Tips to Lower Your Healthcare Costs

The rising cost of healthcare is a significant burden on many households. In 2015, healthcare spending reached $3.2 trillion dollars and is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 5.6% a year through 2025.

Regardless of someone’s personal financial situation, expensive medical treatments and procedures often make it difficult to afford necessary medical care while meeting other financial obligations. This is why it’s always a good idea to look for the most cost-effective ways to receive medical care.

Join the Club to Sign Up for Savings

Getting a prescription filled can be quite costly, even if you have insurance that offers prescription drug coverage. There are a few ways to lower your cost for this particular type of medical care. First, if your doctor writes a prescription for an expensive medication, always ask if there is a lower cost, generic alternative, or another cheaper medication that works as well that you can substitute for the more expensive drug.

Another option that can save you money on your prescriptions is to use a search tool to find the closest drugstore. A simple search like “pharmacy near me” can save you both time and money by allowing you to quickly find the closest location so you don’t have to drive all over town to find a drugstore that has your medication in stock and also accepts your insurance.

A third option is to join a prescription savings club that offers members a discount on their prescriptions. A number of schools, associations and other organizations offer members a discount card that can be used to save money on prescriptions. Chances are great that you already belong to one or more groups that offer their members a way to save on prescriptions and other purchases, so it’s worthwhile to check to see if your membership offers such a discount.

Research Your Local Community Resources

Many communities offer free or low-cost clinics to their citizens. Oftentimes, the rate that you will pay is based on a sliding-scale and is adjusted for income. This can be a great way to help you save on your healthcare costs, especially if you have limited resources and no insurance.

Your local social services department, or even your local health department, should be able to help you learn more about where you can find clinics that offer low cost medical and dental care, as well as help you find out more about other resources that can help you save on your healthcare.

Consider Complementary Therapies and Alternative Treatments for Chronic Issues Such as Pain

It is true that treatment options offered by traditional Western medicine can be very expensive. Complimentary therapies such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, osteopathy and naturopathy are all types of alternative medicine that tend to take a more holistic, or “whole body” approach to treating patients.

The definition of alternative medicine is wide-ranging and treatments vary widely. For example, some alternative treatments involve manipulating the spine or other joints, such as in chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, while others use natural methods, such as taking over-the-counter compounds made from herbs and minerals, to help the body heal and restore its normal function.

Some alternative treatments can be just as expensive as treatments offered by traditional Western medicine. However, many of these complementary therapies have been shown to offer rapid relief from pain and other symptoms faster more effectively than some traditional treatments, such as surgery. A shorter recovery time can help patients return to their daily activities and work more quickly and thus save the patient money in the long run.

October 12, 2017 at 8:34 AM Leave a comment

Book Review: Alycat and the Monday Blues

Book Description:

Alycat wakes up with the dreaded Monday Blues and is certain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent—curing her Monday Blues.

My Thoughts:

This is a very sweet story featuring a cat who isn’t exactly sure how to participate in the talent show. When she unexpectedly comes across a friend playing the saxophone she finds a hidden talent. Both the ability to write lyrics and the ability to sing along with her friend’s merry tune.

My two and five year old children loved listening to this story. I think it helps that I sang Alycat’s song in a very funny voice. My children love to sing so the very next morning I came downstairs and found them singing about tough days and missing socks. We sang Alycat’s song while we got ready for school and in the car on the way to class.

My oldest son loved how the cat is initially worried about finding a talent, but ultimately goes on to win the whole show. As a parent I liked that the cats had to practice in order to win. It’s always nice to show characters in children’s books that work hard to achieve their goals.

The images in this book are quite colorful. They captured my children’s attention. My two year old stared at each page quite intently and pointed out various visual images along the way.

This is a particularly good story for children who love to sing.

