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  • Save Money During a Layoff!

    Layoff

    If you find yourself in the nearly ten percent recently laid off, you may not be prepared for the loss of income. Hopefully you are able to qualify for unemployment benefits, as these benefits will help to get you through the next few months until you are able to acquire a new job. These benefits alone will not make your life as it was but they will help to offset some of the anxieties that come with it.

    If you are renting and realize that you may not be able to cover the rent and feed your family, you can appeal to your landlord for a short-term reduction or search out a different location more affordable to your current situation. If you own a home and have the same scenario, you can try to refinance if your partner is still employed.

    Reducing the cost of utilities can go a long way. If you do not have a programmable thermostat you may want to install one as it will pay for itself in the first month. By lowering your thermostat before going to bed or when no one is at home, you can significantly reduce your heating or air conditioning bills. Turn off lights when you are not in the room. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater and take shorter showers.

    If you have a large cable bill, as many of us do, check to see if you can remove some of the unused channels temporarily until you return to work. Another bill that can often do with revamping is the cell phone; reduce your monthly minutes and cancel any added features that can again be added back on at a later date.

    When it comes to food shopping, always go prepared by checking the local flyers first to see who is offering the best deals of the week, plan your meals, cut coupons and stick to your list. Generic store brands are a great way to save money on some of the products you currently use. Budget your food shopping down to the bare minimum.

    There are many ways to survive being laid off, even if it means you have to cut back. Many of us live beyond our means and do not think about saving or scaling back until it is too late. By learning to survive on a budget and a single salary, you will be able to keep your head above water until you are able to find another job.

     

  • Teach Your Children To Save Money!

    Not only is it important to know how to save money for yourself and your family, it is important that you get your children in on the fun too!  Yes, I said fun.  It can be fun when you do it right and know how to teach your children the best ways to save money.

    One thing that will help you is a great book by Mary Hunt.  You can get it for less than $15 and with all of the knowlege and lessons that are in it, it is well worth every penny you will pay for it.  Order it now from Amazon:

    Book Description:

    It’s natural to want your kids to have a secure future.  But when it comes to teaching the next generation how to handle money, parents are failing.  Still there is hope!  Financial expert Mary Hunt shows parents how to raise kids who have a healthy relationship with money — even if the parents themselves have made financial mistakes along the way or are struggling financially right now.

    Drawing from solid statistics and her own hard-won knowledge and experience, Hunt helps parents protect their children from the financial pitfalls of easy credit, an attitude of entitlement, and our culture’s chummy relationship with debt. From preschool through the teen years, every stage of a child’s development is covered, including how to talk to them about money, how to help them start saving money and giving it away and how to manage it wisely.

     

  • Teach Your Children Early to Save Money!

    Children and Money

    No matter what age your child is, you should begin to teach them about saving money as soon as they understand what money is.  Children learn from example is learning to save money is one of the most important lessons we can teach a child.

    It is never too early to start teaching them how money can affect them later on in life.  When you take a child to the store the first thing they normally ask is “Can I have that?”  This is the beginning of showing children the importance of money.  You can say “not today, I don’t have enough money for it” or something similar to that.

    Once children reach an age that they’ve begun to get money for their birthdays, Christmas or whatever, you can then explain to them that the money they got is their money to spend how they would like.  However, my advice is to have them put half into a savings account and the other half could be spend on something special that they want for themselves.

    Go through the sale papers with your child and let them pick something out that they want to begin to save for.  Or, if there is something they want that isn’t very expensive let them use their own money to get it.

    Explain to kids the value of money.  Show them what each piece of money is and tell them how much it is worth and allow them to earn money from doing household chores or working in the yard.  Again, I would explain to them that putting half of whatever they earn into a savings account and the rest they can keep for themselves.

    If a child begins to save half of whatever they receive or earn they will learn to do that throughout their lives.  And, by the time they turn 16 and are read to drive, they should have built up a good size savings account so they can buy their own car (or at least put a good down payment on one).

    Of course, you should also teach your children the importance of giving back to the community or to those in need.  They can take a percentage of what they would either spend or save and buy a few items for your local food bank or during the holidays to put into the Salvation Army buckets.  Teaching them that it’s good to have money is great, but you also need to teach them the importance of giving back to those who don’t have enough.

    You can teach your children so much about money beginning when they are young and they will carry that life lesson around with them for the rest of their lives.