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Money Saving Tips For Single Moms

Money-Saving Tips

Creating a List of Money-Saving Tips is Essential for Single Moms

The list will vary considerably from one person to another. The money-saving tips working for a single Mom would be different than for a student, and a working professional and entirely unique saving methods would apply for a couple.

Being a single parent is not an easy job and this job becomes even more difficult when a single mother is pressed to save money. Life is not easy for mothers especially in today’s financial climate when single Moms must play the dual role of breadwinner and homemaker, therefore a lot of introspection is in order.

Single Moms Savings Creates Peace of Mind

Personal Financial Details

A single mother needs to take care of all types of personal financial details that exist, this is the main reason why financial success is possible.

If you are a single mom and looking for techniques to save money, then you’ve come to the right place. I will present you with some of the most successful money-saving tips available for single moms.

As a single Mom, you will understand there are many money-saving tips such as getting out of the debt trap, saving money for emergencies, and decreasing household bills.

Money saving tips for single moms

Save Money on Groceries

Groceries are expensive, but it is not impossible to save money on groceries. A mother is responsible for providing her children with a balanced diet and nutritious food. But a single mom is responsible for doing all this in an affordable way.

A single mom can save a lot of money by planning family meals in advance. You can also receive bulk and coupon discounts from most grocery and retail stores.

You Can cook meals in bulk that can be used over a period of 1-2 weeks when you freeze the excess. When you do this, you save on grocery expenses and save a lot of time and energy.

Try to purchase seasoned vegetables and fruit, and avoid expensive cuts of meat and off-season vegetables. As this will weigh heavy on your supermarket bills.

The Second-Hand Option!

Children are always full of demands. And in fact, I won’t be exaggerating if I say that their demands are never-ending. As a single Mom, you need to handle these demands without jeopardizing your monthly budget and savings.

You can save a lot of money by buying used toys and clothes for your kids and, and even for yourself. No one will ever know they are used after a good washing and ironing. 

Recycle for Savings

If second-hand clothes are not something you like, go in for recycling your clothes and save a lot of money on buying new ones.

There are several shops that offer second-hand products used and in good condition, and available at 70-80% of the original price. You can also sell your old clothes to consignment stores. 

Your discounts will include consignment shops, thrift shops, or Salvation Army type shops. You can see that there are many options for saving money on clothes, you can think of others.

Look out for discounts and coupons

The life of a single mother is full of struggles and difficulties but one should never feel hesitant or be shy about asking for discounts from some stores and shopping only for the lowest prices.

Take advantage of different types of shopping coupons, store loyalty, and reward cards. Make the most of your shopping experience by paying the lowest price as a rule and not an exception. Looking for discounts and coupons should be a part of your daily life. 

You can go in for kid’s clothes shopping during sales at regular stores and at deep discount retail shops when looking for money-saving tips.

Team up with other moms

There is one famous quote saying ‘Divided we fall, United we stand’,  this is an inspirational quote for all single Moms.  

Befriend single Moms in your area and form a group where you can all trade babysitting when any of the group members are in need.

Trading services has multiple benefits, not just saving money. But also don’t forget the value of fostering friendships within the group.

Organize group activities such as cooking demonstrations, excursion trips, picnics to nearby places with kids, and carpooling.

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Save on household bills

Household bills will always be with us, but unnecessary bills can be cut out. The process of saving money on household bills begins with cutting back on cell phones, cable, electricity, and water bills. Understanding how to decrease household bills is essential. 

Single moms can take advantage of the internet to compare various cellular plans and should consider discount friendly options only.

Always ask your electricity, water, or gas companies for a subsidy or discount.

Because many companies give subsidized electricity and other amenities at lower rates to people belonging to certain income groups. Take advantage of government offers for moderate-income people.

Single Mom's Helping Single Moms - ‘Divided we fall, United we stand'

The Tip Jar

For those of you who complain that you can’t save any money in an account. Start with a tip jar.  Choose any large jar in your home. Place it somewhere safe. This jar is for immediate money for emergencies.

Whenever you have an excess of change in your wallet or purse, place most of the change in your jar. In anywhere from 4-12 months, you will notice the jar filling up, depending of course on the size.

The larger the better, 1 to 1/2 feet high is good. With your tip jar, your immediate money for savings will grow in no time. 

Money For Emergencies Only

When you have an emergency you can turn in your coins to a local store coin deposit machine and get cash for something pressing.  Remember to
keep adding to your jar.

I suggest you open a bank account at a bank, a regular passbook savings account. At this point you are not concerned about interest, your goal is to accumulate money for a rainy day.

It doesn’t matter if it is $20 a month or $200 a month. Make this a bill, pay into the savings account every single month when you pay your bills, it’s even better if it is auto-deducted from your checking account or payroll check, that makes it easier. So, now your immediate money for emergencies can be taken from your tip jar or your savings account. 

