Making Your First Car Money Stretch

Driving is a big thing for teens, with 50.9% of teens behind the wheel. That’s good news for you, as a teen, as it means there’s a strong market in which to get the very best deal on the various costs of your first vehicles. How exactly do you save dollars, though? There’s a few ways, and a few you might not even know.

Value Of The Vehicle

Before you think about how to save your dollars and cents on, or after, the point of purchase, remember what your vehicle is going to do for you. Having a car opens doors (and no, not just literally) by giving you the opportunity to branch out and explore career opportunities – whether that’s easily being able to travel for a job interview, or picking up mobile part-time work.

Insurance

This is the biggie – there’s no way around it. Parents will find a 44% teenager insurance premium rising to 62%. The fact is, teen drivers are seen as the most likely to be in an accident and the cost of insurance reflects that. There are, however, ways around this.

The first is less of a trick and more of a good practice; look around. Take your quote elsewhere, and make sure you’re finding the best insurer you can; your insurance could save hundreds on a quote price you found elsewhere. Aside from that, there are several ways to reduce the premium by combining drivers and vehicles, and when you’re 18, taking out your own plan for long-run benefits. You can also take on small alterations, like a dashcam, that give insurers a sense of assurance that you’re going to drive well and be able to prove any claims that weren’t on your head.

Go Cheap!

Yes, every driver wants to be in the luxury Mercedes or BMW. If you’re lucky enough, or have put in the hard work, that means you can – good for you. Honestly. However, if you’re a first time driver and it feels like you don’t have a dollar to rub together, go for a cheaper car to save money. You don’t need that huge estate when you don’t have a family to lug around, and so long as the thing runs you’ll be more than happy with a smaller and/or older vehicle.

Driving is frequently considered a crucial part of the American teenager’s upbringing, but the costs can be prohibitive, even for those with a bit more spare income than the rest. It needn’t be, though, and with a little bit of guile and mindfulness over your options, you can stretch your dollars.

Getting More From The Internet For Millennials

The internet is unquestionably one of the greatest inventions known to man. However, it’s very easy to take its power to do good for granted. Despite having a world of possibilities at our fingertips, many of us fall into the common trap. Using it solely to connect with friends and watch the occasional cat video brings very limited results. But the world wide web is capable of so much more, and it’s about time that you started to appreciate this factor.   

Tapping into the internet’s full potential isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here are just six winning ideas that will transform wasted web time into productive online interactions.

#1. Learn More

 As far as educational resources are concerned, they don’t come any bigger than the world wide web. With over one billion active websites at your disposal, it’s possible to find info on any given subject in a matter of clicks. Frankly, dedicating all your time to Candy Crush is a wasted opportunity.   

Increased knowledge doesn’t only come from learning about history or science. With resources like acoollink.com, opening your eyes to a world of exciting new knowledge is easier than ever. Whether it’s discovering new art or learning about sports stories doesn’t matter. All knowledge is power.

Learning can also manifest itself in picking up new skills and languages.   

#2. Teach Others

Aside from improving your life, the internet can be used to enhance the lives of others. Raising money for charity is naturally a great idea, and this can be achieved in many ways. Then again, it’s possible to take positive steps far closer to home.

Older generations don’t always understand the internet as well as we do. This is where the things we often take for granted can come become useful. Teaching your grandparents to use social media, for example, can help them connect with friends and relatives. Given that global travel probably isn’t on their agenda, this can be a life-changing gift.

Alternatively, teaching your parents a few shortcuts may make their daily activities a little easier too.   

#3. Earn Money

 The main reason that the internet has grown at such a fast rate is that it can help people make money. As a computer literate millennial, it would be very foolish to ignore those opportunities.

Launching an online business is now more accessible than ever. Whether you become a blogger or a dropshipper doesn’t matter, this is a great tool for making money. Meanwhile, signing up for freelance directories like fiverr.com can open new doors. If it helps your career as well as your bank balance, you’d be a fool to miss out.

Even if those ideas don’t appeal, selling unwanted goods or completing surveys can generate a few extra dollars each month.

