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Posts Tagged ‘saving’

Dec

09.15

Dinners, parties and gifts … oh my! The holiday season is upon us and that means for most, spending will be at an all-time high. While some may have saved throughout the year for this special season of giving, many will break out their credit cards and dig themselves into debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can still make it a holly, jolly Christmas — without going into debt. Here’s how:

 

Folly: Buying whatever strikes your fancy at the time and not keeping track of what you spend or buy.

Jolly: Making a budget and sticking to it. This way, you don’t end up with too much stuff or a lot of filler that doesn’t have meaning.

 

Folly: Buying random gifts and then figuring out who to give them to.

Jolly: Take note from old Saint Nick. Make a list of recipients, gifts and what you want to spend. Then check them off, one by one!

 

Folly: Waiting until the last minute to do your shopping.

Jolly: The early bird not only gets the worm, but gets the best prices, too! Shop around and do your homework so you can take advantage of sales and get more bang for your buck.

 

Folly: Spending too much on entertainment for you and your family.

Jolly: Some of the best experiences in life can’t be bought. Why not host a Christmas movie marathon, go caroling or drive around your neighborhood to see everyone’s decorations? Sometimes the simple things are the sweetest.

 

Folly: Getting too caught up in the buying season.

Jolly: Giving back to those less fortunate. There are tons of ways to give your time or money to those who need help this season. Forgo a few gifts and reallocate that money to charity. Tis the season for giving … back to your community!

 

Folly: Breaking the bank on decorations.

Jolly: Have any holly bushes outside? Cut off a few branches to use in a display or put in a vase. Have pine trees or evergreens in your backyard? Make your own garland with some twine or ribbon! String together popcorn and cranberries or make a paper chain. Thrifty (but beautiful) decorating ideas are endless!

 

Folly: Buying your kids everything on their wish list.

Jolly: Starting a new tradition like “want, need, wear, read.” Buy four presents, one for each category. Not only will it make the gifts more meaningful, it will save a lot of money, too!

 

Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. There are countless ways to save money this holiday season. Make your holiday a jolly occasion and head into 2016 without a bunch of extra debt weighing you down!

15PFS535


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Posted in Primerica, Tips |

Nov

27.12

We asked our Facebook fans to give us their best tip for holiday shopping, and they delivered. Small changes can lead to big savings, and they had great ideas on how to shop smart during the holidays. We compiled some of the best advice to create these five easy steps to becoming a super shopper!

Step 1: Figure out how much money total you can spend on gifts.
Instead of deciding on the amount you’ll spend on each person of your gift list, start by figuring out exactly how much you can spend on all of your gifts. Be realistic about what you can actually afford.

One person suggested saving all of your loose change during the year and adding it to your gift budget at the end of the year. Chances are high that you’ll save more than you’d expect!

Step 2: Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for.
Once you know how much you can spend, make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for this year. Our smart shoppers noted that going into stores without a plan is often what gets people off budget. Having a list in hand while on the hunt for presents can help you focus and stay on target.

Step 3: Budget what you are going to spend for each person.
Go back to your original budget – the total amount you could spend on everyone – and now decide what you’re going to spend on each person on your list.

You don’t have to stick to this exactly, but it helps guide your spending. For example, you might budget $30 for Grandma. If you find the perfect gift for her and it happens to be on sale, then count that as a shopping success! You got her a great gift, and you saved money. You don’t have to spend exactly what you budgeted – just make sure you don’t spend more.

Step 4: Total it all up and make sure you’re within your limit.
Along the way, keep a running total so that you can be sure you’re within your limit. Don’t wait until the last minute! Keep track as you shop so that you can make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Step 5: If you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t be buying it. Get creative and come up with something else!
The most common advice – don’t buy it if you can’t afford it. You don’t want to dig yourself into debt trying to buy gifts for the holidays. It’s truly the thought that counts, and some of the most meaningful gifts won’t cost you anything but time.

For example, want to treat your mom to something nice but don’t have the money? Give her the gift of your time and hard work – write her a note that lets her know that you’ll clean her house from top to bottom.

That’s just one example, but there are numerous ways you can shower someone with love without spending a dime.

What’s your best holiday shopping advice? Share in the comments!


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Posted in Primerica, Tips |

Aug

01.12

The little decisions you make every day determine the health of your financial future. Following are three of the worst money habits – and how to break them.

  1. Carrying a balance on credit cards. The average credit card balance last year was $6,576.1 With an average interest rate of 17%, that adds up to more than $1,100 in interest every year!2 Strive to live within your means and pay down your debt. Did you know that your Primerica representative can help you create a game plan for paying off your credit card debt? It’s true!
  2. Ignoring your credit score. A shocking 56% of people have no idea their credit score is the most important factor when applying for a mortgage, car loan and new credit card.3 Do you know your credit score? If not, you should! Your credit score can also influence whether or not you are approved to rent a house or apartment, the cost of your homeowner’s and car insurance and in some cases, whether or not you are eligible for a job (13% of employers check credit reports for all candidates; 47% check them for certain positions4). Regularly monitoring your credit is essential to your financial health.
  3. Saving for college but skimping on retirement. It’s great to make sacrifices for your child’s higher education – but if you’re doing this instead of contributing to your retirement accounts, you may have to work longer to make up for it. While your child can fund college through a variety of sources (scholarships, grants, financial aid, part-time work), you can’t borrow money for retirement.

Break these common money habits, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier financial future!

  1. Yahoofinance.com, March 2, 2012
  2. Ibid
  3. www.economywatch.com, viewed April 4, 2012
  4. Kiplinger’s, February 2012


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Posted in Primerica, Tips |

Jun

15.12

If you struggle with finding money to save, here are some ideas to help you get started.

  1. Put aside your loose change each day. Saving just $1 a day will yield you $365 in a year!
  2. Cut your phone bills. For less than $10, you can buy a prepaid cell phone and pay only by the minute. Cancel your land line (unless you have medical issues that may require emergency calls).
  3. Dodge unnecessary fees. Avoid bouncing checks, overdraft and ATM fees. The $20-$40 you normally spend each month could save you $240 to $480 each year!
  4. Bring lunch to work. Spend $2 a day on making lunch at home instead of eating out for $5 a day, and you’ve saved $780 in one year.
  5. Track your spending. You might not realize where your money is going. Keep a receipt for everything you spend in one month. At the end of the month, separate them into categories. Where can you trim excess spending? Usual suspects: entertainment and dining out.


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Mar

09.12

How much are you really spending on coffee and lunch? According to a new study conducted by Accounting Principals, working Americans spend more than $1,000 on coffee and nearly $2,000 on lunch each year!

About half of Americans regularly buy coffee on workdays and 2/3 (66%) regularly buy their lunch. These coffee drinkers guzzle down $20 worth of coffee a week, adding up to $1,092 each year. Younger workers (ages 18-34 years old) spend twice as much on coffee than coffee drinkers age 45+ ($24.74 a week vs. $14.15 a week)

 

When it comes to lunchtime, most workers dining out spend about $37 a week, adding up to nearly $2,000 year—more than they are spending on their commuting costs ($1,476)! Again, younger workers spent more: $44.78 per week for 18-34 year olds, $31.80 for those 45+.

Many workers are starting to realize the effect of lunch costs on their budget: 35% have vowed to start bringing lunch instead of buying it in 2012. How about you?

Source: Accounting Principals Workonomix Survey, January 2012


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