Four Easy Ways To Eat Out On a Budget

Saving money while still enjoying eating out is a struggle that many families face. But with the proper knowledge, this can easily be done. Today, we are going to learn about four easy tips that you can use to eat out while on a budget.

Go Early

An easy way to save money while eating out is to go early. Many restaurants will have early bird specials between lunch and dinner. For instance, when checking out the Ruby Tuesday menu, a popular restaurant, you will find that the menu increases in price after 3 PM. While some may be hesitant to eat dinner so early, it can really save you lots of money. If your family doesn’t want to eat that early but still wants to have restaurant quality food, you can simply order it to go and warm it up later.

Buy Gift Cards

Another great way to save money on dining out is by purchasing gift cards. Many restaurant chains will offer up to 50% on gift cards. This means that your next meal will cost you only half of the regular price! But remember, most restaurants will only allow you to use one gift card per visit. Another way to save money with gift cards is to purchase them at a discount at one of the many gift card exchange websites. Here you will be able to find cards from your favorite restaurants all at handsome discounts. There are many other ways that gift cards can save you money, and you can learn about them here.

Drink Water When Dining Out

If your family wants to save money while eating out and be a little bit healthier, then order water with your meal. Most restaurants do not charge for water, and it’s better for you than drinking sugar-filled soda. This may be a little difficult with smaller children, but with practice, your whole family will get used to it. Drinks are very pricey in restaurants, and some even charge as much as $3.00 for a regular size soft drink. For more information on how you can save while eating out, check out the rest of these helpful tips.

Eat at Kid Friendly Buffets

If you have small children under the age of 3, many buffet style restaurants will let them eat free! Some kids are picky eaters, and buffets offer them plenty of dining options. These types of restaurants often fill up quickly during the weekends and summer months, so make sure to go early. Often there will be long lines and waiting times may vary. This can be difficult with small children so make sure to be prepared and bring along some activities for the little ones.

These four simple tips can really save you a lot of money. So, if you enjoy eating out with your family, why not combine some of these tips and save loads of money? You might be surprised at just how much you will save!

Money Saving Tips to Cut Family Expenses

When it comes to looking after a family, any parent will tell you that it doesn’t come cheap. Along with putting food on the table and making sure that your family home is warm and comfortable, you also have to think about things such as entertainment and leisure for the family, educational costs, transportation, and more. Luckily, there are many savvy tricks that you can use when it comes to cutting costs and saving money on your monthly expenses. Here are some top tips for families who’re looking to cut their monthly expenses and save more.

Tip #1. Saving on Groceries:

When it comes to family expenses, there’s no denying that monthly grocery shopping can take up a huge part of the budget. Shopping at discount grocery stores is ideal for many families, since it allows you to make your budget stretch more. Meal planning is also a good idea, since this makes it easier for you to know exactly which groceries you’ll need to purchase for the week or month, minimizing your risk of overspending on things that you don’t need. To save further money on groceries, you can also use vouchers, which you can find available from discount sites online, or by joining grocery store loyalty schemes when available to earn money off your future purchases. If the family has a dog, you should pay attention to buying a cheaper meal for your pet.

Tip #2. Transportation:

Today, more and more families have two vehicles. If this is the situation for your family, then you might want to consider cutting back to just one – not only is this better for the environment, the amount of money that you can save simply by choosing to run and insure only one car, rather than two, can be substantial. On the other hand, if you are simply unable to cut down to just one household vehicle, then it’s a good idea to consider a smaller, cheaper car for the second one, which costs less to insure and is more economical on gas. Electric cars are also a cheaper alternative when it comes to monthly running expenses, although they are more expensive when it comes to the initial cost.

Tip #3. Debt Consolidation:

Many parents find themselves in a situation where along with having monthly household expenses to commit to, they must also pay off historic debts, such as credit cards, hire purchase agreements, and more. Wherever possible, it’s ideal to seek to consolidate these debts, for example by taking out credit from which can be used to pay off smaller debts and get the monthly payment down.

Tip #4. Entertainment and Leisure:

When it comes to keeping yourself and your family entertained, there are many ways in which you can save money. For example, you can find local events with free admission, and choosing to visit attractions that offer child tickets for free can save you a substantial amount of money. At home, opting for DVDs over cable TV, or even signing up for a service such as Netflix instead can create great savings.

