Five Ways to Make Owning a Car Fit Into Your Budget

Whether you’ve recently had a change of financial circumstances or are interesting in purchasing a new car, thinking about your vehicle’s financial implications is a good idea that shouldn’t be avoided.

 

In this article, we’re going to introduce five tips to help you fit car ownership into your budget, no matter how much money you can afford to commit.

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Image: Unsplash

 

Do your research on cars

 

Cars have different speeds, features, and fuel economies. If you’re going to be savvy with your purchase, then you need to understand cars inside and out. With so much choice available on the market, it’s a smart choice to do your research and look for a car that suits our needs. Start by writing down a list of features that you expect from your vehicle, and write down why you need the vehicle so you can find the perfect car for your needs.

 

Compare used vs new

 

Most people instantly assume that buying a new car is more expensive than using one. However, there are always going to be hidden costs associated with used cars that you should keep in mind. First, there could be hidden fees that make the cost of a used car higher than you might expect. Additionally, you might find that older cars are more expensive to repair due to parts availability, and they might even suffer damage more easily and require more frequent maintenance. These things all contribute to the overall cost of a car and should be kept in mind before instantly deciding that used cars are better.

 

Shop around for insurance

 

You should also shop around for insurance to find the best auto insurance rates. Keep in mind that auto insurance costs will change from provider to provider, and there are plenty of ways to lower these costs if you understand how they’re calculated. Compare quotes and remember that different cars will cause your insurance costs to fluctuate, so do your research and look for ways to spend less on insurance while still getting sufficient protection.

 

Practice safe driving

 

The last thing you want is to crash and ruin your vehicle. Not only will it put your health at risk, but it will also force you to pay more for maintenance and repairs. Drive safe and you’ll find that you can keep your car in good condition and save a lot of money and prevent frustration.

 

Consider buying an older car

Older cars may be cheaper or more expensive to insure depending on their model. Some older cars are less reliable, meaning they’ll incur higher insurance costs. However, the overall cost of the vehicle might be low enough that it works out cheaper in the end. This is a good tactic especially if you’re a new driver that needs to build up a driving record to get lower insurance premiums. It’s usually not a good idea (unless you have a lot of money, of course) to purchase an expensive car as a new driver because insurance companies will raise your premiums to account for you being a relatively inexperienced driver.

Why Is Insurance So Essential To Your Finances?

If you read any guide to sound financial management, you will find references to the need for insurance. This can, sometimes, be confusing: after all, you’re spending money on an event that you hope won’t happen, which can often seem difficult to justify if your budget is already strained.

 

Insurance, however, is an incredibly vital part of your overall financial strategy – and here’s why:

 

Insurance protects your savings

 

If your house suffers storm damage, and you do not have building insurance, then you will have to fund the necessary repair work yourself. This can be extremely expensive and substantially depletes your savings as a result –  potentially even reducing them to zero. Insurance ensures this situation never occurs, which means you can build your savings consistently without having to worry about needing to withdraw from them to cover an expensive unfortunate event.

 

Insurance helps to protect against debt

 

The above scenario assumes that you have the funds to cover the costs of repair work via your savings. However, in the worst case scenario, you could find yourself needing to pay for essential repairs but not having enough in savings to cover the cost. For most people, this leaves only one alternative: debt. Insurance helps to ensure this is never necessary, and that you will be able to fund repair work, meet medical expenses, and more besides.

 

Insurance products can protect the future finances of your family

 

With products such as life insurance, you can be sure that your family will be financially secure whatever the future brings. This is beneficial on a practical level, but also an emotional one, providing an extra level of security and reassurance. If you don’t already have life insurance, there’s a handy guide in the infographic below:


Infographic Design By Do I need life insurance

This entry was posted in Budget.

How To Cut The Cost Of Medical Bills

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Sick of paying such high medical bills? Here are just a few ways to cut the costs of treatment, preventing healthcare from having an unhealthy impact on your finances.

