Best Money-Saving Practice is Restraint

Restraint, when practiced correctly, can be considered an admirable quality; whether such practice relates to diet, excercise, economics or indulgement. Proper budgeting and saving money often requires some degree of restraint in order to accomplish either, and the family that is able to utilize restraint will find success. Self restraint will go a long way toward resisting the urge to “buy on impulse”, as so many people do, even in some cases when they can least afford to.

However, impulsive buying or spending is the least desirable action a budgeting family or individual can afford given the requirement for strict adherence to the budget put in place to echieve an economic objective. Often, when people come into a certain amount of money, they have the tendency to rush out and instantly satisfy that irresistible urge to splurge on anything they lay their eyes on. This action is contrary to everything they should do and is a huge mistake.

Sometimes people fail to recognize the idea that the future has to be considered whenever spending and savings enter the picture. The cliché “nothing is constant” still rings true until today. The stuff people see now as “shiny objects” will fade and rust away later, leaving patience and self-control to make people realize and think about the many other more important things that requires them to practice restraint, especially money-wise. A person’s financial success begins with a conscious effort to control one’s expenditures and save up for the future.

Realizing the high correlation of restraint and saving money, the next question is, how do we start learning, and acquire this admirable quality, which seems so elusive? Well, there are many ways that people often take for granted. Here are some of the less complicated ones that are easier to follow. Learn them, and hope they grow on you. Try to apply these easy steps in your daily living and surely, they will play an important role in sending you on your way to financial stability and security.

  1. Do not purchase items on impulse. Consider thinking if you really need the item, or maybe you can still put it off for later when you really have the need for it.
  2. Identify the your needs from wants. You wouldn’t want to spend so much on something that you may regret doing so in the future.
  3. Look for a person who can serve as a role model for you and adapt a financial life similar to what he does. In this way, self-control will seem very easy when you see that others are actually doing it.

Family Budgeting Success Requires Discipline

Present-day families have made budgeting a priority due to ever increasing expenses associated with everyday societal activities, domestically as well as socially and business. It matters not where a family is geographically, or what level of economic achievement you have attained, in today’s inflationary world, nothing is more important than knowing how to spend wisely based on your available income.

A family’s financial problems usually arise due to lack of proper budgeting skills, or failure to adhere to the budget it has put in place. No matter how much income you may have, it is still important to keep track of your assets and liabilities, as well as your earnings and expenses.

It’s really ironic, but a person who earns thousands of dollars will have the same problems as the person who earns money by the hundreds of dollars. Most often, different kinds of people, with diverse income levels, have budgeting problems. Others who may have been successful in making a budget, usually fail to keep within such a budget. This failure can be attributed to major catastrophe in some cases, but most often it is due to a lack of discipline.

A budget is essentially a financial plan structured around an entity’s recieveables and expenditures which, when translated to a household budget, simply means the incoming monetary resources the family generates and outgoing expenses in the form of bill payments, food and clothing, among others. A good budget should not only mean a balance or equity between income and expenditures it also means less expenses which makes an allowance for savings.

If you earn a thousand dollars per month, you should map out all the necessary expenses you will incur or expect to incur during the month such as mortgage/rent, food and transportation, etc. Of course, this presumes that your tax liabilities have already been settled. What remains after you deduct your total expenses from your income is your savings.

What you do with your savings will make a difference later on, when the need arises. You can choose to keep your savings in a piggy bank or place it in a bank where there is minimal interest rate earnings, but at least your money is safe from you and from intruders. With a bigger savings, you can get the services of a financial adviser who can give you higher-yielding investment options.

Here are a few tips to make sure that you keep within the family budget:

  1. Maintain a logbook where you can list your income and expense account on a weekly or monthly schedule.
  2. Buy your groceries at one time. To do this, make a list of all the things that you would need for your target period and purchase them at one time. Sometimes, there are discounts if you buy by the dozen so take advantage of this.
  3. Avoid going to the supermarket and shops if you do not need to buy necessary items. This will keep you from making unnecessary purchases and keep you from straying away from your budget.
  4. Think twice before you buy something. By doing this, you will realize that it is not really a necessity but a whim.

Saving Money Makes College Education a Reality

With the cost of college tuition climbing year after year, it is best that parents have a sound financial plan that would reduce the difficulties of sending your kids to college when they attain the college enrollment age. In fact, parents can start saving up for the best and highest form of education for their children as soon as their child is born.

Aside from the cash that you have saved yourself, here are a few sources you can look into for getting your kids through college:

  1. Scholarships – Academic & Athletic
  2. Grants – Government & Private
  3. Financial Aid
  4. Part-time Jobs
  5. Work-Study Programs
  6. Student Loans

These are some good alternative sources for your children to utilize before and during their college education; but as a parent, you would not want to be put in those long lines for financial aid or let your child work himself to death just to have money for tuition and other expenses. So…

Here are some of the ways you can get a jump start at shaving off those hard-earned bucks for your child’s college education.

1. The earlier, the better

Start investing your money as soon as your child is born. First, put the savings or investments under your name. Later on, decide whether you want to transfer the account to your child’s name by the time he or she turns 15. This way, you will have minimal taxes, if any at all.

However, you need to be careful when transferring account names. Some states require a total turnover of funds once your child turns 18 or 21. This is also ineffective if, in the future, you apply for financial aid. Also remember that tuition fees 10 or 15 years from now may double or even triple the current rates.

2. Establish a trust fund for your child

This is a very wise plan for a child’s parents or relatives to invest in. A trust fund is similar to a time-deposit where the money will be given to your child after a certain number of years. After the designated time, this fund may be received in one lump sum or in accordance with an installment plan.

When building up a trust fund, check out details like interest rates, taxes and withdrawal restrictions. All in all, you need to approximate the costs of tuition and fees, dorm room expenses, meals, books, and other costs that may arise.

3. Make sure that you invest money wisely as your child grows

By the time that there are only two or three years to go before you send your son or daughter off to college, “lock” an ample amount of the funds by investing them in low-risk bonds to ensure that you will get to have enough for them to start their college education.