Do you have any family money saving tips of your own to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Getting On The Property Ladder For The First Time

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Getting the first step on the property ladder can be a daunting prospect, but there are many people in the same position, and you can get some excellent advice on the website. If you are looking to make the plunge and invest in your first home, then here are some of the things that you will need to look at to get ready to take that first step.


Know Your Budget

In most cases, you are going to need a decent deposit to pay for a house so that you are going to be eligible for a mortgage. It often takes people years to save up for their first deposit, and the more that you save for a deposit, the more chance you have of getting a mortgage. You should work out your budget to include not only the deposit that you will have to pay, but all of the other fees that will need to be paid, including moving costs, legal fees, insurance, and also stamp duty. When you have an idea of the budget you have available to you, you can then start to look at mortgage companies.


Shopping Around For A Mortgage

Buying a house is a significant investment, and it is one that should not be taken lightly. You will want to speak to as many different lenders as you can to shop around and find the best deal for your circumstances. If you apply for a pre-approved home loan, you then have the luxury of being able to start looking at houses within your budget that you will be able to secure a mortgage. Whatever mortgage it is that you are going to go for, just make sure that you shop around and speak to as many different companies as you can to secure the best deal. An independent advisor can be an enormous help to understand all of the fine print and legal terms that are found in these types of financial agreements and steer you towards the best one for your personal situation. There are companies that can provide you with a reliable service and help you with Central Coast home loans, making sure that your first experience of buying a home is simple and straight-forward.


Shopping For A Home

With your pre-approval for a home loan is in place, you can now start to view all of the different properties that interest you within your budget. Make sure that you set your expectations in line with your budget as otherwise, you could find yourself being disappointed. When you have found the perfect home to make your start, then comes the interesting part.


Making An Offer

Now that you have found your dream home, you can make an offer based on the seller’s asking price. It is always worth your time and effort to haggle over the price where possible, as you could end up saving yourself a few thousand dollars by doing so, which may just give you a budget for decorating when you move in! Make an offer and see what happens, once you have opened up a dialogue, you can then find some common ground and find a fair and suitable price for both parties. If your offer is accepted, you may just find yourself the owner of a home in no time at all, ready to take the next step on your journey through life.




Something For Everyone: 5 Money Saving Tips For You

If you are a human that knows what the words money and stress mean, then we really don’t need to tell you how stressful stressing about money can be. But there are simple ways to reduce your financial woes. You see, the value of money has very little to do with the number printed on it. Yeah, the true value of money is all about what you do with your money, and how clever you are with it.


Maybe your ambitions are millionairehood. However, it could equally be that you want to start counting the number of days left at the end of each paycheck. Whatever it is, tucking away some money here and there is going to help a lot, which is why we have come up with a list of ways to help you save money, and save money fast.


  1. Pick The Right Bank

Some banks make more sense than others because they give your money more value. A bank that gives you an interest rate of 8% is better for your money than a bank that has an interest rate of 3.5%. The same goes for fees. Simple. Ish.


  1. Exclusive Deal Sites

Yeah, these are things, and these things are designed to save you some dollar. It doesn’t matter how niche your purchasing needs are, sites like Groupon and Wowcher will allow you to save. Kitesurfing lessons, eyebrow threading, watches; it’s all on there. If something does seem too good to be true, though, well just check out some reviews online first.


  1. Buy In Bulk

There are certain things where this is terrible advice. If you are in the market for a watch, then just buy a watch; don’t bulk buy on that front. However, there are a lot of things where it makes sense. As a general rule, anything that you have to buy repeatedly should be bought in bulk. Bulk nappies, bulk wrapping paper, bulk dog food, bulk toilet roll, washing powder; anything that is essential and bought over and over again, because it is always cheaper per unit.


  1. Divide And Conquer

Right, when you go to work tomorrow, go straight to the HR department and ask them to start splitting your salary between your savings account and your checking account. Decided how much you can realistically afford to put to one side without crippling your day to day life, and have that go straight into your savings at the end of each month. At first, it may suck, but after a while, you won’t even notice until one day, boom, you look in your savings account and you see you have small fortune saved up.


