save for the education

How to Save For Your Children

It’s the dream of every parent to see his/her children prospering in life. One of the best ways of ensuring that your children have a prosperous life is by saving for them. Here are some of the ways in which you can save for them.

Upromise

This is a program that allows you to save for the education of your child without putting any money aside. Here you only need to register with the program and a custodial account for your child will be established.

After registering you need to purchase Upromise designated items through a credit card that you have liked to your child’s account. Once you make a purchase, a small amount of the money is deposited into your child’s account.

You can buy anything and the child’s account will be credited. For example, you can buy: electronics, computers, or grocery items and the account will be credited. The only thing you need to do is to ensure is that you buy from companies that are related to Upromise.

save for the education

529 Plan

This is an excellent way of saving for college. The plan is of two types: prepaid tuition and college saving plans. The prepaid plan is aimed at covering tuition, boarding fees, and other mandatory fees.

In most cases the plan is sponsored by the state of residency. If you are unsure of the state where your child will be attending college, you should consider going for the college savings plan.

Here you need to make contributions into your child’s account. The good side with the plan is that the money invested grows without incurring any tax. In addition to this, if the money is spent on higher education, you won’t be required to pay tax when withdrawing it.

Dedicated Child’s Savings Account

While saving accounts attract low interest rates; they play a major role in helping your child save money. You should open a savings account under your name or your child’s name. For the account to remain active you should regularly deposit money into it. To instill the saving culture, it’s wise that you also ask your child to contribute to the account.

Employer’s College Savings Plan

There are some companies that offer direct deposit into college savings accounts. The plan works by making it possible to deposit money directly into the child’s account. If you are new in a company, you should ask your employer about the plan. If it’s available you should take advantage of it. In addition to the plan, some companies offer scholarships to employees’ children. To help you save more you should take advantage of these scholarships.

Conclusion

In addition to these ways, it’s recommended that you convert your children toys into savings. Here you need to see all the toys that your child is not using and sell them. To avoid spending any money, you should deposit the entire amount into a savings account.

If you decide open a savings account for your child, you should be disciplined and ensure that you make regular deposits.

Save Money When Shopping Online

Tips on How to Save Money When Shopping Online

Courtesy of internet, many people are shopping online. Due to the tough economic times, it’s paramount that you consider saving money when shopping online. If you are a savvy online shopper and you want to save money, here are tips on how to go about it:

Use the Right Credit Card

Using the right credit card allows you to save 2-5% on everything that you purchase online. If you like shopping on Amazon, you should consider going for Amazon Rewards Visa card. When you have this card you will be able to attract discounts of up to 3%.

Another great card to go for is the Target RED card which usually offers 5% cash back. The card also offers free shipping.

It’s also wise to go for a co-branded card that offers 2% cash back to any customer. To get the most from the cards you need to do your research and identify the card that will give you high discounts. The good side with these cards is that they don’t have opening and maintenance fees.

Save Money When Shopping Online

Consolidate Your Purchases

Here you need to create a shopping list and then use the search engine to search the entire list for the lowest total price. As rule of thumb you should buy from a seller selling you the products at the lowest prices.

To save on shipping costs, you should consider buying from the same merchant. If you want your products within a short time, you should buy from a merchant based in the same state as you. To avoid paying the sales tax, you should buy from a seller in a neighboring state.

Buy When Prices Are Low

Many online market stores including Amazon have dynamic pricing mechanisms where the prices change many times in a day as a result of the black-box algorithm. In some cases, the prices fluctuate up to 15%.

For you to save money, you need to buy the products of your interest when the prices are low. The good side is that online stores have tools that enable you to easily monitor historic price changes. From the data you get you will easily tell the best time to make your purchase.

Take Advantage of Affiliate Programs

Most retailers have affiliate programs that pay other websites for bringing traffic to them. Other sites allow consumers to share in the affiliate revenue and as a result the consumers save a lot of money by using these sites.

The sites give you cash back through PayPal where the cash back is usually 2-5% of your order.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to save money when shopping online. When shopping you should remember that there are some scammers who are out there to steal from you; therefore, you should be cautious when making the purchase.

