College Credit Questions: Are They Ready for a Credit Card?

If your child is ready to head to college, there are questions that undoubtedly come up. Is it right that you should help out? How financially responsible will your child be, and should you co0sign for that credit card? You do need to have all the answers ready before the day arrives.

 

Should you help pay for your kid’s college?

 

After tax breaks, scholarships, student loans worth $30,000 and the $10,000 that the average student job brings in over four years, the typical family usually needs to come up with $30,000 for a degree at a public college, and nearly twice as much for a private college.

 

Finding the $8,000 a year that this comes to isn’t often easy. Parents often realize how they need to delay their retirement and forgo vacations to be able to pay.

 

Research by Georgetown University has found, however, that nearly all new job categories created in the past five years paying a middle-class wage require a college education. Increasingly, it is simply not possible to vaguely trust in the availability of well-paying jobs for those with no college. According to a Gallup poll, most parents do believe that paying for college for their kids offers them their money’s worth.

 

Families differ on how much they’re willing to give up, however. Only in half of all families do parents see it as a reasonable idea to borrow against their homes to help pay for a child’s college. In the end, whatever means families have, two out of three do actually help to some degree.

 

Should your kid get a credit card for college?

 

Marketers tend to believe that the first credit card a person gets sticks with them for life. People tend to have a soft spot for the bank that gives them their first taste of financial freedom. Many banks, then, tie-up with colleges and try to sign students on for starter credit cards, often offering free food and T-shirts as incentives. Since it’s hard for anyone under 21 to qualify for a card, however, parents usually need to co-sign.

 

Student credit cards usually come with high interest rates. Should your kid not understand how borrowing money on a credit card can quickly snowball into large sums owed, signing up for such a card could be a risky proposition.

 

Since these cards usually come with low spending limits, however, things can’t go too far out of hand. It’s often far better for a young person to make his money mistakes on a credit card with a low spending limit than on a regular one, later on, that involves thousands.

 

Each time a mistake is made, parents can help a kid learn from it and use the opportunity to bring up lessons about money, and how debt and credit cards work — minimum payments, interest rates, credit card consolidation (http://consolidation.creditcard/) and so on. As long as a credit card is able to give you an excuse to help your child learn about credit, co-signing should be a good idea.

 

Often, you don’t need to laboriously work out the pros and cons of a decision yourself. It can help simply to know what other parents do. This is what all those forums on the Internet are there for. When you begin to see how other parents think, it can quickly help your own thoughts crystallize.

 

Protecting Your Equine Investment with Sufficient Coverage

id-100433232Horses can be expensive investments to care for and maintain. Along with buying hay, alfalfa, and feed for your horses, you also must invest in their care and wellness. When your horse suffers an injury for which surgery is required, you may not have a lot of money to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket. You may help defray costs by purchasing coverage like horse business liability insurance or another pet care policy. The coverage may reduce what you have to pay and also protect your horse if a factor beyond your control causes the injury.

Finding Coverage Right for Your Horses

When you shop for the policy, it is important that you find one that offers the coverage that you need to protect your equine business. As noted, horses can be expensive to take care of, especially if they have to undergo surgery. You could face a vet bill that costs thousands of dollars.

Just as you would protect your health and that of your family, you may find that a policy for your horse can be ideal for defraying some of the costs of the surgery. The policy could pay a significant portion of the bill and leave a minimal amount left over for you to cover. It also allows you to keep more money in your operating budget to put back toward the care and upkeep of the rest of your equine herd.

The policy could also be useful in case the horse dies during or after the procedure. Along with losing a pet, you also lose an investment in your farm. The loss of a horse takes a toll directly on your profit and cash flow. The coverage could help you recoup some of those losses.

Learning More

Before you buy a policy, you may want to do some additional resource. The insurer has a blog available where you can read about topics related to protecting your horses or buying coverage. The topics may give you insight about details about which you have never previously thought.

Likewise, you can use the links on the right side of the page to learn about protecting your horses and other farm animals, even your working dogs. This insurance could allow you to run your farm without paying a lot out-of-pocket for the animals’ medical upkeep.

Horses are a worthwhile but costly investment. You can protect them with beneficial horse insurance.

