I may have made a few decisions with my college education that has left me paying for those degrees my entire life. Though, education is very important and in some ways it is priceless. However, I’ve learned a few things that I hope to share with other students who are looking to start saving money for tuition. I also want to start thinking about my own child’s college education. He may only be a toddler, but it is never too early to plan for a large purchase such as a degree. Hopefully my experience is helpful to you and will get you thinking just where you can cut back to enjoy your future. If only I had spent a little less and considered all the factors before deciding on a school, I know that my loan debt would be much different.
With all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping going on, I do have to stop and pause and think about the consequences. Do I really need this? Do I have the cash to pay for it or am I charging it? While the anticipation of the sale and the competition to land the best items may fuel my shopping fire, most of the time these sales are just not worth it. Though there is one Black Friday sale that I recommend checking out. Financial peace of mind over the holidays is much more important than a new television or $1 DVDs. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and lose sight of the goals we’ve set to help us achieve financial peace of mind. This holiday, to encourage consumers to stay on track with their finances, Capital One 360 is decking the halls with deals you can bank on, including new account bonuses, referral bonuses and closing cost credits. Once the Thanksgiving celebrations are done, be sure to add Capital One 360’s Black Friday Sale to your shopping list. Visit Capital One 360 to give yourself the lasting gift of financial peace of mind by taking advantage of their deals on banking, brokerage and mortgage products.
Capital One 360 products are designed to save consumers time and money. From online to our mobile app, Capital One 360 is with customers 24/7. Capital One 360 offers remote deposit capture with Capital One 360’s CheckMate tool and make savings a snap with the Automatic Savings Plan.
Here are some other ways to think about your future and saving for your child’s education:
I’m not looking at “big picture” things like make more money and investing. I’m looking at the little things you can do every day that can add up over time.
1. Create a Spending Log and learn how to say NO. Write down everything you spend EVERY day. You will be surprised at how your tiny purchases make your daily spending unreasonable. I created a log a while back and realized that I could go DAYS without spending a cent. It just required proper planning…and this is where number two comes into play. It’s also important to learn how to say no. It might be hard to miss a friend’s birthday or travel for a wedding, but sometimes you just have to say no. It is impossible to commit to every friend or family member’s event — especially if you are working with a small budget. Don’t skip out on your best friend’s bash (obviously), but think about how many commitments you can feasibly do without blowing your budget. Some of my friends have events EVERY weekend. That would be impossible to do on my budget (and I’m not saving for a house!). Learning to say no is very difficult, but making a plan for how many obligations you can do will make things easier as more invitations arrive.
2. Meal Plan. You will be less likely to splurge on take out if you already have the crock pot going or dinner defrosting. I know that when we go out to eat, it’s easy to drop $50 and that’s on a “cheap” restaurant. Two drinks, two entrees, tip… it adds up! I recommend using a service like Emeals that is easy, cheap (my year plan was free through their blogger program), and accessible on your iPhone so you always have your grocery shopping list on hand. Make your own coffee, bring your lunch, and make your favorite foods at home.
3. Use a credit card or checking account that accrues interest or provides cash back. Capital One 360 Checking and 360 Savings are fee-free and earn interest.
4. Market Your Skills. You don’t have to get a part time job bagging groceries, but it might be advantageous to do freelance or side work for a company in your field. Are you a good writer? Do you design websites? There are many creative gigs available through a variety of freelancing websites. Use your skills to your advantage. A few extra writing assignments a month can add up over time.
5. Cancel under-utilized “extras.” I’m talking CABLE. I am still shocked at the number of people I know that are cable subscribers when most of their favorite shows are available on Hulu. Cutting the cord is easy, and the dollars saved are huge. We at one time had a cable bill of $150…and I’m pretty sure that was the “basic” package. It’s ridiculous. Even if you can afford that bill with your budget, I find it crazy that it costs so much to watch television. Other under-utilized extras include unlimited packages on your smart phone, monthly memberships that you don’t use (the gym?), warehouse memberships (Sam’s Club, etc.), subscription services that are underwhelming (Birchbox, etc.). All the little “extras” certainly add up. Can you cut $200 from your monthly expenditures? I bet you can!
While you may have gifts, greetings and get-togethers on the brain, it’s important not to lose sight of your financial goals.
How do you save during the holiday season? Do you have a college fund set up for your child?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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