Monthly Archives: May 2018

What Will It Take To Change Your Financial Situation?

what will it take to change your financial situation

When it comes to money, you may always find that you’re wanting more. This isn’t necessarily because you’re greedy or that you aren’t grateful for what you have, but because of your lifestyle. as you grow and change in life, the amount of money that you need also grows and changes with you.

So when you’re in a situation where you feel like you don’t have enough money, you really need to do something about it. Whether you realize it or not, you are in control of your financial situation.

You have the power and the options at your disposal to be able to change things around when you’re not in a great place. So let’s look at what is will take for you to do that.Continue reading

3 Cheap (And Free) Ways To Entertain Yourself At Home

ways to entertain yourself at home

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun at home. Rather than buying the latest games for your console, streaming the latest movies for your family film nights, or downloading the latest books on your Kindle (as examples), you can actually do all of these things cheaply and for free.

This is great news for those of you who are unemployed or simply trying to make ends meet on a very meager budget.

Take a look at the following tips for free and cheap entertainment.Continue reading

This Is How You Save More For College Starting Now

save for college starting now

Have you been saving for your kids’ college fund? Do you even know where to start?

Sallie Mae and Ipsos recently released a report on how Americans are saving for college. In it, you will have the opportunity to see what other parents across the country are doing and see how your savings plan compares.

Financial Bin spoke with Rick Castellano, a spokesperson for Sallie Mae, about the report and what it means for American parents.

Financial Bin: How soon should parents be saving for their kids’ college fund? When do they actually start saving?

Rick Castellano: According to How America Saves for College 2018, parents begin to save when their child is around seven. That’s been fairly consistent throughout the history of this report.

While each family situation is different, it’s never too early to start planning and saving for college. And the benefits of doing so are clear.

Nearly half of parents have created a plan to pay for college (47 percent) and those with a plan to pay for college have saved more than twice as much as those without a plan ($22,169 vs. $9,208). Parents who are preparing financially for college are three times more likely to be confident they’ll be able to meet the cost of college than those who aren’t (73 percent vs. 27 percent.)

FB: What is holding those who aren’t saving back? Is it just lack of money or other priorities?

RC: The good news is, saving for college is becoming more of a priority. After saving for general needs and emergencies, parents earmark funds for college more than for any other specific purpose, alongside retirement. Only 10 percent of parents plan to tap their retirement funds for college, down from 20 percent in 2016 — the last time this report was published.

And there’s a general sense of confidence and optimism with parents this year. Nearly nine in 10 parents who have a college savings goal (86 percent) are confident they’ll achieve it.

Those who aren’t saving for college, however, feel they don’t have enough money (52%), or they think financial aid will cover costs (27%). Others reported they haven’t gotten around to it (25%), think their child is too young (21%), aren’t sure of the best options (21%), or they are prioritizing other savings (18%).

FB: What do you want parents to take away from this study overall?

RC: Creating a plan to pay for college can absolutely pay off. Parents with a plan to pay for college have saved more than twice as much as those without a plan ($22,169 vs. $9,208).

Also, our report found that a majority of parents believe paying for college is a shared responsibility between the parents and students, yet fewer than half have shared that expectation with their child. For parents, think about having that talk and setting expectations. We also know that when a child knows that money is set aside for them for college, they are more likely to attend.

So again, clear and open conversation about saving, planning, and paying for college can make a big difference and help families enter this major life decision with eyes wide open.

FB: What are the best ways to save for college?

RC: Parents should look for ways to make saving for college a habit. To keep their college savings on track, six in 10 parents (61 percent) contribute a set amount to their college fund on a regular basis. To find more money for college 30 percent of parents have cut back on discretionary spending, and 27 percent have reduced their household expenses.

Parents should also explore savings vehicles that can make their money work harder for them. It’s particularly encouraging to see this year, marks the first time tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans hold the largest share of college savings — 30 percent, nearly double the 17 percent reported in 2016.

Goal-based savings accounts like SmartyPig by Sallie Mae can also help families make saving a routine and get them on the right track to saving for college and other goals.

FB: Although the $18,000 savings figure is the highest since 2013, shouldn’t parents be saving much more to help their children avoid student loan debt?

This year’s report not only illustrated optimism in parents but also some realism. It’s great to see savings at the highest level in the last five years of this report and the majority of parents confident they’ll meet their savings goal of $55,342. That said, we all know college costs more than that, but parents seem more realistic about how much of that total cost they need to cover with savings.

It’s more likely that parents will save one-third of the cost of college; pay for another third out of current income, and finance the final third with loans, grants or other assets. And as I mentioned earlier, parents are expecting their child to have some skin the game. Fifty-nine percent say paying for college should be a shared responsibility between the parent and child, compared to 51 percent in 2016.

FB: Where can readers learn more about the findings and saving for college?

RC: The full report and infographic are available at In addition, Sallie Mae and Wise Bread will co-host a Twitter chat to discuss the report on Thursday, May 24, at 3 p.m. EDT. Follow the chat using #HowAmericaSaves and #WBChat.

For free tools and resources on saving, planning, and paying for college including scholarship search tools for undergraduates and graduates, our college planning calculator, and more visit

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4 Reasons Why You Never Have Enough Money

why you never have enough money

Do you ever scratch your head when you look at your bank balance and wonder, how come I never seem to have any money? Well, you are not alone. In fact, many of us have had the same experience at one time or another.

However, there are usually reasons behind this phenomenon that can be dealt with. Read on to find out that they are. Continue reading

6 Things You Need To Know To Make Your Money Go Further

make your money go further

For some of us, heading out to the day job is a means for ensuring that we can pay the bills and live our lives. We head to work, we earn our money, pay the bills and that is the end of the matter. We then hope that we will hopefully have enough leftover to enjoy what life has to offer with our closest ones and family. But, a paycheck is fixed, so what you have left is always going to be similar from month to month.

Would you believe that many of us are not making the most of each paycheck? That actually making some changes to our usual habits could be the answer for making our money go further. There are many ways we can ensure that we are stretching that income as far as it can, while still enjoying life and not sacrificing on what we have right now. Continue reading

4 Poor Financial Habits You Need To Lose

poor financial habits you need to lose

Everyone’s picked up a bad habit once or twice in their life. Sometimes it’s something simple to cure, and other times it can be a crippling addiction that could ruin your life. There are plenty of bad habits in the world, but today we’re going to be talking about financial habits that you need to break out of.

If you want to take control of your financial situation so you have more money to spend and fewer debts to worry about, then you need to focus on beating these poor financial habits.Continue reading