Primerica

Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Aug

17.17

Without Going Broke, Cashing in Your Retirement Savings or Co-Signing Loans

Let’s face it – college is expensive. And if you’re worried about funding your child’s college education, you’re not alone. You’re actually joining 70% of parents when asked about their biggest financial worry.1 Here are four tips on how to cover college costs:

  • Plan Ahead – Start Saving Early

Start saving for college while your little one is still little and you likely won’t have to consider withdrawing from your own retirement fund when he or she is graduating from high school. For example, a family that starts saving $10 a week at birth at 4% interest will accumulate $12,663.44 by the time the child turns 17 and enrolls in college.2 Have a child already and haven’t started yet? Not to worry. Now is better than tomorrow.

  • Look For and Apply For Scholarships, Grants

Encourage your child to apply for grants and scholarship funds to help keep tuition costs down – you won’t believe how much “free” money there is out there today for high school seniors applying for college! Check out all the free sources of information available about grants and scholarships.

  • Encourage Your Child to Work Part-Time

Once scholarship and grant money is applied, and beyond what your savings doesn’t cover, encourage your child to get a part-time job to help offset education costs. Considering that only half of U.S. hiring managers feel that today’s new graduates are well prepared for the professional world, a part-time job can both build character and offset the need for student loans.3

  • Encourage Your Child to Apply for Financial Aid

Beyond personal savings, scholarships and grants, and what expenses your child can cover on their own, applying for a student loan to cover other outstanding costs is an option. Borrowing money for college can be a smart idea if your child can get a low interest federal loan.

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1 Money.Time.com, “Honey, Who’s Going to Pay for College?,” October 12, 2016
2 Finaid.org, “Savings Goals: When To Start Saving,” viewed June 12, 2017
3 USAToday.com, “Weigh Whether to Work During College,” January 11, 2017


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Posted in Community, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Aug

04.17

People are spending substantially more this year than last year on back-to-school shopping, and if you’re a parent with school-aged children, you’re probably bracing for the dent in your wallet right about now. In the U.S., families are projected to spend an estimated $83.6 billion (a 10 percent increase from last year), according to the National Retail Foundation’s annual survey — that’s on average $687.72 per child in elementary through high school and $969.88 per child in college.*

Don’t want to be average? Set some guidelines for tackling those back-to-school expenses:

Contact the school/teacher
From books to backpacks to electronics, school supplies can get very expensive. Your first step to finding out what is absolutely necessary to send your child back to school is to contact your child’s school or teacher and obtain a supply list. You can also look on the school’s website to see if a school supply list is posted. If your school does not have a uniform policy, it would be wise to check the student handbook and be aware of what type of clothing/shoes may be off-limits.

Set a budget and stick to it – and plan for unexpected extras
Depending on your family size and how much money you make, this is a no-brainer. Remember back-to-school supplies won’t be your only expense for the entire school year, so you’ll want to save money where you can. There will be more unplanned expenses throughout the school year you’ll need and want to meet, like fundraisers and school trips. And don’t forget about extra curriculars, sports and clubs.

Make a list
Sit down with your child and make a list of what he or she needs and use the opportunity to teach them money lessons and how to be wise about spending and saving. Are there any school supplies left over from last year that can be reused? Can you purchase used electronics or textbooks instead of buying them brand new? Keep your eye out for good sales and discounts and check them off your list. Shop online and take advantage of deeper discounts and free shipping. Make these activities teachable moments while involving your child in the process. It’s a great way to improve their financial literacy and can pay off big time in the long run.

*National Retail Foundation (nrf.com), “Back-to-School and Back-to-College Spending to Reach $83.6 Billion,” July 13, 2017

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Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Apr

19.17

Making a New Year’s resolution is a fun way to positively change your life, whether it’s getting organized, losing weight or saving money. But according to research, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.1 Now that April is underway, it’s a good time to assess your progress and think about your game plan moving forward.

If you vowed to get your finances in order in 2017, you’re not alone. In fact, one of the top New Year’s resolutions each year is to spend less and save more.2 While saving money may seem easy at first – as the months go by, you may notice your resolve begins to fade. Here are two tips to stay on track:

  • Reevaluate your approach to saving money. You may find that what worked for someone in the past may not work for you. If you notice you’ve been slipping … get back up and reconsider your approach! Your map toward success should not be set in stone, but rather adjustable according to your circumstances. Resiliency is vital – especially during these first few months!
  • Measuring your progress is paramount. Not only does it serve as a source of motivation, but also it calls for reflection. Seeing how much money you’ve saved over time is a reminder of your hard work and dedication. It also indicates if you’re hitting a peak or falling backward, so that you can adjust your efforts accordingly. Tracking your growth each month will increase your odds of success and not to mention – if you don’t measure your finances, you can’t spot change!