Meet the Author:

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or ReasonTravel series, and the multi-award winning Alycat series. Alysson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She believes that there is an Alycat in all of us, encouraging our imaginations to guide us through new opportunities and adventures. ​

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

October 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

How to Write a Killer Resume That Gets You Hired

Take a few seconds, think about the reasons for writing your compendium, spare some time for contemplation. Determine the plan, the heading, feel that perfect job for you, try to walk in readers’ of this CV shoes and what word are going to say during the interview. The application itself is a kind of a small essay about selling yourself and putting your skills and knowledge in the finest sense. No worries, you don’t have a need viking for custom writing task, you are able to deal with it in 5 minutes using my tips and tricks for building a killer vitae. I surely infer that you already have a work in mind, that’s why you are here.

Let’s face the truth, for every vacant office out there in the world, there are dozens of efficient people applying and only a few really knock-dead comprisals. So, what is the secret of making yours stands out above others?

Purpose is all we need

Be sure to include aspiration; it expresses exactly what is your desire. As soon as you’ve established the purpose, you are free to set up the content of your CV. Stick to it and focused on your target from the employer’s point of view. It’s decisive to have this direction nailed down to produce a distinct script. 

Begin with the contact details

It’s obvious that the application should include the name and the contact information of the candidate. This is going to be the first message which recruiters will notice. The email address should be efficient and ongoing. For the illustration, e-message bunny123@bing.com won’t be acceptable. Remember to keep it simple and use your first and last name.

Recent and relevant work experience

This section requires 85% of the concentration as you depict here the past/current employment, and your role there. Prove that you are a competent staff member not only by getting things done but also by delivering a significant outcome.

Avoid saying fake things! Always pinpoint to your potential new employer on the aftereffects of what you did to establish the value of your efforts.

Keep the chronological list

There are thousands of methods to construct the data on your epitome, but the most time-honored way is chronological one. The most recent involvement is listed primarily. The same situation we have with the section ‘Education,’ where you need to specify your degree and the name of the academy with only 3 items maximum (like CFA qualification, university degree and college results).

Mind your achievements

Next step is to take a paper and a pen and write down everything you have achieved in your life. This agenda should be a little meticulous and must comprise even small triumphs. Believe me, you’ll feel not only a real gratification from the seeing the outcome, and also will have a variety of options to pick for a good CV. 

At the mercy of words

Use keywords in your review. Scan the written form and analyze what words are repeated, and verify whether you’ve included them in the bullet points.

Avoid empty words, like ‘detail-oriented,’ ‘team player,’ and ‘hard worker.’ I bet there are other expressions to describe yourself in a more superior way.

Spelling quality

Formatting, logography, syntax, and design are essential for every professional resume. It characterizes you as an employee who is aware of all details. The search hiring agencies throw away recaps with mistakes in the script.

Length limitation

Limit your quick recap to one page if it is possible. Cut out work background which adds no benefits to your memo. It takes head hunters seven seconds to determine the quality of the vitae. Two approaches are probable, either they’ll keep reading or won’t even get to the end of the first page (in case you have two of them).

Due to the proverb: ‘Brevity is the soul of wit,’ everything has to be organized in order of superiority and congruity.

The help of the online resume builder
If you are afraid of doing something wrong with your application, then you can find numerous of free helpers in the network. They will save you the time, blood, sweat, and tears during the process of creating the memo. The leading web apps from them are Uptowork, Resumonk, SlashCV, and EnhanCV. Choose the most suitable online resume maker for you and start composing.

September 29, 2017 at 2:17 PM 1 comment

4 Reasons You Should Use a VPN in 2018

According to 2017 Identity Fraud Study, as much as $16 billion was stolen from over 15 million US consumers in 2016. In 2015, some $15.3 billion was stolen from 13.1 million consumers. Online thieves stole $1 billion more in 2016 than 2015.

The report also revealed that identity thieves have stolen $107 billion from millions of people in last 6 years.

Things would become worse in 2017, 2018, and beyond unless internet users start taking their online security seriously.

Statistics like these generated a new buzzword – VPN. It is no more a buzzword instead a need. If you aren’t using a VPN, you could be the next victim.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is private network that enables you to send and receive data securely. A VPN does two things:

  1. It encrypts all the data you send and receive from your device thus making you safe.
  2. It will change your IP address as if you’re coming from a different location.

