. Do you have a cable TV or gym subscription you can cancel, either temporarily or permanently?
Can you reduce your grocery or entertainment expenses? What about going on a restaurant ban for eight months? Make a list of every expense you have, and then circle the ones that aren’t an absolute necessity to live.
Another way to cut expenses is to work to negotiate hidden costs. Can you shop around to lower your insurance rates? Cut monthly banking fees by switching banks? Stop paying for memberships you no longer use such as magazine subscriptions?
See if you can raise some or all of the $250 a month you need to reach your savings goal by taking a serious and objective look at your expenses and seeing which ones you can live without for a few months.
Sell Things You No Longer Need or Want
Many people have a good-sized collection of things they no longer use laying around the house. Is it possible for you to sell unwanted clothing, gaming systems, sporting goods, recreational items or other things you don’t need, in order to raise money?
Is it possible for you to trade in your car for a less expensive model, giving you cash in hand or lowering your monthly auto payments?
By advertising your unwanted items on sites such as eBay or Craigslist, you may be able to raise several hundred dollars or even the entire $2,000 you need.
Earn Some Extra Income
If money is tight in your current situation, you might be able to work to find money to save by looking at ways to earn extra cash.
Is there a place near your home or work where you could pick up extra hours on nights and weekends, such as a restaurant or retail establishment?
Could you use your skills to make extra money? Some ideas for using your skills to make extra money could include:
- Selling your freelance services such as writing or graphic design on websites like Fiverr
- Babysitting or tutoring neighborhood children
- Mowing lawns or doing minor home repair tasks
- Offering your home or office cleaning skills for hire
Make a list of your skills and decide which of them you could easily and quickly put to use to make extra money, or find a part time job by looking at job websites or in local newspaper ads.
Saving $2,000 in eight months may seem like a daunting goal, but with a little creativity and sacrifice, you can find a way.
What’s the first step you need to take in order to begin saving $2,000 this week?
When I became a stay-at-home mom in 2014, I felt a pang of guilt for no longer contributing financially to the family. Then, as the weeks of staying home progressed, I discovered something incredible. I had a new superpower. I was so much better at saving money! Not to say I was perfect, but by simply spending the lion’s share of my days caring for little ones AT HOME, I saved loads. Let’s take a closer look at some of those practical ways for stay-at-home moms to save money.
13 Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms to Save Money
Since a mom is involved in so many transactions throughout the week, I thought it’d be best to look through these money-saving tips in categories.
Kids and Babies
Don’t buy all new. The minute you become pregnant, you are inundated with offers for bright and shiny things. Everyone will tell you how to keep your baby out of peril. Each piece of advice will be different. Your greatest weapons are:
- Common Sense
Research may show you that buying a car seat new is a wise investment. It may reveal used clothes make a lot of sense for growing babies. Common sense may show you that the French chandelier in your friend’s baby’s nursery doesn’t have to show up in yours, too.
Find out if you qualify for a free breast pump. The government may give you a free breast pump or provide you with a reimbursement. I highly recommend checking it out.
Be strategic about the professional photo sessions. Social media creates so much pressure for parents to create “perfect moments” during each chapter of their children’s lives. Don’t get swept away in expensive photo sessions unless you’ve planned for them and have the budget available.
Load digital coupons. So many stores offer digital coupons. They’re handy and often apply to checkout automatically.
Make your own baby food. I am not a DIY maven. However, when I started researching the health benefits of making homemade baby food (and that getting started wasn’t that hard), I gave it a go.
Once your baby is ready for solids, try mashing a banana or pureeing some superfoods. Freeze them in an ice cube tray for long-term!
Consolidate your trips. Try as I might, I always end up overspending or impulsing buy at the grocery store. Limiting my trips is one way I combat that problem. Another is by ordering my groceries online via ClickList or Shipt. That way, I’m not tempted to overspend and save so much time, too.
Pay extra on your mortgage. It’s amazing how much money people can save on their mortgage by paying an extra $100 per month. For example, if you had a 30-year mortgage of $165,000 at 4.5 percent, you’d pay an estimated $135,971 in INTEREST. By paying $100 extra each month over those 30 years, you’d only pay $105,547 in interest. That’s over $30,000 in savings!
Unplug. You can save a lot of money over time on your utilities simply by unplugging your appliances and shutting off your lights. If the weather is nice, shut off the thermostat and throw open some windows.
Reduce extra payments like your phone bill, cable, entertainment subscriptions. What can you trim back in your budget? Can you drop cable? Can you renegotiate your phone bill?
Build an emergency fund. Having money set aside for the unexpected will save so much money on emergency swipes of the credit card.
Selling and Earning
Sell your used goods. Today it’s easier than ever to sell your household goods to others. Check out these seven apps that’ll help you turn your secondhand stuff into cash.
Earn gift cards to cover Christmas. Swagbucks is one of the most popular sites for earning gift cards. You can watch videos, conduct searches, shop online, or do surveys to earn gift cards for places like PayPal, Amazon, and Target. You won’t earn a living, but it’s a great way to cover birthday presents, weddings, or Christmas.
Start a side gig. If you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for a way to make serious money from home, please check out my recent post “14 Profitable Stay-at-Home Mom Jobs Online (That Are Worth Your Time).” It outlines several cash-generating ideas from remote jobs to becoming an entrepreneur.
I’ve been piling up resources and tips like this for the last three years after my own debt-free journey with my husband. We went from broke and clueless to budgeting and conquering our financial goals – like me becoming a stay-at-home mom – with the steps you’ve read in this article.
If you dream of the day you can stay home with your kids but could use a roadmap like I did, check out “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint.” This eBook tells my story of beating debt and beating the odds to stay home when we only had $2,000 to live on each month.
It also includes 150 strategies to chop your debt, save money, earn from home, and afford your dream of becoming a SAHM.
If you liked this list of ways for stay-at-home moms to save money, “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint” is this plus steroids.
Your Turn: Share with us a few ways for stay-at-home moms to save money in the comments below!
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Are you a stay-at-home mom? Check out these bonus resources created just for you!
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Make sure you bookmark or pin some of these resources for later!
- 10 Steps to a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Budget
- How to Afford Your Dream of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
- 14 Online Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms (That Are Worth Your Time)
- Loans for Stay-at-Home Moms – What Are YOUR Options?
- The SAHM Budget Test: How to Afford to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom
- Walmart Savings Catcher
- How Much Do Youtubers Make?