Category: Finances

Here Is a Family Budget Example To Use as a Reference

If you have a household with a few relents, then you know that it’s tough to keep your finances under control. After all, your family needs to eat and pay bills and before you know it, your finances are depleted.

One way to ensure that your finances are controlled is by creating a family budget.

Your source of income changes as often. You may have a big check one week, and the next there’s no money to pay the bills. Mastering the skills of budgeting and saving are skills you can pass on to your children.

Here are some family budget examples to use as a reference.

The 50/30/20 Rule

This rule is a great way to manage your finances and budget your money. It states that you should spend 50% of your income on essentials, 30% on discretionary items, and 20% on savings or debt repayment. This rule is a great starting point for creating a budget because it helps you to focus on your spending.

However, you may need to adjust the percentages depending on your individual circumstances. In this rule, you will ensure that your family has enough money to cover all their expenses.

Zero-Sum Budgeting

When you are creating your budget, you will want to make sure that your income and your expenses are balanced. This is where zero-sum budgeting can be helpful. With this method, you will want to make sure that your total income is equal to your total expenses. 

This budgeting method can help you stay on track and out of debt. To create a zero-sum budget, start by listing your income and all your expenses for the month. Then, subtract your total expenses from your income.

If the result is a positive number, that’s your disposable income for the month. If the result is a negative number, that’s the amount you need to cut from your expenses to make ends meet.

The Envelope System

Have a separate envelope for each category of expenses, such as bills, food, transportation, and the extra stuff. You would want to treat yourself once in a while by simply buying that luxury linen bedding of your dreams. With this system, you can stay on track with your spending while having the luxury to enjoy what you earn.

Each month, divide a certain amount of money into each envelope. Once the money in an envelope is gone, you would not be able to spend any more in that category until the next month.

Use a Budgeting Tool

A budgeting tool can help you track your spending, save money, and reach your financial goals. There are many tools and apps available, so it is important to choose one that fits your needs.

No matter which one you choose, using one can help you take control of your finances.

Apply One of These Family Budget Examples Today

Budgeting can be difficult, but it’s important to be aware of all your expenses. A family budget example can be a helpful reference when creating your own household budget. Remember to track your income and expenses so you can make necessary changes to stay on track.

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Manage Risks : 8 Reasons to Invest in Homeowners Insurance

$78,838. That’s the average home insurance claim made after a fire or lightning damages a home. 

The most common causes of home insurance claims are wind, hail, water damage, and fire. Unfortunately, you never know when your home will be the victim of one of these events. 

You could choose to take the risk and live without homeowners insurance or manage the risks by protecting yourself with a home insurance plan. Managing these risks is simple to do by purchasing home insurance.

While it will cost some money to buy a policy, you’ll have the protection and security you need. There are eight great reasons to invest in a homeowner’s insurance plan, and you can continue reading if you’re ready to learn these.

1. Your Lender Requires It

Mortgage lenders have rules and requirements that borrowers must follow. One of these is that a borrower must keep home insurance on the property while the loan is still active. 

Consider what would happen if a fire consumed your entire home while you owed money on your property. You’d lose your house but still owe money to a lender.

Lenders realize this and require home insurance for their protection. But, it doesn’t just protect lenders. It also protects borrowers.

In this example, your home insurance pays your lender the balance you owe on the loan. There’s no better way to manage your risks than purchasing homeowners insurance for this purpose. 

2. It Protects Your Home 

So, why do you need homeowners insurance besides to ensure that it pays your loan if you lose your house? There are many answers to this question. However, one vital answer is to have protection for your home.

If you don’t have a loan on your house, you might think you don’t need home insurance. But imagine losing your house to a fire without having insurance on it. You’d lose your entire investment.

If you wanted to rebuild your house, you’d have to pay for all the rebuilding costs. However, you’d receive compensation for your losses with home insurance, and you can’t get this compensation any other way. 

3. It Also Protects Your Things

Home insurance doesn’t only cover your home’s structure, though. It also covers the things you own inside your house, including your furniture, appliances, and clothing. 

For example, if you experience losses of your personal items, you can file a compensation claim. Your policy might compensate you based on the actual value of the goods or their replacement value. 

You can learn more about home insurance costs by speaking with an agent. An agent can also help you choose a plan that provides all the coverage you need for your home and personal possessions. 

4. Home Insurance Covers Lawsuits

What else does homeowners insurance cover, you might wonder? Does it cover other things? The answer is yes; it covers other things, including lawsuits. 