Here are 4 reasons why this is the right time to encrypt your data and manipulate your IP address via a VPN connection.

  1. Browse securely an safely

Not every website that you visit is safe. While most of the websites use HTTPS which means your connection with the website is fully secured and encrypted but majority of the sites aren’t secured.

For instance, if you’re reading an article on your favorite blog, your connection might not be secured. Anyone can access your machine and/or your information.

In fact, the moment you connect with the internet without a VPN, you’re exposed to millions of threats. Things become worse when you enter your personal information or financial information on a website over an unsecured connection.

A VPN lets you browse the internet without any fear of getting exposed to malware and hackers. You can access any website, social network, your email, or pretty much anything without any fear.

  1. Access restricted content

If you happen to be a frequent flier, I’m sure you know how it feels when you cannot access a specific website when you’re not in your home country. Not all the content is freely available throughout the world. For instance, Google Docs, Gmail, and several other Google products are blocked in China.

Similarly, brands use different versions of their website, content, and products in different locations. This is where a VPN service like CyberGhost discount can be of great help.

Since it hides and manipulates your IP address so you can access restricted content easily irrespective of your current location.

For instance, if you’re in China and need to access Google Docs, you can easily do so via a VPN.

  1. Use public Wi-Fi freely

One of the biggest threats to your security are public Wi-Fi such as those in your hotel, airports, universities, and other public areas.

Since anyone can use a free public Wi-Fi, therefore, using one without a VPN is a big mistake.

If you’ve a VPN, you can use any public Wi-Fi without any fear.

  1. Communicate privately with friends and peers

The use of messaging apps, social networks, and video calls has increased enormously in recent times. We are always connected with our friends, family, and peers whether we are at work, home, or traveling.

Guess what, anyone can access your communication easily because it is not encrypted.

A VPN helps you keep your personal information that you share with your friends and family over the internet absolutely safe.

Conclusion

Don’t take the risk of exposing yourself to thieves, hackers, and scammers who are always looking for new victims. Start using a VPN now.

Don’t take any chances because there isn’t anything more important than your security.

September 17, 2017 at 4:50 PM 1 comment

Video hosting pros rejoice: Vimeo Pro now available at a deep discount!

Hosting video on your small business website? Perhaps you are a photographer or videographer and your business actually IS video. Either way you’re probably taking up much of your precious hosting space with huge video files. There’s actually a better way that thousands have already figured out.

Vimeo has been around for over 10 years and their service has gotten better and better each year. At this point you can share crystal clear HD video at half the cost of competitor services with built in analytics, customized call-to-actions and privacy protection (which stops people from embedding your video on their website or blog). Take advantage and save with a Vimeo discount code

What’s more is that when you embed on your website you can customize all the aspects from the color, available button options and the thumbnail image. You can also add subtitles to your videos and utilize the impressive SEO features that includes built in schema markup for Google’s website crawlers.

While you may have been thinking about video for a while or this could be the first time you’ve heard about it — either way it’s a great way to get started with Vimeo no matter if you are a novice or video pro!

August 24, 2017 at 12:52 AM Leave a comment

4 Practical Ways to Protect Your Vacant Property

Owning real estate is one of the best investments you may ever make. The good news is your property can appreciate in value and may end up being worth more than you originally paid for it. However, if you’re away for any length of time or own a rental beach house that isn’t being occupied, this can be concerning. It’s in your best interest to do some things that will help protect your property when you aren’t there.

Put in a security system

There’s no doubt that having a modern security system can be helpful in increasing your peace of mind when your home is vacant. This can alert the right officials in your area if you have a person entering your property and you aren’t there.

Relying on ADT monitoring is one of the more efficient ways to worry less about a home that sits empty for weeks or even months for that matter. Some of the benefits of selecting this system are listed below:

1.  Affordable – For only a few dollars a week, you can ensure your home is being monitored at all times.

2.  Around the clock monitoring – You never know when a break-in can happen and this provider will watch your home 24/7.

3.  Dispatch – Getting emergency help to your home when you need it is important and having this type of security system will dispatch the right people to your property fast.

