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Money Management Lesson For Newlyweds

canstockphoto14516096Congratulations on finding that special person that you want to spend your life with. Now that the honeymoon is over, it’s time for you to learn how to adjust to your new life together. It’s time to set yourselves up for a long and successful marriage. Unfortunately, being lovey dovey isn’t enough to keep a marriage together. Having a financial plan should be your top priority when starting your lives together. After all, money problems are the number one cause of divorce for many couples. There are steps you can take to avoid financial conflicts.

Below are some Money Management Tips to get you on track:

 

Set Up a Budget

Sit down together and list all of your household bills along with your weekly expenses. This will give you an idea of where your money is going and things you will need to cut back on. You can write all of this on a sheet of paper or use budgeting software programs such as Quicken Organize Your Money and Quicken Deluxe. There are even budget planners available that will help you stay on top of your finances. If you accumulated debt prior to getting married, you may want to consolidate this debt and pay it off as quickly as possible.

 

Avoid Using Credit Cards

Many people fall into the trap of using their credit cards for nearly everything right down to their morning latte. Although, credit cards are a convenient way to pay bills and everyday purchases, it can also put you in a lot of debt if you are not careful. You should avoid using credit cards since the interest will be charged to your card each month. Keep the card with the lowest interest rate in your wallet to be used in case of an emergency.

 

Open a Savings Account

Opening a savings account should be a top priority on your to do list. This will get you both in the habit of putting money away for vacations, making large purchases and saving up for your retirement. If you are currently in debt, start placing a small amount of money in your account each pay period until it’s paid in full. This will create your nest egg, which will allow you to buy a house, start a family and to pay for activities that you enjoy as a couple. A savings account will also prevent you from accumulating credit card debt.

 

Pay For Your Purchases In Cash

Paying for your purchases in cash will do two things for you:  First, you will find out how far your money really goes. Secondly, you will more than likely avoid making unnecessary purchases. When you are out shopping, carry just enough cash in your wallet for items that you plan to purchase. The less cash you take with you, the less money you will be able to spend. This will allow you to add more to your savings and retirement account.

 

It is common to have some financial difficulties, especially in the beginning of your marriage. By having a budget plan in place and utilizing the Money Management tips above, this will avoid financial conflicts down the road. Living debt free will allow to you enjoy fun things together and grow your nest egg much sooner than you imagined.

 

 

canstockphoto0423929Have you always wanted to be your own boss? Starting your own business will allow you to set your own rules and build wealth at the same time. Starting a Business can be expensive, especially if it’s an offline company. The good news is there are ways you can build your start-up without emptying your wallet. Some will require small capital and others will allow you to use other people’s money. Here are five tips that work:

 

Start Your Business From Home

Starting your business from the comfort of your home is an excellent way to save money on rental space. If you have extra room in your house, you should consider turning that space into a home office. However, some areas have restrictions depending on the type of business you will be running. For example, if you will be having your customers visiting your home, there may be issues with complaints from your neighbors concerning parking space. Make sure that you check with your county office to find out the requirements of starting a home-based business.

 

Borrow Money From Friends and Family

Borrowing money from your friends and family can be one of the best ways to raise money for your start-up business. On the other hand, if you fail to repay their money, this can also cause problems with the relationship of people that you care about the most. You can avoid this by having an agreement in writing on the amount that you owe and when it will be repaid.

 

Get  a Loan

If you don’t have anyone you can ask for money, apply for a small business loan. You will have to show that your company is profitable and have good credit in order to qualify. What if your business is not profitable? Oftentimes, having a good credit history is still enough to help you qualify for the loan.

You can improve your chances of getting accepted by using your personal assets as collateral. For instance, if you have a car that’s worth the amount of the loan, use that to secure it. This will possibly increase your odds of getting the financing.

 

Search For an Investor

There are plenty of places to find them locally or by searching online. Get out and start networking with other business professionals and attend Chamber of Commerce meetings. You should also find yourself a business mentor. They are more familiar with people that are looking to invest their money in small businesses in exchange for a share of the profits.

You must have a business plan to convince them to invest their money in your business. Be very honest since it will leave a negative impression with the investor if you give them information that’s misleading.

Start Out Small

Taking out an equity loan on your home and emptying your savings account is very risky. You can start advertising your business by creating your own flyers if you have a printer. Go door to door and introduce yourself to your potential customers. If you give excellent service, then your customers will recommend your business to others.

 

These are a few of many ways you can Start a Business on a shoestring budget. Using these ideas to your advantage is a great start to building your business empire.

 

 

canstockphoto16926385You have finally met that special someone that you really want to get to know better. Perhaps, you’ve probably been dating for a while, but you are looking for creative ways to keep your relationship exciting. Coming up with ideas for dates can be quite challenging, not to mention that many typical ideas like going to the movies and spending a night on the town aren’t that romantic and can get very expensive. By coming up with some romantic dating ideas, you can add more romance to your relationship without breaking the bank.

