Category: General

How to Save for your Childs College Fund

If you have one or more children and you want them to go to college then you may want to save up so that you can help them out. They could, of course, take advantage of a student loan or they could try for a scholarship, but there is no guarantee that they will get a scholarship and you may not like the idea of them having a loan or feel that you want to at least help them out as much as you can. This means that you will need to start putting money aside towards it.

  • Look at finances and decide how much to save – the first step is to look at your own finances and calculate how much you can save. Obviously, you could start off by calculating how much the college costs will be and dividing it by the number of months until they go and then save that much. However, if you have more than one child going at different times and there is the possibility you may have extra children then this is tricky to do. You will also find that different college have very different fees so it can be hard to calculate how much you will need. Therefore, it could be better to save as much as you can and then you will know that you will have accumulated as much as you possibly could.
  • Budget carefully – it will be really important to budget carefully You will need to make sure that you have enough money to cover all of your necessities and then other things that you would like to buy. You need to carefully consider this and then you will be able to stick to a tight budget and any money left over will be able to be put aside for the college fund. It can mean that you will need to go without a lot of things and you need to decide whether you think that it is worth it. 
  • Set up a regular payment – it is a good idea to set up a regular payment going from your checking account to a savings account so that money is automatically transferred each month. It is a good idea to make sure that you do this just after you are paid so that you have the money available to do so. Some people will wait until they have spent all the money they want to in the month and then transfer what is left into their savings. Although doing this is good, you may not have enough left to be able to hit your target, however, if you transfer it first you will have to budget for the rest of the month. The money will be in the savings account if you need to take it out and spend it in the case of an emergency, but it will be easier not to accidently spend it.
  • Keep motivated – it is really important to make sure that you keep motivated. It can feel like you are punishing yourself because you are not able to spend all of the money that you want to. It is therefore important to keep remembering why you are saving the money and why you have to go without in order to do so. If you want your children to have a great college education and not to have to borrow or to work their way through college, then this could be the only way that it will happen. Keep your goal in mind, even write it down and stick it somewhere prominent if you think that this will help.
  • Try to make money work for you – while you are saving money try to make sure that it works for you. This means that the money is earning you money. If you need to keep it in a secure place then compare savings accounts and pick one that gives the best return. If you are willing to take some risk then you could invest the money. Be careful though as with an investment there is a risk that you will end up with less money than you put in. It should really be done over a long period of time so that short term fluctuations do not have such an impact in the value of your investment. Think hard about how much risk you are willing to take, if any and whether you have the time to invest or if you should keep the money safe and save.

There is therefore a lot to think about. However, once you have done some calculations and decided where to put the money, you should be able to start putting money aside and adding up that fund so that you can help your children through their time at college.


Tips on Getting a Pay Rise

Every so often we may feel that it is time that we deserve a pay rise. This could be because you feel that you are working hard but often it is because we need extra money to cover our costs, repay a loan or save up for something. It is wise to try to reduce your spending in this sort of situation so that you can have the most available for the necessities that you need to pay for. However, it can be difficult to do this or it may not be enough and so a pay rise could be your only choice. Sometimes it can seem like this will be a very difficult thing to achieve. However, there are things that you could do so that you can get paid more.

  • Work more hours – if you have the opportunity to work more hours then this will get you more pay. This may not be the way that you are hoping to get more money, it is obviously better to get more pay for the same work, but there may not be this opportunity. You may have some spare time that you will be able to use by working more, but this will not be the case for everyone depending on what other commitments they have.
  • Find out how to get a rise – If you do want to try for a pay rise then you need to know how they are awarded in the company that you work for Some have a specific procedure for applying or you may have to prove yourself during your appraisal or something like that. Find out if there is anything formal that you have to do. You could look at company policy on their website, speak to a colleague or your boss to find out.
  • Work hard– if you are looking for a pay rise then this is a good time to start working extra hard. You want to make yourself seen and make sure that people feel you deserve a rise. You should not be too obvious, but just getting your head down, working hard and producing results should be enough. Do everything that you are asked without complaint and stay late to do extra work if necessary.
  • Do more than necessary – it can be good to do even more than this. If you can ask people if they need help and do a bit more than necessary for your job then this should help you to show how enthusiastic you are and how much you are prepared to do. You need to prove that you are worth more money.
  • Do some training – it is worth thinking about whether doing some training will help you. If you can learn some new things then you might become a more valued member of the company and they may reward you for this. If you have to pay for the training then you will have to think about whether you are prepared to risk investing that money in your future and whether you feel that there is any training that you can do which will increase your chances of getting a pay rise. It would be well worth discussing this with your boss or employer before you try it.
  • Look for promotion opportunities – it might be easier to find an opportunity to get a promotion rather than trying to look to get more money in your current role. It is worth finding out whether someone in the role that you do could get more pay or whether you have hit a ceiling and need to think about looking elsewhere. Take a look at what other positions are available and think about whether they are roles that you like or would like to do and if you have the right qualifications and experience to be able to do the job.
  • Consider changing jobs – it might be that you will need to change company in order to earn more money. Sometimes applying or a job with a new company can be the only way that it is possible to get a pay rise. This can be much more daunting as working with a new team in a new company is something that is unknown. It is possible you may have to travel further or do a harder job as well. However, it is well worth looking to see what opportunities are available so that you can decide whether this will be a good option for you.

This may seem like a big effort and you will have to decide whether you think that it is worth it. Obviously, you will need to think about your financial situation and whether you feel that you need to get a pay rise and therefore need to try one or more of these things.