 

Get insured

 

A good health insurance plan will be able to cover most of your treatment so that you don’t have to spend anything (except maybe a deductible if you choose to have one). Taking out insurance does mean paying a little extra money each month, but these small payments could be much more affordable than paying for treatment outright. By using comparison sites such as Compare Medical Plans you can find the best plan for you. Group insurance schemes can save you money if you’re looking to ensure multiple family members. There may also be insurers out there that can offer specialist schemes for those with medical conditions or those that are older and more at risk of needing treatment.  

 

Shop around for treatment

 

Different clinics are likely to have different pricing. If it’s not an emergency, consider shopping around clinics in your area to find the best prices. Some people go as far as to look abroad for treatment in countries such as Cuba and India where prices on major treatment can be less expensive (even with flight costs added). On top of procedures, it’s worth shopping around for medication. Many people opt for the big and well known branded of over-the-counter medicine, but you can save a lot of money by opting for generic brands which are often just as effective.

 

Make use of membership discounts

 

It’s possible to get discounts on medical treatment by being a member of various groups. Joining your state’s Farm Bureau could entitle you to various discounts such as free prescriptions. Similarly, some gyms and business owner clubs may offer discounts on medical costs. Being a member of these groups may require a small monthly fee, so make sure that you’re’ getting more benefits out of the club than simply discounts on medical treatment.

 

Know your legal rights

 

In certain situations where an injury wasn’t your fault, you may be able to make a legal claim to help cover medical costs. Companies such as Abels & Annes, P.C. could help you claim this compensation. Common examples of treatment that could be covered include road traffic injuries, workplace injuries and injuries as the result of defective products.

 

Negotiate

 

You can sometimes negotiate the price of medical treatment – it is often not fixed. This could be done with your doctor or with medical billing staff. A common way to get discounts is to pay in advance for treatment in installments You may also be able to choose between different treatment, some of which may be cheaper but may also come with conditions that you may want to weigh up (there’s no point choosing a higher risk procedure simply because it’s cheaper).     

How to Survive a Period Out of Work

When you’re out of work, it can be a knock to your confidence. Not only that, but it’s likely to have a significant financial impact too. Even if you have a partner to support you, your combined income is reduced, so you need to work out how to survive. Making it through a period of unemployment when you might be unsure about when or even if you’ll get back to work takes strength. It can get you down and cause a lot of stress, but there are ways that you can get through it. Here are some of the things you can do.

 

Cut Your Expenses

 

When your income goes down, the first thing you should do is look at how your expenses can come down too. The less you spend, the further you should be able to stretch any remaining income or savings. There might be some expenses that you can’t reduce, such as rent. But there are plenty of others that you might be able to lower, from energy bills to grocery costs. Plan to postpone anything you had been intending to buy that isn’t necessary, such as home improvements. Lots of small savings can add up so that you don’t waste money.

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Claim Benefits

 

There could be a few different benefits and assistance programs that you’re eligible for while you’re out of work. Firstly, you can claim unemployment benefit from your last employer if you unexpectedly lost your job. You can also look into applying for things like SNAP for help with food costs. If you have disability insurance and have recently become disabled, don’t forget to make a claim. If you need any help with your claim, you can visit https://www.longtermdisabilitylawyer.com/insurance-companies/unum/. Getting legal help can ensure you are able to get what you’re entitled to, even when dealing with difficult companies.

 

Look for Alternative Income Streams

 

While you might not be able to find a new job right away, you might consider finding other ways to make money in the meantime. Unless you’re spending every single minute of the day looking for work, which is unlikely, you can probably spare some time to do other things. You could consider finding some work-at-home positions or perhaps advertising your skills online to find some freelance work. Some people choose to spend some time doing odd jobs or perhaps pick up some temporary work for a few weeks or months.

 

Stay Occupied

 

Being out of work can leave you feeling bored and isolated. You don’t have colleagues to talk to all day, and you can even feel ashamed to go out because you don’t want to tell people that you’re not currently working. As well as spending your time looking for work, make sure you stay occupied and try to keep your mood up. Perhaps try some volunteering, which can help you feel productive and allow you to meet people.