Here are a few Fun Cheap Date Ideas to get you started:

 

Cook A Low Cost Meal Together

Although, going out to dinner is fun, restaurants can sometimes be quite noisy and are not conducive to intimate conversations and can get expensive if you are not careful. Prepare a low cost meal together at one of your homes instead of going out. Even a simple meal together can be a nice environment for a romantic conversation. Just add some candles and some soft music and enjoy each other’s company.

 

Take a Trip To An Art Gallery Opening

Art galleries are usually filled with beautiful scenery and will add lots of topics for interesting discussions. They are also beautiful buildings in their own right. This is the perfect setting for a romantic date. If you would like to save money, wait for an art gallery opening instead of paying the entrance fee. They usually offer beverages and appetizers at these events. You may also get a chance to meet some of the artists.

 

Enjoy a Day at The Free Museum

Search for free museums in your area that don’t charge an admission fee or offer discounts on certain days. You can both learn something new together such as the history and the culture of your town. This will also lead to an interesting conversation.

 

Take a Walk At The Park

Taking a stroll in the park is an ideal setting for a romantic date, and you won’t have to pay a penny. If it’s wintertime, you can hold hands while enjoying the snow and watching the animals. If it’s summer you can enjoy the sunshine and the trees. Many parks have benches and gazebos where you can stop and have a romantic conversation or just to enjoy the scenery together.

 

Go Hiking With a Romantic Picnic

If you both enjoy the outdoors, head out for a hike with a delicious picnic. You should pack your favorite meals in a basket and take along a bottle of wine and some wine glasses to add some extra romance. There are a variety of hikes you can go on, from short and easy hiking trails to all day hikes.

 

Enjoy The Night Sky

There’s nothing better than going out for a walk holding hands while watching the stars. You can also cuddle up in your yard or terrace while whispering sweet words to each other. However, it can get quite chilly in the evening, so make sure you bring along a jacket or warm blankets if you don’t want your date to be cut short.

 

Talk About Your Dreams and Goals

There is nothing more romantic than communication. Talk about your short and long-term goals. If this romance blossom into a relationship, you can make plans on helping one another reach those goals.

 

These are just a few of many Fun Cheap Date Ideas that you can enjoy. This will get you on your way to planing some creative and romantic dates without emptying your wallet.

 

canstockphoto13659853Are you tired of looking at that belly fat every time you look in the mirror? The idea of wearing a swim suit may break you out into a cold sweat. You may have thought about joining a gym membership or fitness classes, but ruled it out because of the high price tag. Don’t let your budget be an excuse for not getting that Beach Body that you’ve been dreaming of.

Here are some ideas to help you get your Beach Body without breaking the bank:

 

Only pay for a gym membership if you will actually use it on a regular basis. Hitting the gym is also great if you need the motivation. A much affordable option is to try the YMCA or ask a friend if you can work out in his or her home gym. If you are a high school, college student or a staff member, you will probably be able to gain free access at your school’s facility.

There are alternatives to a gym or fitness class that are easy and affordable. You can use simple exercise equipment without leaving your home. Jump ropes, exercise balls and dumbbells are relatively inexpensive. You can also do some jumping jacks, push-ups and shadow boxing without having to pay a penny.

Another way you can save money is by turning everyday objects that you have sitting around the house into workout gear. You can walk or run down the stairs repeatedly, do some chin-ups by using your children’s swing set and you can even use canned goods as dumbbells. If you are in a seated position for a long period of time, there are some leg exercises you can do whether you are at home or the office.

If you would like to find some good deals on exercise equipment, you can save money by purchasing used or new workout gear by searching on Craigslist, eBay and Amazon. You can also look at the classified ads in your local newspaper or even find some at rock bottom prices at garage sales.

Rent or borrow exercise DVDs. This can be pricey  when you buy it, but are inexpensive to rent. You can check them out at the library for free as long as you return it by the due date. There are lots of You tube videos on a variety of exercises or you can record early morning workouts for later viewing.

Walking is the most simple form of exercise. Almost anybody can do this, even if it’s just walking down the block. Make sure that you have comfortable supportive shoes and you’re all set.

Running is also good exercise, but it requires a higher fitness level to start. A safe location is important to prevent yourself from injury. Make sure the area is free of tripping hazards, loose rocks, dogs and major traffic.

If you live in a warm climate, go to the the beach. Swimming is one of the best workouts you can do. If there are no beaches nearby, go to the park and use their swimming pool. If it’s too cold to swim outdoors, consider using the indoor pool at your local gym or YMCA if you have a membership.

