Concept Of Expensive Energy Bill

Saving on Cable/Satellite/Phone Bills

Two items that every household needs are television services and telephone services.  A homeowner or apartment dweller must obtain cable or satellite service to watch television in his or home. Additionally, some form of a telephone is necessary for the person to maintain contact with employers, friends and family members. The following are a few tips on saving money on such services:

Taking Advantage of Contracts

Many of the major service providers of cable and satellite services offer discounts to customers who agree to sign one or two-year contracts. For example, a new cable customer could obtain a generous offering of more than 140 channels for as little as $45 a month with a one-year contract. A person who prefers to have a healthy amount of premium channels can obtain three or four premium channels and more than 260 additional channels for a little over $99 a month with a one-year contract. A contract is a signed agreement between from a customer that states that he or she will not cancel services for at least 12 months. A homeowner or apartment dweller who does not plan to change services can take advantage of such an offer.

Using Bundled Services to Save Money

Bundled offers are becoming commonplace for cable and telephone service providers. Such providers often offer consumers spectacular deals if they bundle their services together. For example, a consumer could obtain cable services, telephone services and unlimited Internet services for as little as $99 a month. The aforementioned bundled package could provide the consumer with Internet speeds of approximately 50 Mbps, 140 channels, and unlimited nationwide voice calling. Bundled packages provide convenience and savings.

Comparing Promotional Offers

Comparison tools can help consumers to find the best deals and the best providers for cable and telephone services. Comparison sites save consumers time by neatly placing providers and their offerings horizontally or vertically on a web page. The consumer can view information such as current promotional deals, contract requirements, consumer reviews and more. A comparison site may also offer information about the quality of cable services versus the quality of satellite services. The consumer will need to take a full view of all aspects of the household services before he or she makes a final decision.

Keeping one’s house up to date on technological services no longer has to cost an arm and a leg. Affordable deals exist within the competitive market today.

figuring debt

Holiday Crash: Why Debt Looms Large as Holidays Approach

We all have debt. Student loans, cars, homes, credit cards; you name it, we have it.

And, for the most part, we accept debt for what it is and work diligently to get to the point that we are at least comfortable with how much we have or at the very least have a plan in place to move in the right direction.

Then, it happens. How you want to define “it” depends on your specific situation. Maybe “it” is the washing machine blows up for good or your car transmission says so long for the final time, leaving you with a huge repair bill.

In this case, “it” is the holidays, more specifically the idea that they’re fast approaching and you still haven’t saved one penny to put toward any and all gifts you plan on buying. So what that creates is a scenario where not only do you have your current debt, but also the looming presence of more debt with gifts, parties and anything else that might cost money this holiday season.

Money, of course, you don’t have at the moment, and certainly money you don’t want on the credit cards.

So when September rolls around you realize that “Black Friday” isn’t far behind, meaning your time to start saving is slowly slipping through your grasp the same way that hot holiday toys will be as you battle with others at the toy store.

Now is the time to start tackling your budget head on, limiting certain purchases while perhaps cutting back on a few things for at least a few months as September turns to November rather quickly. You might want to start cutting things like take out dinners in favor of eating at home. Perhaps you can live without cable television for a few months and check out the NFL football season at a friend’s house (and borrow their WiFi while you’re at it). What about that phone bill? Do you really need all that data?

In addition to cutbacks, you should take a minute to examine your budget and truly figure out how much money you have leftover at the end of the month. Let’s say that number is $200 when you re evaluate your financial standing on a monthly basis. The only reason you haven’t been saving $200 per month for the last year is because you’ve used that disposable income for vacations, clothing and other non essentials.