 

Survive being without a job by making a plan. If you set some goals and make some smart choices, you can get through it.

This entry was posted in Budget.

Practical Ways To Cut Back On Your Wasteful Spending (And Come Out Of It With Savings)

If you regularly struggle to make it to payday without being flat broke, your struggle is all too familiar. You work hard for your money, but what do you have to show for it? It’s easy to live like a king or queen for the first week of the month, but when you’re scraping by towards the end of its – life can be miserable. If this is your lifestyle, the chances are that you’re not saving much money either.

Image Credit: Kaboom Pics under Creative Commons

 

Meanwhile, putting some savings aside now can benefit your future retirement plans – something that you might not even have thought of at this stage.

 

Take a look at some of these practical ways to cut back on your wasteful spending to help you boost your savings.

Create a budget you can stick to

Ok, so budgeting isn’t exactly a word that most people like to hear, but it could be the best thing for you if you struggle to manage your money. A budget will help make sure that all of the boring things you need to pay for to live, like your rent, your groceries, and your phone (a modern life essential?) are all covered. Then you can put aside some money for things like your savings, your credit card payments and your other outgoings.

 

Having a budget doesn’t have to mean you can’t have fun – add some ‘entertainment funds’ to your budget so that you know how much you’re able to spend on nights out, shopping, eating out, etc. Try and adjust it on a monthly basis to factor in birthdays, vacations and anything else that might come up.

 

One of the biggest money mistakes you should avoid making in your 20s is not saving for emergencies – put something aside in a rainy day fund each month to cover any unexpected bills that might come your way like car payments, health payments – you get it.

Get a money assistant

And just when you thought you were too junior for an assistant… Did you know that there are AI assistants available to help you manage your money? An AI money assistant is like having a parent in front of you whenever you want to spend money. Simply ask it a question like ‘Can I buy a new pair of jeans?’ and you’ll get an answer based on your balance and remaining outgoings. Sometimes you just need someone to say no, and the best AI assistants will help you to spend less.

Invest your money

If your money is already gone before you can spend it, you’re immediately removing your ability to spend money on things you don’t need. Genius, right? If you set up a regular payment to be made to your chosen investment type, you’ll be putting money aside from the sensible way and will have the opportunity to grow your money over time.

 

Investment experts Miramontes, founded by its president, Sid Miramontes, can advise you on several investments to help you manage your money. This is ideal if you’re self-employed, as it will help you put a retirement plan in place. Whether the goal is to become financially independent by your 40s or to enjoy a great life after retirement, investing is the way to go.

Cut back on your socializing

Didn’t you hear that staying in is the new going out? Cutting back on your socializing is one of the easiest ways for you to save money. Instead of eating out, entertain at home and take it in turns with your friends to host a dinner night. A Netflix subscription is much cheaper than several glasses of wine at a bar during the week, plus you’ll still have something to talk about with others.

 

There’s a lot of things you can do to socialize without dinner/drinks, so get your thinking cap on and plan some alternative ways to hang out with your friends.

Sleep on it

It’s good advice to sleep on decisions before making a final one, especially when it comes to buying something. Do you really need a new phone or that coat you’ve been eyeing up? Before rushing into any kind of decision, sleep on it and reconsider in the morning.

 

Getting your act together by cutting back on unnecessary spending will put you in a much better financial position – making it easier to make those savings and improve your money habits. It might take some self-sacrifice and some attitude adjustment, but your future self will thank you.

 

This entry was posted in Budget.

Enjoy Living For Less

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Let’s face it, nobody said that owning a home was going to be cheap. Not only do you have to pay the initial fee for the downpayment, but you then have to pay for all the many bills that follow, as well as basic maintenance, and any repairs that need to be done too. This can understandably get very frustrating, as at times you will feel as though all of your hard earned money is being thrown down the drain. Although it’s completely normal to feel this way, know that you are one of the lucky ones. Sure, it can hurt to look over your bills and see how much money you’re spending, but if this wasn’t the case, then you’d have no roof over your head. So rather than looking at circumstances in a negative light, try and see just how fortunate you actually are.

