Concept Of Expensive Energy Bill

How to Do a Bill Cutting Sweep In Your Home

The economy is getting worse as fuel, food, clothing and utility prices are on the rise. Company wages seem to be stuck at a stagnant and disappointing overall low, which makes survival extremely difficult. The single parent is the person who has the hardest time keeping up with the constantly rising expenses. The following is a quick bill sweeping procedure that a person can conduct to save money:

Cut the Cable Bill

Cutting the cable bill is easy, but it depends on how far the consumer wants to go. The consumer can make some small adjustments by dropping some premium channels and extra features, or the consumer can cut the cable service altogether. Regular television antennas can pick up a wide variety of stations within a person’s locale. Cutting the cable bill can save a household anywhere from $15 to $150 a month.

Cut the Phone Bill

Many consumers spend way too much money on their cell phone bills because of advertisements and the “must have” attitude. Truthfully, a consumer can get by with a cheap cell phone and a flawless plan that costs less than $50 a month. Consumers can start cutting their phone bills by shedding expensive smartphones and searching for smaller cell phone companies that operate off established networks.

Cut the Auto Insurance

Another area that a frugal consumer can cut costs is the car insurance. The consumer can increase his or her deductibles to make the monthly premium go down. Many people are not aware of this tactic. Making a slight adjustments to deductibles to decrease the monthly premium is slightly risky, however. The insurance company will not make any payments for accidents until the insured person pays the deductible. The person will have to keep that in mind and think about it before making a decision.

Cut the Internet Bill

Lastly, the consumer can cut the Internet bill. Some companies have astronomical bills. They charge their customers more than $100 a month for Internet services. Prepaid Internet service can be found via a mobile hotspot device. Free Internet services can be found by moving to an area that has it.

Many creative bill cutting activities exist. The consumer can cut grocery costs, fuel costs, clothing costs and more. The processes just take concentration and a small amount of research. Willingness to change is necessary, as well.

movie on phone

Tips for Saving Money on College

A college education is one of the most expensive items that parents have to cover. Yearly tuition can be as high as $30,000 if the parents are uneducated as to the ways they can save money. The following provides some tips for saving money for college, and it provides a few tips on saving money on college:

Start Saving as Early as Possible

Parents should start saving money as early as possible so that they can accumulate funds for their children’s educations. Ideally, the parents will create a saving plan and a budget while the child is still a baby. Early planning gives parents more years to save money, which means they can save smaller amounts. A simple $25 per week commitment could result in $23,400 worth of savings by the time an infant is 18 years old.

Utilize Part-Time Income

Parents can use the funds from a part-time job to start creating their college fund. Many part-time jobs are available for those who do not want to use funds from their main job. Examples of part-time jobs include writing, lawn mowing, babysitting, snow shoveling and web design.

Open a High-Interest Checking Account

A high-interest bank account can provide a consumer with the boost that he or she needs to build provide a solid education. High-interest bank accounts can accumulate a few thousand extra dollars for a parent who is devoted to saving money for college.

Choose a Local College

The best way to save money on college is to apply for education at a local university. The difference between private college expenses and local college expenses can be more than $10,000 per year. For example, the cost of an out-of-state college might be $22,000 a year whereas a local college many only charge $8,000 a year for tuition. Parents must be extra careful not to fall into the trap of the overly expensive for-profit institutions.

Apply for Educational Grants

Federal grants such as the Pell Grant can provide a significant amount of college savings. The average Pell Grant is almost $6,000, and the receiver does not have to pay it back. Additionally, quite a few scholarships are available for students who would like to go to college. An interested person can find a scholarship or grant by typing the information into a search engine. A fortunate person can have almost all of the college expenses covered.

Red, white and rose.

Throwing an Inexpensive New Year’s Eve Party

All consumers would like to bring in the New Year with their closest friends and family members. A New Year’s Eve party is the perfect way to do such. How does one throw an inexpensive New Year’s Eve party with a limited budget, however? The following are some tips for having a party at home with extremely limited funds:

Dollar Store Snacks

The most important part of a New Year’s Eve gathering is that everyone is happy. Happiness does not require expensive food such as caviar. A homeowner can visit the nearest dollar store a purchase enough chips, pretzels, dips and drinks for the gathering with less than $20. Additionally, a dollar store will have supplies such as table cloths, hats and blow toys for when 12 a.m. hits.

Grocery Store Niblets

Party planners who desire a healthy alternative can shop for some inexpensive items at the grocery store. A bag of Granny Smith apples is cheap, and the person can slice the apples into attractive slices and serve them with caramel or chocolate dip. Deviled eggs are an inexpensive party food, as well. Alternatively, shoppers can purchase large premade party-size fruit or vegetable platters.