  1. Save On Utility Bills

This one can be a little hard to get used to, but with the use of intuitively placed post-it notes you’ll be saving money left right and centre. Being frugal at home is just a matter of mind over, well, matter. Take shorter showers, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face or washing the dishes, and wear more layers in the winter, and invest in more blankets. If you have air con, leave it off and open the window instead. If this still isn’t working, well, turn it down a couple of degrees. It all counts and it all adds up.

The ABCs Of Finance


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Teaching your child to have a prudent and sensible relationship with money starts early. Children look to their parents for everything when they are particularly young, and while you may not always realise it, they are observing and internalising your behaviours and ideas. This is why it is crucial to model good behaviour for your children in all sorts of situations. For instance, if when they start school they struggle to share with the other children, you do not need to tell them what they’re doing wrong and what they should be doing instead. A more effective way of dealing with the situation is to let your child see you share things with other adults (or children). They will then learn it on their own, as it were. Children are incredibly perceptive and will spot things that you’d perhaps hope they’d miss.


While money is something of an abstract concept, it can sometimes be obvious when someone uses it irresponsibly. Getting into debt may be necessary in some situations but it should not be a habit. This is something that your child could see as being good behaviour, and they may emulate it later in life. This is why it is important to teach them the fundamentals of money management when they are still young.


One particularly important financial decision that every young person needs to consider now is whether they wish to attend university. In 2010, the government raised tuition fees to £9000 and late last year did so again without issuing a press release or acknowledging the raise in any way. This has led some young people to evaluate whether university is right for them. The experience of leaving home and studying for a degree is about more than just money though. The lessons that a young person learns are invaluable, such as independence, self-reliance, organisational skills, and time management. However, some people still see it is a simple financial consideration, or as an investment, to be more specific. The reason for this is that over the course of a graduate’s lifetime, they can expect to earn half a million pounds more than their non-graduate counterparts. This is obviously more than it costs to attend university, so the argument goes that it is a good idea. However, like most things, it is not as simple as that.


The risk of taking on debts as a young person (before you have a full-time job and the prospect of a career) is that you will be kneecapping yourself before you’ve had a chance to get into the game. To get a mortgage, you’ll need a good credit rating. If you are worried about how to get student debt solutions without damaging your credit, you’ve already acknowledged the potential risks of student loans. Your child may not be able to buy a home later in life because a bank will not lend to them when they’ve already got so much debt.


This problem is only compounded by the fact that millennials are already not buying houses (ownership amongst 18-34-year-olds is at a thirty year low). What the situation will be like in ten or twenty years remains to be seen. Making the best decision now is therefore crucial.


How to Dig Yourself Out of Financial Hardship

Unfortunately, financial hell happens to the best of us at one point or another. Usually, it’s when everything is ticking over nicely that the car grinds to an infinite halt or the boiler explodes, or both, forcing us to dig deeper than we thought possible. Panicking about how you’re going to pay for next month’s bills has got to be one of the most stressful situations a family can go through, but there are ways to get through it and to realign your finances.


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Be realistic about your budget


The first thing you need to do is cut back on your monthly spending habits. Do you have a gym membership which barely sees the soles of your sneakers? Can you stop any monthly subscriptions to music or movie websites? There are many ways to live a more frugal life; skip Friday night drinks and go for a walk instead, cook over ordering in takeout or simply camp in the garden with the kids at the weekend instead of spending money on an amusement park. Knowing your limits and sticking to them will let you begin to recover from any hardship.


Assess your debts


If your debts have become unmanageable, it is necessary to take a good, hard look at what needs to be done about them. You can either choose to consolidate them by doing a balance transfer to a no interest credit card or do some research into debt relief grants and loans. These loans and grants are designed to spread the cost of repaying money into much easier chunks if you are in a hole that is too deep to climb out of yourself.


Get a second job


If you’ve got yourself into enough trouble that just cutting back on spending isn’t going to cut it, you may need to get a second job at weekends or in the evenings to create a little extra cash. There are plenty of options out there, and if working in a restaurant or bar isn’t an option due to family commitments, you can try your hand at freelance writing or designing. All you need to do is a quick online search to see work out which websites and companies offer what you need – whether that’s regular remote work that can be done for the spare room, or temporary work just for a few months to get you back on your feet!


