I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…

Frugal living and debt reduction tips for a better financial future. This is one family’s story.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Correlation Between Financial Security & Educational Outcome

Friday, December 6th, 2013

When it comes to personal finance, a lot tips and budgeting maneuvers have already been highlighted. However, the most significant point (and the most neglected one) is that of financial literacy.

The notion of financial literacy and economic security for children has a positive correlation with their educational outcome. Secondly, by having a solid understanding of the finances, initiatives such as budgeting and managing student debt become easier in later years.

Impact of financial literacy on a student

The aforementioned assertion is not a vague assumption, but an inference that is backed by extensive studies. The Florida State University conducted a research project with the notion of financial literacy as the main component. One important highlight of this project was that student debt is not merely a result of the failure to properly budget, but rather a result of the lack of financial guidance.

Another valid point is that of financial literacy at students’ age translating to better financial outcomes in their professional lives.

Two important things that come to mind with this analysis are the changing economic paradigm and the enactment of an informed choice. Firstly, the recession had a trickledown effect on literally every individual.

The government was forced to bring in legislature such as the Budget Control Act of 2011, which also included cuts for education. Student grant programs were either reduced or modified. Now, a student well versed with financial jargon is in a better position to survive and prosper.

Informed choice and financial guidance

An ‘informed choice’ and how it relates to financial literacy is the second important factor. In the current era, attaining financial literacy is more convenient due to internet tools and consolidated resources.

When researching consolidated resources, the student money saving guide by Jon Fritz sheds light on financial decisions. From discussing the broader topic of tax deduction to the more targeted subject of financial aid, such guidelines can serve as an ideal resource for financial guidance.

More specifically, an informed choice is better not only as an academic attribute but also as an indicator of productivity in terms of employment. A student with better financial literacy can make intelligent choices on his/her own rather than over-dependence on peer advice.

Moreover, financial literacy in the case of a student evolves. It starts off with a combination of awareness and knowledge, which later adds skills and behavior to the financial repertoire of the student.

With the kind of technological revolution we are seeing, monetary systems are being revised. Financial products are becoming diverse, requiring appropriate knowledge for optimal usage. So, financial literacy for student means better range and accessibility of financial products and services.

For instance, student grants or research project grants help students not only to explore their academia with more diversity, but also to ensure better financial survival. Such grants can be easily obtained if the student has a decent rate of financial literacy.

A study conducted few years ago also revealed that the overall academic ability of student is strongly related to financial literacy, as are the student’s educational aspirations. So for parents, that is like killing two birds with one stone.

Don’t Go Broke on Bail

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The overall cost of “legal fees” can be overwhelming for many. Besides hiring a good bail bond agent through a Bail Bond Network (you can learn more about Expert Bail online, which is a reputed Bail Bond Network), there are simple yet effective things that can be done to help you save on legal fees. Things like selecting the right attorney, and doing your homework before hand.

Taking the right steps at the right time also ensures that your working relationship with the attorney is stable, which will in turn, help you you get better results. Here are a few useful and effective ways to help you bring down your legal fees and reduce the overall expenses of legal representation…

Go for the Right Lawyer

Since you get to choose between many different law firms, you need to make sure that you choose your lawyer very wisely. Yes, you will have to do a bit of homework here and spend time analyzing your options, but simply selecting a good attorney, one that’s suitable for you, will save you hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Choosing the right lawyer is critical because first of all, you’ll be involved in a working relationship with him/her, and you will obviously want to be super comfortable in order to make the overall process smooth and hassle free. And secondly, going for a small law firm lawyer or a solo practitioner can very help you bring down the overall legal costs as they’re cheaper.

Ask for a Flat Arrangement

There many different types of “legal fee arrangements”  that can be used by lawyers, including their contingency fees, hourly rates and as well as flat fee arrangements. If your case happens to be relatively routine or simple, such as an uncontested divorce or will, then you should try and ask for a flat fee arrangement to help you bring down your legal fees.

This flat fee can be asked based on the predetermined amount. This way you will be sure of what you’re paying for, and it will help you budget accordingly, without any unneeded surprises.

