How to Save on the Cost of Life Insurance

All too often people avoid buying life insurance because they simply cannot afford it. However, it might be that you cannot afford your ideal life insurance policy, but you can afford something for less. The following article will cover money saving tips when purchasing life insurance.

Fifteen money saving tips when purchasing life insurance

  1. Buy cheap term life insurance

Life insurance comes in three main flavors: term, whole, and universal life. One of the best ways to save money on your life insurance premium is to purchase term life insurance. Here is a brief description of each type of life insurance.

Term life insurance is designed to last for the term of the policy. Usually, the term can be anywhere from 10 years up to 30 years. You can even find a 35-year term policy with a return of premium rider. Typically the premium is fixed for the duration of the term with the ability to renew on an annual basis. However, because the policy ends at a specified time (the term) your premium will be less than a product that lasts the rest of your life, such as whole or universal life insurance.

Whole life insurance lasts the rest of your life. The policy builds cash value. Typically the premium and face amount are fixed for the life of the primary insured. You can borrow against the cash reserve. Any interest owed on the money you borrowed against will typically be repaid from the death benefit when you die. And for those who want permanent coverage, single premium whole life insurance saves you on the cost of protection.

Universal life insurance is a permanent policy. It is very similar to whole life but has more flexibility when it comes to the payment. There are three main types of Universal Life: Guaranteed, Indexed, and Variable. Guaranteed Universal Life typically has a fixed premium amount. Indexed Universal Life has the premium you paid tied directly to a benchmark, such as the stock market. So if the market does well you pay less and vice versa. Variable Universal Life allows the owner to invest the policy into various investment vehicles which can make the premium and cash reserve go down or up depending on the performance of the investment index the policy is tied to.

You might need life insurance for the rest of your life. In that case, term will not be the best choice. However, you cannot beat cheap term life insurance for the savings it will provide compared to Universal or Whole Life.

A word of advice when choosing the type of life insurance for you: You need to consider how much life insurance you need today, not some hypothetical day in the future. All too often people get hung up on cheap term life insurance because they are too fixated on what may or may not happen once the term expires. The problem is this misses the point of term life insurance. Term should be used to meet your needs in the here and now.

For example, if you know your family needs $500,000 of life insurance proceeds to pay off the mortgage then you should get $500,000 of coverage. What tends to happen is people will purchase $100,000 of whole life instead of the $500,000 of term they need because they are too focused on the term expiring and “then what?” But consider if that person dies in a few years or few months from now.

That $100,000 policy is not going to do the job. And further, how much will $100,000 be worth in 30-40 years when the insured dies? That is why a healthy husband or wife age 40 and younger should consider a million dollars of life insurance. The idea is to buy the amount of insurance you need in case you die today and deal with the future when it comes.

  1. Have your beneficiary or beneficiaries pay for it

Another great way to save on the cost of life insurance is to have your beneficiary pay your life insurance premium. Often older clients will be saddled with a high premium that makes paying life insurance painful. As a result, many people will simply let the life insurance lapse, cash it in, or sell it for a life settlement because it does not fit into the budget. But a good idea would be to see if your life insurance beneficiary will help or completely pay the premium. After all, they are the one who stands to benefit from the policy. Why shouldn’t they help pay it?

  1. Stop smoking

An important money saving tip on life insurance is to know the requirements of getting a non-tobacco rate class. As you may already know, smoking and life insurance are poor bedfellows. Typically, the premium is three to five times higher for a smoker compared to a non-smoker. To save on your life insurance, you will need to quit for at least one year. There is a company that will offer a preferred rate class after one year of no tobacco use. But you need to quit for at least one year to qualify for a non-tobacco rate. For those of you who use other forms of tobacco besides cigarettes than make sure you apply with a company that has favorable underwriting for tobacco products other than cigarettes. And if your tobacco product happens to be marijuana, make sure you apply with a marijuana friendly life insurance company.

