6 Money Hacks to Make Life Easier

Nothing is easier than spending money — and it seems that, conversely, nothing is as hard as saving it. But the truth is that saving is extremely important, whether it be for an early retirement, your kids’ college tuitions, buying your own home, or for rainy days. Having extra funds can give you the freedom to pursue a career of your choice and live the life of your dreams. Here are a couple of quick tips for how to quietly and effortlessly accrue money:

Having an emergency fund (three to six months’ living expenses) can really save you if you find yourself unemployed and hard up for a job. It’s a great idea to create an out of sight, out of mind savings account so you aren’t tempted to dip into it. Bank accounts are definitely helpful tools when it comes to saving — many bank accounts, like Capital One 360, offer special tools to help you automate savings and keep track of your goals. Investigate the possibilities at your bank.

Another great idea, especially for those frugal fashionistas out there, is to create a free, web-based email account exclusively for frugal newsletters, in-store coupons, daily deals, and other special savings. If you spend 5 minutes everyday checking out the best offer in your inbox, whether it’s an online survey or a great coupon, you’re bound to run into some savings.

In some ways, saving is all about compartmentalizing, and not just in your bank account. Start saving your loose change from your pocket, your change purse, and your car tray, and compile it all in one place. Every month, count out the change you’ve accumulated and add it to your savings account.

Lastly, try to cut down on unnecessary expenses. A great way to figure out what can go is by logging into your credit card statement or other monthly bill and identifying at least one expense you can do without. Maybe you’ve forgotten about that monthly gym membership you meant to drop, or you have another large monthly expense you don’t need, but once you’ve spotted it, it’s time for it to go.

There is no doubt that you’ll need to make it a habit to save, but after a couple of months of practicing good money habits, you’ll surely be on your way to your goals.

money saving tips

Life Ain’t Cheap — 9 Average Prices of Life’s Necessities

biggest purchasesLiving isn’t cheap. Just about everything in life comes with a price tag, and it’s usually pretty expensive. Here are the average prices of some of life’s necessities.

  1. Raising a Child – The cost of raising a child born in 2013 to the age of 18 is about $245,000 on average. Even scarier, it’s only going up, and that doesn’t include the cost of college tuition, either.
  2. Buying a House – In the United States, the median home value is about $179,200. Although real estate prices fluctuate and vary across the nation, the average price of a home is now nearly one-fifth of a million bucks.
  3. Buying a New Car – Pre-owned vehicles might be cheaper, but you get what you pay for, and ultimately wind up having to put a ton of money into them for repairs and maintenance. Buying a new car is just easier, and more reliable, but also pretty expensive. The average cost of buying a new car in 2015 is $33,560.
  4. Getting Married – The day of your marriage is the single happiest day you’ll ever have, but it doesn’t come cheap. In 2014, the cost of an average wedding was a staggering $31,213.
  5. Starting a Business – Starting a business might be part of the American Dream, but it’s far from being cheap. The average of cost to fund a new business is about $30,000.
  6. Furnishing a Home. – You can’t leave your house bare and empty, though the cost of furnishing a home might make that a tempting idea, since it costs about $17,920.
  7. Buying a Used Car – The average cost of a used car is about $16,800, and that’s not including all those inevitable repair costs. Plus, the average value of a one- to three-year-old used vehicle has risen 16% per year since 2008.
  8. Cost of Having a Baby – Becoming a parent is a life goal for many people. Unfortunately, it costs about $9,700 to have a baby when you factor in the doctor’s fees and hospital charges. If a C-section is required, the cost rises to a whopping $12,500.
  9. Engagement Ring – If you love it, then you should put a ring on it. Just be ready to cough up $5,885 if you do.

What’s the biggest purchase you think you’ll make in your lifetime? Share in the comments!

Buyers of Annuity Payments

How to Look for a Buyer of Annuity Payments?

Many people have structured settlement or annuity payments. These can result from winning the lottery or from being awarded compensation for a personal injury or malpractice lawsuit.

Annuity payments come in regular intervals and are designed to protect the financial future of the recipient. While receiving regular payments may have been the best solution at the time, you may find yourself in need of receiving a larger sum of cash or all of your cash now.

