Easing Financial Burden Tips

If you have been pondering making changes in your life or lifestyle so you can be more financially free or be able to become your own boss, then here are three ideas for how to increase your freedom in life. When you are more financially free and/or your own boss, you will discover more overall freedom and satisfaction in your everyday life.

Create Budgets

While you may not relish the thought of building a household budget, it can be quite simple and freeing to see where your money is going each month. The only way to get a complete picture of your cash flow and ability to save money is to design a budget that captures your absolute required spending and what is discretionary spending. What may be elusive to many people is the fact most wealthy people live well below their means. It may be very tempting with each raise or promotion to increase your standard of living, but it is much wiser to increase your financial freedom by paying down debt, increasing savings and utilizing more income for yourself through investments or building a side business.

Eliminate Debt

One important way to help build financial freedom is to eliminate any and all personal debt within your household. While this can be daunting, the truth is there are many ways to whittle away at your debt load. One method is the debt snowball method where you apply as much money as you possibly can to the smallest debt and once that is paid off you add that payment amount to the next biggest debt in addition to its regular payment until you are applying bigger and bigger amounts to each debt. Being able to live debt-free is extremely freeing financially and mentally.

Build a Successful Business

There is nothing easy about building a successful business. However, if you have a passion and vision in mind to meet a need in society and can grow your own business from it, you can find great freedom and excitement for building a lifetime of income and wealth. Some of the important pieces of starting a business is to research and identify the need and market, to write up a successful business plan and to secure funding for startup costs. Often times consulting with a credit improvement company with credit solutions NJ can help you secure the most funding for the least amount of money.  

While finding financial freedom and a lifestyle where you are your own boss may take time, the rewards once achieved are endless. Start now by creating a workable household budget, paying down personal debt and creating a successful business where you are your own boss.

HealthSapiens Offers Telemed Services For Counseling and Medical Advice

COVID-19 has made businesses get creative with how they can keep going in these trying times. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are making people ask themselves “Do I really need to go out? Do I really need this right now?” Unfortunately, it can also make people hesitate on getting evaluated by a medical professional.

Social distancing and the temporary closing of some facilities has also been in the news for people with depression, anxiety, and loneliness having trouble coping with everything going on. I’m a part of a group for the gym I’m a member of. Many people used the gym as a way to help with depression, anxiety, addiction behavior, and more. I see frequently in the group, people that just don’t know how to cope and are losing motivation.

So what can you do? Many health facilities are offering by appointment only and only if it’s medically necessary. My daughter’s well check up and my son’s wisdom teeth removal were canceled with rescheduling when able. Some facilities have telemed services set up but not all. If you’re really struggling mentally, it can be hard to leave the house anyway.

HealthSapiens is a solution. HealthSapiens offering Telemed services for both medical advice and counseling.

HealthSapiens offers an affordable subscription plan for individuals and families. The family plan will cover unlimited visits for up to 7 people! There are no copays, available 24/7, and they can even send any prescriptions to your pharmacy of choice.

There is no waiting in lines, no sitting in a waiting room with sick people, no sitting in an exam room for 30 minutes until a doctor can get to you. Honestly this sounds amazing to me. I have ulcerative colitis and IBS so sitting for 45 minutes in a waiting room then another 30 minutes in an exam room can mean several bathroom trips for me. I’d feel much more comfortable at home.

I’ve also considered getting counseling for my anxiety and depression. My insurance doesn’t cover it and it’s something like $100+ per hour so I never did. This is a much more affordable solution. I don’t have to let my bank account decide if I can get help or not.

Health Sapiens: Sign-up for Affordable & Easily Accessible Counseling Today!

Don’t let current events or copay worries hold you back from getting the care you and your family need. Sign up today and start feeling better.

Health Sapiens: Affordable & Easily Accessible Healthcare starting at $19.95/Month. Sign-up Today!

This post does contain affiliate link. I will get a small commission from actions taken through my links.

Don’t Be Fooled By Influx of Coronavirus Scams

The National Consumer League (NCL) is warning consumers of an expected rise in Coronavirus related scams. Scammers are looking to take advantage of fearful customers by offering fake products, spoof calls/emails, and more.

