Money-Saving Tips for the New Year

In case you are looking forward to achieving something this New Year, the probability is that the plan is money-related (saving more and spending less). It may also involve settling some bills for the moments that you spent money that you did not have.

Recent findings show that the average household in the United States has nearly $7,000 worth of credit card debt. What this figure means is that such people will have to pay an interest of about $1,000 per year. If you are in this situation, all is not lost since you can still put your financial matters in order. Check out some great tips from Kimberly Palmer, who is NerdWallet’s personal finance specialist, to help you achieve your financial resolutions.

Obtain a Balance Transfer Card

In case you have credit card debt, think about getting a transfer. According to Palmer, interest rates are currently going up. Hence, the best thing you can do is obtaining a balance transfer card for 2019 before interest rates rise any further. With that, you can easily transfer debt from your previous credit card while enjoying a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR).

If you can service the least payment every month, especially in the course of the 12 to 15-month introductory duration, you can comfortably settle your credit card debts without being charged additional interest. Also, try sticking to a strict budget by using debit cards or cash. Doing so protects you from piling up more debt.

Get Rid of Banking Fees

According to Kimberly Palmer, most people are not aware that they pay monthly fees for banking services. The charges include costs for utilizing out-of-network automatic teller machines, overdraft fees and monthly maintenance fees. However, the kicker, in this case, is the minimum balance. Failure to maintain this balance causes the average individual to part with more than $12,000 in charges over his or her lifetime.

To avoid such banking fees, find a free savings or checking account (ensure that it has the FDIC insured label). It ought to be one that gives you a high yield of at least 2% or more. Therefore, if you have $10,000 in your free savings account, which is earning 2% interest rate, you will be getting an additional $200 each year.

Adhere to the 50, 30, 20 Rule

Saving money revolves around budgeting. To achieve this, Palmer suggests following a basic breakdown whereby 50% of your money goes to your basic needs including food and housing among other things, 30% goes to meeting your wants such as going out for a dinner date or going to the cinema, and lastly, the remaining 20% ought to be put aside for future planning including savings and debt payments.

You can try reducing your want expenses such as eating out or taking a taxi. Also, even though it is quite hard, avoid paying for subscription services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix among many others. Most of these can derail your financial plans. However, you do not want to touch money set aside for things like your retirement contribution or even emergency savings, which ought to be worth six months of living expenses.

Try Re-shopping your Auto Insurance

It seems little gecko could be right after all: fifteen minutes assist you in saving 15 percent.  According to Palmer, it is quite surprising how only a few individuals shop around or go from one insurance company to another to get the best auto insurance deal. As such, most people end up paying more money for such insurance services than they actually should. This figure, on average, is more than $400 per year.

The surprising bit is that all that can be avoided by shopping around. All you have to do is spare some few minutes from your busy schedule to do some online search, key in your details, and see where you stand as far as getting yourself a lower rate on auto insurance is concerned. Yes, it is that simple. With that in mind, it is time to kick out such excessive bills this New Year and the years to come.

Set Some Money Aside

Bills or expenses are part of life since you need to take care of yourself, family and survive. However, planning for your future is equally vital. To achieve long-term saving success, you need to cultivate a saving habit. Palmer recommends that you try transferring money to your savings account automatically every month. For instance, you can do this after receiving each paycheck.    

Make this transfer either through your work’s direct deposit or your bank. Hence, if you save $40 for each bi-monthly paycheck cycle, you will have reached nearly $1,000 of savings at the close of the year; this can help navigate unexpected expenses which you can offset with your savings and thrifty deals from places like Home Depot. When you make saving an ingrained habit, meeting this year’s and future New Year’s financial resolutions will be undeniably easy.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Money Making Tips You Need To Know

Making money to support ourselves and our family is one of the biggest tasks we have to go through during life. Making sure that we can live the lifestyle we want involves having enough money in the bank to be comfortable.

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The idea of being able to make any more money than you currently do at work may seem difficult, but there are actually plenty of ways you can make money passively and outside working hours. You could start with online bitcoin gambling, you can review songs and even test chocolates. There are plenty of great ways to earn money during the week, and here are some of the ideas you can try today.