Maintain the property

It’s important to do the usual things any homeowner would do that is living full-time on the property even when you aren’t there. You should work with a landscaping company to ensure your lawn is mowed at least every couple weeks. Failing to do this could result in others quickly knowing the home is vacant.  HomeAdvisor states the average cost to mow and maintain your lawn is $150.

Other things you can do include leaving lights on that can be scheduled to go on and off when necessary. This can help it look like there are people residing in the home daily.

Keep it secure

Taking time to install new deadbolts on your doors can be one of the ideal ways for you to prevent a break-in from occurring if you aren’t there. Working to ensure your home is secure can be one of the most efficient ways for you to avoid some issues that may occur if your property isn’t being occupied.

Other things you will want to do includes checking to make sure the windows are locked. This can make it much more challenging to get inside of your home and is an efficient way for you to prevent thief.

Join a community support group

It’s a very good idea to work with your neighbors and create a community watch group. This can allow others to help monitor your property and alert you if any suspicious activity occurs.

This can be especially helpful if your home is empty for a long time and you’re concerned about it. Be sure to give your contact information to your neighbors in order to get any alerts about activity on your property when you’re gone.

It’s essential to do all you can for your peace of mind if you have a piece of real estate that isn’t be lived in for the short or long term. There are varying times in life when this may occur, and the last thing you want to do is endure damage or thief to your home.  By being proactive and working to avoid this, you can feel secure about your property even when you aren’t there!

August 23, 2017 at 9:16 AM Leave a comment

Saving Money with Online Coupon Codes

Onlіnе shopping is the оrdеr оf thе dау wіth аlmоѕt еvеrуthіng under thе ѕun bеіng mаdе аvаіlаblе through оnlіnе ѕhорѕ. Tо attract more аnd mоrе consumers and іnсrеаѕе thеіr ѕаlеѕ, оnlіnе merchants or rеtаіlеrѕ оffеr promotional codes, whісh аrе dіѕсоunt соuроnѕ. Thе ѕhорреrѕ оbtаіn attractive discounts оn thеіr рurсhаѕеѕ frоm оnlіnе shops can uѕе thеѕе соuроn соdеѕ. To gеt thе promotional соdеѕ, аll thаt уоu nееd tо dо іѕ tо brоwѕе the Internet and fіnd a rеlіаblе соuроn website where thе оnlіnе ѕhорѕ and mеrсhаntѕ ѕubmіt thеm fоr use bу customers.

Coupons used tо be available juѕt іn рареrѕ but with thе grоwіng рорulаrіtу of online ѕhорріng соdеѕ also еmеrgе tо promote nоt only оnlіnе savings but also mіllіоnѕ of online рrоduсtѕ.

Thе Advаntаgеѕ оf Cоuроn Code tо Shорреrѕ

Onе оf thе bеnеfіtѕ of using coupon соdе aside from thе dіѕсоunt on thе product іtѕеlf іѕ dіѕсоuntеd or ѕоmеtіmеѕ еvеn frее ѕhірріng. Thіѕ іѕ whаt mоѕt online ѕhорреrѕ look for whеn a retailer willing to рrоvіdе frее ѕhірріng. Thіѕ іѕ hіghlу convenient fоr аll оnlіnе shopper, and mаnу оnlіnе retailers оffеr this tуре оf service dіѕсоunt.

Anоthеr аdvаntаgе оf using соuроn code іѕ it allows уоu tо shop whеnеvеr is most соnvеnіеnt fоr уоu. Mоѕt соuроnѕ lаѕt fоr wееkѕ еvеn a mоnth bеfоrе they expire this wіll gіvе you time tо find thе bеѕt deal аnd buу the product уоu nееd whеn уоu hаvе thе money.