#4. Save Money

In addition to increasing your income, the world wide web can be used to cut your spending. Given that this can be achieved with very minimal effort, ignoring it would be very foolish indeed.   

It may be too early to worry about household bills, although not necessarily. Nonetheless, coupons can be used to save money on days out as well as food purchases. Moreover, online services can be used to locate the best deals on various tech purchases.

If this ultimately allows your money to work a little harder, taking advantage of those opportunities is essential. On a separate note, staying in control with spreadsheets and online banking can help.   

#5. Network

Communication lies at the heart of all online systems. While there’s nothing wrong with using it to stay connected with loved ones, you should also use if for creating new links with people who can aid your life.

This most commonly occurs on the career front. Platforms like linkedin.com enable you to build business connections in a wonderful environment. This may help you discover job opportunities, internships, or resources that enhance your career in other ways.

Networking can also be used for a host of other goals, such as finding love or tracking lost relatives. The power is truly in your hands.

#6. Gain Inspiration

The internet can be used for a variety of activities. However, there’s nothing using it for leisurely tasks. Even so, you can make this more productive by reading up on things that actually relate to your life.  

Whether it’s building long-term life plans or gaining ideas for outfits or party ideas isn’t important. It’s always good to inject a personal touch on those ideas. Nonetheless, those inspirations can be used to guide you towards quicker, better life decisions.   

Let’s face it; the experts have better ideas than your friends. Tap into that wealth of information, and even your leisure life will be improved thanks to online interactions.

Fly The Nest Without Forgetting Your Family

Getting a house of their own is the primary goal for many young adults. Life doesn’t feel like it’s begun until you’re out of the family home and embarking on your journey. Education is out the way, and moving into your own home is a sure sign that you’re ready for adulthood.

But, as excited as you are, it’s important to note that your parents are probably feeling pretty glum. You may have spent the past five years dreaming of this, but the chances are they’ve spent even longer dreading it. Despite the odd threat to throw you out along the way, they probably  love having you around. They’ve dedicated years to your wellbeing. So, take a step back and imagine how difficult it’s going to be for them when you leave.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to lessen the blow. And, though that may not seem like a priority to you right now, you’ll regret neglecting this issue down the line. Your parents, after all, are always going to be in your life. Your new home should never come between you. And, to help ensure your flying the nest doesn’t flatten them, we’re going to look at what those steps are.

Include them in your moving preparations

The most basic thing you can do is include your parents while you’re preparing to move. If you’ve already lived away at college, you may feel you can do all this stuff alone. But, taking the time to invite them along to shopping trips and viewings will make a huge difference. They’ll feel included in the process, and therefore much more at ease with what’s happening. This will also ensure your leaving doesn’t hit as hard when it happens. Plus, having them along for the ride could make things easier for you. If this is your first proper move, it’ll help to have someone around who’s been where you are.

Spend time with them before you go


The chances are that you have a lot on your plate, what with arranging deposits and sorting moving dates. Not to mention that you have to face the mammoth task of packing. But, it’s crucial you carve some time out of your schedule to spend time with your parents. Arrange a meal out together during your last week at home. And, take the time to go and sit with them of an evening, even if it’s only for half an hour. This small effort will make a huge difference, and you’ll be glad you did it once you’ve moved out.

Buy them a parting gift

The chances are that leaving day is going to get pretty teary as it is. And, yes, buying leaving gifts for your parents will only make things worse. But, it’ll also reassure your parents that you care and that you aren’t going to disappear from their lives. You could even make these presents activities which you can take part in. Why not book a spa day for you and your mom? And, options like these gifts for men who have everything are sure to provide you and your dad with some quality time. It’s also worth writing them a small note to go alongside their gifts. Say thank you for everything they’ve done for you over the years. They have, after all, housed and fed you for your entire life. And, while it can often be embarrassing to address, now is the ideal time to do it.