As rule of thumb you should do your research and ensure that the site you are buying from is reputable and secure. One of the best places to do your research is in the review sites.

Saving Money Tips

Real Saving Money Tips Focus On Substitutes

One of the key realizations anybody who’s looking to save money should have is the idea that everybody is an economist. All of us are economists. Economics is the science of rationing scarce resources. Think about it. If money was in infinite supply and all the food and sustenance that we need is in infinite and can easily be accessed, there would be no need for economics. In fact, there would be no poor people. There would be no need to budget. Everybody would be rolling around in BMW. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality.

Resources are scarce and all of us casted in our personal way to act like economists. That is what economists do. They look at scarce resources and figure out plans on how to manage those scarce resources. A key element of this on a personal level is to understand that there are always substitutes. Substitution is one of the benchmark doctrines of basic economics. An economist doesn’t look at a particular situation and assume that there is only one way to fix a problem. The assumption in economics is that there are always substitutes.

For example, if you are a baker and you are going to bake goods and desserts, you can stick with sugar; you can try stevia or high-fructose corn syrup. Each of these substitutes has their own costs and advantages. That what an economist does. They have to assume that there is a substitute and they have to weigh each substitute to achieve an objective. Pay attention to the following discussion so you can fully understand that there are always substitutes:

Saving Money Tips

Don’t Assume That There Is Only One Choice

One of the main reasons people end up racking up a lot of debt or being unable to save a lot of money is that they always feel that there is no choice. They either have to buy something or not buy it. In many cases, they buy into these advertising mindsets that if they don’t buy something, then they are depriving themselves. They feel that they’re not living life fully and keeping up with their neighbors or people that they respect if they don’t make this buying choice. This may sound pretty ridiculous, but this is actually the thinking pattern of most people.

Most people are really honest with themselves that the reality is they don’t really need that much. People need air, water, and shelter. That’s it. The basics are exactly that. They are very basic so everything else is a want; everything else is a luxury. This is the bedrock holding up this unstated assumption most people have: there is only one choice. So once they find themselves at the department store looking at a particular item that they have to buy, there are no two ways about it. There’s no way to get around the problem. There’s no way to get to the side of the problem.

They have to buy it. Don’t assume you’re only stuck with one choice. Subscribing to this assumption is a surety way to doom yourself into poverty. You’ll always feel that you’re living paycheck to paycheck. You’ll always feel that however much money you make, you’re never making enough. Why? Because of your mindset. The key to opening that gateway to thinking like a super saver is to always assume that there is more than one choice staring you at the face.

Understand Why You’re Tricked into Thinking the Way You Do

You have to understand that there is a constant war for your mindset. That’s right. You’re always being bombarded with signals to make you think a certain way. This is not a philosophical statement. This is not some theoretical argument. This is reality. Every single year, trillions of dollars are spent on advertising budgets. These companies are run by CEOs who make good money. They are not wasting their money. They know that advertising works.

That’s why there are a lot of influences being sent your way every single day. It’s impossible to avoid these influences; however, it is possible to be aware of them. As originally said by the great reformer, Martin Luther, “You can’t prevent birds flying over your head, but you can prevent birds from making a nest in your beard.” The same analysis goes with advertising consumption messages. You can’t prevent these messages being sent your way; however, you can watch yourself and be aware of yourself so you don’t buy into these instinctively.

This is the key step in understanding why you’re being tricked into thinking that there is only one choice. In fact, if you’re really honest with yourself and you’re a deep thinker, you would realize that a lot of advertising actually uses cheap tricks that you’d be embarrassed to admit that you fall for time and time again. One of the cheapest tricks being used is a concept called social proof. Social proof works this way: when you see a lot of people looking at a particular direction or looking at the sky, chances are, you will do the same thing. Social proof is all about getting people to do something because a lot of other people are doing it.

