Ever spend a night lying awake in bed, eyes closed, trying to get you brain so stop racing, then you look over at the clock. 4:35am. An exhausted moan lets past you lips as you clamp you eyelids shut and turn away from that ugly, treacherous, unending hour of the morning. Hopefully turning away from it will make it not exist. Then your brain acts up even faster. You start thinking about how busy your day is tomorrow and this lack of sleep is going to make you a shambling skeleton. Just trying to think makes you head hurt, and trying to focus on the day makes the back of your eyes ache. Even starting with a freshly brewed cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts will not prepare you for the eight long hours you have ahead of you. Yeah. We’ve all been there. We love how committed you are and we want you to be as active and successful as you can be, but we don’t want you suffering an early heart attack. Stay productive, but keep your stress levels down. Here are the best techniques to do so:

Learn to Reschedule

It’s true that crossing out that cancelled meeting you were dreading off of your daily calendar can be quite relieving, it is far more beneficial towards you and all of the working professionals connected to the meeting that it is rescheduled. This meeting was important enough that your poor, tired hand pulled open your top desk drawer, reached into, picked up a pen, closed your desk drawer, released the ink tip from its indefinite hibernation, and then stretched out your overused dominant wrist to write it down on your calendar. All of this effort that you had put upon yourself has to have a payoff, right? Rescheduling instead of forgetting about if it’s cancelled gives you enough flexibility in your schedule to relieve stress, but more importantly shows that you will not let important things just drop out of your job.

Strategy is Key

Your strategy should be refined by your calendar. Yes, your calendar. Get the biggest calendar you want if you’d like. If you do not have a calendar, get one. The more tactical strategy you can execute is by starting to fill your calendar by writing in your most important tasks first. After that you then fill in your secondary tasks which can fall wherever they best fit. Pretty easy, right? What this does is gives you priority of your work. By writing in each appointment or meeting, or report due without priority, you are giving every single task intent to overbear you.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

While overbooking your schedule, it may look nice to show how overcommitted you are to your job, but exhaustion will catch up to you sooner rather than later. Leave short periods to take a breath, gather yourself, and get your thoughts in order. Look over your speech, presentation, work, or topics of discussion one more time. When more prepared for situations, you are less likely to get overly stress from the lack of readiness, and less will be accomplished because of it.

Relax

As a philosopher once said, “Relax, don’t do it. When you want to, go to it.” Okay , that was actually Frankie Goes to Hollywood, but it is a message we can apply to here. How are you supposed to get all of your work done when the words on your report are getting hazy, the phone keeps ringing, and ringing, and ringing, and the room is spinning? You may need to step out of the building for a minute or ten just to alleviate the pressure you feel starting to bear down on you. Then when you come back, you can go back to your work clear headed.

For more information on how to have exceptional time management, you can read the full Entrepreneur article here.

Today we discuss one of the oldest questions in the past hundred years. It is a question that people have debated, fought, explained, denied, changed opinions on, stayed awake during the long hours of the night wracking their brains about, or even traveled long distances on a journey to try to obtain the definite answer. The question that has daunted philosophers, theorists, psychics, and scientists for so long is a simple one: “Banks or credit unions?” It’s the second oldest question behind, “What came first: The chicken or the egg?” To help guide us through the theoretical mayhem of this debate is a recent article from MoneyTalksNews.com. They listed their reasons why they believe credit unions are better than banks. Naturally, we agree with them, and we listed reasons why we agree with them. Here are some reasons that apply to us and also to you:

Our Convenience

As MoneyTalksNews.com correctly states, though credit unions may not be open every hour of every day, we still use every hour we are open to help you with whatever financial issue you may have. You can be rest assured that you have a friend in us. Most of our branches’ hours are Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Friday from 8am to 6:30pm, and Saturday from 9am to 12pm. Our Cross Point branch is open Monday to Friday from 7am to 3pm. You can check out our website for drive thru hours, as well. If you don’t want to drive to us, that’s fine too. You can seek help from us from the comfort of your own home. While our branches are open, you also have an option to contact our Member Care Center who is always more than happy to take your calls!

Our Structure

We may be workers here, but this is YOUR credit union. You own part of this. You have a voting right along with every other member at this credit union. We are a not for profit organization, so we are here for you, not what’s in your wallet or purse. All of the products and services we offer are for your benefit and convenience. Lastly, credit unions generally have excess funds returned with higher dividends. Don’t understand what the means? We have people here to walk you through that and whatever other benefits you are entitled to!

