Money

Kick Your Finances Into Shape for 2012

Kick Your Finances Into Shape for 2012

Saving money is the new cool. The day where men and women go out on a Friday night and blow their cash, resulting them having to live on beans on toast for a week is long gone. Knowing your ISA’s, being able to charm the pants off of a retail assist whilst haggling and knowing your financial limits is now insanely suave. Nobody is effortlessly cool, despite what they’d have you believe. It takes determination, commitment and a whole lot of confidence. But once you get your finances in check, everything else seems to fall effortlessly into place. So it’s time to get things done. Instead of putting things on the backburner, you need to action and put self administration on full throttle. To be at your optimum best for 2012 you need to whip yourself into shape and, contrary to other predictable advice you’re likely to receive from trashy magazines this winter, save those pounds!

Financial Do’s and Don’ts for 2012

DO quit your gym. Release that primal instinct and start appreciating what is outside of your window. The world would be a far better place if we all left our inhibitions on the couch and just ran around, swinging , stretching and jumping from lamppost to park bench, wouldn’t it? Take the lead and get a breath of fresh air rather than being stuck in a sweaty top floor gym where everyone is competing for the biggest biceps.

DO use money saving iPhone apps. Most of us have probably got some kind of smart phone now and you can be the alpha male of the mobile world if you can find the very best money saving apps. Most money saving apps now work on a geo-location basis and can provide you with discount vouchers on everything from restaurant meals to those fine leather loafers you’ve been eyeing up.

DO say no. As much as your friends might moan at the time, they will actually have a lot of respect for you if you know when to say no. You don’t have to go out every week. You don’t have to go to every work night out. Be your own person and let people see that you make your own decisions and aren’t swayed by anyone else.

DO repair your credit if necessary. Remember it’s not about focusing on where you’ve fallen, but where you’ve tripped up. Take a look at your financial history and seek out ways in avoiding any previous mistakes or pitfalls. Use the New Year as a new opportunity. Research bad credit credit cards or speak to your bank about other ways of improving your credit rating.

DON’T leave things until tomorrow. The guys that do it best, do it in the moment. It’s cool to be efficient and organized. Open up those envelopes as soon as you get home, fill in that credit card application that’s been sitting on the kitchen side for 2 months, phone your bank and make sure you’ve got the best current account.

DON’T upgrade your mobile phone early. Wait until the end of your contract and you’ll get the best deal. It’s likely that the iPhone 5 is going to come out in the middle of 2012 and that would will be worth waiting for. Upgrading your phone early just tells everyone you’re all about style and not about substance.

DON’T buy lunch at work every day. Sure, it’s okay to treat yourself, and the modern man is a busy man who doesn’t always have time to prepare his own meals. However, bringing in your own food will not only save you money but it will probably be healthier it will subtly highlight to others just how independent you are.

DON’T take your car to work. For the majority of us who work full time, it’s far to easy to jump out of bed, into your car, onto your work seat and then back into your car at the end of the day before rolling onto the sofa and then crawling into bed. There’s not a whole lot of exercise in that routine. Mix things up a little. If you’re within cycling or walking distance, say under 5 miles, then consider cycling or jogging home from work a couple of times a week. You’ll save money on petrol and be doing a favor for your ticker in the process.

Scott is a writer who will be trying his very hardest to be rich and cool in 2012.


Planning for your new financial year

Planning for your new financial year

We all have New Year’s resolutions, but they are often not worth the paper they are written on or the hard drive they are saved on. Saving into an ISA at moneysupermarket can be a start.

From a financial point of view, we all plan to spend less in the coming year but often circumstances make it difficult for us to adhere to our plans.

With the world economy the way it is and many European countries bordering on default, saving must be at the top of the list. It is always a good idea to compare ISAs at moneysupermarket and other such comparison sites so you know that you have the best savings vehicle for your circumstances.

Financial planning for the next year should not be left until the last moment. Start earlier rather than later, so that the Christmas period won’t find you spending when you should be saving instead.

It makes good sense to plan your financial life from the start. Draw up a monthly budget and stick to it.

Longer-term financial goals should be next. If you stick to these plans, you will have the money saved for big expenses such as buying a home or a car but will also have cash available for short-term needs.

A financial budget will help you at the beginning of every New Year. You will not have to start a whole new plan from scratch but will only have to revise the standing one.

One of your resolutions might be to pay off more on your mortgage loan. If you have decided upfront that you are going to pay off more than the required amount, you will find that you can pay off your property years ahead of time.

