Savings

2 Saving Tips and 2 Money Making Tips to Take You Forward in 2013

Money saving tipsThis year, 2013, could be a tough one when it comes to household finances. The latest financial data shows that the worldwide economy is still looking uncertain and the average global citizen is still facing slow wage growth, combined with increased inflation.

So with take-home pay almost frozen and the cost of living increasing, many consumers are facing a squeeze on their finances.

However, if you’re clever with the way you save and spend money, you can weather the storm and still live well. Check out the advice below, to learn how both to save money and spend it this year.

Saving money 1: switch providers

In 2013, almost all your bills will be from one of the many companies that provide you with a service. So whether you’re looking at your internet, phone, gas, electricity, insurance, banking or mortgage provider, if you think you’re paying too much, there will be alternatives out there.

All these companies are competing against each other for customers and they know that in these tough economic times, consumers are looking increasingly to the bottom line.

This trend means that there are great deals out there, especially if you’re willing to enter a long-term contract with a company.

Saving money 2: use comparison websites

Whether you need a new TV or dishwasher, or the services of a lawyer or other professional, make sure you shop around online first

Either you can trawl the internet yourself, which takes time and effort, or you can use a comparison website, where you fill in an online form just once and get lots of results that you can easily compare to find the right deal for you.

Money making 1: make money online

The internet is a great way for people to connect with each other and that means it’s now one of the most powerful ways of earning cash.

You could set up a new business like a blog site that attracts advertising revenue, or an online shop, where you sell goods to people across the world.

On the other hand, you may prefer to work for others as a freelance online writer, producing stories for a blog site, or you might use your skills to become an online tutor.

Money making 2: sell unwanted goods

In the old days, people would give their unwanted goods to the local thrift shop or simply throw them on the tip. However, in 2013, the internet provides one of the best ways to make money from your household junk.

By using websites like musicmagpie.com, you can make sure stuff you would normally give away for free or throw out makes money for you.


Useful Tips to find the Best Online Shopping Deals

online shopping dealsWith the widespread usage of Internet, online shopping has become very much in vogue. In fact, it has been redefined the term ‘convenience’ to millions of Internet-savvy shopper across the globe. With the ease of online shopping, now you can say goodbye to the snobby salespersons, crowds of shopping malls and department stores, searching for parking space and carrying weighty purchases. These days online shopping has become more prevalent and you must know about the best and inexpensive online deals prior to putting things into your shopping cart.

Here are some of the steps that could help you find the best e-deal and avoid paying hefty amount for the luxury of e-shopping.

  • Sign up for newsletter – At the outset, you need to sign up for a number of email newsletters. In fact, this is the best possible way to get notified about exclusive online deals and discounts.
  • Look for coupons – When it comes to best and less expensive deals, you should look for coupon codes and coupons using popular search engines like Google, Bing, AAfter Search, Yahoo etc.
  • Search for the products – Now search for the product you’re looking for. You may find the item selling at a cheaper price by another merchant. For example, if you’re in search of a Guess shirt, you may find it at a cheaper rate at Macy’s than online store of Guess. Amazon can be considered as a good option for getting the best online shopping deals.
  • Visit deal websites – There are many websites that specialize in coupon codes and deals on different products. You may try for slickdeals, Save1, fatwallet, sppfee, bensbargains etc.
  • Use cash back sites – There are a number of websites that offer cash back on every product purchased from a webstore linked to them.  You can use your favorite search engine to get informed about different cash back sites.
  • Use credit cards – Some creditors also provide cash back for purchasing anything using credit card. Sometimes you may get cash back by linking to an online store through a credit card company’s site. Check all the credit cards you have to see if any offers any discount or a particular percentage as cash back for using it in any particular store.
  • Combine purchase with family or friends – By combining your purchase with your family or friends would let you pay less for shipping. Some online merchants offer free of cost shipping for spending over a specific amount of money. By combining transaction and getting everything shipped to the same address will always let you share shipping cost with your friend and thus save on shipping.
  • Opt for used ones – If you have no prejudice with using pre-owned items, you may try using auction sites like Ebay or Craigslist. You may also try online classifieds. On classifieds, you may find pre-owned used items at a good condition but at a much cheaper rate. However, you must read the item description before you opt for any.