Make a plan to see them regularly

We all know what it’s like when you’re starting a new life; you just want to put the old one behind you already. But, before you go, make a set plan of contact with your parents. If you aren’t moving far away, you could arrange to come round once a week for dinner. If you’re moving too far for that to possible, organize a date in the future when you’ll see each other. And, make a set time and day for weekly phone calls. These plans will give your parents something to look forward to and will make things much easier. And, though you might not expect it, having plans like these could also prove a real source of comfort for you. Because, as exciting as moving away is, it can also hit hard once you’re far from home, and on your own. Knowing that you’ll talk to your parents in a few days will be enough to see you through.

Happy Alone: The Secrets to Living on Your Own and Loving it

Most of us will find ourselves quite alone at some point, whether we like it or not. Being alone doesn’t have to mean that you’re lonely, though, and many have dreaded the thought of living by themselves – just to realize after a month or two that they absolutely love it. No more noisy roommates; just you and the plates you forgot to clean last night, found in the same spot as when you left.

Here is how you can come to terms with your own company and enjoy cooking up a healthy meal nonetheless, learning to love the feeling of complete independence.

Comfort is key

When you’re preparing to live on your own, you might be worried about loneliness and boredom. While your parents may question whether or not you’ll still be safe living all on your own, this isn’t usually the biggest worry – it’s those long evenings with nothing but a podcast to tell you stories and keep you entertained.

Sure, you’ll invite your friends over as much as possible to keep the loneliness at bay, but with time, you’ll come to realize that some alone-time isn’t all that bad when you have a comfortable place.

Spend a lot of time on decorating and making it as snug as possible, prioritizing the quality of your downtime. Here is a great article on how you can decorate a small apartment, by the way, in case you have less space to work with.

When you get it right, you’ll love the feeling of coming home to a stylish and quiet apartment, getting comfy, and doing whatever you want.

Have an active social life

You don’t have to sit at home all the time just because you live alone. To enjoy it, it’s actually crucial that you get out a bit and keep a rich social life – especially if you’re living alone due to a breakup. The transition can be particularly tough in this case, so stay positive by surrounding yourself with good friends and have a look at this article on how to get your ex boyfriend back – dispelling the myths, making it a bit easier to keep your chin up.

Consider getting a pet, as well, if you feel ready for the responsibility. Be out and about for most of the day, get back home and take a moment to appreciate the freedom and silence in your own apartment.

Keep yourself busy

Being active and never bored is something that will be regular routine after a while. In the meantime, though, you should focus on not allowing yourself to get too bored. Although boredom is healthy in small portions, the silence will soon make you long for other people’s company.

Start by taking up a new and kind of domestic hobby, for example, such as baking and knitting. As soon as you’re used to living alone, you won’t really mind the silence too much, but it’s a good idea to feed yourself some activities and hobby when the situation is still new and strange.

Cook, clean, read, and keep inviting your friends over for dinner. Learn how to throw together some excellent party food as well, and you’ll be the host of the year.

Entertaining is perhaps one of the most important things you can do for yourself right now. Focus on creating the kind of space you’d like to entertain in, host a couple of dinner parties, and love the sight of people having fun in your home.

Appreciate it

Before a major change, we tend to forget about how temporary everything is. We get blinded by the turbulence and carried away before realizing that it’s not going to last forever – maybe even just a couple of months. If you feel overly stressed out about it, take a moment to consider whether it really matters in the long-run.

Will you think about this situation with dread in ten years from now – or will your life change, as it always does, throwing new challenges at you? The better you are at handling challenges right now, the more confident you’ll be when facing even tougher times.

It’s no wonder it can be so challenging to move in with someone when living on your own is so pleasant. The more you come to enjoy it, the better your relationship with yourself will be – and having to adjust to someone else’s routine can be a lot tougher than coming to terms with your own.

Appreciate it while you can, make it comfortable, and you’ll never want to let it go.

Saving Smiles One Bracelet at a Time

One in 700 children are born with a cleft palate, a common birth defect that happens when parts of the lip and mouth do not completely fuse together. If not treated, it can cause serious lifelong problems, such as difficulty breathing, dental issues, and speech impairments. Fortunately, it can be corrected with a surgery…unfortunately, not many families can afford that, especially in third world countries where medical treatment is not easy to come by. That’s where Nandini and Sanjana come in. These two fifteen-year-old girls are co-owners of Side by Side Smiles, a charity dedicated to raising money and awareness so that babies born with cleft palates can get the treatment they need so that they can live full, normal, and happy lives. I’m so thankful I had the chance to interview them and find out more about this important cause.

