New Years and Money

The beginning of the year can be tough for some families. The holidays usually lead to excessive spending so you often feel the monetary effects after the holidays pass. A brand new year also means preparations for tax time as well. Depending on your lifestyle and business choices, you may owe money for taxes. The New Year also means New Years Resolutions for most families causing for some changes in family spending. For all of these reasons, New Years is often a popular time to think about your spending and savings and ways to improve your family’s financial situation. Below are a few tips to aid in your family’s quest to a money makeover.

Lower Bills

The first and most obvious source of a budget killer are utilities and monthly bills. So a key to saving money is to evaluate what you are spending your money on and if you can lower it. Lower your costs and you will have more money available to save. Keep a list of all of your monthly bills and utilities to see if there is anyway to eliminate any. Do you belong to gym but never use it? Cancel the membership! Do you have multiple cable boxes in the house? Do you use them all? Can any of them be eliminated to save money on your cable bill? You can also call your cable, cell phone, car insurance, etc. to see if you are getting the best deal. It’s possible that just by calling you may be able to save some major cash. It’s better to be saving money than uselessly spending it.

Coupons

An easy way to save money and an easy way to be frugal is by using coupons. Coupons can be used basically everywhere. You can use coupons on groceries, clothing, gas, travel, etc. There are so many places to find coupons. One way they come is through the mail. People often find advertisements, flyers and coupons from their favorite stores in the mail. Most stores ask you to provide your email so that they can send you coupons via email as well. Another popular source now a days are discount sites. Popular sites available are Groupon, Couponcabin.com or Retailmenot.com . Just by going to the site you can find any coupons available for a particular store or service. Depending on how serious you are with using coupons, you can save some major cash.

Stash Away Money

Your everyday spending is something to be evaluated as well. Spending money on little things can add up to major cash per month. The biggest culprit is coffee. If you get your coffee out than it could add up to $50-$100 a month. That could be your water bill, or even go towards your child’s education. It is best to try to put off on purchasing these novelties on a normal basis. If you can’t, then a trick that is good for saving is to stash away money  each time you go and spend money on these type of purchases. You spend $2.47 on coffee in the morning? Put the 0.53 in a savings account. Over time it will accumulate to substantial cash.

Loan

If you dug yourself a hole and are having a hard time getting yourself out, than a loan may be something to consider to pay off your debt. There are many sources of funding, like norskkreditt.no, that can help you research what is best for you and your family.

These quick tips are just a way to get you started on your way to saving. Obviously there are extremes for each of these but even doing a little bit at a time will help and eventually add up to something. It is important to be disciplined, than you will be able to save for you and your family. Let the new year be a new start for your family when it comes to saving and spending.

How To Teach Your Children To Manage Their Money

It’s never too early to start teaching your children about how to manage their money. Keeping track of your spending and managing your finances is something that everyone struggles with from time to time. We all know that a direct payday loan lender can be necessary to help you get by until the next pay day, but teaching your children how to budget is a skill for life and will hopefully keep them out of debt in the future.

Teach Them The Value Of Money

Most children don’t grasp that money needs to be spent carefully and isn’t just used for buying the things they want. The easiest way to show children the value of money is to talk about it when you are food shopping. Ask them to help you to choose the items you put in your trolley and explain whether they’ve chosen the best value item. Point out deals and cheaper alternatives, this will teach them to shop by value and shows them how expensive some items can be!

A Savings Jar

Children who instantly get everything they ask for don’t learn the true value of money. Teaching them that they must wait and save up before they can buy something they want is an important money management lesson. Although a savings account can be useful for older children, a savings jar is a good way to visibly demonstrate to children that the pocket money they save is building up over time. This makes the purchase more satisfying and teaches children the importance of savings and being patient.

Give Them An Allowance

Some parents may disagree with giving their children money. But giving children a small monthly, or weekly, allowance is a good way to teach them some basic budgeting skills. If they know that their allowance is the only money they will have to spend that month, they will soon learn that they can’t have the latest new toy or game every week.  If your children still impulsively spend their money as soon as they get it, try challenging them to wait a few weeks.

If an allowance isn’t something you are comfortable with then offer them the chance to earn their pocket money by completing basic house hold chores. This shows them that hard work can be worthwhile, setting them up for the future.

Keeping Track

Try to encourage your children to keep track of their spending in a notebook. Try to put a fun spin on it by making it a game or giving them an old purse to keep their recipients in. This will help you to explain that some of the things your children are buying- typically things like sweets or the latest fad- are using up a big chunk of their allowance. Alternatively, show them how you manage the family budget. Explain that you have to work so you can afford to buy all the things on the list, so they understand that money doesn’t just get given to you by the bank!

“Finances are so complicated”

How many people have you heard excuse their lackluster personal finances because managing their cash flow seems like too much work. I’m afraid I know a handful of people that are so intimidated by their finances, they choose to ignore them completely. Guess what?! Managing your money is really, really, really simple. Even more simple than this maze…

There are really only three things that can be done with money.

1) Spend it

2) Save/Invest it

4) Steal it

4) Give it

For the love of all that is holy, don’t try and make personal finance more complicated than it should be. Your goal should be to have less than 100% of your money in the “spend” category. Ya got issues if you are spending 103% of your income every month, sadly this is more common than we all realize.

To keep this post short I’m gonna post up the percentage of my income that gets allocatted to each category every month….

Spending: 60%

Save/Invest: 30%

Donate: 10%

So that is the breakdown of my numbers. Keep in mind it is an average, some months my spending was 35% of my monthly income, and other times it was 140%, so it’s important to try to think over the course of a year or so.

Now it’s your turn sucka, why don’t you post up a quick snapshot of your “Spend, Save, Give” percentages. Try to be honest and accurate. There really is no “perfect” breakdown as each of us is unique and has our own perceptions of what is important to us.

p.s. don’t do drugs (yeah, I know that has nothing to do with finances, but I just thought you mind need a friendly reminder :))