Discussed above are some effective tips on finding the best online deals that save you good amount of money on every purchase.

Author’s Bio – Jonny Pean is a renowned blogger. From shopping to finance – his pen writes for a wide variety of topics.


Congratulations, You’ve Just Won A Million Dollars – Let’s Invest It!

‘Money for nothing’ is a phrase that many of us seldom get to experience in real life. We often read or hear about those lucky souls who scoop a massive lottery prize from a tiny initial investment. But how many of us have actually met these people in real life? Ironically, the members of the public who are fortunate enough to win these competitions seem to be slightly older than the rest of us. When we read the interviews from these winners, they often tell all and sundry that the winnings will not change them. They sometimes disappear off the map, but many of them make a few impulse purchases that rarely make any sense. Have you ever wondered how you would go about dealing with such an awesome windfall?

A Few Fun Suggestions

Crossroads: Invest or Spend

Just for arguments sake, let’s assume that you are single, have a decent job and live in rented accommodation with no debts to your name. You have just discovered that your winning ticket is worth the grand sum of $1,120,000.01! After picking yourself up off the floor, you pour a small drink and start to let the news sink in. Automatically you begin to think of those things that you always wanted, and still want. You ask yourself the question that many of us will be at this moment in time – ‘Is this enough money to live on for the rest of my life?’ The answer to this humdinger is down to you really. With a little luck, you can invest this sum in a high interest account that may yield enough annual interest to support you. But let’s get back to a few fun ideas before dealing with the more adult possibilities:

  • Car – You’ve always driven an old jalopy so why not upgrade to a new shiny new jalopy instead?  You decide to buy a brand new Jaguar XF, a classic yet modern car. It weighs in at just over $53,000 and is practical enough to transport your future family from A to B. You may still be single, but with this type of car, that will soon change!
  • Holiday – Take a quick round the world trip to see if your perspective changes at all. Allow $25,000 for this 6 month excursion, see the pyramids and swim with those darn dolphins as well.

Invest In Property

Okay, you are back from your travels and decide that property could be the way to go. It is a buyers’ market and you certainly have enough funds left over for a few purchases. Your current balance checks in at $1041900.01, sadly you forgot to shift the balance into a high interest account and negated the possibility of 6 months growth. You need somewhere to live also because when you set off on your trip, you forgot to pay your landlord up front. Your car was also impounded but you have just paid the $5,000 penalty fee and now you are cruising around looking for places to live.

 

After a few weeks you have decided on the following:

  • A smart 2 bedroom apartment in a new building. This one is for you and you splashed out a cool $375,000 for the privilege.
  • A detached four bedroom house in the suburbs. This is a new build and weighs in at $567,000. You can rent this place out and that will give you an income of $3,000 per month after all deductions.

Long Term Is Smart

Congratulations, you have had the trip and car of a lifetime, bought a lovely place to live, and have a sound investment that is providing you with spending money every month. With your remaining $94,901, you can stick it in a 5 year savings plan and think about selling your bricks and mortar investment for a profit in a few years. For now just sit tight and reminisce over those fantastic 6 months whilst looking for your new partner!

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Romeo Handley is an avid blogger. He says that stock trading software is really helpful in finding genuine investment options.


10 Easy Ways To Save Money

Saving MoneyWhen times are hard there are two ways to ease the burden. You can bring in more money or find ways to save money. Creating additional income can be difficult, but saving money is quick and easy. There are many small changes you can make that will have a huge impact on how much money you spend. Here are ten easy things you can do to save money and ease your burden right now.

1. Stop eating out. It’s fun and relaxing, but take a moment to consider how many groceries you can buy with the same $50 you would spend at a restaurant.