 

R: Tell us about Side by Side Smiles. How does it work?

S: Side by Side Smiles is a charity started by us in January of this year. We sell five-dollar charm bracelets that we make by hand to raise money and awareness for children who cannot afford cleft lip palate surgeries. Currently, we make and sell our charm bracelets and accept donations to raise money.

 

R: What inspired you to create this charity?

S: Nandini was born with a cleft lip, but luckily had access to the care and resources she needed. Nandini was fortunate enough to grow up with a normal childhood. Earlier this year, she realized that not all children with clefts are lucky enough to get the opportunities she did. So Nandini decided she wanted to help make a difference. When she asked her lifelong best friend Sanjana if she wanted to be involved, Sanjana was ecstatic. Together, they decided to start Side by Side Smiles.

 

R: What do you hope to accomplish In the future? What have you already accomplished?

S: We would like to raise at least $5,000 by the end of this year. As a long term goal, we would love to raise $100,000. So far, we have sold over 600 bracelets and raised over $4,300.

 

R: How can people donate and/or raise awareness?

S: People can donate by visiting our website, sidebysidesmiles.org. There is a link that will lead you to our Etsy page, where you can purchase a bracelet. However, if bracelets are not your thing, you can donate to our fundraiser, which is also linked on our website. The best way we gain awareness, however, is through word of mouth. If people find out about us, we encourage them to tell their family, friends, and people around them.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add?

S: We are really thankful for the opportunities and experiences we’ve received since starting this charity and we encourage everyone to realize that, big or small, all efforts for positive change matter.

You can make a difference! Be sure to check out their website (and their beautiful bracelets) and go like their Facebook page. Share it with your friends and do your part to raise awareness for their cause. Every bracelet bought and every donation made brings a child one step closer to a surgery that will change their life.

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Claim What You’re Entitled To!

Being a part of the younger generation shouldn’t be a reason for you not to take the necessary steps to ensuring that your health stays at it’s best. Not just your health either, your quality of life is important too. You may be under the impression that because you’re younger that your claim won’t be taken as seriously.

Health

Taking out health insurance should be the first step you take to make sure that if something happens, you’re covered. Even though it might be an expense that you don’t want to be paying at the moment, it will pay off if you become ill or injured. Imagine being landed with massive health bills and not being able to pay it? Having insurance will make sure that you don’t have to experience that. Don’t forget that keeping yourself fit in general is important to avoid you having to make any claims too.

Did you know that when you’re at work, if you get injured or ill because of work that you’re entitled to claim from their worker’s compensation? If you’ve been incorrectly trained on machinery, or the machines you’re using are fault and you become injured while using them, then you’re eligible to claim. You also have the right to claim without any grudges being held by your employers too.

Even if your injury leaves you disabled, you still have the right to return to your job if you want to, and claim compensation. However, if your claim is dismissed for any reason and you know that you’re entitled to claim, consider hiring a workmans comp attorney who will reopen your case. They normally offer a service where if they don’t win the case that you don’t have to pay any fees, so it’s definitely worth thinking about.

Education

If you’re still in education, did you know that you can claim back up to $2500 on tuition fees for your first four years of education after high school? This has been put in place to help you pay for books for the course you’re studying and other equipment you may need. If you’re earning less than $80,000 and are claiming as a single person, you could get up to $1000 back on your annual tax refund.

Of course, if you’re earning a good wage then it’s unlikely that you will be entitled to claim anything back, but if you’re unsure it’s always best to check to see if you’re eligible to make a claim. If you’re still living with your parents, they might be able to claim some sort of refund too, so get them to check it out to make their lives easier.

As you can see, there are a few things here that you’re entitled to that you might not already be doing. Make sure you’re claiming everything to can to make your life as a college student easier.

