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.

business owner

Hiring Pleas: Why companies would be wise to hire right person the first time

If you run your own small business, you know the drill. Finding the right employees can be a critical factor in the success, or even the survival, of your business.

Hiring and subsequently replacing employees, for some companies, is a function that barely goes noticed.
That is until you start adding up the receipts and overall cost that accumulates when it comes to filling a position. Ironically, the type of company or the industry in question is rather a moot point. Whether you’re talking about an in office nurse, Subway sandwich artist or nuclear engineer, you still have that intermediate time period where the new employee must learn the inner workings of the company and the job, some more specifically than others.

What goes into that financial aspect includes advertising for the position, the search itself, time spent to other employees to train an individual that is new, thus taking away from their days being productive at their own specific job.

You also have to take into consideration that this new employee might need training that goes beyond what is done in the office. Perhaps there is travel, hotels, car rentals and flights associated with this new employee, thus making the job a long term financial drain on any company, especially the ones that aren’t good at grooming, hiring or keeping employees beyond a few years.

The nuts and bolts of the economic shortcoming that is hiring, firing and replacing employees is a budget buster for even the most lucrative companies. That’s why most large and small scale organizations put a premium on the ability to decipher resumes, cover letters and read between the proverbial lines when it comes to who’s the real deal in the interview and who is going to be out of the equation after a short period of time.

The goal for companies is to save money by retaining their employees, a measure that can save thousands of dollars per year easily. Consider that the cost to replace a fired employee or get a newly hired one up and running is about double the cost of the actual salary of that very position. A $60,000 per year supervisor is going to cost you about twice as much if he or she leaves and therefore is replaced.

Some companies avoid this price tag at all costs and simply toss the new employee into the fray with more of a hands-on approach. The “Catch 22” to that thinking is that new employee might be quick to get frazzled and upset with not knowing the specifics of the job and thus opt out quicker than the company assumes. Granted, the company might be saving a little on the training per say but the time and effort that it takes to keep looking, marketing the job and interviewing still costs.

That’s why the smart money is on focusing on finding the right person the first time out and thus saving the company money, not to mention the hassle and heartache of the revolving door that is your staff at the moment.

Young Woman Working As Florist In Shop And Text Messaging

Choosing the Right Retirement Account

With the current state of the American Social Security system constantly declining, adults will need to find alternative solutions for retirement funds. Opening a retirement account as early as possible is a wise move. Any person who is over the age of 18 can open a retirement account. Several types of accounts are available. The following is some information on the most popular types:

401K Plan

A 401K plan is a retirement plan that an employer offers. The employee agrees to have a percentage of his or her paycheck withdrawn and placed into the 401K plan each payday. The employer then contributes a certain percentage of the employee’s contribution to the 401K plan. For example, an employer may match an employee contribution with 100 percent or 50 percent. A person who makes a $25 contribution could “earn” an extra $50 from the employer. Each employer differs with its contribution rates. The 401K plan has many benefits such as hardship loans and withdrawals.

Traditional IRA Plan

A traditional IRA plan is a plan that allows the accountholder the option to withdraw money at any time. However, withdrawals before the age of 59 will yield tax penalties. The traditional IRA allows a person under 50 years of age to contribute no more than $5,500 per year. The person can contribute up to $6,500 after he or she reaches the age of 50. Persons who have taxable compensation can contribute to a traditional IRA plan, but they cannot contribute once they reach the age of 70. Additionally, persons with traditional IRA accounts can deduct their contributions for tax breaks.

Roth IRA Plan

A Roth IRA plan differs from a traditional plan in that the contributor cannot receive tax breaks on the contributions. Roth IRA accountholders can contribute at any age if their taxable compensation is below the specified level, however. Roth holders do not have to take the minimum distributions. They may take some distributions before they are 59 years old without receiving a penalty, as well. The distributions must qualify for such withdrawals.

A consumer or worker can choose from a wide variety of retirement savings options. Interest-bearing savings accounts from a traditional bank are acceptable. Some life insurance policies such as whole life policies can work as retirement savings accounts, as well. An interested party should speak with a financial specialist about the options that are available to him or her.

Wallet Bursting With Credit

Features to Look for when Choosing a New Credit Card

Today consumers have their pick when it comes to credit cards. Hundreds of credit card products exist, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Consumers of all credit classes can apply for a credit card, and more than 50 percent of them will receive an approval. With so many credit cards on the market, choosing the best one can be difficult. The following are the top credit card features to seek when looking for a new card:

Low APR/No APR

The annual percentage rate is a number that can add hundreds of extra dollars to a consumer’s credit card bill. Many card companies entice prospective customers by offering a 0 percent APR introductory period. New cardholders can enjoy an interest-free period for up to 18 months. A consumer will want to search for a card with a 0 percent APR introductory offer that converts to a low APR after the promotional period ends. The current average APR for credit cards is approximately 14 percent.