2. Fast food counts as eating out. Fast food is expensive and dining on it several times a week can really add up. Pay attention to how often you’re running through a drive-through and put that money towards groceries and home-made meals, instead.

3. Lower your grocery bill by buying what you need and will use. That great deal on apples is money wasted if the fruit rots and winds up being thrown away. The same goes for lunch meat, dairy products and other perishable foods.

4. Clip coupons for extra savings. Pair up the coupons with sales at the grocery store to lower your bill further.

5. Drive more conservatively. Lower your fuel cost by accelerating gently, coasting when possible and using the cruise control on the highway.

6. Lower your heating bill and air conditioning bill. Utilities must be paid, but you can lower the expense for them. Bump your heater down a few degrees in the winter and take the air up a few degrees in the summer. In cool weather open the curtains as soon as you rise and let the sun warm your home naturally. In the summer, keep the blinds closed as long as possible to reduce the heat coming in.

7. Avoid the stores and shop with a list when you must go. Impulse purchases will quickly eat into your budget. If you aren’t at the stores you can’t buy things on a whim. When you do have to go to the store, take a list and stick to it. Base decisions on what you actually need, not just what you want.

8. Double check prices before making bigger purchases. If you are in the market for a new camera or other item, take the time to do some price checking. Research reviews and price out the item with different stores. Buy with the company that offers the greatest bargain.

9. Keep your car longer. There’s nothing like that new car smell, but that great smell comes along with a large bill that must be paid every month. Keep the car you have, pay it off and enjoy not having a car payment for a while.

10. Skip the bottled water and the vending machines. They’re convenient, but that convenience comes with a price. It’s far cheaper to invest in a water filter and some travel bottles for water. Pack your own snacks and take your own crystal clear water for optimal savings.

Liesl H. is a writer working with the California Institute of Finance at CLU. Liesl has years of experience writing in a wide variety of industries including personal finance and education.


5 Tips for Saving Money When Buying

children summer clothesThe coming of summer means that it’s time for another round of clothes shopping. However, this can be an expensive venture, especially if you have multiple kids, and chances are good that they’ll outgrow their new duds by next year. Therefore, it’s important to find any way possible to cut costs. Here are five ways to save money when buying your children summer clothes.

Take Advantage of Sales

Sales are a parent’s best friend. Whether they’re clearance sales, end of season sales or back to school sales, you’re sure to find deals that will save you a bundle. If you restrict your shopping to stores that are running sales, you shouldn’t have to spend too much on summer clothes. Furthermore, it’s also a good idea to check the ads that come with your paper. You may be able to find coupons for additional money off. Do your research, so you know when the best sales are happening and the best deals are available.

You can also take advantage of sales by shopping and getting together with friends. Get together with those people you know who like to shop sales, and share shopping tidbits and secrets. Then head out on a shopping spree that is sure to save you big bucks and provide entertainment with your friends or family.

Shop Online

Oftentimes, buying your kids’ summer clothes from online retailers results in big savings. These sellers don’t have the same expenses associated with local stores, and that money saved is passed on to you as the customer. This also opens up the ability to take advantage of coupon codes. These can give you bargains like a discount, free shipping, or even a free purchase.

When shopping online, ensure that you are getting the best deals by comparing several different sites and several different brands. The ease of online shopping allows you as the consumer to pick and choose only the best deals and compare prices of clothes. Take a few minutes to find the best deal, and your wallet will be thanking you.

Get Social

Many retailers today have a presence on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. If you follow them or become a fan, you can be privy to exclusive sales, discounts, coupons and codes. If you focus on stores that already tend to have low prices, you could end up saving even more. Some stores will even have giveaways or free products on their social media accounts. Get in contact with these accounts and stay updated to get the best deals possible.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores and second-hand shops have become extremely popular ever since the economic downturn. When you’re looking to buy kids’ clothes, don’t be so quick to pass these places up. You can find a wide range of stylish clothing brands at a fraction of the cost of buying them from regular stores. Sometimes, you can even find brand-new clothes with the tags still on them. These shops are a particularly good place to search for jeans, which are very expensive new. However, some searching may be necessary as they often mix the kids’ pants into the women’s and men’s jeans.

Hand Me Downs

If you have more than one child, you can save a ton of money by handing older kids’ clothes down to the younger ones. This way, it’s possible to cut your clothes shopping bill by half or more. Often times these clothes will still be in great condition. This is a great option to use when kids are growing out of things so fast that they barely get to use them. Furthermore, younger kids will love to have clothes that once belonged to a sibling they look up to.

Author Bio

This article was written by Dixie Somers. If you’re looking for great deals on fashionable clothes,  Reem Basics – mens jeans is a great place to start.


How Could a Contractor Stay on Top of Finances in the 2013-14 Tax Year?

Finance MattersIf you are a contractor or considering becoming one, you may be easily forgiven for thinking that all you need to do is source and complete your own contracts. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite the case, as you will also need to stay on top of various financial and administrative matters, including – among other things – tax returns and accounts.

While setting up as a limited company gives you the opportunity to set your own working hours and decide which projects you work on, it is worth bearing in mind that this freedom also means you must take on the responsibility for making sure you meet all the necessary accounting regulations. Unlike when working for an employer, such matters cannot be left to your HR team to sort out for you, and if things like tax assessment returns are submitted late then you might find that you are issued with a fine from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

As such, it is vital that you make the effort to keep a firm grip over your finances. With the new financial year just a few weeks away (in case you weren’t aware already, the 2013-14 fiscal period begins on April 6th), now is a good time to start getting your finances in order. This will require you, among other things, to maintain accurate records about all the income received from your contracts and have receipts for all the goods and services you have bought as part of your work and that you wish to claim tax back on as expenses.

Creating a methodical system for tracking all your incoming and outgoings throughout the tax year ought to be your first step in doing this. However, it can be difficult to stick to when you’re busy working on existing projects and simultaneously attempting to secure future contracts.

Even if you are relatively confident with financial matters, you might not always be able to devote as much time to sorting out tax and other accountancy affairs as you would like. As such, it’s a good idea to utilize the services of an accountancy services provider. In doing so, you will have a team of accountants and other financial experts who will assist you to make sure all of your records are accurate and can help to maximize your income in the most tax-efficient manner possible. Working with such an organization will also help you to ensure that all compliant statutory tax returns that need to be submitted to HMRC and Companies House are done so correctly and on time, enabling you to devote more energy to working on projects.

The above is only a brief guide for contractors looking to manage tax and other finance-related matters, so if you need further guidance it is best to speak to HMRC or an accountancy services provider like PayStream. In doing so, you will be able to get advice that will be relevant to your individual circumstances.

Please share your experiences of keeping on top of your finances and other administrative matters by posting a comment below.


What Should You Be Doing in Yours 20’s and 30’s to save for Later Life?

Money is the cause of most arguments in married couples. It can be the biggest source of conflict in a relationship, but whether you like it or not, money does make the world go round.

It can be very easy to turn a blind eye to retirement when you are young and in your prime. The world is your oyster, so why should you care about taking out a pension or investing in property? Well, the answer is that you should pay attention to saving for later life.

It is far better to start preparing early, to put yourself in a financial position in which you are stable and comfortable when you finally finish working.

A worrying 22% of UK residents between 30-years-old and state pension age, are not putting any money aside for a rainy day. Life expectancy is increasing and as a generation, we are living much much longer. We NEED to put money away for our golden years, and the secret is to plan decades in advance.

So, what should we be doing in our 20’s then?

  • Open a tax-free ISA and start saving
  • If you have any debts, try to start to cut them down/ wipe them off
  • Does your work offer a pension scheme? Set one up
  • Enquire about a mortgage

credit card debtsBy the time you have reached your 20’s, it is hoped that you have your first proper job. A modest wage is a great starting block to repay any loans or credit card debts.

An ISA is much better than a regular savings account because it has a higher interest rate, therefore you will get a larger payout. Normal savings accounts have an amount of the interest cut, whereas cash ISAs are tax-free savings accounts and allow you to keep all you savings’ interest.

How can you start to reduce your debt? Make a list of your expenditures, prioritise them in importance, cut down on the extravagant treats e.g. trips to the cinema, and put a budget in place.

Try to stick to it and really assess your outgoings- are you getting the best rates on your electricity and heating bills? Can you swap brand foods for supermarket’s own produce? Can you get a second, part-time job at the weekend? Do you have any special skills that you can hone in on, such as knitting or teaching instrument tutorials?

Ask your work about starting a pension; companies of a certain size are now legally required to offer their employees a pension, and they must contribute a minimum of 4%. By starting it now, you will have a bigger pot for when you retire. For advice, check out the Department for Work and Pensions website.

Many industry experts are saying that getting onto the property ladder and securing a mortgage, also has the same financial security.

What should we be doing in our 30’s?

  • Assess your outgoings
  • Clear your debts
  • Join the work’s pension scheme ASAP
  • Consider long-term investments
  • Purchase property

This decade, you really need to get your act together if you haven’t already done so. If you still think of yourself as a young, free-spirited individual, well then it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee my friend.

Now is the time to assess your outgoings and put a plan in place. You might have got married, had children, or bought your first property; in which case you have probably attained some debt.  Get control of your finances, put a budget in place, and begin to clear off outstanding debts.

Not got a company pension yet? Find out what the interest rate is and what contributions your employer will make on your behalf. Then get one started ASAP.

mortgageIf you are still renting property, work on getting a deposit together to acquire some property. The longer you leave it, the harder it becomes to be approved for a mortgage because of health reasons. Yes, the property market goes up and down, but a property will always hold its value, or increase, over time.

So there you have the financial goals to which you should be working to, at each milestone in your life. Now everyone is different and works at various speeds; so please don’t be taken aback if you are already at one of these points in your life, and have not achieved all of the objectives.

The Money Advice Service is a fantastic website that can help you to learn when and how to start saving for your pension. They can help you to understand the different types of pension, tax options, about transferring pension schemes, and managing your finances in retirement.

Do you think that there are any other financial necessities to start in your 20’s and 30’s? Let us know below.

(All images courtesy of Flckr)

This article was written by Lauren Grice on behalf of Cheselden, the leading NHS continuing care review specialists. Speak to the experts today for expert advice and information on paying and reclaiming wrongly paid care fees.


How To Improve Home Energy Efficiency

It’s true to say that we are living in times of economic crisis. The current financial climate has resulted in the everyday person looking at ways to scrimp, save and cut costs in their day-to-day lives. Improving the energy efficiency of your household is a fantastic way to reduce your outgoings; best of all it can be achieved for next to nothing.

Ideally, once you have saved up enough money to leave the rain behind, you can escape to a hot sunny beach somewhere with a cocktail in your hand, but more importantly using less energy reduces your carbon footprint so that you can take pride in making a difference. So, here is your guide to the best ways to improve your household’s energy efficiency at various levels.

image source

Level 1-Ways of Staying Warm

One of the basic things to remember is do not leave your heating on constant. Leaving the heating on all day long is truly insane unless the country that you are in is experiencing Antarctic conditions. The heating is generally the most expensive bill for most households, so making any kind of difference will go a long way. Think about:

• Using thermostats – Use your household’s thermostats to your benefit. The majority of the time, all you need is the heating on for a couple of hours before you get up in the morning and a couple of hours for when you get home from work. From time to time you should check your meter to see how much you are saving. Adjust accordingly in winter and summer months.

