By Jenna Christine | Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya
The inflationary decade of the 2020s is taking a toll on Florida’s moms and dads in more ways than one. Because the state is one of the fastest-growing residential areas of the nation, the cost of housing is higher than elsewhere. That means keeping up with mortgage payments can be stressful for parents who are already busy paying other bills, working full-time jobs, and watching their kids. Fortunately, local families have plenty of tools to combat rising home prices, rental rates, and other living expenses. One reason for optimism is that the Sunshine State is among the best places to start a new business, so anyone with an entrepreneurial streak can build a decent second income.
Additionally, homeowners can keep inflation in check by leveraging home equity to pay for their children’s college bills. Other potent tactics for beating back the rising cost of living include downsizing, storing food in a stand-alone freezer, renting out spare bedrooms, using coupon apps at the grocery store, joining a wholesale club, and vacationing in Florida’s local resorts instead of venturing far from home during holiday time. Here are more details about how those who have children can offset inflationary pressures.
Start a Small Business
There are dozens of reasons to start a side business in Florida. Not only does the state have no personal income tax, but it also offers some of the best entrepreneurial opportunities in the nation. The area has long been a magnet for tourists from all over the globe. Small, family-based startups in vacation-related niches can make solid profits for hardworking couples who want to augment their income in times of economic uncertainty. Some of the top choices for those who wish to own and operate a small enterprise include shuttle services for vacationers, tour guide companies that lead groups on foot through historical and other areas of large metropolitan areas, and food trucks for special events. Other moms and dads who can’t spend too much time away from the home concentrate on online companies like merchant reseller stores, blogging for profit, affiliate marketing, tax preparation, and website content writing.
Pay for College with a Home Equity Line of Credit
Floridians who own homes are in a fortunate position. Not only do they reside in one of the nation’s most popular states, but they can leverage equity for a low-interest line of credit. The upshot for those who have college-bound children is a practical way to pay for tuition and other education expenses without resorting to long-term student loan obligations. Helping children pay for college is an easy and convenient task when you own a house. The beauty of avoiding college loans from banks and other institutions is that they come with extended repayment periods and interest rates that aren’t always user-friendly. HELOCs give borrowers more favorable options, particularly when the money is used to pay for a degree program.
Rent Spare Space
Because the Southeast US is a favorite tourist destination, homeowners in the region should consider putting their spare rooms on the rental market if they want to earn extra income year-round. Start by checking the top rental platforms online and reading their requirements. In most cases, residential homes can list spare bedrooms for rent after meeting a list of safety and legal conditions. Renting is not for everyone because some folks are not comfortable having strangers in their living spaces. However, others are fine with the idea if renters are screened by a competent agency. For those who have young children, it’s usually helpful to make sure that the rented space is separate from the family area of the house.
Use Hacks to Save Big on Groceries
Spending less than $100 for an annual wholesale club membership is one of the best bargains around. Consumers who use lists when they shop for groceries can score major savings by leveraging the power of wholesale prices on national and local brands. Plus, most clubs offer discounted gasoline at local and on-site service stations. Filling up the tank when you shop for food items and household goods is a win-win for families looking to cut expenses. Another tactic, one that can be combined with wholesale club shopping, involves using downloadable coupon apps. Attentive shoppers can cut as much as five percent off regular prices once they learn the ins and outs of the top coupon apps.
Take In-State Vacations
Staying close to home during holiday time is a smart way to reduce the cost of traveling. The major plus for Sunshine State residents is that there’s so much to do and see in the area. Florida’s attractions, both natural and manmade, are excellent getaways for adults and children. Besides the dozens of theme parks, natural attractions abound. Hiking trails and fishing spots are never far away and make ideal weekend trips for parents with children of any age. Plus there are playground makeovers taking place all over the state so even a simple activity like going to the park will feel new and special since the design will be different than the parks you’re used to in your own neighborhood area.
About the Author:
Jenna is a corporate relations specialist with over ten years of experience in employee relations and brand development roles. She is a dedicated volunteer within the disability advocacy space and loves to bake and run marathons.