Cheap Alcoholic Beverages

A New Year’s Eve celebration does not need to be expensive when it comes to alcohol. Places such as Family Dollar sell frozen Pina Coladas and other tasty mixed drinks in a bag for approximately $2. No preparation is necessary for such drinks. The only thing the “host” has to do is put the bag in the freezer long enough to thicken the drink and pour it into a cup whenever the drinker is ready to drink it. Discount liquor stores may have some additional specials going on for celebrating the New Year.

Cheap Party Fun

Board games are some of the best sources of entertainment for a New Year’s Eve party, and most of them are less than $20. Examples of some fun games that groups can play during the party are Twister, Pictionary, Monopoly and Scrabble. Card games and intellectual games can go over well also. Uno is a card game that has been around for decades. Chess and Checkers are never unpopular no matter who is around. A person can find any of the aforementioned games at the local toy store or discount department store.

Anyone can have an inexpensive New Year’s Eve by following the aforementioned advice. The key is to bring in the New Year with a smile despite the working budget.

gifts for others

Key Strategies for Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping can become a mess for people who wait until the last minute. The best strategy for holiday shopping is to start months in advance. Since the advance-purchase strategy is not feasible for all consumers, some consumers must use alternative methods. The following are some key strategies for holiday shopping:

Money Saving Strategies

The best way to save money on holiday presents is to hit hard during the biggest sales of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two days that the Christmas shoppers will not want to miss. Consumers can save up to 70 percent off on these two days. Hundreds of physical retail locations place their goods up for sale on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The day was named Black Friday because the streets and the stores are packed to blackness with all the customers who run around trying to purchase the cheapest items.

Cyber Monday is the online version of Black Friday. The sales occur on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Shoppers can visit a multitude of online retailers and receive insane deals on clothing, shoes, electronics, home décor, auto parts and more. One example of a sale that a person may see is a $200 titanium wedding band on sale for $29.99.

Timing Strategies

Timing is crucial for holiday shoppers who shop online. They must remember that delivery services such as UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service are backed up during the holiday seasons. Therefore, ordering a present three days before Christmas is not going to work. Online holiday shoppers will want to make their purchases at least a month before Christmas. Cyber Monday is a perfect day to shop because it gives consumers time to have the presents delivered to their homes on time. Shoppers who do not want to have their items shipped can resort to mall shopping.

Mall Shopping Strategies

Shoppers who want to buy Christmas presents at the mall will want to do so at the right times. The malls will most likely be crowded all day long on Saturdays. They will be crowded after 5 p.m. on the weekdays, as well. The best time to shop and beat the crowds is on Sunday morning between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. because many people will be at church. Additionally, weekday mornings are good because the majority of shoppers will be at work.

The aforementioned ideas can help shoppers to save money and stay safe during the holiday season.

Concept Of Expensive Energy Bill

Saving on Utility Bills During Cold Months

The weather is starting to bite in various parts of the country. That means that homeowners will need to take steps to warm themselves. Many consumers suffer an average increase of at least $100 per month in utility bills when the weather gets cold. Such occurs because they run their heating systems all day and night to avoid getting chilly. The following are some steps that consumers can take to save money even as it turns cold:

Insulate the Windows

A wide variety of home improvement shops sells products that consumers can use to insulate their windows and doors. Insulation film and other products work to keep the warm air in the home and the cold air out of the home. The key to properly insulating the home is to ensure that all door and window cracks are covered. Home Depot and Lowes are two popular stores that have products for home insulation. They also have knowledgeable employees who will help people to take measurements and choose the best materials for the job. A good insulation job can keep the energy bill down significantly.

Invest in Cheap Comforters and Fleece Sweat Suits

Not using the heating system too much will reduce the electric bill. However, the family will need to do something to warm themselves up when the heat is off. Investing in cheap comforters and fleece sweat suits can help immensely. Thermal underwear is an additive that can keep family members warm during cold days, as well. Walmart and Family Dollar are excellent places to find inexpensive comforters and sweat suits.

Let the Oven Heat Out

The oven could be a good source of heat for a family that frequently cooks. The oven will continue to send out warm air for at least fifteen minutes after the person turns it off. Therefore, the dinner preparer could open the oven door and let the heat fill the rest of the house after the food cooks.

Get on a Payment Plan

Finally, some utility companies understand that families come across hard times during the cold months. Some of them offer equal payment plans that allow consumers to pay the same amount every month until the winter ends. The bill eventually balances itself later, but it gives the family a break during the cold months.

Consumers can always think of ways to avoid sky-high bills and stress. The aforementioned tips are great initial ideas.

coupons

Small Potatoes: Even the incidental savings make world of difference

When considering your financial standing and, more specifically, the fact that it should be better than it currently is, you often take a look at the large scale, big ticket items that plague your overall debt to income ratio.

Cars, homes, student loans and other expenses of that ilk are your focal point, and you might believe that a drastic move, like selling your home or car, is the kind of downsizing that is applicable and just for your situation.