• Wrapping up – If it is especially cold in your house, instead of hitting the ‘boost’ button on your heating, why not invest in a heated throw to wrap around you. Remember that hot water bottles or classic favourite and can also be your cheap friend on these occasions but there are some trendy gadgets you can buy that will do the trick, why not invest in USB foot warmers or go hi-tech with a Dyson Air Multiplier. The Dyson Air Multiplier is suitable for winter and summer as technology allows the air heat to change hot or cold, so with change of seasonal weather this fits in perfectly to the home.

Level 2- Preventing Draughts

Most of a household’s heat escapes through cracks in walls, windows and even through doors. Keeping the cold out whilst maintaining the heat is possible. Prevent draughts by investing in some heavy hanging curtains for your front and back doors. Also, be a detective in your own house by investigating where other draughts are coming from; keyhole covers and draught excluders are a good way to reduce the amount of cold weather coming in.

Level 3- Loft Insulation

One of the best ways to prevent heat from escaping is to invest in thick loft insulation. Remember, you can always top up your loft insulation if you are running low. Ideally, you want around 270mm of insulation covering your loft. In addition, know where the best places to insulate are, for example insulating between the joists will actually keep your house warmer.

Level 4- Double Glazing

Did you know that you can save around two hundred pounds a year by investing in double glazed windows when compared to single glazed? Generally a swift and pain free process, getting double glazed windows fitted in your property is one of the first things when making your household more energy efficient.

Level 5- Cut Down on Water

Saving energy isn’t all cutting down on heating bills; it’s your water bill too. Look at ways of reducing the amount of water you get through in your home. If you have young children look at sharing baths, or for adults there are shower gadgets you can buy to help try and reduce the level of water you use. Try and use your dishwasher and washing machine as little as possible by making sure it is completely full when you put it on and always turn it off from the mains, every little cost helps. Then do think about your boiler choice, there are eco-friendly boilers that will save you money. >/p>

Level 6- Alternative Energy Sources

If it is feasible for your household, why not look into going green with your energy? There are plenty of avenues you could go down, including solar, water and wind energy or even using an eco-stove to heat your house.

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Now that you have your guide, follow these top tips and you will be well on your way to saving a nice amount of money to put towards that beach holiday in Saint Tropez!

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Author: Many thanks to Jen Beswick and the Staunch and Flow Boiler repair team who created this article for you. We look forward to hearing if you have saved costs!


End of Tax Year

Tax FreeThe end of the tax year is fast approaching and as everyone rushes to maximise their tax free savings first direct has compiled some tips to help negotiate the tricky waters.

  1. Get a grip on your finances – work out how much you have in savings, what rate of interest you’re receiving and whether you’re taking advantage of you tax free subscription.  If you don’t have any savings look at your budget to see if you could free up a monthly amount to start saving.
  2. Remember ‘Tax free’ means free from UK Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax
  3. Start small, don’t just open online current accounts, open a Cash ISA – in a recent first direct survey* nearly 50% said they didn’t have any tax free savings.  You don’t have to use your limit, but you might as well avoid paying tax on any savings you do have up to the Cash ISA limit.
  4. Use your limit if you can – In 2012/2013 the total ISA limit is £11,280 of which £5,640 can be put in a Cash ISA and anything you don’t put in your Cash ISA can go towards your Stocks and Shares ISA instead. Make sure you use your 2012/2013 tax year limit before the start of the new tax year on 6 April 2013 because after this date, this tax year’s subscription allowance will be gone for good.
  5. Don’t forget a Stocks and Shares ISA – recent research* by first direct found that only 14% of the population have a Stocks and Shares ISA, essentially missing out on between £5,640 and £11,280 of tax efficient allowance (2012/2013).  The benefit of a Stocks and Shares ISA is that all investors, including higher rate tax payers, won’t pay Income Tax. By investing in an ISA you are also protected from paying any Capital Gains Tax on any increases in the value of your investment.
  6. Budget for a higher allowance in 2013/2014 – the tax free allowance is going up to £11,520 (£5,760 for Cash ISAs in 2013/2014, so if you put a little aside every month consider increasing the amount so you can use your higher subscription allowance.
  7. Transfer your ISA to get a better rate – the survey* also highlighted that 62% have never transferred their ISA.  It’s important to get the most from your tax efficient savings and whilst you can only have one Cash ISA and one Stocks and Shares ISA per tax year you can transfer your ISA balances to another provider at any time.
  8. Keep all your eggs in one basket – every tax year you have a maximum Cash ISA subscription and you are allowed to transfer the previous tax year balance into your new Cash ISA.  If you can manage to fill your subscription each year the balance will soon add up allowing you access to the better Cash ISA rates e.g. first direct’s market leading 3% cash ISA rate (available for balances over £40,000 – just 7 years of cash free savings).
  9. Consider a UK Offset Mortgage – if you have a mortgage and savings then an offset mortgage might be a good option.  Any savings you have are offset against the balance of the mortgage and because they don’t receive credit interest they’re not subject to tax. For instance, if you have a mortgage of £100,000, savings of £20,000 and a 1st Account with a credit balance of £1,000, you only pay interest on £79,000. And as you don’t actually earn interest on your savings, there’s no tax to pay on them.