Get Out of The Debt Trap

Debt is an integral part of the lives of a single parent, the trick is to keep it low. Many people know that debt is the enemy of savings, and to increase savings, one needs to get out of the debt trap as soon as possible.

I suggest you replace your big car with a small one or a big house with an apartment or a small manageable home. This is the start to get out of the debt trap.

Big assets acquired in the form of a loan only adds to your liabilities and increases the outflow of your cash by the way of down payments, loan installments, and big repair bills.

Get rid of bigger loans with huge installment payments, and high-interest rates;  and save up your monthly income for a healthy budget and securing your children’s future. You must get out of the debt trap to get finances under control. 

Summary for Money-Saving Tips For Single Moms

We know as a single mom, you know the importance of money and savings. This is the reason why you can see plenty of single moms working terribly hard from morning to evening to earn an income for their children.

There are many ways single-moms can save money and have peace of mind with finances. From ways to get out of the debt trap, creating money for emergencies, decrease household bills, to saving money on groceries and clothes. 

This is the reason why we’ve given you the best workable tips for achieving the task. Take advantage of the money-saving tips here and see your budget consistently improve over time. 

Money-saving tips for single moms from the get out of debt trap, money for emergencies, save on household bills, save money on groceries and clothes.

How To Go To College Without Student Loans, Get Debt-Free College Part 1

 You Can’t File Bankruptcy on Student Loans, Understand College Without Student Loans, and Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans.

How To Go To College Without Student Loans, Get Debt-Free College Part 1

There are many reasons you should strive to go to college without student loans, one is the crushing pain of debt, another is that you are not allowed to file bankruptcy on student loans due to hardship.

If you start a business with any amount of money and your business fails, you can file a business bankruptcy on your loan balance due and later start over with replenished credit. If you buy a home and fail, you can short sell your home or let it go into foreclosure and you can later buy another home, once your credit clears.

This is not the case with student loans, politicians have rigged the system, so no matter what, you have to pay. You only have a short grace period after you graduate, but your grace period, if you don’t have a job, you still have to pay. If you don’t have a relative who is willing to step up and make the payments until you get a job, your life can be ruined forever with bad credit.

subsidized vs. unsubsidized student loans

The unpaid school loan balance grows exponentially due to collection agency cost and interest on interest overdue charges. The balance can double every 3-4 years until one day you open a letter and find you owe $100,000 on an original $5000.00 student loan. It has happened to many and it does not have to happen to you or anyone else.

Recent New Programs to Save College Students Credit

The new programs the Obama Administration created for college students with student loans has made payback easier, but you must apply for them, and even though your payments are decreased to an affordable rate until you find a decent job, you must still make your payments. There is no hardship benefit for most.

The program is called the income-based repayment program. There are others as well. This program is mostly for government subsidized loans, but there are programs for private or unsubsidized loans, but they are more difficult to get them to help you. If you delay regular student loan payments with an income based repayment plan, the delay in paying interest can raise your balance two to three times the original loan balance. So, it is recommended that you do EVERYTHING in your powers to make your reglalar payments.  The situation is direr for unsubsidized loans; these lenders can be brutal.

It is better to find an actual loan forgiveness program. There are different types of programs listed at Consumer  


They charge interest while in school,
and you don’t get the benefits that come with government subsidized loans. Subsidized loans don’t charge interest while you are in school and therefore cost much less than unsubsidized loans, sometimes as much as half.

Get This Amazing Budget Planner to Start Your College Planning

I Went to College with Almost no School Loans

I went to graduate school with a horrible amount of school loans so I know the difference. I had unsubsidized and subsidized, it seemed to take forever to pay off my unsubsidized loans. In college, I had one very small subsidized loan that took only a couple of years to pay off. I figured out why my unsubsidized loans took so long to pay off, but by then it was too late, I just suffered and eventually, they were paid. It took me a total of 12 years to
pay off my loans, it would have been sooner if I figured out the game they were playing with interest and time.

When it comes to graduate school, most of the financial aid is student loans, and some the predatory unsubsidized loans. Focus on scholarships or fellowships if you plan to go to graduate school.

 I Was Lied to About the Cost of my Private University Graduate School Up Front

It is extremely important to research each and every school you consider attending before you apply. I attended a state university for undergraduate school and had no problems with loans. I only had to take out a tiny loan, which I paid back quickly after graduation. I researched every school I considered attending graduate school.

The one problem I had with the graduate school I actually attended was that I did not include current students in my research. I was given an estimate of the cost of attendance for four years by the student affairs office. It turned out the actual cost was double what I was told, and that was after I lived like a pauper in graduate school.

At one point I planned to leave because the costs were getting out of control, but after a lot of introspection, I decided I was half way there so I should finish.  I don’t recommend you go to a private school unless you have a full scholarship, full fellowship, rich parents or family members who can pay for your college.