Our Fees

Lower expenses? No overdraft fees? Count us in! To become a Member here at Align, all you need is $25. That is a business weeks’ worth of coffee, and that makes you a Member for life. Banks can sometimes start throwing nonsensical fees every which way at you, but us credit unions like to treat our Members with respect. No worrying about your minimum balance. We won’t charge you a monthly maintenance fee. MoneyTalksNews.com praises credit unions lack of fees, and we are proud to stand behind that notion.

Our Motive

Do you know our tagline? Say it! No cheating!

Correct! We are very proud of you. Go buy yourself something nice. You deserve it. Our tagline is: “Connecting all your banking needs.” What do you take away from that? To us, it explains to our Members that we will use our expert guidance to give each and every Member the customized banking experience that fits your lifestyle. It’s our tagline, it’s our mission, and it’s our vision. MoneyTalksNews.com writes that it is credit unions that make sure their Members needs and interests come first where banks abide more by their own financial needs, and we couldn’t agree with them more.

For more reasons why MoneyTalksNews.com considers credit unions better than banks, you can read the full article here.

~Bobby

5 Things to Know About Mortgage Insurance

February 12th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Mortgages - (0 Comments)

In general, there are 2 types of mortgage insurance.  Mortgage insurance available through the government for FHA and VA loans and mortgage insurance for conventional loans which is purchased from a private carrier (this is called private mortgage insurance or PMI).  The type of mortgage insurance required will depend on the type of mortgage you get. Private mortgage insurance is required on loans where the borrower is putting down less than 20%.  This insurance protects the Lender in case the borrower is unable to pay the mortgage but also has borrower benefits! Keep in mind, an individual CAN purchase a home without a 20% down payment but they will required to purchase PMI. So what other questions do you have about mortgage insurance? Here are some of the answers you may be looking for.

1.    Who is required to have mortgage insurance?

On a conventional loan, if your down payment is less than 20% of the value of the home or purchase price (whichever is lower) a lender will require you to carry mortgage insurance.  Usually you pay these mortgage insurance premiums until your loan to value reaches 78%; at that time the PMI fall off.  On government loans (FHA, VA) mortgage insurance is normally required regardless of the LTV (loan to value).

2.    What does mortgage insurance cost?

Conventional mortgage insurance rates vary… usually the lower your down payment and/or the lower your credit score the higher the monthly premiums will be.  FHA loans have an up-front MIP (mortgage insurance premium) AND a monthly premium.  VA loans have an up-front fee but no monthly premiums.

You will pay your mortgage insurance premiums monthly as part of your monthly mortgage payment.  Lenders may also allow you to pay your PMI as a lump sum at closing, this is called single premium mortgage insurance.

3.    Why do I need mortgage insurance?

Your lender requires you to have mortgage insurance so that if you can no longer make payments on your mortgage, the lender will still get paid (through the insurance policy). Mortgage insurance is protecting the lender in case the borrower defaults.

4.    How can I avoid paying mortgage insurance premiums?

If you put down 20% or more when you are buying a home, you can avoid paying mortgage insurance on a conventional loan. Once you’ve built up enough equity in your home, you can request to cancel it. There are other programs available; contact me to discuss those with you!!

5.     When does mortgage insurance “fall off” the loan?

Once the borrower has built up 20% equity in the house, the mortgage insurance policy usually may be canceled.  The lender won’t automatically cancel PMI until you’ve reached 22 % equity base on the original appraised value or purchase price.

If you have any questions about private mortgage insurance or purchasing a home, feel free to reach out to me at 978-275-2755!

Stay Warm and Think Spring!

~Amy Spindler

Sr. Home Financing Consultant

To some, maybe even many, a dollar store is a miraculous safe haven for savings. A mecca where men and women, young and old all come together looking for the beguiling savings that these dollar stores bring to the world. The second you walk through that freshly cleaned glass door and smell the sweet scented aroma of the inexpensive gems, the excitement pulses throughout your veins as pick up your shopping basket ready to put your dollar bills to good use. In here, a dollar can get you food, water, equipment, shelter, anything you could possibly dream a dollar bill can give you. While there are cheap treasures surrounding you every which way you have the pleasure of looking in, there are some items you do not want to buy anything but brand names in. Here are some things not to buy in the dollar store:

Shampoo & Toilet Paper

One thing you cannot complain about at dollar stores is that you get what you pay for. When it comes to shampoo, the size and quality of the product just isn’t for only a dollar. We are talking about your soft, luscious, beautiful hair after all. We don’t want that hair to not get the treatment it deserves. Stick with couponing at your local drugstore if you want to keep the price down on shampoo. There isn’t much we can say about the problems cheap toilet paper brings that is appropriate for this blog. Please indulge yourself with expensive or at least more expensive toilet paper. The more quality toilet paper brands contain more fibers and therefore sturdier and more pleasurable.