You can fine tune that extra cash and turn it into nearly $1,000 if you start saving it now, rather than use it on things you don’t technically need at the moment. That might be just the ticket to turn this holiday into a happier one from the financial standpoint side of things.

save on phone plans

Teaching Children the Value of a Dollar

Small children lack the respect and value for money that adults have. Therefore, their parents need to teach them the value of a dollar and the importance of saving money. In some cases, husbands may lack the education that they need to save money effectively. The following are some tips on teaching family members about respecting and saving dollars:

Explain the Concept of Work and Survival to the Children

The first step in teaching children about money is explaining how employment works. The parent should explain the basic concept of performing repetitious tasks for money. The person should then explain the costs of some common household necessities and the way that earned money pays for such items. Additionally, the parent should explain the process of saving earned money for emergencies and for recreational activities and “toys.” The man of the household can provide his input, or he can observe and take notes on the explanations.

Assign Household Tasks and Issue Monetary Rewards

Using household tasks or chores to teach children and husbands to earn and save money is an effective strategy. The parent could have the kids conduct tasks such as washing dishes, emptying garbage or sweeping and mopping floors. The parent could assign a monetary value to each chore, and he or she can pay the children on a weekly or biweekly basis. Wives can use this tactic to each their husbands, as well. They can assign tasks such as grass cutting, laundry or landscaping to their husbands. Their payments could come on a weekly or biweekly basis. Assigning household tasks and payment amounts teaches people that they can obtain cash for survival by performing tasks that they may not necessarily like. Real life jobs work the same way.

Designate a Savings Account or Prepaid Debit Card

Every household should have at least one savings account or prepaid debit card for savings. Husbands and children can place a portion of their earned cash into these accounts. They can then use the money that they save for toys, family outings, hobbies and the like. Alternatively, the children and the husband can put the savings toward their future aspirations such as college, cars or retirement.

Teaching one’s family how to earn money and save money instills important values in them that they would otherwise not learn. A family can learn to succeed financially by implementing the aforementioned strategies.

Smart Ways to Use Credit Cards and Debit Cards

Millions of people own credit cards and debit cards, but they do not always make the best use of their products. Smart consumers can use such cards to save money and to teach their children responsibility. The following contains tips on using credit cards and debit cards to one’s advantage:

Apply for Rewards Credit Cards and Debit Cards

The best way to take advantage of the many benefits of modern debit and credit cards is to apply for rewards cards. Rewards cards are special products that allow cardholders to earn cash or points. A cardholder who accumulates points on a credit card can use those points for discounts on airfare, hotel bookings, car rentals, apparel, electronics and the like. Cash back cards can help a debtor to earn money that he or she can place into a savings account for future use.

Use Balance Transfer Credit Cards to Consolidate Debt

Debtors who have more than three open credit accounts can take advantage of balance transfer cards. Balance transfer cards allow cardholders to move the balances of their existing debts onto a credit card with a high balance. A balance transfer can help a consumer to save money on interest. A good balance transfer card may offer an interest-free introductory promotion that can last as long as 18 months. The consumer can use that time to pay down his or her existing debt. Balance transfer cards provide a smart consumer with an easy way to organize and consolidate his or her finances.

Deposit a Portion of Paycheck into a Debit Card

Debit cards are excellent mechanisms for saving money. Most debit cards have account numbers and routing numbers that customers can use to setup direct deposits on payday. Such customers can designate a portion of their paychecks to the debit card, and they can save the money for an emergency.

Pay Debt Slowly and Consistently

Credit cards can help a person to increase his or her credit score over time. Keeping the balances below 50 percent of available credit is an excellent way to increase a credit score. Additionally, the consumer should make timely payments, and he or she should never pay the full balance at once. Hefty timely payments over a long period can affect a credit score more positively than one lump sum payment can affect it.