 

These are just a few out of many options you can use to get that Beach Body  that you’ve been dreaming of. You don’t have to pay a high price tag to get healthy. Get off that couch and  exercise for 30 minutes five days a week and you will reach your goal much sooner than you think.

How to Turn Your Recyclables Into Cash

 

canstockphoto4434103In recent times, you may have been reminded over and over to recycle your old newspapers, plastic bottles and aluminum cans instead of placing these items in the garbage can. Did you know there are ways for you to make money selling your recyclables that you have lying around the house?

Recycling  involves collecting and reusing items instead of having to purchase new ones. Many of them are labeled with symbols to show that they are recyclable. This lowers the cost of these items and save energy.

You can use this as a learning tool to get your family involved. If you want to take a chance and make a difference for the environment and also make some money from it, recycling is the way to go. Here are some ideas on How to Turn Your Recyclables Into Cash.

 

Save Aluminum Cans Instead of Placing It In The Recycle Bin. If you are constantly consuming drinks from aluminum cans why not make money from it. If you have a scrap metal facility in your local area, they will more likely accept aluminum cans. Check with them to find out what items they will accept since some places are more strict than others.

Start a Junk Removable Service . If you have a truck and some storage space available, you can go around the neighborhood and collect unwanted items from your neighbors. You will be amazed of the treasures you will come across. Some people throw away gently used items or things that have never been used. They desperately want to get rid of these things to make space in their homes. You can start out posting flyers with a pick up schedule and the prices for removing them.

Create New Items Out of Recyclables. If you are crafty and creative you can make money online turning your recyclables into a masterpiece that’s in high demand. You can sell your art online or at your local flea market for top dollar. Check out etsy.com to gather ideas for items you can sell.

Sell Stuff That’s Sitting Around Your House. If you have old computer parts like keyboards, motherboards, screens and even smart phones,  there are places online that will pay you for the parts. You can sell these to consumers at Craigslist and eBay or you have the option to go to hardware forums such as Hardforum, Overclock Marketplace and Anandtech. Make sure you look into it first to see if the payments are worth the effort for collecting them.

If you have used items such as  Vinyl Records, CDs, DVDs, clothing and videogames that are still in good condition this can net you some extra cash. People are always looking for classic music and movies to add to their collection.  It can be fun sifting through people’s basements and attics looking for usable vintage items.

You can make some extra money with your recyclables if you have an enterprising spirit. Use these ideas to your advantage to turn this into a full-time business while saving the environment.

7 Best Ways to Save Money on Laundry

canstockphoto12033189Many people are unaware that they are spending a lot more money than they need when it comes to doing their laundry. You may be surprised at the amount of money that you are wasting on laundry detergent, bleach, high energy costs and not to mention the price that you are paying by going to the Laundromat. There are plenty of ways you can save. Here are 7 Best Ways to Save Money on Laundry.

 

Hang Your Clothes Outside

Hanging your clothes outside is one of the easiest strategies there is. If you have a clothesline, this is a huge plus.  The dryer uses a lot of electricity which will run up your electric bill. Each time you avoid using it will save you some money. It is best for it to be done in warmer weather. If you live in a warm climate, you can save money year around.

 

Wait Until There Is a Full Load

Waiting until you have a full load of clothes is the best strategy of all. Many people like to do their laundry all the time out of habit which is absolutely unnecessary. Doing your laundry less often will not only save you money on your electric bill, but also on bleach and laundry detergent. And don’t forget  the amount of time and energy you will conserve by not doing laundry every day.

 

Avoid Buying Brand Name Laundry Detergent

Using brand name laundry detergent can be expensive. Most of the store brand and cheaper lesser known brands are often just as good at cleaning your laundry. However, if you would prefer to use the brand name you can look for coupons to further the savings

 

Clean Out The Dryer Regularly

Make sure that the lint trap is clear. Taking this step can save you a lot of money in energy costs. Your expenses will be extremely high when the dryer is working inefficiently.

 

Use Cold Water

Most people believe the myth that they must use warm water for their clothes to get cleaned. This simply isn’t true. In fact, warm water is not necessary in most cases. By washing in cold water, you will conserve on the heat expenses.

So how much money can this save you? This has the potential to save you around ten dollars a month. If you do your math, this is $120 that you can put towards your savings or to pay other household expenses.

 

Use Less Laundry Detergent

If you are going by the instructions on the package, you are probably using too much detergent. The detergent companies want you to spend as much money on their products as possible, which means they encourage you to use more than the required amount. This is a good way to overspend.

How do you know the right amount of detergent to use? You can start by slowly using less and less, until you notice that your clothes aren’t as well cleaned. This will give you a good idea of how much is really needed .

 

Buy Your Own Washer Instead of Going to The Laundromat

If you can afford to purchase a washer, it is cheaper than continually going to the coin laundry. You will be amazed how much money you spend on a monthly basis at the Laundromat. The amount of money that you spend to dry your clothes can exceed the amount that you pay to wash depending on the fabric. For instance, quilts and comforters take a lot longer to dry than cotton t-shirts and bath towels.

