Budgeting When You’re Unemployed or Low Income

 

Balancing Your Budget Using Assistance Programs

It can be tough to get by on a small salary, even with careful budgeting. Luckily, there are financial assistance programs designed to help low-income families manage their money and cover daily living costs without trouble. By utilizing government and nonprofit financial services, working individuals can more easily access and save up the funds they need to achieve financial stability.

Know Your Income and Expenses

No matter what your income is, whether you rely on aid programs or not, the most important step to financial success is to keep track of your spending. There are several major expenses to take into account when planning out your monthly budget, including:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Groceries and eating out
  • Insurance
  • Medical bills
  • Transportation
  • Student loans, credit card payments, and other forms of debt
  • Leisure costs

Once you’ve figured out how much money you’re bringing in (or losing) each month, you can set about planning how to pad your savings account and improve your cash flow. Low-income individuals can also look into whether or not they can apply for local, state, and federal assistance programs.

Find Out What Assistance You Qualify For

Applying for financial assistance can help to boost your overall income each month and make it easier to afford necessities such as food and rent. Even if your family receives aid, you may be eligible for additional programs that can help you to manage your expenses better each month. Assistance isn’t just limited to cash grants, either. You can find programs that help low-income families to afford food, a new house, or hefty medical bills without throwing off their budget. Such financial aid and benefits programs include:

  • Affordable rental housing
  • Food assistance
  • Financial aid for students
  • Retirement and pension benefits
  • Programs and benefits for active military

There are plenty of government assistance programs that make it easier for families to manage their money. If you want to know whether or not you qualify for any of these programs, many offer a convenient online pre-screening tool for applicants.

Find the Right Bank Account

If you rely on government assistance programs for financial support, you may be worried that you won’t be able to apply for loans with big banking institutions. A little bit of financial assistance can make it easier to open a new bank account, however. It’s important to shop around in order to find a bank that offers accounts with financial perks such as waived account fees, no minimum deposit amount, and overdraft protection.

It can be difficult to manage your money in a low-income situation, but luckily, government branches and nonprofit organizations are on hand to step in and offer assistance. Financial aid programs not only help families to afford the essentials but also gain the financial stability that they need to pull themselves out of the red and start building a savings account.


Personal Finance Tips from Billionaires

Personal Finance Tips From Billionaires

 

Even if you have no intention of being a billionaire, it can’t hurt to gain some financial insight from a billionaire. Such information can help you sharpen your personal finance acumen and become smarter when it comes to saving as well as spending your money. Following are a few tips from billionaires you should be sure to put to good use before you spend or save another dime.

 

Start ASAP

 

If you’re not even out of college or just graduated from college, know that now is the perfect time to start saving, managing and investing your money. The money habits you develop at a young age are sure to follow you throughout your life, so you might as well start off on the right foot. Besides investing, managing and saving, be sure to read financial advice from businessmen like Don Gayhardt. While you might not feel such information applies to you if you aren’t an entrepreneur, you’d be surprised at how much overlap there is between personal and business finance.

 

Believe in Yourself and Your Financial Goals

 

No matter if you want to own your own home or simply pay off all your credit card debt ASAP, you’ve got to believe in yourself and your financial goals. It’s this belief that will allow you to keep going when obstacles come your way, and it’s this belief that will better allow you to bust through your goals rather than just barely achieve them.

 

Focus on Value Rather Than Price

 

Before you buy anything, think of how much value the item or service has as opposed to how much it costs. For instance, you’re better off buying high-quality furniture, clothes and electronics if those items will last you for a substantial amount of time and better retain their value. Another way of looking at this tip is to avoid paying on a high-interest credit card. While your current card balance would be the same on a low-interest card, you won’t be wasting money paying interest. What’s the value in that?

 

Stick to the Fundamentals

 

Rather than waste your time looking for tricks or gimmicks to make money, you’re much better off sticking to tried-and-true methods that have been proven to work time and time again. While some of those tricks and gimmicks might actually work, it’s simply not worth the risk of losing your money and the frustration that comes with losing your money. If you’re thinking of investing, you’ll be better off doing so with companies that have a strong yearly flow of cash and those that aren’t in danger of being obsolete due to advancing technology.