You might not realize that people can sue you if they encounter injuries while visiting your home. For example, suppose a delivery driver slips on your icy sidewalk and breaks his leg. He could sue you for the damages.

Fortunately, home insurance policies come with liability coverage. Your policy covers the damages if anyone gets hurt or killed on your property. Again, you’d be personally responsible for these costs without insurance coverage.

5. Your Policy Covers Your Equity

Your home is an investment. You might not start with much equity in your house when you first purchase it, but you’ll gradually build equity over time. As mentioned earlier, living without home insurance puts you at risk.

If you lose your home, you lose your investment. As a result, you should take the appropriate steps to minimize your risks. The best way to do this with your home is through the protection of a home insurance policy. 

6. You’ll Have Coverage for Many Events 

Minimizing your risks is vital when you own a home, but what risks does a home insurance policy cover? A basic policy might cover the following events:

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Water damage
  • Smoke
  • Fallen trees
  • Vandalism
  • Lawsuits

You can add extra coverage to your plan, too. For example, if you fear that a flood might destroy your home, you could purchase a flood insurance policy for added protection. 

A home insurance agent can tell you what perils your policy covers, but they’ll also explain other perils you can protect through riders or additional policies. 

For example, adding sewer line coverage is a common rider that homeowners request. If they experience damage from their sewer lines breaking, they can file a home insurance claim for compensation. 

7. It Provides a Sense of Security and Peace 

If you think about your risk-management goals, you might realize that having a sense of security and peace is one of the top ones. Finding ways to protect yourself is an excellent way to feel more confident and at peace.

When you know that you have the protection you need for all your risks, you can feel a sense of security. As a result, you’ll have fewer worries, which means you’ll have less stress. 

8. Home Insurance Is the Best Ways to Manage Your Risks

Buying a home insurance policy is one of the best ways to manage your risks, mainly because a home is a valuable asset. Think about this. What position would you be in if you lost your home without insurance coverage?

If this thought scares you, it’s simple to ease those fears by purchasing home insurance. 

Owning a Home Without Insurance Is Risky Business

Your home might very well be the most valuable thing you own.

Choosing to skip purchasing home insurance could put you in a very bad and risky position. Instead, you can manage the risks by purchasing a policy that fully protects you, your home, and your things. 

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From Savings to Financing: How to Pay for Dental Services

Most people dread dentist visits because the sharp whirring instruments and mouth injections are nothing to look forward to. However, part of the reason why people hate dental visits is that they’re just too darn expensive. With only 52% of American adults having dental insurance, the rest have to dig deep into their pockets for every visit to the dentist.

However, visiting the dentist’s office doesn’t always have to put a dent in your bank account. There are plenty of ways you can pay for dental services without draining your finances. If you’re having trouble paying for dental services, we’re here to help.

In today’s post, we’ll be highlighting a few ways to pay for dental work without proper dental insurance.

Pay With Your Health Savings Account

A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is an excellent way to cover expenses for your dental appointment. The HSA deducts a portion of your pre-tax monthly income that you can use for health expenses, including dental services.

The best part about an HSA is that the money you save isn’t subject to any taxation. Essentially, an HSA allows you to have high-deductible health plans that are exempt from tax. Plus, you don’t have to pay any taxes when you take out money from your HSA.

If dental insurance isn’t your cup of tea, maybe you should consider opening an HSA. You won’t have to pay any taxes on the money in your account. Plus, you earn tax-free interest on the money you save in your HSA.

Join a Membership Plan

Most dentists have membership plans that patients can join at their volition. These plans help cater to patients without dental benefits by offsetting their dental bills. Patients will pay a monthly fee regularly as a sort of membership fee.

For being a member of a dental plan, you’ll receive free preventive care and huge discounts on other regular procedures. This significantly decreases the amount you have to pay during your next visit to the dentist.

It’s worth noting that different dental clinics have different membership plans. The terms that apply to one dentist, may not apply to another. Check with your dentist to confirm the terms of their membership plan, including the payment, benefits, and much more.

Try talking to and see whether they have any membership plans that may work for you. Also, speak to the dentists and see whether you can work out a payment plan for your procedure.

Negotiate With the Dentist

The occasional ouchies the dentist gives you during your dental appointments are in no way a reflection of their demeanor. Dentists are human beings just like you and can be empathetic when necessary. If you’re in a tough financial situation, try explaining it to the dentist.

The dentist may offer a less expensive treatment alternative to the current one. You may also come up with a payment plan that works for both of you. If you’ve been a long-time patient, the dentist might even let you off without paying a thing.