1. Sell your ink cartridges

If you have a printer at home and your family often uses it for documents and other uses, you will likely end up with ink cartridges which need to be thrown away. However, before you put your ink cartridge in the bin, see if you can trade it for cash instead. There are many companies out there who will buy an empty cartridge from you so that it can be refilled and reused, so you can take the opportunity to make some money and fund your next takeaway!

2. Get paid for photos

If you have a decent camera or smartphone, you will likely use it often to take photographs while you are away on holiday or during days out in the country with your family. If you have taken some pretty good snaps, you can sign up to a stock photo website and sign up with your photos. Selling your photos like this will make you a small amount of money every time someone downloads and uses your image. This means you will be passively making money for years to come.

3. Be a life model

You don’t have to be a god to become a life model, and as long as you are confident in your own skin, you could actually make a decent amount of money from sitting as a life model for artists and for students. Being a life model is a wonderful experience and you will feel so much more comfortable in your own skin after doing it. You could earn €10 an hour for your time so it is a great way to make some quick cash during the week.

4. Donate clothes for cash

One of the things we often take for granted is clothing. We spend so much money on clothes every single year and then we throw huge amounts of clothing away every year too. However, if you can have a clear out and keep our clothes on one side, you can sell them off to a big company who will reuse and recycle the material for you. The biggest company who does this is H&M,and they will buy any old clothes and textiles you have and give you a voucher to spend in store. If you need to update your wardrobe you clear it out and spend your money in store for new items!

5. Sell your hair

Hair is something which we don’t even consider selling, but actually, it can be a wonderful thing to sell on to wig makers for a small fee. The next time you get your haircut, think about asking the hairdresser to keep your hair to one side so that you can sell it on to a wig maker. A wig make can then create a wig with your hair and this can be given to someone who needs it such as a cancer patient.

6. Rent your garden

If you live in the countryside and you have a huge garden space which spans a few acres, you can make some money during the summer season by renting out part of your garden for campers to come and stay. During the busy season, you’ll be able to make a huge sum of money and you might even be able to fund your own family holiday abroad with the cash!

7. Fiverr

Fiverr is a website which revolves around the idea of buying and selling your products or services for a fiver. Essentially, if you have products which you sell such as artwork or homeware, or you have a skill to sell such as graphic design: you can offer your services and people will be able to pay you a fiver for your services or for the product you provide them. It is a simple way to make money with your skills and you could end up making a pretty lucrative income through the website.

8. Get paid to drink

If you are an 18-19-year-old (in the U.K., 21 in the US), you can use them to your advantage and be paid for trying to buy alcohols. Serve legal is a company which you can sign up with and they will task you with trying to buy a pint from your local pubs and bars. If you are successful and you are able to avoid them checking your ID, the company can approach the pub and ask them why they are serving underage people. It is a great way to make some money and you don’t have to spend a penny on your drinks or travel.

9. Be a tour guide

If you love your home city and you feel as if you know everything you need to know about it, you can become, a tour guide and take people around the city to show them the sights and teach them about the history of the town. It will be a great side hustle for you to do at the weekends during the summer and you will be able to enjoy your time walking around in the sunshine. It is a job which will be fun and one which allows you to meet and speak to lots of new people.

10. Sell your trees

If you love to work in the garden and you have some trees which could be worth a bit of money to a garden center, why not sell it on at a hit price and free up space in your garden for a new plant! You could earn hundreds depending on the species of tree and it is a wonderful way to make money and save you from wasting the tree by chopping it down.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Out-Of-The-Box Thinking For Cash-Strapped Families

Despite the many joys of being a parent, there is one thing we can all admit. It can put a strain on our finances, especially if we are already dealing with a limited income. Raising a family can be expensive – whether that’s the practical necessities that are needed on a daily basis or the occasional demands that our children place on us. “I want one” is a common phrase all parents surely dread.