Cоuроn соdеѕ аrе also еlеmеntаrу tо fіnd. You juѕt gо оnlіnе and type іn promo соdе оr соuроn соdе, and уоu will ѕее hundrеdѕ of sites оffеrіng them. Yоu саn аlѕо ѕіgn-uр for a mаіlіng lіѕt оf уоur fаvоrіtе online ѕhорріng ѕіtе. They wіll рrоvіdе уоu promo codes аnd other dіѕсоunt information оnсе іt іѕ available. Yоu dоn’t nееd tо buу a nеwѕрареr оr сut іt out іn ѕоmе mаgаzіnе or саlеndаr. Yоu саn fіnd codes оn affiliate ѕіtеѕ or еvеn оn the rеtаіlеr’ѕ website. There are many available соuроn соdеѕ not only for grосеrіеѕ and RTW еvеn for trаvеl, hotel accommodations уоu just hаvе to lооk for thеm bеfоrе buуіng or рауіng fоr any services. Thеrе аrе even printable соuроn codes уоu соuld uѕе for your оfflіnе ѕhорріng оn your fаvоrіtе rеtаіl stores frоm a website like CоuроnGrіnd.соm.

Hоw tо Rеdееm a Соuроn Cоdе

CоuроnGrind іѕ аn еxсеllеnt way to ѕаvе, аnd it’s convenient and еаѕу tо fіnd. It’ѕ also vеrу easy to rеdееm a соuроn соdе уоu wіll just hаvе tо lоg іn to CouponGrind аnd rеtаіlеr wеbѕіtе and gо tо ѕhорріng саrt there іѕ аn орtіоn to рut thе code thеrе, оr іt соuld bе оn the review раgе before the checkout. Eіthеr wау, уоu dоn’t hаvе tо be соmрutеr savvy tо rеdееm the coupon соdе. You wіll knоw thе code wоrkѕ once thе раgе shows the оrіgіnаl рrісе of thе іtеm аnd thеn thе dіѕсоunt you аrе gоіng tо get. It will арреаr on the оrdеr раgе. If thе dіѕсоunt dіdn’t ѕhоw do nоt рlасе the order, the соdе might bе еxріrеd, оr уоu mіght nееd tо rеtуре іt. Mаkе ѕurе that the соuроn соdе you аrе using саmе frоm reputable аffіlіаtе рrоgrаmѕ wеbѕіtе or оnlіnе rеtаіlеr ѕіtе lіkе CоuроnGrіnd.

Where to Gеt a Rерutаblе Cоuроn Code

A ѕmаrt ѕhорреr аlwауѕ trіеѕ tо find thе bеѕt dеаl and available discounts that are being offered by rеtаіlеrѕ. It’s a gооd way tо ѕаvе аnd hеlр mіnіmіzе your еxреnѕеѕ оnlіnе. We’ve been using coupongrind.com as their interface is easy to use and they don’t require a fee or your information to get the coupons you’re looking for.

July 30, 2017 at 9:42 AM 1 comment

Cost-Effective Approaches to Entertainment and Other Forms of Enjoyment

If your budget is tight and you really don’t want to spend excessively on an evening out, or even your vacation, there are many things you can still do, with little or no out-of-pocket expense.

Community calendar

If you’re like many people, you are trying to budget and spend each dollar wisely. The good news is that you can still enjoy doing things while you get your finances under control. You can go online to your town or city and pull up their calendar of upcoming events. Most of them are free and even the ones that cost money to attend are generally just a few dollars. You can plan a day trip to your community pool or the local beach, visit the library or museums, pack up a picnic lunch and grab a radio, a blanket and sunscreen, and enjoy a relaxing day at a park. Many communities also hold concerts at parks a few times throughout the year.

Date night or family night at home

Instead of spending a lot of money for an expensive dinner out for a date night with your spouse or a family outing at the local restaurant, opt to stay home. You can plan a dinner, include all your little helpers and do it together. After you enjoy your meal, you can play some board games or host a movie night from the comfort of your home. Many cable companies like DIRECTV have a wide range of movies and events that you can enjoy commercial free. You can select from one of the many DIRECTV packages that suit your personal needs. Many also have music channels that you can use as a background for your romantic dinner for two.