Don’t rule out negotiating with the dentist until you give it a try. Negotiations especially work with patients that have established a strong relationship with the dentist.  Try negotiating with the dentists; you have nothing to lose.

Take Out a Dental Loan

If you’re in a financial rut, you can always borrow a third-party loan to cover dental expenses. Third-party financiers are one of the most convenient financing options for dental expenses. These unsecured loans can get you the money for your dental procedure with no questions asked

However, you’ll need a good credit score to secure a decency loan from most lenders. Also, be wary of predatory lenders with astronomical interest rates and unfair repayment terms. Do a quick online search to find the perfect lender for a dental loan.

Use a Healthcare Credit Card

A healthcare credit card, as the name implies, is a type of credit card that only caters to medical expenses. These credit cards work like typical credit cards, but you can only use them when visiting hospitals or dental clinics.

There are plenty of healthcare credit card companies that you can opt for. When picking one, be sure to check its terms, interest rates, and whether they have financing. You can use a healthcare credit card to offset your dental costs and pay the credit card company later.

Find Low-Cost Dental Providers

Do your homework and look for dental providers who charge lower rates for their services. A simple internet search will expose you to dozens of such clinics for your consideration.

Most low-cost dental providers are backed by non-profit organizations or the government. Most will provide the dental services you need at a fraction of the cost. However, they may not offer cosmetic dental services and procedures.

It’s worth noting that low-cost dental services are in pretty high demand. This means you’ll have to wait a few weeks or months for your dental appointment. If you’re cash-strapped, you’ll have no other option but to wait.

Visit a Dental School Clinic

If you don’t need too much dental work done on your teeth, consider visiting a dental school clinic. Most colleges that offer dentistry run their own clinics. They allow dentistry students to treat patients under the close supervision of a professional dentist.

Visiting a dental school clinic will shave off about 20% to 70% of what you’d pay in an actual dental clinic. Check out the American Dental Association website to find dental school clinics in your area.

Paying for Dental Services Made Easy

Struggling to pay for dental services should be a thing of the past with the above tips. Don’t let your financial situation prevent you from having strong, healthy teeth. Talk to your dentist today and decide what payment method is best for you.

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4 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Prescriptions

Prescription drugs are costly, especially if a patient has a chronic illness. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to minimize those costs, from using an insurance plan to securing prescription coupons.

The average cost of prescriptions is over $100 per month, meaning the total annual spent on medications is around $1,300 per person. This is a significant amount for many individuals who do not have insurance or whose health care plans only cover a portion of the costs.

The good news is, saving money on prescriptions is possible even without coverage. With that said, check out the money saving tips below.

1. Use Your Insurance Plan

If you have a prescription drug that you take regularly, it may be in your best interest to find out if it is covered by your insurance plan. If the medication requires prior authorization, you may need to speak with a representative from your health care provider to ensure that all of the requirements have been met.

You want to make sure you have all your questions answered before assuming that your prescriptions are covered.

2. Switch to Generic

If the drug is not covered by your insurance plan, there are several options that can help soften the blow to your wallet. Ask your pharmacist if any of the medications you’re currently taking could be switched to a generic form. These drugs work just as well as their brand-name counterparts but cost significantly less.

If you have the option to change the way in which you take a certain drug. For instance, switching from a tablet to a liquid or dissolvable form can also make it cheaper.

3. Try Prescription Coupons

You may be able to obtain prescription coupons directly from the pharmaceutical company that manufactures your medication. These often provide up to 75% off for both brand-name and generic drugs.

This is a huge help with the cost of medications. You can even try to use discounts for treatments like TriMix injections.

4. Place an Order With Countries Outside of the U.S.

If you take medication for chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma, there are some countries where you can obtain these medications at drastically reduced prices. For example, many medications are available in India for 80% less than what they cost through U.S. pharmacies. Also, the generic drugs are often 40-60% cheaper than brand names.

While it may seem daunting to take medications from another country, the FDA actually regulates these international companies and requires that they comply with certain standards and shipping and handling guidelines.

Keep in mind that it’s important to research the company thoroughly before placing an order. Plus, you should only do so from reputable sources because there are unethical people who sell counterfeit or non-FDA regulated medication that could be dangerous for your health.

Tips for Saving Money on Prescriptions

Saving money on prescriptions is essential. Medication is so expensive these days, so it’s nice to know there are ways to save money on your meds!