Make some lifestyle changes


There’s no time like finding yourself in financial trouble that is better to reassess some of your life choices. Maybe now is the time to dig up the garden and start a veggie patch? Or do some research into renting an allotment from your local government. By growing your own vegetables, you will save on a huge chunk of your weekly grocery shop, and will, eventually, only need to buy meat and dairy throughout most of the year. Making a lifestyle change which saves you money could also involve selling the car and only walking or using public transport, or cutting down on your household possessions. Not only are all of these good for your bank balance, but your health too. Swings and roundabouts!

How to Invest Your Money When You’re a Parent

When you’re a parent, it’s not exactly like you have much money left over. Children are expensive. There’s no other way to put it. Sure, you can try and do things on the cheap and be a bit more frugal with what you’re spending, but they’ll still end up being your biggest expense. It can feel like you’re not really cut out for it when you’re doing it, but we get through and look back and it was all over too quickly. It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation. However, if by chance you happen to have some money left over at the end of the month, you need to have a think about where you’re investing it, if you choose to invest it at all.

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Invest in Property


Property doesn’t have to be expensive nowadays. There are manufactured homes for sale which cost a fraction of the price of a new house, but are still just as desirable to live in on the inside – if not a bit better than our standard of living currently. You could pool together with a friend or family member and rent them out. The great thing about mobile homes is that they are available almost anywhere – especially in beachfront locations. If you’re not investing for rental purposes, at least do it for a holiday home!


Invest in Education


If you have already looked into higher education for your child, you’ll know that it’s no walk in the park when it comes to fees. Putting together a saving plan for if they decide to go on to college is one of the most sensible things that you can do with your money. Sensible isn’t always necessarily the most fun, but you’ll be patting yourself on the back a few years down the line in recognition of the great decision you made!


Invest in the Future


The future doesn’t have to be all about your children. You have a future, too – and it can be whatever you want it to be. If you have a holiday planned in the next few years, save your money and put it towards that. If you want to retire early, invest in a pension fund that will allow you to do so.


Invest in Today


If there are things going awry around your home or in your social life that require money to fix, nip it in the bud and spend as quickly and wisely as possible – before the problem starts to evolve into something bigger. For example, if your car desperately needs a service but you have been saving your money for something else, this is where you need to weigh up your options. It could be that your vehicle has an underlying problem which needs to be looked at straight away, and unfortunately the holiday that you had been planning in your head will need to wait. Some things take priority more than others – it’s just up to you to gauge where your money will need to be placed first.

Money Problems That Everyone Thinks Only Happen to Other People

Money problems can strike anyone of us. But that’s not a fact that many of us like to face up to. We see many of many of these problems as being things that happen to other people. And we only wake up to how ridiculous that idea is when we find that they’re happening to us. It’s much better to think carefully about how at risk you are of suffering major financial problems. That way, you can start to think about how you can avoid getting into trouble. Read on to find out lots more about this.


Income Loss


Most people think that their jobs are safe and there is nothing that can really threaten them. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was really the case? Unfortunately, it’s not. With each passing year, more and more people are going to see their jobs disappear as automation increases and takes over. In the long-term, no one is quite sure what this will mean. But in the short-term, it will almost certainly mean job losses. There are, of course, a million other reasons for losing your income, and it’s something that you should be prepared for. Save some money so that you have something to fall back on. And try to diversify your skills to make your more employable.


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Payday Loan Problems


Payday loans are often pretty controversial. However, they do serve a purpose, and many people manage to use them in the right kind of way. If you assume that you’re not the kind of person that would ever fall into this financial trap, think again. Many people underestimate how difficult it can be to repay a payday loan. Because they are short-term loans, you have to pay the money back quickly. And if you miss the deadline, your debt will rise sharply because of the massive interest rates attached to these loans. Always be aware of what you’re getting into and plan out how you’ll pay the money back.