The reason people behave this way is because of evolution. Think of yourself as in a savanna 50,000 years ago. You’re walking in a small group of hunter gather friends and all of a sudden, 9 out of 10 people just started bolting; they just started running. Chances are you would start running too. If you didn’t, you probably exited the gene pool because the reason people ran is because there was a saber tooth tiger or there’s a predator somewhere. There was an evolutionary behavior in doing what everybody else is doing.

Now that we have tamed fire and we have mastered the industrial revolution, there’s really less evolutionary pressure to do what everybody else is doing. Unfortunately, that’s hard-wired into most people’s minds and they are always convinced by advertisers that there’s only one choice. Another common trick used by advertisers to trick consumers into thinking that there is no choice when it comes to buying decisions is the halo effect.

The halo effect really is stupid. I mean, anybody who went to college or has some type of education would see right through it, but unfortunately, even if you have a PHD, you will fall for it time and time and time again. Most common example of the halo effect is when you have a very good-looking model hawking a cosmetics product. The reality is that the cosmetic product did not make the model good-looking. The model was already good-looking to begin with.

However, the halo effect is so powerful that we reverse logic. We think that because this model is endorsing this product, this product made the model good-looking. The same goes with LeBron James endorsing a basketball sneaker. The same goes with a financial guru endorsing a mutual fund. Unfortunately, we don’t really break our thinking process when we see ads that employ the halo effect. As a result, we fall for these ads time and time again. By the time we need to make a decision, we feel that there is only one choice because of all these different advertising mind tricks.

Focus On Results with Different Processes Instead Of Limited Choices

Instead of looking at your buying decision as either you have to do something or not do it, look at the buying decision as a process. When you look at things as a process, you break them up into objectives, methods, and process. When you break things down that way, you are able to neutralize a lot of the bad advertising mind programming that you’ve been subjected to. When you look at the objective, you will realize that there are alternatives; there are substitutes.

This is why the economists of big banks make the big bucks. They are always able to emotionally divorce themselves from the situation. They don’t let themselves be put into a panic mode where they have to press a button and the button is the only option. Instead, they break things down rationally and logically in terms of final objectives. Once you are able to do that, you can then back track and see which other routes you can take to achieve the same objective.

Don’t Get Tricked By Seeming Scarcity

As mentioned above, human beings are all essentially economists. We may not all work for banks, we may not all work for government financial regulatory agencies, but we are all economists in our own private lives. We manage scarcity. The key to successful saving mentality, however, is to not get tricked by manufactured scarcity.

Once you assume that everything is scarce, this will give you some logical breathing room because you already assume that things are scarce and you are managing your resources. When a particular ad or a particular buying opportunity appears and you are being pushed by seeming scarcity, you would realize that this is a redundancy. Things are already scarce. Instead, I’m looking at different alternatives.

Being able to establish a mindset that sees substitutes and alternatives, you increase your ability to save money. Moreover, you increase your ability to fight off mental assumptions that tend to push you into spending money you don’t have trying to please people you don’t really like. In other words, pushing you towards a life of consumption that doesn’t really do you any favors.

Save Money on Your Holiday

How to Save Money on Your Holiday

While many people view holidays as times to spend, this should not be the case with you. Since the economy is tight, you need to take measures that will ensure that you save some money, while you have fun. If you are interested in saving money on your holiday, here are tips that you should follow:

Book Early

Airfares, coach, and train tickets are usually cheap when you book ahead of time. To be on the safe side you should always book several months ahead. To ensure that your booking is cheaper, you should check online.

It has been shown that online deals are usually very great; therefore, whenever you want to book your hotel, plane, or anything else, your first stop should be on the internet. Booking online not only gives you the best deals in the market, but it also allows you to easily compare different hotels, airlines and even trains.

Save Money on Your Holiday

Get the Right Travel Insurance

Travel insurance plays a major role of protecting you from unexpected accidents such as missing a flight, bag getting stolen or anything else. Just like when booking, you should do your research and find the best insurance policies to go with.

If you travel often, you should get an annual policy as it will be much cheaper than buying several single trip policies. On the other hand if you travel once a year, you should buy a single trip policy.

