Finances

10 Places We Throw Away Money – Guide for the Newly Single

Every year we spend too much money. We are simply used to convenience, and we will part with our hard earned money for it. This is the pitfall of many annual budgets, but there is hope. Throwing away money is a practice that simply needs to be reversed, and while there is no magic wand to make it happen right away, there are things to be done to bandage the hemorrhaging wallet.

1. Smartphone Apps

Why are we paying for smartphone apps when there are free versions to nearly all of them? Stop paying for what you can get for free. If you feel like you need an app, ask yourself why you need it. Wait 24 hours, then ask yourself why again. This will help you decide if the purchase is worth the money.

2. Gym Memberships

It’s been said before, but it stands to be said again. Many people get gym memberships with good intentions, but never use them. Be honest with yourself, and let go of that membership if you’re really not using it.

3. Buying Coffee

Sit back and consider how much is spent weekly on that cup of coffee from the fancy coffee shop. Coffee beans are not worth the label attached. Make coffee at home and bring it with you.

4. Cars

Car payments are avoidable if you sell your current car then pay cash for something used. Car leases, when trying to save money, make no sense at all. If you have a car payment, pay it off and avoid getting another one. Avoid leases at all costs.

5. Car Washes and Their Upgrades

Some people wash their car in the driveway, which is overall cheaper than using a car wash. However, if you must use a car wash, skip the upgrades. While it’s important to keep the road waste off the car, it’s not important to get it waxed and hand-dried. Take care of only the necessities.

6. Lottery Tickets

There’s a reason why it’s statistically more likely to get hit by lightning than it is to win the lottery, yet some people continue with this expense every week. Stop buying lottery tickets. Instead, invest $100 into a retirement account every month. You’ll retire with nearly a million dollars.

7. Shipping Costs

This is one of the biggest places where people throw away money. It is cheaper to use the gas in the car and go to the store than it is to pay someone to bring you the groceries. Stay off the Internet for purchases and you’ll save money. You’ll also think harder about purchases, because you’ll be inconvenienced in its acquisition.

8. Timeshares

Timeshares are expensive ways to hold a place to stay while on vacation. It seems silly to buy into one of these when hotels, beach houses, and short-term rentals are a growing industry. Get rid of the timeshare and save a large chunk of change.

9. ATM Fees

These fees add up fast when you’re taking money from an out-of-network ATM. Avoid this by using only ATM’s set up by your bank. You’ll save up to $5 for every transaction.

10. Unused Subscriptions

Many companies lure customers into a free 30-day trial, then watch the money roll in after customers forget to cancel during the trial period. Make sure you’re not paying for a subscription you’re not using because you missed your cancellation window.

Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step back to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.

Helping Teens Choose A Career Path For Financial Independence

mediaAs parents, we can feel an overwhelming amount of pressure to make sure our teenagers make good choices when it comes to their future careers. This can be difficult if your teen has a behavioral disorder. However, even without behavior problems, it is still hard to help teenagers find their way.

To help teens align their goals with potential career paths without being “pushy”, try a few of these different approaches below.

Keep An Open Mind

There are many industries today which did not exist even 10-15 years ago. When I was a teenager going on dates and dreaming of my future, I never dreamed I would write online for a living. When I talked to my father about my dreams of becoming a writer, he about laughed himself sick and encouraged me to pursue psychology instead. Now I write online for parenting organizations regarding troubled teens. Interesting how these things work out.

Other industries parents may be surprised by:

  • Pro esports – Does your teen want to just play video games? Well, there is actually a booming industry centered around professional video gamers, garnering viewers who watch the games much like traditional football games. Which draws in money from advertisers who want to reach those viewers.
  • Social media – The world of social media has been a huge driver in creating new jobs. From social media personalities who create a living from cultivating a following via YouTube, Instagram, and other mediums to more “traditional” positions where companies now seem to all be hunting for social media managers to act as brand managers for companies.
  • App developer – There is a growing demand for apps. This shouldn’t surprise parents as they see their teens glued to their phones but they may not realize the potential money behind careers that can come with app development. Successful apps can make millions, and many commercially successful ones are created by just a few creators.

Create Opportunities For Your Teen To Network

The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has become more applicable as the economy struggles to recover. Highly skilled individuals have found themselves jobless for months and even years from the lack of networking.

To help your teen avoid this fate, you can facilitate opportunities for networking early on. This will give them references and connections their peers may lack. Some ways you can help them build up a network as a teen are:

  • Encourage them to volunteer in their community.
  • Have them engage in sports or creative group endeavors like choir or band.
  • Allow them to work a part-time job.

While your teen may not be snapped up for a great career right after high school, they can start learning the basics of building a network.

