Ways to Save

When it comes to our personal finances, it’s safe to say we’ve all done our fair share of worrying. With bills to pay and mouths to feed, it can seem like saving any of your money is a pipe dream. An impossibility. And, yet, we must. We have the unenviable task of doing the impossible. Or, at least, that’s how it seems. In truth, savings money can be easier than you think. With a healthy does of will power and the right know how, you can secure your financial future. Here are some tips to get you started.

First and Foremost, let’s talk where and when to spend your hard earned money. For starters, consider eliminated or reducing luxury spending. For example, you don’t really need that new video game, so it can wait until it’s one sale, or until you’re in a better financial position. Meanwhile, we all need things like Winter coats and shoes, so these are items worth spending money on. In fact, it might even be worth spending a little extra on these items to ensure quality. After all, you don’t want to end up spending even more from having to replace these items frequently. However, even in this situation, there’s room to save. Here’s a Mackage coupon to help you find a good quality coat and save. Which brings me to my next point…

Coupons and sales are another great way to save. Retailers employ these cost cutting measures frequently in order to entice customers new and old and generally drum up some extra business. That’s why an eagle eyed shopper stands to be able to take home most, if not all, of their shopping at a heavily reduced price. You may have to do your shopping piecemeal in order to maximize savings, but it’s well worth it to save that much money. You’ll also have to remain diligent in order to find thee special offers, so keep your eyes peeled like a jaguar ready to pounce on its unsuspecting prey.

My Favorite Ways to Save Money for My Family

Who doesn’t love to save money? I’m always looking for ways to trim our budget and ramp up our savings but now that we’re in house selling mode, we’re trying to ramp up our savings even more.

Here are a few ways our family saves money.

Meal Plan

This is so important when it comes to keeping your food costs down. We’re a family with two working parents, a young toddler and a busy school aged child. We have very, very, little time to plan and prepare supper during the week, we don’t even get home from work until 6pm. It would be so easy for us to fall into the take-away trap but with a little effort on the weekends (and I do mean little effort) I can pre-plan and make sure we have everything on hand for healthy meals. This is a huge stress relief when done and one of the easiest ways we can keep food costs down.

Online Coupons and Promo Code

If I’m buying or getting a service for anything (think something like an oil change), I see if there are available savings online. More times than not I find something that I can use and sometimes you can double up! I recently had a large car repair bill and with a few internet searches I managed to find a 10% off coupon on service over $500, more cash in my pocket! If you plan on hosting a game night anytime soon, make sure you use the Resorts Casio Online Promos.

Negotiate (anything)

It never hurts to ask about non-advertised promos. The only reason why we continue to have cable TV in our house is because we continue to call and negotiate with the provider. These are never advertised promos but we will call and negotiate keeping cable in our package if they meet our price. Same with our car repair last week, he called me with the work order and asked permission to proceed with the work, I explained that I was prepared to have all the work done that day but asked if I was willing to pay cash, would he be willing to take some money off, it was a long shot, but it worked.

Buy Off Season

A few summers ago, days before my daughters soccer season was about to start, we realized her cleats didn’t fit. Do you think we could find a pair anywhere in the city? Nope. The effort we went through trying to find cleats so our daughter could play was ridiculous. Now I make sure we buy new cleats in the off season so we’re not only prepared, but it saves money. The $52 cleats I bought for her upcoming season only cost me $27. If you have the foresight to buy for seasonal items during end of previous season it can save quite a bit of money.

What are your favorite ways to save money for your family?

 

Mistakes to Avoid When Investing

If you’re new to investing, there’s probably quite a bit you still don’t know. While experience is the best teacher, you may be able to avoid some common mistakes by following the advise of professional advisors. Looking at some of the worst mistakes new investors can make may help you avoid these common pitfalls.

Disregarding Inflation

In whatever medium you choose to invest, it’s important to account for the inevitable cost of inflation. Your gains over several years should reflect a profit, even after considering the rise in the cost of living, since you invested the initial funds. For instance, you may invest $100,000 in bonds with a 30 year term limit, yielding a net interest of 4%, which you reinvest in more bonds at the same rate. If inflation also rises by 4%, the $311,865 you have made isn’t any better than what you might have normally saved and that money was tied up in the bonds for those thirty years.

