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Debt Management: How You Can Get a Leg Up On Student Loans

College is not cheap. It is not something that you can truly afford to pass over either. So when you are looking to obtaining a loan for your college education, you may want to read on.

There are a lot of horror stories of how people carry student loans with them well into several decades of adulthood. However, there are a few exceptions that manage to deal with their student debt within a few years. What’s great is the fact that they share how they did it. Today, we’re going to give some tips on how you can get a leg up on your student loans—based on our own personal experiences.

Study Your Loan Options

It all begins with the loan you get. One of the most common reasons why people struggle with student loan debt is the fact that did not fully understand what they signed up for. The interest rate varies from lender to lender so it would be good if you shop around for your lending establishment before signing up with one. Be very clear on when you are supposed to start paying back the majority of the loan: day after graduation or a set amount of time after you find employment.

Start Repaying the Interest Immediately

If you’ve already selected your lender and loan, then it would be time to look toward the next thing on the agenda. A lot of students tend to think of student debt as something far off. The whole mentality of “crossing that bridge when its there” is a prime reason why so many default on their loans.

Get started on doing away with the small interest per month while you’re a freshman and you would be surprised at how much you’ve already paid off by the time that you near graduation.

Stay In Touch With Your Lender

This is one of the best things that you can do to square away your debt comfortably. Build a good relationship with your lender so that they can see that they can trust that you are intending to pay back your loan. Those that do not keep in touch with their lenders tend to miss out on any updates to the terms of their loan.


There are several other things that you can do to help get a leg up on your student loans. We chose to emphasize the ones above as they were the more prudent tips that we could provide as based on our own experiences. Student loans can feel heavy but with proper planning, they are completely manageable.

What did you do to get a leg up on your student loan?

Budgeting 101: Four Things You Can Do To Handle Your Finances

It’s the year 2018 and you should say it with us: Budgets are sexy! The old belief was that budgets were boring and simply for housewives. Well today you’ll learn that budgets is for everyone and can really help you with your finances.

Keep Track of Your Spending

Before you can build your budget, you need to see what you’ve been doing so far. Where does a majority of your money go? What regular expenses pop up on a regular basis? In order to determine the answer to those questions, it would be good to track your spending.

You can have a little notebook to jot down the things that you spend on or you can even use a budget app. Keep your receipts. Use your phone to take a clear photo of the receipt before you toss it so that you can include it in your app or your notes for later on.

Put Things into Categories

When you track your expenses, you’ll be able to comprehensively categorize which expenses are necessary and which are unnecessary. It goes without saying that priorities should be the primary destination of your funds.

You can put things into “annual”, “monthly”, “weekly”, and “daily” expenses. This way you can realistically ascertain what you end up spending as a whole. That way, you can compare it to what you earn and see what needs to be adjusted.

Prioritize Your Savings

It does not matter if you start with $5 or $100, what is important is that you jumpstart your savings. Eventually, putting money toward your savings will be automatic. Remember that you are working to not just be able to provide for yourself in the next few years. You are working to be able to be self-sufficient by the time you retire.

Stick to an Established Budget

Again, budgets are sexy. Use the tips above to lead into a budget that is pretty structured but not constricting. The last thing you would want is to feel like your money is all allotted toward something else.


Everyone needs a budget. You can’t build a house without foundations to hold everything else—and that is exactly what a budget is: your foundation. It is the gateway to obtaining things that you want, the things that you need, and the things that are just too good to pass up. A good budget helps to protect you from any sudden expenditure that comes your ways.

What budgeting tips do you make use of in your current financial state?

Cheap Days Out For The Kids

While your kids might get excited for the holidays, it can be stressful keeping them occupied, especially when you’re on a budget.

Following this guide from our friends at it should make it easier for you to entertain your children while still staying on track with your finances.

Always Plan Ahead!

This might seem like an obvious tip, but a planned day will often be cheaper (and more relaxed) than taking a more haphazard or risky approach to your schedule.

While actually planning out your day is an important part of this, there are several ways you might save money just by thinking ahead. For example, local theme parks may be significantly cheaper when tickets are booked online ahead of the trip, and if you collect coupons like the Grown-Ups Go Free vouchers from Kellogg’s cereals you could cut down even further. Using supermarket reward points could also get you a much cheaper deal than you would otherwise have access to, so you should look into attractions your weekly supermarket has partnered with.

Remembering to keep your children fed might seem obvious but planning those meals ahead of time can really cut down the price of an excursion. Taking a packed lunch and having some snacks from home on-hand can avert both a tantrum and a costly trip to the museum or theme park café.

Go Outdoors!

If the weather is nice enough a cheap way of entertaining the kids can be to take them to a local park. While this might sound like something which could get boring quickly, there are a lot of free activities available on the Woodland Trust website. These range from colouring activities, which you could use even if the weather ruins your day, to guides for finding different types of birds and insects.

Going for trips outside of towns and cities can also limit your spending, as the absence of shops means you won’t have to reject your kids’ pleas for a souvenir. Combine this with a packed lunch and a mountain to climb, and you have a full day planned fairly cheaply.

Free Museums!

A lot of large museums offer free entry, so if you live in a major city they can be a cheap way to fill a day. Checking the museum’s website beforehand can also clue you into whether the museum has any children’s activities going on during the day you visit.

While you might not want to go to a museum every day of your holidays, you can fill up at least some of your half-term with something educational and fun. This is especially true in larger cities with more than one museum, as the museums often have different themes, meaning your kids won’t get bored!

In-Store Activities!

Some chain stores offer free activities during school holidays, for example, the Lego Store and Pets at Home both provide workshops for kids. This is a great plan for holidays when the weather is unlikely to be in your favour.

Again, planning is key to making sure you pick the right days for each of your activities, as some, like the Lego Store, operate their workshops on a strict cycle each month. While this can limit the amount of activities you can attend, especially if some activities are happening on the same day, it’s better than turning up for an activity that isn’t on.

Get Historical!

If the weather’s good enough for you to be outside, a fun activity for slightly older kids can be finding the history in the local landscape. Whether this is a local castle or some standing stones, or even the mysteries of ‘cup and ring’ marks, giving a trip into the countryside an objective can keep kids focused.

Lots of these historical attractions will be free to the public, but if you’re planning on visiting a popular site, Historic Scotland, English Heritage or the National Trust might charge you a fee. A way to cut down on the cost of these visits, especially if you plan on visiting repeatedly, is to get a membership to one of these organisations. For example, a monthly membership fee to Historic Scotland for one adult (and up to 6 children under 16) is cheaper than the entrance fee for one adult to Caerlaverock Castle.

Loyalty to these organisations is also rewarding, as if you renew an English Heritage or Historic Scotland membership after the first year, you get free entry to the other organisation’s sites!

Take Your Own Activities!

While lots of places will have activities put on for the kids, they might create extra cost, or simply not be what your child is interested in. It’s always a good idea to have something on hand just in case that workshop costs too much or your toddler doesn’t feel like painting today.

This should be something simple, like a sticker or colouring book, that they can do without disturbing other people at the attraction.

Go as a Group!

Just having an extra pair of hands available is generally helpful when it comes to taking kids out and about, but there are lots of other benefits to asking if someone would like to bring their kids along. For one, a lot of sites and attractions will become cheaper per child if there are more of you, due to group deals.

Going as a group can also mean that your kids are more occupied, especially if they are friends with the other children. While this reduces the likelihood of them focusing on possibly expensive activities or souvenirs, it’s also important for your kids to socialise outside of school or playgroup, which can otherwise be difficult to arrange on a budget.

Ways to Avoid Bad Credit

Every day, people work to survive the struggles. They get themselves jobs so that they can provide for the daily needs of their family. Some people even have second jobs to make ends meet. However, others would say that all their efforts are just not enough. Even with the best of their efforts, they still do not have enough money. And so, others would resort to having debts which often result in the need for an IVA.

Debts are fine as long as you can still manage in paying them and also that you do not need to borrow money just to pay another debt. When you do not know how to manage your finances such as having too many debts, or not paying your monthly dues, and even trying to forget about your credit card, you are getting yourself into trouble by being labeled as someone who has “bad credit.”

When you have bad credit, you cannot easily get a loan especially when you need to. Moreover, some people even cannot apply for a mobile phone plan, or worst you cannot get hired. Due to technology and the internet, everything can be checked even your credit. So, it is important to avoid having bad credit and here are the effective ways on how to avoid it.

First, it is very important to have your own savings account. A lot of people would say that their savings account is usually their hero when it comes to difficult times in finances. Others would also call it as their emergency fund. By having a savings account, you do not have to borrow money, especially from the bank or loan sharks because the interest is extremely high. You can save at least 5 to 10% of your monthly income.

Second, you need to pay your monthly dues on time. You may not see it coming, but when you do not pay your monthly dues, you tend to have more obligations a month or two after. Though the phone bill is a small thing, it can contribute for you to have bad credit.

Third, be cautious in using your credit card. There are so many who would resort using their credit cards because they want to earn points or even miles for travel. However, people usually have problems with their credit cards when they overuse them, but they do not know how to pay the bills monthly. If you just pay the minimum amount, it will not help because the interest will only go bigger and bigger as the months come. So, think before you swipe.

Lastly, do not attempt to have loans or debts if you cannot afford to pay them or else, you will fail and will end up in your problems. Be responsible enough for thinking about how to get out of your monthly dues and do not start up new ones. If there is no choice for you but to have a loan, it is best if you go for something that has a lesser percentage or best if you borrow from family or friends. They will most likely not charge you up for interest.

Overall, financial management and discipline are the keys to avoid bad credit. If you have both, surely you know how your cash flows properly, and you will have fewer problems when it comes to your finances. If you know how to discipline yourself, you have better things to do, and you do not get problematic about debts or even looking money on how to pay them off. If you succumb to debts, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Before You Move Out: What Sort of Fund Allocations Should You Have?

For anyone who has been planning to move out of their present living situation, money is an utmost factor in your capability to do so. Today, we take a look at some of the fund allocations you must have. Moving out is often the goal for many. It could be a young adult looking for their first taste of freedom or even a young professional aiming to stop living with roommates.

It is something that we will face at one point or another. If you are at such a cusp in your life, it is important to be aware of how much it will cost you. Moving out can be quite expensive. However, with proper planning and budgeting, it is wholly feasible. We’ve rounded up some of the must have fund allocations that anyone planning to move out should have.

Rent Advance and Security Deposit

Anyone who is planning to rent should already have a general idea how much they can allot towards their rent. Rent should not take half of your monthly earnings because you still have to make room for utilities, food, and so many other things. So when you determine what would be a realistic sum for your rent—it helps when you scout around the area you want to move to—and start setting aside 2 months worth of rent advance and ready yourself for the security deposit.

Emergency/Sinking Fund

Your emergency fund should be worth 6 months of your salary. This should be built before you move out. It is going to be your safety net in case of any emergencies, like job loss or unexpected purchases.

Furniture Fund

Not every apartment out there comes with furnishings. When you move out, you’ll come face to face with the reality that your little kingdom does not come equipped with every comfort that you might have grown up with like a fridge, a stove, a bed, or a microwave. You should canvass early on how much these can cost you and save up for it.


Moving out is a pretty big decision. It requires drive, discipline, and a clear goal in terms of finances. After all, it would make very little sense to move out and end up having to move back in within a few months because of “unforeseen” expenses. So yes, there needs to be quite the saving up before you are able to comfortably and realistically move out.

In our experience in our own moving out stories, it is a wholly riveting and fulfilling moment in anyone’s life. So it is important to make sure that you do it right. What fund in particular do you think is completely critical to the moving out budget?

New Age Puzzle: Cryptocurrency and What It Means

In the past year or so it was not hard to come across an article or a segment on TV that was not about cryptocurrency. Just what is cryptocurrency and what does it mean?

One of the interesting things about our technology is that it in an ever present state of evolution. It changed the way we did so many things from shopping to talking to other people. It was only a matter of time that it even tried to change the very thing that we used to exchange for goods and services.

What is Cryptocurrency?

This is a digital form of currency. While a lot of us thought that this was a byproduct of the last couple of years, it has actually been around since 2008. It was Satoshi Nakamoto that came up with Bitcoin. In case you haven’t been seeing the news lately, Bitcoin has been experiencing significant highs and lows in the market.