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If you’re strapped for cash, there are ways you can raise your kids on a budget. You just need to think outside of the box a little. Take the following as examples of how this is possible

Remember: money does not equal love

Children are demanding, and when they eventually learn to think for themselves, they will tell you what they want in no uncertain terms. As the parent, you will be tempted to spend money on their wants, as well as emptying your bank balance to make the most of school holidays and those rainy nights in. The more you spend, the more you love your child, right? Wrong, even though your kids will try and convince you otherwise. Instead, practice these two things:

1. The power of the word ‘no.’ Your children will become spoiled if you try and give them everything they want, so practice a little bit of tough love. Eventually, they will learn that you aren’t made of money, especially if you take the time to explain to them where your hard-earned cash goes to each month.

2. The power of your time. This is what children crave more than material things, especially when they are younger. Instead of spending money to keep them entertained (and out of your hair), try doing a jigsaw with your child, playing video games with them, and finding other ways to take an interest in their lives. These are small but significant ways that show your child how much you love them.

Make the effort to learn new skills

There are times when you won’t have the money to spend on the latest toys for your kids, clothes for them to wear, or fancy meals for them to eat. This is where learning a few new skills will come in useful. For example:

1. Learn to play. When it comes to play activities, your child doesn’t need to have the latest toy to have fun. Games of dress-up or hide and seek cost little or no money, and if you’re playing too, then that’s a bonus for them, too. So, get back to your inner child, pick up a few play ideas online, and teach your children some games that won’t cost you a dime.

2. Learn to sew. If you are struggling to replace old clothes with new ones – kids do grow up fast – perhaps learn a few sewing skills. You can extend the lifespan of shirts, pullovers, etc. with a little bit of savvy needlecraft. It’s a misnomer that sewing craft is a woman’s work so pick up this handy skill, and check out this handily titled Guide To Picking The Best Serger For You to get you started.

3. Learn to cook. Children are fussy, but you can easily pick up a few recipes online for foods they will love. You can even make larger meals, and freeze leftovers to use for the rest of the week. A little can go a long way, so be creative in your cooking.

Finally

If you’re a little cash-strapped at the moment, we hope you found our ideas useful. You do need to prioritise your family’s needs, but hopefully, you have seen that you don’t need to bankrupt yourself by doing so. Let us know if you have other useful ideas.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

It’s Time To Play The Game (And Get Paid!)

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How many hours a week do you spend gaming? 30? 40? 50? More than that? Gaming is addictive and cathartic too. Although your parents said your eyes would go square, studies show it helps to improve social skills and relieve stress. Still, there’s no point in wasting time playing Call of Duty when you could get paid. Don’t worry because there’s no need to put down the controller and go to work. As it turns out, gaming is as lucrative now as it has ever been and you can get a portion of the prize money. If you want to know the tricks of the trade, just carry on reading.

Pick Carefully

Not every game is going to reward its players for their time so choose wisely. The best thing to do is to research which ones offer bonuses or the chance to win cold, hard cash. You may have never played bingo, yet it regularly rewards its followers with prizes. Although you have to pay to play, companies like Deepsea bingo have fantastic new customer offers to get you started. Another way to get that moolah is to become a professional gamer and play eSports. As the industry grows, the pot increases years after year.

Become A Coach

Some people aren’t cut out to be players because the competition is too fierce. Still, don’t give up hope for your thoughts and ideas are money-spinners in the right hands. All you have to do is coach people that have the potential and instil your methods into their playing style. That way, they can go on to win tournaments and attract sponsorship money and you get a slice of the action. Gamer Sensei is a great place to start as teachers get a whopping $25 an hour for their services. Gamers with a solid rep can take on students privately and up the rates.

Become A Playtester

As the name suggests, this includes breaking in a game and pushing it to its limits. The way it works is simple: you get a tester copy and try to find as many faults as possible. Once you report back to your boss, they will pass on the info and the developer will use it to rectify any errors. A tip to keep in mind is that you have to be a fan of the small details. Being a playtester doesn’t mean you can explore the game as you like and make opinions. There are guidelines and you have to follow them to get your money.

Set Up A YouTube Account

There are hundreds of gamers that created a YouTube account and are now famous. Sure, it says a lot about the current culture that it’s even possible, but, hey, who are we to complain?! As well as be a good gamer, you also have to be funny and engaging to get views and traffic to the account. If you can, sponsorship is on the cards and then the possibilities are endless.

Do you think you can turn your hobby into a money-making scheme?

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.