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Budget Buster: 4 Tips To Help You Stay Out Of The Red in College

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 with No comments

Oct 27, 2016

It’s never easy making ends meet. But if you’re consistently finding yourself running out of money, you need to find a way to fix it before you max out your credit cards purchasing things you cannot afford. Here are 4 tips to keep you out of the red.

Make a Budget

If you’re wanting to stay out of the red, the most important thing you can do is know where your money is going. 

Track your expenses for a month, and divide everything up into categories. This will help you get a realistic picture of how you’re spending your money each month. This helps to identify areas where you can cut back. 

You might notice that you spent $400 on fast food last month. Track your expenses and use that knowledge to create a budget, or a goal for how much you’d like to spend in each category. Then, most importantly, stick to your budget.

Cut Expenses

If you’re wanting to save money, look for areas in your budget where you can cut back, or eliminate altogether. Evaluate each payment you make, and decide whether or not it’s essential. Do you really need those extra cable channels, or that monthly magazine subscription? 

Can you reduce your cell phone plan for additional savings? Cutting back on monthly fees can help out your bottom line tremendously.

Avoid “Good Deal Syndrome”

Don’t buy something simply because it’s a good deal. Yes, you might have just saved 50%, but you weren’t planning on buying that item originally. So technically, you just spent extra money that you hadn’t planned on. 

Getting trapped into the ‘good deal’ mindset is so easy to do, but should be avoided. Splurging on items just because they’re a good deal is a great way to spend your budget and not on the things you actually need. Only buy what you need, not what is on sale.

Shop Around For Deals

If you’re wanting to stay out of the red, you must make every dollar count. Maximize your purchasing potential by shopping around for deals. While it can be tempting to buy name-brand items, typically you’re just paying for the label. 

To save money, try lower-cost, generic items instead. Not everything is better just because it costs more. Check for online coupons on your phone before you complete a purchase, as you may be able to save 15% simply by doing a Google search in the checkout line. You may also change where you shop. 

For expensive but necessary items like tires, consider going to Discount Tire Centers to find quality products for a lower price. You can also shop second hand stores or stores with significantly discounted items that may be ‘last season’, but are still fully functional and could work for what you need.

No matter how much money you make, you will always find more ways to spend it. The key to a successful financial future is knowing your own limitations, and finding the best way to live within those limits.


Safety Sense: 4 Emergency Essentials For Your Vehicle

Posted on Oct 11, 2016 with No comments

Oct 11, 2016

Flat tires, dead batteries, burnt out fuses and low fluids are some of the most common causes of breakdowns. Install a metal toolbox or sturdy plastic crate in your vehicle filled with a variety of tools that at least include screwdrivers, wrenches, a tire gauge, a flat tire fix-it product, a battery charger, replacement fuses and bottles of fluids that help make your vehicle run smoothly. 

When it comes to emergency essentials for your vehicle, it’s better to plan ahead so that you have everything you need when the situation arises.

Nutritional Food

Many drivers forget the importance of having non-perishable snacks and water in their vehicles. You never know when you might find yourself suddenly dealing with low sugar, dehydration or a lengthy wait for a tow truck around meal time. 

You might also find another driver on the side of the road who needs nutritional help during a breakdown. If you have room in the trunk, consider installing an insulated cooler to store and organize this food. 

Keep in mind that a cooler and frozen bottles of water are also great for preventing spoiling of perishable foods and important medications during a long road trip or hot weather.

Medical Kit

Emergency medical concerns go beyond personal and roadside collision- and DIY repair-related injuries. Many drivers and passengers deal with sudden onset health problems like allergic reactions, heart attacks and choking. 

Make sure that your kit includes instructions for dealing with the most common injuries and ailments and medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, cold and heat packs, nausea, pain and antihistamine medicines, tweezers and safety scissors. 

Having a medical kit on hand will ensure that you can handle most emergency situations right then instead of waiting for medical supplies to arrive. In more serious situations, it can help you do what you need to do until EMS personnel arrive and take over the scene. However serious the medical situation, it is always a good idea to have a basic medical kit with you in your vehicle.

Contact Details

It is extremely important that you always keep emergency contact information in your vehicle, including employer contact information for those times when first responders can't reach your "in case of emergency" or "ICE" contacts. 

It also never hurts to have the contact information for trusted mechanics and automotive shops like Discount Tire Centers. You will want to have this information available to help ease the stress of a broken down car or flat tire.

These four essentials can help you handle most vehicle- and driving-related safety and emergency situations. Add them to your vehicle today.

