Seven Ways to Save Money on Everyday Expenses

Minimize the cost of running your home when you use the following tips to save money on those everyday expenses. 1. Combine services It isn’t only your cable service that offers bundling. Once you are done combining your Internet, phone and cable television into one package, move on to other services that be combined in order to save money on your monthly expenses. For example, you can combine your home and auto insurance for a lower overall rate. 2. Pay your bills on time That $5 or $10 a month may not seem like much, but in the course of … Continue reading

The Whopping Family Cell Phone Bill

Cell phones as we know them are only a few decades old, and yet it is hard to think about living without them, despite the fact that humankind survived centuries without cell phones. It isn’t unusual these days to be spending $250 or more a month for your family cell phones. In some families, the cell phone expense may be the second highest monthly bill, after the mortgage or the rent. Doing without other things, from eating out to dental care (in some cases) in order to afford cell phones has become the norm. How did things get so crazy? … Continue reading

Life Insurance From My Mortgage Company?

Yesterday, I got a strange piece of mail from my mortgage company. It wasn’t a bill, and it wasn’t a notice about a late payment. I wasn’t a cancellation notice, or anything related to my mortgage. Instead, it was information about a life insurance policy that I can buy from my mortgage company. That was unexpected! For most people, it is a very good idea to have life insurance. A good life insurance policy will provide your spouse and children with the financial assistance that they would need in order to continue living their lifestyle after you have passed away. … Continue reading

Tax Time: Home Business Money Savers

Now that you know how to save money on your taxes by deducting job-hunting expenses, let’s talk home businesses. According to the IRS, you may be able to save big bucks by writing off expenses related to what Uncle Sam refers to as the “business use of your home.” If you work out of your home–regardless of whether you rent or own–you may qualify for the deduction. The IRS defines a “home” as a house, condo, apartment, and mobile home, basically, any place that includes an area where you cook and sleep. A home office can be as large as … Continue reading

Don’t Spend Money Filing Taxes

If you’ve watched even five minutes of television in the last two weeks or so, then you’ve likely seen H&R Block’s new commercial offering free tax filing to Americans who didn’t make a ton of money in 2011. The ad is saturating the airwaves. Heck, last night I saw the commercial five times in less than two hours, and I thought the same thing each time I viewed it: Too good to be true. Of course, I’m a cynic. And by cynic I mean realist. Regardless, like many deals that feature the word “free” this one also comes with a … Continue reading

The A B C’s of Money – Part 2

In an effort to increase my financial literacy, I have been educating myself about more words that are used in financial matters. While my personal finances involve the same terms over and over again, I feel that it is important to understand as much as I can about how money works so that I can make the best financial decisions possible. Here are a few more words from the world of finance. A deductible is the amount of money that you must pay out of pocket before your medical insurance, car insurance, or other type of insurance begins to cover … Continue reading

Tips For Securing A Mortgage

Getting a mortgage is not as easy as you might think. There are many things that could come between you and the financing that you need for your new home. I have collected information about some common mistakes that can hurt your chances of getting a mortgage so that you can avoid them. One thing that can hurt your chances of getting a mortgage is applying for other credit around the same time as the mortgage, such as a car loan or a new credit card. Also, job hopping makes lenders hesitant to approve a mortgage because they can not … Continue reading

Money That Works

Is your money sleeping? Hopefully it’s not sitting under the pillow, but it may not be working for you. If your money isn’t working for you, it is time to wake it up. A savings or checking account is good for everyday use, but that money rarely makes a lot of money. How do you wake it up and set it to work? The most obvious choice for many is investment vehicles like mutual funds. These tend to accrue money over time, but not necessarily in the short term. Another somewhat less obvious choice is grants. For example, when we … Continue reading

Switching to a Single Income – Tips for Saving Money

For many families, deciding to have one parent stay home with the new baby is a difficult choice, and it’s even harder to carry out. It means making tough sacrifices. It’s interesting how many families say “we can’t,” when in reality what they are really saying is, “we won’t.” Are you willing to give up a few of life’s conveniences to stay home with your child? Sometimes, the first step toward being able to afford staying home with your kids is honestly dividing your expenses into two categories: needs and wants. Sometimes, the only way to live on one income … Continue reading

What to Do When Your Mortgage is Larger than Your House is Worth

Many families are facing a tough situation. They are paying more for their mortgage than their homes are currently worth. Some of this is due to a plunge in home values, while in some cases it is due to increased borrowing against a home. Whichever the case, foreclosure isn’t necessarily the only option. With a little frugal knowledge, you can get back on track. First of all, don’t panic. If you can still afford your payments each month and don’t need to sell your home, then you are still in okay shape. It is important to take stock of your … Continue reading