One of the most significant challenges that a person faces upon graduation is building a credit history with a stellar credit score. An excellent credit score is like a financial resume that plays a massive role in your life. It can assist you in landing a job, securing an apartment, getting a loan to start your agricultural enterprise, reduce auto insurance premiums, and much more. Are you in a bid to build good credit but have no clue? Here are a few simple steps to follow. Read more
With a new year comes a new slate. And for us, that means it’s a great time to create more financial freedom and independence for our future selves. And one of the best ways we have found to achieve that is to keep more of our money, as opposed to spending it. But, that doesn’t just mean we keep it and don’t do anything with it. There are many different tips and tricks used to help create more wealth with our money. So read on if you want to learn how to keep more of your money and create more long term wealth.
Setting financial goals
Setting your financial goals is the first part of the puzzle. After all, if you don’t have clear cut goals lined up then what are you wanting to keep more of your money for anyway? The best way we have found to do this is to create 4 different things.
- Short-term goals
- Mid-term goals
- Long-term goals
Once you have those 4 things nailed down, then you can really start rolling towards your personal financial goals.
Open a high yield savings account
No matter what your debt to income ratio is, you can always find something to put aside. Even if it’s only $20 a month to begin with, something is still better than nothing. And with this $20, or whatever you are able to regularly scrape together, you will create your emergency fund.
After all, one of the most important tools in your financial arsenal is your emergency fund. Even if you don’t have 6-9 months of expenses saved to begin with, everybody has to start somewhere. And this money can really help reduce your stress levels in times of crisis. No matter what you put into the this savings account, the goal is to budget the same amount monthly.
Just pretend it’s another bill and it will be less painful. And, the best way to gain a little more on your emergency fund savings is to open a high yield savings account to put it into.
With interest rates closer to 2% in high yield savings accounts, you will still do a whole lot better than if you put the money into a traditional savings account. Those rates are currently at a national average of .09%, which is just ridiculous!
Stay focused on your financial goals
Once you have figured out your financial goals and started your emergency fund, next you have to figure out how to stay focused on them. Believe me when I tell you that this can really be the hardest part!
There are a lot of great tools out there to help you track your spending and your wealth. But, the one I have been using for years now is Personal Capital. You can use it on your PC or your smartphone. And once you have all of your accounts connected (that is what takes the most amount of time!), it is very easy to navigate.
You just login to the platform and it will show you your overall net worth based on the balance of each account. I take it as a personal challenge to increase my net worth every month, if even only by a little bit.
Pay off your credit card
While most of us prefer to use credit cards over cash, they can really get us into financial trouble if we aren’t careful. Some of these credit cards have pretty awesome rewards, which are fantastic to get. But if you don’t pay off your credit card in full every month, then you are ultimately spending more than you are getting in rewards.
So, the best way to fully utilize your credit card’s perks is to pay off your card in full every month. If that means only putting basic household expenses on the credit card, because you know you can pay that off. Then that is what you should do to make sure you will have enough money in your budget to pay it off.
Determine Needs vs. wants
Once you have gone through all of the previous items, determining needs vs. wants is the next step. Because now you are getting into potentially erroneous items that may creep up monthly to spend your money on. And it is these things that can really derail us on our financial path if we aren’t careful.
Therefore, keep in mind whether the item/service is a need or a want first. If the item is a need, then go ahead and do it. But if it is actually a want instead, you may want to hold off on it or figure out a different solution. After all, not spending your hard earned cash on wants will only help you keep more of your money in your pocket.
Keep More of Your Money
Overall, it can be difficult to keep more of your money in your pocket. Especially, since it is just so easy to spend it quickly these days. And this is the reason why we have to be more aware of what we have and where we want to be with our finances.
Just remember to:
- Set your financial goals
- Open a high yield savings account
- Stay focused on your financial goals
- Pay off your credit card every month
- Determine needs vs. wants
For us, following these great financial tips have really helped us keep more money in our pocket. So it will be interesting to see how much we are able to keep this year and continue to grow our wealth.
What steps to you plan to take to help keep more money in your pocket this year?
As a fairly frugal family, we are always looking for ways to cut costs. This is especially true when it comes to clothes. After all, having 5 growing children can really get expensive in the clothing genre! But, over the years, we have found some great ways to procure clothes on a budget. And whether you have children or not, these tips can really come in handy to save you some money.
A friend of mine turned me onto Poshmark not too long ago. I had never heard of them before, but have fallen in love! This service is for buying and selling name brand clothes, shoes and accessories.
Ultimately, I don’t have a whole lot of name brand items. But, since we are always cleaning things out, I figured what the heck. Setting up your closet (if you want to sell anything) is pretty quick and painless. You have the option to share your closet on all of your social media accounts also, if you so choose. This can increase your sales opportunities.
Poshmark takes 20% of whatever you sell your items for. So this is something to keep in mind. But, you can keep the money you make in your Poshmark account to use for items you want to purchase. The seller does not pay shipping, the purchaser does.
And negotiation is allowed on Poshmark, which is pretty cool!
I have sold a few items on Poshmark so far. I was then able to use the money in my account to purchase new clothes for us. The grand total I have spent so far is $.59. Now that is what I call clothes on a budget!