* Research carried out on behalf of first direct by Opinion Matters in February 2013 amongst 2,034 people aged 16+


5 Coupon Hacks To Save Money

Who doesn’t love a deal?

You don’t need to be a die-hard coupon maniac to enjoy the thrill of BOGO (buy one get one). You don’t need to spend hours pouring over multiple copies of the Sunday paper to get a little rush as your grand total is reduced at checkout, either. Saving money just takes some savvy.

Here are five coupon hacks that can save you money from the comfort of your laptop or smartphone.

One thing to consider? Be careful about potential coupon fraud. It is easy to get fraudulent coupons or coupon codes online. If you don’t trust a site don’t continue, or you could open your computer or email address up to hackers. By following the official store brands and websites and using legitimate couponing websites or apps you can prevent fraud.

Get Honey

What’s sweeter than local honey? Honey the browser-based coupon-finder! That’s because Honey is a free coupon search engine that works with just a click.

Honey is a free extension that automatically searches for and applies coupon codes when you shop online. Honey works for over 100 online

stores so far, and growing. Here’s a video that shows Honey in action.

Fan & Follow

Don’t neglect to “like” or “follow” your favorite stores and brands in social media. Giving a simple “like” will put the store’s specials into your Facebook news feed. So will following the brand on Twitter. Monitor both for savings by checking in periodically, or keeping a notepad nearby to write down savings codes.

PHOTO: Flickr user MissMessieSavingStar Grocery Coupons

How would you like coupons automatically loaded onto your store loyalty cards? No cutting coupons and no need to remember to bring them with you. That’s the premise of SavingStar, a free service.

The savings here go on “behind the scenes” — you don’t get a discount at the register or see the discount on your receipt. You do, however, accrue your savings into a SavingStar account. Then you are paid via your bank account, PayPal, or Amazon gift card.

The money accumulated here can be spent at a number of online retailers or donated to your favorite nonprofit, like American Forests. If you choose the nonprofit route, you can effortlessly give to worthy causes without changing your shopping habits.

Rethink What You Really Need (Free!)

Coupons are great, but so is living with less and consuming less. One of the best coupon hacks is to focus on changing your lifestyle. Get off of as many treadmills as possible and your savings can be significant. Who says you have to live like everyone else, anyway?

Start at home. Reduce your family’s overhead costs by moving into a smaller house or getting rid of one of your vehicles. Plant a square foot garden to offset some of your food costs. Commute to work on your bike. Make your own laundry detergent and hang your laundry to dry on the line to reduce your utility costs.

These and multiple other changes do add up. Simplifying your life can also be deeply satisfying, too — and that’s worth just as much, or more, than any coupon savings.

Citations:
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Katie McCaskey is a freelance journalist writing for Vistaprint Deals, the official website for Vistaprint coupon codes. Besides running a small business in Staunton, Virginia, Katie has covered personal finance and small business marketing topics for over 10 years.


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