Uncategorized Archives

canstockphoto28074279Divorce is challenging for a number of reasons. The legal part of the divorce can be stressful since it concentrate mainly on how the assets and debts will be split up. Divorce isn’t just emotionally draining. It can also get quite expensive.

 

There are ways you can avoid stress by learning the basics of debt and divorce:

 

1. Get familiar with the laws in your state. Since the rules vary from state to state, find out who will be responsible for paying off the debts. In some states, the name on the debt is the one that’s required for making the payments while both parties are reliable in other places. Regardless of whose name is on the account, you may still be responsible.

Speak with a divorce attorney to learn more about the laws in your state.

 

2. Joint credit cards are equivalent to joint debt. If both of your names are on the credit card, you’re also responsible for paying off the debt. If your spouse charged $10,000 without your knowledge, the credit card company will potentially hold you equally responsible for the debt.

After the separation, all credit card purchases and cash advances are the sole responsibility of the person that made the transactions. The time period of the separation occur depends on the laws in your state.

 

3. Cancel all joint accounts during the divorce proceedings. You don’t want to be held responsible for your soon to be ex spouse taking out a large cash advance or mounting credit card debt. Make sure that you’ll have enough money in your account and check your credit rating before cancelling the credit card account.

 

4. The court ruling may not protect you from creditors. If your name is on the account, the court’s decision doesn’t matter to the creditors. If there’s a credit card, mortgage, car loan or any other debt, you are still liable. This can negatively affect your credit if your ex fail to pay it off.

 

You can also face a lawsuit for the debt. If this describes your situation, you have the option to sue your ex for failing to honor the agreement. This can be very stressful for both parties. If you feel that you’re not responsible for paying the debt, allow the courts make a decision on the matter.

 

5. Pay off outstanding debts. Paying off all of your debts or converting joint accounts to individual accounts will make the divorce process easier and less stressful. If this isn’t possible, keep a close watch on your joint accounts and get a copy of the documentation of your finances.

 

6. Consider the mortgage payments. The banks unlikely will remove either of your names from the mortgage.  The more people that’s responsible for the mortgage payments, the happier it will make the lender. It’s probably best for you to sell the home and split the proceeds. If either one of you decide to keep the home, you have the option to refinance the home to remove the other party from the loan.

This is usually the largest debt that’s created by married couples and is also chaotic during divorce proceedings. The parent with physical custody of the children will typically get possession of the home.

Refinancing is a possible solution if one of you have sufficient income and a good credit rating and there is enough equity in the home.

Selling the property is the best choice to pay off the mortgage in most cases. This will allow both parties to be free of debt and rebuild their life.

 

7. Think twice about signing a quitclaim deed.  It allows one party to give up all claims of the property. Many people make the mistake of thinking they are no longer responsible for making the payments if they sign it. You will lose any equity and use of the property and still be responsible for the mortgage payments.

Divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. The way debts are handled during the divorce process depends on the laws in your state. A good divorce attorney can help you to make sure that your finances are intact and make it easier to transition to the single life without emptying your bank account.

 

Save Big With a Savings Jar

canstockphoto26074840Can a savings jar easily get you in the path of saving a lot of money? Those coins that you find under your sofa can grow significantly over time. The purpose of having a savings jar is for you to stay motivated and stick with your savings plan.

Keeping a savings jar will can help you to set short-term and long-term goals. This is an easy way to put money aside for a family vacation, home renovation projects, or to build your savings.

Here are some methods you can use to reach your financial goals:

 

1. The $5 bill savings plan. This strategy involves saving a $5 bill by placing the money in the jar each time you receive it as change from your purchases. This savings plan can easily be modified to a $10 or $20 bill.

Instead of spending your $5 bill, you should save it and allow it to slowly build up the contents of the savings jar.

If you’re unable to save even a dollar right now, you can always start out by saving your loose change.

 

2. The 52-Week Money Challenge. This method is quite popular among people that are looking for ways to reach their financial goals. This will gradually increase your savings each week of the year. Here’s how to do it:

Get started by putting $1 in your jar the first week of the month. Then add $2 the second week, $3 the third week and so on. Once you add $52 the last week of the year you’ll save $1,378 by using this simple strategy.

Keeping a print or an online calender can help you stay on track of your savings plan. Each week can be labeled at the beginning with the amount of money that you need to add in your savings jar.

 

It may be easy for you to save $1 or $2 at the beginning of the plan, but can be a challenge to save $52 at the end of the year. This savings method will encourage you to think ahead and find ways to save money.

 

3. The traditional change method. Saving your pocket change by automatically placing it in the jar is the most popular strategy among savers. This may seem like it won’t make much of a difference, but this can actually create big results!

