Family Budget Secrets to lower Household Expenses, Higher Family Income and wise money management

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The Home Budget, finances and uncontrolled expenses have caused unhappiness and divorce. Learn the three areas to look for wealth if you want to increase the Family Income and reduce household expenses.

The Family Budget: Consumer Secrets to lower Household Expenses, Higher Family Income and wise money management.

Copyright 2006 AAA Consumer Credit Solutions

A healthy home budget is the key to wealth, success and even a healthy family life. American and Canadian Families could create a much healthier home budget with a bit of discipline and planning. Ask a Consumer and she may tell you, up front, that paying the Grocery Bills gives the greatest cause for concern in the family’s home budget. Too often, money creates family fights. Paying bills, the Home Budget and family finances too often cause divorce. Parents can avoid such calamities with financial discipline, greater research and some professional help. Unfortunately, areas for greatest financial relief too often lie off limits, outside of the usual scrutiny for possible savings in the family’s home budget.

These three areas: Mortgage Payments, Taxation of Income and Credit Card Debts drain away the family’s fortunes in ways we least suspect. In trying to reduce expenses from the Home Budget, you can dismiss high gas prices as a temporary event. Fluctuations in fruit and vegetable prices due to vagaries of the weather can impact the monthly home budget too. Those numbers pale in comparison to the heavy hitters in a home budget, such as Income Taxes paid, Mortgage Interest and excessive and un-necessary loan or Credit Card Payments.

An annual, Income Tax Refund Check can offer relief in many a Family Budget. In order for your family to benefit, you must arrange your finances to profit from all income tax deductions you might be entitled to. You may hear about certain deductions. But since you, like many an employed Consumer, are no Finance Wiz, you tend to ignore them to your peril. Unfortunately, as an Employee, your income tax deductions are limited. They are almost cast in stone by government legislation. As a Business Owner, however, the rules are much more generous. You could save huge sums in income tax payments because of business expenses. Fortunately the distinctions and the rules are not quite as rigid as you might think. Let’s leave out the obvious personal deductions, medical, and educational expenses and similar employee and work related expenses. Here are some additional income tax deductions you can snag if only you had the know-how. These tax deductions, when astutely applied, would add considerable income to your home budget:

1. You can create a Home Based Business and immediately qualify for related expenses as income tax deductions
2. You could increase your Savings for Retirement and for your Pension to create additional income tax deductions
3. You could use Other Peoples Money for Investments. Here again is a third very legit means for tax deductions most Consumers are not familiar with.

These are three key areas around which you could build substantial tax deductible expenses and hence keep a much larger portion of your income. They could add to the Income portion of your Household Budget and significantly reduce expenses.

On the expense side of the Home Budgets, American and Canadian Families pay way too much in housing costs. A recent study of home finance revealed that the cost of housing approaches closer to 50% of the household budget than the 30% and 40% debt service ratios, which bankers use in screening applicants for mortgage financing. Rising House Prices and lower interest charges have allowed many to occupy homes they may soon be unable to afford. Tenants have used rent money to purchase homes. As interest rates continue the recent upward trend, foreclosures will increase and Canadian and American Households as Tenants or Home Owners will be priced out of their regular home expense budget.

Newer approaches to mortgage payments have uncovered huge sums of excess profits that Lenders have been enjoying for years at the expense of the average Home Owner. These studies found that over the life of a mortgage, Consumers typically hand over DOUBLE the Purchase Price of their Homes as extended and un-necessary mortgage payments. At a time of record low interest rates, these large sums represent a voluntary contribution to the Lenders?Profit margins. In the event you are hearing of these developments for the first time, then this over payment of a mortgage applies to you too. Almost every mortgage holder pays too much! Consumers as a group have been cajoled into giving our infinite trust to the Loan or Bank Officers. What we failed to realize is that in the lending industry, no one represents the interests of the Consumer. You must seek out your own professional for help.

The final item of Credit Card Debt relates to impulse buying of clothes, shoes, trinkets, entertainment and vacations, CD’s, snacks, lattes and other consumables. Such expenses dramatically increase the monthly household expenses. As a Parent or Single Mom, responsible for the Home Budget, you would be shocked to review actual expenses from impulse and non-essential purchases. One Bank engages a prominent Financial Planner, who advises Customers to refrain from needless expenses on items such as cigarettes, lattés, candies, coffee, and gum. These savings, they claim, could help to create a tidy retirement fund.

With a bit of discipline, Consumers could reduce expenses by huge amounts in differing ways: 1. At $10.00 a purchase, you could drive a Mercedes Benz by giving up 6000 Trips to the Dollar Store. 2. At $40.00 a pack for cigarettes, a Consumer could have the entire gas bills paid if he simply quit smoking 3. A $250.00 a month Retirement Savings Contribution could result from ignoring the daily craving for an expensive latt?or the three cups of coffee a day habit.

These expenses, when paid by cash, reflect an unnecessary drain on the household budget. Because of service charges, the drain is even more severe when you use Credit Cards and even Debit Cards for small and impulse purchases. All of a sudden, that Latt?which costs you $3.50 is in fact $4.50 if the Credit or Debit Card Company charges a $1.00 fee for each transaction. After one month, that two Lattes-a-day habit becomes a $140.0 a month cost. With maximum financed credit or debit charges they become a $200.00 to $250.00 a month expense.

Consumers can generate huge savings to the Family’s Home Budget from a bit of research and from prudence and discipline in household expenses. It is vital for you to understand mortgages, loans and credit expenses much better. With a little tax planning, some stinginess and some savvy, Consumers can improve the household budget in ways they least expect. As a thrifty Consumer, you must start the search for more efficient ways to run your family’s home budget. The pay back would be terrific.

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How to Control Your Expenses to Eliminate Debt

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Controlling your living budgets will definitely help you to get rid of you debt faster. It’s sound so simple but for many people, it’s a hard mission which need a lot of sacrifice to live on a budget. Read this article to find out what expenses you can control and it may not as hard as you think.

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This sounds simple, but to control your expenses you first must understand what they are. The only way to be sure you know what you spend is to record everything. This is hard to do. Then you will need to do something even more difficult, Sacrifice and Live on a Budget.Ouch, all people including you and me hate those two words. But it will take sacrifice to get out of debt. The good news is that it will be worth it.

Every time you make a sacrifice and stay on budget you will be investing in your future. Always keep that in mind. Every step you make towards getting out of debt means you are closer to having your money work for you.

The major expenses you can control on a day to day budget are:

 

  • General Expenses It could be music equipment, car washes, computer games, anything. Any things you can figure out which are not your needs. Maybe there isn't anything you can think of, but there probably is. Maybe at least once a month, when you go to buy something on impulse, you force yourself not to do it.

  • Food Expenses Stop going out to eat. This will be a huge sacrifice for most, but you have to stop going out to eat;it's too expensive. You need to bring your lunch to work and, if you have a Starbuck's addiction, stop buying $2 cups of coffee. Many people can save $50 a month just by brewing their own coffee, another $100 by bringing their lunch to work, and another $200 by not going out to eat for dinner.

  • Clothing Expenses Always decide what you are going to purchase before you go into the store and stick to it. Do all your "shopping" at home. If you truly need a new jacket because the old one has a hole in it and it's really cold outside then you can go get a jacket. But don't start looking around for the skirts and hats while you are there. Get the jacket and run!

  • Entertainment Expenses You like to have fun and you need to have fun. However, if you are in debt then, you need to sacrifice at least one major entertainment expense a month. Whatever it is you like to do (movies, concerts, plays, out to eat, sports, etc.) you need to reduce the frequency by at least once a month.

  • Gasoline Expenses As everyone is aware,gas prices have grown astronomically in recent times. For many years gas prices had been relatively level and it seems that they are making up ground ina short period of time. At $3 and more per gallon, gasoline has become a major expense for most households and needs to be specially addressed when looking at ways to control expenses. Getting a car with a good gas mileage and reduce your total driving miles can save you some significant amount of money. If you have colleagues leave close to you, then get them to carpool with you and share the gasoline expenses.

If you follow some basic rules on each of these tips on reducing debt and budgeting expenses and are willing to sacrifice you can save a good significant amount of money each month. That will put a dent in your credit card debt in no time.

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10 Tips To Improved Personal Budgeting

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$Clip coupons. This is the single most important rule of personal budgeting. Why? Simply because a few minutes spent clipping coupons could end up saving you multiple dollars in the checkout line.

$Buy in bulk. If your favorite products are on sale, buying in bulk may cost you more at present but could end up saving you a lot in the future. Some good examples are items that do not have an expiration date, such as soap, shampoo, toiletries and other household items. Canned …

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$Clip coupons. This is the single most important rule of personal budgeting. Why? Simply because a few minutes spent clipping coupons could end up saving you multiple dollars in the checkout line.

$Buy in bulk. If your favorite products are on sale, buying in bulk may cost you more at present but could end up saving you a lot in the future. Some good examples are items that do not have an expiration date, such as soap, shampoo, toiletries and other household items. Canned foods, which carry a long expiration date, are also ideal for buying in bulk.

$Saving your change can be a great help in your quest for personal budgeting. You would be surprised how quickly change can add up and, even if it’s $50 or $100 per month, your coins can add up to some serious cash. Many people discard their coins or simply toss them around without thought, but saving them in a bowl or dish will help a great deal when it comes to personal budgeting.

$Put a portion of each paycheck into a savings count each week or month. Whether it’s a few dollars or several hundred, always make sure that you are putting aside some amount of money into a savings account. If possible, deposit 10-20% from each paycheck.

$Avoid impulse shopping. This type of buying is what ultimately leads to buyer’s remorse. In order to avoid it, think about what you want to shop for and make sure that you avoid any last minute additions unless they are absolutely necessary or you can afford them without being in a crunch.

$Shop the sale racks. Everyone enjoys sprucing up their wardrobe now and then so, when it comes time to add a few new pieces of apparel, stop by the sale rack for big savings. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket, which can be later be used for life’s little essentials.

$Avoid using high-interest credit cards unless you can repay them within six months. Otherwise, you are more likely to get swallowed up with interest and end up paying for the original purchase several times over.

$If you do use a credit card for purchases, try to use one with an introductory APR or a regularly low interest rate. This could end up saving you big bucks every month and also in the future, which is one of the most important rules to personal budgeting.

$Request free samples. A number of websites, including StartSampling.com and WalMart.com, offer customers the opportunity to request free product samples of certain items. Everything from skin lotions and shampoo to dog treats and household products are up for grabs to all who ask. In addition, many manufacturers offer free samples of new product releases directly through their own website.

$If you find yourself in increasing credit card debt, call the creditor and request to be placed on a hardship program. This type of program allows for lower interest and smaller payments for a specified amount of time. Depending on the creditor, it can be in effect for several months or until the balance is paid in full. This method will not only help your immediate personal budgeting, but will also give you additional financial freedom in the future when the debt is paid in full.

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Why it is Important to Teach Your Kids About Money

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Do your teenagers understand how money works? Why is it so important for them to know about money before they start their first job?

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Do your kids understand how money works? Do they earn an allowance for doing chores around the house? Do they baby-sit or mow lawns to earn a few extra bucks? Do you take them to your office during school breaks so they see what it’s like to work a ‘real?job?

Do they know the fundamentals about saving? Do they understand how to figure out which is the best deal? Do you set a good example for them about handling money?

When I was HR Manager of a consulting company, we hired a college student to intern during the summer. He came to ask me about the FICA and Medicare deductions in his first paycheck. He politely told me he didn’t want this deducted anymore, and I had to keep from laughing. I started to explain to him that payroll taxes are not an option, but realized this was his first job and he had never been taught how much of his paycheck he would actually get to keep. He truly believed it all was his- no one had ever told him about Uncle Sam getting his cut first.

The statistics on college students who graduate with thousands of dollars of credit card debt are shocking. Turns out, as they signed up for classes in their freshman year, they also signed up for a credit card without understanding what it would really cost them in the long run. So before they even start earning a living or saving in a 401(k) plan, they have to pay off years of debt. It’s sad that they’re still paying for the pizza they ate two years ago.

It’s so important for kids, especially teenagers, to understand the concept of money and how it flows in and out of your hands throughout your lifetime. How to save it and how to spend it. Why is it important to give some back to others through charitable donations. If you don’t develop an understanding of money early in life, how can you possibly be able to manage it later on?

Parents have a responsibility to make sure their kids understand how money works before they go into the world to earn that first paycheck. Having this knowledge gives them the confidence to make smart money decisions as they navigate their way in life.

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What is a Cash Structured Settlement?

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What is exactly is a cash structured settlement? Basically a cash structured settlement occurs when there is an insurance company that provides scheduled payments to a person as a result of a claim settlement. In other words, a structured settlement is a monetary package that allows for payment of a settlement to occur through scheduled installment payments for a period of time.

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What is exactly is a cash structured settlement? Basically a cash structured settlement occurs when there is an insurance company that provides scheduled payments to a person as a result of a claim settlement. In other words, a structured settlement is a monetary package that allows for payment of a settlement to occur through scheduled installment payments for a period of time.

Structured settlements were first introduced in early in the seventies in Canada, then spreading rapidly into the United States. Several years later, this method found its way to Australia as well as Europe.

One benefit of structured settlements is that provides a tax free recurring payment over a period of time. These payments can very well be spread out through the live of the recipient. If death happens to occur to the recipient, a guaranteed portion of the settlement can be paid to a beneficiary.

An alternative to structured settlements is a lump sum payment. This basically means that a one time amount will be paid to the recipient instead of breaking the amount down into multiple payments over a designated period of time. This often occurs when a person wins the lottery. Some reasons that lump sum payments are of interest to individuals is that they may have a large expense they wish to pay off. For example, a home loan or mortgage, medical expenses, credit card debt, etc. With a lump sum payment, many debt issues can be resolved as a result of the large payment.

Although lump sum payments may seem appealing to some, structured settlements provide a continuous recurring income over a designated period of time.

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Get in Control of Your Credit Card Debt

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Using credit cards can make day to day life more simple, reducing the need to carry cash and making it easy to shop online and by telephone. However, spending with plastic can sometimes be a little too easy, and many people find their balances get out of control.

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Few people would deny that using credit cards can make day to day life more simple, reducing the need to carry cash and making it easy to shop online and by telephone.

However, spending with plastic can sometimes be a little too easy, as it doesn’t always feel like you’re actually parting with any cash. This means the temptation is to spend without thinking about the consequences too carefully, until you hear the ominous thud of a huge credit card bill hitting the doormat.

If you’ve been caught out like this, the size of your card debt may seem overwhelming, but don’t panic – there are a few simple steps you can take to start getting your debt back under control.

Try and make a little more than the minimum payments:

The minimum payments required by credit card companies have steadily fallen over the years. Where once it was typical to have to repay a minimum of 5% of your balance every month, it’s now common to only have to pay 2.5% or 3%. With repayments this small in proportion to your debt, a large chunk of each payment gets swallowed up in interest charges. Depending on the APR rate of your card, up to 75% of each payment could be ‘lost’ in this way, meaning that it takes a very long time for your balance to reduce to any great extent.

By trying to repay more than the minimum, even if only by a little, you can speed this process up, and in the long term you’ll end up paying much less in interest charges.

Prioritize your card debts:

If you have more than one card with different rates of interest, it makes sense concentrate on the one with the highest interest charges. This means not just the one with the highest interest rate, but the one which actually charges you most each month, which could have a lower rate but a higher balance.

Check your statements to see which card is costing you most in interest each month, and try to focus on repaying this card first by putting any spare cash you have into extra payments while keeping to the minimums on your other cards.

Change your card:

The credit card market is very competitive, and rates have fallen over the last few years. You may be stuck with an old card charging an old rate that is much higher than newer cards. If you can get a new card with a lower rate and transfer your account balance on to it, you could save a lot in interest charges, helping you to bring down your debt. If you can get a card with an introductory rate on balance transfers then all the better – you’ll get a few months of interest free credit which you can use to really drive down your balance as 100% of each repayment will be helping to clear your debt.

Debt consolidation:

If getting a cheaper card isn’t an option or isn’t something you feel happy about, then maybe a consolidation loan would be worth considering. If you take out a loan and use the money to pay off all your card debts, you could benefit from a lower rate as loans are normally quite a bit cheaper than credit cards.

The downside to these loans is that the repayment period might be quite long, and so even though your monthly repayments will hopefully be lower, you’ll stay in debt for longer and so end up paying more in interest. Done carefully, however, consolidation can be a sound move if there’s little chance of clearing your debt in any other way.

Watch your spending!

All the above strategies for getting your debt under control will only work if you stop getting deeper into debt – and this means stopping spending on your cards. Ideally, you’d cut them up so that you can’t use them again, but this might not be realistic as you may need to keep them as a credit option in an emergency. In any case, cutting your spending to an absolute minimum will keeping your repayments as high as possible is the only sure strategy to clearing your debt in the long term.

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