Whether you need the money to take care of an emergency situation or if you want to use it to get out of debt, you will need to find a buyer of annuity payments that can assist you.

Choosing a Buyer of Annuity Payments

When choosing a buyer of annuity payments, you will want to make sure you choose a provider that specializes in structured settlements. This will help to ensure that you receive the best possible option for your specific situation.

No matter how badly you may need the cash, it is important that you take the time to contact more than one buyer of annuity payments. Making a rushed decision or not shopping around may prevent you from getting the help you really need. Also, if the company you contact knows you are in a rush, they may not take the time to look at every factor necessary to provide you with your best option.

While it may seem overwhelming to choose a buyer for your annuity payments, it is still manageable if you work with reputable companies who have an excellent reputation of helping people. After going over your personal circumstances, a buyer of annuity payments should provide you with a free quote without any further obligation.

Deciding on a Buyer of Annuity Payments

Once you have done your research by contacting a few different buyers of annuity payments, the decision to sell your payments is ultimately yours. No one, especially the companies you contact, should pressure you into making a decision.

You will also want to ensure that the company you choose not only has an adequate staff to serve you but that they have experts on hand to assist you with any financial or legal matters that may arise from selling your payments. By knowing what your needs are and matching them with the right buyer of annuity payments, you can receive the cash you need in a timely manner. You will also have confidence in your decision by trusting the right provider to assist you.

The most important thing you can do before you make a final decision is to consider all of your options as well as their impact on your current and future financial future. As once you finalize the purchase of your annuity payments, the transaction can’t be reversed.

Taking the right steps to consider your situation and choosing a qualified buyer of annuity payments will assist you in making a decision you can be happy with.

Pay Off Student Loans Faster

n excellent education can mean the difference between a life of mediocre jobs that keep you above the poverty level and a meaningful, enjoyable career that provides for much more than the simple necessities of life.

Pay Off Student Loans

While higher education is valuable, it is also expensive, and many students must rely on student loans to finance their schooling. Acquiring debt is a serious matter and can involve perils if you do not plan carefully. Some students wait to begin paying on their loans until they must do so. However, you will be ahead if you pay off student loans faster, and there are some methods you can use to help accomplish that goal.

Develop a Strategy

You may pay off student loans faster if you make minimum payments on all your loans, but pay any extra money you may have on your loans with the highest interest rates. Eliminating those high-interest loans first will lower your total interest and allow you to apply more to principal balances.

Start Paying as Soon as Possible

If you have a part-time job or work during the summer, pay off student loans faster by applying your wages to your student loans. If possible, do not wait until after graduation to begin making payments on your loans.

Pay More than Once a Month

Paying Off Student LoansYou will pay less interest over the term of each loan if you make frequent payments because you will lower your loan principal with each payment. If you have a steady income, you can set up an automatic debit for each payday, and your lender may even reward you for that by giving you a lower interest rate.

Apply all Extra Cash to Your Loans

Many students receive money for Christmas, birthdays and graduation. Instead of using gifts of cash to buy something for yourself, make extra payments on your student loans.

It is important to take care of money in a responsible manner, and forming wise habits by making good financial decisions should start early. If you pay off student loans faster, you will be making a big step in the right direction.

Disadvantages To Using Structured Settlement Brokers

Structured settlement brokers are intermediaries between you and the company looking to buy your structured settlement. While many will not ask for an upfront fee, they can earn a commission from the final sale of a structured settlement or annuity.

Many companies that buy structured settlements provide an “in house” structured settlement broker. They say this is to benefit the seller. However you should know that they are receiving some form of payment at the end of the transaction. The pricing of brokering a sale includes a commission structure, which is a percent of the total lump sum.

Structured Settlement Brokers

Some transactions may even have two brokers involved, the one you hired and the one the company hires to negotiate. This means both have to be paid and it could come out of your cash.

Be Your Own Structured Settlement Broker And Receive your Money today

When you reach out to a reputable company to sell your structured settlement or annuity they will explain the different options you have in getting your money.  Whatever the reason, they will work with you to get you the cash you need to:

  • Pay bills.
  • Get some breathing room during a tight financial month.
  • Pay for an unexpected emergency
  • Get your car fixed

How do I know I’m getting the best deal for my structured settlement?