Depending on your activities during your holiday, you should consider getting an extra cover. For example, if you will be playing golf, you should get a cover that is going to protect you in case you get an accident when golfing.

Claim Your Discount on Airport Parking

Many airlines offer parking discounts on people who use their airlines; therefore, you should always claim your discount when you leave your car at the airport.

Park Your Own Snacks

Foods and drinks are expensive at the airport; therefore, you should always consider parking your own food. You should note that packing your own snacks is only effective when you will be staying at the airport for only a short time.

If you will be travelling abroad and you will be having a long layover between flights, you should consider eating at the airport lounge. Many reputable lounges offer internet usage, newspapers, magazines and snacks for just a small fee; therefore, using them will save you money in the long run.

Travel as a Group

If you have some friends or relatives who are interested in travelling to the same location as you, you should organize how you will travel and live in the same holiday house. Renting a large villa or holiday house together will save you a lot of money.

Buy a Cheap Pay As You Go Sim

Phone calls can cost you a lot of money; therefore, you should be very careful with them. Before you make or receive a call, always check on the amount that you will be charged. The best way of reducing the cost is by buying a cheap sim card. If you have a lap top you should use Skype instead.

Save Money

3 Tips on How to Save Money

For you to have a stable future you need to save some money. You should note that the ability to save money does not depend on the size of your paycheck; therefore, regardless of the amount of money you make, you can save. To help you out, here are tips on how to go about it.

Set Goals

You need to be clear about your goals and make efforts to achieve them. The goals can be short term such as buying a new TV or going on holiday or they can be long term such as having a family or buying a home.

Regardless of your goals, you should ensure that they are realistic and you can achieve them with the amount of money that you make. To avoid forgetting, you should write the goals down and put them in area where you will be seeing them on a daily basis.

To increase the chances of achieving the goals you should tell them to someone close to you. For example, you can tell them to a friend or a member of the family.

You should note that it’s common to face obstacles on your way; however, you should not give up. Once you have a setback you should get back on the track as soon as possible.

Save Money

Have a Budget

A budget is a plan that shows you where your money comes from, how you spend it and the amount that is left over. It serves a major function of helping you save for the future. For you to budget effectively you need to follow these tips:

  • List your income sources – you need to list down all of your income sources such as your salary, interest, or bonus. You should also clearly state the amount that you make from each source.
  • Put down the regular expenses – regular expenses include: rent, electricity, gym memberships, mobile phone bills, food, and any other bills that you might be having. If you don’t have an idea of the amount that you spend monthly or yearly, you should take a look at your credit card statement.
  • List unexpected expenses – it’s common to have unexpected expenses and you should put them down. Such expenses include: car repairs, dental bills, or travelling costs.
  • Calculate – you should subtract your expenses from your total income and if you have some money remaining you should put it into your savings account.

You should note that it takes time to create a perfect budgeting and saving plan; therefore, you need to be patient. Since the costs of commodities vary with time, you should review your budget monthly.

Get Rid of Debt

You need to eliminate debt for you to pay less interest that goes to your creditors. When paying the debts, you should start with the ones that attract high interest rates.

Conclusion

These are the money saving tips that you should put into practice. If you have problems executing the tips, it’s highly recommended that you consult a professional who will help you out.

Save Money on Gas

6 Tips on How to Save Money on Gas

Gas prices keep going up, but the money in the pocket never increases. This calls for you to come up with ways in which you can save some money on gas by reducing on the overall fuel consumption. To guide you through, here are some tips on how you can save money on gas:

Change Your Oil Regularly

Changing the oil regularly ensures that your car is running efficiently. If you own a car you know that when the oil is old, the car tends to work much harder and as a result it consumes more gas. To be on the safe side, you should change the oil of your car at least once every three months, or after every 3,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Save Money on Gas

Fill Up Efficiently

Filling the car efficiently involves ensuring that you fill you tank full and you avoid topping up your tank between fills.

This is because it has been shown that topping up the tank not only results to you spending a lot of money on fuel, but it’s also harmful to the environment. Researchers have found that topping up forces liquid fuel into the evaporative emissions system. This is dangerous as it can result to the car getting burned.