Do Some of the Work Yourself

Don’t make the mistake of believing that your work is done, and you can sit back, relax once you hire a lawyer. Depending on what type of case you’re on, you can save big time on legal fees by taking care of some work on your own.

This includes doing preparation work like providing your attorney with relevant information by gathering any needed documents. However, see to it that you check with your lawyer in advance so that you don’t end up doing any duplicate work or doing something that hinders the progress of your attorney.

Conclusion

Last but not the least, one of the most effective ways to save money on your legal fees is to handle your legal matter alone (or seek some good help from non lawyers). This especially applies to cases like divorces between couples who have no children or assets, and disputes that happen over small amounts of money.

Your Home, Your Investment

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

You know that installing a security system will help you reduce your home insurance premiums. But how extensive do you really need that system to be?

If you’re a tech or research junkie you’ve undoubtedly spent some time looking all of the different ADT options at http://www.securitychoice.com/. It’s good that you want your home to be as technologically advanced and protected as possible. At the same time, you don’t want a system that has the potential to rebel when the robot uprising happens. So how do you figure out what you need? How do you get the best system possible for what you can afford?

Consider Outside Influences

What are the crime statistics like in your area? Is your town particularly prone to home invasions? What are the statistics for your neighborhood? A great place to start this search is with the FBI. They keep records of the crime stats in each state.

Does your neighborhood have a neighborhood watch? According to America.gov, neighborhoods with watch programs have lower instances of crime than those that don’t—even in highly urban and crime ridden areas.

Do your neighbors know everybody and everything that happens on your block…and on the next block and within a three mile radius of their home? When neighbors are particularly nosey, it drives down crime rates because intruders will rarely go unnoticed or even un-confronted (it’s amazing what a friendly “who are you here to visit?” called from across the street or over a fence by a nosey neighbor can do to keep a potential burglar from breaking in)

Your Actual Home

  • Is your home all on one level? Or do you have a few different levels to consider?
  • Do you have lots of “privacy enhancements” on your property—thick trees or shrubs obstructing your home from others’ views?
  • Are there lots of different points of entry for your home?
  • How well is your home kept up?
  • Do you have a gate or fence to keep people off of your property?

 

Your Accoutrements

  • Do you keep your cars parked in a garage or are they left in the driveway or on the street?
  • Do you have lots of expensive looking things visible through your windows?
  • Do you have pets? Are those pets dogs who go crazy whenever someone they don’t know comes near the house or your property?
  • Do they look like they could (and would) rip Andre the Giant limb from limb even though you know they would never hurt a fly?

 

These are just some of the things that you have to consider when you are trying to figure out how much protection your home actually needs and how much you can afford to spend on it.

It’s easy to get caught up in the technology. It’s normal to want all of the bells and whistles and the toys associated with the super high tech, gadget-oriented systems. It’s also possible that you will actually need that stuff. Do the research first, though! After all, you don’t want to have to take out a second mortgage to keep your home safe if you can get by with something less expensive!

Tips for the Working Class About Buying a New Car

Monday, April 1st, 2013

If you are a working class individual looking to buy a new car, there are a few things you should know. When buying a new car, you want to be able to find something that run well, doesn’t suck up too much gas, and also provides you with protection in the event that an accident did occur. At the same time, you want all of these features but you want a car that is not going to cost you an arm and a leg. It is necessary to shop around, find the best deals, and see what is being offered to you from different car dealerships.

Think About What You Want

There are all kinds of consumers and you fall under one of the categories depending upon what you want in a car. Some people want top quality and are willing to pay as much as possible to get the quality that they are seeking. However, there are also consumers who want a car that expresses who they are and shows off their personality to others. You may also be a simple shopper who wants to get the best kind of car at the best value or a shopper who is all about car safety. Think hard and long about what you want in terms of features and appearance of a car instead of making a buying decision in a matter of minutes or hours.

Stick to Your Budget

Try to find a car within your means, especially if you have set a budget. You may see a car that you have admired for so long, but if the price goes above and beyond your set budget, it is time to continue your search for the right car. When you stick to a budget, you are able to secure your finances instead of putting yourself in a rut by choosing a car that costs more than you can afford. You can always go to dealerships like the Arrigo of Ft. Pierce to see what kinds of cars are available and whether or not they fall within your price range.