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How to Cut Expenses on the Family Budget

Recent data shows that as of spring of 2021, the American household debt rose to $14.6 trillion. What’s more, is that many families live paycheck to paycheck, thus the huge debt burden. Finding ways on how to cut expenses on the family budget can make a big difference to your finances.

It can be tricky to start spending less money when you’re used to having a big budget. One way to accomplish this is to track your monthly expenses.

You get to attain your financial goals faster once you cut your budget. There’ll also be enough finances that you can use to find a house down payment or invest in an asset. In this guide, we share four tips that will help you get the most out of your family budget:

Create a Simple Budget

Figure out how much you earn and spend every month. You should also gather all income documents and map out the monthly expenses.

Create a sustainable budget and follow it for a month to see if it can save you cash. Your budget should consider the 50/30/20 budgeting method to manage finances sustainably. With this method, 50 percent of your earnings will address your needs. Thirty percent for wants and 20 percent for paying off household debt or saving.

Track Your Spending Habits

Start tracking your expenses for up to three months to determine your spending habits. You can write down all expenses as you make them. An expense tracking app can also help you map them and give you valuable insights into your spending habits.

Consider reducing your housing expenses if rent or mortgage takes a large portion of your income. You can also sell car online if it costs a lot to fuel and maintain any vehicle under your possession.

Pay off Debt and Lower the Interest Rates

Stick to a money management plan that allows you to pay more than once every month. Paying more than the minimum amount and starting with the most expensive debt can also work.

Debt consolidation can help you cut expenses on your family budget. With this method, you get to combine multiple debts into a single monthly payment. As a result, you’ll lower monthly payments and interest rates and pay off the debt faster.

Lower Your Insurance Premiums

If you pay for both car and home insurance, shop around for insurers that give you cheap rates. Installing burglar alarms and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors can get you low home insurance premiums.

You may qualify for lower car insurance premiums with enhanced safety features on your car and a safe driving record. You may also join AAA for discounts on car insurance.

Need More Tips Related to How to Cut Expenses on the Family Budget

Don’t wait until you fall deep in debt to start reducing your expenses. Use this guide on how to cut expenses on the family budget to reach your financial goals. Be consistent when adopting these methods for the best outcomes.

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Top 3 Solar Benefits for Frisco, Texas

According to the SEIA, Texas ranks second in the US when it comes to solar panel installation, with enough solar power installed to supply over 1,2 million homes.

That’s largely due to the excellent conditions for solar energy generation in this state, plus lucrative benefits for homeowners who go this route.

If you live in Texas, you’re missing out on the many solar benefits available to you. Keep reading to discover the most important ones.

1. Reduced Electricity Bills

One of the most exciting benefits of solar for most homeowners is how much they can save when they install a residential solar system.

In Frisco, you can opt for a grid-tied solar system or a grid-tied system with battery backup. This means you’ll stay connected to the power grid and share any excess electricity you generate with your power company.

In return, they’ll give you credit for any electricity you use from their supplies.

Thanks to the abundant sunshine in Texas, you can also install an off-grid system in this part of the world. That means you generate all your own power and never pay an electricity bill again. 

Who can forget the widespread power outages in Texas during early 2021? If you have backup solar power, you’ll never have to re-live that nightmare again. 

2. Texas Solar Benefits and Tax Rebates 

When you install solar in the US, you can deduct 26% of the total installation cost from your taxes. That means you could get as much as $9,000 back, depending on the size of your installation.

When you install solar power, the value of your home increases by around 70% of the cost of the solar panels. In Texas, you won’t pay increased property taxes due to the value that solar power adds to your home.

You’ll still pay the same amount you paid before you opted for a solar installation. You will benefit from the added value that solar brings when you sell your home, though. 

3. Frisco Solar Power Savings 

Many solar companies in Frisco offer lucrative discounts of their own when you install solar power. These include installers who run specials from time to time. 

Power companies compete with one another to offer the best net-metering savings as well as rebates on your solar panels. Some residential solar installation companies can even offer you 18 months of free solar power. 

The average cost of solar panels in Frisco works out to $2.64, which is lower than the national $3 average, so you’re already paying less for your solar installation before any rebates.  

Our Future Depends on Solar

Apart from the above, one of the most important solar benefits is that you contribute to stalling global warming when you install solar.

If we want our children to inherit a cleaner, healthier environment, we need to do everything we can to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The alternative is certain extinction.

Would you like to find out more ways you can save money and do good things in the world? Bookmark this website and check back regularly for more tips. 

