Giving Your Kids the Money Skills That They Need

Posted on Thursday 21 March 2013

When it comes to raising children, teaching the money skills is one of the most valuable lessons that you can give them. Many children end up becoming financially illiterate when they become adults, and it can have a major impact on them overall. If you want your kids to understand the basics of money, here are some of the best ways that you can teach them what they need to know

1. Give Them an Allowance

If you want to help your kids understand how to handle money, you’re going to have to give them some money. Since they can’t really go out and get a job at the age of four or five, it’s up to you to help them out. You can make them do chores or help out in other ways around the house in order to earn the money that you give them. Many experts say that you should give them a dollar for each year old that they are each week. You could also cut that number in half or come up with another figure. By doing this, it allows them to accumulate more as they get older.

2. Teach Them to Budget

Once you have provided them with some money to work with, it is time to teach them how to budget. The first few times, let them blow the money on whatever they want. More often than not, they’ll simply take the money and spend it on candy or toys right away. Usually, kids will realize that they’re not going to be able to buy anything of value by doing this.

Teach them that they have to allocate their money to certain things in a budget fashion. This way, when they want to buy something big, they’ll have some money to do it. You may want to show them that there are ways to extend their budgets and save money; for example, you could show them how to get coupon codes for DogFunk.

Then once you have DogFunk coupons, you can show them how they save money when they buy something that they want. This helps them see that their budgets can be stretched a bit with careful planning.

3. Show Them Investing

In the grand scheme of things, there are only two ways that anyone can earn money. They can earn money by working or they can earn money by relying on their money to do it for them. If you want your kids to get ahead in life, it is important to show them that they can make money with their money. Many parents use a system in which they pay their kids interest when they save.

This teaches them that they can make money when they invest it. You may also want to teach them about investing in securities like stocks and bonds when they get a little bit older. You could even help them open a Roth IRA at some point. This way, they can invest and they still have the option of taking their deposits out in the future without any penalty.

4. Use Reality as a Teacher

Every parent has been in a situation where they really want to buy something for their kids when they can’t afford it themselves. While there’s nothing wrong with occasionally getting them a gift, reality can be one of the best teachers that you ever employ. Instead of just chipping in and automatically making up the difference, let your kid wait on that big thing he wants. It will show him that it takes time to accumulate money and it’s not just some limitless good.

These lessons have the potential to change your child’s life and get him off on the right foot.

savvy @ 7:16 PM
Filed under: General Finances
What You Can Do to Save On Your Motorbike Insurance

Posted on Tuesday 19 March 2013

There is no better feeling than hitting the open road on your motorcycle. Of course, this feels much better when you know you are covered by the proper type of insurance.

Despite the fact that some people continue to overpay for motorcycle insurance coverage, you don’t have to find yourself in the same position. Instead, there are steps you can take to save money.

While most people are familiar with the basics – such as increasing their excess – it is important to note that there are other little known ways to save on a motorcycle insurance policy.

Shopping around should be taken for granted, which is why it isn’t included in our list of three tips. In this internet age, there are many places where you can compare insurance deals to find the cheapest one for you. The search tool on Motorcycle News is a great place for start.

So, now that we’re ready to get started, here are three ideas to consider:

1. Join a motorcycle club. Did you know that members of some motorcycle clubs qualify for a discount on insurance? For example, you may want to think about joining the British Motorcyclists Federation for our UK readers or American Motorcyclist Association if you live in the USA.

Tip: before joining just any club, ask your insurer if there are some in particular that will qualify you for a discount.

2. Choose the right bike. Don’t have a motorcycle just yet? This is your chance to make a decision that will save you money now and in the future.

You don’t want your entire decision to be based on how much you will pay for insurance. That being said, it is important to note that some motorcycles cost more to insure than others. Sure, that sport bike that can hit a high speed may seem exciting now, but wait until you see how much you are going to pay for coverage.

Tip: before making a purchase, contact a motorcycle insurance company to receive a quote for several makes and models. This will give you a clear understanding of how much you will be spending on insurance upon making a purchase.

