Category Archives: Tips and Advice

seniors shopping

A List of Budget-Savvy Resources for Seniors Who Like to Save Money

As we get older, there are many different needs that arise. It can be hard to know where to turn. The cost of living keeps rising while income declines for many in their golden years.

There are several resources for seniors that can help make life a little easier and help save them money and frustration in day-to-day life. read more

assisted living

Senior Savings: 9 Tips to Budget for the Cost of Assisted Living

There are about one million seniors living in an assisted living facility.

For family members, the decision to put a loved one in an assisted living facility could be difficult, filled with doubt and questioning about the level of care and if they have the best interest of the person at heart.

Another question that could arise is what is the cost of assisted living? Some people may be turned off completely when they see assisted living costs and look for other options when in reality, their loved one would benefit greatly from assisted living.

Thankfully, there are options to help you save money so you can give your loved one the treatment and care they deserve.

What Is the Cost of Assisted Living?

The average annual cost of assisted living is $42,000 per year or about $3,500 per month. The price largely hinges on the plan you choose and the state’s prices will fluctuate depending on location.

Some assisted living communities give you a choice between all-inclusive or the choice to pay only for the services you use. Most plans cover rent, meals, and any add-ons the senior decides would be beneficial for them. These could be housekeeping, transportation, or any other service the establishment offers.

If the person needs special assistance with certain services, there will be additional fees.

Asking about payment options and the service fees upfront lets you compare and contrast pricing to make the best and most cost-saving option.

Is Your Loved One Ready for Assisted Living?

Making the choice to move your loved one to assisted living should be carefully considered from every angle. Here are some signs that it could be time:

  1. Concern about safety in their own home. Do you worry about them falling or injuring themselves in any way?
  2. Inability to take care of their own needs. Are they having trouble doing daily tasks?
  3. Stress on other family members or caregivers. Does the care they need exceed your own abilities?
  4. Dementia can cause people to be aggressive or be prone to wandering. These are a serious matter when it comes to keeping everyone safe.

9 Tips to Help with the Cost of Assisted Living

If you realize your loved one would benefit from assisted living, but you’re lost on how to pay for it, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Explore Your Options

For most people, covering the cost of assisted living comes from more than one source.

Sometimes it comes from additional savings or cutting costs in other areas of your life. When you finally land in a community you love, examine the costs closely and ask several questions.

2. Shop Around

Sure, the home down the street from you is a great option due only to proximity, but is it the right choice for your loved one? They may need additional care that home doesn’t provide, or perhaps it’s not as wonderful as you thought.

Shopping around first can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. If you end up choosing a home based only on location, and it doesn’t work out, there’s a chance you could move. An ideal location would be close to hospitals, public transportation, and have low-crime rates.

If your loved one has specific needs relating to dementia or memory loss, finding a place that’s compassionate and offers services to assist them is the best route. You can view here for more information on receiving the best care.

3. Long-Term Health Insurance or Medicaid

Long-term health insurance or Medicaid do not cover the entire cost of assisted living. However, they may be able to provide some assistance.

Each state will offer different coverage pertaining to the amount that they cover if you choose to use Medicaid. Check with your state and your plan to see exactly what’s covered before you seek assistance.

4. Veteran Discounts

If your loved one is a veteran, consider seeking out veteran’s discounts. The saving can be substantial, reaching over $2,000 per month. Eligibility can be tricky and lengthy given the number of requirements needed to be met to qualify.

5. Try and Negotiate

Just because a price is shown up front does not mean it’s inflexible. Ask questions about if there are ways to negotiate or if the community offers any incentives. Sometimes negotiating is worth it if it helps you land a discount.

6. Check with Your State for Help

Some states will offer programs that offset the cost of assisted living. This option benefits the state as well because it costs less than a Medicaid program. Each program differs by the state in how they function and the services they grant, so do some research on the programs provided by your state.

Not all of states will have these programs available.

7. Go Outside the State Boundaries

If you find your state has no programs or it’s incredibly costly, consider going outside of your state. This could be beneficial if you have family members living in other places that could be close and able to check on your loved one. And possibly saving you a bit of money in the process.