Depending on Margins

Another big mistake new investors make is to essentially use margins as free money to finance their investments. If the investments don’t pan out, the investor is left with the debt of the margin with nothing to show for it. This isn’t much different than financing your investment with a credit card or with car title loans in Orlando. Unless you’re confident in your financial savvy, it’s better to avoid margin investments as much as possible.

Basing Investments on Rumor

Many new investors will throw their funds in on a new business or an established business with a new product just because they have heard people raving about the product. Even in cases where the product sells as well or better than expected, that doesn’t necessarily mean the stock price will see similar gains. Similarly, investment professionals recommending specific stocks on television or the internet is most often just one person’s opinion and you should have more factual information, before risking your funds on that stock. Every investor should do his or her own research.

Diversifying with the Same Risks

Everyone has heard of the importance of diversifying, but this is more than merely putting your eggs in different baskets. If all of your investments share the same levels of risk, you’re defeating the purpose of diversifying. Instead, look for investments with better risk profiles. This may mean investing in precious metals, as well as stocks, or buying bonds to add to your portfolio.

Invest, Don’t Gamble

Investing should be viewed as a long-term commitment and one for which you develop a sound plan to maximize your earnings over several years. If you’re trying to buy individual stocks on the premise that you expect a big return on one or two, you might be better off taking your money to the casino. Investing isn’t the same as gambling and even past stock performances can’t indicate a sudden increase that will lead to a personal windfall. Instead, research your investments and consider consulting a professional advisor to help you develop a promising investment strategy.

Investing can help you save for the future and ensure financial security, but only when approached with a good strategy and the patience required for a long-term plan. By taking the time to learn about your investments ahead of time, you can avoid making mistakes that could cost you your funds. If you’re uncertain or confused about investing principles, you may want to enroll in an investing course or consult a professional advisor, before putting your savings at risk unnecessarily.

How to Choose a Title Loan Company in Louisiana

Getting cash during an emergency is one of the hardest things to do living in Louisiana. The situation is even worse for residents that suffer from bad credit. As the U.S. economy picks up for most states, the Bayou State remains the 7th poorest state. Thankfully, there is one solution, albeit risky, that many
Louisianans are turning to: car title loans.

In Louisiana (whether you’re in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or Lafayette – it makes no difference) there are plenty of ways to get a bad credit loan. However, auto equity loans are becoming one of the most popular options in the Pelican State.

But before you go running to your nearest lender, keep in mind that car title loans are one of the most expensive forms of credit. To makes things worse, there are a slew of shady title loan companies in Louisiana that are looking to get rich off your demise. So how do you know which company is legit?

Research Louisiana Title Loans Online

The internet is your best friend when it comes time to finding the best title loans in Louisiana. The internet allows you to search for reputable lenders and read the experience of other borrowers near you. You might even be able to research and compare loan repayment terms, interest rates, and most importantly, repossession laws.

As helpful as the internet may be, you must exercise your good judgment. Not all information is accurate or true. Be wary of lenders with glowing reviews, no contact information, or no history. Choose from established Louisiana title loan companies like Titlelo Title Loans, Cash Cow, or Advance America.

Dig into The Lender’s Loan Terms

The most important thing you can do after finding a loan company to do business with is to look closely at the kinds of loan repayment terms they have in place.

You’ll want to be sure that they offer some kind of flexibility so that you can cover all of your bases in case you miss a payment. You’ll also want to make sure that there aren’t any prepayment or total payment penalties. Lastly, you want to make sure that you are going to be able to meet the loan repayment plan as it is outlined so that you don’t forfeit the title of your vehicle.

Lookout for Hidden Fees & Charges

At the end of the day, everything comes down to the interest rate. Although auto title loans are known to have exorbitant rates, it shouldn’t be more than 25% – 30% a month. Be on the lookout for sky-high interest rates, hidden charge, and other “gotcha” weasel terms that might make their way into a loan agreement.

Of course, if you’re working with legitimate creditors you can trust, the risk factor for coming across this kind of nonsense goes away – though not completely. You’ll still want to review every detail of your agreement before you sign on the dotted line.

Sometimes no matter how prepared you are, mistakes will still happen. If you’re already doing business with a less than honest lender, familiarize yourself with Louisiana’s title loan laws. If you find that your rights have been violated or that your lender is operating under a loophole. If all fails, your best option may be to look for a lender willing to buyout your loan.

