Thursday, February 8, 2018

#CarLoanPaidOff and #FinancialStrategies this Year


2016 was critically hard for us financially because we bought a new house and  we were still paying the mortgage of the old house.  It was really tight, I was stressed out but when we  sold our  old house, we were okay.  2017  was a better  year,   I was able to  save all of my blogging  income and also  set aside some amount  from hubby's  salary.  He did not know that I have saved  almost 10 grand so before the end of the  year last year, we paid off the car loan we had for his sports car.  The interest on that car loan was 6.99% and it kills me  paying the interest every month.  I am so glad  we were able to pay it off before 2018 started.

This year, we have made some changes so that we can cut cost and save some money for emergencies and rainy days.  I was  encouraging my husband that we should cut our cable off last year but he did not buy the idea of  not having TV but I am so glad that this year, he finally got on board with me.  It's nice having cable but the cost is getting so expensive  and we don't even use it all the time.  With all the garbage  shows you see on TV these days, I  lost  interest in watching.  We were paying $233 every month for a bundle of phone, cable and internet every month last year  and for me that was too much.  So we decided to cut our  landline phone and cable which saves us $130  each month.  We also bought our own modem for the internet which also saves $11 a month.

We cut our contract with  AT&T for the cellphones and switched to Metro PCS.  For 4 lines, we only pay $106 every month and  there's no contract.  We decided to get our children  cellphones  because they are at the age where they go places and we  would love to be able to keep track on them when they are not with us.   However, I made them signed a contract that  cellphones are not free, therefore, they will have to be  responsible in taking care of it and that they have to do their part to  regularly  help around the house when they are not in school.  It works great because, I don't have to  tell them to do things now, they do it voluntarily without buts or ifs.  With the switch, we were able to  get new phones for the 4 of us for less than what it  would cost if we added  two  new lines with our former contract with AT&T.

Another saving strategy that we incorporated this year is  selling  unwanted  things that are just laying around the house.  So far, I have rid of  a lot of things and  put that money into  our savings for the kids  school tuition  next school year.

The following strategies works for us and it might work for you.
Pulling the plug on cable and landline phone.  If you want to  watch movies on TV, you can  subscribe to Netflix, that's what we did.  They gave us  a month free and  I think we are going to keep it.  It only cost $7.99 a month, a lot better than cable cost.
 If you want to watch  local news, you can buy an indoor HDTV antenna that you can  connect to your TV, that's what we did, it only cost $19.99.

Buying your own internet modem.  Comcast charges $11 a month for  modem, if you buy your own, it cost $50 and you don't have to keep paying for something that isn't your own.

Sell things that you no longer use, I know a lot of us has a lot of these things laying around the house.  Gifts that we received but never used are common things.

Cook your own food at home rather than going to  a fast food chain.  It is healthier and it is cheaper plus you  spend quality time together in the dinner table, it's a great bonding  time with the family. We still go out once in a while  but it is just on special occasion.  I cook almost everyday  and we eat together and get to  have time to catch up and  communicate with each other.

Instead of Paying for a Gym Membership, try to  set up a home gym.  You will save in the long run doing this and the whole family can benefit and use it  anytime of the day.  Staying active  helps  the family to stay healthy and away from sickness.
Our HomeGym
Our goal is to  pay  extra hundred dollars with our mortgage payment every month  so that we can pay it off early.  Hopefully, we can achieve this sooner so that my husband can retire and we can be debt-free.  I know that's a  long shot but  every little  changes we  do  can help achieve that.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Saving Money on your Summer Break


Now that Christmas is long behind us, and we've survived what must have been the longest January ever, it's time to start thinking about the warmer months. Springs just around the corner and summer vacations aren't a million miles away. Your summer holiday is a wonderful way to break up the year. It helps you to relax and unwind while giving you a chance to see some of the World and get some much-needed sunshine. 

