Primerica

Posts Tagged ‘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!


No Comments »

Tags: , , , , ,

Posted in Primerica, Tips |

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


1 Comment »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in Primerica, Tips |

Nov

13.15

10-ways-to-save-this-fall

10 Ways to Save This Fall
Holiday events, gifts and grand meals are just around the corner! Unfortunately for most, that means overindulging and overspending become the norm. It’s fun while it lasts, but who wants to live with that kind of regret? Not you!

There are tons of super fun things you can do, make and see that won’t break the bank. So this season, don’t “fall” into bad habits, “fall” into savings, instead. You’ll be glad you did!

10 Fun (and Easy!) Ways to Save

  1. Cook hearty meals. Fall is all about feeling cozy, so break out those comfort food and soup recipes! You can cook in batches and freeze them for convenience. Plus, cooking in a larger quantity (i.e. for 6-8 instead of 3-4 servings) saves you time, too. Want to up the ante? Use your handy crockpot instead of the oven for energy efficiency savings, too!
  2. Enjoy the great outdoors. It’s not too hot and not too cold. That means it’s the perfect time to get out and explore! Most parks are free, so lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and make exploring nature a family affair. Another way to make it special and save? Pack a picnic and eat al fresco!
  3. Take advantage of special sales. Stores and shopping sites are ramping up for the holiday season. Make a list of what you need to buy and keep a lookout for the best price. Sales aren’t just on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Stores will be having sales weekly (if not daily!) for the rest of the year.
  4. Make some gifts. With so many online resources, it’s easy to find simple, affordable and adorable handmade gift ideas for the ones you love. Get a head start on making gifts now so you don’t feel overwhelmed later.
  5. Adjust your thermostat. Fall is a perfect time to turn off the AC and open a few windows. Also, if it gets chilly, simply light a fire in the fireplace or add a sweater to your outfit. These are easy ways to save money on your heating bill.
  6. Light a fire. Fun is about being together, not fancy outings. Have a fire pit and a backyard? It’s a great time of year to roast marshmallows or hot dogs and make s’mores. Kids love simple luxuries like that and it’s relaxing for adults to sit back and gather around the fire. Plus, you can find affordable fire pits at your local hardware store for as little as $30.
  7. Weatherproof your home. Simple things like weather stripping, adding extra caulk and changing the direction of your fans to push warm air down can cut down on expenses in the winter.
  8. Get out of dodge. Airfares and other modes of transportation are cheaper in the fall and winter months. Treat yourself to a getaway and you could save!
  9. Put your gym membership on hold. The weather is nice outside, so why pay to exercise indoors? Ask your gym if you can suspend your membership for a couple of months and save!
  10. Look for free stuff. Tis the season for all kinds of fun outdoor activities and mini celebrations. Check your local paper and local discount websites to see what’s happening in your area for free (hello, lighting of the Christmas tree!) or for a reduced price.

Remember, you can still have fun this fall and save along the way. Just be creative and look around you. Savings are everywhere!

15PFS528


No Comments »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in Primerica, Tips |

Jun

30.14

financial-future

To get started on the path to wallet wellness, you often need to start small. But you can have fun in the process! As your new outlook becomes second nature, you can finally begin to focus on the four things that matter for your financial future:

1. Have an emergency fund.

This is your reserve fund in the event of an unforeseen emergency, job loss or an unexpected expense. A good rule of thumb: set a goal of having three to six months’ salary in your emergency fund. Every little bit helps! For example, saving $5 a week is the equivalent to giving up a latté.

2. Take control of your debt.

There’s often a connection between emergencies and debt, but that’s not the only reason people get into debt. Chronic consumer debt has become an epidemic on Main Street, and families now struggle more than ever to make ends meet. Debt is one of the biggest threats to your financial wellbeing. Take control by identifying your debt and learning how debt stacking can lead to freedom. They say you can eat an elephant – one bite at a time. The same concept works with paying off your debt!

3. Protect the things you love.

One of the most important expenditures a family makes is also one of the most misunderstood. In the event you can no longer provide for your family, it’s absolutely critical that you make the right decision when it comes to protecting the things you love. It’s hard to talk about the “worst-case scenario,” but being properly protected can have a huge impact on your family’s security and peace of mind. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts if you don’t understand! It’s better to find out now than to later wish you could go back in time and do it all over again.

4. Save for the future.

Finally, you want to think about your long-term savings. Your goal is to save for the future! There’s a high cost to waiting, so it pays to start early. Don’t get so focused on the future that you succumb to the “I can start tomorrow” attitude! According to experts, “The trick to making a savings plan stick is to think about small, specific things that can be repeated over time.”1 Time and consistency are two of the most powerful keys to achieving financial security.

By focusing on these four keys to your financial future, you can get started on the path to freedom and independence. The tiny battles you face day to day will ultimately help you win the “war” for your wallet!

1. TIME.com, “Want to Save Money? Stop Thinking About the Big Picture,” January 9, 2014

14PFS276


No Comments »

Tags: , , ,

Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |

Jun

23.14

kids-money-fun

While everyone wishes a “money tree” did actually exist, those who work hard for the money know differently. How many times did your parents tell you that “money doesn’t grow on trees,” and how often do you find yourself cringing when you voice that same wisdom to your kids?

While spending always seems more exciting than budgeting and saving (at the time), it’s important for us to teach our kids to be responsible with their money so they can avoid making many of the same money mistakes their parents did.

Here are some fun and easy ways to teach your kids about money this summer:

Goal: To emphasize the value of money and teach kids that money isn’t “free?” To make sure they understand that you have to work for the things you purchase.

Kid-tivity: Come up with ways your child can earn money toward something he or she wants to buy or wants to do. Here are some ideas:

  • Extra chores around the house or for a neighbor
  • Babysitting (must be at least 12 years old and very responsible)
  • Pet-sitting or dog walking
  • Yardwork or gardening
  • Washing cars or windows
  • Lemonade or popsicle stand
  • Yard sale … and more!

Goal: To have your children understand what it means to be charitable and he or she can have a sense of accomplishment and pride by giving back to his or her community.

Kid-tivity: There are plenty of big and small ways your child can give back, whether or not money is involved. Here are just a couple:

  • Have him or her buy a toy for a child in need with his or her own money.
  • Find a local volunteer project you and your child can participate in. Explain what the charity is and why you’re helping.
  • Keep a change jar around the house for loose change and let your kids pick the charity they want to give it to when the jar fills up.
  • Show your child the value of time by spending time with an elderly neighbor or shut in. Explain that the giving of time is just as valuable as the giving of money.

Wallet Wellness Challenge
Can you think up of more ways to teach your kids the value of money? Get creative! Make it fun! Then share them with us!

14PFS272


1 Comment »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in Primerica, Tips, Wallet Wellness |