Committing Tax Offenses


Tax offenses might still be pretty rare, but many of the people who commit them don’t do it knowingly. You can land yourself in hot water with your taxes even if you have no intention of doing anything wrong or depriving the tax authorities of the money you owe. If you find yourself facing charges, you’ll need representation from a professional tax lawyer. And even then the process can be difficult and stressful. It’s best to hire an accountant to deal with your taxes if you don’t know how to.


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Debt Spiral


Debt spirals might seem vague or ill-defined to you. But, to put it simply, they refer to the process of losing control of your debts. Debt is not always a bad thing. Many homeowners have huge levels of debt, but that’s fine because it’s under control and it allows them to own a home. But when you have lots of debts, and you borrow more to pay them off, this is probably a debt spiral. And once you’re in one, it can seem like there is no way out of it at all. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of your borrowing and not to get carried away with it.


The Steps You Need To Take To Help Grow Your At-Home Business

Many parents choose to start a business from home when their children become a certain age. Previous jobs or employers might have been quite inflexible. But creating your own business is an easy way to earn some money, but not be absent from the home. You get the best of both worlds, though it doesn’t mean it is any easier. When it is your own business, the success of it can really depend on what work you do, how long you do it for, and what avenues you choose to follow. It can all be very well setting up your home business. But if you don’t allow it to grow, then it can just be a waste of time. So to avoid that, here are some effective ways that you can help yourself to grow your from home business.






Having a focus is important. When know, quite specifically what you want to do, it can really help in the success of your business. How much money do you want to be earning? Is it just for pocket money or do you want to make this a big six figure business? Know what your time focus is too. Is the reason you set it all up so that you could stay at home with the kids and be there to pick them up from school? If so, it might help on your focus. You might not want to be doing too many things that will take you out of the home. So do take the time to refocus and evaluate what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what the end goals are.


One other great thing to focus on is your customer base. Every business has some kind of customer. Who is your target audience and why? How can you make your business specific to them? You do need to think about who you want to sell your products too. It will help you to reach the right people and know your customer focus.


Network and Marketing


Being able to network and market your business is the best way to get people to know about it. You might have a great business idea that really has very little flaws. But if people don’t know about what you do, or don’t know how to reach your services, then it will mean your great idea gets wasted. So if there are any local events or conferences that are specific to your niche, then try to go along to them. Being there and networking is a great way to learn from others doing a similar thing, as well as possibly collaborating. Having some business cards to give out is a good idea. They make you look more professional and leave people with your details should they want them. You could look at this article to read about the value of business cards if needed. Other ideas to market are posters and banners, and even car stickers. Then your business will reach more and more people.




Social Media


Not only is social media a great way to market your business, but it will help you to reach new potential customers, as well as using it as a customer service tool. Everyone is on one form of social media these days. So if you want to reach them, then you need to be on them too. The platform you choose might be dependent on the type of business that you run. If it is artwork, photography or baby products, for example, something that is very visual, then a platform like Instagram could work well. If your business is more business based or online based, then Twitter is a good platform to use, as people from all around the world will use that as a resource. This article highlights different uses of each platform if you’re not sure where to start with it all: So have a think about your customer base and how you could best reach them.


Recruit Help


If you feel like you are always rushed off your feet and need some space to breathe, then it can could be a good idea to hire some help. It might be in the form of a physical assistant that comes in. If your business is product based, then this could be useful. But for the online side of things, you could hire a virtual assistant, or a outsource a social media manager, for example. Sometimes you do need to spend a little to make more. If you can’t focus on growing your business, because of the day to day running of it, then it could be time to get a team around you.

Better Management for Your Home Business

Balancing between family time, the home business you’re trying to develop and other activities can be tricky, especially when the business is demanding your full attention. Fortunately, according to recent studies by the New Jersey Institute of Technology and its online masters in business administration department, there are management styles you can incorporate in order to have a more balanced life.

For a business to succeed in today’s competitive market, changes are definitely necessary. The best way to achieve change without having to constantly micro-manage everything is by building a strong foundation in the first place. This means creating a culture within the business that allows every member of the team to contribute more and be certain about their roles. This approach also allows the company to grow – and all team members to grow along with the business – without requiring you to make constant adjustments as a business owner or manager.

To learn more, be sure to read the full Top Management Models That Are Changing How Business Operates infographic by