  1. Get healthy

Easier said than done, we know. However, many steps can be taken today that will help you qualify for a much better rate class down the road. And going from one rate class to another can save you between 10-25% on your premium. In fact, the difference between a preferred plus rate class and a standard rate class is typically 200%.

The two primary contributors to getting healthy are diet and exercise. Think baby steps. You don’t need to run a marathon or go vegan. Instead, take small steps to improving your diet and fitness. For example, you could cut down on the fast food you eat or take an evening stroll around the neighborhood in the evening. You would be amazed at how a few small changes can make an enormous difference over time.

If you are currently working on getting healthier but you need life insurance today, consider a cheap term exam or no exam life insurance policy. A 10-year term will provide ample length and you can easily re-apply for life insurance once you have reached your desired health goals six months or so down the road.

  1. Pay annually

Here is an often overlooked tip for saving money when purchasing life insurance that adds up over the years. You receive price breaks by paying less frequently. For example, the best way to buy life insurance is with a single premium policy where you put down a large sum of money to purchase an even larger death benefit. Single premium is a great deal for some who have a lot of liquid cash but for those of us who do not have an extra $50,000 or more lying around, there are still ways to save money.

The lowest premium is the annual premium. Paying your premium once a year will provide you the most savings, followed by semi-annual, then monthly and then quarterly. Yes, quarterly is the most expensive way to pay for your life insurance.

  1. Buy it while you are young

Age is the primary factor that a life insurance carrier will consider when determining your premium. The reason is, the actuarial tables that an underwriter looks at considers your life expectancy above all else. Therefore, the older you are, the closer you are to that fateful day. Therefore, the younger you are, the more money you will save on your life insurance.

For all you 20, 30 and 40-year-olds looking for cheap term life insurance, there is no time like today to lock into a policy. Once you get into your 50s, life insurance premiums jump up around 5-10% year over year.

  1. Avoid Dangerous Hobbies

The dangerous hobbies that do raise a red flag for life insurance companies will either make your premium go up, require an exclusion, or cause your application to be declined. And you will have to wait two years after quitting the hobby to qualify if you do engage in particular dangerous hobbies. For thrill seekers, refraining from dangerous avocations is not realistic. However, if you don’t regularly participate in adrenalin sports and have plans to purchase life insurance, don’t go skydiving or make plans to go skydiving before you secure that policy.

  1. Consider the term length

Here is another great tip to save money when buying life insurance. If you are pressed for cash because your monthly budget is precarious close to swamping you but you want life insurance to protect your family as their primary income source, then consider a shorter term length. There are two distinct advantages to doing so.

One advantage of a shorter term length is the premium will be less because the chances of you dying in 10 years or 15 years is less than you dying in the next 30 years.

Also, most term policies come with an additional life insurance rider called a conversion option that will allow you to convert all or a portion of your policy into a permanent policy at your original rate class. That way, even if you do come down with some condition that precludes you from life insurance, you can convert your term policy to a permanent policy with no proof of insurability.

Further, you can always add additional coverage or buy a new policy when you are not so financially strapped, but at least you have some life insurance in the interim.

Also, be aware that some life insurance carriers offer term coverage for every year from 15-30. That means 16, 17, 18, 19, and so on. So you can tailor a policy to your particular need.

  1. Actual age versus insurance age

Some life insurance companies will use your nearest age to determine your life insurance “age”. How this works is the life insurance company will date you at the age you are closest to. So if someone 44 years old was born in August and they apply for life insurance in March, that person is one year older for life insurance purposes because they are nearer to turning 45, rather than 44.

Now you can backdate the policy to save age but you will end up paying more premium up front to do so and it is not in everyone’s best interest to backdate although at times it makes sense.

Other companies will use your actual age. That means as long as you apply and are approved for life insurance before your birthday then you are your actual age. If you have a birthday during the underwriting period, than you are your new age for that insurance carrier. Therefore, you want to make sure you applied with an actual age company with a few weeks or months to spare to lock into your current age.