If you are poor or middle class your financial aid package will be lop-sided with huge loans, and in some cases bad unsubsidized loans. You have to ask yourself; Do I want to spend the rest of my life paying on school loans? It could very well happen if you attend a school too expensive for your budget.

Understand Student Loans and College Cost with This eBook

Do Your Research Before You Apply to Colleges That Interest You

Every college and university catalog is currently, online. If you have a computer at home, you are all set. If you do not you can go to your local library and use the computer there. Here is what you do. First of all, look at the cost, many of the more expensive colleges have their cost hidden, so don’t give up, it’s there. Search total cost to attend college X (substitute the name of each in the X field).

You should find a grid. In that grid, it will explain all of the costs for four years, down to the paperclip. I have looked, and it is the norm, I did not find a single college or university without the four-year cost of college grid. The private schools will display outrageously expensive costs, some of them I looked at a cost between 200.000-300,000 for four years.

Those costs are definitely for rich kids or the lucky few who get guaranteed scholarships. It makes no sense at all to go to a school like that with a financial aid package that includes school loans.

Your loan bill at that school could definitely scar you for life.  You will have either a lifetime of loan payments or have a good chance of a lifetime of loan default if you become ill, disabled, or can’t find a job that pays enough to make the payments – there are no guarantees. Coming Soon, Part 2 of this article.

As of 2017 we now have a new administration. They have not said what they will do with student loan fulfillment problem, but have hinted toward doing nothing, and taking down the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau website. Because of this, the student loan crises could hit epic proportions if students continue to have more debt than they can pay with low job opportunities including, no job or low paying jobs.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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9 Great Ways to Understand Mutual Funds

How to Understand Mutual Funds

9 Great Ways to Understand Mutual Funds

Understand mutual funds by beginning with the definition of a mutual fund, and then going on to understand the different types of mutual funds.

A mutual fund is a company that pools money from many investors and invests the money in securities such as stocks, bonds, and short-term debt.

The combined holdings of the mutual fund are known as its portfolio. Investors buy shares in mutual funds. Each share represents an investor’s part
ownership in the fund and the income it generates.

What Are Mutual Funds Used For?

Mutual funds are investments that are generally long-term investments that are used for general savings, retirement savings, and college fund savings.

Mutual funds are purchased because they are professionally managed, diversified investments, an affordable investment, and liquid.

Some have up front fees to purchase and or sell called loads. Some have no-loads, but all have yearly management fees from as low as .2 to 8%.

I prefer fees less than 1% with no-loads. There are good mutual funds that fall into all categories.

Mutual funds make money when dividends are paid, usually every 3 months to every 12 months. Capital gains are usually every 12 months. Mutual funds also make money when the NAV value of the fund increases. The NAV is the Net Asset Value of the mutual fund, similar to the price of a single share of stock.
There are many types of mutual funds within these nine types of mutual funds. Here are the 9 different major types of mutual funds. The risks of mutual fund investing runs the gamut of very low to very high and many levels in between within one type of fund. Do your research thoroughly before investing in order to understand mutual funds.

I have invested in mutual funds for at least 30 years now, and they have served me well.

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The 9 Different Types of Mutual Funds:

1. Allocation
Risk: Low to Medium

Allocation funds are a combination of stock and fixed income securities and are subject to the risks involved in each of these security types. Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. In general, the bond market
is volatile and fixed income securities that carry the interest rate, inflation, price volatility and other risks.

2. Alternative
Risk: From Low Risk to High

The fund may invest in securities that may have a leveraging effect (such as derivative and forward-settling securities) which may increase market exposure, magnify investment risks, and cause losses to be realized more quickly.

3. Commodities
Risk: High

The commodities industry can be significantly affected by commodity prices, world events, import controls, worldwide competition, government regulations, and economic conditions.

4. International Equity
Risk: Medium to High

Foreign markets can be more volatile than U.S. markets due to increased risks of adverse issuer, political, market, or economic developments, all of which are magnified in emerging markets. These risks are particularly significant for funds that focus on a single country or region.

Make absolutely sure your budget is in order before you begin to understand mutual funds and start investing.

5. Money Market Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low

A money market mutual fund is a type of fixed income mutual fund that invests in debt securities characterized by their short maturities and minimal credit risk. You could lose money by investing in a money market fund. An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Before investing always read a money market fund’s prospectus for policies specific to that fund.

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6. Municipal Bond Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low to Low

The municipal market can be affected by adverse tax, legislative or political changes and the financial condition of the issuers of municipal securities. Interest rate increases can cause the price of a municipal bond to decrease.

7. Sector Equity Mutual Funds
Risk: Medium to High

Stock markets, especially foreign markets, are volatile and can decline significantly in response to adverse issuer, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. Sector funds can be more volatile because of their narrow concentration in a specific industry.

8. Taxable Bond Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low to Medium

In general, the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk, liquidity risk, call risk, and credit and default risks. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

9. U.S. Equity Stock Mutual Funds
Risk: Low to Medium

Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. Investing in stock involves risks, including the loss of principal.

