(BPT) – Sponsored ad content by Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.
High school graduation should be a time of celebration. But for a lot of families, it can also be a source of stress. College is a big step into the future for any student – and it comes with a hefty price tag.
According to a 2015 survey, the top-ranking financial worry for parents with children under the age of 18 was paying for college. The study found that budgeting for higher education costs was the chief concern for 73 percent of applicable parents. The same study found that financial concerns around budgeting for college were even prevalent in higher-income households. Sixty-one percent of homes earning $100,000 or more a year expressed concern.
When you look at the costs of tuition today, it’s easy to see the cause for concern. So what can you and your family do to make college more affordable for everyone? Start by following these tips.
Seek out grants
To help ease the burden of college expenses, it’s a good idea to apply for as many grants as possible. Grants come from multiple sources including the government, organizations and even some private companies or estates.
A grant is basically funds awarded by one entity for a specific purpose. College grants are one of the most common and there are several online resources you can use to search for grants. Start with grants.gov and expand your search from there. You never know what you will find.
Keep a close eye on your budget
The 70-20-10 rule makes for a helpful guideline when saving for college. Under this rule, 70 percent of your money is allocated for living expenses — such as the mortgage, food, clothing and gas — 20 percent goes into savings and 10 percent is allotted for debt. Set up your own model and set aside a set percentage of your savings to be allotted for college (say 5 to 10 percent) and try to hold true to these numbers as much as possible to support your total savings and budgeting goals. Vanderbilt’s 2017 Home Loan Guide includes an excellent article on budgeting, along with an interactive budgeting sheet to help calculate your expenses.
“Budgeting is a roadmap to financial success built around your personal income and expenses,” said Eric Hamilton, President of Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. “Whether you’re saving for your first home or a college education, the importance of building and following a budget plan cannot be understated.”
College tuition is one of the largest expenses most people will incur in their lifetime – until they purchase their first home. So for parents who are helping with their child’s college expenses, shouldering both can be difficult to manage. If you find yourself in a difficult situation concerning your mortgage payments, be sure to contact your mortgage loan provider to see what programs they may be able to offer to help keep payments on track. But the best defense is a good offense. Planning ahead and putting aside funds for college tuition will help reduce or eliminate any impact paying tuition may have on your financial stability.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes an entire family to send them to college, so work together as you save for this goal. Educate your student on how to save, both for college and in life. If they already have a part-time job, set tangible goals for their savings — as you have done for yourself. For example, estimate the cost of books for the first year and work with your student to set a monthly savings goal that will help them achieve that number.
This will relieve some of your financial burden and ensure your student has a vested stake in their entire college experience.
Start saving today
There’s no time like the present to start building a college savings fund. With careful planning and a little teamwork, you all can emerge on graduation day with degree in hand without a mountain of debt.
College Board® is the registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board Nonprofit Membership Association, which is not affiliated with and does not endorse Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.
One-of-a-Kind Gift Ideas You Can Use this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means you’ll have to start looking for a gift soon. Let Globe myBusiness, the micro, small, and medium enterprise arm of Globe Telecom, introduce you to some great ideas which you can use to wow your significant other.
This year, make Valentine’s Day one to remember when you treat your partner to:
A perfect combination
Those “His” and “Hers” items you find in department stores may seem cheesy to some, but there are more than a few products that are actually quite witty and useful, while at the same time very sweet. With a range that goes from pillows to towels to jewelry to clothing, there are more than a few ways to express your love!
A personalized keepsake
What could be more special than a gift that’s made for your partner alone? Personalized items have become such a hit that you’ll be sure to find names or initials on a multitude of items in just about any mall or shopping center. Make him or her feel one of a kind with something that’s undoubtedly theirs – just like you!
A handmade project
Nothing says “you mean a lot to me” like something you created with your own hands. This kind of gift adds the benefits of something personalized as well: not only is it unique, but it’s tailor-fit to what your partner needs and guaranteed to be useful and appreciated. Most of all, it shows you not only know your partner very well, but also care about what he or she needs.
A gift that keeps on giving
Who says gifts can only be useful once? For the practical partner, even the most unusual “gift” can be romantic if it can be utilized for long. Splurge on something your partner needs around the house, or get them something they’ve always wanted. Not only will they be very grateful, they’ll also be sure to remember you each time they use it.
A delicious feast
Who doesn’t love to eat? Valentine’s Day counts as the ultimate date night. Turn the date itself into a gift by going somewhere extra special. Binge on delicious food, share bites and stories, and most of all relish the calm and romantic ambience that only a very good restaurant has to offer.
A little something for the Earth as well
All kinds of love can be (and are!) celebrated on Valentine’s Day, so extend your care to all the people who matter to both of you. Make sure you show your love for family and friends as well, and while you’re at it, why not give a little something to the Mother we all love, our own planet? You can even turn this into a project you and your partner work together on — because why not?
An experience to remember
It’s one thing to get your partner an object, but it’s a whole other thing to get him or her an experience. Do something you’ve never done as your relationship takes to new heights, and get to know each other better as you’re thrown into all kind of situations or adventures.
A chance to learn something new
If you’re a business owner and you don’t always have time outside of work, yet neither you nor your partner would pass up the chance to discover new things, why don’t you check out a workshop or activity you’ve never tried before? More than just the introduction to what could be a new hobby, it would also be a great bonding opportunity for you two.
Valentine’s Day should be a special occasion simply because it’s there for you to celebrate the most special people. Don’t let it go to waste by giving your partner exactly what he or she deserves — the best!
