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Archive for the ‘Wallet Wellness’ Category

Oct

05.18

A rise in consumer cost of living suggests Americans may be earning less than they were a year ago, but spending more on housing. The Department of Labor found that consumer prices climbed 2.9 percent in July – the fastest rate in 10 years – and most of this increase was reflected in higher housing costs.1

One new report asserts the median rent nationwide is now $1,445.2

For middle-class Americans living predominately paycheck to paycheck, that’s not good – considering that the cost of housing generally takes the biggest chunk out of a household budget.

If you’re feeling the pinch of too-high housing costs, here’s what to do:

  • Budget to spend less. When shopping for housing, experts recommend budgeting to spend 30 percent (or less) of your salary. In expensive cities like San Francisco or NYC, that may be harder to do, but whatever your geographical area, if you’re in the market for a mortgage – or looking to rent – it pays to be frugal.
  • Get a roommate. Your home life doesn’t necessarily have to look like an episode of Friends, but sharing the costs of living with another person can save you tons of money. It doesn’t have to be forever – just long enough to make it financially worthwhile. As long as you pick a responsible roommate who has a job, dealing with another personality for a year or two just may be worth it.
  • Rent a room. Renting a room in your house to a student or young professional can help offset high housing costs. You may need to share some common space, but as long as the outcome is financially beneficial to you, and provided you’ve vetted the person you’re renting to, it should be a worthwhile way to drive down costs.
  1. CBSNews.com, “Cost of Living Increasing at Fastest Rate in 10 Years, “ August 10, 2018
  2. CNBC.com, “Millennials, Here’s How to Set a Realistic Budget,” March 22, 2018

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Sep

11.18

Are you one of the “average Americans” saddled with a balance of over $9,000 in credit card debt?1 If so, you’re certainly not alone. One survey found that one in three Americans is losing sleep over their debt, and one quarter report that debt has hurt their relationships with family.2

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, it’s time to take some action. Here are four strategies:

  1. Pay more than the minimum. Whatever your minimum monthly payment is, double it, or triple it if you can – by all means, if you’re being charged interest, pay more than the minimum. If you’re carrying debt on multiple credit cards, determine which card is costing you the most in interest and pay that off the quickest. Then, you can tackle the others in the same manner.
  2. Pay attention to your bills. Be vigilant about your credit. Look at your statements frequently. You ought to be paying your credit card bills off in full every month. Start where you are, but make a zero balance every month your ultimate goal.
  3. Build up your emergency fund. An emergency fund is a cash reserve to use for emergencies – ideally, three to six months’ worth of your salary. But if you’ve been putting life’s emergencies on credit cards, chances are your dedicated emergency fund isn’t substantial enough. Consistently put money toward your emergency fund while you’re paying off credit card debt.
  4. Bring in more income. Harness your entrepreneurial spirit and find opportunities where you can bring in more income. Start a business. Rent a room in your house. Sell some belongings. Throw all of these extra earnings toward your debt and emergency fund.
  1. Vogue.com, “6 Ways to Fool-Proof Your Finances and Save Every Month,” May 13, 2018
  2. CNBC.com, “Most Americans Would Give Up Social Media to Erase Credit Card Debt,” July 11, 2018

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Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Aug

16.18

Thirty percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 has an adult child living with them most of the year – the highest point in 40 years!* Here are some tips on how to cope with an adult child returning home:

Set a deadline. Establishing a target move-out date can help keep your kids focused on the future.

Expect financial help. If they have a job, grown kids should pay their own phone bills and contribute to household costs such as food and cable TV.

Work together to determine rent. Decide on a reasonable rate, then save their contributions for a security deposit on a new apartment or furniture.

Ask them to pitch in. In lieu of rent (or in addition to it) your kids should help out around the house. If you’re not happy with the current situation, speak up!

Offer financial advice. Remember your kids are dealing with new issues like student loans, credit cards and health insurance. They may not ask for your advice, but they probably need it.

*MoneyTalksNews.com, “Still Supporting Your Adult Kids? 5 Steps to Set Them Free,” October 11, 2017

 

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Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Jul

05.18

Have the best summer ever and save money at the same time. Use these savings tips to bank extra funds for a special trip, to pay off debt or to save for emergencies:

1. Park the car and walk. Operating a car is a major expense and gas prices tend to rise in the summer. Take advantage of a sunny day by parking your car in a central location and walking as much as possible to take care of errands or to enjoy days out with your family and friends.