Finding the Best Insurance for Your Budget

There are several important things that must be fit into every family’s budget: a stable home, quality food for your family, a car that you can depend on. Another crucial expense is choosing the best health insurance for both your family and your budget. However, many people are intimidated by this choice – especially when it can cut deeply into the monthly budget.

Consider Work Health Insurance Options

Some company insurance options include health-insurance cooperatives, which are often banded together with your insurance plans. Each cooperative is as different as every health plan, and it can offer better insurance rates than found on the open market. Some businesses’ insurance plans have extra perks, such as wellness programs from the best health insurance companies or attached dental benefits.

Consider getting a flexible-spending debit card. A flexible-spending account, or FSA, allows an employee to pay for various medical expenses uncovered by your health insurance plan with pre tax funds. This is taken from a previously set aside amount of money that help cover co-payments and necessary medications. Make sure to ask your employer about all available options to save money on your health insurance.

Saving for the Future

Health insurance waivers are available through some insurers, especially after comparing plans and coming up with few to no options. You can then determine which offer has more advantages. Health savings plans are another option to put money away to save for future medical costs.

Some insurance plans offer discounts on various medical costs. When doctors or healthcare facilities are open to negotiation, you can offer something that will make their job easier. Ask if you can pay in advance ahead of having a surgery or other major procedure done.

Professional Help

If you become overwhelmed in your search, you can hire an insurance broker to help. These experts have an extensive knowledge about the types of health plans available and can point out the advantages or disadvantages of each plan. Discuss your budget, your family’s medical needs and what you expect from the ideal health insurance plan.

Consider Your Health

Sometimes, it is difficult to budget your own health. For a special needs child, therapies, medical supplies, and health drinks are a crucial part of life. For someone with chronic health problems, expensive medications and surgeries may be important for maintaining a good bill of health.

Pay Attention to the Policy

Read each insurance policy carefully. Some policies allow a discount if you can pay cash. Understand the terms of your insurance policy and the various ways to save money while staying healthy. When you look around to various plans, evaluate coinsurance, copayments, lifetime maximums and the balance between premium and copay.

Budgeting is an inevitable and stressful part of adult life. However, it is crucial in making sure that your family and home has everything that it needs in the correct amount. Health insurance does more than restore your family’s mental and physical health, but it helps them to live well into the future. Being able to choose the right health insurance plan on a budget is a great decision that every family gets behind.

 

Jimmy Garoppolo’s Net Worth

In professional sports, salaries keep going up and up each and every year.  Whether it’s in the NBA, MLB, NHL or NFL, professional teams are making their athletes richer than ever before.  Jimmy Garoppolo is now the newest recipient to join this club thanks to his most recent contract.  Jimmy had been a long time backup to future hall of famer Tom Brady, but during the 2017 NFL season, he got traded to the San Francisco 49ers.  Once being traded to San Francisco, Jimmy helped lead the team to five straight victories to finish the season.  The momentum the team finished the season with was enough for them to extend him the highest valued contract in NFL history to its point.  Jimmy Garoppolo’s net worth currently sits at $1.5 million.

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San Francisco Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To say Jimmy’s new contract is massive is an understatement.  The contract is valued at $137.5 million over five years.  This comes out to an average annual salary of $27.5 million per season.  So if Jimmy just signed this large contract, why is his net worth just north of $1 million?  That is because he has been living off his initial contract he signed when he got drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots.  Jimmy’s first contract was for $3.5 million over four years.  However, just after one full season with the 49ers, we can expect Jimmy Garoppolo’s net worth to jump to a staggering $15 million.  This is because his new contract includes a $35 million signing bonus that he will receive once his contract takes effect.

Garoppolo played in six games for the 49ers during the past season.  Although his numbers weren’t impressive statistically, the winning nature he brought to the organization is what ultimately scored him his big deal.  He threw for seven touchdowns and five interceptions over the stretch, but led the team to three wins over playoff contenders.  It was clear that Jimmy was ready for his time to shine.  He spent the first nearly four years of his NFL career playing in a backup quarterback role for the New England Patriots.  The most action he saw during any season came in 2016 when he filled in while Tom Brady was serving his suspension.  Drafted 62nd overall in the 2014 NFL draft, many believed that Jimmy was destined to be Brady’s replacement when he retired; however, that time never came.

