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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Jun

24.19

 
Happy family on a road trip in their car, rear passenger
 
Don’t let the lure of pricey theme parks and other expensive attractions wreck your budget this summer. There are plenty of free and low-cost entertainment ideas to fill up lazy, summer days when school is out. Here are some fun activities to keep school-aged children occupied that will give parents (and their wallet) a break:

  • Complete a DIY project. Think of how rewarding it will be to see an entire project through from start to finish in a day (a bench, a time capsule, a raised bed garden?) From determining what to create, gathering the materials and the actual work, you’ll have a full agenda for the day.
  • Make a movie. Write a funny, dramatic or suspenseful script, design and construct your set, assign acting roles, create costumes and perform it all while someone films it using the video feature on a smartphone. Finish the day by having a special viewing.
  • Head to the library. Head over to your local library to check out some books or movies. Look online for a calendar of children’s events or other happenings.
  • Picnic at a playground. Find a public park with a great playground that is within a drivable distance, pack a lunch and go enjoy the day. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  • Find a festival. Look up fairs and festivals going on in your area and see what interests you. From food trucks to music to authors to art, find a gathering worthy of a trip and head out.
  • Create an obstacle course. Devise a series of obstacles (whether indoors or outdoors) to overcome. Use the activity to impart new skills (like a station to tie a shoe or to ride a bicycle) or just use your imagination and have fun.
  • Go berry picking. Look up nearby pick-it-yourself farms and hop in the car for a day trip. Establishments like these are usually family-run and charge by the amount you pick. Don’t forget the bug spray!
  • Do some yoga. Break out some yoga mats (or towels) and do some yoga stretches. If you’re inexperienced, stick with beginner’s poses.
  • Have a cultural day. Learn about a different country or culture by listening to music, making crafts, dressing up, watching films and preparing unique food from the country or culture of your choosing.
  • Paint a portrait. Pick up some inexpensive art supplies at a dollar store or art supply store (canvases, paints and brushes), set up a makeshift easel and let your creative juices flow. This can be done from a photograph, or someone (or some pet) can be a live model!

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Posted in Tips, Wallet Wellness |

May

29.19

Helping your children develop a positive work ethic is a priority for all parents, but it can be difficult in today’s modern world to discern whether we’re doing the right thing with all the other priorities out there to juggle. If you have teenagers, helping them develop confidence in their work ethic is essential. Here are a few steps your son or daughter can take to land a job this summer:

Expand your social network. Contact family and friends to let them know your teen is looking for work. Check out neighborhoods near you that may have trustworthy websites and/or social media sites that may post help wanted notices for appropriate jobs for teens. If your child already has a service to offer, such as babysitting or mowing lawns, help them post to these sites and offer their services. Just be sure to screen the responses and make it known that your child’s parent is involved.

Send them back to camp. But this time, as a counselor. If your child already knows the ropes at a particular summer camp, or if he is already interested in a particular subject, like music or marine biology, his help may be invaluable to a summer camp organizer looking to hire someone to guide younger kids in that subject matter. Help your teen with a web search on summer camps in your area that align with his interests and go from there. Be sure to check out local governments and nearby parks for camps being held there, as well.

Let them volunteer. Don’t ignore volunteerism as a way to develop a strong work ethic in your teen this summer. It looks great on a resume and is a definite character builder and can help them navigate interests for potential careers. Many large national organizations – like American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels  have local offices where you can offer your help, in addition to other volunteer opportunities that may be available in your area. Make sure you stress to your teen that there are plenty of other causes – no matter how tiny – that can have a huge impact on your community and on them.

Bring them to the office. If you own a business and can use your teen’s help, hire them. Whether it’s filing, making copies, answering phones, or grabbing coffee, a part-time job can help them branch out and ready themselves for the adult world.

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Posted in Community, Primerica, Tips |

May

07.19

If you’re in the club of indebted adults with college degrees, rest assured you’re one of the popular people. The number of college grads with student loan debt is now around 70 percent – and the average debt someone graduates with is close to $30,000, comprised of both private and federal loans.1

But while facing the future with all that debt can be soul-crushing, (one recent survey found that more than a third of college grads with loans regret taking them out),2 there are ways to stay optimistic about the future.

