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How Millennials Can Use Technology to Stress Less About Money

The millennial generation, along with generation Z, has gotten a bad rap for being less than savvy with their finances and education. However, this is the media. In fact, these two generations are not spending the way generations past did. They also don’t want the giant debts from college and home ownership with which many have been saddled.

They’re looking for solutions to leverage money as a tool and they look first to technology. This is no surprise because they came into this world with technology. It’s been the babysitter, teacher, and knowledge base for them. So, here, we’ll teach you, the millennial reader, how to use technology for your financial education. Read more

Overdone it With Online Payday Loans with Instant Approval this Festive Season? Here’s How to Live Frugally Come January

Christmas is a time for overindulgence, there’s no doubt about that. We eat more, we drink more, and above all we spend more. The problem is, a lot of us end up spending money that we don’t actually have and therefore end up in debt come January. Did you know that as many as one in three Britons admit that they’ll struggle with day to day spending come January because of overspending at Christmas?

With that in mind, it might be too late to tell you how you should spend your money carefully at Christmas. With less than a week to go, the damage is usually done – but all hope is not lost. Enjoy your Christmas, then we’ve got some tips on how you can live more frugally and boost your finances back up this new year. Read more

How Can You Get the Best Car Insurance Rates?

When it comes to our cars, we all want to save money. This is not only true of the car purchase, but also the car insurance needed for it once we drive it off the lot. But sometimes by saving money, we end up cutting corners that can cost us more in the long run. This is where car insurance comparison sites come into play. I have found that they can be a great resource when it comes to getting new car insurance, or negotiating with your current company for a better rate.

But, before we get to the comparison sites, I want to talk about the items you should be comparing across the board to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. After all, not all insurance products are created the same.

Car Insurance features

No matter which company you end up going with, they should all offer some of the same features. Although, most of us consider these basic features today, they are really extras that don’t have to be offered. These include:

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance covers anything that happens to your car non-collision related, such as:

  • Break-in or vandalism
  • Damage from an animal striking your car
  • Fire or explosion
  • Natural disasters
  • Shattered or cracked windshield or window
  • Things falling onto your car

Collision coverage

Collision coverage covers the repair of your car when you have been in a collision. If the car is considered a total loss, then they will cover the cost to replace your vehicle at current market value.

Roadside assistance and towing

Roadside assistance is not something that every insurance carrier offers in their basic plans, but they should. What it usually covers is:

  • Fixing a tire
  • Gas delivered to your car if you run out, but you usually have to pay for the gas
  • Jumping your battery
  • Locked out of your vehicle
  • Stuck in the snow or ice
  • Towing to a service station

Rental car insurance

Rental car insurance is an another one that is not always offered in a basic plan, but certainly should be Usually it will cover:

  • The cost of a daily rental car while your car is being fixed due to a car accident

Bodily injury insurance

Bodily injury insurance is generally used in accidents that you are deemed at fault for to pay for:

  • Death
  • Injury
  • Lawsuit
  • Sickness

Property damage insurance

Property damage covers somebody else’s property that you have damaged in an accident you are deemed at fault for. Some of the most common items are:

  • Hitting a parked car
  • Running into your neighbor’s house
  • Sliding into a neighbor’s mailbox

Uninsured motorist coverage

This coverage is extremely useful when you find yourself in an accident with someone who is either underinsured or uninsured. Your uninsured motorist coverage will pick up the slack and cover the remaining costs for injuries or damage to you and your car.

Medical expense insurance

Medical expense insurance is an extra buffer built into your car insurance plan to assist with health related issues occurring from a car accident. It helps to pay for things like:

  • Ambulance
  • Doctor visits
  • Funeral costs
  • Hospital stays
  • Medicine
  • Surgeries
  • X-rays

PIP insurance

Personal injury protection insurance is used to help people, other than yourself, who might have been injured in an accident.It covers things like:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of services
  • Lost wages
  • Medical treatment

GAP insurance

GAP insurance is for drivers who have purchased new cars. It helps to pay the difference between what the new car is now worth and what a replacement vehicle of the exact same year, make and model would cost.

