Budget

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college educationThere are many ways to fund a college education. Loans, scholarships, working between classes and saving during high school are some of the ways students can afford college.

There's also another reliable way to pay for it — hit up your parents.

The average cost for an in-state public college for the 2015-16 academic year averaged $24,061, and was $47,831 at private colleges, according to a survey by College Data.

Graduates may eventually cover those expenses with future earnings, but that's years after leaving college and doesn't help at all before starting school.

For parents who are generous enough to pay for some or all of their children's college education, it can require some sacrifices. And I'm not just talking about taking out a loan, dipping into a retirement account or taking out some equity in your home.

Cutting vices

Some families have to make life changes to be able to afford college. These can go well beyond stopping smoking or not going out for coffee every weekday. Getting rid of your vices makes sense for more than monetary reasons, but some pleasures in life are worth keeping, even if your kid has to get a college loan or two.

Liberty Bank of Chicago recently put together a graphic (at the bottom of this post) that lists simple vices that can be cut to help struggling families save for college. The bank based the total savings amount for each item on putting the money in a savings account for 18 years that earned 3 percent interest.

It's interesting to see how much can be saved by not doing something for 18 years — all of your child's life.  ...continue reading

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ID-100201978Money issues can cause arguments, stress and even divorce if they’re not addressed. In order to maintain a healthy relationship you should consider having mutual financial disclosure. Here is a list of some bad habits that can potentially hurt your relationship and tips for how to avoid them.

1. Avoiding Financial Conversations

The most important part of a relationship is honesty and trust. If you are getting serious with your partner, then you should consider sitting down and having a conversation about money before taking the next step. Speaking about your finances with your partner can be personal, however, if you plan to move in together and build a future, then you want to make sure you are on the same financial page. Ask yourself, Will you share a joint account? Joint credit cards? Who will be in charge of paying the bills? All of these questions should be addressed before taking the next step with your partner to avoid issues down the road. ...continue reading

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broke during ChristmasThere's never a good time to be without money, or at least much of it. Being broke during Christmas can be especially tough.

Being broke during Christmas happens to almost everyone at least once in their life when they discover there is more month than money, life happened, they didn’t plan well enough, or there just wasn’t enough extra money to set aside for the holidays.

Whatever your reason is, don’t despair. There are a number of ways to create a memorable Christmas without needing to spend a lot of money. Here are some:

Manage your family’s expectations

Make sure that everyone is clear about the family’s finances. If you have very small children they probably are pretty oblivious to most things in general.

Cat Alford of Budget Blonde specifically gave her infants very few toys because they are too small to remember what is going on. Don’t feel guilty about taking this approach to gift giving as well. ...continue reading