Stretching the Dollars

If you were to weigh up everything you want to buy with all the money you have, it would almost certainly end up in favour of the former. That is, unfortunately, the nature of the life we live in: we simply cannot afford everything. This is especially true as a parent, since you have to make the dollars stretch further, covering both you and your growing family. Clothes, school equipment, general shopping costs all add up, so it’s no surprise that mums know a secret or two. To help you in your quest to afford more with the same amount of money, here are a few key tips and tricks that may prove useful.

Embrace rewards

Reward schemes are highly useful. You might not see an instant appeal but that is simply a case of the wrong perspective. Take American Express for instance, as their cards can offer reward points, or even air miles, when you shop. Since you’re going to be shopping anyway, an additional benefit is hard to argue with. Eventually this can be used to make a saving and, as you surely know by now, every dollar saved makes a difference at the end. With 50% of Canadians planning to use their smartphones to shop online this holiday, making most of these rewards could be more than a little lucrative.

Shop around

This may seem obvious but few people really understand the nature of shopping around. Always look for better options in most stores, rather than just a few. The more places you look, the better chances you have. Stick to the same three of four departments and you’ll be stuck in the same price range forever. Don’t be afraid to take this search online either. Some people make the mistake of avoiding the internet, believing the sheer convenience must come at a cost, yet this is nothing more than a giant misconception. In fact, the larger market means more potential and, when you get lucky, better savings due to increased competition.

Plan ahead

Finally, perhaps one of the best tips you’ll receive, always plan ahead. When you know how much you have to spare, you can break this into weekly allowances to better control the flow of cash. Money saved in one week can be brought over, and so on. Likewise, you can use credit cards where needed to balance the account books, borrowing in advance of pay day. In this capacity they can prove useful in fudging those urgent costs and last minute expenses that unfortunately like to spring up at the worst possibility times.

More Hours, Less Time

I’ve been given a few more hours at work and now that puts me in a dilemma. I am not complaining though, the extra hours at work means a few more cents in the bank account, BUT it has taken a few more hours away from my family, and for me who has a toddler who needs my attention, love, care and nurture, that is not so good.

I am torn every time I step out of our apartment, every time I kiss goodbye to my little boy and head off to work (especially when it’s a long shift). My heart says don’t go, but I have to, or else, we won’t have anything to eat. Hubby’s income is not enough, so I should work to augment our expenses. Okay, I admit, it makes me a little bit happy to see a few more hours in my schedule at work, but it makes me sad at the same time because I can’t spend that much time with my family anymore. Call me whatever, but for me, spending time with my boys are far more important than spending a little more time at work, even though I earn from that and it bring food to our table and I am able to help other people as well.

I know, it’s so hard, it just tears my heart apart. I like the fact that I earn a little more, but I loathe the time away from my family! It’s such an irony. But then I guess, I will have to live like this for a couple of years, until the little one is ready for school. Until then, I can finally say that I would love to work more hours to be able to help provide for my growing boys, but for now, my little boy needs me, and I feel guilty that sometimes I spend too much time facing my laptop (when I am at home) than teaching him what he has to learn.

It is such a dilemma.

Save More with TV and Internet Packages

Television and the Internet have become norms in our society now. The advent of technology has made our daily living more convenient and getting in touch with the world has never been this easy and fast. With new innovations and technological advancements being discovered everyday, entertainment at home is even more pleasurable and exciting, and connecting to loved ones abroad is just at the tap or touch of a button.

Because of these innovations, many digital TV service providers have come up with better, faster and reliable packages. These packages or bundles include TV or cable, a home phone and internet connection, even a mobile phone, all in one. Just like the Virgin Media TV packages that offer all four, TV, mobile phone, internet and fixed phone. Packages like this from digital TV service providers create avenues for families to save more. Because everything is one bill and comes in a package, families get to save from extra incurs. The different packages give families the option to choose which is suitable for their budget. The Virgin Media TV packages offer six month half price or six months free. With savings for six months, families can use the extra money for some other important stuff.

Based on my experience, getting a bundle or package has greatly helped us saved. When I got our TV, home phone and internet bundle last year, we were given six months discount on the package, so I paid only about one-half of the total package amount (about $60 per month). Then the company offered unlimited internet still at a reasonable price, so I took advantage of it. Before getting the unlimited internet and after the six months discounted period, I started paying the full package amount, but because we regularly use the internet, watch videos and all, we incurred more than our limit and that meant extra pay, so when the unlimited internet was offered, I saved a lot! The service given to us is also very efficient and for a year now, we haven’t had any problems with our connection, TV viewing and when we had some minor interruptions, we can always give them a call.

Times now have changed, every single penny counts and families are finding more and more ways to save even while keeping themselves entertained. But thanks to companies who are willing to adapt to these changes, we now all have better ways to save.