Comparison sites

Now that you have a better idea as to what you should be comparing, the best way to do that is through the use of comparison sites.

I like to use a few of them, just to see if I find a difference in rates. Which does actually happen! A lot of times this is due to the fact that most of them give you a general ballpark quote, but you have to go through the final sign up process to get the final rate.

These types of sites include:

But, there are other sites that will give you cold hard facts, if you are willing to put in a bit more information. A couple of these are actually through the insurance company offering the car insurance and the other two aren’t the actual car insurance carriers.

These sites are:

To be honest, I usually start with the general ballpark quote sites just to get a broader idea of what I am looking at. And that way I don’t have to put in a ton of information, or risk getting phone calls from a lot of different agents and companies.

Once I have a better idea as to which companies might be able to offer me the best rates, for the best features, I dig in deeper.

best Car insurance rates summary

Overall, if you want to get the best car insurance rates, you are going to have to be willing to do a little work. Do your general comparison shopping first to narrow down companies of interest. Then, check into their offered features in their basic plans to see how they compare. Next, dig into the sites with real quotes, or go to the actual car insurance carriers website itself to get a real time quote.

If you are happy with your current carrier though, this may just be an exercise to help you reduce your rate or get better features added to your policy for no more money. Either way, what do you have to lose if it saves you money and can potentially get you more features? This is a win-win in my book!

What are some of the most effective ways you have found to get the best rates on car insurance?

6 Ways to Save Money Every Day

If you ever wonder where all your money goes, it could be the right time to have a look over your finances. Spending money is easily done, which is why it’s important to keep track of it so that you’re not going over your budget every month. There are many ways that you can save money every day, and for your convenience, we’ve listed a few ideas below. Read more

How Careful Research Can Help You Cut Costs on Everyday Expenses

As we head into a new year and a fresh decade, many of us are likely to make resolutions about being better with our money. We’d all like to have that little bit extra in our bank accounts – whether it be to treat ourselves with a holiday or to keep saved up in the case of an emergency.

Whatever your reasons, there’s no denying that it can be easier said than done to change our spending habits. It’s easy to point to the sizeable, one-off costs – such as a new pair of trainers or a designer handbag – as reasons why you find yourself in a monthly struggle to reach payday.

But often, making adjustments to your everyday expenses can yield the greatest savings on a consistent basis – and all it takes is a little bit of planning and research. Here, we’ve detailed three simple tactics you can employ to help alter your spending habits for good. Read more

Top Tips on How to Save Money this Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it? Everywhere you go there are sparkling trees in the window starting to emerge, festive jingles are playing, and it’s damn near impossible to switch on the TV without yet ANOTHER heart-warming Christmas advert coming on without warning – and it’s only mid-November. The fact is; the festive season is wonderful. It’s the perfect chance to reconnect with people, spend time with loved ones and to eat to our hearts’ content – the problem is, however, that isn’t the whole of it. Christmas time is renowned for its mounting pressure on society, both emotionally and financially. There is so much pressure to have the perfect Christmas, that many of us end up overspending, and ultimately ending up stressed about money. If you’re feeling a little perplexed about splashing the cash this year, then here are some top tips that could help you to save money this Christmas. Read more

Prepare in Advance: 3 Frugal Tips for Welcoming the Holidays

It’s definitely time to start getting excited about the holidays, but of course, for all of the great things to look forward to in the coming weeks like spending time with friends and family, indulging in the best holiday food and drink, and decking the halls, there comes the less fun matter of how much it can all end up costing. Whether you have decided to try to spend less on the holidays this year or are feeling like you just can’t afford to go all out on seasonal luxuries this time, there are definitely ways that you can keep down the cost of having a fun and memorable Christmas – especially if you plan in advance! Read more

How Can You Cut the Costs of Life Insurance?

Life insurance is pretty much a must-have policy for anyone nowadays, and most people who can afford it have more than just one policy. However, the promise of future protection for your family does come at a cost, quite literally! In case you have recently discovered that the premium you are currently paying for your policy/policies is just too much to bear, rest assured that you are not the only one to make the mistake and more often than not, there are ways to get out of it. Read more

Have You Considered Buying Family Gifts for Christmas?