8. Develop a Plan And Ask for Advice

If you find making this decision alone is too difficult, ask for advice from an advisor or trusted family member or friend who’s been through the same situation. These people can give you suggestions and even help you piece together the right arrangement for your loved one. You don’t have to do this alone!

9. Consider Sharing a Room

Some assisted living communities are furnished with rooms for two. Single rooms can be more costly in some places while having a roommate can put a dent in the cost. Discuss this possibility with your loved one and see if it would be the right decisions.

For some, this may not be possible because of the amount of care they require.

Saving for Assisted Living Shouldn’t Be Difficult read more

piggy bank coupons

How to Start Couponing like a Pro with 5 Eye-Opening Tips

The top 20 States that coupon in the U.S. are located in the southern part of the country. They clip coupons well above the national averages.

We can all learn a thing or two from them. You can start couponing and rack up the savings in your own house. Here are some of the best tips to get you started.

Top 5 Tips to Start Couponing Now

Looking to start couponing? You’ll need a plan. Believe it or not, there is a strategy to couponing to get the most savings.

Check out these tips to help you get ready to use coupons like a pro.

1. Get Organized Before You Hit the Stores

Sure, you can walk into a store and use a coupon, anytime. But, if you want to start couponing for the most savings, you need to get organized first. Here are some ways to prep for couponing before you walk out the door.

Sort By Store

You’re clipping coupons from every source you can. Mailers, newspapers and the internet are just a few. Now you need to sort them out.

Start sorting by store. Some coupons are only good at specific places, like your local grocery or drug store. Use envelopes or a bill organizer to help you keep them separate.

Read Each Coupon

You need to know exactly what deal you’ll get when you use a coupon. Some want you to buy more than one of an item to get the deal. Make sure that’s what you want to do.

Read your coupons to understand how and where they work. Some are manufacturer’s coupons. Those work in nearly any store as long as you’re buying that manufacturer’s product.

You’ll also need to be aware of the end date. Some coupons don’t have one, but if it does you’ll want to use it before it expires.

Make a List

To get the most deals when you start couponing, you’ll need more than a grocery list. Make a list of products and the coupons you’ll be using. Figure out a format that helps you shop efficiently for your couponing products.

2. Look for Stackable Coupon Deals

Stackable deals increase your savings. You use all types of coupons together to help maximize the amount you save. Here’s what you need to know to make it work.

Different Types of Coupons

There’s more than one type of coupon. If you’re deal stacking, you need to know about them all. Use these coupons and discounts together to stack up savings.

  • Rebates
  • Online Coupons
  • Manufacturer’s Coupons
  • Store Coupons
  • On the Shelf Discounts
  • Freebies

Some coupons and discounts work together, some don’t. Read the descriptions, then mix and match to save the most. Don’t be afraid to try something to see if it works!

Looking For Deals

You’ll need to look for places to use all these coupons. Plan to shop at more than one store to get the best couponing deals.

Do your research. Use flyers in addition to online comparisons to give you the best information. Organize your list to hit each store for sale products most effectively.

Check out online websites that show you price comparisons. PriceGrabber is one site that gives you a side by side look at what a product costs at many stores. Remember, prices change each week so you’ll need to recheck before shopping, again.

Store Policies

Be aware that some stores have policies against deal stacking. Read flyers and policies posted at the checkout carefully. They’ll help you understand what each store will and will not accept.

3. Search for Online Coupons read more

1940s women reading

A Frugal Bookworm’s Guide to Finding Great Deals on Books

Have you ever heard the term “tsundoku“? It’s not a type of puzzle or a dangerous rain storm; it’s the Japanese term for stockpiling more books than you could ever possibly read! As you can imagine, this habit gets expensive fast. That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide to finding free or cheap books.

5 Great Ways to Find Cheap Books

Of course, you can always get reading material for free by patronizing your local library! Sometimes, however, you want to hang onto a book rather than simply borrowing it, so here are some ways to score inexpensive titles.

Swap ‘Em

There are oodles of book-swapping websites. In most cases, you only pay shipping. Some sites let you earn credits by giving away books, and you then use those credits to pick up new reads.

Book swapping is a fantastic way not only to acquire new books but to clear out some space on your shelves by passing along books you’ve already read. It’s an environmentally friendly option, too.