Trade or Sell Your Old Car

You can trade your car for another car or you can sell it to receive extra money that you can put toward the amount for your new car. Why keep an old car that you are not going to use when you can put it to good use and use the money you make from it for your new car.

Check Out Info Online

The internet will be your best friend when searching for a new car. You can find all the information that you need to know about any car but simply using a search engine website and taking a look for yourself. You can view pictures, find out about features, and most importantly, learn more about the specifications of each vehicle that you are interested in. Always do your research ahead of time!

There are lots of tips that the working class will find quite useful when buying a new car. Working class individuals often do not have thousands of dollars to simply put out for a new car so it is important that they know all of this important information before they go through with the process of buying the new car.

Storage Auctions: Are They A Bargain Investment?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

If TV shows like “Auction Hunters” and “Storage Wars” are to be believed, bidding at a storage auction is an exciting way to make a lot of money in a short period of time. While it’s possible to strike gold, it’s unfortunately not always the case.
Have you ever had a storage unit? Think for a moment about what you kept there. If someone had bid $1000 for the contents, would they have come out on top or with boxes of childhood drawings and pots and pans to haul to the dump?
Part of what makes these shows so appealing to viewers, apart from the get-rich-quick dreams, is that participating is actually possible for anybody. Storage auctions are a regular occurrence in every city in the country, meaning that anyone who wants to try bidding need only to locate an auction and show up with the means to pay. Before heading out to try your luck, however, it’s a smart idea to understand a bit of background on the concept of auctioning storage units.
Why do storage auctions occur?
Just as a tenant who fails to pay their rent would be evicted from a house or apartment, a storage unit renter who doesn’t pay their monthly fee risks the removal of their unit’s contents. Laws vary by state about how long this period of time can be, but it’s often around two to three months. After attempting to notify the tenant and placing advertisements about the auction in local media, a unit owners’ legal recourse to recoup the lost rent is to auction the contents of the unit.
Preparing to attend an auction
Before bidding at a storage auction, it’s a good idea to attend one to understand the process. Although some auctions only allow registered bidders to enter the facility and view the units, you’re never required to actually place a monetary bid (in some cases you may be required to technically bid $0) on an individual unit. Keep in mind that many of the people who attend these auctions are professionals who have connections with flea markets and pawnshops, so they already have an idea of how they’ll unload the items they purchase.
To find storage auctions in your area, start by calling the facilities closest to your home. Most sizeable places have an auction about once a month, so you likely won’t have to wait long. Bring a flashlight to see into the units (you’re not allowed to enter) and enough cash on hand if you plan to make a bid.
Going for broke vs. ending up broke
Because you can’t enter a storage unit before bidding on it, the process is, in essence, intelligent gambling. Of course, there are clues to what’s in there, but placing a bid relatively sight unseen can be a risky venture. A good bet is to look for units packed neatly instead of one with junk sloppily thrown in. While the temptation may be there to bid on junk in hopes of finding something a person didn’t realize they had (a first edition Superman comic book worth $1 million, for example), you’re better off betting on the person who takes care of their belongings.
Among the most common items of value found in units are electronics, power tools, appliances, and furniture. Only place a bid if you’re confident you can resell those types of items, and remember that you’re required to empty the unit within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the facility’s rules. If you don’t have access to a truck or a place to put the contents of the unit, don’t bid on it!
If you do win an auction, you’ll need to pay on the spot, so be prepared. Just remember not to bite off more than you can chew and to be patient and smart.
When done carefully (and with a good bit of luck), it’s possible to turn a handy profit from storage auctions. Just remember not to spend money you can’t afford to lose.
Storage auctions can be a frugal investor’s best friend, but you shouldn’t throw your last dime into anything that’s not a sure bet!
With a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Utah, Garret Stembridge joined Extra Space Storage where he is a member of the internet customer marketing team. Extra Space Storage operates self storage facilities in 34 states and hundreds of cities, including a Union self storage location.

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