6 Ways to Avoid Money Emergencies in College

Posted on Oct 9, 2016 with No comments

Oct 9, 2016

So, you're new to the college scene. Quite possibly you have never really lived on your own. You probably still are getting some support from your parents, but there's just no way to be ready for all of life's little emergencies.

Things are going to happen, but there are things that you can do to avoid getting yourself in a real financial pickle in college.

Plan Ahead

Preparing for the future is what college is all about, so why not start by building a little safety cushion for hard times. Stow away a little cash for when unexpected situations arise. 

Maybe you work a part-time job, or maybe you pick up odd jobs on the side. In any case, always pay yourself first as the saying goes. Establish an emergency fund and no emergency will be that big of a deal for you.

Be Frugal

Most college students aren't into coupon-clipping and comparison shopping, but why not? This may be the time in your life where money is the biggest problem, so start trying to save every penny you can right away. 

There is just no sense in paying more than you have to for the things that you were going to buy anyway. Be on the lookout in the local paper, sales ads, and all around for the best deals.

Be Preventive

Look ahead at those things that might happen that can be prevented. For example, most people don't fix anything on their car until they get stranded somewhere. Look ahead. Maybe it's time to change that battery before winter sets in. Maybe you want to get those brakes looked at before you wear down the rotors. 

Preventive maintenance means cheaper repair bills in the future. The car is only one example. Your body is another. Be preventive with your health as well. Have regular check-ups both in the medical and dental department to avoid that big bill when something really goes wrong.

Live Within Your Means

There's going to be times when the people around you are going to do something and you just don't have the money to go along. Don't let them talk you into it. There are plenty of ways to spend your time. Watch a movie. Listen to some music. 

Take a walk. Don't spend money that you don't have, and you'll be much less likely to raid the emergency fund before an actual emergency arises.

Get a Bicycle

Biking around campus doesn't take gasoline, just good old-fashioned willpower. Not only will you save money on fuel and wear-and-tear on a vehicle, but you'll also be getting some exercise as well. 

Make sure you invest in a good titanium lock though, because bicycle thefts are a huge problem on college campuses.

Get a Cash Loan

Despite all of your good intentions, you still may find yourself in a situation that your emergency fund just can't handle. If you really can't get the money any other way, try to get a personal loan from a company like Nine Tails Inc. By using something as collateral, you can get quick cash. Just make sure to pay it back to avoid interest costs!

These are just a few ways you can make sure you are ready when money emergencies strike in college. Living out on your own can be a challenge for sure, but it doesn't mean you have to be caught by surprise when the unexpected comes along.


College Finance Frenzy: 4 Ways to Tighten your Budget

Posted on Oct 2, 2016 with No comments

Oct 2, 2016

Many people today are finding themselves strapped for cash. It seems like there is never any money left over at the end of the month, and you are struggling just to pay the bills. 

Therefore, you are always looking for ways to save money. If you need some tips to save, here are 4 ways that you can tighten your budget.

Stop Eating Out

It seems like in today’s world, people are just so busy all the time. Therefore, it is just much easier to go out rather than cook at home. However, eating out can get very expensive. 

You can save quite a bit of money by eating at home. Plan an affordable menu every night and stick to it. Your family can even help you explore different menu items that are simple, quick, and delicious.

Save on Entertainment

Going to a movie or a sports event can really add up in your checkbook. Fortunately, there are cheaper forms of entertainment. Watch a movie on Netflix or have a family game night. You can even get creative such as having a craft night together. 

There should also be plenty of activities to do in your area that are completely free. Find a free museum or go to the park. Many attractions will also offer discounts, so go online to see where you can find a good deal. This is a great way to tighten your budget.

Buy a Used Car

When purchasing a car, it is very tempting to want a brand new vehicle. However, used cars are much more affordable and can save you money. The purchase price will be much lower; therefore, your payments will be lower than that of a new car. 

If you do buy a used car, make sure you use resources like Instavin to thoroughly do your research by looking up the vehicle history and getting a title report.

Bundle your Policies

You can really tighten your budget by combining your insurance policies. You can bundle your car insurance, home insurance, and health insurance. Find an insurance company that will allow you to purchase a policy that will cover all of your insurance needs. This will definitely help you save money.

No one enjoys having to cut back and it takes much discipline to accomplish tightening your budget. However, it can be done. By tightening your budget you will give yourself financial freedom and reduce the stress in your life. You will then be able to use the extra money for whatever you choose.


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