Plan to pay off all or most of the debt that you have. Consolidate your debt into one bad credit credit card. This means that you have only one debt repayment.

Many brokers can also assist with consolidating your debt. They often have high fees, however and you should take care what you choose.

If your debt levels are giving you sleepless nights, you might want to consider additional income. Try to find an extra job or turn a hobby into an income generating sideline.

Any member of the household who is of working age and who is unemployed should try to find gainful employment. If you like children, you can start to care for the children in the neighborhood at a rate cheaper than the conventional one.

In this way you will make money and the neighbor will save money on childcare. If you can care for the children of more than one parent, it means an even better income.

Energy comes at a premium. This is a worldwide phenomenon. Reduce your electricity use to cut your own electricity bill but also to do your bit for the environment.

Our financial well being forms a large part of our day-to-day lives. It makes it possible for us to own homes and to educate our children the way we want to.

When you do your planning for the next year, involve your children in the process. They are never too young to learn how to handle their own affairs.


Three Things About My Finances I Wish I Could Tell My College Self

Three Things About My Finances I Wish I Could Tell My College Self

As we move through life, we sometimes find ourselves thinking about what we would have done differently if given the chance to do it all over again. One area that I find I think about most is in relation to finances.

Although little can be done today about the what-if’s of yesterday, if I had the opportunity to teach my college self anything, it would have to do with how to better handle finances. It really is true that the decisions we make early in life, can have a major effect on how we live in the future.

Stay Out of Debt

The best piece of advice I would give to my college self would be to stay out of debt. It seems that college students are prime targets for credit card companies. The lure of easy money and the ability to purchase things without actually having to have the cash available to do so is a hard temptation to resist. If you must have a credit card, click here first to compare interest rates and terms.

Credit card debt, however, can lock you into years and years of increasing payments if it isn’t put under control immediately or better yet, not entered into at all. Many students today are leaving college with debt from both student loans and credit cards putting them already behind the 8-ball before they even earn their first real paycheck. Therefore, it’s important to steer clear of debt. Otherwise, you could find yourself spending the next decade or longer just trying to pay it off.

Start Saving Early

Although saving money is the furthest thing from most college students minds, it is essential to get into the good habit of setting at least some money aside on a regular basis. By initiating this habit early in life, it is likely that you will continue to practice good savings habits throughout your entire life. And this is essential if you want to live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement or even before.

Nobody ever said that you had to wait until you turn 65 to retire. And, by starting to save money early you could very well have the opportunity to retire at an age much younger than 65. A nice nest egg will give you the choice of how and where you want to live and the first step to getting there is to begin saving at an early age even while still in college.

Purchase a Home

As a college student, buying real estate was nowhere close to being on my radar screen. In fact, even the idea of renting a small apartment was iffy. Back in those days, though, it was certainly great to have my own place – even though, unfortunately, it really wasn’t my place.

The apartment I rented belonged to my landlord and that landlord collected rent from me, as well as all of his other tenants month after month after month. Because of that, I helped my landlord build equity in his property and to move closer to owning the property free and clear.

Over the years, I’ve realized that if only I had purchased my home earlier in life, I too would have equity built in that property and would likely be very close to owning the property free and clear.

One reason that many young people shy away from purchasing a home versus renting is that they feel they don’t have enough money saved for a down payment. But, with today’s first time home buyer deals, coupled with low interest rates, owning a home could be much easier than you think. If you are able to lock into a low fixed rate mortgage, you may even end up paying far less in mortgage payments than you would to rent an apartment that is owned by someone else!

For those who are in college today, the financial picture in the economy is far different than it was in the past. But there are still great opportunities out there to save and invest – while keeping yourself as far away as possible from debt.

When not writing finance articles for blogs and online publications George Gallagher helps graduates find student loan consolidation with not-for-profit credit unions.


5 Things You Should Know about Investing in Silver

5 Things You Should Know about Investing in Silver

Everyone seems to be interested in investing in gold, but silver prices are on the rise as well. While silver may not be as expensive as gold, it’s still a valuable investment. Of course, there are a few things you need to understand about this precious metal before spending your hard earned cash. Here are just five things you should know about investing in silver.

Understand the Weight of Silver

Weights can be rather confusing when it comes to precious metals, but you need to understand them. Not understanding how silver is weighed can lead to a poor investment. When purchasing silver, you may see it listed by troy pound, which is 12 troy ounces. Before you make your purchase, do the math to see whether or not the troy pound price breaks down to a good troy ounce price.