The difference between the costs for an actual age company versus a nearest age company will probably be a few dollars. However, for longer terms, such as 20 or 30 years, that will amount to thousands of dollars of savings on life insurance premiums. It pays to know which company to choose.

  1. Know your insurance companies weight chart

Different companies have different build tables. Your build is your height and weight allowance that a life insurance company will use to determine your rate class. Another way to say this is that some companies allow for a larger body mass index than others.

The key for overweight or big boned clients looking to save on life insurance is to apply with a carrier that has a more liberal build chart. As we mentioned above, the difference between rate classes can save you 10-25% on your premium. That is sizable savings over the life of your insurance.

  1. Buy in bulk (discounted rate bands)

Life insurance companies bundle policies in much the same way that a company like Costco bundles its food. You receive a price break when you buy more life insurance. Face amounts $0-249,999 are in the lowest band, although some companies have it $0-199,999. The next typical band is $250,000-499,999. There is a price break at $500,000-749,000 and then another price break on cost per units at $750,000-999,999. Another price break on cost per units at $1,000,000-1,249,999. Therefore, a great way to save on life insurance is to inquire into that specific companies price breaks.

You might find that your $700,000 policy actually costs more than a $750,000 policy because the larger policy had a bigger price break on costs per unit.

  1. Take an exam compared to a no medical exam policy

If every penny counts, then this is another awesome tip for saving money when purchasing life insurance. Life insurance companies want to get a complete picture of who the company is offering life insurance to. Therefore, taking an exam provides a company a complete picture of your health and lifestyle.

As a result, exam policies (called “fully underwritten”) are less than a no exam policy. For those of you with a fear of needles or that have superior health, there are still affordable life insurance companies available that do not require an exam. It is these instances when the premium is very close or when it makes sense to choose a no exam policy versus an exam because of a potential health issue not yet discovered that a no exam policy can save you a lot of time and money.

  1. Consider a second-to-die policy

If your goal is to leave money to your estate, then a survivorship life insurance policy might be right up your alley. With a second to die policy, the premium is lower, up to 40% lower in some cases, than buying coverage on an individual. The reason being, both spouses have to die for the policy to pay out. But if neither spouse needs money, an excellent way to increase an estate and pay any estate taxes is with a second to die life insurance policy, perhaps in an irrevocable trust.

And a second to die policy can be purchased on two business partners, siblings, and many other potential scenarios as long as there is an insurable interest. Buying coverage on two business partners is a great way to create a business succession plan with life insurance, such as funding a buy sell agreement, or key man business insurance.

Are There Readers Who Want to Share Their Story?

When purchasing Punch Debt in the Face we didn’t realize how strong the community still was given Ninja’s lengthy absence.  To say it is amazing is an understatement! At the current time my partner and I are not in the “punching debt” phase of our personal finance journey…but many of the readers may still be, and we want to hear from you.

We are interested in people who want to share their story either on an ongoing basis or even a one-time post.

Getting in Contact

You can either use the contact page or email me directly at ninja@punchdebtintheface.com.

 

 

How to Avoid Debt When Investing

Whilst there are plenty of investors out there who are happy to accrue an amount of debt when starting off (be it down to hubris or confidence), if you’re just getting into trading you’re likely to be fairly debt averse. But you don’t have to get into debt when investing.

If you’ve managed to place yourself in a situation in which you have a large amount of money already, then there’s a huge number of options open for you. You could choose to go into Stock options, binary options, FX trading…just about everything except Spread Betting really. However, lets focus on those that do not have this resource available to them.

If you’re looking to avoid debt when investing, then what you’re really looking for is an investment vehicle with an extremely high potential for returns. Sticking money into FX, or stocks, is good if you happen to have enough capital to deal with the potential risk involved. Those that don’t have enough capital may not be able to spread shares over a varied portfolio, increasing their chances of making a loss.

Penny stocks are something to consider but you can only win if you are lucky enough to invest in a penny-stock that happens to go massive, but it’s not so great if you have a small amount of starting funds and the speculative nature of penny-stocks doesn’t appeal to you. In that case, your best option is probably Binary Options.