 

Avoid Debt at All Costs

 

This likely goes without saying, but do your best to avoid taking on any debt you don’t absolutely have to. This means only using your credit cards in extreme situations and paying them off as quickly as possible to avoid those interest payments. While it’s best to avoid credit cards altogether, you might find you need a credit score to apply for a mortgage and other loans. In that case, you can get a credit card and use it every now and then to cover the cost of a full tank of gas or a single meal. Just make sure that balance is fully paid off by the end of the month.

 

Keep Things Simple

 

Rather than be taken in by the glamour and glitz of a big house, fancy cars, designer clothes and the like, keep your life and lifestyle as simple as possible. While you can splurge every now and then, make sure you only do so after you’ve taken care of all your other financial obligations first.

 

Your financial habits can either help you or hinder you, so why not learn the best habits from billionaires? Rather than work harder to improve your financial health, work smarter.

 


How Cars.com Helped Me Save Money When I Bought My Acadia

This post is a sponsored post

After baby number 4 we realized that my 2006 Pacifica, while a good vehicle, wasn’t really meant for a family of 6. Sure it fit all 6 of us in but little else. There was very little trunk space when all the seats were up. That meant when we went on a family trip we might be able to take the compact stroller forget about the jogging stroller.  When we went to Ocean City the kids had to have their bags on the floor by their feet because there wasn’t enough trunk space.  So I researched vehicles with the help of Cars.com and had it narrowed down to a GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, or Chevy Traverse.  I was able to save cars to favorites so I could show my husband or quickly compare them.

With Cars.com I downloaded the app and checked the website a couple times a week.  We wanted less than 30K miles on the vehicle.  It had to fall within a specific price range. Cars.com helped me decide what cars we could afford realistically, and gave me a good idea of what dealerships had the vehicles in our price range in our area.  I was able to search by make, model, mileage, price range, area radius, and more.

Then my Pacifica started having issue after issue. It was in the shop at least once a month for a new problem. That’s when we decided it was time to jump on the vehicle.  I had it narrowed down to a GMC Acadia at a local dealership or a Honda Pilot at a dealership about 30 miles away.  The Honda Pilot had less milage, about $2k less, but was a year older. The GMC Acadia had everything we wanted except that the price wasn’t quite what we wanted.

They tried to give us a hard time about the price. I pulled up the Honda Pilot on my cars.com app and said to my husband, that’s ok honey this Pilot is in our price range why don’t we go check that one out and decide. Then they were able to drop the price after I showed the car salesman.  So thanks to Cars.com I ended up getting the vehicle local for a price that fit into our budget.

Ways Cars.com helped save me money:

  1.  Helped me compare to see what vehicles we could afford
  2.  Helped me be realistic about what vehicle condition fit into our budget
  3.  Helped me keep track of prices and which dealership consistently had the lower prices on the vehicles I wanted
  4.  Helped me compare vehicles
  5.  The app was a great visual aid in having discussions with my husband and bargaining with the dealership
  6.  Let me search by prices, make, model, radius, and other specifics so I wasn’t overwhelmed with vehicles I might now want or may not be able to afford.
  7.  It’s free to use!
  8.  Let’s you research cars right from the website or app
  9.  Payment estimator helps you get a ballpark number of monthly payments for car loans.

Can I tell you a secret? I really wanted the Acadia anyway shhh


How Can The Average Joe Buy Stock in Amazon, Apple, Disney, and More? Here’s How

This post contains a referral link.  No other compensation will be received for this post. Any opinions expressed are my own. I am NOT an investing professional. 

As many areas as I’ve covered in regard to money the stock market is one area I stayed away from.  Before, the idea of investing in the stock market myself scared the bejeezus out of me.  No thanks, I’d rather put money in savings, or my 401K that’s managed and has an employer match.

Still I had an interest. But pulling up a reputable stock site seemed overwhelming. Watching numbers drop as quickly as they rise. Everyone knows the stock market isn’t a sure thing. Especially for someone uneducated in it like myself.  Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, common stocks, sponsored stocks. I don’t know!

My husband got into it. He was doing fairly well with penny stocks.  In fact, he did well enough that we were able to use the money as a down payment on our new house. We don’t have the funds to invest big but he did well with what he had to work with.

I had a personal interest in investing in Tesla.  I’ve been reading the articles. They’re doing new and innovative things. I could go into all my reasoning but that would be another article. So I started an account and started watching things. Reading things.  Tesla however was $300 something a share and rising.  I’m not ready to invest to buy even one share financially. At least not yet.