Consignment stores are another one of my favorite places to shop for clothes on a budget. Not only do I love to donate to them, but shopping at them is pretty awesome also. Granted, there can be a lot of things that don’t appeal to you at all. Or the clothes and shoes can be extremely outdated. But, I have found quite a few diamonds in the rough at consignment stores.
There are a few consignment stores near us that are notorious for having a lot of donations with the tags still ON! These are my favorite finds because we get brand new clothes at severely discounted prices. How can you go wrong with that?
Some of our favorite consignment stores to hit up are:
- Goodwill – for everything, including household items
- Plato’s Closet – for the teenagers and adults
- Once Upon a Child – for the younger kids
Depending upon which consignment store you go to, the prices will vary. But, prices at Goodwill are the same no matter which one you frequent in your area. For us, that means the kids clothes start at $3.19 each and ours start at $3.89 each. We love this!
Just keep in mind that whenever you are consignment shopping you will also be hunting. So you have to be okay with scouring through a lot of different clothing items to find what you are seeking. If you aren’t a fan of this, then don’t worry because there are plenty of other options for you.
end of season
One of the best times to shop for clothes is the end of a season. I realize this can be difficult with growing children though. Since you have to predict how much they will grow, it is always a guessing game.
However, if you are willing to play the game, you can save some serious money. Take right now, for example. Most stores are moving into the heavy winter clothes and are trying to offload the lighter fall attire. This is the time to search for, and stock up on, things such as:
- Capri pants
- 3/4 length shirts
- Lighter leggings
- Lightweight long sleeve shirts
- Long skirts
- Lightweight jackets
Since we have been searching for new pants for some of the kids in the past few weeks, we have run across some great deals. I’ve been able to pick up pants for some of the kids for as low as $2.50 each. I also came across some Capri athletic pants for myself for $4.98. I don’t know about you, but those prices really make me smile!
emails and coupons
Last but not least are email lists and coupons. Even though I greatly detest all of the emails inundating my inbox, I love some of the deals I run across.
Usually, when you sign up to get a newsletter, you will also get a welcome email with discounts of some sort. I hold onto those puppies like gold!
A lot of the email lists, and/or associated store apps, will have coupons also. You have to read the fine print because some of them can’t be combined with any other offer. But I have run across quite a few that can be combined. And that is where you start really racking up the savings!
One of my favorite tricks is to sign up for a new email list and use the coupon(s) in the clearance section. I have been able to get a lot of clothes for next to nothing this way. And that really helps keep our clothes budget low.
Clothes on a budget
Overall, there are quite a few different ways you can find clothes on a budget. And sometimes, they might even be new clothes with the tags still on!
Some of the best ways we have found to restock our wardrobes on the cheap are:
- Consignment stores scouring
- Shopping at the end of each season
- Getting onto email lists for deals and coupons
Therefore, getting creative and playing the game are the best ways to get clothes on a budget for the whole family.
What are some of the best ways you have found to get clothes on a budget?
Are you planning a kitchen remodel but don’t want to spend too much? The good news is: you can! With a little elbow grease and some know-how, you can achieve beautiful results at the fraction of the price. Let’s consider some tips that can help you save a few bucks on your kitchen renovation.
When it comes to retirement, we all want to get there. Tomorrow is the ultimate goal, but pretty far fetched, more often than not. But even if we can’t retire tomorrow, what we do with our money, and where we choose to put it, can have a serious impact on when we can actually retire. With that being said, we have found a couple of great savings vehicles to get us there faster. Read more
Budgeting enough money aside to care for your kids is tricky at the best of times. You want to give your children everything, but you also know how expensive it can be to raise children. Even with two sources of income, you might have to compromise on a lot of things, just so you can make ends meet. For single parents, the challenges are even greater.
Not only do you need to find all the money that a two-parent household would need to look after their child, but you’ll also only have a single income to do it with. What’s more, you may be paying more than most on childcare too.
Fortunately, we have a few tips that could help you. Read more
Credit card lenders do whatever is necessary to avoid financial losses. One way they do this is by including different types of insurance policies with their credit card accounts. Most credit card holders are not even aware of these insurances even though they are probably paying for them. With that said, most cardholders would probably agree to pay for the insurance policies if they thought it would pay their balances in full when they died. Below, you will discover more information about life insurance and credit card companies. Read more
We have been hitting the road towards debt freedom pretty hard for the past three years now. The car loan on one of our cars was the last big thing we had to get rid of before we could start throwing more at the mortgage. How to get rid of the car loan faster was something that had been vexing me since the beginning of the year. I was getting close to an answer to pay it off faster, when it suddenly happened. We were finally able to get rid of the last car loan, and buy two new used cars, with cash only. This was a miracle! Read more
My kids and I love to travel! But, traveling can get expensive, which is why we don’t do it as often as we would like. But, I recently found a way to combine two of our favorite loves: travel and pet sitting. Enter Trusted Housesitters. This is a program that makes your lodging FREE when you travel! Read more
If you struggle to obtain a credit card or simply want to restrict your spending to what you actually earn, a prepaid card can be a great option. It allows you to carry your digital money and will help save you from getting into debt. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will find out that things are not as rosy as they seem.There are many important aspects to consider before signing up for a prepaid card. Here are five things to watch out for that will help you understand whether they are worth it for you and your finances. Read more