Binary Options are an odd choice to be suggesting you put your money into, and they certainly have a very mixed reputation, but hear me out. If you’re looking to avoid debt when investing, then the fact that binary options have predetermined risk whilst still having an incredibly high potential return on investment makes them the perfect choice. Some binary option platforms ensure that traders keep a percentage of their investment, even in the scenario that the trade was unsuccessful. This in many ways prevents the all or nothing nature of trading, giving the trader the opportunity to bounce back with some remaining capital.

Binary Options have, in the past, been associated with people wanting to ‘get rich quick’ – and their subsequent disappointment. As with any sort of investment, going into it blind is a great way to lose your investment. If, however, you go into Binary Options trading having done a great deal of research, then even with a small amount of money available to you, you can make some great returns.

I can’t over emphasize how important research is, in order to gain a crystal clear picture of how to invest your money. Binary Options should be used as a way to create yourself enough of a base to move onto other forms of investment, and as such it is crucial to get your first few investments right. Before you even think about choosing a broker, know everything there is to know about Binary Options, the market you’re investing in, anything that might make a big difference to the market, and the specific commodity that you’re investing in.

It is still very possible that you will lose a very large portion of your investment. That is just the reality of investing – it’s a high risk, high reward business, and doing so with a relatively small financial buffer and without allowing yourself to go into debt makes it even more difficult. But if you can, it’s worth it to successfully build yourself a good financial base with which to continue trading without risking all of your money.

As with any trading, a person should set themselves a limit of money they are willing to spend on investing. They should never use borrowed money or money they simply don’t have in order to get themselves back into black. Traders often set up separate trading accounts away from their current accounts to ensure they stay out of debt. In my opinion, to succeed in the trading business money must be thought about in a strategic manner, traders must not over extend themselves, putting themselves at risk. The most successful traders in all forms keep a level headed temperament, only using capital they can genuinely afford to risk.

Give Your Wallet the Boost it Needs

It happens to everyone at some point in their lives. They open up their wallet or look at their bank statement and the money they need isn’t there. It may only be a matter of time before it happens to you too. Why you end up in that circumstance isn’t necessarily important. It can be as simple as surprise rate increases on all of your utilities or as serious as necessary, emergency repairs to your household’s only car. Whatever it is, it will come with the realization that you need to borrow money in order to make ends meet. In order to make sure you find a reliable loan that’s right for your financial situation, you need to be informed about your options.

Wallet-Boost

Decisions, decision
Whatever part of America you call home, there will never be a lack of choices when it comes to loans. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, there are over 20,000 payday lenders across the country. Not all of these lenders will have your best interests at heart, as some will deliberately offer over-sized loans with challenging rates and fees. These sorts of lenders design their terms and conditions in order to set you up for failure. By ensnaring you in a loan outside of your means, they intend to profit from the inevitable late fees and additional interest charges that you rack up.

Other lenders will have manageable, responsible loan products, but their process is too slow or laborious for your situation. Many traditional lenders have lengthy applications that require in-depth reviews of your current finances and financial history. In order to complete this process, they have to communicate with other companies that help them process and facilitate the loan, which adds time to the entire procedure. When time is of the essence or if you have poor credit, traditional loans can’t offer what you need.

Don’t be discouraged
Luckily, usurers and traditional lenders aren’t the only companies that make up those 20,000 organizations. There are direct online lenders that offer responsible access to money without requiring time-consuming, complex applications. These lenders will have a license to do business in your state. This licensing will ensure their rates, terms, and conditions abide by the lending laws set out by your local government. With this accreditation, direct online lenders will provide loans that aren’t outside of the average American’s means to repay.

To apply to a state licensed direct online lender, you need only roughly 20 minutes on a secure online network. From their website, you can fill out a simple form that requires you to prove your income, your bank account, and your email address. You’ll know instantly if you qualify, and you’ll be contacted to verify your information before you’ll know if you’re approved.