Here are three ways to take action and rethink your student loan debt:

  • Apply for income-based repayment. Contact your lender and inquire about a fixed monthly payment that is based on your annual take-home salary. This can give breathing room to come up with a plan to aggressively tackle the debt over time.
  • Investigate your eligibility for student loan forgiveness. There are a number of student loan forgiveness programs available for people who work in various job sectors. These are mostly arenas where you work with the public, like education, government, non-profits, law, medicine, etc. There are also forgiveness programs available for people facing long-term disabilities or those who cannot work.
  • Consider entrepreneurism with a proven system. While it can be argued that starting a business isn’t ideal for people with student loan debt because of risks and overhead costs, finding the right opportunity with a well-established company where there is room for growth can be the solution to earning a little extra money towards paying down debt, and other financial goals. Primerica, for instance, offers part-time opportunities.*

1 StudentLoanHero.com, “A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Statistics for 2019,” February 4, 2019

2 USAToday.com, “Millennial Money: Why Young Adults Still Need Support Parents,” April 18, 2019

*Primerica Representatives are independent contractors and are not employees of Primerica. In Canada, the part-time opportunity may be subject to certain restrictions, depending on your occupation.

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Posted in Community, Opportunity, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

May

01.19

The cost of child care in the United States has risen so quickly, it’s challenging college tuition and housing costs as the biggest chunks of annual family income when it comes to raising a child in the United States.1 Although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that childcare should account for no more than 10 percent of a family’s household income, in some parts of the United States, the actual costs range from 7 percent to a whopping 18.6 percent.1,2

Here are some tips for reducing childcare costs:

  • Determine your budget. Deciding how much you can afford before diving into the market of available child care options will help give you a clear picture of what is within your means. After some number crunching, you may determine that it is cheaper for your family if only one parent is the breadwinner and the other stays home. A 2018 statistic from The Pew Research Center found that one in five U.S. parents stay at home while the other parent works.3
  • Begin researching early. Start early – like before your child is even born, or well before your expected return to work date, thus widening your options and allowing you to find the best situation for your family and your employer.
  • See what discounts your employer offers. Many employers offer generous discounts to daycare centers near their headquarters or in communities where their employees live. Check with your Human Resources department to find out if there are any available to you.
  • Evaluate your benefits. Many health insurance plans offer a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that can be used to pay for childcare. If your healthcare plan does, make sure to use it to your advantage.
  • Host an au pair. An au pair is typically an arrangement where a family needing a caregiver for their child(ren) hosts a young adult from a foreign country in exchange for room, board, and miscellaneous expenses. Au pairs are cost-effective alternatives to live-in nannies and can be suitable for older children. There are several reputable websites offering international au pair services on the internet.
  • Consider nanny-sharing. A nanny-share arrangement is where two families split the cost of one caregiver or “nanny,” thus decreasing the cost of services for each family involved and increasing the price paid to the particular caregiver. There are a couple of reputable sites on the Web where you could get started. Just be sure to do your research.

1 CNBC.com, “Affordable Child Care May Be as Mythical as Unicorns,” July 25, 2018

2 Ibid

3 Money.CNN.com, “Child Care: What Do You Pay?” April 2, 2019

4 PewResearch.org, “Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads Account for About One-in-Five U.S. Parents,” September 24, 2018

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Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Nov

26.18

The holidays are a time we tend to get generous with giving and with spending, and for some that means racking up credit card debt. Last year, Americans charged more than $1,054 in holiday spending – about five percent more than the year before!*

Here are some tips to be both cheerful and frugal this year:

  1. Make a Budget. Make a budget and stick to it! Determine what you need and who you need to buy for, and buy only that.
  2. Shop Smart. Look for ways to save money and earn discounts on what you have to purchase. Look online for best prices and compare with brick and mortar stores.
  3. Get Creative. You don’t have to spend a lot on holiday décor to celebrate with the best of them! Get creative and come up with some alternative and thrifty ways to deck your halls with cheer.
  4. Resist Temptation. There will undoubtedly be multiple opportunities for you to be tempted to spend more throughout the holidays. Resist the temptation and remind yourself you’ll be in a better position financially come New Year!

*CNBC.com, “Americans racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt,” January 2, 2018

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Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |