Category: Personal Finance

It’s not a big sin to use a credit card to pay for groceries. However, you should be wise to use it so as not to get wrapped up in credit card debt.

It’s legitimate if you use a credit card as a means of payment. Because, you can benefit when dealing with credit cards.

For example, you have the opportunity to get a 30% discount at dinner in certain restaurants. Or, you can get 0% installment facility when buying a smart phone at certain outlets

Budi Raharjo, One Shildt’s Financial Planner said that credit cards can secure your cash flow. Because, you do not need to spend when there are sudden expenses. For example, you can use it to pay for hospital bills.

However, you must remember that credit cards are debt, not additional income. So, you must pay the debt.

So here are 4 ways you have to do so that you will not get into trouble using credit card.

Pay the bill fully

The first step you must do is pay credit card bills fully. The goal, so that you do not have to bear the interest bills in the following month.

If you do not complete the debt payment on time. You will certainly lose money because you have to pay interest on the bill in the next billing month.

Do not use a credit card before the bill is paid off



The second step, you should not use a credit card if the bill has not been paid off.

That way your bills do not continue to swell in the following months.

Pay bills before the due date


The third step, you must pay the credit card bill before the due date. That way you don’t have to pay late fees.

Budi recommends that you pay your bills before the billing date so that you do not incur interest on credit card bills.

“Make sure you have enough money to pay the bills before using a credit card,” Budi said.

Diligently check and recheck the value of using a credit card




The fourth step, you should routinely check the amount of credit card usage.

Then, think about whether you can afford to pay off all bills before the due date.

If you feel the charge is too large, then you should stop dealing with the credit card.

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The current pandemic situation should have been thought of from the start when we managed our finances. At what age were you taught to save? Most parents since ancient times have taught their children to save since school age or 5 years and over when they have entered kindergarten as a saving for the future. But it turns out that in this era known as millennials, there is a very different tendency for the current generation in managing their finances.

A survey agency in the United States (US) named Gobankingrates.com conducted a survey in May 2019 about millennials in the US to find out their habits in managing finances.

One of the topics being surveyed is how much savings they have in their accounts. Gobankingrates.com found the fact that 54% of millennials aged 20-35 do not have savings of more than $ 1,000.

Many people are busy surfing for information on the internet about how to save the most effective, most quickly collect large amounts of money, and in the shortest possible time. This is clearly mistaken. Though it is not the wrong saving method, but rather the reason why we always fail. Maybe everything should go back to form a way of thinking first about the cause of our failure to save. So let’s look at three reasons we always fail to raise money to save, even when the intention has been collected.

1. Don’t Have Money to Save!

In this first point, there will appear all kinds of reasons that will always be able to be issued at this point. From things that are to blame, it is reasonable to be filial to the inability of oneself to manage their own finances. Okay try to note the first thing that is often used as an excuse is a salary that is too small, then the money that is used up to help parents, until they realize that themselves are wasteful. These things are always or often become common reasons for millennials.

Why do these things happen? Because they don’t save their income when they get their salary/income. Because they should be able to save 20-10% of the money earned to meet their savings. For those who already have dependents/debts or cannot be a reason, the amount can be reduced by saving 10% -5% to save.

After clearly saving at the beginning is not set aside at the end, savings should be millennial in Indonesia have enough savings to raise their emergency funds, or meet their needs as explained above such as buying a vehicle, buying a first home, and getting married.

Now let’s try to change the way it acts, that is by not being put aside at the end, but saving first at the beginning and then set aside for all kinds of living needs. First saving, why is that? Because of the necessities of life in the future that is uncertain makes us have to have savings, money that is ready to be used as an emergency fund. Already fulfilling our emergency funds we still have other long-term needs that have been put on the waiting list to be fulfilled.

2. The nature of Hedonism which has become a necessity of life

Who here often does not feel guilty if monthly income is always used up to visit unique/viral eating places, shopping for unique items in the marketplace to sneakers at a price of $ 300, and how to pay in installments 12 months using a credit card?

Well! because of the hedonic owned by millennials so that the habit of not recording every money spent because of the lazy habit of recording it up to too many daily small expenses like that and the nature that is like daily needs, then they do not know how much a lot of money they have spent.

Likewise with the cause of our failure to save. If we don’t know why we will always fail to save. Start recording each expense in detail. Many ways to take notes, through a blank book, through a laptop, or can with applications on our respective smartphones. The point is that there are many ways that make it easier for us to take notes, we only have the intention to improve our finances or not.

3. There Are Still Opportunities for Tomorrow!

Yes !, the motto of Y.O.L.O (You Only Live Once) becomes a favorite quote of millennials as if everything can be postponed until tomorrow because of life only once. This disparaging trait often backfires on their lives, why? Because time continues to move forward and cannot reverse. Suddenly age continues to grow and without realizing it or already aware, when their eyes are open they still do not have a home, have not prepared for future. So stop spending money without any purpose.

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After months quarantine at home, everything becomes slower. Spending priorities only range from 4 important things, food, hygiene kits, medicine and supplements, transportation. Everything revolves around survival during quarantine at home.Some folks will be getting out of quarantine faster than others, but most states have already reopened or plan to start lifting some of those restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. Now what should you do after this quarantine period is over. You need to know that in order to re-arrange your financial life after ‘sleeping’ for weeks.

Here we adapt from Dave Ramsey’s blog, American radio show host, author and businessman, how to restructure your finances after quarantine ends.

1. Reassess your current situation.

When this crisis began, you might have gone into “survival mode” and focused on taking care of the Four Walls—that’s food, utilities, shelter, and transportation—and nothing else. You canceled your Netflix account, told the credit card companies to wait their turn, and called off that vacation you had on the books for months. It was tough, but you did what you had to do! And now as the quarantine winds down, it’s time to take a step back and look at your current situation with a fresh pair of eyes. That way, you can make decisions that make sense for your situation!

Are you still out of work, or feel like your income isn’t very stable? Then you might need to stick with the Four Walls for a little longer—at least until you can get your income situation sorted out.

But if you still have your job (or got a new one) and feel like you’re in a secure situation, it might be time to start attacking your financial goals again—whether that’s getting out of debt or saving for a down payment on a house.

2. Revisit your monthly budget.

Working from your living room with nowhere else to go, you probably went weeks without having to fill up on gas. On the flip side, you probably spent more on toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the last two months than you have in your entire life!  

Now as things slowly shift back to “normal,” whatever that looks like, you might need to start adjusting your budget back to where it was pre-coronavirus as you start driving more and getting back into the swing of things.

But maybe this quarantine has helped you realize that some things shouldn’t go back to normal. Maybe all those banana bread recipes you baked during the quarantine have inspired you to avoid eating out as much as you did before. The point is that you have a chance to pick and choose what comes back into your monthly budget and what stays out—don’t waste it! 

3. Get back on the Baby Steps.

No matter where you were on the Baby Steps when things shut down, you probably needed some time to pause as you navigated through life in the land of COVID-19. If you’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to attacking your debt snowball with gazelle intensity or saving for retirement again, now might be the time to get on it—especially if you still have your job and feel like your income is stable, better you to try 7 baby steps again. You can read it fully on Dave Ramsey website.

4. Make a plan for action items you put off.

Maybe you had plans to put new tires on your car, take your kids to the dentist or install a new HVAC system earlier this year. But then the pandemic happened and, all of a sudden, those things on your to-do list couldn’t get crossed off just yet. But as businesses start opening up again with social distancing measures in place, you might be thinking about pulling the trigger on some of those action items you’ve been putting off. Just make sure you have them accounted for in the post-quarantine budget.

5. Keep a lot of cash on hand (just in case).

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we need to be prepared for whatever life throws our way. Today, it’s a global pandemic. Tomorrow, it might be an invasion of murder hornets (look it up).

6. Check in with your financial advisor.

With emotions running high on social media and even within your own circle of family and friends, it can be hard not to get swept up in a tidal wave of fear and panic. And when you’re freaked out, that’s when you’re most likely to make some terrible financial mistakes that could set you back big time—like cashing out your 401(k) or racking up credit card debt. That’s why it’s so important to have a financial advisor you can turn to for guidance, someone who can help you take a step back and look at the big picture.

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Not everyone is born from a royal family that has a legacy from generation to generation. Having inheritance is not necessarily able to be managed well so that it is not in vain or just used up. After becoming parents, many young couples who already have insight about how important education funding for their children later. When a baby is born, most parents already think about the cost of their education later. And indeed there are a variety of investments made by their parents in order to prepare their children’s education funding needs later which of course will be different 5 years or 10 years to come.

There are many investment offers for your child’s education fund. But before considering that it’s a good idea to read the following tips.

1. Set aside Revenue

The first step that must be done is to save as early as possible from the money set aside from income. The earlier you start, the more money you will collect. Of course, the challenge you have to face is the temptation to use this money. But it’s good you choose to save it in investment savings where you can not withdraw it within a certain period.

2. Research before investing

Many insurance companies have savings solutions for your child’s higher education costs. Before you invest your hard-earned income into these products, you need to identify your financial targets first. You should also know the average rate of return on your policy, how much money you can comfortably set aside, and how much financial risk you can face when buying investment products. Examples of investment options available are mutual funds, trust funds, bonds and stock investments.

3. Adjusting the Budget to the Number of Children

Indeed, having only one child with more than one child has a different amount of budget. Talk well with your partner, how many children do you plan because it will affect the amount of their education savings.

4. Don’t put all the eggs in one basket

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If you are an investor who is reluctant to take risks and tends to choose the type of low-risk investment, the disadvantage you will face is the low return on investment. This is not good if you still have to cover a lot of shortcomings to achieve your financial goals. Start thinking about diversifying your portfolio by putting some of your assets in instruments that provide higher returns, for example buying shares that will provide dividends. With the principle of spreading eggs in different baskets, you increase your overall investment return and at the same time maintain a moderate/moderate level of risk.

5. Avoid Borrowing Money to Fund Your Child’s Education

The best way is money that comes from your savings or investment returns. That is why it is very good if you start early to prepare your child’s savings. If they do not have sufficient funds, parents may be tempted to borrow money to pay for their children’s tuition. If indeed the amount of money borrowed is relatively small, then this might not have a bad impact, but if the amount of money borrowed is large, then parents need to be careful about the payment system in the future.

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In the midst of this pandemic, it is undeniable that the unemployment rate continues to grow. Uncertainty, when the vaccine or drug for the Sars-Cov-2 virus was found, made the economy sluggish. Companies began to streamline employees to cover operational costs because of declining revenues during COVID -19.

However, if you are one of the employees who have been laid off, you don’t have to be hopeless. Keep doing health protocols while you work or work at home. It’s not easy to start your own business. Besides you have to pay taxes, you need capital. But it turns out, not everything you produce or get taxable. Quoted from Forbes, here are 10 non-taxable income.

Fund from GoFundMe or another fun campaign

Assuming there is no business purpose or other non-donor intent, funds received by fundraising campaigns like GoFundMe are not taxable. The donations would be considered gifts: there are no consideration given in returns, no rendered services, no products being touted (there are no premiums for donations, and it doesn’t fit the crowd funding for business models). The result can be different when crowd funding is used for business or investment purposes.

Child Support Payment

Some parents are hesitant to seek out a child support order because, among other things, they fear the extra check would add to taxable income and reduce other benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). While alimony may have tax consequences (depending on the timing), child support is completely tax-neutral, meaning that there is no deduction to the payor, and it’s not taxable to the recipient.

Short Term Rental Income

 If you rent out your personal residence for less than 15 days in a year, you need not report any of the rental income for federal income tax purposes (nor do you deduct any expenses as rental expenses).

Kiddie income

The general rule for children and other dependents is that if income is earned (salary or wages through full-or part-time employment), it is taxed at the child’s tax rate, which means that income under the filing threshold is not taxable. For 2020, what’s old is new again since the SECURE Act repealed the more draconian kiddie tax rules put in place under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA).

Dependent care benefits.

Benefits made available by your employer in the form of a dependent care assistance plan (DCAP) or dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) are not taxable so long as the employer contributions do not exceed $ 5,000 ($ 2,500 if married filing separately).

Health savings accounts (HSA).

If you are an eligible individual, you and any other person, including your employer or a family member, can make contributions to your HSA; those contributions are not included in your income. Additionally, when you take the money out to pay for qualified medical expenses, it’s not included in your income. There is additional flexibility in some plans as a result of the pandemic; check with your HR person for more.

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When you hear the word budget, what do you have in mind? Some people interpret it as a ‘bond’ for their money, some who have lived accustomed to the budget consider it as freedom. Why can there be two different points of view? Of course this speaks of discipline and insight that change someone’s mindset about how they use their money wisely.

In the new normal life after the independent quarantine is opened, you can draw lessons or even use this opportunity to spend your money to just eat dinner at a restaurant and shop for new clothes, because you feel you don’t need to be quarantined anymore. So here are some tips to keeping you on a budget from Rachel Cruz a seasoned communicator and #1 New York Times best-selling author, helping people learn the proper way to handle money and stay out of debt.

1. Budget to zero before the month begins.

This means before the month even starts, you’re making a plan and giving every dollar a name. Zero-based budgeting is a way of budgeting where your income minus your expenses equals zero. With a zero-based budget, you have to make sure your expenses match your income during the month. That way you’re giving every dollar that’s coming in a job to do. Let’s say you earn $3,000 a month. Everything you spend, save, give or invest should to add up to $3,000. That way you know exactly where every one of your hard-earned dollars is going. You could be setting yourself up for disaster if you don’t know where your money is going each month. It’s no fun to look up one day and find out you have no money—and no clue—where it all went!

2. Do the budget together.

If you’re married, sit down once a month and have a family budgeting a night. Grab some of your favorite snacks and put on a good playlist to help you focus. You need to get on the same page with money, so set goals together and dream about what the future will look like. Remember: If the two of you are one, your bank accounts should be one too! It’s no longer your money or my money—it’s our money. And if you’re single, find someone who can act as your accountability partner and help you stick to your goals!

3. Start with the most important categories first.

Because every month you have different expenses, for example this month you have to pay school fee, or like back-to-school supplies or routine car maintenance. Other months you’ll be saving for things like vacations, birthdays and holidays. Regardless of the occasion, make sure you prepare for those expenses in the budget. Don’t let these special occasions sneak up on you. Be sure to adjust your budget each month as things change. Make a savings fund you can stash cash in throughout the year. When you don’t have a plan, you’re going to be stressed. And that takes all the fun out of giving and celebrating. No one wants that!

 

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Honestly, almost all over people in the world today face difficult situation. Moody’s rating agency said, the financial impact of the corona virus has been felt in several major corporate sectors. “Sectors that depend on trade and free movement of the most exposed people, such as airline passengers, shipping, and lodging and holidays include shipping lanes and restaurants,” said Benjamin Nelson, Moodys Vice President and Senior Credit Officer who wrote this report.

Many advisors, particularly younger advisors working in solo practices, can be more susceptible to stress, given the isolation of their practices to begin with. Many are staying sane by simply turning to other advisors to commiserate. Lisa Kirchenbauer, founder and president of Omega Wealth Management in Arlington said she found balance in exercise and walks outdoors, as well as meditation. “Everything is so fluid right now, every day is something new and changing,” said Kirchenbauer. So, there are some steps you need to do to help your financial health still sane during this pandemic.

Revisit your wealth plan with a professional

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If their office is closed, you can make an appointment with them to meeting online. To help you reduce your anxiety about your plan you need to seek their advice. Hold firmly your asset allocation. See that you are always well-connected to your assets and can access the digital tools available from your financial institution to help you navigate your portfolio from home.

Consider A Roth IRA Conversion

Your financial adviser can help you determine if this strategy makes sense for you. The market stress and the potential drop of personal income will for 2020 makes a Roth conversion a top consideration for many people according to MarketWatch website.

