A happy couple lovingly holds their young daughter

6 Budgeting Tips That Yield Financial Freedom for New Parents

Proper management of finances is a pain point for most individuals to the extent that the idea of discussing this subject is not welcome. Unfortunately, those who are not keen on taming their spending habits continue sinking in credit card debts, and financial freedom becomes evasive. Exercising shrewdness in financial matters is not an option especially for new parents who intend to raise their child in the best way possible because parenting comes with new responsibilities.

Here are some budgeting tips that new parents can consider adopting as they adjust to their new lifestyle.

Evaluate and Prepare for A Possible Drop in Income

Understanding the maternal and paternal benefits your employer or state offers is critical for anyone who is set to become a new parent. So, part of the preparations you should make is seeking information on whether there are any benefits you should expect when the newborn arrives. In some cases, some employers have no maternal or paternal benefits for their employees depending on company policies, which suggests that there is no compensation for staff members who take leave from work on such occasions.

Anticipating a possible drop in income can eliminate the shock of becoming a new parent by helping you to budget accordingly in advance.

Proper Management of Expenditures

The joy of welcoming a newborn encourages prospective parents to buy clothes, diapers, wipes, among other supplies they will require after receiving their new bundle of joy. When attending to the basics as first-time parents, you should also consider other unforeseen expenditures that may overstretch your budget.

Some of the additional expenses for new parents include the cost of emergency medical visits, babysitting services, infant daycare expenses, among others. Any strategy that can help you minimize wasteful spending as new parents will go a long way in reducing pressure on your finances.

Research Child Care Options in Advance

Striking a balance between work and taking care of a child is challenging for most new parents and for that reason exploring child care options in advance is a necessity. Several child care facilities may be available within your locality, but that does not imply that each of them is ideal for your child. Identifying the best child care establishment for the best price should be your priority as a new parent, and the only way to achieve this is by researching the options you have in advance.

If you wait longer than necessary, you will most likely settle for a child care facility you may not like and at a higher cost. Enquiring if there is a dependent care savings option from your employer is also a wise idea because it will help you prepare in advance, which can attract some savings.

Avoid Overspending

The temptation to acquire expensive items that are unnecessary in a bid to entertain a baby for long hours and help them sleep better is irresistible for most new parents. Investing in the basics for your child’s development and opting for additional items when the need arises discourages overspending.

Start Saving for College

Most parents desire to give their children the best possible education they can afford, and that may not be a challenge in the early stages. The uphill task is when you have to part with hundreds or thousands of dollars for the sake of financing your child’s college education. If you start saving for college when your child is born, you will eliminate the stress that comes with dealing with budgetary constraints and paying for college when your child is ready to join one.

Experiment Meal Planning

Creating time to bond with your child after work as a new parent is paramount, but you may not have sufficient time or any energy left by the time you arrive home. In most cases, the priority for new mothers after work is to prepare a quick meal for the family to eat before resting for the night. Preparing meals in bulk is a wise idea because you will enjoy more time with your family. There are several inexpensive meal planning resources you can consider if you need help to save on cost and the time you spend preparing food.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a FREE financial analysis.  Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs.  You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.  Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website https://timberlinefinancial.com.

Happy grandparents chase laughing children on the beach

5 Easy Ways to Save Money Towards Your Next Vacation

Thinking about your next vacation, but not sure where the money for it will come from? It is never too early to start saving. Here are five easy ways to set funds aside that you may want to consider.

1. Open a dedicated savings account for your vacation funds

Setting up an additional account may seem like extra work initially, but it is an easy way to start saving for vacation. First, placing money in a separate account from the one you use for everyday or emergency expenses ensures it will be there when you’re ready to start booking. Second, watching your vacation savings grow is a great incentive to keep setting money aside.

If this is something you have already done, you’re already in good shape.

2. Set up an auto draft for a specific amount every week/pay period

After opening a dedicated savings account, another great idea for saving money towards your next vacation is an auto draft. Pick a set amount to send to your vacation savings and how often you want to send it ($25 per week is a great place to start), then set up the auto draft. If you only want it to occur during a specific time period, you can set it up to include that information as well.

After that? Sit back and watch your vacation funds grow without lifting a finger.

3. Use cash-back sites and apps for online shopping

These days, most people do at least some of their shopping online. You can earn some cash back on qualifying purchases through cash-back sites and apps like Ebates and ShopAtHome. Some may have browser extensions to make it even easier. Once you reach the specified minimum amount, you’ll receive a check. Just deposit it into your vacation savings for an extra boost beyond what gets auto drafted every week.

