Home > Author Archives: Kim Parr

Author Archives: Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

How Much Should You Spend On Birthday Presents?

annual spending on birthday gifts

Most of our family birthdays happen from January to March. I could and used to literally go broke trying to buy everyone a present. I think if you’ve always given gifts, people develop the expectation that you’ll continue to do so. As we started to get out of debt, that pretty much cut out gift giving, especially for adults. Now that our finances are in better shape, we could go back to our old ways, but that seems a bit counter productive. Regardless of your financial situation, how much should you spend on birthday presents? Kid Birthday Gifts Our daughter will be turning 8 at the end of this month. We have always given her gifts for her birthday, although none of them have ever been that expensive. I hope she never reads this, but we’ve actually kept back things other relatives sent for Christmas and gave them to her for her birthday. Our kid is funny. I credit part of it to not having regular TV. She never sees commercials and has no idea about many of the popular toys out right now. She asks for art supplies, a kite, ear muffs, some very odd things. This year, she ...

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Is Your Family Ready to Cut the Cord?

save money by cutting cable TV

Cutting the cord, or giving up your cable or satellite subscription, has been a hot topic among television subscribers for several years now. Thanks to an increasing number of people deciding to cut the cord, pay TV companies actually saw a decline in subscribers in 2014; and that decline could continue in 2015 and beyond. But before you decide to take the plunge, you should ask yourself if your family is ready to cut the cord. Here are some things that you should consider before you make your decision. Does Your Current Service Have a Contract? If you subscribe to a satellite provider, chances are they locked you into a two-year contract when you signed up. What you might not know is that if you moved, upgraded equipment, or added receivers to your account, the company could have restarted that contract. Before you cancel your TV service, make sure that you are completely out of your contract period; otherwise you could end up paying several hundred dollars. What do You Like to Watch? There are a lot of excellent streaming options available for everyone in your family. ·  Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu all have a lot of children’s and ...

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Getting Out of Credit Card Debt: What You Should Know About Balance Transfers

save money on credit card interest

Are your high interest rates causing you to dig yourself deeper into debt? We’ve all been there at least once or twice in our lives. We receive what appears to be a great offer for a credit card, open the account, mismanage our spending, and eventually, end up in debt. What was once a $2,000 expense has over time turned into a $3,000 expense as the interest rates continue to add up. So what do you do? Allowing the problem to persist essentially means a ruined credit score, which in turn prevents you from borrowing in the future. A more effective solution would be to consider transferring the balance on your card to a new card with lower (or zero), interest rates. However, before you start applying, here’s a bit of information that would be beneficial to know in advance. 1. You’re Obtaining a New Card to Pay off the Old One The concept behind balance transfers is removing the debt from the old and adding it to the new. For example, let’s say you have a high interest credit card asking you to pay 13% and you have a balance of $2,000; you’ll have to pay approximately $347 per ...

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How to Get Your Side Hustle On: Five Tips

making money on the side

Everyone can use extra cash and with the rise of the entrepreneur, it’s becoming easier to be inspired and find ways to turn your skills into additional income every month. When looking for a way to make money in addition to your “day job” there are a few things to think about before getting started. Time, resources, and profitability are the three main things to help you decide what type of “side hustle” works best for your lifestyle. If you are saving for a house, wanting to pay off your debt, or planning a dream vacation, here are five tips to help you get your side hustle on and see your goals come to fruition:   Lock in an idea. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon of what everyone else is doing. What works for others may not work for you. Make a list of all the things you like to do and add to it all the things you have skill or knowledge in and see if you can find areas where the two meet. A side hustle means that you will be spending most of your waking hours working, so it’s a good idea to make it something ...

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How To Haggle For A Used Car

haggling for a used car

Hopefully this will be my last post about used cars for a while. Like it or not, most of us have to drive, which means the occasional need to shop for a car. Since one of our lines in the sand is to never again buy a brand new car or have a car payment, it made the hunt a bit more challenging, but I think the end result turned out well. Let me say that I hate haggling. It’s more fun to pick up dog poo, but sometimes you have to step up to the plate if it means saving thousands of dollars. These are some tricks I used to haggle for a used car. Know What Kind Of Car You Want There are so many makes and models of cars available that it almost boggles the mind. Saying you want a car just doesn’t cut it. Thankfully the internet has all kinds of reviews and specifications so people can check out vehicles that fit their needs for reliability and affordability. In our case, we narrowed the choices to a Honda Civic or Accord. We also wanted a 2010 or newer model. I preferred the Accord since it’s the ...

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