Stop Using You Credit Card

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In a pandemic that makes things change and are uncertain, you must stop using your credit card for non-essential expenses. Control the use of your credit card. And start thinking about investing more. Control monthly expenses and notice on your bill that unproductive spending must be stopped now.

Don’t Be Panic Buying

You do not live alone. You still have a family, friends, even all the people in your city have household needs too. Even your needs may vary from family to family, you must also consider the needs of others. Piling up too much food can result in your food becoming redundant. The government has given information that the food stock is sufficient. So you don’t need to pile up food that can later become wasteful and thrown away. You want to save money but instead, be a waste.

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During the independent quarantine period in your home where you have to apply this social distancing, shopping for basic household needs must be fulfilled because you cannot go shopping as you wish during the Corona outbreak. It is still unknown when this pandemic ends, so as long as this period is still ongoing, it helps you to pay attention to your safety while shopping in public places where you inevitably have to meet people.

The following shopping guide during the Corona virus pandemic.

1. Make a Shopping Note

This is very important so that you don’t have to linger over what ingredients you should store in your home. It’s a good idea to prepare your grocery list from home so you can just check the list one by one.

2. Avoid shopping at rush hour

It’s better if you avoid the hours that you know will be a lot of people coming to shop. Based on observations from experts, rush hours start on weekends and in the afternoon around 4 pm until the night the supermarket closes. If you want to avoid these rush hours, come early when the supermarket is just open and avoid shopping at the beginning of the weekend, such as Friday and Saturday.

3. Shopping alone

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If you are a parent and have small children, try not to take them, if you don’t have someone at home to look after them, you can leave your groceries to other members of your family. It would be very risky if you bring your child to shop at the supermarket.

4. Bring disinfectant liquid and hand sanitizer

Provide in a small bottle that you can spray on your hands for hand sanitizers. For disinfectant liquid, it can be sprayed on the part that is often touched by people such as food baskets, handles on basket handles or supermarket trolleys It’s not the best thing to wash your hands with soap, so after arriving home, you should immediately wash your hands with soap. Hand sanitizers only contain at most 70 percent alcohol which is only used when in public places and in emergencies.

5. Apply social distancing

As long as you shop for groceries at the supermarket, apply the distance between you and other people who shop closest to 1 meter, as well as the cashier. This method is so that you prevent close to people who have been infected without us knowing.

6. Use Non-Cash payments (Cashless)

This is very important. The use of debit and credit cards tends to be less risky. If the cashier is finished swiping your card, you should immediately clean it with a cleaning tissue that contains alcohol. But if you are forced to use cash, make sure you clean your hands immediately with a hand sanitizer after the payment transaction and do not touch the area of ​​your face afterwards.

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For years I have been the “CFO” of my household. Over twenty plus years of marriage, I have paid the bills, done all of the investing, monitored the family budget and net worth, negotiated mortgages, and even have power of attorney for my husband, so that I can execute trades on behalf of him. We both have charities that are near and dear to our hearts, but we normally write a check for all of our donations from our joint account. Often, the thank you card we receive from the charity is addressed only to my husband. Ouch!

Over the past year I have had two charities which responded to our charitable donations with thank you cards made out only to my husband. Meanwhile, my name is listed first on the top of the check and I have a different surname than his. In addition, we continued to get mail from one of the organizations and, you guessed it; my name wasn’t included on that mailing either! Meanwhile, my husband does not even have his own checking account nor was he the one who originally decided to give to the charity. I had been the one who starting contributing and asking for information.

When I complained to the charity, it took them over 6 months for them to include me in their subsequent mailings. Still, even though I am the one who signed up for ongoing electronic communication, they only address my husband in the salutation of the correspondence sent to my email address.

As a female CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional, I respect that not all women want to take charge of their finances to the extent I do, but I believe that it is extremely important for women to be aware of their financial situation. That is why I insist that each spouse (or partner) is involved in the financial planning process and that they both provide feedback on my questionnaires as well as participate in ongoing discussions. If anything, women have a greater need to feel secure about their finances as the majority of females become solely responsible for their finances due to death, divorce, or choosing to stay single. The financial services industry often is derided for their treatment of women, both toward employees as well as clients. I can totally understand how women can feel disenfranchised by these institutions and society at times. We need to think about the subtle and not so subtle messages we send out to them that may be turning them off.