2. Teach your kids about money. Use summer vacations as an opportunity to improve your children’s financial literacy and teach them about responsibility at the same time. Help show them ways they can earn money, such as setting up a lemonade stand or walking neighbors’ dogs. Stock up on board games like Monopoly and Life that the whole family can participate in.

3. Grow a garden. Plan to grow summer fruits and vegetables or fresh herbs in your own garden. Gardens can be expensive, so be wise about what you plant. You have the potential to save money on groceries when you choose to grow foods you already like and purchase at the store.

4. Have a multi-family yard sale. Organize a multi-family yard sale to get rid of “junk” you have piled in your basement or attic – more families involved equals more crowds! Look on the Internet for tips to organize your for-sale items to make them more attractive to buyers.

5. Find free or discounted fun. Check out websites or local papers for listings of free outdoor movie nights and live music performances in neighboring cities and towns. Hit up festivals and farmers markets instead of paying admission to expensive theme parks.

6. Cancel your cable TV. With so many alternative ways to stream movies and television series online, it pays to cancel your cable TV. Go ahead and do it this summer.

7. Fire up the grill. Outdoor grilling, a favorite summer pastime, can save you money on indoor electricity costs. Hamburgers and hotdogs are tasty and affordable but don’t forget chicken, fish, pork, shish kebabs, and veggies. You can grill out every night of the week or have one big backyard barbecue where you grill several different items to freeze and have throughout the week.

9. Consider clipping coupons. If you haven’t used coupons before, consider trying them out this summer. You can start by collecting coupons (online and in your Sunday paper) and organizing them in a folder or binder. Searching “couponing tips” on the Internet can help get you started.

10. Earn extra income. Earning extra income by getting a part-time job or freelancing your creative skills is a great way to spend your free time this summer. Want to earn at your own pace while helping families become financially independent? Primerica offers a part-time opportunity that might be right for you!

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Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Jun

25.18

Know there are ways to earn extra income online, but not sure how to find what’s out there? Here are some unique, interesting and unusual ideas:

  1. Lease unused space. Have extra space in your home that you could rent out? Advertise a finished basement, studio apartment, or fully furnished room online. Going out of town for a while? Consider renting your whole house.
  2. Market your property to production companies. If you think your property might be a winner with the film industry, list it on location registry websites for motion picture production companies. It could prove to be a very lucrative move if a crew wants to shoot there.
  3. Shuttle people around. Have a car and some extra time? Pick up shifts when you can and earn money (and tips) in your area by driving people around in your personal vehicle using ride sharing apps. Don’t need your car for a weekend? There are ways to rent it out, too.
  4. Be a live audience member or answer a casting call. Find work on the set of films or live television shows by scouring daily listings for paid gigs in your area.
  5. Test websites and provide feedback. Earn extra cash by completing tasks on websites or apps. Marketers pay to get inside the heads of their target customers.
  6. Perform household tasks for clients. Answer requests to assemble furniture, help someone move, do general handyman or other tasks for pay as an independent contractor.
  7. Do freelance work for your talents. Get paid for your creative skills, whether you’re a writer, photographer, web developer or graphic designer.
  8. Offer your tutoring services. Did you have a high SAT score? If you are a whiz in a particular subject, offer sharing your subject matter expertise.
  9. Translate if you’re bilingual. If you’re fluent in a second language, advertise your services online.
  10. Take surveys online. Companies will pay people to take surveys and express their opinions on products and services and issues that affect their daily lives.
  11. Watch other peoples’ children. Love kids? Sites geared to your local area simplify the process of finding baby-sitting jobs in your area.
  12. Pet sit and/or walk dogs. If you have personal or professional experience watching or walking dogs, there are several online companies that will match you up with dog owners in your area that need your services.
  13. House sit. Many people will pay others to house sit while they’re away. Advertise your availability with house sitting services online.
  14. Serve on a virtual jury. Be a virtual juror and make money while expressing your beliefs and opinions about interesting legal cases and helping the court system become more efficient.
  15. Start your own business. Find flexibility and freedom in working for yourself while earning money at the same time. Interested in Primerica’s business opportunity? Visit Primerica Business Opportunity or talk to a Primerica representative in your area for more details.

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