“When news captures the public’s attention – think major hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and economic slowdowns – scammers come out of the woodwork to take advantage of legitimate fears and concerns,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “With coronavirus dominating the news globally, there is an unprecedented opportunity for criminals to use the public’s fears about the virus and the resulting economic downturn to defraud consumers.”

The NCL is working to educate customers before they fall for one of these scams.

Coronavirus-related robocalls

Robocalls are, at the very least, a major annoyance for most consumers. However, as the coronavirus has upended daily life, robocall operators have quickly shifted to blasting out spam phone calls offering all manner of coronavirus-related products and services. YouMail, a cloud-based telecommunications provider that tracks robocall volumes, estimates that at least one million robocalls per day are inundating Americans’ cell phones. Fraudulent robocallers are offering air duct sanitation services, work-from-home opportunities, cut-rate health insurance, and immune-system boosting nutritional supplements. Other robocalls have reportedly offered free insulin kits to diabetics, along with free coronavirus testing kits.

“At best, consumers who respond to these calls are setting themselves up to lose money for a non-existent product or service,” said John Breyault, director of NCL’s Fraud.org campaign. “At worst, delaying needed emergency treatments on the belief that a fake coronavirus treatment will save your life could be deadly to you and those you come into contact with.”

NCL’s advice to consumers is simple:

  1. If you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize, the safest course of action is simply to ignore the call.
  2. If you answer a call and suspect it’s a robocall, simply hang up. Don’t press any of the numbers the message tells you to.
  3. Never give any personal information, such as financial account number, Social Security number, full name, or mailing address to someone who contacts you via an unsolicited phone call or text message.
  4. Do not click on any links sent to you via text message from someone you don’t know. They could lead you to malware or phishing websites.
  5. If you’re being inundated by robocalls, your cellular provider may offer services that will increase the likelihood that the calls will be blocked.

Stimulus check scams

Last week, President Trump signed the biggest stimulus bill in U.S. history into law. Most American adults will receive a stimulus of $1,200 or more in the coming weeks thanks to the legislation. Crooks are already using these promised payments as a way to defraud consumers. Scams that have been reported involve crooks promising to expedite payment in exchange for a fee, impersonating a government official, and requesting sensitive personal information in order to process a check. Inaccurate social media posts have also circulated suggesting that consumers need to fill out the 2020 Census before they can receive a stimulus check.

“Stimulus checks will help millions of American households weather the coming economic downturn,” said Breyault. “Unfortunately, the phrase ‘free money from the government’ is magic to scammers’ ears. Consumers should be on the lookout for fraudsters who will try to use the coming stimulus checks to steal their money.”

Consumers can protect themselves from these scams by learning to spot these red flags:

  • The stimulus checks will be deposited automatically by direct deposit into consumers’ bank accounts for the vast majority of citizens who filed their taxes last year. Consumers without a bank account on record with the IRS will receive a paper check, but it may take several weeks longer to arrive than those who have bank accounts.
  • Anyone who emails, texts, messages, or calls you claiming to be able to expedite your stimulus check is a scammer.
  • Anyone who contacts you requesting sensitive information like PayPal account details, bank account information, or credit card numbers is trying to scam you.
  • Your answers to the Census, and whether you’ve completed it, have no impact on your eligibility for a stimulus check.

NCL asks consumers to share their stories by filing a complaint at Fraud.org via its secure online complaint form. Complaints are shared with NCL’s network of nearly 200 law enforcement and consumer protection agency partners who can and do put fraudsters behind bars.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneering consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

After About 16 Years We Finally Switched Cell Phone Carriers and Saved Big Money

Years ago, I started my wireless service with AT&T. At the time it was just me and I don’t think smart phones were really a big thing. Maybe they were but I just don’t remember. My bill wasn’t bad and I got a nice discount through my employer.

When my husband and I got engaged I added him to my cell phone plan. Still it was reasonable and again, I don’t think smartphones were that big at the time. I think I had a plan that had unlimited talk and 200 texts a month. That was just fine for the two of us.