Electric Devices

Electric devices tend to be dangerous. So dangerous in fact, that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned the public that faulty electronics, such as power strips, should be stayed away from when you are doing your shopping Please, Members. We don’t want you to electrocute yourselves. Better safe than sorry.

Toys

With dollar stores regularly recalling products from their possession, the last thing you would want for your or someone else’s child is to have a toy with a choking hazard. Cheaper made toys don’t go throw the same product safety measures as bigger toy companies have the ability to do. Parts could start breaking off between the dollar store exit to your car. Buy your child something nice. They deserve it.

Batteries

What’s the name of that battery keeps going and going and going and going? You know the answer to that. Most people in the United States know the answer to that. The reason why the company can state that without hesitation is because they are absolutely right. Brand name batteries have far more juice in them than the unreliable voltage of dollar store batteries. Unless you need batteries for only a short period of time, it’s for the best you buy more reliable batteries.

For more items to stay away from at dollar stores, you can check out the full Money Talks News article.

~Bobby

What Scams Hit Your Bank Account

January 29th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

You get it. Credit cards are a serious matter. You already know this. This information has been getting drilled again and again in your head by the likes of us for quite some time. So why do we keep doing it? Because the situation is far worse than most Members can imagine (and most of them imagine that it’s pretty bad.) Data breaches are numerous. NUMEROUS. Millions of people a year get affected by their finances getting wiped clean. These millions of people unknowingly got taken to the cleaners, bought out the cleaners, and are now paying for everybody’s laundry on the house. We don’t want you in that situation. To make you a little more careful so you never get into that horrible predicament, let’s go over some of the most common scams that hit you right in the bank account:

Winning an Award

As unfortunate as this may sound, if there is a situation that you think is just too good to be true, it’s typically because it is. When a hard working American citizen, close to retirement, world weary, and desiring that little miracle to come sweeping them off of their tired feet, gets notified that they have an abundance of cash coming their way without having to lift a finger, it is easy to get caught up in a scam claiming to be a foreign lottery. The relief of believing all of their financial woes have disappeared is far more thought consuming than the question you should ask yourself of if you even entered a lottery in the first place. Money isn’t free. Remember that no matter how good a jackpot is claiming to be. That way you will never be giving a scammer a checking account to drop all this fictitious money in.

Overpayments

Here is one of the most popular scams on the internet, and is a very prominent problem for online sellers and advertisers. How it works is like this: If the buyer of your object of selling is a scammer, what they will do is to send you a non-cash payment that overpays the cost of the item. The buyer will want you to immediately deposit the full balance and then wire them the difference.  DO NOT DO THIS! The fraud check will bounce, you will be charged for the wire transfer fee, and you will be responsible for the fraudulent check even though you are an innocent party. If you are put in this situation, call the bank where the check is from. Even a simple Google search can save you thousands of dollars.

Charity Donations

Luckily this scam will die more down with the dying out of landline phones. Until then, the idea of donating to worthy causes rose tints the precautions one usually takes when talking on the phone with a stranger. Telemarketers rarely get fifteen words in before they are rudely interrupted by that troublesome dial tone. Yet, when asked to make a donation to the fire department, a children’s organization, or even efforts for the homeless, that intuitive knowledge of not talking to strangers you learned from your guardian in childhood wanes a bit. These people represent charities darn it! They would never represent a false charity. Actually, they would. And they do. If you want to donate to charity stick with charities you know and trust and you should be fine.

For more scams that target your bank account, you can read the full US News & World Report here.