Subscribe to a Book Rental Service

Think Netflix, but for books. Pay a low monthly fee to a site like Book Lender to access a huge library. There’s no shipping costs and no due dates.

If you live in a remote area and can’t access a library (or you’ve already read your way through your local library!), this service is the next best thing. Not only will you be able to score cheap books, but it’s always exciting to get a package in the mail, too!

Use an E-Reader

Why spend money to buy an e-reader, like a Kindle, if you’re trying to keep your entertainment costs down? Simply put, it’s because there are an incredible number of free and cheap e-books! So go ahead, treat yourself — or ask for a Kindle for your birthday.

If the book you’re seeking is in the public domain, you can find it on Project Gutenberg. Amazon gives away Kindle titles, and there are many other websites where you can find free Kindle books.

You can also check out electronic titles from your local library using an app called Overdrive. And did you know that New York State residents can sign up for a library card from the New York Public Library?

Buy ‘Em By the Bagful

Library book sales are a veritable treasure trove of cheap books. Most libraries that hold annual or bi-annual book sales will let you fill a bag with books for a pittance, usually on the last day of the sale.

Many libraries also have a store where you can shop year round for gently used books on the cheap.

Check the Thrift Store read more

managing money

5 Tips on Money Management When You’re in Recovery

When recovering from drug addiction the last thing you probably want to think about is finances.

Studies have found that money is one of the most prominent sources of stress in the entire world. As anyone who has ever had to deal with addiction before knows, additional anxiety is your greatest enemy.

Unfortunately, to function as a member of society, you need to be able to have some control over your financial situation.

If you’re recovering from an addiction and you’re ready to get your accounts in order, we can help.

Here are five tips on money management that are sure to help take the stress out of finances.

1. Needs Vs. Wants

For many people recovering from addiction, shopping can help curb cravings and reign in impulses.

But, going out and buying unnecessary stuff can take a toll on your wallet after a while — which will only add to your stress levels in the long run.

The best way to combat this is by determining what expenses are necessary and what are things you don’t need in your day to day life.

Make a list of expenses that you need, such as housing and food, and tally up how much all your necessary items cost.

Once you have your necessities down, create a list of things you’re currently spending money on that you don’t need.

Early on in your recovery, you should strive to only pay for things that are on your “needs” list. As you move forward and make progress, you can begin to add your “wants” back into your life.

2. Set a Budget

While creating a budget can seem tedious — having a definitive plan you can refer to can help make financial decisions much more manageable.

Look at your current income and divide it up to include allowances for necessary expenses such as food and rent.

If possible, you should also strive to put a percentage of your paycheck away in a savings account.

As you grow more accustomed to your budget, you can begin to set aside a little “fun money” every month to spend on your wants.

3. Ditch Your Credit Card

As we said before, money is a stressor all on its own. So, you should strive to do everything in your power to avoid racking up any unnecessary debt while you work on recovering from addiction.

One of the easiest ways to avoid debt is by canceling and getting rid of all your credit cards.

The only way to completely avoid giving into temptation is by removing the source from your life. By giving up your credit cards, you won’t be able to use them and will not be able to accumulate any unwanted debt.

While it may be rough at first, your bank account will thank you in the long run.

4. Create Goals

Once you start down the path to recovery, you’ll be able to begin setting new goals for yourself outside of rehabilitation milestones.

Whether you’d like to invest in a house of your own or you want to buy a new car, setting financial goals for yourself can help you achieve those dreams.

Determine how much you’d need to save or make to meet your goals and create a plan for yourself.

Putting a little extra money in savings each month may not seem like much, but by sticking to it, you’ll be able to achieve your goals in no time.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

There’s seldom much success in undergoing something like heroin addiction treatment (learn more) alone — sometimes we need to ask for help.

Asking for help is one of the most courageous things a person recovering from addiction can do. If you feel as if your financial situation is too much for you to handle by yourself, don’t be afraid to contact a professional for advice.

Tips on Money Management

Recovering from addiction can be challenging enough on its own without having to deal with your monetary situation.

But, by following these tips, you’ll be able to begin laying the groundwork for a future full of financial success.

Are you looking for a few more tips on money management? We can help.

We have dozens of articles on everything from updating your wardrobe on a budget to investment strategies. Visit us today for more information.