Shop for Assay Certified Silver

An assay certification is used to protect customers from purchasing fake precious metals. When precious metals are certified, they are inspected to make sure they meet or exceed the silver content claimed by the maker. Assay certified silver will be marked with a hallmark, punze or ponicon.

Avoid Hand Poured Silver

Some people melt down silver jewelry, old coins, etc and hand pour new coins or bars of silver. There’s only one problem. There bars aren’t certified, which means that they might not be pure silver. Some people have been known to add an abundance of less expensive metals to the mix to make a quick buck.

Purchase Top Quality Silver

There is no such thing as pure silver. The closest alloy mixture you will find is .999 fine silver, which is labeled pure silver. The only problem is that it’s rarely used for anything other than bullion bars because of it’s poor strength. You may see coins that are plated in .999 silver, but for the most part people invest in coin silver, which is 90% silver and 10% copper.

Consider Coin Types

If you want a quick and inexpensive way to invest in silver, consider “junk” coins. These are coins that have no value other than the scrap value of the silver. They can be purchased rather inexpensively and take up little space in your home safe. If you want something more substantial, you will want to look for coins that are rare, which increases the value beyond the point of scrap silver.

Investing in silver isn’t a complicated process. In fact, it’s quite easy to do and can be enjoyable once you get the hang of it. Start by getting a feel for what a troy ounce of silver sells for and look for pieces that are assay certified. Last, but not least, invest in .999 fine silver bars or coin silver, which is 90% silver and 10% copper.

About the Author: Amy Brantley knows there is more to investing in silver and gold than simply locking some away in a safe. She’s a professional writer with a passion for personal finance, investments, Money Mutual loans, and credit repair.


Top Tips for Buying a Home During a Recession

Top Tips for Buying a Home During a Recession

home buyingDon’t buy unless you’re financially stable doing so if you’re not is incredibly risky. Are your job, your salary and your working hours secure? If not, you might want to hold back on buying until you can be sure they are – being unemployed with a mortgage to pay is not a position you want to be in.

What’s more, do you have a good credit rating? In order to get the best mortgage rates, you need to have a great credit rating. Again, if this isn’t the case it might be an idea to hold back for a while. Take out a credit card, use it for small payments and ensure to pay it off every month to help build up a positive credit rating.

Consider if you really need to move or is there an alternative? This is a risky time to be buying would your current home suffice with a new loft conversion or a kitchen extension? If so, you might be better off staying put for now.

Buy a home not just a house buying as an investment is especially risky. Despite all the hear-say, nobody actually knows where the property market is heading.

Unless you’re planning to live in the property for at least five years, and would be happy to stay longer than that if necessary don’t bother.

Buy properties with room for improvement following on from above, the housing market might see you stuck in the same property for much longer than you’re expecting. Because of this you should ideally buy a home that has room to grow.

If at any point you welcome new additions to the family, you might find yourself in need of a loft conversion or an extra bathroom. Ideally you don’t want to find yourself in negative equity, without the scope to extend your home to the size you need.

Haggle there are so many properties and so few buyers right now that if you’re looking to buy, you’re very lucky.

Start with a really low offer. While it may well get laughed off the table, it also might not, and if you’ve offered much less than you’re actually willing to pay you’re still in a great position to bargain.

Don’t buy what you can’t afford it might be tempting to buy your dream home but if that dream home will leave you struggling to make ends meet each month, your dream could easily turn into a nightmare.

Ideally you want no more than a quarter of your monthly income to be spent on your mortgage. A third of your income is the absolute maximum threshold you should consider.

Remember that as well as paying for the mortgage itself, buying a home involves paying for repairs and maintenance. Ideally you should place some money into a savings account specifically to cover such occurrences.

It’s also advisable to keep a substantial pot of money aside just in case you should lose your job or find yourself in some other unforeseen and dire financial circumstances.


4 Indicators That Predict Rising Gold Prices

4 Indicators That Predict Rising Gold Prices

Over the last few years, gold has experienced a sudden price spike, similar to what occurred in the 1980’s. As of today (Nov 3, 2011), gold sits at $1762 an ounce, which is down $134 from an all time high of $1896 (on September 2011). Experts are mixed as to whether gold is teetering on the edge of a bubble, or if it will continue to gain value in the long term. If we look at past events which contribute to increases and decreases in the price of gold, we may be able to determine its future value by examining these “predictors”.

