Avoid money traps and take full advantage of the offers this Memorial Day

What are your plans for this Memorial Day long weekend? I’m sure most of you have already made your plans as the weather is quite favorable in most parts of the nation. Here are some information about the deals which you can take advantage of during this time. Check out whether these things are there in your Memorial Day weekend checklist. Here are also some small tips to save money on travel during this long weekend.

Avoiding to buy seasonal items during this time

It is known to everyone that Memorial Day marks the official start of summer season. Therefore, you may be tempted to purchase patio furniture and barbeque grills, if you want to buy a new one for your home or want to replace the older ones. But, very few of you know that these items are relatively more during this time. If you wait for about a month, then you may get these items at a cheaper price.

Filling up fuel tank of your car before the weekend

Usually, gas prices are higher during weekends, especially during long weekends. Therefore, fill up your car fuel tank before the weekend. Especially if you’re planning a long drive, then make sure you fill up your gas tank beforehand in order to save money on gas.

Considering the big-ticket item sale

The dealers usually lower the sticker price of big-ticket items significantly during the Memorial Day. For example, the car dealers usually lower the price to a great extent. However, the experts suggest that you should do your own research regarding what features you want in your new vehicle, so that you’re not carried away by the salesperson talks. You can also compare the prices online before you visit the stores physically. It will help you buy a vehicle of your choice at a relatively lower price.

Taking advantage of the apparel sales

The deals on apparels are lucrative during the Memorial Day weekend. More or less all stores start featuring these sale items much before the long weekend. You can check out some retailers such as, Nautica, Macy’s, Walmart, Amazon, etc. for special Memorial Day sales information. Along with the apparels, the home goods stores also offer items with attractive price-tags. So, if you’ve done your spring cleaning and are ready with the list of items you need to purchase, then check out the stores, such as, Pottery Barn, Sears, KMart, T. J. Maxx, etc. You may find out your favorite items at much lower price. Likewise, try to visit the outlet stores at your city; they also offer lucrative discounts on items.

Making a trip to the grocery stores

Do you know that the grocery stores also offer items at lucrative price during this time? Yes, it is true. Not only the lifestyle stores, but also the grocery stores offer “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” deals on chosen items. However, I always say that you should check out the expiry dates before you buy such items in bulk to be sure that you’ll be able to consume them before the items perish.

Saving bucks on travelling

Most of you plan to travel during the Memorial Day weekend. I feel it’s always better to make the travel plans in advance to compare shop and choose dates when you’ll get air tickets and hotels at a relatively cheaper price. However, it may always not be possible to make travel plans in advance. In such a situation, you can follow certain tips to save money. Instead of choosing to fly to the destination airport, you can buy tickets to travel to an alternate airport, if that’s cheaper. From there, you can drive down to your destination, However, before doing so, compare the prices so that you can choose the option that’ll help you save more.

So, make your long weekend plans and spend time with your family!

Categories: Miscellaneous

Important for mothers – How can you keep your child’s identity safe?

On the occasion of Mother’s Day, I thought of dealing with an important topic for mothers – How to protect their children’s identity. Unknowingly we often give out certain information to people, which the fraudsters use for their own financial gain. Unquestionably, the best way to deal with this is to take necessary precautions in order to protect your child’s identity. Go through this article to know how you’ll come to know that your child’s identity has been misused and most importantly, how to protect your children’s identity.

How you’ll know that your child’s personal information has been stolen

These are signs that your child’s personal information is being misused.

  • You get a notice from IRS that your child’s SSN has been used on another tax return
  • IRS notifies you that your child hasn’t paid income taxes
  • You don’t get government benefits as its being paid to another account that uses your child’s SSN
  • Receive collection calls or products/services bills that you didn’t opt for or received
  • A credit report is already generated in your son/daughter’s name

How you can protect your child’s identity from being stolen

Here are a few precautionary measures you should take right from the time your child is born.

Keep important documents in a safe place under lock and key
Anything that can be used as identification should be kept under lock and key.
This includes your child’s:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Social Security Card
  • Other important documents

Whenever you need to carry these documents, make sure you double-check that you bring them back home. And, it is advisable to not carry your child’s Social Security card. Always keep it at home. Write down the number in a piece of paper with some extra digits. Only you should know about the combination of the digits for the actual number. No one should be able to guess that.

Always cross-shred personal identification documents before disposing

It is better to make copies of important documents, instead of carrying the original ones everywhere. When you need to dispose these personal documents, put your papers in a shredder. Then, dispose the papers; otherwise, someone can use the information from the disposed papers for their financial gain.

Do not post pictures of children online

Nowadays, most of the digital cameras have geocoding features which embed within images the locations where the pictures are taken. So, anyone can come to know the residential zone of your child. The fraudsters can use this information to steal your children’s identities.

Enquire if any business asks for your children’s SSN

Some of the businesses can ask for your children’s Social Security Numbers instead of their birth certificates. However, whenever anyone asks for the SSN, enquire why they need them. Also do not give out your child’s personal information unless it’s absolute necessity. You should also keep a note where you’re giving out the information. It’ll help you to track the fraudsters if needed.

Do not reveal your child’s SSN to him/her till they understand the importance

It is advisable to not reveal your child’s SSN to him/her until they’re matured enough to understand its importance. This will help them to keep the information safe and secure.

Educate your children regarding safe social networking

Teach your children regarding the risks associated with social networking. So, educate your children to create strong passwords. They should also avoid clicking on taking online quiz requests and avoid accepting friend requests from strangers.

Request your children’s free credit report annually

If you request a free credit reports from each of 3 credit bureaus of your children every year, you’ll get to know whether or not any credit accounts have been opened in their name.

Keep your computer virus software up to date all the time

Most of the times, the fraudsters hack computers to steal personal information. Therefore, always update your and your children’s computers’ anti-virus software and also keep the anti-malware programs updated. It is advisable to keep your personal information in a computer which is not attached to an internet connection.

Even after all these precautions, if your child’s identity gets stolen then immediately place a fraud alert on your child’s credit report. Along with this, also file a report with the FTC online. You might have to file a police report, too, if the fraud is related to taxes or medical services.

All these precautions and reports will help keep your child’s identity safe. You can be satisfied that you’re playing the perfect role of a mother by securing your child’s financial life. This in turn, will help your child build a good credit when they grow up.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Educate your children to practice good money management strategies

Last month – April, was Financial Literacy month. So, I’ve thought of sharing with you some basic financial management strategies which you should teach your kids at an young age. Kids learn and try to imitate what they see. So, while you are teaching the money management strategies, try to follow good money management techniques yourself. This way, your children will see and build the good money management habits, automatically.

Engage your kid’s interest in money and saving

The best way to engage your kid’s interest in money is to give an amount and asking him/her to save a portion of it at a piggy bank and spend the rest. It is advisable to not interfere in the decision of how he/she wants to spend the amount. This will make your child responsible to handle money. Also take your child to a bank and involve him/her to open a savings account. Explain the purpose of opening such an account and every time, the statement arrives, ask him/her to open the envelope and make him understand why and how the balance grows.

Make your child learn to organize documents properly

Whenever the financial statements arrive from the bank, make your child go through the statement and understand how the balance grows. After reading, he/she should keep the monthly statements in a binder or a folder. This will help your child learn to be organized and keep financial documents properly.

Reinforce your teaching from time to time

Whenever you get the opportunity to save your hard-earned dollars, make sure you involve your kids in such transactions. For example, suppose you’ve got a discount by using a coupon while buying online, explain to your children how they can also organize the coupons and use them to save money.

Encourage your kids to practice budgeting

When you allocate an amount to your kids, ask them to separate the dollars in 3 categories – saving, spending and giving to charity. This way, they’ll learn how to allocate their allowance and they’ll also learn to save more if they want to buy an item of their choice. Also involve your kids when you’re planning your family’s monthly budget.

Make your children earn money

Ask your children to do simple household chores and pay them when they successfully complete the work. Consider giving them additional bonus when they complete the task before the stipulated time period and do some additional work. Similarly, there should also be penalties for unwanted behavior. For example, if your child keeps the toys scattered in the room while going to sleep at night, then about twenty five to fifty cents should be deducted from his/her allowance. This will help them build good habits which will stay lifelong.

Introduce the concept of comparison shopping

Children can learn comparison shopping from the grocery store. Whenever you go for weekly grocery shopping, take your kids and ask them to pick up their favorite ice-cream, which offers more quantity in less price. They’ll learn the difference of buying store-brand ice-cream over gourmet ice-cream. However, when you make the final decision, explain to them why you’ve chosen a particular item. It should not be that they’re choosing only the less-priced item. They should learn how to make the wise decision of choosing value for money.

Every one of us learn from mistakes. So, it is quite possible that you’ve also made some financial mistakes. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t manage your money properly. So, you can explain the money mistakes, you’ve done, to your children, so that they don’t repeat them in their life. In fact, these mistakes can guide them to become better financially responsible people, when they grow up.

Categories: Finance