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It’s never too early to start saving and raising money if you want to go to college.

Grants, loans and scholarships are available to those who qualify but the more you can provide for yourself the less you’ll owe when you finally walk across the stage for your diploma.

The Math Behind Saving

Saving money is probably the best way to prepare for the expense of college.

Start early because it’s doubtful you’ll save too much.

One year at a state supported school can cost about $20,000 or more and double that at private institutions.

These estimated costs rise every year.

Let’s assume you start a savings account when you (or your baby) are born and you set aside $29 a month for the education fund. …

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You’ve probably been driving for many years and when you learned how to drive the price of gas was no doubt considerably cheaper than it is now.

You might remember as a teen driver, it was cool to drive fast, peel out, stop suddenly and just drive for entertainment.

Those habits were excused because you were young and the cost of gas was nothing compared to costs today.

Almost everyone drove impatiently and in a hurry to get wherever it was they were going if they were going anywhere at all. …

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Attending college is a large financial commitment.

But, there are many ways to obtain help financially, some free and some not. Millions of students apply for and receive some sort of financial aid each year.

Almost half of all students who go on to college after high school receive financial aid; so if you need help you’re not alone.

Financial aid comes in three main types at the college level: Grants and scholarships, loans and work study.

Grants And Scholarships

The good news about grants and scholarships is they don’t have to be repaid but obtaining one of these is highly competitive.

Most students who qualify for these spend little time hanging out with the guys. …

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We live in expensive times and trying to date on a budget can be harmful to your relationships if you’re viewed as a cheap tightwad.

It’s long been the norm for men to pay the check when dating but fortunately this has changed.

Some prefer Dutch Dating as a way of easing the high costs of an evening out.

What Is Going Dutch?

Going Dutch is a slang term that means each person pays his or her share when eating out or for entertainment admission.

It’s also called a Dutch Date or Dutch Treat, quite common in some countries such as Sweden where couples take turns paying the check or splitting it. …

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Save water and you not only save money but also conserve one of our planet’s most valuable natural resource.

It’s like getting paid twice.

Water conservation is one of the easiest things to do if you have a little discipline but it’s so easy to turn on the faucet and let the water run.

The first thing you know gallons of water have gone down the drain and with it your money.

You can actually save a third time because most sewer charges are based on the amount of water used.

Keep Track Of Your Gallons

Let’s take a look at the amount of water used daily for a family of four. …

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One of the most innovative financial markets is the home mortgage loan sector.

And, when you toss points into the mix it adds convolution to an already complicated process.

Most buyers don’t understand the concept of points and hesitate to ask or go to the trouble to learn about the process.

They become overwhelmed and can be at the mercy of whatever the lender offers.

What Exactly Are Points?

It’s actually quite simple.

Points are fees paid to a lender for a loan.

The points are usually linked to interest rates with the more points you pay for, the lower the interest rate.

You can view them as pre-paid fees. It’s sort of pay now with points or pay later with interest. …

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Are you bogged down in debt?

Are your monthly home mortgage payments rising each year and getting harder and harder to pay?

If this situation sounds familiar, you may have considered refinancing your mortgage.

But, will it help?

What Is Refinancing?

When you refinance you’re simply taking out a new loan to pay off the existing one.

It only makes sense to do this if you obtain a lower interest rate enabling you to save money.

Good Times To Refinance

Usually, there are two good times to refinance.

If you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and you’re faced with a continual interest rate rise.

You can refinance to obtain a fixed rate mortgage and avoid the higher payments. …

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A night at the movies can be a great get-together for the entire family whether at the theater or at home.

Hollywood is getting more family conscious and producing more movies for general audiences so the selection is better than in times past.

If you’re not sure about a certain movie’s content, go online and do your research.

You can’t always go by the rating but that’s a good place to start.

You might wonder sometimes how a movie got a PG rating.

The Price Of Movies

Movies, like most everything else in life, are not as affordable as they used to be.

Depending on what city you live in you can expect to spend $7 to $10 or more for an adult ticket and about $2 less for children under 12. …

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Getting your electric bill in the mail these days is almost enough to cause you to overheat.

You’ve tried to cut back but maybe there are ways to curtail usage you haven’t thought of.

Conservation is really easy if this is something you want to do.

It does require a conscious effort of the entire family. Let’s take a look at a few ways to save.

Use Fans

In the summertime raise your thermostat setting to 80 or above and bring out the fans, both ceiling and floor fans.

They can stir the air and make it feel comfortable.

Make sure your ceiling fan is blowing down, not up. …

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Working two jobs is quickly becoming the norm instead of the exception. Especially with an economic depression on the horizon.

Many people even work three jobs.

More than 13 million Americans presently work more than one job and that number is increasing yearly.

With the spiraling costs of fuel and food it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet on one income.

It’s Not Forever

Many jobs are yours for the taking but may not suit your tastes.

Jobs at fast food restaurants are easy to come by but most are filled by teenagers who are only there for the short term.

Unless you’re planning to ultimately get into restaurant management fast food jobs are typically not for the long term but could fill the bill in the interim. …


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