Simply add all of your loose change in the savings jar every time you make a purchase.

 

4. The Payday Savings Plan. Consider adding a specific amount of money to your savings jar after cashing your paycheck.

The payday savings plan will also work for couples. You can add a certain amount of money along with your partner each pay period and add it to the savings jar. This always works best if you have a financial goal set in place.

Whether you are trying to save up for a family vacation or a new electronic gadget, figure out how much money you will need to save each month from your paycheck and remember to always pay cash instead of accumulating credit card debt.

 

5. The Inspirational Savings Plan. It works best if you keep a photograph of the item or a specific goal that want to achieve. It can be placed somewhere near the savings jar on the lid so you’ll see it every day. Place the savings jar in the living room or the kitchen counter so it is visible. Including the entire family will produce the best results.

You can add the inspiration photo of a new Smart TV or a romantic cruise to a frame. Simply writing the goal down on a sheet of paper can also be helpful.

 

The photo will serve as a constant reminder of why it’s important for you to stick with your savings plan.

 

6. Start a $20 Weekly Savings Plan. The $20 weekly plan is an excellent alternative to the 52 Week money plan. You can place a $20 bill in the savings jar instead of slowly building your savings throughout the year.

 

Alike the 52 Week Money Challenge, you can track your savings on a calender or chart. This will allow you to save $1,040 at the end of the year.

 

A savings jar is a great way to help you to help you reach your financial goals. Make a commitment today and watch your money grow!

canstockphoto10046761In the summer months, the temperatures are on the rise and many people try to find a way to stay cool. Air conditioners are a great way to provide comfort, but it can consume many units of electricity. This can be an expensive way of regulating temperatures as the summer may prolong to four months. As the summertime approaches, many households are looking for ways to lower their electric bills. There are a number of ways on how to Lower Electric Bill In Summer and it includes the following:

 

Keep the shades or blinds closed

During the summer months, temperatures tend to increase greatly and this will make the home an uncomfortable place to be. Keeping your shades or blinds open, most of the energy from the sun will get in and your house will heat up hence need for an air conditioner. This may greatly increase your electric bills. Closing your blinds, shades and turning off  the lights will go a long way in cooling your house as the level of heat will decrease greatly.

 

Leak free house

Make sure that your house is leak free! In the morning time, you will find that air in the house is cool but if there is an opening, then the cool air will escape and the hot air will come in. This therefore requires that you call a professional to assess your house to ensure that it does not have leaks. An energy professional or contractor will use a diagnostic tool to find out areas where cool air might escape from. On the other hand ensure that all doors or windows are closed so as to maintain the cool air inside throughout the day.

 

Unplug your electronics

There may be a number of electronic gadgets in your home which consume a lot of electricity. With the changes in technology, many electronic gadgets use a lot of electricity even when it’s turned off. It is best to unplug them from the sockets. It is highly recommended that you make use of a smart strip or surge protector to make it easier to unplug all of your electronics at once with just a flick of a switch.

 

Make Use of Energy Star Electronics and Appliances

Energy Star electronics and appliances are designed to conserve energy and will help you to save on your electric bill. Since air conditioning units are used more in the summer time or even year around in places with a warm climate, using Energy Star air conditioners can help you to save money. If you prefer to use wall or window air conditioners, make sure to buy the appropriate size. A large air conditioner will use a lot of electricity and take up more space.

 

Avoid Using The Clothes Dryer

Clothes dryers use a lot of energy and at the same time it produces a lot of heat. Instead of using the clothes dryer, hang your Laundry on a clothes line outside to save on your electricity bills. You can save more money by using the washing machine less. Wash your clothes when you have a full load instead of washing a few pieces at a time.

All of the methods above are a few ways to lower your electric bill during the summer. Take action now and watch your bills gradually decrease while you’re comfortable in your home without emptying your wallet.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

canstockphoto11612607If your bank account is always down to nothing after paying  the monthly household expenses, you are not alone. Holding on to a dollar can be quite a challenge sometimes. There are ways you can build your Savings, even if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Here are some ways you can give your savings account some real muscle.

 

If you only have a checking account, you should also open a savings account with your bank. You can use your checking to pay your monthly expenses while putting away that extra money into your savings account. This way you won’t be tempted to overspend.

 

Plan a family meeting to talk about your financial goals. Believe it or not, kids can be quite resourceful. They can think of ways to help increase your savings account. Write down all suggestions, no matter how silly it may sound. You may come out with some great ideas.