Predictors of Gold and Precious Metal Prices

Inflation – Stimulus programs are currently propping up the economy and have been introduced in many other countries to fight the global recession. As more money is printed, paper currencies tend to be worth less. The inflation of currency makes commodities like gold and silver, real estate worth much more valuable. In this case, commodities can be seen as a hedge against the loss of value in paper currencies. The more gold becomes seen as a safe investment, the more its price will inherently rise.

Not all experts agree with the concept that inflation rates and gold prices are linked. From the 70’s to the year 2000, gold prices and inflation rates followed each other quite closely. But, during the last 10 years, the rate of inflation and gold have diverged.

Demand – Demand is growing due to higher wages in developing countries like China and India. In 2009 East Asia, India, and The Middle East accounted for over 70% of the world’s gold demand. These countries along with China are experiencing a boom in wages and changes which will lead to increased demand. The Chinese government also encourages their citizens to invest in gold and has begun allowing the import of gold from foreign markets. The high demand for gold from China and the rest of the world market, exceeds the available supply.

Discovery – Gold is not being discovered through mining at the rate that it once was. The rate of discovery of new gold has consistently failed to hit expectations in recent years. Some experts believe in the theory of “peak gold”, which predicts that the rate of discovery will continue to fall as the worlds gold supplies are depleted. If discovery rates decline, prices will continue to rise.

Economic Uncertainty – Currently, the United Sates and many other countries are struggling to recover from a double dip recession. The global economy has been hit hard and the EURO is teetering on the verge of collapse. This confusion and uncertainty about the economy means investors will look to gold as a safe place to store their money. If this uncertainty remains, prices will remain high.

Crisis And Precious Metal Prices

In addition to financial difficulties, conflict continues to rage across the globe. The “Arab Spring” has changed the political landscape in the Middle East. The world is still waiting to see if the outcome will be positive or lead to more conflict. An increase in the price of oil has contributed to higher gold prices in the past. A new political order in this region will affect prices.

As the price of gold sits at $1762 an ounce, it mirrors a situation in the 1980’s where gold prices hit the equivalent of what would be $2000 an ounce today. A similar spike occured due to dramatic oil price increases, a gas shortage, unrest in the middle east, and a change of leadership in the oil producing country of Iran.

Summary

The rate at which gold prices increase or decrease, depends on a variety of factors including: the state of the world economy, the wages in countries that have the highest demand for gold, volatility and conflict in the world, and the rate of discovery of new gold. Currently the price of this precious metal has experienced a spike which does not seem sustainable. But, in the long term, all the ingredients that are necessary for increasing gold prices to exist. After a correction in the over-valuation of gold takes place, it will be seen as a safe place for investors to store their money. Due to this fact, i believe that gold will continue to maintain its value even if the economy becomes more prosperous.


The Power Of Compounded Interest

The Power Of Compounded Interest

Someone once said that the greatest power in the world is the power of compounded interest. This is the interest that is put on top of the principal so that the interest then starts earning interest. Through compounding your money is able to grow much faster. If you want to become financially free then this is your greatest weapon.

Young people often put off starting a retirement account. They think that they won’t need to start until they are 30 or 40. But this may be the biggest mistake you can make. Why? Because the best time to start investing for your retirement is NOW.

Now the question is how can you make use of the power of compounded interest? You can do this by putting your money in vehicles that can give you good interest rates. One such vehicle is the stock market. You do not have to invest huge sums of money. To start investing in the stock market you only need a minimal amount. Then you can slowly add to your investment each month. If you think stock is too risky then you can play it safe and buy mutual funds instead. It has a lower interest rate but it is “safer” since there’s a fund manager who will be managing your investments. Then there are also bonds and T-bills.

There are actually many investment vehicles that you can use. It all depends on your preference and expertise. The most important thing is that you know what you are doing. Or if you don’t – find someone who does.

To maximize the power of compounded interest it is best to start early. When it comes to compounding time is your friend. The earlier you start the better. Investing at a young age gives your money more time to grow. Next, invest regularly. Make it a habit. Allot a portion of your income for your retirement fund and be disciplined enough to follow through. And of course, be patient. The power of compounding is only effective when you give it enough time to grow.

If you are not accustomed to saving and investing then this may seem difficult at first. But as long as you discipline yourself enough to follow through and make it a habit then it will get easier with time.

Amy C. is an interior decoration aficionado and online marketer.  She also likes testing and trying new home and office decorating themes.  In addition to being an interior decoration hobbyist, she enjoys designing calming solar fountains and glass art.  Amy invites you to browse her delightful collection of glass vases


Save Money This Winter – Make Your Own Fire Logs

Save Money This Winter – Make Your Own Fire Logs

Energy costs are increasing, making it harder for people to heat their homes affordably. Lowering the thermastat is one way to save money, and supplementing heat with a fireplace is another. You can use that fireplace to save even more money if you make your own fire logs.

