Category Archives: Spending

When Renting a Car Do You Need the Additional Insurance

The following is a post from my mom, it’s her 2nd post on this site, and there are a couple more coming over the next two weeks.

 

If you have solid car, health, and homeowners/renters coverage, you can probably decline the extra protection and save a fair amount of cash.  But if you’re less than optimally insured, you may want to add rental car insurance.

KNOW YOUR CURRENT COVERAGES

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Primark

Getting the Best Deals When Grocery Shopping!

Regular grocery shoppers will notice that prices at their local stores seem to fluctuate almost randomly. Many will look into extreme couponing sites for good deals. A box of cereal that’s on super saver special for 99 cents one week might go up to $3.95 the next, then drop to $2.50, then pop back up to $3.15, then back down to $1.99. What you want to do is ensure that you never, ever have to purchase that box of cereal at that full $3.95 price. You want to buy it as often as possible at the 99-cent sale price—and you want to use a coupon when you do.

This requires a bit of planning, and being a bit of a cheapskate, and the secret here is that grocery store pricing tends to run on 12-week cycles. That is, almost every item in the store will hit its lowest price about once every three months or so and then will bounce around for the rest of the cycle. (Sometimes it’s a 10-week or a 14-week cycle, and sometimes there are seasonal variations, but most items follow these fairly regular price cycles.)

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Tackling the Money Conversation with Your Significant Other

Is no surprise to most consumers that the most common cause of arguments among married couples is money and finances. In fact, it’s been found through numerous studies that disagreements over money are the leading cause of divorce.

If you’re in a relationship and ready to take it to the next level (marriage, that is) it’s important to know what type of habits your soon-to-be spouse has, financially speaking. It doesn’t mean that you have to find someone that sees perfectly eye-to-eye with you on finances, because that’s very unlikely, but just that you find someone who’s close.

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Sometimes it’s OK to Use the Store Credit Card!

Here’s an great example of when using a store credit card was an excellent idea. A colleague of mine was planning for his wedding and, after visiting a number of suit rental shops, was leaving the mall and went through a Macy’s department store. It just so happened that it was one of their biggest sales days of the year and he decided to take a look at suits there.

Well as luck would have it he found the perfect suits for both himself and his groomsmen and also found out that he could save an additional 15% that day, plus get cash back, by signing up for Macy’s store credit card.

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Need to binge shop? Your local dollar store has bargains, but maybe not all of them

Many people love their local dollar store because it’s usually filled with great deals and, like the name, you can get most of them for 1 dollar. Surprisingly however it’s not exactly the cheapest place on all items and there are better places for bargains out there. Read below to find out some unexpected facts about the dollar store and some tips about where to sometimes find a better deal. Enjoy.

  1. A “shopping spree” at your local dollar store can satisfy you are urge to shop as much as a more expensive store. The way the human brain works, and the way it translates purchases into pleasure, can make a shopping spree just as satisfying at a dollar store as it would be at a much more expensive store. Psychologically a person gets a little “kick” out of every purchase that they make, no matter how large or small. The good news is that a larger number of purchases means a bigger kick.
  2. The dollar store isn’t always cheapest on some items. When a reporter in Idaho did some checking, she found out that 8 out of the 10 items that she bought at a local dollar store called the Dollar Tree were actually cheaper at her local grocery store. If you want to avoid paying more on things you use regularly, use any one of any number of smart phone apps to keep track of prices so that if you see one at the dollar store near you and you think it’s better priced, you can check right away to make sure.
  3. Brand names are actually available at the dollar store. It’s actually surprising what you can find at your local dollar store. It is not just off brand soaps and junk imported from China but rather some name brand that you would think would only be found at a “regular” store. There is one caveat however; most times you can find these brands cheaper at your local grocery store.
  4. Many of the “off brand” products at the dollar store are just as good as name brand. Did you know that even some wine experts have been fooled into giving better reviews on wine that has been mislabeled with fancy labels? It’s true, so don’t let brand-name labels for you into thinking that they have better products. Many times the dollar store products with minimal packaging are just as good. If one of the items you’re looking to purchase is food, simply look at the list of ingredients. You’ll find that, most of the time, off brand and name brand products  contain the same ones.
  5. Every 6 hours a new dollar store opens. Even though “experts” predicted that dollar stores would taper off once the recession improved (has it improved?) they are still popping up like crazy all over the country.

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Top Tips to Create Smart Credit Card Habits

Today, credit cards have become  an integral part of modern day living. They make the purchase of goods and paying bills much easier and negate the need to carry cash. Not only that but they also automatically record all of the expenses that we make as well as protect us when goods or services are delivered defective or not delivered at all. In some cases credit cards even allow people to earn rewards points that they can use on many different types of goods and services.

Of course, for all of the good things about credit cards there is definitely a ‘bad’ side to them. The fact is, millions of people around the country find themselves in financial crisis mode because of overspending that they got themselves into using their credit cards. It’s for this reason that knowing exactly how credit cards work and also how to use them correctly is vital to any financial plan. To that end, the tips below should help greatly. Enjoy. Continue reading

Financial Tips for the Single Parent

Many of the blogs that we write here on our site are aimed at families and the financial situations that go with having them. The fact is however that, for many people in the United States, their family unit consists of only one parent. If that describes your family and financial situation then you’re in luck because this blog is specifically for you. (Frankly where surprised you found time to read this as busy as you must be.) Simply put, keeping your finances in order as a single parent is even more important for you and your children because you don’t have a spouse, and their income, to fall back on if you lose your job or have a sudden decrease in income. Setting up a single mom budget can prove to be very useful. With that in mind we’ve put together a smattering of excellent financial tips for you to use. We hope that it offers some valuable advice. Enjoy

More than likely the majority of your money is going towards housing, food, clothing and of course gasoline. One of the best ways to make sure that you aren’t overspending on any of these is to closely monitor and scrutinize your spending over a 1 to 3 month period. If you do this diligently you will get a lot of valuable information about where your money is going and where you can possibly cut back on spending and increase your savings.

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Financial Tips for April, No Fooling Allowed

Welcome to April 2013. To celebrate the fact that we’ve already burned through a quarter of the year we put together a list of Financial Tips that will help you in all areas of your financial life. We think that you will agree that you can never have too many financial tips, especially when they come from us because you know that our tips are the best. (That’s why you keep coming back for more, right?)  All kidding aside, what we have for you below are some of the best tips that we know of to help you save more, invest wisely and end the year in good financial shape. With that in mind let’s get started. Enjoy.

Every financial plan starts with tracking your expenses. The reason is that, if you don’t understand where your money is going, it will be almost impossible to change the way you spend it and make better choices. We don’t necessarily recommend a specific software program but there are plenty of them out there and, when it comes right down to it, you can also use a plain old spreadsheet.

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Why Spending Less and Being ‘Cheap’ are Two Different Things

Many Americans are trying hard to make ends meet. The fact is, the economy and the American dollar are both suffering right now and cutting down on expenses is something that most Americans are being forced to do rather than choosing to do. One thing that most people don’t realize however is that there is a difference between spending less and being cheap. Spending less means using intelligence to handle your money whereas being cheap basically means that you don’t spend your money on anything, or as little as possible.

Frankly,  spending less money is something that everyone should be doing no matter if the economy is strong or weak. There’s no real delicate way to put it other than to just say it right out loud; Americans spend a lot of money on crap.

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How to Avoid Deceptive Bill Charges

 

If you have the feeling at the end of every month that there’s less money in your account than there should be you’re not alone. People all over America fall victim to deceptive or unwarranted charges every day, especially since fewer than 10% of us check every transaction that we make.  If you’re not willing to be a victim to companies that play it loose with ethics read on to find out how to identify and avoid deceptive charges that you may be getting and make sure that your money stays where it belongs; in your bank account.

 

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