You will understand mutual funds when you begin with understanding the different types of mutual funds.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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3 Ways to Save Money on a Vacation and Still Have a Wonderful Time

Save Money on a Vacation

3 Ways to Save Money on Vacation and Have a Wonderful Time

There are many ways to save money on a vacation, with the understanding that vacations are expensive, for many the savings are crucial. Here I list just a few of the most effective ways to save money on a vacation. You can enjoy yourself if you spend a lot or a little, so why not save when you need to.

There Are Beautiful Places to Visit in the United States

  1. U.S. travel – everyone gets foreign travel photos in their social media news feeds on a regular basis. So, it is easy to get the foreign travel bug. And, of course you can find a full package for $2000 with an uber cheap flight and hotel packages purchased months in advance. The tricky thing is to research the airline safety and the hotel you will stay in.

As a less, expensive alternative: Say you look at beautiful local resorts, national parks, and big city tours for a full package flight and hotel for $600. You can pretend to suffer paying for the foreign travel package and put the difference of $2000-$600 = $1400. in the bank. You can also choose to travel by car which tends to be even less expensive than flying.

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A Staycation Does Not Require Airline or Hotel Expense

  1. A staycation is something that appeals to people who haven’t done much to enjoy their own city, town or even home. If you live in an area where there are a lot of tourist attractions, you can do a staycation. Or, you have guest you would like to invite to hang out and see the local attractions with you, that would also be nice. The savings speak for themselves. The money that you save by staying close to home will go straight to savings.

Use a Windfall to Save Money on a Vacation

  1. Then there is the windfall, larger than expected tax return, or gift. If any of these occur, you can use half or less, of the proceeds to take an unusually nice extended vacation either U.S. based or foreign for the next few years. You can place it in a vacation fund. You will still save by putting away at least half of the proceeds into your basic savings. How much you spend depends on how much your windfall is. Don’t forget to tackle pesty bills you have had long term.

Here are just 3 ways to save money on vacation and still have a wonderful time, you can think of more.

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An Excerpt From My Mutual Funds eBook

Introduction to Basic Investing   

My mutual funds ebook excerpt

Would you give your baby to a stranger and tell them, I will be back to pick up my baby in 21 years? Make sure you take good care of him or her. Your answer should be an emphatic “no”, if you care about yourself, your baby, or your lives.

The same should hold with your financial future. Your saving and retirement investments. If you want to be successful accumulating money for future use, either the near future or the far future. Just like your children, you must know who is managing your money and what they are doing with your money, what the risk are and what the investment costs; rather stocks, mutual funds, CD’s, money markets, real estate or annuities. It all cost money to invest money, in terms of fees.

Online Investment Portals

Because of online investment portals, it is relatively easy to research and learn about investing well enough to analyze investments that your broker recommends. You can also monitor your investments at online portals and study the latest information about investments and investing.

Why I Wrote My Mutual Funds eBook

Some folks think you have to be rich to invest money. That is not true, and why I wrote the mutual funds eBook. You have choices of investing in your employee retirement account. You can save for college in an investment account, you can save for an individual retirement account, and save for general savings. All of these require basic investing knowledge by first reading this eBook and then going online to study investing in the online portals, then you can set up an account and monitor the progress.

I started investing a long time ago. First, I used brokers at brick and mortar companies. But, quickly became discouraged because I didn’t know what they were doing with my money. I worked hard for that money. I never had the fear that I was involved in a Madoff type investment firm (as you recall Bernie Madoff stole billions of dollars from investors in an illegal firm), because I used major investment companies.

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But, you can still lose your principle with major firms, if you use investment advisers who invest your money in high risk investments that go under. First of all, there are low risk investments that pay good returns over time, and very low cost investments, where the cost don’t eat up your returns.

After I used brick and mortar companies that didn’t tell me what they were doing with money, I started using online companies. I took classes, I read quality investment magazines, I read books, and then I talked to online investment advisers associated with my online investment company.

Investment Research

I also read a lot of investment research in my online investment portal. Knowing my investments, monitoring my investments, and getting top notch advice when I need it made all the difference in my bottom line.

By the time you finish this eBook you should know the difference between a high risk and low risk investment, a bond, mutual fund and money market account, and money market investment, and a stock. By the way, most investments and most areas of life are based on stocks. Stocks are the basic investment. Pretty much everything you use is derived from a company that invests your goods or services in “stocks”.

Mutual Funds Origin

Mutual funds are based on stocks, annuities are based on stocks. The other vehicle is bonds, the opposite of stocks. With both stocks and bonds — you have high risk and low risk in each category and you have high cost and low cost in each category.

There are other types of investments as well. The main caveat I always used is, “I don’t ever invest in anything I don’t fully understand”. I don’t care what ANYONE says, “if I can’t research it and understand it, I don’t invest in it”. I also make sure that any company I use is a registered investment company with a verifiable good reputation.