Flexibility is essential
Typically, you’ll be approved for a loan ranging between $200 and $500. If you’ve been hit by a series of unexpected bills and other charges that have drained your savings, even this loan amount can be difficult to repay in full within your next payday. In certain states, there are loans that are repaid in smaller installments according to your pay schedule. Instead of having to repay the $500 in one lump sum, you can distribute the total over several weeks.

The particular amount and the associated fees with these installment loans will differ from state to state. For those living in Delaware, Illinois, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah, you should check out Moneykey.com/flexpay-installment-loans-online.php to learn more about installment loans.

This review may take time but it’s necessary in order to find a loan that works with your situation. When you put in the effort to find a state licensed lender, you can find a quick and responsible installment loan to help you cover your expenses – even if your wallet is empty or bank statement is in the red. So open up a new tab now and start your research today.

Think Twice: Crucial Considerations before You Make a Career Change Decision

You’re stuck in a career that does nothing for you, and you keep hearing that you’re supposed to do something that you love if you are to be successful. What do you do, though? A career coach may be able to show you the way, but it can help to put in some work yourself. The more you know about yourself, the more information you’ll be able to give the career coach to help you with.

Tread carefully when it comes to picking a new career 

You’re in luck if you do have a reasonable idea what you want to do. It can never do, however, to assume that your ideas are on the money. Plenty of people make poorly thought-out career switches simply because they’ve fallen in love with a trendy choice, or because they want to imitate someone they admire.

It’s important, before you actually make a move, to take a few classes for the career in question, or try a couple of unpaid internships. These attempts will help you see how your mind responds to the career choice.

Try multiple possibilities

It can be hard to know what talents you really possess, or what really makes you happy. It can be an excellent idea to narrow down your list to three different career options, and try your hand at each one of them. In many cases, it even make sense to try a new career in your own industry. It could help you take advantage of your industry experience.

You could even try a quick internship in a career path that you know you aren’t interested in. The experience will help solidify notions that you’ve always held, and it will lend new resolve to your search for a career that will truly make you happy.

Do you have other aims?

As wonderful as it can be to finally know what you want to do, you do need to know if your choice can work well with your other hopes, dreams and lifestyle choices. Do you live in your own home, and will moving require you to sell? It could be a sensible move to do so if you are willing. Career changes can be undermined by things as simple as the requirement in a new job to commute, or the need to work late. Pay, benefits, vacation, work stress and even exposure to economic uncertainties can all make an otherwise well-loved career difficult to put up with. It’s sensible to take a year for research.

There’s the transition problem

For far too many people hoping to switch to careers they love, the stumbling block turns out to be the transition. They need a plan for how to get by in the time that they take to earn their qualifications, enter the new career and advance to a level where they make a reasonable income. Do you have savings? How about relying on a partner? You need a definite plan for what you will do.

Do you have a fallback?

Even the best laid plans are known to fail. Taking risks can come easier when you don’t have a family to support. If you do have responsibilities, though, you won’t have the luxury of taking your time to find a new job or career path. You’ll need to plan a fallback before you make any irreversible moves away from your current career. Not only will this mean less tumult in your life, it will mean less anxiety, as well. It wouldn’t hurt, for example, to make sure that your old job is always open to you before you move out.

Mentally preparing yourself

When it comes to career changes, popular anecdotes show Americans going through as many as seven in a lifetime. While there isn’t much evidence in support of the number, it does show that career changes are common across the Atlantic.

Career changes are healthy, because they demonstrate a desire to take risks. Successful career changes on a resume can even look attractive to potential employers. Yet, Britain has some way to go here. With not many used to the idea of career switches, you could see resistance both among employers and friends and family. Yet, it’s important to not give up on the idea. The freedom to change careers can mentally free you up to go after a better life.

 

Preparing for Retirement: Top Tips for Making Money-Smart Moves

For many in the UK, retirement is an anxious time. On the one hand, you can’t wait until you can stop working. On the other, you’re worried about living on a fixed income. You worry about your pension, your personal savings, your insurance, and what you’ll do about rising healthcare costs.