Cash Back

The cash back feature is always a winner in the eyes of the credit-seeking consumers. Credit card companies offer cash back cards that give customers a return of 1 percent to 6 percent of their purchases. The cash back option provides a credit card holder with the opportunity to earn money while he or she is spending money.

Airline Miles

Some credit cards have a point reward system through which frequent users can earn airline miles. The airline miles accumulate every time a cardholder makes a purchase. A cardholder who earns a significant amount of airline miles can take a long vacation or a business trip for a discounted price. Some cardholders can earn free trips.

No Annual Fee

Cards that do not have an annual fee attached to them give consumers access to their entire credit lines. Prospective customers will have to read the terms and agreements section to find cards that have no annual fees.

No Penalties

Some credit card companies charge penalties for offenses such as late payments and going over one’s credit limit. A smart consumer will want to hunt for card companies that do not incorporate these fees into their products.

How to Find Cards With the Best Features

A comparison tool can help a consumer find credit cards with the aforementioned features. A comparison site will supply an attractive layout of the features and benefits of several modern cards.

Coupons Word Cloud Concept

Using Promotional Codes for the Bare Essentials

Essential items are items that a consumer must have in his or her home to survive. Essential items include items such as bedding, eating utensils, dishes, cleaning items, tools and first aid items. A home cannot be clean, comfortable or safe without the aforementioned items. Homeowners or apartment dwellers who are on a budget may want to acquire the essential items in a frugal fashion. Coupons and promotional codes are a perfect way to do such. The following contains some information on using promotional codes to acquire the home’s essentials:

Bedding and Linens

Several online sites offer coupons and promotional codes for bedding and linens. The coupons.com website has promotional codes for companies such as Berkshire Blanket. Berkshire Blanket offers an assortment of pillows, throws, sheets and more. The uspromocodes.com site has a wide range of promotional codes for online linen companies such as Annas Linens. Consumers can enjoy at least 10 percent off their purchases with the codes.

Dishes and Utensils

Decorative Dishes is an excellent place to find beautiful ceramic dishes. Decorative Dishes is a shopping site for people who want to make their homes look extraordinary. The retailmenot.com site has a promotional code for Decorative Dishes that offers up to 40 percent off plus free shipping.

Cleaning Items

The Coupons.com website has an assortment of coupon codes that a homeowner can use to stock up his or her cleaning closet. A consumer can pick a code to use for janitorial paper, carpet cleaning items, dish-washing liquids and more. The promotional codes include free shipping codes and discounts of up to 50 percent.

First Aid Kits

The RetailMeNot website is an interesting site in that it finds the very best current offers and makes them available for the consumer. As a result, the consumer does not have to do much work to find deals.

Tools

The Couponcabin site has a wealth of promotional codes for stores such as Ace Hardware, which is a popular hardware chain. The dealsplus.com website is another place a person can find promotional codes for tools. Shoppers can get discounts of up to 50 percent on tools from Northern tools.

How to Use a Promotional Code

Using a promotional code is easy. Once the consumer copies the code into his or her mouse, the person can paste it into the special code box during the checkout process. The system will automatically apply discounts to the final item price.

pre holiday saving

How to Be a Frugal Early-Bird Christmas Shopper…in October!

Millions of people run around like chickens with their heads cut off during the Black Friday sales the month before Christmas. While Black Friday sales do offer a wealth of discount deals, consumers can still save money an spare themselves stress by shopping early. They can use several techniques to stay ahead of the game so they do not have to join the November mobs. The following are a few tips on how shoppers can beat the crowds with early-bird shopping:

Put Christmas Items on Layaway

Layaway is an excellent concept for early Christmas shopping. Retail establishments allow customers to put their items on layaway at any time. Therefore, an early-bird shopper can start his or her Christmas shopping three to six months before Christmas. Layaway is a system by which a person reserves an item and pays small installments until he or she pays the full retail price.

Use the One-Present-Per-Paycheck Method

Another stress-free early-bird tactic for Christmas shopping is buying one present per paycheck until the entire family’s shopping is complete. The consumer can start this program at any time. March is an excellent month to start as it will allow ample time for present accumulation.

Pick a Columbus Day Sale

Another way a person can use early-bird Christmas shopping techniques is to visit holiday sales that occur before the month of November. Columbus Day is an excellent holiday for sales in October. Top retailers offer discounts of up to 70 percent on clothing, bedding, toys, electronics and the like.