Old newspapers and junkmail are always piling up in a corner. Instead of just throwing them away you could convert them into fire logs. There are different ways to this and people report different degrees of success.

Making fire logs is not a new concept but it’s one of those old-fashioned ways to save money that many have forgotten about. Those who have tried it report that these homemade logs are excellent companion logs. They are not good as a primary fire sources, but work well with other logs to help a fire burn longer. Here are a few methods that you could try.

Shredded Paper Log

This method works best if you have log maker. It is a form shaped like a brick and makes it easy to squeeze the water out of the paper.

  1. Shred the paper.
  2. Soak the paper.
  3. Pack the wet paper into the log mold.
  4. Press and squeeze the water out.
  5. Remove the paper brick.
  6. Let dry for several days.

Broomstick Paper Log

There is nothing to buy with this method but it does require a bucket, rubber mallet, and one inch thick dowel.

  1. Place three to four folded newspapers in a bucket of water for a day or two.
  2. Remove newspaper from water.
  3. Place on hard surface.
  4. Use mallet to hit and mash the paper.
  5. Flip the paper and mash again.
  6. Roll the paper around the dowel.
  7. Squeeze out the water as you roll.
  8. Press the ends when done so that they do not unravel.
  9. Remove log from dowel.
  10. Dry in the sun for about a day.
  11. If there is no sun it could take a couple weeks to dry.

Other options for this method are to sprinkle coffee grounds on the paper and then roll it. The coffee grounds apparently give off more heat. If you like the crackling sounds of a fire add pine needles to the log.

Wood Alternatives

If you are worried about pollution produced from wood products, there are alternatives. For example, you can buy logs made with sawdust and wax. This type of log expels less harmful emissions than wood. Or you can make your own logs using coffee grounds and natural waxes. These logs emit less creosote and carbon dioxide. Making a coffee ground log is similar to the paper logs. You will need coffee grounds, bread pan, wax and molasses.

  1. Fill bottom of bread pan with molasses.
  2. Add two and a half candles.
  3. Put in oven at 260 degrees for until wax melted (about 25 to 30 minutes).
  4. Stir in dry coffee grounds (about five heaping tablespoons).
  5. Press into a solid form with foil or wax paper.
  6. Dry overnight or place in freezer for one hour.
  7. Cut around the edges with a knife, turn pan upside, and bang until it releases.

You can save money this winter by making your own fire logs or purchasing eco-friendly and economical choices. Have the kids help make these homemade logs and keep them close to the fireplace to supplement your heating needs.


Budgeting Tips for a Spectacular Holiday

Budgeting Tips for a Spectacular Holiday

No matter how wonderful they turn out, the holiday season always seem to bring a lot of stress. While we all enjoy the holidays, not having to worry about them financially would make them even brighter. There are many things that can be done to create a spectacular holiday without the existence of enormous bills to deflate us after and create the mood commonly known as the holiday blues. In order to budget for a holiday, planning is a must. First figure out everything you will need in order to pull off your version of the perfect holiday. Here are a few tips to help you save while still out performing yourself as usual.

Decorations – If you are someone who wants the holiday to permeate your living area it is time to get a little crafty. There are many homemade items that will not only look beautiful but you can also gather the family and get them involved as well. When the family takes part in the holiday decorating, it gives it special meaning. As the years go by they will always remember the fun they had decorating the house for the holidays. If you have younger children have them help with stringing popcorn or making their own pictures to proudly display around the home. Older children can help make candles or ornaments adding that special touch of warmth.

The ideas are endless and relatively inexpensive compared to boxed items. Buying a tree gives the aroma of the great outdoors and brings back fond memories of when we were children before the holidays became a commercial event.

Meal time – Today with the chain stores all competing for every customer they can, there are always sales. Check your weekend flyers for sales on the items you will need for your holiday feast. The tough times can actually work to your advantage here. You may have to visit a few stores, but the savings will be well worth the effort. The dinner can be created with all family members participating adding yet another opportunity to have that closeness during the holidays. Desserts should be cooked at home to save some money. They are guaranteed to taste better too.