 

Image courtesy of Rob D at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Online Coupon Codes: Ways a Little Know-How Can Save You a Lot of Money

It can be expensive to be a shopper.  However, let’s face it; being a consumer is fun and the cost of (most) things won’t stop you from pulling out your wallet.  Yet that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save money when you can, especially if saving more means you can buy more!  Many people shop online these days.  It’s fast, convenient, and safe.  But before you checkout, be sure you have a coupon code.  Here’s how to find codes so you can save a lot of money.

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Start at the Source

It makes sense to start at the source, the retailer or manufacturer’s website, to find coupons on sought goods.  The manufacturer’s website may be glossed over when comparing prices.  You may go to a site that offers the lowest price, yet you’ll want to check the original brand’s website too.  If they offer a coupon code, they may host the lowest prices after the discount.

Find Coupon Sites

Alternatively, some sites offer coupons on an array of products and services.  Use the on-page search box to find discounts on brands, products, or particular models.  For example, at the GrabOn site, you can find savings on electronics, home goods, kid toys, and more.  Use a paytm coupon code to unlock lower prices on sought items.  Many of these sites partner with manufacturers or retailers, so you won’t find the coupons in other places on the web.

Follow Retailers on Social Media

Retailers are always asking advocates to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ them, and if you’re a repeat customer, it’s well worth it.  Retailers post coupon codes and other information so loyal followers can save money and learn firsthand about upcoming sales.  Sometimes it pays to check Facebook pages or see what brands are tweeting about.  Get info on sales, promo codes, and giveaways.

Sign-up for Email Alerts

Signing-up for email alerts is akin to following brands on social media.  Yes, many consumers dread getting emails from retailers; no one wants their email account filled with spam.  However, saving on wanted goods and services is well worth opening an email.  If you’re worried about getting too much email, use filters to place retailer information in a separate inbox.

Call Customer Service

Most associate calling customer service with a need to make a complaint, reverse a charge, etc.  However, have you ever thought about calling customer service to tell them how much you like a service, product, etc?  Most brands like to hear from their advocates.  It’s not a given, but in some cases they may send you a coupon code or free samples due to your special interest in the brand.  Alternatively, you can contact customer service to learn about existing coupon codes on wanted items.

Visit Stores

Online isn’t the only place you can find information leading to online savings.  Brick and mortar locations may present coupons in exchange for in-store purchases or for coming to a store-related event.  Alternatively, in-store lists may be the only way to get on a ‘VIP email list.’

Luca Quinn is not shy to admit that she is a couponer! She has always been frugal and loves saving money on everyday purchases as well as larger one-off items. She shares her secrets online.

How to Stop Wasting and Start Saving

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Money seems to take-on a life of its own, at times, prompting spending and debt you could easily avoid. What is behind this powerful phenomenon, which consistently drives consumers toward ill-advised purchases? The answer may be as unique as the individuals spending the money, but there is no denying our collective penchant to squander cash.

In some cases, money is no object, so spending is governed by personal preference, desire, and commitment to possessing the latest and greatest objects. For most people, however, these ideals must be mitigated, in order to align spending with household income limits. One prudent path toward long-term financial health: Stop wasting money.

Waste Runs Rampant across Personal Budgets

Financial management is a balancing act, striking harmony between available resources, and the things you want and need. Reining-in discretionary spending is one way to create the balanced budget you need, if you intend to stay in the black. An approachable first step for those committed to saving money is to evaluate spending, with an eye toward waste. You may be surprised how much of your cash flow falls into this category, furnishing fertile grounds for financial improvement. Consider the following examples – do any of them apply to your personal circumstances?

Are you contracting too many services? – Life’s routine includes countless tasks, which must be continually undertaken – often repetitively. And while some are agreeable – even enjoyable, others become chores we’d rather not engage in. In these cases, temptation prompts many people to contract the services to outside providers. When this represents an affordable piece of your budget, it might be chalked-up to affluence and personal comfort. However, if you don’t have the money to cover costs, paid services deserve a closer look.

Do you pay a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn? Able-bodied individuals should forgo the practice of paying for yardwork, instead using it as an opportunity to save money and get some exercise. Are you prone to pick up carryout, rather than producing meals at home? This convenient indulgence takes a task off your plate, but the cost of prepared meals is exorbitant, when compared to self-inspired fare. If you are tethered to takeout, consider cooking instead. Your meal budget will immediate reflect savings.