~Bobby

The more the years pass by, the worse the financial literacy of the youth gets. Time Magazine has reported, “…states that require a personal finance class fell to 14 from 15…States that require student testing in personal finance fell to five last year, from nine in 2009.” If the education system doesn’t give your child the proper financial education they deserve, then it is up to you to make your children financially stable adults. Here’s how to do it:

Kindergarten

This is the time to create the foundation of which your children will be set up for the further building of their financial education that will last the rest of their lives. It is important to get them to learn the key basics at this age. This is where they need to learn what money is, what to do to earn money, and spending money on things you need and not always on things you want. Kids are impressionable in their young age. If they can start to learn to be more financially stable then, it is more likely to carry over into the future. To start off, there is no easier or more proficient answer than getting them their very own piggy bank. This iconic symbol of smart financial planning continues to be relevant today thanks to its success. This gets them into the saving habit that will be useful in the future.

Sixth Grade

It is about that time when your child should understand the full concept of saving their money. It is also very important for them to understand the difference between debit cards and credit cards. They need to learn that a debit card is their own money, and a credit card is money that they are just borrowing. Though it may seem a little rushed to start a youth account at a credit union, it is a perfect start for them to understand the importance of where to keep your money. Creating an allowance for your child that they then put in their bank account shows them that money is given to them if they earn it and saving it will help them have more money. If you are confident in your child, you could even try explaining interest to them. The earlier they understand interest, the better their financial education will be in the future.

Ninth Grade

Here is the most difficult parenting time of your entire life. No one can predict the moody swings of a teenager. You’re never right. What do you know anyway, mom? The slam of a locked door could start happening more often than an actual conversation with them. Now, let’s not get completely ahead of ourselves. This isn’t always the case.  When reasoning with your teenager, this is the perfect time to teach them to start structuring their finances to achieve their life’s dreams. Money is important for goals. Also, they are old enough to understand the risks that come with online hacking and breaches. They must always have complete faith where they keep their money.

Twelfth Grade

Your baby is heading to college…. Hold back the tears for a little while if you can. While driving them to their future dorm rooms you may want to lay down some information like student loans, paying bills, mortgages, keeping a job, fees, and car payments. They are more on their own now so it’s the time to become more financially independent. Even things like the temptations to order a tray of wings on a Wednesday to their suite rather than walking to the subpar cafeteria is important for them to realize.

These are the tips that will help your child become one of the more financially savvy members of society, and you would have done a fine job parenting your child.

For more information on when to teach your kids what about finances, you can read the full US News & World Report article here.

~Bobby


 

New Year. New resolutions. New plans. New lifestyle. These are the promises we give to ourselves when we start to unwrap the plastic of our brand new calendars to hang up on the wall. As the New Year’s ball starts falling towards the ground, the optimism of easily dropping all of our negative habits for the upcoming year is rising towards the clouds. Like a firework igniting in the crisp night sky when the clock strikes midnight, the burning sensation of change is lit and temporarily sparking through the sky. Only the firework doesn’t shine for the entire year. After a few seconds it vanishes into the overwhelming darkness, yet it always comes back again the same time next year. By the time August comes around that New Year’s resolution has officially left the comfort of your mind. Whether it is to exercise more, visit the relatives a few more days of the year, or to save more money, the resolution starts to dwindle down each week upon week upon week. Only this year is going to be different. Working together, these changes are going to stay. Let’s start this year with the resolution to save more money. With the right techniques we can continue a strong saving system that will last the entire year. In a little over 300 days from now, you are going to have enough extra money to buy TWO bottles of champagne, along with some party hats, and maybe a streamer or two. Here are the ways to start successfully saving for the New Year:

Proper Meal Planning

There isn’t a better technique of saving money on groceries than having a full force meal planned out throughout the entire week. When you have your meal planned out for the week, then you know what ingredients you have and which ones you need to pick out. This lessens the probability of impulsively buying a third loaf of bread that is unnecessary for you at this time. There is also less of a chance to have a night when you come home from work and become disheartened by an empty fridge. Those nights end with you pulling out the wallet to get a couple of pizzas at Papa Gino’s. Knowing what you are specifically looking for decreases all of these extra costs.

Downloading the Right Apps

Stores are so wonderful nowadays that they are creating apps to save you money. Well, not always. Still, apps like the Target Cartwheel App along with the Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way App have discounts all the time that you can easily find a solid deal. Sometime when you are free, go through the free apps on your phone. See what products they can find you deals on, and read some reviews from users to see if it is an app worth downloading.

Start Shopping During the Off Seasons

Don’t do your holiday shopping in December. Honestly. Don’t do it. It’s for the benefit of your health and your finances. Do your holiday shopping at the end of January. This is when all of the winter lines go on sale, and you can find some of the best deals around. When the holidays have ended and everybody’s gift cards have been spent, it is the perfect time for you to strike.