My Primary Investments

My primary investments are in mutual funds. They are especially good for beginners and busy people since they are professionally managed, you can find low risk funds, and low cost funds to invest in.

Do you want to be a vulnerable and confused person? or a Knowledgeable, happy and self-assured investor? You can start with my complete, easy to read and understand mutual funds eBook. Contact me with questions when you are done. Learn investing; From Stocks to Mutual Funds in 47 Ways.
Since mutual funds consist of a basket of stocks, I start the conversation with beginner stock knowledge.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Investor, & Money Strategist

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3 Small but Powerful Ways to Save Money Now

3 power ways to save

Small But Easy Ways to Save Money

Start small for easy ways to save

These suggestions are small but easy ways to save money for many reasons, here are three. Most people don’t save because they feel overwhelmed by the amount of bills and emergencies that come up constantly. Start with small savings and work your way up. Place a jar on your dresser and fill it will extra coins from your pocket or wallet daily or weekly. This is only a start, but it is doable. Before you know it your dollar jar and your coin jar will be full, use this to start a passbook savings account. This is your first savings account. Later, I will tell you about other types of accounts as you become a more advanced saver. 

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Save by saving on everything you do

The daily and weekly things you must do are the things you should save the most on. Examples are gas, groceries, and utilities. Keep a record. This takes only a little time. You can keep a short journal or a small spreadsheet. Start at home first by creating a monthly budget. The more you budget, the more you will save. At first it will not seem that way, but the longer you do it the more you will see. 

Figure out a way to keep your saving diary with you at all times and use it. The habit will become normal and before you know it, it will be second nature.

Windfalls are the easiest way to save big

When you get a big tax windfall, refund, or inheritance, use a portion to pay off or down bills (this saves on monthly cost), place a portion in savings and use the rest to buy what you need, and a small portion to buy something that is affordable and makes you happy. 

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The windfall seems natural to add to your savings. But, if you don’t get into the habit of thinking of using a windfall to get a head financially by paying off bills or buying things you need for cash, you could risk a bigger debrt trap. For instance, many people find themselves purchasing a major item they don’t need with their windfall and creating a large debt instead of paying cash. This makes your financial situation worse. Think in terms of using a windfall to make your life better.

Create a windfall diary. Know what you will use your windfall on. The more precise you are with reasons to go with each idea, the more likely you are to use your windfall to improve your life.

powerful ways to save money

Get 67 Powerful Ways to Save by Downloading this Powerful eBook Bundle Instantly

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here


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Money Saving Tips for Single Moms, When You Live on a Tight Budget

money saving tips for single moms

Nearly every single Mom eventually comes across this one question,  ‘how to save money with my one income?,  the answer to the question varies considerably from one person to another. The money saving tips working for a single mom would be different than a student, and a working professional and entirely different saving method would apply for a couple.  Being a single parent is not an easy job and it becomes more difficult when it comes to being a single Mom.  Life is not easy for Moms but when they have to play the dual room of bread-winner, and homemaker a bit of master-minding is in order. 

Maintaining good finances is always a tricky task for everyone, but this task becomes more challenging when there is one income. A single mother whether earning or not needs to take to laser focus on all her finances,  saving money will alleviate some of the stress in her plan. If you are a single Mom and looking  for solutions to save money, then you will benefit from this article,  as here I will present to you, one of the great “how-to’s”;  How to save money tailor-made for single moms, using these, money saving tips:

Saving Money on Groceries

Most Mom’s are responsible for grocery shopping, meal planning, and preparation, but a single mom is responsible for doing the same and making sure it is “cost effective”. A single mom can save money by

  • Planning the family meals in advance, because she can purchase in bulk, prepare in advance and freeze meals.
  • Cooking in bulk that can be used over a period of 2-3 weeks, freezing the excess, would help her save on cooking expenses apart from saving a lot of time and energy.
  • Purchase in-season vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid expensive cuts of meat as they will heavily increase your supermarket bills.

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The Second Hand Option!

Children are always full of demands, and I won’t be exaggerating if I say their demands are never-ending, that’s typical of kids. A  single mom needs to handle these demands without jeopardizing her monthly budget and savings. You can save a lot of money by buying used toys and clothes for their kids and, and even for yourself. And if second-hand clothes are not something you like, go in for recycling your clothes and save a lot of money on buying new ones. There are a number of shops that offer second-hand products used once or twice, and available at 30-50% of the original price. You can see that there are many options for saving money on clothes, you can think of others.

Look out for discounts and coupons

The life of a single mother is full of struggles and difficulties but shopping for discounts in major sales papers and online should be a major part of your shopping tour. Take advantage of shopping coupons, store loyalty, and reward points and make the most of your shopping by paying the lowest price possible for everything. You can go in for kid’s clothes shopping during sales at regular stores,  and  also  at deep discount retail shops in searching the best answers to ‘how to save money’.