When you do your homework and get quotes from different companies, you’ll learn that not all structured settlement offers are the same. At the end of the day, you need to consider your financial situation and make sure you are happy with the money you receive.

Also keep in mind, a reputable company can purchase some or all of your structured settlement payments. Any structured settlement purchase has to go through a judge. The judge will look after your best interest and determine if the company buying your settlement is being fair. Many people already have a lawyer and can get advice from them, if needed.  Why lose any of your money to a broker?

8 Ways to Save Money on College Application Fees

While everyone knows that college is extremely expensive, most people do not realize that the college cost adds up even before you are accepted into a school. College entrance exams and applications all carry a hefty price, which can add up to thousands of dollars if you are not careful. If you follow these eight simple steps, then you should have no problem limiting your college application fees.
piggy_bank

 

1. Fee Waiver on Application

It is entirely possible to get a college to waive their application fee by filling out their waiver form. Each school will have their own guidelines determining who gets their application fee waived, but it never hurts to ask. College application fees generally costs between $25 and $70, so you will easily spend a lot of money if you are applying to multiple schools. If you can’t get the application fee waived, then the best way to reduce your costs is by applying to fewer schools.

2. Guidance Counselor

Speaking to your guidance counselor has the potential to save you money during the college application process. They can work directly with you to help you narrow down your list of potential schools.

3. Gain Free Information

Using the Internet and attending college fairs to learn more about potential colleges is a great way to reduce your number of desired schools. There is no reason to waste money on a college application if you are going to have no interest in attending the school. Knowing the most information possible about every school will allow you to make the smartest decisions.

4. SAT or ACT Fee Waiver

Most colleges require their prospective students to take the ACT or SAT before applying. The schools use the scores on these tests and your high school grades to determine if you will be accepted. The SAT and ACT only cost around $30, but they can be taken multiple times to improve your score.

5. Apply at Test-Optional Schools

There are just under 1,000 colleges throughout the country that do not require someone to take the SAT or ACT before applying. These colleges tend to focus on high school grades and essays to determine who is allowed to enter. If your desired schools do not require the ACT or SAT, then do not waste the money to take the test.

6. Use Common Application

There are currently over 400 colleges throughout the country that use the “common application.” The application is free and can be used for multiple schools on the list. You can potentially save thousands of dollars by applying to dozens ofschools with the “common application.” It can be found at commonapp.org.college

7. Narrow Down Choices

This step is basically a combination of several of the earlier steps. If you use the guidance counselor, college fairs and internet, then you should have a good idea of the schools that would be the best fit. Get down to a few college choices and you will save hundreds of dollars.

8. Limit Visitations

We realize that most high school students like to visit their potential colleges before deciding on which one to pick. You can limit your spending by only visiting close schools, splitting travel costs with others or by only visiting schools after you have been accepted to make your final decision on what school to attend.

 

At 123 LumpSum we understand that entering a good university is difficult. Students should not be burdened with unnecessary spending while trying to achieve their educational goals.  It is essential for students to invest smart on their future and learn the importance of money management. If you are a student and have financial questions about loans, structured settlements or annuities contact 123LumpSum for more information.


Cashing your Structured Settlement to Celebrate the Holidays

For many families, The Holidays are an exciting and important period to enjoy and spend time with family and friends. With the holiday season in full swing, many people find themselves struggling for money to meet with their holiday spending needs. That’s where 123LumpSum can help!

There is no need to suffer this Holiday Season. Many consumers are unaware they can sell structured settlement payments for Cash. If you’re on a fixed budget and need a lump sum of cash now for the upcoming holiday season, consider selling your structured settlement or annuity.

Many People with holiday financial problems tend to get themselves in debt. People who spend money relying on future small payments rack up credit-card debt. This is what is known as post-holiday hangover. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2012 the average person spent more than $750 on gifts and other holiday-related items. About one-third of those shoppers used credit as their primary method of payment.

There is no need to get yourself in debt if you own a structured settlement or Annuity. Finding a financial expert to help you get the cash you need is easier than you think. (How it works) Spend your holidays like you deserve!

Once you receive your Cash from 123LumpSum here are some tips on how to save money this holiday season.