 

Get Yourself a Piggy Bank. Kids aren’t the ones that get to save their pennies. After you do your shopping, empty your pockets of the change that you have left over and place it in the jar. There are money counters with a digital readout to let you know how much money you have collected. You can create a fun experience by turning this into a game. Allow the to kids scavenge the house for loose change to put in their jars. Take them to a coin machine to cash it in at least once a month. The proceeds can be added to your Savings.

 

Pay Off Your Debt. Once you pay off your credit card or car payments, add that amount of money to your savings account every month. Pretend that you don’t have that extra money so you can boost your savings.

Create extra money. There are ways that you can squeeze money out of your expenses. For example, you can pack your lunch instead of buying lunch every day. You can save about thirty dollars a week with a family of four.

Whenever you receive a raise from your job, pretend that you didn’t get it. Place that money in your savings account. You can even have it transferred to your account every pay period so you won’t even miss it.

Find alternative income streams. Your family can come together and gather ideas on ways to earn some extra money. Perhaps, you can do some odd jobs by dog walking, mowing lawns, raking leaves or cleaning houses for your neighbors. If you have some antiques or other items sitting around the house collecting dust, how about selling on eBay? Someone out there may pay a good price to own them, especially if the items are in good condition.

These are just a few ideas on how you can quickly build your Savings. Get creative and come up with some ideas on your own, so you can watch your money grow and potentially build wealth for your family sooner than you think.

 

If you like what you’ve read, please share this with your Facebook and Twitter friends or Leave a Comment below.

 

Three Top Tips for Staying Fit On a Budget

canstockphoto8279211Keeping in shape is not only good for boosting your ego, it is also good for your maintaining your health and longetivity. Many people choose to join gym memberships to stay fit. However, there are those that can’t afford to do so since some come along with a high price tag. In addition to exercising, you will also need to eat a healthy diet. Staying fit isn’t hard as long as you put in the effort. Below are Three Top Tips for Staying Fit On a Budget:

 

Buy Healthy Food

Staying away from those potato chips, cookies and processed food will help you save money in the long run. The best way to avoid purchasing junk food is to only shop in areas of the produce, dairy and meat aisle. This perimeter include all of the items in the food pyramid. You will most likely have to walk down the aisles to buy bread and cereal. If this is the case make sure you buy whole grain to stay on the healthy side.

Invest In a Home Gym

Instead of paying monthly fees at the local gym, why not get your own equipment for your house. Bowflex and Gold Gym have a variety of equipment that you can use. It doesn’t have to be brand new. You can look for used equipment that are in excellent condition by checking out the classified section of your local newspaper, garage sales, eBay, amazon and as well as craigslist. Oftentimes, the sellers will offer these items at a deeply discounted price to get rid of stuff they no longer need.

What if you don’t have room for equipment in your house? There are activities you can do without it. You can take a walk a few times a week. This is an excellent exercise that will work out most of your body without much effort. If you prefer to run , it is a great way to boost your cardio activity. Walking and Jogging  are great ways to get in shape. It will be great if  you can get your friends or family to go with you and keep you on track towards acheiving your goal.

Stock up on Fitness Books and DVDs

Buy some fitness books and DVDs if you are having trouble establishing a workout. There are many types of workout programs available for people of all ages. For example, Insanity Workout, Zumba, Jillian Michaels and Richard Simmons are some of the most popular workout programs out there. To get the best results, buy a variety of workout books and DVDs so you can change it up.

Buying healthy food, investing in a home gym and using a variety of fitness books and DVDs are Three Top Tips for Staying Fit on a Budget. Involving your family and friends in your daily workout will get you on your way to reaching your goals.

For more budgeting tips, sign up for the 10 Part Mini Course. If you like what you’ve read, share this with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

canstockphoto1496206Are you addicted to internet shopping? The internet has made it more convenient for consumers to do their shopping. There is no longer a need to take a trip to the mall. All you have to do is point, click and type in your credit or debit card number and the items will arrive at your door before you know it. This is a big time saver. Although there are advantages to shopping on the internet, there are also disadvantages.

The downside to online shopping is that many people become addicted to it. Some people get a rush from spending their money and become addicted for that reason. Shopping for items online make it easier to spend and get that buzz. This addiction is easy to hide from your friends and family since they are not around to see how its gotten out of hand.

When your credit card bill arrive, your heart drop when you find out the amount of the items that you purchased along with the high interest rates that you have to pay. For this reason it is impossible for you to deny that you have a serious problem. Here are 6 Simple Ways to Break Free of Your Internet Shopping Addiction.

 

 

1. Ask Your Friends and Family For Support. If your internet shopping has gotten out of control, sit down and have a talk with your family and friends and ask for their support. Admitting that you have a problem is a big step on your part. Ask them to hold you accountable for your  spending habits.

