Caregivers Make Resolution to Organize Finances Using App

The beginning of a new year marks the perfect time to re-examine your personal finances and monthly budget. Especially for senior caregivers who might be on a tight budget to begin with, even finding small spending habits to eliminate can add up to big savings over time. The Clarity Money app offers a free tool for caregivers to examine their spending habits and recognize monthly subscriptions that could potentially be canceled to save more money. 

When users first open the Clarity Money app, they need to create a profile and then log into online banking for any accounts they'd like to track. The app can pull in information from multiple banks to track on one profile. Then users will be taken to the home screen of the app, which displays most of the different features as you scroll down. 

At the top, users simply see a breakdown of their Cash and Debt in the connected account, as the app pulls in checking, savings and credit card information. Then, the app shows how much money the user spent yesterday with an optional drop down menu to review all transactions on the accounts, or only the most recent. 

Below that, a chart breaks down all of the user's spending for the month into specific categories. In addition to establishing monthly patterns, this also helps caregivers see where they might unexpectedly be spending more money than they realize, such as on shopping. If a number seems oddly high on shopping, ask yourself where you can save money at the grocery store, or if you can do without that new sweater. 

The next section of the app offers to create a savings account with Clarity Money to meet goals, such as establishing a Rainy Day Fund or saving for an upcoming trip. The app offers several options for how to set it up, with varying dollar amounts to choose from and customizable frequency. Caregivers can set it up to pull a certain amount of money from the linked account of their choosing weekly on a certain day of the week, or monthly on a specific date, i.e. the 2nd of every month. 

The app also identifies recurring charges to your account for monthly subscriptions for services such as Netflix and displays them all in one area to help caregivers see what they're paying total on a monthly basis. Perhaps you realize that you pay for a Netflix subscription, but you haven't been using it. That makes for an easy decision to cancel it and save $10 per month. 

The app also features ways to check your account balances, credit card activity and your credit score. The app does an excellent job of presenting a snapshot of your overall financial picture from several angles to make planning and budgeting easy. 

The Clarity app is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Caregivers Buy and Sell Clothes Just in Time for Winter Using App

As the weather turns colder, it's time to pull the winter wardrobe out and examine what you might be missing plus what you don't wear anymore. For caregivers on a tight budget, shopping for new clothes can be challenging. The Saily app gives senior caregivers the ability to sell old clothes that are still in good condition and search for gently-used clothes to stock up for winter. 

A good rule of thumb when deciding whether or not to part with an article of clothing comes down to the last time you wore that piece of clothing. If it's been more than a year, it's safe to say you likely won't wear it again and can part with it. Go through your closet and pull out any items that meet these criteria and put them in a pile to sell, if they're still in good enough condition. 

Then, examine the clothes left and decide what you might be missing that you'll need for the next few months. Perhaps you're in need of a few sweaters for work, or you could use a new scarf to go with your winter coat. Make note of the items you're searching for and then open the Sally app. 

When caregivers first create an account in the app, it asks them to select the categories that fit their shopping interests. The options include Shoes & Sneakers, Laptops & Computers, Phones & Tablets, Handbags and Watches. While most of these don't fall into Wardrobe items, the app certainly has listings for all sorts of different types of clothing as well. 

From the home screen of the app, caregivers can scroll through a feed of various available listings, or search by a specific term. The prices are all set by the users selling the items and show the discount from the original price. Some items are priced at more of a discount than others, so caregivers may need to weed through the listings based on their own budget. In a search for "Sweaters," we scrolled down a little and found six listings in a row for less than $20, so it's not that difficult to find. 

Alternatively, to sell an item, all caregivers need to do is take a photo using the camera on their phone, and then enter some basic information. The requested information includes Title, Description, Category, Retail Price and Selling Price. The difference between the Retail Price and the Selling Price determines what percentage saving is shown on the listing for prospective buyers. Remember to consider how much you'd be willing to pay for the item in its current condition before selecting the price.

The Saily App is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko 

Buy and Sell Second Hand Items for Caregivers in App

With low pay rates, caregiver budgets can be tight. Take that shirt you loved in the store only to bring it home and wear it twice before being doomed to the back of your closet and put it up for sale online instead of letting it gather dust. Using the letgo app, caregivers can make money off items they no longer use at home and search for gently used items at low prices. 

The letgo app functions as a neighborhood resale app. Users can list items for sale and pick up in their neighborhood, and then search listings in their area. When caregivers first download the app, they need to create an account by linking a Facebook or Google profile, or typing in their information manually.

Once caregivers create an account, they can browse through all available listings. The app breaks items for sale down into one of several categories such as: electronics; cars and motors; sports, leisure and games; home and garden; movies, books and music; fashion and accessories; baby and child; or other. 

The wide variety of items for sale offer caregivers plenty of options to purchase things they might need at a lower rate than in stores. For example, in the furniture category users can search through listings with furniture available secondhand but still in good condition. For example, this Ikea chair starts at $129 new, but caregivers could purchase it for $40 secondhand from this listing in the app. 

Caregivers can also see the zip code where the seller is located, so they can easily determine if the item would be in a place easy for them to get to and pick up. To sell an item of their own, caregivers can create a listing in a few short minutes. The app allows users to upload photos from their phones or take a new photo when creating a listing. 

Once a photo has been selected or taken, caregivers can either set a price or list it simply as negotiable. The description of the item will be pulled from the photograph you provide, and the location will match up with the location attached to your profile from the time of set up. Product listings become available within the app in 10 minutes. 

Once caregivers see something they'd like to purchase, they can chat privately within the app with the seller to arrange payment and a time to pick the item up. Caregivers can see a summary of all the items they've sold or bought under the person icon on the lower right corner of the screen. 

The letgo app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Will Wisconsin Seniors Pay More for Drugs?

For the second time during his tenure, Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker is proposing to cut the state’s popular SeniorCare prescription drug program by requiring Wisconsin's seniors to first enroll in the federal government’s Medicare Part D prescription coverage.

The majority of elderly in Wisconsin like the system the way it is. Some 85,000 SeniorCare members across Wisconsin pay a yearly $30 enrollment fee as well as co-pays of $5 for generic drugs and $15 for name-brand drugs, with no gaps in coverage. Medicare Part D can cost $30-$40 monthly and many plans include deductibles.

Governor Walker’s office disagrees. "In some cases, SeniorCare deductibles are higher than Medicare Part D," Laurel Patrick, a spokesperson for Gov. Walker, wrote in a statement to 27 News, Madison, WI.  "Also there is a provision under SeniorCare that requires some individuals to spend down their income, which means they need to pay for prescription drugs out-of-pocket in order to reach eligibility levels, that makes it less beneficial for many seniors."

The governor’s plan calls for seniors to first enroll in a Medicare Part D plan and SeniorCare would supplement coverage for any drugs not covered by the federal plan. His office estimates a $15 million, or 40 percent savings over the next two years in the state’s budget for the prescription drug program for low-income seniors.

Gov. Walker first proposed a similar plan in 2011. At that time, the proposal was dropped when it faced opposition from both Democrats and Republicans.

It’s interesting that when so many want less federal intervention and more statewide control, a state program with so much local support, especially when, during fall campaigns, elected lawmakers voiced their "commitment(ment) to fully fund SeniorCare."

Currently, Democrats Sen. Dave Hansen and Rep. Eric Genrich are launching a petition to drop the proposal.  They suggest the Republican governor is "putting the interests of big pharma above Wisconsin's seniors." AARP also denounces the plan, urging Wisconsin members to contact state legislators to encourage them to remove the provisions from the governor’s proposed budget.

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