Credit cards and debit cards have a wealth of additional benefits and features that consumers can take advantage of to make their lives easier. The aforementioned tips are just an introduction to a greater level of cardholder awareness.

car

Big Ticket Items: How to Get the Best Deal on a Car

A vehicle is a necessity in any household. Some dealerships capitalize off that concept by inflating the prices on their new and used automobiles. A smart shopper can learn how to work a dealership, however. The knowledge and power to do such can be found in the following brief tutorial:

Fix Your Credit as Much as Possible

The first step in purchasing a new or used automobile is repairing credit score as much as possible. A high credit score gives a consumer additional clout and the opportunity to obtain the best interest rates. A consumer should obtain a free copy of his or her credit report and then take all possible steps to increase the score before vehicle hunting. Examples of credit repair steps are paying down debt, decreasing inquiries, disputing negative marks, and ceasing credit card usage.

Bring a Substantial Down Payment

A hefty down payment is another item that gives a person additional bargaining power. A good down payment is one that ranges between $2,000 and $5,000. Even a person who has horrible credit can get an amazing deal on a vehicle with a $5,000 down payment. Therefore, vehicle seekers should arm themselves with such.

Check the Vehicle’s Value

Once a vehicle seeker has decided on the make and model of choice, that person needs to research the vehicle’s value. The Kelley Blue Book is the Gospel for gauging a vehicle’s value. The book will tell a prospective buyer how much the dealership should ask for a specific vehicle. The person can use that knowledge to bargain with the salesperson.

Research Several Dealerships

Hundreds of dealerships exist in each state. Therefore, no one is tied down to one office. Consumers should research at least three local dealerships to find out which one offers the most honesty and quality.

Always Negotiate

No consumer should ever accept the price that the dealership has listed on the vehicle. A smart shopper will negotiate for a lower price even if it takes all day long. A person who can tire a salesperson is a master of negotiation, and this person will usually walk out with a vehicle for its true Kelley Blue Book price.

Be Willing to Walk

Finally, no shopper should ever be afraid to walk out the door. Another dealership will have the same vehicle on its lot, and so will many other dealerships. Walking is an excellent negotiation tool, and the risk is low because so many dealerships exist. A person who uses the aforementioned advice should be able to obtain the vehicle of his or her dreams.

 

save on electronics

Back to School: Saving Money on Computers

Nowadays, a computer is everyone’s bread and butter. People who work from home must use their computers for several hours a day.  Business owners need to maintain customer databases.  This week, as students get back to school, most will be using computers and for those taking online classes, they will have to be able to login, complete coursework and submit crucial assignments for their grades.

The best way for the aforementioned people to save money on computers is by extending their life as much as possible. The following contains tips on cheap computer maintenance and inexpensive replacement tactics.

Virus Software Is necessary

No person should operate a computer without a protective anti-virus program installed. Whether the person owns a PC, a Mac, or an alternative device, viruses can still enter the premises. Virus software varies in cost. Some excellent free virus programs such as AVG and Avast are available. Popular programs such as McAfee and Norton have varied plans that can fit anyone’s budget. Every computer owner must have an anti-virus program, or the computer’s life will be compromised immediately.

Add Protective Gadgets and Additional Memory

A handy computer owner who knows his or her way around the insides of a unit can install some extras that can spare its life. Additional fans can help the computer to cool down when its processor starts working too hard. Additional RAM can speed the unit up and provide a higher quality of performance.

Defrag and Clean

Cleaning up a computer is just as important as having an anti-virus program. Defragmentation is a process in which the computer gathers and organizes files in a fashion that enhances its performance. Every computer has a defragmenting option, and the user can set his or her unit to defrag. Cleaning the computer’s cache and temporary files with a program such as CCleaner is also an acceptable means of putting things in order.

Places to Get Cheap Computers

If a computer does die on a user, he or she can find a replacement in a number of affordable locations. Discounts stores such as Walmart usually offer laptop units for under $300. Other places to purchase cheap computers include flea markets, yard sales, thrift shops, and small computer repair shops. A person could also find coupon codes and promotional codes online that could provide significant discounts on popular computer sites such as the Dell site. A computer can last a user for five years or more with the right preventive measures and maintenance tactics.