2. Use Your Credit Cards Only For Emergencies. You should keep your credit cards just for emergengies. It may be time for you to put your credit cards away so you won’t be tempted to make any purchases. You might want to consider cutting them up and cancel the accounts once you pay it off .However, it best to keep one just in case an emergency should pop up.This will force you to pay for all of your purchases in cash.

3.Get a New Hobby to Keep Yourself Busy. Whenever you’re trying to break a habit, it is best for you to replace it with something else. Participating in activities such as taking sewing classes, gardening or going out for a walk will keep you occupied and away from the computer. If there are certain hours that you are tempted to shop online, arrange to keep yourself busy at that time.

4.Set Up a Budget to Prevent Overspending. By planning ahead on how you will spend your money, you will be less likely to spend it frivolously. Refer to your budget before you make any purchases to see if you have enough money left over to pay for it once your household bills and other expenses are paid. If there isn’t don’t spend it.

5. Set  Goals For Your Money. If you are saving cash for a large purchase, this will motivate you not to spend money on items that you don’t need. In case you are thinking of doing a little internet shopping, keep your financial goals in mind. Remember, the purchase you are making now will take you further away from your goal of buying a new home, car or that much needed family vacation.

6. Seek Professional Help. Sometimes it is best to get professional help to deal with problems that’s beyond our control. If you are unable to break free from your addiction on your own, it’s time to see a counselor to help you deal with this issue. This will help you get to the root of the problem and overcome it.

If you are addicted to internet shopping you are not alone. Trying the above strategies will help you to break free of your internet shopping addiction and get your spending under control.

 

canstockphoto0826150Many people have fallen into the trap of consumerism in order to compete with their friends, neighbors, coworkers and even complete strangers. They often purchase material things such as luxury vehicles and expensive clothes based on the status symbol. Even though there are many items they can pay for without going into debt, they choose to purchase things that are beyond their means just because of the image that it presents. This behavior is the reason many people go into debt or file for bankruptcy in some cases.

Whenever you are watching television, have you noticed the car commercials promoting their luxury brand vehicles. They create ads that position these vehicles as being the best choice for people that are successful. These ads are working their magic since these vehicles are filling up school parking lots where parents and teachers are impressed of what their peers are driving. This is post-elementary peer pressure at its best.

 

This type of pressure has taken over so much that it often lead many people to get of thousands of dollars in debt. Here are five steps you can take to get rid of the Keeping Up With The Joneses Mindset.

1. Enjoy doing activities that will bring your family true happiness. There are many things that you can do to have fun together that’s inexpensive or you don’t have to spend money at all in some cases. Instead of taking an expensive vacation why not do things locally? You can go to local attractions such as the carnival, petting zoo or the beach. Some of these places give customer discounts on certain days.

2. Don’t Make Impulse Purhases. Think of how much impact the purchase will have on your finances. It doesn’t matter whether you are making minor or major purchases. Create a written plan on the beginning and end date that you would like to clear off your debt. Make your payments bi-weekly or on a monthly basis. Before you go shopping, determine what you will need to buy and always make your purchase in cash. Sticking to this strategy will double or even triple your savings.

3. Be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the things that you have in your life instead of what you don’t have. You may think that you want to drive a new sports car or get a big house. Would it really make you happy to struggle to pay for these things? The only winner in the end are the banks.

4. Take a deeper look at your home and career. Instead of getting yourself into debt by moving into a new house, make improvements to your existing home. This is a lot better than paying for a mortgage and it will also increase its value. If you are thinking about changing careers you can start a side business until you are able to make enough money to quit your day job.

5. Hang out with people who are responsible with their finances. Be very selective when it comes to the people that you bring in your family’s life. If your friends are wreckless with their finances then you should take shopping trips separately. Don’t feel guilty for turning them down whenever you’re asked to go to the mall. It will take time to resist your old habits and keep negative influences at a minimum.

Apprecitiating time with your family, being grateful for the things you have,  improving your existing home and career, staying in control of your spending habits and  having friends around that’s responsible when it comes to their finances are five steps you can take to get rid of the keeping up with the joneses mindset. These things will add real value in your life.

For more budgeting tips, sign up for the 10 Part Mini Course.

 

 

Simple Ways to Teach Kids About Money

canstockphoto9190651Teaching your children  money management skills and learning to appreciate what they have should be learned through example and life experiences on a daily basis. There are other ways they can learn how to handle finances besides putting away money in their piggy bank .Here are some simple ways to teach kids about money.