After we got married we ended up adding my father-in-law to the plan. Then several years down the road my oldest son. Cell phones and plans changed and our wireless bill was crazy. Even with the 24% discount I was getting through my employer it was insane. We stayed with AT&T though because we’ve had our numbers for so long and figured that was as good as we were going to get given the nice discount through my employer.

Then AT&T started with sketchy sales tactics. “Oh you’re getting a new iPhone we have a promotion right now where you can get a new ipad for $1” I asked about the catch, of course we had to add another line for it. I did it but almost immediately regretted it but we were stuck with it then. After having it for a year and a half I did a live chat. I told them I wanted to remove the ipad from our plan because it never connected to service anyway and could only use it with wifi. I told them I only wanted to do it if there was not going to be a penalty. If there was then we’d just keep it on the plan until we had to. They said no problem, took it off our plan then charged us $60.

We had talked about switching over to Consumer Cellular for some time but still had payments left on our phones. The ipad incident made me want to be done with AT&T. A few coworkers had switched to Consumer Cellular and save a lot of money. Then my father -in-laws phone broke. All the new phones were expensive or required a 2 year contract. I got a call from a sales agent for AT&T trying to talk me into getting my father in law a new Samsung for only $1 and I could save money if I switched plans and there would be a two year contract. I thought, oh no it’s the pad incident all over again. I said no. My husband and I decided it was time to call Consumer Cellular.

The sales agent was so nice and helpful. Answered all the questions I had and then some. You guys, we are saving over $100/mo by switching over AND get WAYYY more data to use. We only had 4 GB of data to share between the 4 of us with AT&T. Of course that never worked out with my teenage son and me being a blogger and social media influencer. We now have 25GB of data with Consumer Cellular for less!! Even without my employer discount. We have the same coverage because they use AT&T and T-mobile cell towers, we got to keep our phones, and keep our numbers!If you want to check out Consumer Cellular to see if they can save you money on your wireless bill too check out Consumer Cellular’s website here.

The links in this post are my Consumer Cellular referral link. If you go through one of those you’ll also get a $10 credit on your first bill!

Finance Solutions When Preparing For College

My oldest son is halfway through his senior year. I can’t believe it. We’re getting information on ordering graduation announcements. My son’s last prom will be coming up. It just all seems surreal. I’ve also realized there are more expenses when planning for college than just going to college.

high school graduation prep

There are fees I didn’t even think about like:

  • college application fees
  • SAT and ACT fees
  • Transferring SAT scores to applied colleges ($12 by the way)
  • travel for campus visits
  • and more

If you’re planning for college years down the road, good for you. There are lots of finance solutions available to you. One of the best ones is a 529 plan. 529 plans are tax advantaged education savings plans. The earlier you start a 529 plan the better to really save properly. You also have opportunities for additional funding through the Upromise program in Pennsylvania. You can also do a traditional savings account but it doesn’t have as many advantages as the 529 plan.

Talk With An Expert

Taking to a financial planner might be the best route. Financial planners can look at your finances and your goals and help you create a game plan for the future. This option is good even if you didn’t plan years ahead. If you have more than one child to plan for the future this is probably your best bet. They can also give advice on the best savings solutions for you and your family.

Use School Resources For Help

High School guidance counselors are a great source of information to help find local scholarships, grants, and tips for a smoother transition to college. I’ve talked to my son’s guidance counselor a few times. In fact, I need to make another phone call soon. She’s given my son info about local scholarships, applications processes, and more.

When doing campus visits, the institution you’re visiting typically has someone available to give information on tuition, financial aid, etc. My son visited a local campus. They said with his SAT scores he’s guaranteed about $3000 in scholarships which was nice to hear.

Apply For Grants and Scholarships

I know this should be a no brainer but I’ve heard some people say “I’m not going to apply for that scholarship, there’s a lot of people applying for it” The thing is, they’re going to give it to someone, you may as well throw your name in the hat.

There are also some scholarships that really don’t have many people apply for it. There are also scholarships designed specifically for kids going into certain majors which cuts down on the amount of people that can apply.