If you implement one or two of these tips, this will save you  some money. However, you will get the best results by following all of these steps to get you on the way to building a small fortune every year.

canstockphoto8160014Whenever you go shopping at the supermarket, do you find yourself spending more money than you would like? If you want to break this habit one of the best ways to do it is to analyze your pantry. The reality is if you do not keep track of your grocery spending, you will most likely put yourself in a position of struggling with debt and even filing bankruptcy. The good news is that you can avoid this from happening. Here are Some Habits to Break That Will Save 50% on Your Grocery Bill Even If You Hate Clipping Coupons.

 

Buying Things You Don’t Need

Do you find yourself buying things that you already have at home? You may have a habit of buying food when you still have more in the back of the refrigerator. Do not go shopping until you use everything you already have. This is one of the best ways to save yourself some money.

 

Purchasing Items In The Checkout Lane

When you are finished with your grocery shopping, you may be tempted to buy candy bars, potato chips or even grabbing a couple of magazines. Junk food are just empty calories and won’t fill you up anyway. It is often more expensive than standard food. If you break this habit, it can save you a few dollars a month and this will really add up.

 

Purchasing Pre-Cut Food

Of course buying pre-cut food is more convenient, but you will end up paying much more than the non-cut items. If money is not an issue, then purchasing pre-cut food will save you a little time. However, if you want to save cash, then do it yourself. Cutting it really won’t take that long.

 

Throwing Away Food

Take notice of the food that you consistently throw out. Many people make the mistake of buying certain things out of habit, even though they never eat them. This is throwing money down the drain. Take stock of the food you already have and think about the percentage of what you actually consume. Focus on buying these items and eliminate the rest.

 

Buying Out Of Season Fruit

Purchasing out of season fruit will always cost more. For example, apples are extremely cheap at certain times a year and other times they are more expensive. You can choose to buy them only when it’s cheap or get the bagged apples rather than buying it by the pound.

 

Another way to save money is by picking your own fruit. Oftentimes, this will really save you a lot of money. Check your local area for a U-Pick service. Taking this step can offer a surprising amount of savings even though it requires more effort. It’s obvious that time is money, so think about whether this is worth the hassle.

 

Before you go on your next shopping trip, make sure you pay careful attention to what you are buying. Most people keep making the mistake of wasting food month after month because they never take stock of what’s going on in their refrigerator or pantry. When you take the time to follow these steps, you can save a lot of money at the checkout lane.

canstockphoto13214055Have you been thinking about giving your home that much needed makeover but you just keep putting it off because you are low on funds? Tight finances and a limited budget doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful home. There are a number of cheap and easy things you can do to add personality, comfort and pizzazz to your home. Here are 5 Simple Ways to Brighten Your Home on a Budget.

 

 

Brighten Up the Rooms By Painting The Walls. Painting your kitchen, bathroom and living room walls can do wonders for your home. For example, if you paint the walls a polished white it can add a touch of sophistication. Paint can also unify a space and provide a sense of flow that previously didn’t exist in the home. It is also inexpensive and with the right preparation, a room can be painted in a single afternoon. This is one of the most powerful means for brightening up your home.

 

Add Personality to Your Home By Adding a Few Accessories. Adding just a few accessories can add some pizzazz to your home just like paint. A set of table lamps can add some flavor especially to your living room, den or bedroom. Even pillows and throws can add color and unify a room. Adding some knick-knacks on the tables will draw some attention where you want it. If you think your bedroom needs a makeover you can simply add a new comforter on your bed. You can save money on accessories by checking out your local flea markets and antique stores. Walmart, Kmart and Target also have weekly sales on these items.

 

 

Add Artwork and Photos. Framed Artwork, family photos and mirrors can be added to a space. Mirrors can help a room appear to be larger. It also reflect light and brightness to a room. The greatest part about adding framed art work and family portraits is that it adds color and personality. You can find mirrors, framing and art supplies at craft stores for a low price.

 

 

Rearrange The Furniture. Moving the furniture around takes only a little time and effort and can really liven up a room. Before you get started, consider grabbing a pencil, some paper and a tape measure. Draw a diagram of the room and make sure everything is going to fit where you’re moving it. Moving furniture can be a bit of hard work but it won’t cost you a dime. You can get pieces of items from other rooms to brighten up your space.

 

 

Ambiance. Ambiance can be added in a number of ways such as changing the window coverings to darken or add light to a room. Candles and other scents can also set a mood. You should also consider adding silk or cashmere throw to a leather couch for a sensory experience.

 

As you can see you don’t have to spend a fortune to brighten your home. The little things you do can make a huge difference. Take a look around your home and get creative.

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