Here’s what you need to know to make smarter money moves and survive when it’s time to hang up your work shirt forever.

Scoping Out Your State Pension – What You Need To Know

Your state pension is the minimum amount of money you’re entitled to during your retirement. You can claim a state pension when you reach your state pension age. Check out when you’ll reach that age on Gov.UK’s state pension calculator.

You can also consider putting off your claim if you want to stay working longer. This deferral of your pension accumulates your pension benefits until you’re ready to retire.

Buy More Life Insurance

Most people don’t think of buying life insurance as a retirement strategy, but it’s a secret that big banks and hedge funds employ all the time. For the individual retiree, the reasoning stems from a somewhat forgotten approach to financial planning taught by Dr. Solomon Stephen Huebner at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in America, during the early 1900s.

His concept of Human Life Value stated that an individual should purchase permanent life insurance to fully insure the value of his life – forever – and that human life is the ultimate property, and source of all other properties, which needs infinite protection.

Just as one does not ever reduce the amount of home insurance, auto insurance, or liability insurance over time, regardless of one’s bank account size, one should never reduce the amount of life insurance in force on one’s life.

And, because permanent life insurance includes cash surrender values, it can be used to supplement your pension benefits at retirement.

The cash values in a life insurance policy grow at guaranteed rates, are tax-free, and participating or “with profits” policies pay dividends which may be used to supplement other income sources.

If structured properly (you should talk to a life insurance agent about this), your policy will provide significant protection against stock market losses or corrections, give you options to draw an income during a recession or depression, and the savings component of permanent insurance is accessible for any reason during your lifetime.

Consider a Lump Sum Annuity

When you retire, it’s tempting to take your pension as a lump sum. And, in the UK, you can withdraw up to 25% of your pension pot for this purpose. But, what should you do with it? That depends on your total financial plan.

However, a popular option is to annuitize the lump sum.

Annuitization means that you exchange your savings for guaranteed monthly income. You no longer have access to that savings, but you do have an income you cannot outlive.

Make Smart Cuts

The important thing here is to make cuts in your lifestyle that will not interfere with your long-term goals or activities which you have been planning a lifetime for. Many people get to retirement and suffer from a condition where they are tasked with reducing their lifestyle.

This is something that most people find unappealing for obvious reasons. Because you’re not making an income subject to regular raises anymore, some smart cuts are in order. But, those cuts shouldn’t interfere with your ideal life.

In most cases, this requires a little creativity. If part of your retirement plan was to travel, for example, you could compromise on the size of your home, selling it and rent a flat in a low-cost neighbourhood.

Or, at least buy a smaller home.

Then, you could travel in relative freedom with the money from the sale of the house, or at least part of that money.

Another way to save money would be to not travel. If travelling wasn’t part of your retirement dream, then you could work on other ways to cut expenses. You could still downsize your home, but perhaps you could also buy a bicycle and sell your vehicle.

This will help you stay active and reduce transportation costs.

If you can’t ride everyday, you could downsize your vehicle by buying an older model or work out a ride-sharing agreement with a friend of relative. Or, pay for ride-sharing through any of the popular ride-sharing services on the market now.

Joel Rowe works in the personal finance industry within the pensions sector. He has growing concerns on the futures of baby boomers and likes to write on the topic in the hopes of helping people live better lives once they reach retirement.

5 Steps You Can Take To Pay Off Your Debt

Whether you have some student loans, have been unfortunately living on your credit cards, or have just made a mistake or two along the way, you deserve a debt free life. You’re just going to have to work for it. That’s ok, though- work means goals and goals feel great to get to. You can get motivated by this process and actually use it to start taking real control over your financial life.

Every process begins with step one, and we will start there too. Take deep breaths and tell yourself you can do this, because you can! A few small changes will make way for bigger ones and you’ll start to see your debt number shrink.