 

Most of the time you will always be required to spend money if you want to get the things that you want out of life, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t little tricks here and there that you can do in order to save more and live for less – you just need to enlighten yourself.

 

Here are some ideas to get you on the right track.

 

Create a budget

If you’re starting to worry about your finances, then one of the first things that you should do is make a budget. This means looking through your bank statements and having an in-depth look at everything that goes in, and everything that goes. You then have a real chance to prioritize and cancel any things that you’re paying for that you really don’t need or use.

 

Change systems

If you live in a hot area where air-conditioning is essential in order to get through the day without melting, then it would be silly to remove the one thing that provides you with a cooling system. Having said that, you may want to take a look at who your provider is, as that makes a whole world of a difference, not only in the price you’re paying but also that job that it’s doing. Companies like Systematic Mechanical Contractors, LLC. give you a system that does an efficient job, while even allowing you to control exactly what room is being cooled, meaning you save money as you aren’t wasting more than you need to.

 

Find deals

The internet is a place full of knowledge, so take advantage of that and search the web for any deals that you can find. This can be for your grocery shopping, clothes, shoes, appliances, furniture, and whatever else you require. Before you ever make a payment on something that you want to buy, always have a quick look on the web to see whether there are any other places that sell it cheaper or any discount codes that are available. This can be hit and miss at times, but you wouldn’t believe the discounts that you can find if you look hard enough, so make this a habit the next time you’re about to spend your well-earned money.

This entry was posted in Budget.

Own Your Cash: Take Charge of Your Financial Future Right Now

There are a lot of issues that can affect the way we live our lives, as well as the future happiness and security of our families. One of the biggest things you need to think about is money because this plays a big role in helping to improve your way of life and make things more comfortable. You have to make sure you do as much as you can over the years to take better care of your money, and that all starts here and now.

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So many people these days suffer from financial problems, and it is important to face these issues and deal with them as much as possible. There plenty of ways of achieving this, and it means there are lots of issues that can affect your money. You need to take steps to make sure you are better placed to deal with these problems, and this can help you achieve greater financial freedom. Check out these ideas to help you take charge of your financial future right now.

 

Sit Down With a Financial Advisor

 

The first thing you should do is sit down with a financial advisor and talk about your situation. There are a lot of things you will need to talk about, and figuring out the state of your finances is vital so you know how to proceed in the future. It is always important to get input from somebody who is an expert and knows the deal. You want support and advice, and this is something you can get from financial advisors.

 

Work Out What Debts You Have

 

During your conversation, it is so important to work out what debts you have (if any). This is something you have to make sure you sort out as soon as you can because it is useful for figuring out how you are going to proceed. Dealing with this and getting yourself into a debt-free position is absolutely essential for the future. So, you have to make sure you do what you can to work out what your debts are and how to go about clearing them. This is a key part of bossing your money, and one of the most crucial steps a person can take in the process of working toward financial security.

 

Figure Out How You Can Make Savings

 

There are a lot of things you need to think about when it comes to getting more financially secure. One of the biggest things you have to think about is what you can do to make more savings and ensure you have some kind of financial safety net to fall back on. There are a lot of reasons why this is important, and the more you can do to accomplish this the less stress you will have. Consider what it takes to make more savings and give yourself a little more breathing space. You can save money on everyday items as long as you are sensible and you plan and prepare. Being a little bit more frugal with your money can actually help it go a long way.

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Try to Cut Costs Where Possible

 

Cutting the costs of day to day spending is also really important as well. There are a lot of things you can do that will make a big impact on your company finances. These days it is important to look at any areas you can trim your expenditure because this can make a big difference. There are so many things you need to consider here, and it is important to ensure you are tightening the purse strings. Cut back on your spending, as well as coming up with ways of reducing the costs of bills too.

 

Bring in Extra Cash

 

If you want to make savings and have money put aside, it is important to look at how you can bring in extra cash as well. It is important that you do as much as you can to improve and enhance your financial future, and bringing in extra cash is a big part of that. This might involve working an extra job or finding a way of making money online, something which is easier than ever these days. You should also consider selling your unwanted possessions, and do what you can to bring in any extra cash you can.