Tips to make your Structured Settlement Cash Go a Long Way

Determine what you spend.
Before the Shopping season begins, look over your budget, and limit how much you can afford and are willing to spend on holiday-related purchases. Set a reasonable figure as your overall holiday spending limit. Create a Holiday Spending list and figure out your expenses (gifts, decorations, holiday foods, etc.) and set a budget for each one.

Think outside the gift box. Consider trading in some things you don’t need to fortify your holiday budget. Not everything has to be purchased; some of the best gifts come from putting time and effort in making them.

Coupons, Deals and Specials. We suggest looking for gifts and decorations early. Start collecting them during yearly sales. Make your list, and then try to use at least one coupon for each person. The savings will be noticeable.

At 123LumpSum we want to thank you for letting us help you with your financial needs during the Holidays. We understand there are a number of other structured settlement or annuity funding companies from which to choose; your decision to engage with 123LumpSum is appreciated.

123LumpSum would like to wish everyone a truly joyful holiday season, and a happy and prosperous year ahead. For more information, please give us a call us anytime at 1-800-400-9123. Our financial experts can tailor a quote for you based on your individual goals. And turn your structured settlement payments into cash that you can use during the Holidays.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge

123 LumpSum employees participated in the two-day Dolphins Cycling Challenge on November 2nd and 3rd in Miami Dade and Broward County. The event brought together over 2500 cyclists, their families and volunteers, including our own Paul Burns.

Since its inception, the Cycling challenge has collected about$4 million dollars for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Sylvester’s mission is to fight cancer and help those who suffer from it and other serious illnesses, through research, education, prevention, and quality patient care. This community initiative is a collective effort between the Miami Dolphins Foundation and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Here is what Paul Burns had to say about his experience:

“This Sunday, I participated in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge. In 2013, this organization has raised nearly 4 million dollars to benefit UM Sylvester and kids fighting cancer.The fight against cancer is a subject that I’m passionate about having had a minor scare a few years ago and losing two of my grandparents to the disease.”

“I am thankful to 123 LumpSum for their generous donation and to Andrew Savysky for inspiring me through his work with the Special Olympics.The ride was a fun way to support a worthy cause and I look forward to organizing a team next year to help raise even more money next year!”

AboutDCC

Launched in 2010, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) is a two-day tri-county charity cycling event. The DCC is dedicated to raising funds for lifesaving cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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The Cost of Going Back to School

As the new school year quickly approaches, parents prepare themselves to join the herds of shoppers browsing the aisles for school supplies, new clothes, books, electronics and other necessities. As many parents know, back-to-school essentials do not come cheap. To prepare for this cost, it is important for parents to understand just how much this school year will cost them.

Kindergarten – High School Students

  • Supplies: According to the NRF’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family will spend an estimated $634.78 in preparation for the upcoming school year. Approximately $290 of this money will be spent on electronics, backpacks and general supplies, such as notebooks and pencils. While the average is down from $688.62 last year, spending is still expected to reach $26.7 billion.  see index
  • Wardrobe: While supplies account for a large portion of spending, back-to-school clothing is what typically costs parents the most money. On average, families will spend around $230 in apparel and accessories, with another $114 spent on new shoes.

College Students

  • Technology:   College students cost significantly more than younger students. In total, parents will spend an impressive $45.8 billion to send their college students back to school. For the typical student, parents can expect to spend an average of $230 each year in technology alone.
  • Dorm room essentials: In addition to new laptops or tablets, parents can also expect to spend an additional $633 on dorm furniture, apparel, bedding, personal care essentials and school supplies. Parents of college-age students who live off campus will also want to consider the cost of food and furniture when planning their budget.

With back-to-school expenses so high, many parents are left wondering how to get cash for school. Commonly, parents scour the stores looking for the best back-to-school sales and deals. Others offset the expense by including it in their annual budget. However, some parents get more creative and decide to take advantage of their structured settlement. To cover the cost of supplies, apparel and even tuition, parents can fund their children’s education by selling their structured settlement for a lump-sum payment.

With job competition at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to invest in the best education possible for our children. The gift of education is one that will last a lifetime and will give our children a solid foundation on which to build a long and successful career. Selling a structured settlement to fund a child’s education is an effective way to get cash for school without straining your finances or going into debt to shoulder this expense. Let 123LumpSum help.