What makes cryptocurrency so different from other forms of currency is the fact that it is wholly decentralized. This means that it has no central authority like a bank. It is a peer to peer electronic cash system. So users of cryptocurrency can purchase something from a complete stranger and no one would have to know about it beyond the seller and the buyer.


Irreversible Transactions

Once a transaction is confirmed by both parties, there are no reversals in the future. Unlike other forms of payments, purchases, and remittances where you can ask for a refund and if you have a solid case, even the police can help you out—cryptocurrency has no such thing. Once you send the ‘money’ to another party, that’s it. So if you end up with a botched product or substandard exchange, there is no one who can help you get back what you paid for it.

Globally Viable

As transactions are done peer to peer style, much like downloading a movie or sending a file, it can be done anywhere in the world. The only issue is the fact that there are countries like China that do not recognize Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency as ‘real’ money that can be used in actual businesses.

Anonymous Dealings

One of the reasons why cryptocurrency is so popular is the veil of anonymity it provides for everyone involved. They could be ordering and exchanging illegal items but there would be nothing that would be able to link the cryptocurrency to real world people. There will be a record of what has been purchased and for how much. What will not be reflected in the record would be the real names and true address of those involved.


Cryptocurrency is here to stay and from the looks of things, Bitcoin is going to continue being worth a lot of money. If you are thinking of investing into Bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency, it would be important to weigh pros and cons.

Would you invest real world money in cryptocurrency?

Taking Control: What You need to Know about Financial Literacy

When it comes to the discourse of money, not everyone is all that comfortable with talking about it. However, we all learn—sooner or later—that this is a discussion that must be met head on. A whole lot of people in the world struggle with their finances. There are several reasons behind this but the primary reason is that they lack a sense of financial literacy.

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial Literacy is the ability to comprehend and understand how to handle money and how to make it work. The concept itself is all about understanding “what to do with money” and to make sure it does not end up controlling your actions.

When it comes to financial literacy, there are certain things that you need to know. Such as:

We do not start with it

Financial literacy is not something we are born with. Much like how we need to be taught how to speak and how to read, financial literacy is something that must be actively taught and learned.

It can determine your quality of life

Money is always a big part of life. Depending on how you utilize your financial literacy, it can lead to a rather comfortable living.

It’s not about how much money you make

We have all seen multimillionaires end up having to file bankruptcy because of mismanagement of finances. So it is not about how much money you earn. It is how you utilize the money that you have.

It is not something you can afford to miss out on

From the moment we are born we are already entangled with money. National debt, what our parents needed to spend for hospital fees, eventual costs for clothing, nutrition, shelter, and education. As we grow up, we start to play an active role in obtaining and utilizing money. Since it is something that will be a huge part of our lives, it is important to understand how to use it properly.


Financial literacy is not something that you just pick up out of the blue. It is something that you need to carefully cultivate through active learning. There are classes in money management that you can take to grow your financial literacy.

From your point of view, what do you and others need to know about financial literacy?

Before You Get Started: Three Biggest Hinders to Financial Success

Financial stability is often a concept that is thrown around and often considered to be something you should have by a certain age. So why is it that not everyone is able to achieve it? We’ve narrowed down the biggest hinders to financial success to three particular things:


There is nothing that can weigh you down like debt. What is particularly troubling about debt is the fact that for many of us, it was very necessary to take it on. The trouble begins when the one who undertakes the debt is not very aware of how to handle it.

There are many different ways how debt can cripple you if you are not careful.

Poor Spending Habits

Do you find yourself allotting your money for things that you want to buy rather than the things that you need to buy? A usual indication of poor spending habits is having incoming money already dedicated to a forthcoming expenditure.

When poor spending habits are kicked to the curb by proper budgeting and good habits, you would be surprised at how much you can have that you can actually make use for spending.

Financial Illiteracy

One of the biggest reasons why people find making the same blunders is due to financial illiteracy. When you do not know how to make money work for you, chances are you will find yourself being worked by money. This is something we call living paycheck to paycheck.

When you defeat financial illiteracy, you can find significant improvement in your spending and saving capacity.


Financial success is completely achievable—if you know how to do it. This is why it is important to be aware of the biggest hinders to your financial stability. Knowing what you need to defeat is a great start to claiming your financial success.

In your own fiscal journey, what stood as the biggest hinder to your success?