It is up to each person to draw their own line – sometimes tied to motivation and ability. Saving money by doing your own home improvements is a windfall, for example, until you end up paying a contractor to repair your mistakes. Be realistic about what makes sense to tackle on your own, but don’t be afraid to learn new, money-saving skills.

Do you use credit wisely? – Modern consumers have access to many forms of credit. This double-edged sword provides for families when money is most needed, but it also opens the door to mismanagement, which can lead to financial difficulties. Loans and other forms of credit serve vital functions – even short-term financing, which can be beneficial for pop-up expenses. The key to prudent fiscal management is not eliminating the use of financing altogether, but instead finding a workable cash flow balance. Automatically placing charges on your credit card, rather than paying cash, for example, can lead to undue waste. To limit wasted interest payments and card fees, use cash on hand to make everyday purchases, whenever possible.

Is there sound reasoning behind your spending decisions? – Impulse buys are contrary to your money-saving mission, so leave them by the wayside as you cut financial waste. Too often, buyer’s remorse cannot be remedied, so money goes down the drain with impractical purchases. As a rule, separate yourself from impulsiveness, waiting at least 15 minutes before buying an item that has caught your eye. Build-in considerably more time for reflection when contemplating major purchases, or run the risk of buying the wrong car, for instance.

What is your weakness? – Unfortunately, that which we love the most can be a source of financial waste. Drive thru coffee drinks, for instance, and other minor indulgences seem harmless, yet add-up to significant spending. As you turn your attention toward reduced waste and subsequent savings, evaluate life’s luxuries, for their impact on your family budget. You may find room for occasional extravagances, but it is important to be realistic when pleasure spending goes too far.

Eliminating – or at least reducing – personal financial waste is a wise first-step toward better cash flow. With commitment and dedication to improved financial fortunes, it is possible to shave wasteful spending, without feeling the pinch.

Image source: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-152507462/stock-vector-saving-money-jar-vector-illustration.html

How To Save On Kids Clothing

Children’s clothing is often one of the biggest expenses that parents have to plan for and with good reason. Children are growing constantly and the clothes that fit them one week might be too small the next. Then, there are the parents who insist on purchasing designer apparel, gear and expensive sneakers for their little ones.

But when you find yourself looking to save money on your children’s clothing and need additional tips, this list of helpful hints is here to provide the necessary assistance!

Clearance Racks and Coupons

Don’t fall into the trap of buying clothes for your children from the front of the store and paying full price for them. Most stores offer promotional coupon codes that can be shipped directly to your e-mail address, providing you with the heads up you need. There are some pretty great coupons for Nordstrom you can make use of and save a lot. When you do decide to head to the clothing store, be sure to head to the back and sift through the clearance rack. Clothes that were needlessly expensive before are often marked down significantly.

Buy Out Of Season

Planning ahead is crucial. Instead of waiting until the dead of winter to purchase coats, hats, sweaters and the like for your children, purchase these items during the spring and summer, when they are likely to be much, much cheaper. The same goes for your children’s summer items, which can usually be purchased during the winter months at a deep discount.

Teach Them To Share

While you are not going to put your son in a Princess Jasmine shirt or force your daughter to wear a monster truck sweatshirt, your kids can definitely share certain basic clothing necessities with minimal muss and fuss. Products such as boots, jackets and snow pants can be purchased with the intent of being used as community items, as opposed to being the individual property of one child in particular.

Purchase Play Clothes

Do not allow your kids to wear their nice school or church clothes while they are going to be playing outside or horsing around with friends. While buying play clothes might cost a little bit more initially, it will save you major money in the long run, when you are not doling out significant funds to replace torn jeans, busted sneakers and stained shirts.

Hit Up Garage Sales

You may already be familiar with garage sales, as they provide a great place to save money on children’s toys and books. But did you know that there is also a wealth of clothing to be found there, as well? There are sites such as Yard Sale Search that can provide you with information about the upcoming sales in your region, allowing you to get a jump on your competitors and find the best deals as soon as possible.