Happy Young Woman with vegetables in shopping bag . Beauty Girl

How to Save on Groceries

With the price of foods constantly increasing, consumers are having difficulty adjusting their budgets to meet their needs. Fortunately, there are still money-saving techniques available for frugal consumers who want to get the most out of their grocery shopping experiences. The following are four ideas for saving money on groceries:

The Grocery Store Card

Almost every grocery store offers a discount card to its faithful customers. Cashiers usually ask each customer if he or she would like to sign up for such a card during checkout. The discount card gives shoppers access to special discounts that regular shoppers do not receive. The process takes about two minutes to complete, and the grocery stores do not charge for registration. Therefore, every shopper who has a favorite location should take the time to register for a card.

Credit Card Rewards

Credit card companies have a multitude of cards that give cash back to their cardholders. Such cards often award cardholders 1 to 6 percent discounts on special purchases such as groceries. A consumer with good credit can take advantage of a rewards card by applying for one that has a high return on food purchases.

Coupons and Discount Codes

Most consumers already know that they can find amazing grocery discounts in the weekly circulars. However, several alternative money-saving options are available. One such option is online shopping. Online shopping experiences can produce deals that differ from regular circular deals. Furthermore, a wealth of websites offers coupons and discount codes to people who conduct their shopping online. Online grocery shopping is becoming more popular than it ever was before. Consumers can save money in addition to saving time standing in the long, understaffed lines of popular grocery stores.

Frugal Grocery Chains

Sav-a-Lot, Walmart, and Aldi are just a few names of discount grocery store chains. Frugal shoppers can save hundreds of dollars per experience by visiting a frugal establishment such as the aforementioned. The price differences between regular grocery chains and discount grocery chains is mindboggling, but the food is of the same high quality. Discount grocery chains offer their generic brands of foods along with some of the most popular brand name food items. Frugal shoppers can have a field day hunting for the food items that they love the most.

Shoppers can find creative ways to fill their fridges without struggling to make it to the next paycheck. The aforementioned tips can help start the money-saving journey.

Back to School

How and Where to Save on Back-to-School Clothes

Back-to-school time is one of those special times of the year when parents have to reach into their wallets and spend money. Sending a child to a school that wears uniforms is one way a family can save money. When such is not possible, then the parents have to find creative methods of frugality. The following are some tips on saving money on back-to-school clothing.

Visit High-End Thrift Shops

Thrift shops can be gold mines for back-to-school shoppers. Parents often donate their children’s clothing to such shops when they grow out of them. Therefore, a frugal shopper can find well-conditioned brand name clothing from the previous season for his or her kids. Thrift shops sometimes contain brand new items that still have the price tags on them, as well. Some thrift shops are ritzier than other thrift shops are. The key is to visit several local thrift shops and find out which ones have the classiest lines of clothing.

Shop for Bundles Online

Parents who do not mind purchasing bulk used clothing can find a smorgasbord of clothing online in places such as eBay and Amazon.com. Auction sites are unpredictable, and they can sometimes save frugal parents a ton of money. For example, a parent can grab a large bundle of school clothing on eBay for $.99 if no one else bids on it. So many people are selling clothes on the site that getting an unbelievable deal on school clothing is highly possible.

Wait for Holiday Sales

The best time to shop for back-to-school clothing is a month before the school year starts. However, parents who do not quite have the funds at that time can take advantage of huge sales that occur after the school year starts. Labor Day sales usually start the weekend before the holiday. Parents can take advantage of those sales and grab their children wardrobes that can last the entire year.

Use Coupons and Promo Codes

Clothing store coupons and promo codes are always available online. A shopper can find them in the weekly newspaper circulars or on the retailers’ websites. Another way parents can find coupons and promo codes is by conducting online searches for them. Many third-party sites have coupons that people can print from home. Shoppers who checkout online can use promotional codes to receive their discounts.