As 2017 unfolds, celebrate your victories, but be compassionate when you slip up. You don’t have to wait for a New Year to start again … tomorrow’s a new day!

1. Businessinsider.com, “80% of New Year’s Resolutions Fail by February — Here’s How to Keep Yours,” January 3, 2017
2. Time.com, “8 Clever Money-Saving Tricks to Try This Year,” January 1, 2017

 

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Posted in Primerica, Tips |

Aug

23.16

back-to-school-tips

It’s that time of year again. Yellow buses abound and children are headed back to the classroom. While this can be an exciting time (for both children and parents), starting a new grade and getting back into an academic state of mind can be taxing. Here are few tips to make the start of the school year a good one:

  • Talk it up! Some kids can’t wait to be back in school with their friends while others bemoan the fact that summer is coming to an end. One way to make your kids excited about going back to school is to talk about it in a positive way. Build excitement about the next grade, new teachers or perhaps a new school. Anticipation goes a long way so give them reasons to be psyched!
  • Get oriented. Attend open houses to meet teachers, any summer play dates or activities that might be scheduled and ask for a tour of the school if your child is a new student. The more your child knows about what his or her school year will look like, the less nervous he or she will be.
  • Stock up on school supplies. Check local papers for sales on back to school supplies and stock up if the deals are good. Odds are, the supplies on the initial list won’t last an entire school year, so grab some extras while prices are low. To give your child a sense of choice and ownership, make picking out school supplies a special event and let him or her pick up one or two inexpensive “extras.”
  • Get back on schedule. A week before school starts, try to get your kids back on a bedtime and wake up schedule. This will make things easier when the alarm sounds on the first day of school.
  • Prep the night before. Take the stress out of the mornings by preparing the night before. Pack backpacks and lunches. Choose an outfit for the following day. These small acts can save a lot of time on frantic mornings.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. In addition to finding out what your child did at school that day and what he or she learned, also ask questions about their friends and relationships. Talk to them about bullying and what to do if they experience it or see it happening to someone else. Let them know that they can come to you or another trusted adult if they have problems.

New Year, Fresh Start
Each new school year is an opportunity to make a fresh start, make new friends and learn new things. Being organized is key to managing the stress of juggling so many different aspects of family life. Now is the time to make a fresh start and make a plan you can stick to!


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Posted in Primerica, Tips |

May

31.16

7ways-fathers-day

Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday, June 19, 2016, and we’ve uncovered some cool ways to show Dad how much he means to you without breaking the bank.

  1. Give the gift of time. If you’re like most families, you’re hustling and bustling trying to get everything crossed off your “to-do” list. This Father’s Day, give Dad something precious — your time. Disconnect from everyday distractions like technology and plan a day that revolves around your favorite guy and what he loves.
  2. Gift a lesson. Most fathers have taught their children plenty of lessons over the years, so why not repay the favor and gift your dad a lesson to a hobby he enjoys or is interested in?
  3. Make his favorite meal. Is there a childhood favorite he loves? A dish at a restaurant he orders every time? Make it even more special by making it from scratch and presenting it to him!
  4. Plan a day of “favorites.” What does your dad like? Make a list and make a day out of it. Watch his favorite movies with him. Play his favorite songs. Go to his favorite places to visit, etc.
  5. Create a short video tribute. Let Dad know how much you care and get it all on film so he can watch it whenever and however many times he wants.
  6. Recreate an experience. Remember that time your dad took you fishing? How about the time he taught you how to build a birdhouse? Whatever your special memory is, try to recreate that moment and tell your father how much it meant to you.
  7. Try a new take on an old favorite. Buy a white or light colored tie, some inexpensive permanent writing utensils or fabric paint from a local craft store and write Dad a message on the tie. He can wear it as a reminder of how much his family loves him and it will be a one-of-a-kind thoughtful gift!

Whatever you decide to do for your special guy, as long as your heart is in it you can’t go wrong. Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there!

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Posted in Primerica, Tips |