While those decisions aren’t necessarily out of the question, they’re often looked at as last resorts or the kind of money saving techniques to be employed by someone who perhaps has lost a job and has nothing in savings.

What you can focus on in the interim, before you sell off your sizable, expensive assets, is the exact opposite: the little expenses you forget about that can add up quickly. Those adept at saving money realize that it is a marathon and not as much a sprint.

Selling your TV, laptop or tablet might sound appealing to make a nice chunk of change initially but it isn’t going to save your long term money woes. Ironically, the incidental amounts, the ones that you don’t always think about, are the ones that are the difference between being on the plus side of your monthly savings.

First, if you don’t have a budget, then your blueprint to success as it relates to money is never going to happen. Budgeting helps you track those aforementioned big budget items but the little ones often go overlooked for those without some sort of system in place.

Think about a $4 cup of coffee that you have five days per week that you don’t think anything of until you add up the yearly cost: $1,200 per year. Who wouldn’t want to have that kind of cash on hand in case of emergency or just to put into a savings account? That take out lunch is even worse than the coffee and only compounds the money you’re spending. A $10 lunch five days per week seems harmless until that number soars to $2,400 dollars per year. Brown bagging isn’t all that bad, right?

Beyond the money, and your daily cup of Joe, your planning doesn’t stop just with budgeting. Think about how you shop, particularly groceries. Do you use a list? Those who use a shopping list spend roughly 40% less than those who go at it blindly.

If you don’t have a list, consider you might be buying things you already have at home or tend to overspend and subsequently throw food away you aren’t going to get to any time soon. And anyone who thinks they’re too good for clipping coupons hasn’t reveled in a bill that is half of what they typically spend.

A few sporadic adjustments might be the salvation you’re looking for, rather than selling off everything you own or drastically changing your life when a small fix could be in order.

Trick or Treat

Decorating for Halloween on a Budget

Many parents and homeowners dread Halloween because they think it will cost them an arm and a leg. Halloween does not have to be an expensive event. A family can decorate the outside and inside of the home and still have plenty of money left to buy candy for the children. The following are tips for decorating for Halloween on a budget:

Do It Yourself

A family can find many accessories right inside their homes that they can use to decorate them for Halloween. One thing they can do is create a cemetery outback by cutting pieces of cardboard and drawing messages such as RIP on them. Another decoration that a family can make for Halloween on its own is the extremely scary giant spider decoration. A person can create a giant spider with black trash bags, newspaper and a glue gun. The spider can be as large as the family wants it to be, and it will absolutely care the pants off many trick-or-treaters. Another easy homemade decoration is the Ghost-Lit walkway. It requires empty milk (or juice) cartons, construction paper, and candles that can go inside the jugs.

Use Coupons and Discount Codes

Visiting coupon and promo code sites is another way to decorate for Halloween for less. A person can find a wealth of Halloween coupons just by visiting the Google search engine and typing “Halloween decoration coupons.” One site that offers discounts of up to 20 percent off Halloween decorations is coupons.com. Another site that has Halloween coupons is Party City. A third source of codes and discounts is the Retail Me Not website.

Wait Until the Last Minute

Finally, waiting until the last minute is an effective plan for the cheapest Halloween decorations. Sites such as Halloween Effects already has a 50 percent off sale. Stores such as Walmart, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Target and more are offering cheap decorations at this time. Additionally, stores such as Home Depot and Lowes are having their fair share of Halloween sales. Every retail location would like to clear its inventory before the week of Halloween is over. Therefore, frugal shoppers can have a field day from October 25 to October 31.

Holidays do not have to be stressful. They can still be fun for all family members. Parents just have to find loopholes to gain access to the best deals and discounts.

Spring Cleaning

Getting Rid of Unwanted Household Items for Cash

Every now and again, a family has to conduct some “Spring-cleaning”. Spring-cleaning can occur any time during the year, and it usually involves removing unwanted household goods. The following are some suggestions for earning a little money while making extra space in the home:

Yard Sales

Having a yard sale is a great way to accumulate some cash for unwanted clothes, books, electronics, furniture and more. Yard sales require minimal work, and many people stop by them to find items for their households. The downside to yard sales is that the homeowner will have to sell the items for extremely low prices to get rid of them. The rain may ruin a yard sale plan, as well.

Newspaper Ads

A family that has specific items such as large pieces of furniture or expensive electronics could place an ad in a local newspaper. People will respond to the ad if they are searching for those items. The only down side to newspaper ads is that they cost money. Other methods of selling one’s goods are free.

Craigslist

Craigslist is a free classified website that a family can use to get rid of a ton of household items. Family members can use Craigslist to announce a yard sale, or they can list a time separately. People will call if they are interested in the individual items. The family could even place ads for household items that they want to give away free. The downside to Craigslist is that it becomes cluttered at times because its service is free. Sometimes, people have to list their items several times before a prospective customer notices them.