Team up with other moms

There is one famous quote saying ‘Divided we fall, United we stand’  let this be an inspiration for single Moms everywhere. Befriend single Moms in your area and form a group where you can trade babysitting with other group members, which would not only save money but also foster support and friendship within the group. Organize group activities such as cooking and freezing, excursion trips, picnics to nearby places with kids and carpooling etc.

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Save on household bills

Household bills are a necessary evil, will always be with us, so they need to be dealt with efficiently. The process of saving money on household bills begins with cutting back on cell phones, cable, electricity and water bills. Single moms can take advantage of the internet to compare various cell phone plans and make sure you can constantly upgrade to the most discount friendly plan. Always ask your electricity, water or gas companies for a  subsidy or discount, as many companies give subsidized electricity and other amenities at lower rates to people belonging to certain income groups. As for electricity, don’t use what you don’t need. If there are cable channels you don’t use or can’t afford, cut those out of your cable package.

Get out of the debt trap

[sociallocker]Debt is considered to be an integral part of the lives of a single parent, especially the single Moms. Many people know that debt is actually the enemy of savings,  and in order to increase savings, you need to get work to get out of the debt trap as soon as possible. I suggest you replace your big car with a small one or a big house with an apartment or small manageable home.  Big assets acquired in the form of a  loan only adds to your liabilities and increases the outflow of your cash by the way of down payments and loan installments. Get rid of bigger loans with huge installment payments, and high-interest rates: and save up your monthly income for a healthy budget and securing your children’s future.

We are aware of the fact that as a single mom, you know the importance of money and savings. This is the reason you can see plenty of single moms working terribly hard from morning to evening in order to earn an income for their children. But sometimes finding answers to the question  ‘how to save money’ seems blurry even for the hardest working single moms,  this is the reason why we’ve given you the best workable tips for achieving the task. Take advantage of these money saving tips and see your budget consistently improve over time.[/sociallocker]

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Regards,
Lois

Save Money on Monthly Expenses in 10 Easy Ways

Save Money on Monthly Expenses

save money on monthly expenses in 10 easy ways

No matter what your income, on one wants to overspend on expenses. But, if you are on a budget, at some point the question comes into play – How to save money on monthly expenses.  The answer is not simple, though a little bit of behavioral change, can help you find a lot of ways to save  money on monthly expenses;  and therefore strengthening your finances. Here are 10 great ways, illustrating, some easy ways to save money on monthly expenses.

1. PHONE AND INTERNET FACILITIES

  •  Don’t keep several phone lines at home when you can use a single cell phone to receive most of your calls.
  • For internet packages, research different service providers and select a package based on your monthly service use.
  • Try to use a WiFi device to connect with multiple devices including tablets, cell phones, PC’s etc.
  • Use email and online chat to communicate with friends and associates to reduce costs on phone bills. Most landline phone services offer free long distance.

2. COUPON CODES 

Today you can find several legitimate sites flooded with lots of coupon codes, offering discounts, points to receive  free samples, free shipping offers, and much more. Sources like Groupon, are great to receive coupons for groceries, clothing, restaurants, and many other purchases. I caution you to make sure you absolutely need and can afford the discounted item. In other words, don’t get caught in the trap of purchasing items, just for the discounts. It is best to get manufacture coupons directly from the company or stores website to make sure they are legitimate.

3. DIY METHODS

Maid Services: Many people are busy, and therefore hire out home services. Some of the services are affordable, but some are not. One of the most common services hired on a regular basis is a  maid for cleaning services. You can place cleaning chores on a schedule and do your own household chores. This will require a bit of effort, but the weekly savings is substantial.

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Laundry Services: Do your own laundry. Some folks get so busy, they drop off laundry to have it done at a Laundry Mat. Do your own laundry, while you are watching TV or some other mundane activity. Dry cleaning is another story, some clothes must be dry cleaned, check to see if some of your dry cleanable clothes can be carefully hand washed to avoid the dry cleaning bill.

You can apply DIY methods in a lot of areas of  household tasks;  including general household painting, sewing your clothes or curtains, decorating your home, making small fancy items such as bags or belts.  Always make sure you have conducted detailed research before implementing DIY projects.  There is qualified research all over google.

4. ELECTRICITY BILLS 

Many people do not realize the importance of resorting to research, for saving money on electrical bills. If you are eager to know the many ways to save money on electrical bills, then here are a few tricks you can follow.

  •  During the winter you can keep the windows closed and let the light come in during the day, avoiding the use electrical lighting.
  • Some LED lights, chargers, and appliances are available with solar panels that help you charge devices or energize light,  using solar energy. This will help you save money on electrical bills.
  • While purchasing electronic appliances, choose products with a five-star rating that consumes minimal energy.
  • While using a water heater to warm up water for washing utensils, clothes, or bathing purposes, the maximum temperature required is 120 degrees. Lowering the temperature settings to this level helps to cut  cost on power usage. If you will be out of town for an extended period of time, you will definitely want to lower your hot water heater settings.
  • Always remember to turn off appliances when they are not in use, or switch off the lights when you are not in the room.