What is a good age to start teaching your children about managing money? They should start understanding the true value of a dollar when they are around seven years old. Real-life examples will help your children to understand why certain things have higher monetary value than others. They should also be taught the difference between wants and needs.

Taking your children on a trip to the supermarket is good way to teach your kids the value of money. You can start by showing them the price of apples by the pound. Compare the price of apples that’s sold by the bag to the ones that’s sold individually to find the cheapest price. You can also use other items such as fresh and frozen vegetables as well as laundry detergent.

You should explain to your children how much work goes into growing fruits and vegetables and making laundy detergent. The farmers and laborers often work long hours to grow the food that’s on our dinner plates and the household items we use on a daily basis. Once you have this conversation on what it takes to produce different products, they will learn to appreciate the value of different items in the marketplace.

Teaching your kids about money is not only limited to physical products. You should also explain to them about different services. Let’s use the family dentist for example. Explain  all of the services that the dentist provides and then let them know the price.

Compare the price of the hourly rate that the dentist charge to the amount of the cleaning service that clean your home for five hours. Let’s say you have to pay $200 for both services. Even though they are paid the same amount of money,  the individual that’s providing cleaning services in your home will have to work five times as long to earn the same amount of money as the dentist.

The example of the service will not only teach your kids about the value of money, but also the value of education. They will learn that the marketplace put more value on skills that require higher education and accreditation.

Your children should also be taught about major purchases and why people will sometimes have to pay for certain things over an extended period. The monthly mortgage on your home is a good example. This is a good opportunity to talk to them about the importance of managing their finances and maintaing good credit. Just as your children save their weekly or monthly allowance to pay for certain items, you can show them how you save money to pay cash for certain things such as their school clothing and flat screen TV rather than running up your credit cards. This will avoid you having to pay a high interest rate. Of course you’ll want to tell them that purchasing items using credit is sometimes neccessary, especially when it comes to buying a home.

Spending time together on shopping trips, comparing prices of the products and services that we use on a daily basis and having conversations on maintaing good credit are simple ways to teach kids about money. Be careful not to overburden your little ones with these life lessons, but explain how you make  decisions on purchasing certain items around your home. This will teach your children to be smart with their money in the long run.

Budgeting Tips: How to Cut Your Medical Expenses

canstockphoto8391981There will come a time when all of us will eventually need medical attention. Whether it will be for a common cold or for more serious illnesses, these medical costs will most likely burn our pockets, especially if you don’t have any medical insurance. According to the World Health Organization, Americans have spent more money on medical expenses in 2011 than any other country in the world. As prices are increasing, saving money on your medical care will be beneficial to you in the long run. Here are some practical tips on how to cut your medical expenses.

 

Get Fit

Prevention is a lot better than a cure. Getting Fit will cut down on your medical expenses. You don’t have to pay for a membership at your local gym. Find the time to go for a walk at the park, on the beach or in your neighborhood. Mowing your lawn and gardening work are also good exercises.

If you are a smoker or consume an excessive amount of alcohol now is the time to stop. There is a big risk that you will experience having high blood pressure, diabetes,  heart disease and other more serious medical conditions if you continue these bad habits. Quitting will not only make you healthier, it will leave more money in your pockets and you will be amazed about how much money you will save.

 

Go Generic

Taking generic drugs is the way to go when it comes to reducing the costs of your medications. Patents are used by the manufacturers so they are able to set a price to recover their costs in developing their products. These patents are only covered for a certain period. Generic versions of these drugs will be readily available once the patent expires. These drugs are the same as the popular brand name products in terms of quality. According to the National Association of Chain Stores, the average amount of a generic  prescription drug is $30.56 while the price of the brand-name drugs are $84.20. Imagine how much money you will save when you go generic.

 

Partner With Your Doctor

Taking the time to discuss things with your doctor can save you a lot of cash. Don’t be ashamed to ask him or her about the possible alternatives that you can take. Ask if there is a generic version of the medicine available if you’re prescribed a brand name drug. You should always take the prescription as directed by your doctor or that’s printed on the label.

It is really important to let your doctor know if you are taking over the counter medicine. You may be at risk of some serious side effects when you combine your prescribed medication with some over the counter medicine.

Whenever you visit a doctor other than your primary physician, make sure you take a list of medications that you are currently taking with you.

 

Getting fit, going generic and partnering with your primary care physician are some of the ways how to cut your medical expenses.The cost of medical care can possibly drain your savings if you are not careful.  However, staying on top of your health will boost your savings so you can do the things you enjoy the most. So Get Off That Couch and Get Healthy!

 

For more Budgeting Tips sign up for the 10 Part Mini Course. If you like what you’ve read, share this with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »