Excel Formula For Paying Extra On Student Loans Every Month Resolution 3: Save Money

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Resolution 3: Save Money

Today’s focus is on my never-ending quest to save money.

I’ve tried many methods to cut back in the past, but because I didn’t have full buy-in from my family and steps taken on my side, I ended up saving less than I planned.

With this new focus that ties into my New Year’s resolution to strengthen my family, I have a new opportunity to reach that same goal.

So this year, I made a resolution to save by tying this resolution to teach my kids valuable lessons about money.

Since there are so many different ways to do this, I’ve broken them down into main categories.

Here are some ideas I came up with Resolution 3: Save money.

Create a personal budget:

◊ Work with children to figure out how their money will be spent, dividing it into categories: charity, savings and spending.

◊ Divide into additional expenses: entertainment, medical, clothing, electronics, short-term savings and other recommendations they have.

◊ Together, determine the percentage of incoming funds that go to each category.

For example, save 50% for the long term, give 10% to charity, and spend or save 40% for a special need or want.

◊ Have them each keep a spreadsheet of their transactions.

◊ Open a savings account for each child for long-term funds.

Probably make a deal with them that I match what they put up with.

◊ Give them opportunities to earn money, such as good grades, jobs, birthdays and holidays.

◊ Encourage children to make and update a wish list of things they want and how much each item would cost.

They will be interested to know how quickly they change their desires and how much money is wasted on such desires.

Create a family budget:

◊ With children, list the categories of items we buy.

◊ Compare this list with actual bank statements and credit card statements to fill in the missing blanks.

◊ In an Excel spreadsheet, add expenses to the oldest calculator and let others log what they spend per month in each of these categories.

◊ Then, add up the total amount spent per month.

Watch the baby’s mouth drop.

◊ Together, determine where the cutbacks should be.

Ask them to come up with suggestions for reducing spending by at least 15% in each category, giving them a realistic dollar amount they should try to reach.

Groceries and Cosmetics:

◊ Clip coupons with kids from mailers, newspapers and online ads.

◊ Compare advertising prices from weekly grocery store flyers with kids.

◊ Using the coupons we have and the best advertised prices, create a weekly menu of healthy meals that the kids help find the recipes for.

◊ Make a grocery list of only the products we need.

◊ Commit to using off-brands for as many food items and toiletries as possible.

Do a taste test with the kids to verify that many items are the same and sometimes even better.

◊ Get kids grocery shopping and make them responsible for comparison shopping products, looking for the best price, as well as the greatest nutritional value.

Buy only the products listed.

◊ Use Loyalty Shopper Cards to get extra discounts and rack up fuel points.

Clothing, Shoes and Outerwear:

◊ Clothing and shoes will be purchased twice a year, once before the spring and again in the fall before school starts.

◊ Any items that children want outside of these times will be gifts for birthdays or holidays, or paid for with their own money.

It teaches them to be more careful with what they have and to choose items more carefully.

◊ Use coupons, sale price comparison shopping and gift cards to purchase these items.

◊ Understand that I need to limit my shopping to these times of the year.

Toys, electronics and unnecessary purchases:

◊ The purchase of these items also needs to be reserved for specific times of the year.

◊ If kids don’t want to add an item to their wish list, they can do extra chores to earn extra money for it.

It goes the same for my husband and me.

My husband once told me that when his father wanted something that wasn’t budgeted for, he would take extra jobs like refereeing basketball games and teaching college courses to earn money for what he wanted.

My in-laws weren’t in a position to do it, but maybe that’s why.

They have budgeted and spent money wisely over the years so that they are now comfortable.

Holidays and Events:

◊ The kids and I need to make sure the family budget includes a dollar amount section set aside for birthdays, holidays, and vacations each.

Since they still don’t really understand what these things are worth, they will be more receptive to spending less than in previous years.

◊ Having defined a new budget amount, have the children help me find vacation options.

We can also review our travel points earned for car rentals, airfares and hotel stays.

◊ Children need to refer back to these budget amounts when making their wish lists for birthdays and holidays.

I can encourage them to watch store ads to save money, which leads to more giveaways.

◊ A new favorite for the family is our local bookstore.

We took a quick trip to check out the store yesterday and my son came out with at least 10 books that he really wanted and each one of them was only $1.

By buying used books for her birthday, she now has all the unused funds to spend as she pleases.

Dining out and entertainment:

◊ Everyone needs to get out of the house from time to time, but for both my husband and my kids, they eat out every weekday.

This is their treat, which means they don’t eat out on the weekends.

If they want, they will need to take their lunch during the week.

◊ If we decide to go out to eat, it’s usually the result of the kids mutually deciding to cash in some of the points they’ve earned through our rewards system.

◊ For those occasions when we go out, we use restaurant gift certificates to save money.

For $4, I can buy a $25 gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants.

◊ We also make sure to dine at places where we already have gift cards.

Another plus for using gift cards is that I can buy them at my grocery store on the way to a restaurant and get triple fuel points for the purchase.

Home and Car Insurance:

◊ It’s wise to comparison shop home and car insurance rates every couple of years, especially as credit scores rise after the loan is paid off.

◊ I always combine my home policy with my car policy to get a discounted rate.

In addition, there are many other discounts available, such as garageing cars, taking defensive driving courses, home monitored alarms, good grades for students, and the list goes on.

By showing my oldest the difference in rates for her car insurance while sporting an academic achievement discount, she is very apt to get those grades and save some money.

Utility Providers:

◊ Every two months I also shop for electricity, cable and phone providers.

◊ I’ve found short-term electric plans can save me a ton of money per month, but I have to stay on top of renewals.

◊ I also discovered that my cable company has a bad habit of raising rates regularly.

This is where I need to either get a better package deal or move to another provider.

◊ With a recommendation from our oldest, a few years ago, we ditched our home phone line, resulting in a savings of at least $50 a month.

Our home security system is unmonitored and everyone knows who the phone is for when they hear a ring.

◊ When getting a new cell phone, we always compare the major carriers.

Sometimes it costs much less to have a phone with another carrier than the benefit of adding a line to the current plan.

We explain the costs of getting a phone and calling plan with our kids, so they understand how it will affect their holidays and birthdays, before they decide whether or not to get one.

Loan Repayment Plan:

◊ Determine what our long-term liabilities are and establish an order for payment.

This would include credit cards, student loans, personal loans, car loans, mortgage loans and so on.

We discuss these types of loans in detail with our seniors who are constantly bombarded with misleading information by credit card companies, personal loan companies and student loan companies.

◊ Develop an Excel spreadsheet with a payment schedule for each, showing payment amounts and payment dates.

◊ After we pay off one loan, add that monthly payment to the regular monthly payment of the other loan and we will start paying off our obligations at a much faster rate.

This is also an important tip to share with seniors.

◊ In the meantime, set up no-cost bi-monthly payments for the mortgage loan.

This results in lower payments per annum and lower long-term financing charges.

◊ Review each bill as it comes in for incorrect charges, then make sure to pay on time.

Bill Pay is the only way to go, as we can pay multiple bills in 24 hours or schedule payment for a future date.

Financial planning with a professional:

◊ Review our annual expenses for tax deductions that can be taken at the end of the year.

We will work diligently with our daughter, who is in college, to pull together the expenses and tuition paid as a result of her education.

◊ Discuss retirement goals and contributions to ensure we are maximizing benefits.

◊ Discuss college savings options.

◊ Review options for transferring funds to loved ones before we pass to help reduce the death tax burden.

◊ Discuss additional investment opportunities, such as real estate, stocks, mutual funds, bonds and T-bills.

These are just a few ideas that our family has come up with to save money.

I’ll go into more detail at a later date, but until then, I hope this gives you an idea of ​​other ways to save.

Here’s another inspired minute!

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