5. USE REWARDS CREDIT CARDS

There is competition among the credit card providers that prompt them to offer cash back and discounts on the products purchased using your card. Hence, if you are shopping in a  mall, you will have to pay the full  price if you opt for cash/check payment methods. A credit card, used sparingly, can help you save up to 15% to 30% through discount offers. I caution those who have spending addictions, to use cash instead, so they will not overspend. The airline rewards can be substantial if you are in a business of frequent travel or other business spending where a credit card is necessary.

6. REDUCE COST OF FUEL

The fuel costs are rising with undue intensity. Expenses on gas for cars, homes, and other uses can be controlled, but with work.

For saving money on cooking gas you can either use solar if you have the panels or use electrical kitchenware, such as a microwave or induction ovens to prepare food faster. Some municipalities offer a huge rebate for installing solar panels. In some cases, the rebate pays for the installation and cost.

While traveling to your office, schools and regular grocery shopping to locations near your home, avoid taking your car. Use public transportation facilities such as bus, train, tram etc. Alternatively, you can also establish a group of people who can travel in a single vehicle and share the fuel costs in a carpool.

 7. FOOD ITEMS 

You can save a lot of money limiting your expenses on daily grocery shopping.

Beverages: Avoid costly beverages at  coffee shops or restaurants. Opting for a simple cup of coffee over a Cappuccino, can save $3 per cup, or roughly or $90 to $180 per month on 1-2 cups of coffee.

Office Lunch: Try to carry your lunch from home. This costs around $5-$20 everyday compared to the cost of preparing lunch at home can save you as much as $5-$10 per day.

Shop for Ingredients: Always purchase unpacked fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprepared food. They are cheap and healthy too.

8. CLOTHES 

  •  Research the opportunities to buy clothes during seasonal sales for greater discounts.
  • Do not purchase too many clothes for daily wear that require dry cleaning.
  • While washing clothes use mild detergents, cold water, and avoid dryers. All of these will add to the longevity of your clothes.
  • Check your wardrobe before going out so that you purchase only necessary replacements. Save money by avoiding random and unplanned shopping, in other words — stay out of the stores, if you don’t absolutely need anything.

 9. SOCIALIZING 

Friends and relatives are of great importance to everyone. So sending gifts and messages on special occasions such as birthdays, marriages, Christmas etc. is extremely important. Try to purchase combo packages that cost less. Wrap your own gifts, it is cheaper. While ordering gifts online, always take the “free shipping” option. Purchase less expensive items,  and use coupons to reduce costs during the holiday shopping season. Create a holiday budget, and shop from your budget.

 10. ENTERTAINMENT

[sociallocker] Every year people spend a whole lot of money on watching TV, movies, reading books etc. The expenses with monthly cable bills, can be far more expensive than watching free TV online. Be selective in watching new films and use coupon codes to receive discounts on movie ticket prices.

For watching old movies, get free videos from your library. You can also get a library membership for reading books for free, of course and using their computers.

While passing through financial crunches, people often wonder- “How do I save money on monthly expenses”, on daily living, while at the same time, taking care of themselves of their family. A little bit of budgeting and wise spending can help you save a lot of money without compromising the essentials or your lifestyle.[/sociallocker]

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Lois Center-Shabazz
author of, Live Rich Save Money! Budget Diary
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author of, Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Money, Now and Forever
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author of, Live Rich Save Money! Get Out of Debt Forever in 17 Amazing Ways
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save money on monthly expenses with easy budget planner

Mastering the 5 E’s of Investing

Basic Investing

Mastering Investing

Basic investing is a concept all of us should know, but few I speak to seem to know the importance. Many of us have already given up on our deepest life dreams. But I think we should all consider starting a financial resolution.

It’s impossible to turn on the television and not see commercials with yet another famous celebrity touting some magic weight-loss plan.

It is important to be physically fit, but it’s also important to be financially fit, including basic investing.

Women take time off to care for children and other family members, and as a group we are paid less money than men for the same job. According to 2004 labor statistics, as of 2016 the percentages are about the same:

–White women earned 76 cents for every dollar men earned
–Black women earned 71 cents for every dollar men earned
–Latina women earned 59 cents for every dollar men earned
–And Asian women earned 86 cents for every dollar men earned

The number of marriages per year is decreasing. Women often outlive their husbands, and divorce rates are hovering around 50 percent.

This translates into women spending some part of their adult life alone. And even if we do find prince charming later in life, that doesn’t mean he will be financially educated or understand the essentials of investing for savings, retirement, or education.

Thus we have to take the initiative and learn how to become financially savvy and understand many useful and, at least, basic types of investing.

Confidence is key when managing your money and the only way to get confidence is to be knowledgeable. Msfinancialsavvy.com has a lot of tools to help you get started in your quest for financial security, such as tutorials, calculators, and various articles written by experts.

There is also a book for the beginner investor, Live Rich Save Money! From Stocks to Mutual Fund Research in 47 Wonderful Way by Lois Center-Shabazz, which has great tips to help you manage your money. Go her for your free investing book excerpt.

It’s sad but true that many of us graduate from high school and college never really understanding how to manage our money. The first step to financial freedom and prosperity is to master the 5 E’s of Investing.

Educate – Learn all you can about how money works. Msfinancialsavvy.com is a great place to start. The site has a lot of information to help the novice investor on her way.

Emancipate – There are a lot of pessimists around who will intentionally or unintentionally give you bad information. Free yourself from internal and external negative influences.

Evaluate – Smart savers and investors make good decisions by observing and weighing the pros and cons of each situation. They learn about money and the market through research and observation.

Emulate – Savvy investors and savers are participating in job-sponsored 401ks, contributing to Roth IRA, budgeting and diversifying investments. Copying some of these proven strategies can help you on your road to financial success.

Empower – Once you have educated yourself on your money and have come up with a personal strategy, you will feel empowered in your decisions about your financial future.
It is important to master the 5 E’s of Investing now. The earlier you start investing and saving the more you gain.

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Saving Money is the First Key to Get Started
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Mastering the 5 E's of Investing

Mastering the 5 E’s of Investing

Start Tax Savings Ideas Now

Tax Savings Ideas

Start tax savings ideas now

Start tax savings ideas now

A collective sigh of relief can be heard around the nation after the April 15 deadline normally, but this year April 18, 2016,  because many people only think about tax savings during tax season. Smart savers and investors realize that managing their tax burden is a year long commitment that can save them a lot of headaches and money. It is important to have a tax strategy early to take advantage of steps that can help relieve the April 15 (18) tax burden.

A good place to start is to analyze your paycheck to see if there are any opportunities you are missing that could result in tax savings or tax payment to Uncle Sam. People should decide if they want to get more money in their paycheck and perhaps have to pay something back each year or perhaps they would like to get a big refund check.

Some financial analyst suggest that people take limited exemptions and use the extra cash in their paychecks to invest. This is a good suggestions for those who are disciplined enough to put that extra money into an investment account instead of purchasing the latest fashion or using the money for entertainment.

If you are not one of those people who can be disciplined enough to dedicate the extra cash generated by limited exemptions and claims taking more deductions might be the better strategy for you. The larger check you receive when you file your taxes should be spent wisely with at least a portion of the money going to an investment account.

The government has creative ways to get more of your money and you have to use creative (and legal ways) to decrease your tax bill. Many people don’t think about taxes until it is too late to do anything about them. There are some steps you can take now that will help you feel less of the pinch of your tax bill. (Please be sure to check with your tax provider or visit the IRS Website for additional information.

Itemized vs. Standard
Keep a file of all the times you have donated to various causes, the Salvation Army and even donation to your church. Compare the itemized deductions with the standard one to see which one will save you more money. It important to remember that when claiming charitable donations on taxes that a receipt is required for donations $250 or more. Make sure that receipts are kept in a safe place.

Education Expenses
The cost of higher education can be felt at public and private colleges especially when considering the starting salary for many careers start below the $30,000 a year mark. Make sure you include student loan repayments on your tax bill. Parents can also include contributions to a 529 college savings account on their taxes.

Contribute to Company sponsored 401K
There are two great reason to contribute to a 401K. The first is that it lowers your tax bill because money used for the plans are not taxed until you withdraw. The second reason is that when a company matches the plan giving you free money. There is usually a schedule of when you can take all the company match if and when you leave the company. (Ex. 2nd year+40%, 3rd year=60%, 4th year=80 % 5th year=100%) Please note that you can always take the money that you contribute from your paycheck with you.

Consider Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts are ways to put away money for medical expenses. You can use pre-tax money to pay for out of pocket costs. These accounts can help you save money by lowering your taxable income. The important thing too remember about these accounts is that you lose whatever you don’t use during the year so plan carefully.

Business Owners
There are many deductions self-employed people can take. It is important to keep accurate and up-to-date records. Gas, home office supplies, conferences and memberships to professional societies are a few deductions that you can take.

Home Improvements
Recently the government has allowed people to write off home repairs related to decreasing energy waste.

Medical Expenses
Most people employed by companies don’t use this credit because out-of-pocket expenses have to be above 7.5% of your income. The self-employed and those using unemployment benefits may meet the financial requirement.

Whatever your strategy is it is important to have a definite plan on how to manage your taxes. There is one thing that is always certain-paying taxes and the smart investor manages taxes. Check out this articles site and IRS.gov for more information, the IRS site has all of the current tax information for everything in publications, articles and more..