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to start thinking about gifts. At least, that is what is on our children’s minds right now. From our perspective, trying to figure out the best way to approach Christmas gifts for the kids without killing our wallet is always a fun game. So, we are considering buying only a family gift this year instead of individual gifts. Here is our thought process and how we hope it might help us save some money on the holidays.

Costs

This may not be the most cost effective way for every family to approach Christmas gift giving. But for us, as a family of 7, the holidays can get pretty darn expensive. My spouse and I don’t usually get each other anything, which helps reduce our costs. But, if we did decide to swap gifts, that would just increase the overall cost of Christmas in our house.

The usual average that we spend per child is $40 – $50, which equates to approximately $200 – $250. This doesn’t include anything for us, but if we did, that would tack on another $80 – $100. This being said, what we spend is still a whole lot less than what the average American spends on Christmas gifts.

These studies show a few different figures for holiday gift giving. The majority of us plan to spend more than $1000 on gifts, or somewhere around $885 per person. That is insane!

For us, on the path to financial independence (FI), that is just not something we can justify. But, for those of you who do spend that much on Christmas gifts, then the family gift could really save you some serious cash.

Family Gift Options

In order to save some of our hard earned money, the option of just one family gift we can all enjoy sounds appealing. It also means less boxes, wrapping paper, tape and bows. After all, those cost money too!

A few of the options we are considering are:

ASTC Membership

This membership has a passport program that lets you use it at museums all over the United States, and in a very select few other countries. If you have a membership near you, then you can get into all of the other museums listed on the passport program for FREE. On top of that, once you buy the annual family membership, you get into that museum for free whenever you want too.

They also send out special events and discounts specifically for ASTC members that you wouldn’t otherwise get.

The membership can range in price depending upon where you live and which museum happens to be closest to you. For us, we have 3 in our immediate area to choose from. They range between $85 – $140 for the annual membership and cover all 7 of us. We purchased one last year to Marbles and go there quite often now. Since each visit to the museum would cost us $5 per person, no matter what, we make our money back in less than 4 visits. And this doesn’t include all of the other museums we have been able to use our membership at to get into for free. I really love this option!

Trusted Housesitters Mini-Vacation

We have used Trusted Housesitters for two trips now and it has saved us a ton of money. If we can find something close enough to us that might only be for a long weekend, then this may be the way to go. Since we get to stay for free when we travel through Trusted Housesitters, the only things we would have to pay for are the extras. We always pack food when we travel, so that cuts down on the costs. Ultimately, this option would still probably be the most expensive though. My best estimate on costs would be somewhere between $200 – $300.

Ping Pong Table

Getting a ping pong table for downstairs is something we have been considering for a while now. It is something fun that we could all end up partaking in, and can be done when the weather isn’t as nice.

I have been leaning towards one that converts into a pool table also, so that it would be multi-function. I have found quite a few used options that range from $75 – $200. Therefore, this might be one of the top runners also.

Family excitement

Ultimately, whatever we get the kids for Christmas, they almost immediately forget about. The toys end up on the floor, or broken. The video games get old and then they are bored. They just don’t have the staying power. And, it really divides our family since they are all off doing separate things.

We continually try to find ways to unite us and keep our communication at a high level for more family unity. So the idea of getting one big family gift instead of a bunch of smaller individual ones appeals to us on all levels.

Plus, if the gift is something we can all do together, or enjoy together, then it creates more overall family excitement. Since the holidays are supposed to be a time to celebrate family and those you love, this idea just makes more obvious sense to us.

takeaway

Overall, it appears that it will cost us less money to buy one family gift for us to enjoy versus individual gifts for everybody. Plus, the family gift will be something we can all enjoy together to create more unity in our family, as opposed to separate us. Since we are always searching for ways to save ourselves more money and create more family cohesion, this seems like a win-win to us.

Have you considered buying a family gift instead of individual Christmas gifts? If so, what was your thought process behind the decision?