EBay

The eBay auction site is another way that family members can get rid of their unwanted items. Listing fees are cheap on eBay, and customers can pay for items quickly using PayPal. The down side to using eBay for selling household items is that the seller has to ship the products. Shipping may not be fun for all people. Craigslist customers generally meet sellers at public locations with cash, which is why many people prefer Craigslist.

Flea Market

A family can rent a table at a local flea market and set all of their household goods on the table for sale. The sellers get to make up their own prices and negotiate with the buyers. The down side is that table rental costs money. Therefore, a lack of sales will result in a financial loss.

Homeowners have a multitude of options for conducting profitable Spring-cleaning. They just need to choose the method that works best for their situation.

 

movie on phone

How to Save on Theatrical Entertainment

Theatrical entertainment (movies) is one of the top sources of happy diversion for many consumers. However, the price for visiting a local movie theater is constantly rising. Consumers can use alternative methods to enjoy the latest and greatest box office hits. The following are some tips for saving money:

Visit the Matinees

Some consumers prefer visiting theaters because of the social outing they receive from the experience. Frugal movie buffs can still cut the costs of visiting a theater by going to matinee showings. Matinees showings are discounted showings that sometimes cost half the price of later showings. Interested persons can contact their local theaters to find out which ones have cheap matinees. Additionally, some theaters offer rewards cards that issue free movie tickets when a consumer spends a certain amount of money.

Join Netflix

Netflix is a site that offers a free trial of its movie streaming service. Persons who have cell phones, phablets and tablets can enjoy movies from the comfort of their rooms or offices. The Netflix service costs $7.99 a month after the free 30-day trial period ends. Members can receive access to thousands of high-definition quality movies.

Check out a Redbox Site

Redbox has a regiment of little red movie rental boxes all over various towns. People can find them inside of Walmart establishments and in the parking lots of other participating companies. Redbox offers a large selection of new releases, classic movies and other movies of various genres. Visitors can choose DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. The rentals are cheap, and Redbox always has nifty offers of which consumers can take advantage. Users must stay alert when they visit Redbox machines, however. Some machines have been hijacked by credit card scamming software. The safest machines to visit are the ones that are inside of department stores.

Order Movies on Cable

Most cable companies offer the On Demand feature. Movie buffs can watch their favorite movies at home with a bowl of popcorn if they order them from their cable service provider. New releases may be a few weeks behind, but the On Demand feature can still save a family money on gas and $10 popcorn.

Consumers can find many interesting ways to save money on entertainment. Coupons and promotional codes are available online for additional discounts. The consumer can find those by typing “movie coupons” into a search engine tool. They may be surprised at the amount of discounts they discover.

Just like mama used to make.

Eating Out Large On The Town When Money Is Slim

Cooking meals at home is acceptable, but nothing is quite as enjoyable as receiving service in a food restaurant. Consumers enjoy dining because of the personal service, the tasty foods, and the social outing. People who have tight budgets may think that eating out on a regular basis is impossible. To the contrary, it is possible for a frugal consumer to eat out at least once per week. The following are some tips for enjoying meals at various restaurants on a low budget:

Hunt for Restaurant Coupons

Just about every product or service has a coupon associated with it. Restaurant meals are no different. A frugal consumer can locate restaurant discounts and coupons on various sites across the web. Websites such as Get Restaurant Coupons and Wow Coupons can help consumers locate coupons for their favorite eateries. Alternatively, they can find coupons on each restaurant’s main website. Many restaurants have a separate page for coupons on their main websites. The Amazon.com and eBay websites are additional places that people may find coupons to their favorite restaurants. They just need to ensure that the coupons are not expired.

Go out on Discount Nights

Couples who have children can save oodles of money by dining out during discount nights. Some restaurants such as Denny’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Pizza Hut and Firehouse Subs offer free kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal. Sites such as Coupon Divas and Kids Meal Deals can direct a frugal family toward a current deal that they can use this week.

Take Advantage of In-House Specials

In-house specials are a different breed of discounts that exist inside of an establishment. They consist of $5 deals, two-for-$20 deals and like offers. A frugal consumer would want to visit his or her favorite location to find in-house deals for the family. Applebee’s offers its customers half-priced appetizers after a certain time of the day. The restaurant has a two-for-$20 menu, as well. Both special offers can help a couple of first-time daters or a hungry husband and wife. The Outback Steakhouse offers a three-course meal for $11.99 on Wednesday nights. T.G.I Friday’s has endless $10 appetizers and $3 beers.

The key to success for a frugal consumer is concentration. A consumer can find a meal deal that fits the budget with a few minutes of research. The family can enjoy eating cheap meals and meeting new friends for years.

Savings Gone Wild