The way Jimmy’s current contract is structured gives San Francisco the option to cut ties with the up and coming QB after three seasons if things don’t pan out.  Garoppolo’s contract has over $74 million dollars of guaranteed money.  If he is able to complete all five years on his contract, we can expect Jimmy Garoppolo’s net worth to increase to nearly $50 million.  With so much money, one has to wonder, will Jimmy be budgeting the way he used to?

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

 

 

Living frugally in retirement: the way to a fulfilled and unhindered life

There are a lot of people in Australia with significant savings who fear that they’ll go broke when they do retire. The reality is that there are a lot of ways to live frugally to try to keep that from happening.

Take note that frugality here doesn’t mean shying away from things that make you happy – like watching live sports, going on a short vacation, doing a little shopping spree here and there, etc. We’ll talk about spending practicality so you can do what you want as you grow older.

The first step is to develop a budget and then start getting serious about where you can trim expenses, financial experts say. Within the plan you have, you should build a budget and an investment strategy that will meet your tolerance for risk.

Start this by creating a monthly budget. Take a hard look at your current spending and assess out your cash flow. Ensure to include both annual and semi-annual expenses such as real estate taxes, insurance premiums, income taxes and others. There’s a lot of good computer and mobile programs that can help you create a monthly budget and track it.

Here are some good ideas to live more frugally in retirement:

Check your living situation. According to research, both the cost of home and home-related expenses account for approximately 43% of spending for those who are 65 to 74. Therefore, to save money, you may consider downsizing your home because square footage can put pressure on the budget, plus a garden or empty plot can be less stressful to maintain. Downsizing also gives you a chance to earn money by selling household items you no longer user or need.

Consider retirement a retirement village. To a wise senior, a retirement village can be the best financial and life choice available. Not only does it offer better opportunities and advantages you can only hope to have when living alone.

If you are thinking of this move and are looking for retirement villages in Victoria or other cities, your first destination should be search engines – the internet. If possible, visit the location you are considering to see just to know if it will feel right. Ensure that you’re going to be comfortable staying there. You want to go home to your new place and say, “I’m really glad I made this choice. This feels right”.

Quick ways to save money in retirement

Hunt for special discounts and freebies. Many restaurants, hotels, drugstores, and auto-repair services offer senior discounts and deals. Take note that the starting age for these discounts varies between companies. Also, understand that just because a business provides a special deal doesn’t instantly mean it’s a good company — you still need to do your research. One quick way to do this is to check the reviews.

Remove fat from your diet. It’s easier to eat economically in retirement if you choose to make more of your meals at home, and this is the stage of life when many people do just that. Eating home meal costs about a third of what it will cost you to buy the same food at a typical restaurant.

Be a smart shopper. Hunt for food deals everywhere you go. This includes supercentres, wholesale clubs, dollar stores, and farmer’s markets. Look for coupons in the store as well as online.

There you have it. Of course, there are many other money-saving tips you can use that aren’t in this article. The takeaway is that you know some of the ways so you can start living frugally in this stage or that you now know what to do as you approach senior years. Happy living!

 

Think Carefully to Get Value for Your Money

We all love to get the highest value for every buck we spend but seldom have we thought of means to accomplish that. There are two ways to go about it; first off we should save money and secondly we need to spend wisely to enjoy the luxuries of life. Oliver’s Travels has developed a very clear infographic that shows us the ways we can bring luxury into our lives.

According to the infographic if you skip spending $300 on Lager, you can use that money to stay at a 5-Star Hotel in New York? The infographic also tells us that if we cut off on wine to an extent, it would save us $370 which we can use to book a New York Helicopter Tour followed by a dinner cruise. For the $580 we spend on a 5-month commute in NYC, why not take a wine tasting tour and 5 meals dinner?  What if you were told that if you quit smoking just for a year, you would be able to fly on First-Class from NYC to London! Would you like to spend a million dollars for a pair of Stuart Weitzman designer shoes or book Beyoncé Knowles for a private Concert? I know every sane mind would choose Beyoncé every time.

Living a luxurious life only requires you to think wisely while spending your money and you can do a lot more than you ever imagined. For more details, go through the infographic.

4 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day

February 14th, a day of love that comes around once a year.  It’s a time to celebrate the love of your life, or in your life, but the celebration of that person can sometimes get quite expensive.  There’s flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, dinner, gifts, etc.  Add them all up and a random Wednesday can easily turn into a $250 event.  Listed below are 4 ways to save on Valentine’s Day.