Purchase Reusable Products

We didn’t really want to buy these things at first, either. They’re overly expensive, and why not just only purchase them when you really need them, right? While it might seem that reusable products are a little unnecessary and out of your price range, in the long run it is a lot more beneficial for your savings than constantly rebuying products. For one steeper price, you are guaranteeing yourself quite a saved bundle of cash.

For more information on techniques to save you money for the New Year, you can read the full US News & World Report article.

Ahh the great debates of the world: Which came first, the chick or the egg? Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? Which is better for you, a fixed-rate or adjustable rate mortgage? Well, I hope to be able to answer one of those questions for you. To start, the low initial cost of adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, can be very tempting to home buyers, yet they carry a degree of uncertainty. On the other hand, fixed-rate mortgages offer rate and payment security, but they can be more expensive.

Here are some more pros and cons of ARMs and Fixed rates.

Adjustable-rate mortgages

Advantages

  • Feature lower rates and payments early on in the loan term.
  • Allow borrowers to take advantage of falling rates without refinancing. Instead of having to pay a whole new set of closing costs and fees, ARM borrowers just sit back and watch the rates — and their monthly payments — fall.
  • Help borrowers save and invest more money. Someone who has a payment that’s $100 less with an ARM can save that money and earn more off it in a higher-yielding investment.
  • Offer a cheap way for borrowers who don’t plan on living in one place for very long to buy a house.

Disadvantages

  • Rates and payments can rise significantly over the life of the loan
  • The first adjustment can be a doozy if rates in the overall economy skyrocket.
  • ARMs can be difficult to understand. A good lender will explain what determines the interest rate ie. margins, caps, adjustment indexes and other things. A shady mortgage company will glaze over them.

Fixed-rate mortgages

Advantages

  • Rates and payments remain constant. There won’t be any surprises even if inflation surges out of control and mortgage rates head to 20 percent.
  • Stability makes budgeting easier. People can manage their money with more certainty because their housing obligation doesn’t change.
  • Simple to understand

Disadvantages

  • To take advantage of falling rates, fixed-rate mortgage holders have to refinance. That means a few thousand dollars in closing costs, another trip to a closing and digging up income documentation, bank statements, etc.
  • Can be too expensive for some borrowers, especially in high-rate environments, because there is no early-on payment and rate break.
  • Are virtually identical from lender to lender. While lenders keep many ARMs on their books, most financial institutions sell their fixed-rate mortgages on the secondary market. As a result, ARMs can be customized for individual borrowers, while most fixed-rate mortgages can’t.

All of these things should factor into your decision between a fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable. But there are other important questions to answer when deciding which loan is better for you:

1. How long do you plan on staying in the home?
If you’re going to be living in the house only a few years, it would make sense to take the lower-rate ARM, especially if you can get a low rate on a 3/1 or 5/1. Your payment and rate will be low, and you can build up savings for a bigger home down the road. Plus, you’ll never be exposed to huge rate adjustments because you’ll be moving before the adjustable rate period begins.

2. How frequently does the ARM adjust, and when is the adjustment made?
After the initial, fixed period, most ARMs adjust every year on the anniversary of the mortgage. The new rate is actually set about 45 days before the anniversary, based on the specified index.

3. What’s the interest rate environment like?
When rates are relatively high, ARMs make sense because their lower initial rates allow borrowers to still reap the benefits of homeownership. When rates are falling, borrowers have a decent chance of getting lower payments even if they don’t refinance. When rates are relatively low, however, fixed-rate mortgages make more sense.

Compare the rates

To find out what the mortgage principal and interest would be on a particular loan you may be considering, visit my website to find the best rate and loan program for you! If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me at 978-275-2755.