How To Fund Those Resume Boosting Travel Trips

Some people, after they’ve graduated, know exactly what job or career they want to go after, and sometimes have the necessary experience actually to get it. Good for them. The rest of us have to navigate the murky job market with just our degrees and a bundle of enthusiasm. Now that you’re finally free from education, you might be thinking about doing a bit of traveling as a way to make yourself more employable in the long run. This is a good idea, as it’s fun and increases confidence – and just as importantly, can give your resume a much-needed boost. You can learn new skills, gain experience in positions outside of your comfort zone, and much more. However, it’s not free – and we all know that college students aren’t exactly drowning in cash. Below, we take a look at seven ways you can fund your post-college travel, which will make you more employable when you return.

Plan in Advance

There’s something to be said for striking out into the world with no particular direction in mind, but it’s not the most economical way to do things. You need time to save up the necessary capital, figure out where you want to go and what you want to see (you can’t afford to do it all!), and so on. Many graduates give themselves a year for their break, but they’re not traveling for the entire time. Spend the first few months planning and getting everything in order, then go on your adventure.

Get Saving

In the first few months after you’ve graduated, you’ll want to start saving those all-important travel funds. It’s not as difficult to build up a fair amount of cash pretty quickly, provided your stringent with that you’re spending your money on and are happy to forego a few luxuries here and there! By the way, if your mom and dad have been asking what you want as a graduation gift, now might be a good time to subtly hint that you’d appreciate some money for your travel pot!

Look For Discounts

Even if you’ve saved up cash and received a healthy donation from your parents, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to travel in style without ever having to cut corners or find cheaper options. The good news is that it’s never been easier to save money on your travel expenses. Sites like DontPayFull.com can help you get bonus deals on flights and hotel stays, allowing you to save more of your travel money for experiences and meals at the best local restaurants. If you’re patient and don’t just accept the first price you see, you’ll find you can cut those expenses down with minimal effort.

Smart Traveling

A sizeable chunk of money will get allow you to travel, but if you want to go for a while – and have experiences that will boost your resume – then take a look enhancing your skill sets by volunteering or working as you travel. You’ll be given free accommodation and food if you volunteer for a few hours a day, or you could try to get a job and actively top up your travel fund as you go. When you get back home, you’ll have new experiences for potential employers to look at, too!

Leave the Expensive Destinations (For Now)

If you want to work in fashion, then you might have the idea that there’ll be nothing better than rocking up in Paris and trying to secure an internship, or at least immerse yourself in the fashion capital of the world. But this would be a mistake because Paris is one of the most expensive cities in Europe! Instead, stick to the cheaper countries, the ones that are off the beaten path. Aside from saving you money, you’ll find there’ll be more opportunities for you to get involved with events and volunteering as there won’t be all the competition of a big city.

Free Activities

The internet will be your best friend when you’re traveling! It’ll help you find bags of free activities that are taking place wherever you are. If, say, you want to work as a chef, then look for things like cooking festivals and events happening at your destination.

Pick Up Extra Cash

And back to the internet: why not make money, travel, and get experience in your chosen field all at the same time? There are plenty of remote jobs available. If you want to be a web designer, for instance, then pick up a freelance job as you travel. Score!

After your travels, you’ll be more confident, more worldly, and more employable. Win, win, win!

905 Private Eclipse Campsites Under $100

With the eclipse weeks away, public campgrounds, hotels, and Airbnbs are either all booked up or charging exorbitant rates for the last available spots. Unbooked spots are few and far between—let alone affordable ones.

Enter Hipcamp —a startup that creates new campsites by unlocking access to beautiful private lands such as nature preserves, farms, and ranches. With over 1,000 new campsites (and counting) unlocked in the eclipse “path of totality”, Hipcamp has just compiled a list of their top 23 unbooked campgrounds offering spots for $25 to $87 — everything under $100. They also have the most comprehensive map of all camping options in the path.

Plus, the solar eclipse is really a great natural phenomenon…. Where better to experience it than in nature?

*** HIPCAMP.COM‘S TOP 23 ECLIPSE CAMPGROUNDS UNDER $100 ***
Each campground hyperlinked below contains multiple discrete campsites.

>> OREGON: 258 CAMPSITES
Eclipse Budget Tent Camping at Sieg’s Valley View Ranch – $25
Eclipse Budget RV Camping at Sieg’s Valley View Ranch – $50
Tent Camping at Sunset Solar RV Campground – $87
Fully Contained RV Sites at Oregon Solar Eclipse Campground – $75

>> IDAHO: 258 CAMPSITES
Solar Eclipse Idaho Tent Camping at Wyatt J’s Land – $50
Tent and RV Camping at TJ Ranch – $50
Tent Camping Solar Eclipse Camping at Gene R’s Farm – $50
Tent and RV Sand Dunes Camping at Zach’s Land -$50

>> NEBRASKA: 99 CAMPSITES
Eclipse RV and Tent Camping at Eclipse Camping – $50

>> MISSOURI: 20 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping for a Cause at Beacon Farm Ministries – $10
Eclipse Campsites at Camp Eclipse – $60

>> ILLINOIS: 99 CAMPSITES
Eclipse Camp Tent Camping at Community of Faith – $30

>> KENTUCKY: 30 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping at Wild Dunbar Hill – $20
Solar Eclipse Tent Camping at April W’s Land – $50

>> TENNESSEE: 56 CAMPSITES
Mountain Farm Meadow Tent Camping at Cowgirl Glamping Cabin – $25
Pigeon Roost Tent Camping at Richard B’s Land – $25
Private Forest or Field Side Tent Camping at Belle and Beau Acres – $50

>> NORTH CAROLINA: 62 CAMPSITES
Total Eclipse of the Century Tent Camping on Historic Christmas Tree Farm – $30
2 Ol’ Foxes Farm Tent Camping at 2 Ol’ Foxes Farm – $20

>> SOUTH CAROLINA: 12 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping at Modern Harvest Farms – $28
Cali Oh Farm Tent Camping at Haflinger Heaven – $45

>> GEORGIA: 11 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping in the Woods at Sole Farm – $40
Tent Camping at Spotted Fawn Farm – $50

How To Make The Choices That Matter

The younger you are, the bigger the future will seem to you. However, the future doesn’t suddenly shrink with your age – when you get older, the future seems as big and bright as you were when you were fourteen! However, with age, we get a bit more realistic, and we might accept that some ideas are just dreams. Youth is where this changes, as with the right planning, you can make your dreams come true. Certainly so if you are grounded and ready to put the work in. Some big choices are coming.

The first huge choice that people make in their young lives is a college degree. Sometimes, that choice comes earlier when kids choose specialized high schools to enroll with. This all hinges on the area of life that you want to learn about and specialize in. Sometimes, the choice of college is just as big of a degree, but what you choose to study is important, and often more so than where you choose to study it. It’s never too early to start thinking about your major or degree, and there’s plenty online to learn. You can examine and explore the career prospects that come with degrees. You can even find out who makes what in terms of income based on their degree. You can also study online with courses like the online MBA in Healthcare Management, so it’s not just research you can perform. Question what you want to do with your life and find courses and majors that can propel you in the right direction. It’s not just online, consult with school and college counselors and make the right decision – doing what you want to do.

It’s difficult, because college is followed by a huge decision. College degrees fall in line with a future line of work, but this is not always the case. No matter what you choose to do with your education, you will have to choose a line of work at some point. Sometimes, this might not be what you have studied – so research career paths and see how your skills could take you up that path. This might mean you need to jump into internships and the like, but once you find the right path for you find ways to climb it.

There are a lot of big decisions to make in life, and as you get older you might get worried. You might get cold feet and think about changing your mind. If this happens, it’s no bother. You are never too old to pursue a new path in life as long as you start again and follow the correct path of doing your research.

These decisions are stressful to make, and that’s only right – because they will be a big part of what defines your future. However, if you take the decisions needed for your future seriously and do your research and make balanced decisions, you’ll do alright. Remember that changing your mind is not an issue, as long as you do one thing – you guessed it. Do your research!