Paying for Independent Living: The Ultimate Guide

If you share your home with an aging loved one, you’ve probably thought about enrolling them in an independent living program. Independent living facilities put your old folk in a soothing environment, surrounded by their peers, to promote their physical and mental wellbeing. While it might seem boring and drab to you, an independent living facility is like a vacation home to the old folks.

An independent or senior living community seems like a perfect idea for most folks, but unfortunately, not everyone can afford to send their loved ones to these facilities. According to Assisted Living, living in an independent living facility costs between $15000-$4000 every month. Few families can afford that, and if you’re in that category, we’re here to help.

Today’s piece will look at how you can pay for an assisted living community for your old folks.

How Much Is Independent Living?

Independent living prices vary, so there’ no clear-cut amount on how much you should expect to pay for independently living. However, as mentioned above, expect to pay around $1500 to $4000 for your aging parents to live in such a facility. 

It’s worth noting that there are various types of independent living facilities, and the type you settle for will determine how much you’ll pay. Before we get into the figures, let’s first look at the common types of independent living.

Types of Independent Living

There are a few types of independent living you could opt for. Here are the main types of independent living for senior citizens.

Senior Apartments

Senior apartments go by many names, including independent living communities or senior living communities. These apartments are typically part of a larger facility premised on providing accommodation and care for older adults. 

The senior residents of these apartments receive services like housekeeping, laundry, and even transportation. Most senior apartments have a dining room where residents can eat instead of cooking for themselves.

Retirement Communities

Retirement communities are neighborhoods where active retirees and senior citizens can live surrounded by their peers. They offer the least services compared to other independent living facilities. They are ideal for the not-so-elderly who can still take good care of themselves.

Residents in senior communities clean and cook for themselves but leave ground maintenance to the community.  These communities can contain single-family homes, condos, and even townhomes. They offer amenities like tennis parks, clubhouse, pools, and the likes.

Such communities offer an ideal vicinity for old folks to live through their retirement in a conducive environment. A fine example of a distinguished retirement community is

Low-Income Housing

Low-income housing is a housing arrangement that the government offers for senior citizens from less-privileged backgrounds. Other names for low-income housing include public housing or government-subsidized housing. 

Ways to Pay for Independent Living

 You’ll need to dig deep in your pockets to pay for your aging folks to live in an independent living community. Here are some ways you can pay for independent living.

Personal Funds or Savings

Most of the elderly use their retirement to pay for independent living. That’s why most older adults may choose to sell their homes to get a townhouse in an independent community. It takes them away from the racket and city commotion to a quiet place where they can live peacefully.

You can use your personal savings or income from your job or business to pay for independent living. You can use any other source of income to pay for your aging parent’s independent living. You can use interest, stocks, certificates of deposits, and even liquidated assets.

Housing Assistance

The US government has put measures in place to help seniors from low-income backgrounds find safe and affordable living. The department of housing and urban development(HUD) is charged with ensuring proper living conditions for less-privileged older adults. HUD offers vouchers, public housing, and rental subsidy as forms of assistance.

Older adults can take advantage of this assistance and pay for independent living. The problem with housing assistance is that they might have long waiting lists. Still, there’s nothing old folks have to le by applying for housing assistance on the HUD website.

Annuity Payments

Older adults can use their annuity payments to pay to live in an assisted living community. An annuity is an arrangement made between you and an insurance company. You pay the insurance a lump sum, and the insurer pays you monthly, quarterly, or a lump sum payment after some time, based on your agreement.

The amount you’ll receive for your annuity payment depends on several conditions. One of them is your initial investment amount and also whether you chose a fixed or variable annuity. With a fixed annuity, you agree on a fixed annuity payment, but a variable annuity changes depending on the annuity’s investments.

Social Security Benefits

If your loved one receives social security benefits or any other pension, they can use that money to pay for their independent living. The maximum social security benefit at age 65 is about $2,841 which should be enough to cover independent living expenses. If not, you can top up with personal funds to meet the cost.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If your loved one is disabled, blind, and over 65 years, they qualify for supplemental security income. SSI guarantees consistent monthly payments to help blind and disabled folk pay for basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. 

The amount they receive as the SSI depends on their current income, living arrangements, and other factors. These payments can help applicants meet the costs for independent living, of course, with a bit of topping up.

You Can Afford Independent Living

Independent living might seem expensive. But the information above should help you find a suitable payment method for your aging folks.

If caring for the elderly in your home seems too much work, consider enrolling them in an independent living community. That way, both of you can live happily ever after.

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