Category Archives: Saving tips

Budgeting Tips for College Students

Almost every person I know worries about their financial situation one way or another. And in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that many people, especially the younger crowd, are feeling a heavy weight on their shoulders financially.

My kids are out of college now, but they worry about not having enough knowledge about budgeting. Here are some suggestions that have helped them tremendously. These might be helpful also to some struggling college students (or anyone) out there who needs them.

Keeping a budget as a College Student

People who are good at handling their finances work on an in-depth budget for the next month. Budgeting does not mean restricting spending but predicting your expenses at any given time. Keeping an acceptable budget is one of the most important things you can do.

Creating a budget is a balancing act for sure. There is a learning curve and external factors that influence how you budget. But once you get the hang of it, you’re all set. When you make a budget plan, plan for the worst, and hope for the best. You can even do it on a spreadsheet if you are feeling fancy.

There are a lot of productive ways that one can do to save money. These are some of them:

Listen to Finance Podcasts

Another way to improve your financial literacy is by listening to podcasts about finance. You can learn so many things about budgeting and other topics about financial matters through a podcast. You can listen while doing household chores and errands. It’s a great way to soak as much info while doing other things.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

You have probably heard of SMART goals, which stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

  • Specific – It’s a good idea to set goals categorically. Set a limit for how much you can or should spend on each category. When you do this, you are making your budgeting a little more manageable and minimizing the risk of overspending. 
  • Measurable – You can make a system to determine whether you have succeeded or failed in your monthly goal. It should be easy since you are already keeping track of money. If you spend half or less than half of your monthly budget on dining out, it’s a success.
  • Achievable – Make sure your goals are attainable for yourself. It’s okay to take baby steps. By doing it little by little, you’re making it more of a habit, which will set you up for long-term success.
  • Reasonable – Make sure that the money you’re earning is proportional to how much you are spending. Financial independence is a big part of every young adult’s life, but be sure you’re not falling into the lifestyle creep.
  • Time-Based – Deadlines are super important, especially for short-term goals. Make sure you stick to them. Additionally, you can set long-term goals by spacing them out monthly.

Budgeting Apps

If you are using a smartphone, you can download a budgeting app to your phone. Not only does it help make things more organized, but they’re also almost always free.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The Envelope Method

I picked up this method a couple of years ago, and it has been a lifesaver. The envelope method is helpful when you are having a hard time budgeting. It means that you have an envelope filled with a budgeted amount of cash for every need that you might have, be it food, clothing, or other necessities. Everything that you spend money on must come from the envelope only. If you haven’t used all the money, you can add it to your next monthly budget. Keep your priorities in check the next time you want to spend money on something you probably don’t need.

Dealing with Bad Credit

Anyone can have a bad credit score, regardless of age. However, it seems that young people today have bad credit scores. A poor credit score does hurt your chances of applying for things like credit cards, loans, or even renting your place. You can still get a loan despite poor scores, but it may take a while to find a place that can offer you a loan with your situation.

Luckily, creditloan.com offers bad credit loans for people with poor credit scores. What exactly are bad credit loans, you might ask? It is a personal loan that you can take if you ever have poor credit scores. 

Why You Should Choose Impact Resistant Windows

Your choice of windows makes a big difference in your home’s safety and energy efficiency. You may not realize it, but investing in good windows can prevent several issues, especially in extremely hot or cold climates.

If you want to upgrade your windows or build a brand-new home in hurricane-prone areas, you might want to consider impact-resistant windowpanes. This article will provide a few examples of how shatter-proof windows can benefit your lifestyle.

Photo by Sebastian Staines on Unsplash

Set It and Forget It

Impact-resistant windows are incredibly durable, as their name suggests. If you live in a region that experiences hurricanes, all you need to do is pay for the initial install and be worry-free for years. This is contrary to hurricane shutters, which require you to put them up and take them down every time severe weather occurs. You also need to replace and repair equipment like hurricane shutters more often than storm windows. If your windows have suffered from inclement weather, reach out to window replacement West Palm Beach professionals for an estimate.

Reduce UV Exposure

Impact glass keeps UV rays out of your home. This means you can sit beside your window for much more extended periods without worrying about sunburn or the health of your skin. If you live in a tropical environment, you do not want to dim your natural light by using shades or window tint. Storm windows are clear and allow the maximum amount of sunlight into your home without the adverse side effects of heat and sunburns.

Lower Insurance Premiums

Since shatter-proof windows are so beneficial to protecting your home, insurance companies might reduce your monthly premiums. Although it might be more expensive to install impact-resistant windows in the short term, you can save significantly over time by investing in the protection of your home.

Storm windows not only protect your home from dangerous weather, but they also allow the most sunlight in and cut costs in the long run. Contact a professional today to learn more about the benefits of impact windows.

How We Cope with Our Credit Card Debt for Good

Paying our credit card debt was one of the financial burdens we thought we could not cope with eight years ago. 

The payment obligation was just too difficult to bear for a single-earning family like ours. 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Useful Plastic Card

Initially, our credit card saved us from distress. It was beneficial to us during emergencies and when paying for our daughter’s tuition. If I remember correctly, it was the last transaction we have made using the credit card.

It was even easier to buy school supplies and grocery shopping anytime.

Our son’s hospitalization in 2004 drove us to use the credit card offered to us. It was a suitable time for us because we have spent all of our savings, including the ones saved in a time deposit account, to purchase the expensive medicine for our son to ensure his fast recovery.

With the existence of credit card(s), we felt at ease because we know we have something to fall back on in times of need.

Debt Woes  

The problem with our credit card began to affect us when we failed to pay the monthly bill in full. We have no problem paying at first because we know how to budget our finances.

But the credit card company knew nothing about your personal struggle; they would charge interest on your unpaid balance and adds that charge to your balance.

We live within our means and do not spend beyond our limit. However, the unexpected event at hubby’s company took a heavy toll on our finances. We make do with a budget enough to pay for groceries and utility bills. 

Although we have stopped using the credit card, it does not stop accumulating monthly interest. It reached a staggering amount, and there’s no way we can pay it in cash even if we apply for debt relief

Image by Augusto Ordóñez from Pixabay

Leap of Faith 

When the opportunity came, we tried our best to pay our credit card debt immediately. We wanted to start with a clean slate. We do not want this debt to be an added concern by the time our daughter enters college. 

We finally settled our credit card debt and bid goodbye to the plastic card for good. We have used it for nearly a decade. We have never applied for a new one since then. 

Simple Saving Tips

There is no guaranteed way to save money. Ours just happened out of necessity. When projects came one after another, we ensure to put our hard-earned money to good use. We purchased things based on what we need and not what we want (sometimes). 

Despite our minimum combined income, we see to it to save for the education of our son.

In two years, we hope to achieve something more secure, such as getting health and life insurance. And, eventually, save for our retirement.

Maintain Good Standing

I do not want to sound like I’m encouraging other people to get a credit card, but it might help you during an urgent situation. One thing to remember, though, is if you own a credit card, make sure to use it wisely and do not use it on impulse.