 

Consider Taking Out a Loan

 

There are a lot of ideas that can help you to be a little more financially comfortable, and one of the best ones is to take out a loan. Now, this is something that may not appeal to everyone, but it is certainly worth looking into. And there are even online installment loans for those who might have bad credit. Loans can be really important for consolidation and make sure you have enough money to make ends meet on a monthly basis. Just make sure you are aware of what is involved when taking out a loan, and how the repayments may impact you.  

 

Think About Tracking Your Credit Rating

 

It’s so good to have an idea about how your finances are, and what sort of credit rating you are looking at. This is why you need to make sure you track your credit score and work on improving it. There are a lot of sites that will allow you to do this, but there are also plenty of apps that might come in useful as well. If you can focus on improving and enhancing your credit rating, you are going to be able to do much better financially in the long run.

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These are just a few of the factors you are going to need to keep in mind when you decide you want to take charge of your finances. Making the right decisions is so important when you are trying to look after your money, and these are things that play a role in helping you with that. Think about what you can do to get a better handle on your finances, and improve things moving forward.

This entry was posted in Budget.

Need More Room in Your Monthly Budgets? Read On

That feeling of not having enough room left over in your financial budget can be a frustrating one. We’ve all been there at one time or another, but there are little things you can do to reduce the chances of this problem striking you over and over again. The sooner you get better at controlling your money better, the sooner you’ll create that extra wriggle room in your monthly financial budgets, so read on to learn more.

Monthly Budget

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Switch to Smaller Brands

 

Those big brands often come with big prices, and is it worth it when you can buy pretty much the same product from a smaller brand at a much lower price? All you’re paying for is the logo, and that probably isn’t an integral part of the thing you’re buying at all. So now is the perfect time for you to make this switch and start saving huge amounts of money every time you go shopping.

 

Cut Your Excessive Spending

 

We’re all guilty of excessive spending from time to time. Pretty much everyone buys more than the minimum bare essentials that they need. But if you feel like your excessive spending habits are starting to have a detrimental impact on your monthly budgets, it could be time to make big cuts.

 

Start Investing and Growing Your Cash

 

You’ll have a little more money at your disposal if you invest your cash wisely and make it work for you. There are CMC Markets you can learn about and exploit. Of course, none of this is easy and it takes time to get good at investing, but it’s never too late to start. If you want to improve your financial situation, coming up with an investing strategy is a vital way to start doing it.

 

Monetize Your Hobbies and Skills

 

If you have some skills or hobbies that you think you can monetize in one way or another, you should go for it. This is one of the best things you can do from a financial point of view because it gives you a way to boost your income. That little extra money on the side could be all you need to create that bit of extra room in your monthly financial budget.

 

Learn to Control Your Impulses Better

 

Controlling your impulses is one thing that everyone ought to be working on because impulse buying is one of the most common financial problems that people face today. That temptation to buy as soon as you see something you want can be hard to resist, but it all comes down to learning to control those thoughts and emotions when they pop into your head.

It’s not uncommon for people to feel squeezed, but finding more room in your monthly household budgets can be easier than you think. Just a few simple steps in the right direction can make a world of difference to your financial situation going forward, so start working on this right away.

Budgeting For Healthy Habits

Being healthy is something everyone does in their way. Everyone has a different body and mental state from other people, and because of that there’s never a ‘one size fits all solution for someone who’s experiencing some trouble with their health. Not to mention how expensive it can be to try and overhaul your life in this way, which is one of the main reasons people choose quantity over quality when they’re out for groceries.

 

We’ve touched on this before, but let’s focus on more of the habits every one of us has that could improve our lives dramatically if we changed them. And we don’t have to be millionaires to do so, nor do we need all the time in the world to properly commit.