Back-to-school shopping does not have to be stressful. Even single parents who have limited resources can find huge savings.

Creative Ways to Save for any Household

Some families have little faith in their ability to save money. They may think that because times are tough, they cannot possibly set aside enough money to create a significant savings account. Several creative ways to save money exist, however. The following are a few tips on materializing money for a savings account.

Feed Pennies to a Piggy Bank

Many consumers take the almighty penny for granted. Some of them disregard pennies because of their bland color, while others take them for granted because they are only worth one cent. A consumer who truly wants to save money can place those copper collectibles in a destination that is much more valuable than a trashcan is. A piggy bank is the perfect place for the change one receives during trips to the local store. Banks have coin-counting machines that can convert pennies into paper cash. A family can collect as much as $20 per week just on pennies alone.

The House Rule Method

A debtor can use a set of house rules to save money. For example, the person can take an empty tissue box and label it “broken rules.” Every time someone in the house breaks a rule, that person can place $1 in the broken rules box. Broken house rules could consist of using profanity, coming home late, telling lies, failing to complete house chores, or earning poor grades in school. When the tissue box starts to overflow, the family will have a bundle of money to place in a savings account. The house rule method is creative, and it can help to improve the behavior of everyone in the home.

Random Scavenger Hunts

Money can end up in the most unlikely places. One way a family could gather funds for a savings account is by going on weekly scavenger hunts. Scavenger hunts can start inside the house and expand to local grocery stores, convenience stores, Laundromats and the like. The amount of scavenging a family does depends on the urgency to create savings. Most people can find change under couch pillows, underneath the beds, inside the laundry, underneath vehicle seats, and in between vehicle seats. Public change treasures sometimes hide inside of retro-styled phone booths, laundry room change machines, candy machines and more. The change from scavenger hunts can quickly turn into positive dollars.

Saving money is possible even for families that are in the worst conditions. The members just have to have faith and remain aware of their surroundings.

How to Save on Household Necessities

Expenses for household necessities such as cleaning agents, toiletries, linens, dishware, and device supplements can rack up quickly, especially when a consumer is moving into a new residence. The following are a few tips for purchasing the things that one needs to maintain cleanliness and order inside the home:

Dollar Store Shopping

The best commercial chains to visit for household necessities are dollar stores. Several chains such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree provide inexpensive household items for consumers across the nation. A frugal shopper can find items such as bed linens, dishes, cleaning agents, beauty products, toilet paper, paper towels, candles and more. Many dollar stores only charge one dollar for their products. Discount stores such as Family Dollar have slightly higher prices, but they can still save the consumer a great deal of money on household basics.

Flea Markets and Yard Sales

Flea markets and yard sales can be great places to find just about anything that a home needs. Some vendors offer amazing prices on new items, while other vendors sell used household goods. A consumer can always clean and sanitize new items such as silverware and dishes. He or she can also find a wealth of bleaches, dishwashing detergents, perfumes, shampoos and the like in new condition. Used items such as chairs, tables, trinkets and linens are also available at these sites. Additionally, a shopper can find a multitude of paintings and other wall items that can spruce up a new home.

Online Wholesale Stores

A shopper who has a large sum of money to work with can try purchasing his or her goods from an online wholesale vendor. Such vendors offer household items for an extremely reasonable wholesale price. A few of the items that one might find at an online wholesale site are items such as bedding sets, cushion covers, kitchen knives, dishes and other household goods.

Auction Sites and Classified Ads

EBay is a reliable online source for finding many household necessities. A consumer can receive enormous savings by bidding on interesting items for the home. If no one else is interested in the seller’s lot of goods, then the consumer can obtain them at an amazing price. Craigslist is another option for finding household goods. People who are moving usually place ads on Craigslist for such items. Additionally, some homeowners offer their items in the “free” section.

Frugal household shopping is a practice that can help a person to quickly accumulate everything he or she needs for comfortable living.

Savings Gone Wild