Gifts – While we all want to give our families everything they want, times are changing. It might be a good idea to get a main gift for all of the children to share if you have more than one. Depending on their ages and your budget there are many items out there that can be given as a combined gift. Children are more aware of the times than we sometimes give them credit for. They do not need to wear gold necklaces and receive hundreds of dollars worth of gifts each for the holiday. If you have been hit hard in the wallet these past few years do what you can, try not to put yourself in the position of having to bail out afterwards, this will only erase the fond memories you have worked so hard to create. Remember it is not what you give but rather that you give from the heart.

Christina Drury works for Without The Stress, a Same Day Passport Service in Los Angeles. In addition to Rush Passports, the company employs UK Visa Experts to assist busy travelers with obtaining student visas to the uk, settlement visas to the uk and work visas to the uk.


Why Daily Deals make Perfect Christmas Gifts

Why Daily Deals make Perfect Christmas Gifts

The festive season is looming large on the calendar and as usual you’re scratching your head and wondering what exactly to buy for everyone this year. If you can’t think beyond the usual cycle of socks, bath salts, chocolates and pullovers with reindeer on the front, help is at hand. Daily deals can make thoughtful and individual Christmas gifts that not only save you money, but are sure to be appreciated far more than yet another tin of Highland Shortbread

The joy of using a daily deals site to choose your Christmas gifts (apart from extraordinary discounts and avoiding the seasonal claustrophobia of the shopping centre) is that you can buy not only physical gifts such as jewellery, art or electronics, but also experiences that suit your recipient perfectly and can provide lasting memories.

Buying your Christmas gifts via a daily deals site couldn’t be easier. Enter your email address, the name of the largest city nearest to where you live, the types of deals you’re interested in and you’re done. Each day you’ll receive an email containing the very best discounted deals in your local area. Now all you have to do is choose the deals that would make ideal Christmas presents for your friends and family.

One of the biggest advantages of using a daily deals site to buy your perfect Christmas presents is the sheer choice of goodies on offer. Who could resist a day of pampering at your local spa? Who would appreciate a luxury weekend break in a five-star country hotel? How about a fine dining experience, a new satnav, an Ipod, the chance to drive a supercar or even a holiday in the sun? Better still, the intended recipient for your daily deals site Christmas gift may have already expressed a preference for something they’d like; all you have to do is find it and buy it at a huge discount and everybody’s happy.

So how exactly do daily deal sites work when it comes to gifting? In the normal course of events, you’ll spot the perfect deal that you’d like to take advantage of. You register your interest in the deal and the daily deals site emails you a voucher allowing you to purchase the product or service of your choice at the specified discount when you visit the retailer.

The good news is that the voucher you are emailed can, in most circumstances, be gifted to someone else for them to redeem. If this is your preferred method of gifting it’s worth pointing out that the daily deals voucher may have an expiry date for redemption; don’t panic the majority of vouchers are redeemable for up to twelve months.

In the case of physical items such as jewellery, furniture, electronics etc. you may have the option to have the item delivered to you, in which case you can simply wrap it up and hand it over as you would any other Christmas gift.

If you’ve chosen an experience such as a weekend break, spa treatment, gourmet meal or suchlike it may be difficult to be discreet about the fact that you have purchased this gift at a heavily discounted price. As always, there is a way around this which works to your benefit! Simply announce to your recipient(s) that for their Christmas gift you’re taking them out for a meal, weekend break, spa trip etc. By sharing the gift and attending yourself you can subtly use your voucher (or vouchers) when paying the bill, and you get to enjoy the experience yourself!

As with any gift, a little prior thought can be helpful before you dive in at the deep end and purchase your well-intended daily deals site Christmas presents. If you’re giving a voucher, make sure it has a suitable expiry date and that your recipient has the means to download and print it off. Are you sure your grandparents have internet access and email?

If you’re giving an experience rather than a physical gift, try to ensure that your recipient will actually be able to redeem it; for example, it’s no use buying someone a luxury weekend break if they never have a free weekend in which to use it.

Finally, make sure that you fully understand any additional cost implications of the deal that you’re giving as a gift. Read the small print. It’s not a good idea to gift someone a luxury meal worth £150.00 if there’s a condition that they have to spend a further £75.00 on wine in order to take advantage of the offer.

These considerations aside there’s no reason why this year you can’t make your friends and loved ones Christmas gifts that they’ll cherish and remember thanks to daily deals sites. Best of all, you’ll save plenty of cash and avoid the Christmas queues. When you buy your Christmas gifts from daily deals sites, giving really is its own reward.

Article by John from Deal Zippy, a daily deals comparison site full of great cheap christmas gift ideas from the leading daily deals websites.


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