Put Your Fingers in the Hut

Online retailers such as Fingerhut offer small credit lines to people who prefer not to use layaway. Fingerhut will issue a shopper an initial credit line that he or she can use to order Christmas items. Fingerhut will ship the items with only a small down payment. The shopper then has to make small monthly payments until he or she is finished paying the balance. If the person makes eight timely payments, then Fingerhut will increase the credit line.

The company offers an excellent way for a person to establish or re-establish credit. A frugal shopper can perform early-bird Christmas shopping through Fingerhut without leaving the house. Several similar sites exist, but Fingerhut has been around since 1948.

A wealth of early-bird strategies exist. The consumer just needs to choose the one that fits his or her situation the best.

old stang

Saving Money on Your Automobile

Automobile expenses can get hefty if consumers do not use creative money-saving tactics. With economy so tight these days, automobile owners have to learn how to cut corners and save pennies. The following are a few helpful tips for trimming some of the fat when it comes to auto expenses:

Do Your Own Basic Work

A vehicle owner can learn how to perform basic maintenance services on an automobile by purchasing the manual and watching videos on YouTube. The person can save a lot of money on services such as oil changes and tune-ups. A vehicle owner can perform minor repairs such as serpentine belt changes, alternator changes, and coil pack swaps using the same methods. Professional auto repair shops charge $50 to $100 per hour for labor.

Ride a Bike Sometimes

A frugal consumer can save money on fuel expenses by riding an old-fashioned bicycle on short journeys(less than 2 miles). Short vehicle trips burn more gas than long vehicle trips do. Therefore, the consumer can cut costs by jumping on an old two-wheeler.

Carpool With Co-Workers and Friends

Another way a person can save money on fuel is by finding people who are willing to carpool. Co-workers will often carpool with other co-workers for a small fee. Riders can engage in fun conversations on the way to work, as well.

Locate Free Air Pumps

Tires need air sometimes. Many gas stations offer air for $1.50 or more. However, some locations still have free air. The keys to finding those shops are patience and research.

Search for Coupons

Coupon codes can help with expenses on auto repairs and parts. A consumer who wants to receive repairs from a professional mechanic can search for coupons online. Printable coupons are sometimes on an auto repair shop’s website. Other times, the consumer may have to search for them by using a search engine.

Use a Gas Rewards Card

Gas rewards cards are credit cards that offer cardholders cash back that they can put toward future fuel purchases. The cardholders receive a certain percentage of their expenses back whenever they buy gas. Using such a card is a smart way to save money each week. Rewards debit cards are available for consumers who do not have amazing credit scores.

Finally, a consumer can save money on auto insurance by decreasing coverage to the bare minimum. All aforementioned tips can add some extra money to the savings account.

Picture Of Happy Mother With Adorable Baby

Expecting? How to Save on Baby Items

The stress of trying to figure out where to purchase baby goods can sometimes put a damper on the excitement of pregnancy. An expecting mother will need to gather items such as cribs, diapers, baby clothes, bottles, strollers, car seats and more. The following provides some information on where an expecting mother can find cheap items for her bundle of joy.

Free Baby Clothes

An expecting mother can find a wide assortment of free baby clothes from compassionate churches and mission organizations. Tons of churches exist in every town. A quick way to find a list of places that give away free baby clothes is to conduct a Google search for “free baby clothes.” The list is endless. Friends, family members, and acquaintances can pitch in and offer clothing from their children, as well. An expecting mother who prefers brand new baby clothing can visit websites such as Zulily and Carters for discounts of up to 75 percent off clothing. Furthermore, the eBay and Craigslist sites always have unbeatable deals.

Cheap and Free Baby Furniture

Local thrift shops and consignment shops sometimes have cribs and other baby furniture for sale at super-low prices. Discount chain stores such as Walmart and K-mart offer baby furniture for fair pricing, as well. Mothers who have little or no resources can visit websites like Hand-Me-Downs and OneFathersLove to find connections to free baby furniture items.

Cheap Milk and Baby Food

Struggling expecting mothers can apply online for the WIC program or the food stamp program in their counties to obtain free milk and baby food. The WIC program provides vouchers for pregnant women and their children up to five years old. The WIC program issues vouchers for baby milk, regular milk, cereal and baby foods. The food stamp program provides mothers with cards to buy a wide range of foods and drinks. Additionally, an expecting mother can find coupons from Gerber’s and other baby food providers online.

Baby Toys and Diapers

Websites like Everdayfamily.com send samples of diapers and foods to people who register with them. Baby toys are available at every flea market, thrift shop, consignment shop, and dollar store in the world. Additionally, churches love to give baby toys to expecting mothers.

An expecting mother never has to be in despair. She can always find what she needs to orchestrate a stress-free deliverance for her child. The world has many people in it who are more than willing to help.

Savings Gone Wild