Stay vacations

With tight pockets and the need for relaxation, many families are now opting to have Stay Vacations. This gives you a way to enjoy your time off without racking up a lot of expenses. You can do small things around town like going to the movies, a water or amusement park, bowling and other local attractions without the large hotel and travel expense. Plus, as an added bonus you don’t have to pack. If you want to make this experience seem like a vacation, you should clean your home ahead of time and plan something to do for each day, just as you would if you weren’t at home. These types of vacations are becoming popular because they cost a lot less and you don’t lose a day to packing and possible flight delays.

Investing in a motor home

If you would rather escape the confines of your home and experience new things in other states, purchasing a motor home may be a wise investment. It eliminates the need for a hotel, which can be one of the biggest traveling expenses, and it also lets you remain in control. With a motor home, you can change your plans as they come and decide to spend an extra day in one place or opt to change the plans altogether and drive to a new destination. It gives you the freedom to enjoy new adventures on your time table. You can pack up all your supplies and cook most of your meals to save even more money on your trip.

There are many things to do in your own town or city that costs little or no money. Instead of spending money that you don’t have, enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Take a walk on the beach or a nature walk in the park. Enjoy a sleigh ride or a carriage ride through the city. Visit the museums and then head for ice cream and take in the school play productions that cost a few dollars and help raise funds for the school. Life’s full of wonderful things that are fun, educational and mostly free. Learn to enjoy the simple things that bring your family closer together and create fond memories.

July 26, 2017 at 9:39 AM 1 comment

4 Tips You Need to Effectively Manage Your Student Finances

As a student, your sources of income may include funds from your parents, student loans, and bursaries as well as income from part time summer jobs. This money must be stretched out to pay for a semester’s worth of financial needs, which is tough to do when the majority of it will be spent on tuition and other costs associated with your education. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your educational expenses you should know that you are not alone. A national survey found that roughly 72% of all college students feel stressed about their finances. Moreover, 32% of students reported neglecting their studies at times, because of the money they owed.

While effectively managing your finances in college is difficult without full-time income, it’s certainly not impossible. Students are advised to learn how to properly manage their resources during school semesters. Such skills are not only beneficial in school but will also come in handy later in life. The tips below will improve your finances and provide life long lessons that will serve you well beyond your college years.

1. Make a budget.

It sounds cliché, but to manage your finances you’ll need to create a budget and religiously adhere to it. A good budget helps you keep track of your income streams and spending. It also helps you live within your means. A budget provides a clear picture of what you can and cannot afford. When making a budget, prioritize the things that are crucial for your education and survival such as meals and funding for your class project. Keep your spending on fun and luxury items as low as possible. Remember that while you want to have fun you do not want to get out of college with mounds of debt.

When unbudgeted things pop up and trust me they will, you need to ask yourself a few questions before deciding whether to fund them or not. Ask yourself, “Can I afford this?” “Is it that necessary?” and “Can I purchase the same item elsewhere at a cheaper price?” Think carefully about how you answer those questions and think twice before committing your scarce resources to the project.

2. Cut your phone bills.

Phone bills can quickly soar to prohibitive levels. As a student, your finances are limited and a great way to manage them would be to cut your phone bill. “How can I do that?” you may ask. Well, the first thing would be to ditch your expensive service provider for a cheaper one. Republic Wireless is widely regarded as one of the least expensive service providers in the industry. The company offers plans starting at just $15 a month.

You can also reduce the instances with which you make phone calls and instead opt for free calls on Skype. To make calls on Skype all you need is a Skype account, your PC or smartphone, and internet access.

3. Avoid credit as much as possible.

You may have a student loan that will require payment upon graduation. It will be tough enough to pay that bill after college so be careful not to add more debt to your repayment schedule. Your student loan is sufficient to see you through your years in college and you should avoid the temptation to acquire other loans or advancements from other lenders.
When you find yourself in a financial stalemate, seek help and advice from your campus finance director rather than opting for soft loans from unauthorized lenders. Such loans usually carry high interest rates and you may end up getting yourself into more financial trouble when you opt for them.