~Amy Spindler, Senior Home Financing Consultant

*Equal Housing Lender*

Cheap Meals, Rich Taste

December 18th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Do you eat food? You don’t? Let’s just assume you do for the moment. Let’s also assume that you typically eat at home, and make your own meals for lunches or dinners for when you go to work. Right there, you have spent $4,000 this year alone on these home cooked meals. Wow. Imagine if you eat out a lot. It’s not hard to think of such a thing though, when food takes up 13% of our annual spending each and every year. Feeling a little less hungry now, aren’t you? I am too. That’s why what we’re going to do today is find meals that are kind to your wallet, but are also not too bad for your body, either. That means, as you can probably guess by now, that the Value Menu at McDonald’s is not going to be making an appearance on today’s list. Maybe next year. Here are four healthier options that you could look into:

The $5 Meal

Have you experienced the magical wonderment of foodnetwork.com yet? I highly recommend doing so. When you go to the said website, you will find a treasure trove of delectable meals for a low cost. Even the low price will have you drooling at the mouth. Sometimes even more so than the meals themselves, which are all still worthwhile. One meal that you will come across on your journey of recipe reading on the site is tortilla soup. A family meal that is filling, inexpensive, and delightful to the taste buds. You can even go ahead and add some chicken broth, carrots or chips. It still won’t push you over the $5 budget.

Spaghetti

Get a little pasta here. Get a little red sauce there. You can even go CRAZY and get some spices or some vegetables. It is a meal that is serviceable to the whole family, especially if you have children who aren’t fans of spicy foods. If you would like a little more protein in the meal then don’t be scared to add some beans to this simplistic masterpiece in the art of edible craft.

Green Juice

Sure. It kind of looks like a pile of green gunk, but it is a delicious pile of green gunk. Cucumbers, apples, ginger, and whatever other fruits or vegetables you want can be mixed into this healthy and hearty beverage. Buying this already concocted entity at the store can cost north of $5, but buying the ingredients in bulk at your local grocery store will help knock the price even lower.

Rice Dishes

Rice is a delicious and very compatible dish to have on those nights when you want to have a little, filling extra side. You even have the option of making it the main course. Add some tofu and peas into the mix and you have a cheap, filling meal that won’t cause much cleanup afterwards.

For more meals that will keep you food costs low, you can read the full US News & World Report article.

~Bobby

How to Cut Winter Expenses

December 11th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Now that your turkey dinner has properly been digested, it’s about that time to start thinking about your winter action plan. Yes, it’s important to have an action plan this winter. The winter can be as cold as it is financially dangerous. Heat needs to warm you up, Uncle Charley needs a new backscratcher for the holidays, and that new, top of the line snow blower is looking pretty darn nice and shiny up there. As you can see, these expenses are all going to add up to possibly one long, freezing winter. Yet, there is a shining star in the gray, hazy winter sky. With as many expenses as there are, there are as many ways to cut them. Here are examples how to do so:

Keep Warm

This is going to sound a little crazy, but hear us out. Though the air is getting a little chillier (well, a lot chillier you could say), it would be a smart move to turn the heat down. No, no, don’t stop reading yet! We haven’t lost our minds…well, not yet anyways. Financial expert Farnoosh Torabi has said that less heat will save you quite a bit of money since your energy costs will be reduced. Blankets can be just as warm, and the lowered temperature typically helps people sleep a little better. Just don’t let yourself freeze to death, though! What you should do is to take a gander around the house and see if there are any holes or cracks that are causing a few of your shivers.

Check In Your Points

We hope you’ve been good with saving your credit card points. These little rascals can be put to really good use when the costs of the stacks upon stacks of holiday presents come more into play. The points can help buy little things like your next pack of gum, or they can get you as much as a hundred saved dollars on your next plane ticket to grandmother’s house. You could also be selfless and use those points to buy some gift cards for the friends and family. These points can also really cut the costs of any computer products you are interested in buying.

Make the Coffee and Coco at Home

For everyone reading this that has to rise with the sun for work or school, first off, we’re very sorry; we hope you are enjoying this blog despite your tiredness. Secondly, it is likely that there are going to be plenty of days when you will need a nice awakening beverage to give you that morning kick you need. Buying your coffee and hot chocolate in bulk at your local supermarket is a much cheaper option than going every day to your local coffee shop or Dunkin Donuts. Those few dollars spent every day will add up week after week.

Get Goals for the Next Year Now

There’s only a measly  few weeks that are holding you back from the New Year. Is there an enormous financial step coming up in your life next year? Live changing financial steps like purchasing a vehicle, buying a house, that vacation getaway you’ve been looking forward to for a few years now, or going to see the new Star Wars movie need to be set as soon as possible. When these events have a clear cut date, it creates a solid, proper savings plan where a person can start saving for the event in small steps. This will cause you to look at your event more clearly, thusly making smarter money choices when saving up.

For more tips on how to wish away your less than jolly winter expenses, you can read the whole US News and World Report article.

~Bobby