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.

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.

Teach Your Child To Save

How to Teach Your Child To Save

It’s very important to teach your child to save from an early age. This is because the knowledge helps the child to be out of debt in the future. If you are wondering how you can do this, here are tips on how to go about it:

Use Different Envelopes/Jars

Here you need to use different envelopes or jars for everything that your child wants. For example, you should have one jar for a toy and another for a trip.

When saving, you should let the child know that some items require more time to save than others. For example, you should let the child know that it will take her several weeks or months to save for a toy; however, it will take her several months or even a year to save for a trip.

Teach Your Child To Save

Set Goals

Once you are aware of what your child wants to save for, you should set goals on the amount that the child will be saving every week. The best way of going about it is making a savings goal chart.

You can represent each week of the month with a box and once the child sets aside the required amount for that week, she should put a sticker on that box. When the child puts stickers on many boxes, he will see that he is making progress and he will be motivated to keep on saving.

Open a High Yield Savings Account

As your child gets old, it’s wise to introduce him/her to the concept of interest. Here you need to open a savings account for him. You should explain to him what interest is. If possible, you should show him how to identify financial institutions offering high interest rates.

Let the Child See the Value of Money

When a child is old enough, you should let him work in a real job so that he can understand the value of money. During the holidays, you should look for him a place to work in so that he can work hard for the money.

When he gets the money, you should help him in deciding on the amount to save and the amount to spend. Many experts recommend that the child should save up to 50% of the amount earned.

Give Room for Mistakes

Mistakes are learning stones and you should let your child make them. When the child makes a wrong move in how he/she spends the saved money, he will learn and he won’t repeat the same mistake in the future.

Keep an Eye on Things

While it’s wise to open a checking and savings account for your child, you should not allow the child to be the only person who can access it; you should also have access to it. This way you will know when your child is spending money unnecessarily. If you notice unnecessary spending, you should scold your child about it.

Set an Example

It’s said that children learn the most from what they see than what they hear; therefore, you should ensure that you are good saver for your child to follow suit.

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