Help Teens Think Realistically

I don’t criticize my father for not encouraging me to pursue writing as a career. He understood realistically that very few people could make a living from writing alone and while he did support writing as a side hobby, he showed me how my other interests could be made into a career. I follow a similar path with my own teenage son, though I do keep a bit more of an open mind than my father!

You can use tools like employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and job salary averages to help your teen take a serious look at their dream job.

This can give them hard numbers that cannot be argued with, unlike their parents. While teens may accuse their parents of exaggerating, these third-party numbers have no reason to stretch the truth and can help your teen refocus their goals.

So, along with giving teens good financial advice for college, try these tips the next time you talk with your teen about their future career.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson  enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn

Tips on Teaching Your College Kids About Personal Finance

Money management is a life skill that is just as important as learning proper English grammar, yet it is often neglected. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure your child is not lacking in this life skill. Your child’s attitude toward money can make the difference between whether he will have a pleasant way of life in the future or one that will drag him to the pits of misery. There is no better time to teach your child proper personal finance management than when he is setting out on his own for the first time — his college days.  

Talk about money

Money is something we deal with throughout our life, yet it is a subject we rarely discuss. Before you release your child to the jungle that is college, make sure you take the time to dive deeply into the subject. Be open about issues like how you are going to cover his or her college expenses and what you might have to do if something untoward happens, like if you suddenly lose your job. Handling money matters should be a team effort for your family. The more involved your child is, the more he will be responsible for his or her own share of expenses.

Work through a budget with your child

Take the time to sit down and create a budget with your child. This will not only teach him a skill that would prove useful in life, but you can also help make sure that he does not struggle with making ends meet, or worse, end up with nothing to eat while he is miles away from home. Also, if he ends up asking you for more money, you can refer back to the budget you have prepared and work out how he ended up running short. You can then suggest ways to improve.

Make your budget as detailed and concrete as possible. Create categories, break the budget plan down by month so tracking expenses can be easier, and take the time to evaluate the plan and how your child is faring every end of the year or as you see fit.

Require them to track their spending

One of the ways you can ensure that they will stick to a budget is by having them track their spending. The young ones often do not realize how the little purchases can add up. Ask your child to track every single purchase he makes. You can recommend an app that will allow him to do this. The techie tool will make the process easier and more inviting for him. Tracking every single expense will help your child get a feel of the outflow of money, and appreciate the complexities of money management early on.

Set money boundaries

Do not hesitate to discuss with your child just what you are willing to spend on for him. While sending him to school may be your responsibility, covering, say, fraternity expenses is not. Be clear about your boundaries. Explain to your child that if he wants to be able to indulge in luxuries, he should be willing to work for it or find resources of his own. Not only will this help you avoid getting into financial trouble, you will also be able to train your child to be more resourceful. You just might be able to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit in the process.

Do not always bail your child out

Make your child feel secure by explaining that you will always try to do your part and be religious with sending out his allowance. You can even explain that you will always be there to bail him out of trouble, that he should not hesitate to seek your help. After all, the likes of money transfer are only around the corner. Instilling a sense of security in kids is important if they are to set out to the world with confidence. Still, be just as clear that your offer of assistance has its limits. And that while fortuitous events are understandable, losing money over Starbucks is not. Be clear with your boundaries, and be willing to refuse to provide assistance when your child has been irresponsibly careless with his spending habit. Make him own up to his mistakes and learn from them. More importantly, teach him to sort out his own problems and solve them on his own. This will be yet another important life skill he could learn.

Talk about the pitfalls of borrowing

Whether you are thinking of giving your child an extension account to your credit card or you are just worried about him taking debts from his friends, make sure you talk candidly about the pitfalls of borrowing. Many people find themselves in a financial mess in late adulthood because they started off on the wrong foot. There is no better time to warn your child about the dangers of getting buried in debts than when they are just setting out for college. Emphasize the importance of avoiding debts. Mention real life anecdotes if you must, and explain just how much trouble it is to have wrong credit habits.

Talk about the possibility of taking a job

Sit down with your child and seriously ruminate the possibility of taking a job. Discuss possible opportunities available, and discuss the benefits of having a part-time job. Explain that learning about the hard work it entails to earn money will help him value what he has even more and be more responsible with how he spends it. Having a job will also help him earn many life skills that he can use when he enters the real world. This will help ensure eventual success in his career endeavors. You may also help him with time management, so you can make sure he can handle juggling school and work.

Set attractive goals

You may also establish goals that your child will want to work hard for. You can teach them the value of investments and compounded interest so they can have something to strive for. You can both identify exciting things to do with savings and investments, like travel abroad or just a fatter bank account. Having something attractive to look forward to will help motivate your child to stick to the planned budget or to take on that part-time job. Ensure a good future for your child by taking the time to properly train him or her on money management. Personal finance is no small matter, and should be treated accordingly.

Author is Jason Garcia  Blogger and Business Manager www.InvestmentDad.com