Cut the Air Conditioning

While it might be unpleasant to drive long distances without air conditioning, you should consider limiting its use. This is because it has been shown that cars tend to consume more fuel when the air conditioner is on.

Instead of using the air conditioner, you should roll down the car windows. You can also have a cool bottle of water with you and be sipping the water whenever you feel overheated or dehydrated.

Be a Smart Driver

There are many things that make one a smart driver. One of the things is avoiding the city traffic. If you are travelling to an area where you can use the freeway instead of the city streets, you should consider using the highway as you will save a lot of fuel. While it’s recommended that you drive on a highway, you should avoid it if it’s backed up.

You should also avoid idling. When getting into a restaurant or talking to someone, you should always turn off the car—if the situation allows you.

Another smart way of driving is avoiding moving so fast especially when you will have to stop only a few meters ahead. You should note that when you brake you waste all the gas that you used to get the car moving fast.

Avoid Heavy Luggage

An overloaded car consumes more fuel; therefore, you should avoid overloading your car. You should regularly take a look at your car boot and if there are any items that you don’t need, you should get rid of them.

Park in the Shade

Gasoline usually evaporates from the car tank; therefore, you should park your car in the shade to reduce the rate of evaporation. Parking in the shade also keeps the car cool inside and as a result you require less A/C.

Save As a College Student

How to Save As a College Student

Courtesy of inflation, the cost of education keeps on increasing every year making life in college more difficult. Despite the ever increasing cost of education, it’s possible for you to save some money as a student. To do this you need to do the following:

Have A Budget

This is the first thing that you need to have. You should put down all the money that you get either from your parents, scholarships or loans. You also need to put down all of your expenses such as transport expenses, food, insurance, rent, utility bills and other bills.

You should subtract the total expenses from your income and from the amount you get you should deposit the amount into your interest-bearing savings account.

Save As a College Student

Take More Classes

Many schools base their tuition fees on the number of credits hours that you take in a semester. It’s good to note that many colleges don’t require you to pay any more money when you take a given number of credits hours.

For example, some colleges won’t charge you any more money if you take more than 12 credits in a semester; therefore, you can take a few more credit hours and you won’t be required to pay any more money.

To take advantage of this, you should take three or four more credit hours in a semester. Taking four more credits over a period of four years will amount to 32 free credit hours which will save you a lot of money. Taking more classes means that you will graduate early and as a result you will save more money.

Other than taking extra classes, experts recommend that you should attend a local college or take your core classes at a local community college and then transfer your credit score to a more expensive college or university.

Take Advantage of College Discounts

It’s common for students to receive discounts in movie theaters, travel agencies, restaurants, bookstores, clothing and other establishments close to the campus. To save money you should take advantage of these discounts.

This calls for you to regularly check newspapers where the student discounts are usually posted. You should also ask clerks (in your favorite stores) if there are any available student discounts.

Be Frugal

Since you are not earning money, you need to be frugal in your spending. This calls for you to look for the cheapest eating joints in your campus. You also need to buy used books instead of new ones.

When it comes to entertainment, you should avoid hanging around friends who seem to have huge allowances. Instead of going to the movie theater, you should go to the library instead. Libraries usually allow student to watch DVDs, CDs, and other forms of entertainment for free and you should take advantage of this.

You should eliminate unnecessary expenses such as alcohol drinking and unnecessary road trips.

Stay At Home

While it’s fun to live with your peers in a dome, you should cut on the rent by staying at home (with your parents) especially if you live near college.

Save Money on Prescription

How to Save Money on Prescription Medications (Even Without Insurance)

It’s no doubt that the cost of prescription drugs has recently skyrocketed and as a result many consumers can’t afford the medications. Although, the medicines are expensive, you can save some money on them even if you don’t have insurance. To guide you through, here is how you should go about it:

Go For Generics

Although, they are cheaper, they usually nave the same ingredients as the brand name drugs. They are also available in the same dosage strengths as the brand name medications. The drugs differ with the brand name drugs in that they are not patented. They are also visibly different and have different inactive ingredients.