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4 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day

Go To Dinner A Day Other Than Valentine’s Day

Many couples prefer to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day, but most of your nicer restaurants tend to have set menus that often carry a high price tag.  Try celebrating at your favorite restaurant the day before or after.  You can usually order from the regular menu and avoid the preset and inflated Valentine’s menu.  Valentine’s Day this year happens to fall on Ash Wednesday.  Many couples will decide to celebrate the day after due to the start of Lent.

Bring Your Own Bottle of Wine to Dinner

A cheap bottle of wine at a nice restaurant will easily be anywhere from $28 to $35.  See if you can bring your own bottle and pay a corkage fee instead.  Corkage fees tend to be much cheaper than purchasing a bottle from the restaurant, and you can bring the bottle that will go perfectly with your meal.  A nicer $80 bottle at the restaurant will typically sell at a local store for half that.  So in essence, you can drink an $80 bottle with your meal for $40 + corkage fee (~$10).

Send Flowers Differently

Waiting until the last minute to order flowers can be a costly mistake.  Local and national flower company’s often raise the price of delivery the closer it gets to the date you want it to deliver.  They also charge additional money to get them not only delivered on Valentine’s Day, but early during the day.  Instead, opt to have the flowers delivered to the office of a loved one a day early.  By doing that, the flowers can be present for the entirety of Valentine’s Day and you will avoid additional charges.

Order Gifts Ahead of Time

As like any other holiday, planning can be the key to saving money.  Ordering gifts early can help you not only save on shipping but also gives you time to find the best deal.  Some companies will offer free two day shipping just before major holidays, but often times won’t accept other promotional codes.  Additional charges on shipping can also add to your Valentine’s cost.  For example, a friend recently had to pay an extra $9 for two day shipping where it could have been for free had he planned a week earlier.

Conclusion

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or not, the holiday is one that many people love, or dread, each year.  If you are celebrating, then I hope you are able to use these 4 ways to save on Valentine’s day to put a little extra money in your pocket at the end of it.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

 

Kawhi Leonard’s Net Worth

When it comes to great NBA teams, the San Antonio Spurs are often included in that list.  The Spurs are consistently among the top teams in the Western Conference year in and year out.  They have made 20 straight playoff appearances and have won five NBA Championships during that time.  A great part of their success is their head coach, Gregg Popovich, but top players have helped contribute throughout the years.  One of the top players on their current team is Kawhi Leonard.  Prior to this season, Leonard had led the Spurs in scoring the past three seasons; however, injuries have plagued the star this year.  The 26 year old should be able to return before the end of the season.  If he does, the Spurs have another great shot of going deep in the playoffs.  Kawhi Leonard’s net worth currently sits at $20 million.

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Spurs’ Star Kawhi Leonard

A first round selection in the 2011 NBA draft, Leonard has spent the entirety of his career in a Spurs uniform after being drafted by the Pacers.  Currently in his seventh NBA season, Kawhi has been steadily improving his stats each and every year.  Last season he averaged a career high 25.5 points per game.  Because of his stellar play, Kawhi is more than deserving of his current NBA contract which is worth over $94 million for five years.  This massive contract has helped give rise to Kawhi Leonard’s net worth.  Currently in year three of five for his contract, Leonard’s contract includes a fifth year player option worth over $21 million for the season.  Chances are he will decline this fifth year option.  What this will allow him to do is instead is to be able to sign an even larger and potentially longer contract.  If Kawhi does decide to play out the remaining two years of his contract after this season, we can expect Kawhi’s net worth to double to $40 million.

It tends to be very easy to assess a player’s offensive ability; however, Leonard is known for his defensive prowess as well.  He has received the Defensive Player of the Year award twice and has been named to the NBA All-Defensive team four times in his short career.  He also helped lead San Antonio to an NBA Championship during the 2013-2014 NBA season and was named the Finals MVP for his performance.

The 2017-2018 season has been a rough one for Leonard thus far.  He has only played in a total of nine games and will miss many more.  He is expected to return to play before the end of the season due to a thigh injury he has been battling.  The Spurs currently sit in third place in the NBA West and should be able to make their 21st straight playoff appearance.  Fortunately, it appears that Kawhi will be able to join them and try to lead them to another NBA Championship.