Then I learned about Stockpile.  It seemed the reasonable solution for someone like me. Someone that doesn’t have a deep wallet for investing but still wants to invest. Stockpile allows you to buy fractional shares in companies like: Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Under Armour, Snapchat, etc.  The stocks that the average joe can’t buy 100 shares in, or in 5 shares in some cases. Simply fund your account with your bank account or debit card.  It’s 99 cents a buy or trade. It makes it easy for you to find the companies you want to invest in.  They’ve also started selling Stockpile gift card at the grocery store. When friends and family ask what you want for your birthday or the holidays you can ask for Stockpile gift cards now!

In this way, you can start investing in companies you wouldn’t normally be able to invest in. It allows people on a budget to invest what they can afford without breaking the budget. Right now, Stockpile has a deal where when you use my influencer link you’ll get $5 to use towards stock with your first $10 stock or e-gift purchase.

 

 


How To Save Money On Doterra Essential Oils!

My advocate links are included in this post. Any purchases made through the links, I will be compensated.

I know the price tag on some essential oils is a bit overwhelming. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there. You’ve probably heard the horror stories about buying cheap ones on Amazon or eBay though.  Yes please don’t do that. If you’re finding it cheap, like really cheap you have to ask yourself why? Do you know the source? What is in it other than the oil you’re trying to buy. Often times if you find it cheap it’s because it’s diluted with something: water, alcohol, vegetable oil, you don’t know and that’s if they’re using something safer to dilute it with. Sometimes they use things like synthetic lavender or synthetic lemongrass.  If it’s not pure, it will not have the same effects. If it doesn’t have the right effects it might turn a person away from essential oils thinking they don’t work.

So what do you do?  Here are some ideas to save money on Doterra essential oils.

Wholesale Customer Account

Wholesale Customer account. You pay $30 and it’s good for a year. You can buy your oils at wholesale price. After one year, you can renew for $25 and get a free peppemint oil!  You do NOT have to sell anything and you can take advantage of loyalty rewards points program.

Loyalty Rewards Program

Take advantage of the Loyalty Rewards Program.  I’ll admit, I didn’t do it on my first order and I immediately regretted it. You need to play $125 order to initiate the program but you are not required to spend that every month. You’ll still accumulate LRP even if you don’t spend $125. The points can be used on future orders toward free products.

Monthly Promotions

Take advantage of the product promotion of the month.  For example, for the month of April 2017 Breath Vapor Sticks are 10% off. Also if you end up placing $125 LRP order you’ll get a free Digestzen in the month of April 2017.  There are different specials like this each month. If you’re not sure what they are, ask a Doterra Wellness Advocate like me 🙂

New to Doterra? Here’s Ideas to Start Off Right

If you’re new to Doterra and want to place an order but you’re really not sure what to order you can do one of several things so you start off with a good set a oils to work for you.  I always recommend talking to your Doterra Wellness Advocate.  But, I get it, some people just don’t want to for one reason or another.  I started off with the Aromatouch kit because it wasn’t crazy expensive compared to some of the other kits, I got a diffuser with it (which I knew I wanted anyway) and it had a nice starter set of oils.   Another kits that’s really affordable is the Doterra Introductory Kit. For $30 ($20 if you have a wholesale account) you get a 5 ml bottle of: lemon, peppermint, and lavender. Popular oils with many uses.

Kits like the Aromatouch Kit come with Doterra fractionated coconut oil

Buy Directly from you Local Doterra Wellness Advocate

They may not always have inventory on  hand but they might be able to save you money in shipping when putting your order in with other orders.  Some Doterra Wellness Advocates will offer a local discount or even have sample on hand for you to try before you buy. Not all Advocates can do this, everyone runs their business differently but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Even when buying from a Doterra Wellness Advocate online you can see if they have a facebook page to contact them that way.

As a Doterra Wellness Advocate myself I just want to help people with a natural option. I want you to have the best experience possible.  Please contact me, ask questions, I have a wonderful network around me that very helpful as well. So even if I don’t know the answer I probably know someone who does.

Visit my Doterra site: http://mydoterra.com/angiebeechan

and follow my Doterra facebook page where you can find info, get answers, learn about specials, and more: https://www.facebook.com/EssentialOilswithAngieB/