While generics will save you a lot of money (up to 80% off the brand name price), you should be careful when taking them. As rule of thumb you should ensure that you don’t take them without consulting your doctor. You should always consult your doctor and ask him to test you if you are allergic to the inactive ingredients in the medications.

Save Money on Prescription

Buy In Bulk

If you are going to take the same drug for a long period of time, you should consider buying it in bulk. For example, you can buy a 90-day supply instead of a one month supply. When you buy in bulk you will attract discounts from the suppliers and as a result you will save a lot of money.

Use a Discount Drug Card

This is a card that is provided by a pharmaceutical company or any other entity. The card allows consumers to access medications at lower prices. The good side is that the cards are available to everyone and all you need to do is to approach the issuing company and fill an application form and within a few hours or days you will have your card.

There are two types of cards: free and paid cards. Free cards usually offer small discounts on prescription drugs while paid cards offer larger discounts. To avoid straining yourself, you should go for the cards that fit your ideals.

Negotiate With the Retailers

If you thought that you can’t negotiate the price of the medications, you are wrong. Just like everything else, you should ask the retailers to sell you the medications at lower prices. Although, you won’t receive great discounts, you will save some money that will be of help in future.

Look Into Patient Assistance Programs

Many pharmaceutical companies have these programs that allow qualified patients to access medications at low prices. Qualified patients are also sometimes allowed to access the medications for free.

Different companies have different eligibility criteria; therefore, you should approach your desired company and ask them what it takes to join their patient assistance program.

Conclusion

These are the most common ways in which you can save on your medications even if you don’t have a health insurance. You should note that you can use two or more of the ways and you will be able to save a lot of money. For example, you can use a discount drug card and at the same time use the patient assistance programs.

Save On Groceries

How to Save On Groceries

While the cost of groceries keeps on fluctuating from time to time depending on the supply and demand, it’s possible to save on them. To do it effectively you need to put the following tips into place:

Go For Generics

If there is a generic store in your area, you should visit it regularly and buy the generic groceries instead of the brand name products. While generics are cheaper, they use the same recipes as the brand name products; therefore, they are of the same quality as the brand name groceries.

Plan Meals with Common Ingredients

The sole mission of doing this is to ensure that you use all the ingredients so that they don’t go stale in your pantry. For example, you should plan of preparing a spinach salad the same week you are preparing a meal that requires croutons such as Swiss Chicken or Garlic Meatloaf.

Save On Groceries

Shop Alone

People have different likes and are bound to buy groceries that they love. This means that if you go with your children to the grocery they will most likely pick the ingredients that they love the most and are not on your list.

To avoid spending more than what you have already budgeted for, you should go shopping alone. You should not even go with your spouse.

Eat Before You Go Shopping

Research has shown that people tend to buy more food when they are hungry; therefore, you should ensure that you eat before you go shopping.

Look At Lower Shelves

Many people tend to buy products found at eye level and as a result they usually miss the cheaper stock found on the lower shelves. To save money when shopping, you should always take a look at the lower shelves. Although, it’s recommended that you look for cheaper products, you should not compromise on the quality.

Take Advantage of Coupons

Grocery stores often offer coupons that allow you to access the products at low prices. To take advantage of the coupons you should do your research and find the coupons of your favorite store. The coupons are usually found on websites and newspapers; therefore, you should regularly take a look at these places.

Make Use of Leftovers

Leftovers are usually damped in the trash bin and this results to you spending a lot of money that you would not have spent. To avoid this, you should plan your meals in such a way that you make use of leftovers.

For example, you can make a large casserole on a Monday if you are sure that you will be getting home late on a Tuesday. By doing this you won’t be stuck with sandwiches and peanut butter on the night that you are late. You can also plan of taking the leftover foods with you to your workplace instead of buying lunch.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to save on groceries. While you should aim at spending just small amounts of money on groceries, you should ensure that you buy the products from reputable stores.

1 2 3 5