But, summer vacations can be ridiculously expensive. Especially if you are tied to the school holidays and other peak times. It could be easy to spend a small fortune and find yourself paying it off until next summer. However, there are some fantastic ways to save money, and it's perfectly possible to have a fantastic summer break without breaking the bank. Let's take a look at them.


Book Now

Booking early means that you can get some great deals and that you've got longer to save. Start looking at packages now and book as soon as you can. You'll probably just need to pay a small deposit to start with, and then you'll have months to pay off the balance and start saving some spending money.


Book Later

On the other hand, booking later can also be a great option. Book some time off work and look at what last minute deals are available a few weeks before. You might not have as much choice, but it could also be a great adventure and take you somewhere you'd never have picked otherwise. 


Take Less Cash

We all like to have plenty of spending money on holiday. Taking lots of cash means that you can enjoy all of the tourist attractions, eat out all of the time, buy what you want and enjoy your vacation in luxury. But, it's not essential. Spending less while you are away is a brilliant way to save money on your break. Book any excursions you are desperate to go on online before you go to get the best rates. You could also book city-wide travel pass and tickets to events before you go to save money. 


Avoid Tourist Hotspots

Popular destinations are expensive, but if you are desperate to see them, you may need to take out a loan from debtconsolidation.loans to free up some spare cash and finance your trip. Smaller, less well-known destinations can be even better. They give you a chance to get a more authentic view of local life, to enjoy traditional experiences and do your break, your way. Explore on foot, get to know the locals, avoid busy restaurants and instead head to family establishments or cook for yourself. 


Stay Local

Staycations are more popular than ever and to be honest, most of us just enjoy having some time off work to relax. You don't need to spend a fortune traveling across the world to have a great time. Most of us don't ever fully explore places much closer to home. Look at day trips in your local area, or visit the next city along.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Shop The Sales (Without Hurting Your Finances)




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There’s something about items on sale that delights us. We see that red discount label and our minds are alight, suddenly coursing with adrenaline as we think of the bargains we might be able to find. We head to the discount section, marvelling over the reduced prices, and delight in the money we’re able to save. 

There’s no denying that sales shopping is fun, but there’s also no denying that it can be potentially problematic. Sales have a tendency to grab hold of our attention and prevent us from making the wise purchasing decisions we would normally make. If this happens often enough, you can find your spending spiralling to a point that your sales shopping is becoming a problem

However, the answer to this potential issue isn’t to not shop the sales at all -- a bargain is a bargain, after all! -- but to ensure your sales shopping is as smart as it can be. Read on for a few essential tips to keep in mind the next time you see discounted prices in your favorite store… 

Set a strict budget 

It’s one thing to want to grab a bargain, but you need to place restrictions on your spending as well. Giving yourself an open door to spend whatever you want, just because items are on sale, is a surefire way to spend far more than is justifiable. 

Spend in cash where possible 

While your new credit card sourced through Best.creditcard might be burning a hole in your pocket, sales shopping should always be done in cash. If you can’t literally afford the item right now, then buying it while it’s on sale is a bad idea. You have to factor in the fact that sales make us want to buy things we don’t even need; ensuring that you only buy in cash is by far the best way to ensure you are able to fight back against this problem. 

Avoid big sale events 

Big sales events, such as Black Friday, have a tendency to be a letdown. The stock on sale is often not the kind of thing you’d buy at full price, so the savings you make aren’t necessarily as good as they initially appear. It’s far better to look for individual sales at stores that you already like and frequent. You can use one of the apps featured on usnews.com if you want to ensure you’re always up-to-date with which stores have sales running at any given time. 

Ask yourself one question before you make any sales purchase 

The question is: “If I had the money available, would I buy this at the full retail price?”

If the answer is no, then put it down and move onto something else. Unless you believe an item important enough to be worth paying the full price for, you don’t need it. 

In conclusion

By keeping the above in mind, you can be sure that your sales shopping will be nothing but pleasurable, ensuring you don’t have a financial hangover from your splurge. Enjoy!

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Victorious Smile!

She won an international smile contest for the month of October 2009. This contest was sponsored by Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada.

God bless y'all!