3. Full coverage is often times for fools. No matter what, you need liability coverage. This will cover any damage that you inflict on another party or their property. But do you really need collision and comprehensive coverage? Well, this all depends on the age of your bike and its value.

Tip: request a variety of quotes, each one with a different type of coverage. This will allow you to see what you can get for your budget.

With these three little known ways to save on motorcycle insurance, you are closer than ever to buying an affordable policy that will keep you protected while cruising the open road.

savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances
Savings Stalled? Small Steps Today to Build Security for Tomorrow

Posted on Monday 18 March 2013

Are you among the millions of Americas who have struggled to rebuild your savings since the recession? If so, there are simple, time-tested strategies you can use to spend less and save more.

A new survey by CNNMoney found that many Americans are not saving enough for retirement or emergencies. Only half of respondents reported good saving habits, including having a spending and/or saving plan in place,

“We know from other research that if one does not have adequate emergency savings, it’s much more difficult for people to save for other purposes, either a home or retirement,” said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America, which conducted the survey along with the American Savings Education Council.

So how can you start building (or rebuilding) a nest egg? Start by following these steps:

  • Get Clear on the exact amount of your net income and current expenses, including the inevitable unexpected expenses such as auto and home repairs. With this information, you can begin to design a solid spending plan that makes sense based on current realities. Look at your income and expenses line by line. Where can you make adjustments? There are many software programs for doing this, but even listing your expenses and income on a legal pad works.
  • Plug Money Leaks – Many people consider only large expenditures, such as refinancing a home, when looking to save money, but finding small areas where you can save is just as important. These are usually areas of spending that are almost unconscious: the latte on the way to work each day, the extra $15 per month on cable channels you don’t watch, the additional money spent on “name brand” groceries. The first step to plugging these leaks is to identify them. Note each small spending habit and add up its annual cost. Next, ask yourself, “Do these small expenditures really make a difference to me? Do they really add to the quality of my life? Or are they just habits that could be eliminated or changed?”
  • The 10/10/10 Financial Formula – To build true financial security, consistent saving is critical. I recommend the time-tested “10/10/10 Savings Formula. It may seem like a stretch at first, but work towards setting aside 10% of your income for short-term needs, 10% for mid-term needs and potential emergencies, and 10% for long-term retirement planning. This will put you in control of your money and finances.
  • Look Beyond Traditional Saving and Investing Methods – Many people do not realize there are proven and time-tested ways to grow a substantial nest egg without the risk or volatility of stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and other investments. One asset class has increased in value during ever period of economic boom and bust for more than a century: dividend-paying whole life insurance. A dividend-paying whole life policy grows by a guaranteed and pre-set amount every year. These policies also provide peace of mind for retirement planning, because you can know the minimum guaranteed value of the policy on the day you plan to tap into it…and at every point along the way. In addition, riders can be added onto the policy that make the cash value grow significantly faster than a traditionally designed whole life policy.

Whatever your financial circumstances, you can take steps today – even if they’re just small steps – to move toward your financial goals. As soon as you take positive action, you will reap the reward of more peace of mind.
About the Author: As a consultant to financial advisors, Pamela Yellen investigated more than 450 savings and retirement planning strategies seeking an alternative to the risk and volatility of stocks and other investments. Her research led her to a time-tested, predictable method of growing and protecting savings now used by more than 500,000 Americans. Pamela’s book, BANK ON YOURSELF: The Life-Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future, is a New York Times Bestseller. She has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NPR and in The Huffington Post, Fortune Small Business and hundreds of other publications. Learn more at www.BankOnYourself.com.

savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances
Cheap vs. Frugal: Is There a Difference

Posted on Friday 15 March 2013

While some may view your spending as being cheap, you could just be practicing wise spending habits. In fact, the line between frugality and being cheap is far wider than many may realize. If you are a frugal consumer, it just means you are watching what is spent for the quality of the merchandise in order to find the best possible deal for what you’re getting in order to use your money more productively elsewhere. Cheap means that although they have the money to spend on whatever you wish, you would still rather not for some hording obsession.

1. Dining Out – Frugal spenders will find coupons or discounts in order to have a fine meal at a fine restaurant with a date or spouse. He or she may not necessarily have the money to do so without these discounts. They are still able to provide a fine dining experience without the worry of covering the entire dollar amount.

Cheap consumers will take a date to McDonald’s even if they do have the money for a lavish dining experience. Why waste the money on an expensive meal when one can get fed at a burger joint for less? Although it may be cute to some, this experience is only the tip of a very large iceberg.

2. Bulbs – A frugal shopper will sometimes understand the value of the LED light bulbs in terms of the future. As these bulbs provide more light while consuming less power, they will help save electricity. Bulbs powered by LEDs also tend to live far longer than standard bulbs which means less money to spend on replacements later on.

The cheap buyer will see that incandescent bulbs are one-tenth the price of LEDs. They live in the here-and-now and would rather not spend so much money on a simple light bulb regardless of what benefits can be wrought by them.

3. Birthdays – As coupons can be found for nearly any merchandise or service, planning a birthday can be cost effective while providing a gift the person wants. A frugal shopper will put consideration into the gift and try to make it as low costing as possible.

Everyone likes balloons, right? A cheap shopper will spend $1 for a bag of balloons for a birthday present although he or she may have an extra $20 in his or her pocket. As long as the present can cost as little as humanly possible, the cheap consumer is happy.

4. Clothing – Scissors and printers will produce as many coupons as possible for the frugal shopper who would like some decent clothing. Sometimes, the clearance isles can yield excellent results. Perhaps a visit to the local thrift store to find a nice suit could be beneficial for the frugal person.

Cheap buyers will haggle over the price of a $1 pair of used shoes at a yard sale. After all, that person isn’t going to use them anymore and is more likely going to throw the shoes away if they don’t sell. Why should he or she pay more than $0.10 for those pair of Nikes?

Those who are frugal have more of a meaning and purpose behind their spending. Most of the time, frugal consumers don’t have a lot of money to spend on merchandise so they find the best deal they can of the same item. A large portion of cheap consumers will have the money to spend on nearly anything they want, but feel they need to horde it for some unknown cause. Just because you purchase according to your budget so you can comfortably survive, doesn’t mean you are cheap.

Author Bio:

Ken Myers is the founder of  http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

savvy @ 12:20 PM
Filed under: General Finances
Are you Spending Money on the Right Sites?

Posted on Wednesday 13 March 2013

Sometimes we just can’t tell if an ecommerce site is reputable unless you’ve consistently done business with one, or if they’re the bigger companies like Amazon, who specialize in ecommerce.  Luckily there are sites like Reseller Ratings who allow people to post ratings and reviews of sites that they’ve done business with. Their reviews depend mostly on whether they got what they ordered, service, and delivery speed.  However, what sets Reseller Ratings apart from other review sites is that merchants do not have control over which reviews appear on Reseller Ratings. Also, Reseller Ratings make sure that companies haven’t rated themselves.

That being said, it’s very impressive if a company can get close to a perfect 10 rating.  Take Signazon.com for example.  They have an overall ranking of 9.66, which is stellar, considering they’ve had around 600 people who were satisfied with their online purchasing experience.  Signazon.com sells all types of promotional materials from personalized calendars to window decals, and all of them can be customized to your liking.  It’s truly remarkable that they can maintain such a high rating when each customer’s specifications must be accounted for, and it’s very likely that their employees take the time to make sure everything is done right before they send the customer the final product.  To emphasize their rating of 9.66 out of 10, Amazon.com received a rating of 7.50, and they have had a strong customer-centric approach for years:

Anyways, before you buy something, see if they have a Reseller Ratings score before you purchase.  You could save loads of precious time and money, not to mention the stress!

savvy @ 6:52 PM
Filed under: General Finances