4. Cook at home/Bring your lunch to work

Yes, eating dinner out is easy. Yes, grabbing lunch with your coworkers can be a great break from the stress of the office. The problem is that these easy solutions for resolving your hunger also dig deep into your pocket book. Try cooking dinner at home. Or, if that’s something you already do, start bringing leftovers for lunch the next day. It may not be as much fun in the short term, but the extra bucks you save will get you a few steps closer to the vacation you’ve been dreaming about.

Are you more likely to stop off for coffee in the morning than go out for lunch or dinner? Invest in a coffee maker and brew your own cup before you leave in the morning. You can save more than you thought. Maybe you’ll get lucky and come up with a coffee drink that’s better than what you order now.

5.  Clean out your house and sell what you’re not using

Most of us have things lying around the house that we never use and other people are looking for. Sell them online and earn some extra spending money for your vacation. Apps like OfferUp, Letgo, and Close5 make the process quick and easy. If apps do not appeal, websites like eBay still exist, and even Facebook’s Buy and Sell Markets can be put to good use. With this tip, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone – earning money for your vacation and getting rid of what you’re not using.

For a more complete list of apps you can use to sell things you are willing to part with, check out Well Kept Wallet’s 28 Best Apps to Sell Your Stuff Locally and Online.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a FREE financial analysis.  Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs.  You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.  Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website https://timberlinefinancial.com.

A vibrant senior couple smiles while shopping outdoors

The 12 Best Senior Discounts Out There

The senior years can be challenging in many ways. Financially, seniors normally have less to spend but have an increase in medical expenses. The aches and pains of being a senior citizen may not be considered a blessing, but companies that provide a discount are a blessing. There are age requirements, with some starting as early as 50. Also, some locations may not honor them, so check before you purchase. Here is a listing of the 12 best ones available for seniors.

  1. Amtrak – Travelers 65 and over can receive a 10% discount off most fares on Amtrak. Have your proof of age identification ready, and check before you book.
  2. Avis – Offers card-carrying AARP members 30% off base rates for those who are renting in the US and Canada.
  3. Bloomin Brands – This includes the restaurants of Bonefish Grill, Outback Steakhouse, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. AARP members can receive 10% off their meal every day.
  4. British Airways – It must be booked by January 31, 2019, but if you carry an AARP membership you can get $65 off economy travel and $200 off business club travel.
  5. Grocery Stores – Publix, Kroger, Fred Harris, Piggly Wiggly, Harris Teeter, Bi-lo, Fred Myer, ShopRite, and many others are included. Almost all grocery stores have some kind of discount, 5 to 10% and a special day they offer it. These offers change from time to time. Check with your favorite store to see what the policy is that they have in place.
  6. Joann Fabric and Craft – They announce special senior discount days. They offer customers 55 and older, with a state-issued ID, 20% off. There are limitations on what is or is not included so check ahead of time so you won’t be disappointed.
  7. Kohl’s – Every Wednesday, for shoppers 60 plus, a 15% discount is given. If you are over 60 plan your shopping at Kohl’s on Wednesday.
  8. Marriott If you are 62 or older you can receive 15% or even more off your room rate. It is subject to availability, but there are not any limits to the number of nights. Please check if it is available at the Marriott you are booking. This offer is also available worldwide.
  9. Pep Boys – 10% off every day for those 55 and up.
  10. United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta – They all offer senior rates, but for domestic flights and subject to availability. When you book online look for the “seniors” designation. If you don’t see it, even though it can be a hassle to call an airline, do call them. You could save 10% off an expensive ticket. Do not expect to just show up and get the discount. Check ahead.
  11. Uno Pizzeria and Grill – If you are 55 or older you are eligible to join their Double Nickel Club on their website. This gives you 30% off their deep dish pizza and other menu items.
  12. Walgreens – You only need to be 55 or older to receive 20% off on the first Tuesday of the month. This is for eligible purchases. Check at the store what that includes. Also, if you are an AARP member there are special discount days that will be advertised.

Sources in part are found here and here for the companies offering senior discounts.

Any discount you can get in your senior years can add to your quality of life. If you have extra debt, take the savings you receive and apply it to other areas to help your financial picture. Timberline Financial can help you to figure out a solution to balances that just don’t seem to become reduced.

The previous has been researched to give the most accurate representation. However, sometimes the terms or the discount changes, or is completely removed. What is true at some locations may not be true at another. Also, there are many other discounts and deals available to seniors. A prudent way to shop is to just ask before purchasing to make sure you don’t miss any offers available.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a FREE financial analysis.  Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs.  You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.  Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website https://timberlinefinancial.com.

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