4. Keep luxuries to a minimum.

As mentioned earlier, you are in school to get an education and all your energy and finances should be directed to your studies. Avoid luxuries as much as possible. For your living quarters, consider campus housing, but if you must take up private accommodation, avoid luxuries such as a cable TV and fancy sofa sets.

In Conclusion

Life on campus can be extremely difficult with all of the tests, projects and assignments you have to attend to. It becomes significantly harder when you have to worry about balancing your budget between funding your schooling and affording life necessities. Luckily, utilizing these four tips will help you keep your spending under control so that you can keep your mind focused on your studies and not on your debt.

Michael Benson is the lead bankruptcy attorney at A Bankruptcy Law Firm, LLC. He currently holds a CPA license, a Series 7 license, and a license to practice law. Michael utilizes his knowledge and expertise to help individuals in St. Louis and Southern, IL repair their finances.

July 24, 2017 at 12:08 PM Leave a comment

Financial Tips for Recently Graduated College Students

Remember the “broke college student” life you used to live when you were in college? It doesn’t have to be the same when you’ve graduated. Of course, some students don’t leave college and walk right into a full-time job in their field after graduation, so money may still be pretty tight.

However, there are several financial tips and tricks that can work for you if you need to stretch your money a little while longer or if you already have a job and just need a refresher on money smarts.

  1. Look for places where utilities are included in rent costs.
    • Rent by itself is expensive already (especially when you live in a big city). Save yourself the money and stress by looking for apartments that offer utility costs included in the rent.
  2. Using public transportation to get to and from work? Buy a monthly pass.
    • This is especially useful if you don’t have a car. If you use public transportation for the majority of how you get around town, you’ll save yourself some money in the end by investing in a monthly pass.
  3. Break down the entertainment category into subcategories to get a more detailed look at your expenses and spending habits.
    • Allocate your money to movies, festivals, theme parks, concerts, and any other entertainment things you enjoy so you can see exactly where your money is going.
  4. Don’t forget those one-time expenses.
    • Forgetting a friend’s birthday is even worse when you don’t have the money to buy them a gift or even a card. Allocate a part of your budget to holidays and gifts so the money is there when you need it.
  5. Keep your savings goal specific.
    • Saving “whatever money you have left” may not always work and may not always be consistent. If you want to save $10 a week or $100 a month, those goals are specific enough to where you know exactly how much and how often you want to contribute to your savings.
  6. Modified 50-30-20 rule.
    • 50% for expenses, 20% for savings and debt, 20% for wants, 10% for generosity. If you still have the luxury of living at home when you’ve graduated, you may not have that many expenses. So, allocate some of your paycheck to paying off your student loans or any other debt you may have.
  7. Cut your spending habits
    • This is an obvious one if you don’t have money coming in everyday. However, this tip is often overlooked or given up on within a short period of time. Cutting your spending habits on things you KNOW you don’t need and things that don’t contribute to making you feel good or satisfied can definitely help in the long run. It’s better to discipline yourself now than drown in debt later.
  8. Aim for paying off your student loans in 10 years or less with the standard payment plan.
    • Some graduates go into teaching or into the Peace Corps, so their loans are forgiven within a certain period of time. If you are not going into either of these fields, stick with the default payment plan that is given to you, which is the standard plan. And if you can, try to pay more than the minimum payment. You’ll be able to knock out those loans quicker.
  9. Monitor and check your credit score regularly.
    • Maintaining a good credit score can help save you thousands of dollars over time. People with lower credit scores often pay more for car loans and have higher interest rates on large purchases. Using your credit card for purchases you can afford to pay off right then and paying off your credit card will help boost your credit score.
  10. Live within (honestly, under is best) your means.
    • You know that person who is always going out or traveling or buying the latest technology everytime something new comes out? Don’t try to keep up or compete with them! You know how much you earn and how many expenses you have. Keep that in mind when you see them on social media, posting about their latest purchase. It’ll save you money in the long run.

Brad Botes has been practicing as a bankruptcy lawyer at Bond & Botes, P.C. for 30 years. He is licensed to practice law in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Illinois.

July 14, 2017 at 12:47 PM Leave a comment

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