We are no longer living in the 50s. More women than men are graduating from college and obtaining graduate degrees. We are choosing to work even after we have children, and we often make most of the buying decisions for our households. With the growth of internet communication, we need to ensure that our databases are capturing the correct client data and responding to both spouses. It is essential that women not only feel they are being acknowledged, but that their input is being solicited in a proactive way.

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When it comes to couponing, my mother has instilled in me plenty of ways to save money across a variety of platforms. We did not have a ton of money growing up. My siblings and I each played a couple of sports each, there were three of us. Grocery bills were expensive, because we were growing and ate everything in site. So couponing at the grocery store was a big deal for us.

Another way my mother has instilled couponing in me is through apps. There are so many apps on your phone now that allow you to get some cash back for the shopping you do everyday. These are so easy for me now because it is at my fingertips. The other way I have learned to save money from my family is through online websites, just at Retailmenot. This allows me to do online shopping as I normally do, but get some money back in the process.

Whenever I think of the grocery, I think of coupons. When I was younger, we just had a Meijer card and we got coupons every time we went to the store at the checkout. My mother saved these in a file that was separated by category. We always looked in these when buying things we needed/wanted in order to see if we had a coupon.

Couponing for Beginners

However, nowadays it is a lot easier to access because there is an app on my phone that allows me to clip coupons and apply those at checkout. This has been incredibly helpful when I go grocery shopping, especially now that I pay for my own groceries. I am incredibly conscious when I go shopping at the grocery store to my coupons that I clipped before I went. Even if I do not have a coupon, I tend to buy things on sale. This allows me to save money even if I did not have a coupon. Since I grew up couponing with my family, I have continued to do it now that I pay for groceries on my own. I have even helped my roommates find ways to coupon at their favorite grocery store as well. Couponing has helped me keep a budget when it comes to my groceries, because I am on a limited budget.

The app that I consistently use is called Ibotta. This app allows you to scan any receipt and receive a small amount of money back from it. The money you get back is a small amount (sometimes only $0.01), but it is so easy to use. Any receipt you get from anywhere can be scanned, and this includes gas receipts and retail ones. It is a small way to get back some money from the things you already spend on. If you think about the amount of receipts you get, it is a simple one step way to get a small amount back. To me, anything I can get back for myself is a win. One that I do not personally use is called Coupons.com. It is similar to Ibotta, but you get points instead of money back. These points allow you to pick out gift cards after a certain amount of points.

Websites such as couponvario.com allow you to get rebates on online shopping. This is helpful because a lot of people shop through Amazon, etc. The rebates you receive depend on what you buy and how much it costs. However, the way I see it is anything you can get back is helpful. Especially for a college student like myself.

Other Way to Save Money

The biggest way I have learned to save money is by moving into an apartment my sophomore year of college. When I was younger, my parents used to get on me about turning lights off, and keeping the AC/heat down. It used to bother me how much they got on me about it, but then I started paying for those things myself. I learned how to manage my money and cut down costs in my apartment by experiencing what it was like to live how I thought I needed/wanted to. It opened my eyes to how much everything costs in the “real world”. Since living on my own, I have learned how to turn off lights when not using them, keep the AC/heat at a reasonable level. It taught me that by saving money on things like that, I could do things I really wanted to do.

Don’t buy everything at face value

Money was not highly discussed in my household growing up. We couponed at the grocery store, but we still did fun things. I played sports, so did my siblings. We went on family vacations occasionally. Since getting older, I have taught myself how to manage my money based on what I want to do with it, bills, and how much I make. I feel like my mother gave me a good foundation of managing money by showing me that you do not have to buy everything at face value.

Couponing is an easy way to save money, and still get what you want. The biggest tip I have learned in college is allowing yourself some give and take. For example, if I were to go out to eat on a Tuesday, I could not buy myself a shirt until my next paycheck. If my bills were a little bit higher this month, then I stayed home instead of going out one night. This allows me to do the things I want, while still being responsible with my money.

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