 

Basket of Fruit

Fill up your basket with all kinds of colorful foods, as long as the bulk buying is cheaper than coming back for more later! (Image)

 

Know-How to Shop

 

A lot of the time the stores we go to pick up healthy foods don’t help us out. There’s a lot of psychology surrounding shelf layout and what foods you’re most likely to see at eye level, so let’s break it down a little: when you enter a store, the most expensive and gut rotting products you could buy are put on the middle shelves, right where you can focus on them. So you buy them.

 

Often enough, that’s not your fault! The store has encouraged you not to look up and down, to make sure you don’t see healthier alternatives! It’s a way for them to make a lot of money off of shoppers, and also why it takes you the entire length of the store to find those oven-baked chips with no gluten when the fried variety was right in front of the door!

 

All in all, make sure you know this tactic and then go about your shopping business to be in and out in minutes, and with a lower bill on your receipt. Only buy what you want, scan all the shelves for different products, and don’t let yourself fall into walking down the cake aisle on your way to get some Rye bread!

 

Substitute Your Products

 

Speaking of different products, if you’re out to save money on becoming healthier, one of the best ways is to try and substitute what you eat and drink with cheaper and/or healthier versions. Something like looking into the perfect e-juice liquids, for example, is a great way to kick back on the money a harmful habit can suck out of your budget! Substitutions work wonders for your piggy bank, and what you buy off-brand is usually no different from what you get on brand.

 

Budgeting to be a bit healthier is going to take some time and effort, but everyone has to start somewhere! Using the tips above, hopefully, you’ll have a strong foundation to start your new healthy lifestyle, with some great success!

Save Your Business Money With Smart, Green Measures

phone phones headphone headset music listen listening relax laptop computer pc notebook green wireless mobility grass keyboard field technology nature mobile screen internet business network nobody communication monitor web outdoor outside object connection work environmental open ecology remote office meadow concept energy wi fi wifi saving protection natural flowers day fresh creative

Source: Pxhere

 

If you run a business, either from home or elsewhere, money is what keeps it going. As well as trying to make more money, you’re always trying to find ways to save. It’s also important to be a responsible company and show that you have strong values. If you want to tackle both of these issues at the same time, looking for ways to be a greener business is a great idea. You can save money and show your customers and employees that you care about the environment. There are plenty of things you can do, both big and small.

 

Reduce Use of Paper and Single-use Materials

 

Offices can use many different products that are thrown away after one use. A lot of paper is used, and then there’s plastic pens, paper clips and other items that are easily disposable. If you want to reduce your reliance on single-use products, start by digitizing your business instead of relying on paper. Another thing you can do is reconsider your office supplies. For example, you could switch to pens that need to have their ink refilled. They’re often better quality and heavier, so people treat them more carefully and keep track of them.

Water Drop

Source: Pexels

 

Use Less Water

 

Your business is likely to use water in some way, even if it’s only in bathrooms or to make coffee. If you want to cut down on how much you use, you can use flow restrictors to reduce the amount that your employees use. You will also have to get them to participate in your efforts to save water. If you have any landscaping, you can consider how to water plants or grass in the most efficient way. For example, you can use sprinklers during the cooler parts of the day during the summer. It could also be possible for you to collect rainwater.

 

Make Energy Changes

 

Your business can use a lot of energy in a typical working day. It’s expensive and it increases your carbon footprint. Fortunately, you can find plenty of ways to use less energy and to generate your own using renewable energy. Solar power will deliver new energy for your company so you spend less on traditional energy sources. You can get credits from your energy company by supplying them with electricity too. There are smaller things you can do as well, from changing light bulbs to LEDs to making sure to power down equipment at the end of the day.

Sustainable

Source: Creative Commons Images

 

Source Sustainable Goods and Services

 

When you’re procuring goods and services for your business, you can try to make sure they come from sustainable sources. Find vendors that source things responsibly and sustainably and that don’t use excessive amounts of packaging for their deliveries. It’s also a good idea to use local suppliers. When vendors are local, there’s less distance for their goods to travel to meet you. This makes them more eco-friendly because they have a lower carbon footprint.

 

Make your business greener with these tips and you can save money too. Your business benefits in more ways than one.

This entry was posted in Budget.