Globe myBusiness provides digital solutions to local entrepreneurs to help them grow their business. Follow Globe myBusiness’ Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/globemybusiness/ and check out our wonderful surprises for Valentine’s Day!
5 Places You Can Visit to Make Valentine’s Day More Special
There are lots of places where you can spend Valentine’s Day but making it more special means finding venues with unique offers that help create new and memorable experiences.
Lucky for you, Globe myBusiness, the micro, small, and medium-enterprise arm of Globe Telecom, has compiled a list of special places you should visit to make sure your day of hearts will be one for the books:
Spa and Wellness Centers
Relaxation is at its finest in spas and wellness centers. These places offer different ways to de-stress, perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Among the things you can try are massages from skillful masseurs. Coupled with aromatherapy, massages can help you feel refreshed in just a few minutes. On another note, some spas and wellness centers offer unique amenities like saunas, fish spas, jacuzzis, and hydromassage pools that are guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box experience on this special day of love, why not try camping and lounge on the best of what nature has to offer?
Groups of professional hikers and mountaineers are now offering this experience in different campsites near Metro Manila. Also, some resorts take camping to the next level by offering “glamping” as one of their options for accommodation. Glamping lets you enjoy the best of nature with resort amenities.
Beachside resorts are in high demand during summer months, but that doesn’t mean Valentine’s Day would be a bad time to enjoy the sand and sea.
In the sea, you can try kayaking, canoeing, or even island hopping for beachside resorts in places like Boracay, Alaminos, and Puerto Galera. If you want to check what’s underwater, you can try snorkeling, scuba diving, or riding glass-bottom boats. On land, you can explore different areas of a resort or schedule dinners by the seaside.
Central Luzon houses some of the oldest churches in the Philippines, making it a popular spot for pilgrims and tourists alike, even on Valentine’s Day. Be it in Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, or Tarlac, you’ll surely encounter popular churches with rich histories.
One example is the Monasterio De Tarlac, which is a monastery located at the top of Mount Resurrection that showcases a relic of the cross where Jesus Christ died. A 30-foot colossal statue of Jesus Christ also stands on top of the mountain, making it a popular destination, especially during the Holy Week.
A lot of festivals take place in the month of February and luckily, some of them are dated near Valentine’s Day!
The renowned Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City is a celebration of the city’s floral crops showcased through huge floats and artistic displays. Crowds from across the country flock to Baguio City just for this event, which this year will be held on February 24, 2018.
If you want to make an advance trip for Valentine’s Day, the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, Pampanga, is a sure-fire destination for your senses as well. The festival will take place from February 8 to 11, 2018, perfect for couples and families who want to experience something that they don’t see every day.
Valentine’s Day is a day of love. Be it a date with just your partner or a group date with your whole family, taking the time off work and spending valuable time with them is an investment in itself. After all, your business is for the people who matter the most.
With these suggestions, you’ll surely have a rich and worthwhile Valentine’s Day experience that will help inspire your success in the years to come!
Three Ways to Upgrade Your Lifestyle This Year
Don’t let limited funds dampen your curiosity or dreams of learning more about a new place and culture this year. Check out these smart and frugal travel tips for exciting international experiences.
Learn something new
Developing a new skill is a great first step towards self-improvement. It benefits your self-confidence and can create a feeling of achievement that builds towards bigger accomplishments. Try joining a class or following online tutorials for some DIY skills to help you improve your home, or learn essential work skills for the modern economy like social media marketing or coding.
Be adventurous and spend time abroad
Living in a foreign country for a few months or a year can broaden your outlook, help you enhance your language skills, and introduce you to people from different walks of life. Consider a working holiday, co-op or internship, or professional development abroad. You’ll gain valuable international work experience, work on teams with diverse cultural backgrounds and develop connections that strengthen your place in a global workforce—all of which can launch you into the next level in your career.
Make the most of winter
The winter months can be hard on our health, as we tend to hibernate indoors, eat more junk food and exercise less. Get out of this rut by focusing on the best the season has to offer, like skating, skiing and snowshoeing outdoors. Boost your health and beat the winter blues by getting enough vitamin D and eating nutrient-rich foods.
7 Simple Tips to Help You Avoid Take-Out Temptation
After a long day, the thought of putting in overtime in the kitchen can be quite unappealing.
“Ordering takeout can be a time-saver, but it’s expensive and typically less healthy than homemade meals,” explains Tori Wesszer, registered dietitian. “Prepping meals ahead of time means I can save dining out for indulging at restaurants I love, without the guilt.”
Wesszer recommends the following tips for fool-proof meal planning:
Freeze Florida Orange Juice in ice cube trays. Add cubes to a smoothie for added vitamin C and a natural sweetener with no added sugar.
Layer those salads. Make salads a few days at a time in mason jars. Layer your ingredients with dressing on the bottom to eat better and save money.
Make leftovers. Cook some extra at dinner to pack for lunch the next day.
Batch cook. Make foods like grains in large amounts ahead of time so you can have lots on hand for later.
Pre-cut your veggies. Wash and dice veggies that you use often ahead of time and you’ll have no excuse to skip your greens.
Freeze the rest. If you make a lasagna or chili, make double and freeze half to pull out on nights when you know time is limited.
Stock up on healthy kitchen staples. Keep items like canned beans and frozen veggies to pull a meal together in a pinch — a well-stocked pantry is essential to eating well.
Organize with apps. Use apps like Wunderlist to plan your groceries. You can even share it with someone to help keep you organized and avoid buying doubles.
Find more recipes at www.floridajuice.com/ca.
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