Budget, Budget, Budget

You knew this was coming. You need to have a budget, you need to read it and you need to stick to it. If this feels painful, remind yourself that it feels worse to overspend and end up in a bad position. It also feels worse to have the uncertainty looming over you of not having any idea what is going on with your finances.

Figure out all of your expenses for the month (break them down weekly if that works best for you) and subtract that from the total amount of money you bring home every month. This clearly shows you your ‘wiggle room’ or ‘fun money’ but it also shows you the potential you have to put funds away. You don’t have to always spend it all.

Calculate your debt so you know what that figure looks like. Knowledge is power and the first key to your financial freedom.  How much of your ‘fun money’ can you spend to pay off your debt? Can you make other sacrifices in other areas of your budget to free up more funds? We will talk about tips for that a little later.

Conventional wisdom is to pay off the largest debt first so concentrate your money there as much as you can. How long will it take you to clear that debt? Now you have a goal and a date to motivate you. Once the first debt is done with, apply that money to the next largest debt and so on.

Cash Is King

It is often the best idea to make cash transactions when you are on a budget. There is nothing like a real time, physical representation of what you are spending to keep you focused on your goals. If you want, you can even use the envelope method of saving, where you set aside cash on a weekly basis in labeled envelopes to cover the cost of your bills and keep your spending money separately, also as cash.

Avoid the temptation to borrow from the envelopes, though! For some it is easier to open a separate checking account for only bill funds and transfer those monies on a weekly basis. You may not even want a debit card for that account. Understand your shortcomings and don’t berate yourself for them, just figure out a way to outsmart yourself for your financial protection.

Eliminate the Fluff

As you work your budget, you may find you’d rather spend an extra $20.00 a month on food than on streaming services for entertainment. You could get by with one instead of the three you have. Maybe you pay for lawn services even though you have a lawnmower. Why not get out and get some exercise and DIY to save some funds? The same goes for some luxuries like pedicures or some hair salon services. By doing these things yourself, you can build more room in your budget.

This is a good time to talk about coupons and discounts too. Talk to all of your service providers to be sure you have the best and most current deal they can offer. Be firm and ask for what you want. When it comes time for the grocery store, think about shopping at a discount or wholesale store and buying items you frequently use in bulk. Pick up the Sunday paper and plan your meals around what is on sale. You can save significantly by doing this.

Coupon are available for many goods and services on various online coupon websites. Frugaa.com is one of those sites and has grouped discounts and deals together to make finding them easier. Before you buy an item of clothing or a gift for someone, see if you can spend less with a discount code.

Saving As A Student

If you’re enrolled in a degree program, talk with your financial advisor to be sure you have availed yourself of all possible scholarships and grants to help pay for your education. A professional can help steer you in the right direction.

Try to buy your books used whenever possible or shop online to see if there is a better deal to be had than in your university’s bookstore. See if you can befriend anyone who is in a class you know you’ll be taking next year and offer to buy their books from them.

More DIY, In The Kitchen

Grabbing food on the go is a great way to watch funds stream out of your wallet and into someone else’s. It is fun and entertaining to go out to eat, but your budget may not allow many splurges like this if you goal is to be debt free. Once you are, you’ll have more extra spending money than ever before, so this is’t a life sentence, just a temporary tweak.

Slow cookers are a huge asset to apartment dwellers or people who don’t fancy cooking. You can load economical food choices like rice, beans and cheaper cuts of meat into the slow cooker and let it do the work for you.

If you want to simulate the experience of going out with friends, try a night of co-cooking once a week. You and your friends can each bring a dish to pass or bring ingredients to the host’s home and everyone can cook together before sharing the benefits of companionship and a great meal.

Get Started!

If you can employ these ideas and get excited enough about them to believe in them, they will work for you. If you have a little money stashed, call your creditors and try to negotiate the debt. If you can do this with even your first, biggest debt, you’ll be well on your way to ridding yourself of the rest. The plan works, so just work the plan and stay positive about the steps you are taking to master your financial future.