saving money tips

How to Save Money When Buying a House

If you’re a first time buyer, a property will usually be the most significant purchase you have ever made. Those looking to buy homes should be aware of all the costs involved and make detailed budgeting plans to avoid unforeseen financial pitfalls. There are ways that you can save money when buying a new home, and below are listed a few of the basics.

Get Clued Up on the Costs

Buying a house isn’t just about the deposit and the mortgage payments. You should also be prepared to pay your lender an arrangement fee of typically £1,000. Your lender may also expect you to pay a valuation fee that covers checking the property exists and offers sufficient security for the loan in question. If the property is more than £125,000, you will have to pay a percentage of the price in Stamp Duty. Many buyers will pay to have surveys done on properties that they are interested in, even if the sale falls through. Surveys usually cost between £400 and £700 and it’s important to budget for two or three.

Choose an Online Estate Agent

You can save money when buying a house by choosing an online estate agent. Many agents including the House Network will provide you with a one-stop service that cuts out many fees charged by traditional estate agents. If you’re going to go with an online estate agent, make sure you ask all the relevant questions about the kind of sales they can offer you and compare a number of quotes before you make your decision.Closing Steps, How Closing Costs Affect You

Moving Day and Home Repairs

Look for the cheapest and most reliable moving company, or enlist the help of friends and neighbours to move heavy items of furniture and rent a van independently. It’s best to go with a removal firm that comes with plenty of good recommendations. Many first time buyers find that when they arrive at their new home, there are plenty of DIY tasks that need to be completed. If you’re on a tight budget and haven’t got the cash to spend on an extensive remodel, look online for DIY tutorials and attempt all minor fixing-up tasks yourself. Remember that you only need to call in a tradesman when it’s absolutely necessary, for example with electrical and plumbing work.

Save on Conveyancing Costs

Don’t automatically use the conveyancing firm that is attached to your estate agents, but use the price they charge as a benchmark. It’s important to shop around for quotes and use price comparison tools online to determine which conveyancing service is most suitable. The firm doesn’t need to be in your local area, but it does have to be accredited by a regulatory body.


A Surprising Way To Save Money: Being More Organised

If you’re trying to save money for a new house, for a wedding, or towards anything else, then you’re probably looking at all the things you can cut out of your daily routine in order to save cash. Perhaps you can save money by eating less? Or maybe you should give up that nice gym membership?

Actually though, jumping immediately to what you can cut out of your budget is a tad premature if you haven’t first looked at your efficiency. In other words, you might not need to spend less on food if you can find a way to make the food you currently are buying last longer. And you might not need to give up your gym membership if you can get it to work with your routine a little better. Being more efficient and more organised is often a more effective way to save money, so think about that before you stop eating out at restaurants.

Become more organised, and you’ll find you save money almost without having to do anything. Here are some examples…

Food

Switching to ‘own brand’ foods is something that many people saving towards a mortgage will be familiar with, but there may be no need.

Think for a moment about the amount of food you probably waste on a regular basis – especially if there are only one or two of you at home. Chances are that you will buy bags of carrots for a meal for example and then have half the bag go off before you get around to using the rest. You’ll probably have old salad leaves decaying in your fridge, and you’ll probably have all manner of leftovers that never get eaten. In fact it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that if you live alone or with a partner you likely waste around 30% of the food you buy.

This can easily be fixed with a little organisation – by planning what you are going to eat for the upcoming week and then choosing meals that use the same ingredients. Having a hot pot one evening? Then why not have some of those same vegetables with a steak later on in the week?

Likewise you can also save a lot of money by cooking large meals and then freezing the leftovers to eat later. Again this will require just a little planning in order to ensure you have space in the freezer along with the forethought to cook in ‘bulk’ that way to begin with.

Activities

You can save a lot of money similarly by planning your activities better. This might mean thinking more carefully about how you’re going to get there, or how you’re going to save money while you’re out.

For instance if you’re planning a holiday, then you can save money by doing some planning: this may mean travelling with friends to the airport so you can car share, or it might mean minimising your time off work by coinciding your trip with bank holidays – or even by arranging a remote work agreement and then working while you travel.

You can save a lot of money on travel by simply planning your route more carefully and again by sharing lifts. And you can save on nights out by choosing to have drinks at your house first and by arranging a lift home from a friend or partner rather than having to pay for a taxi.

Efficiency

By organising your lifestyle you can be more efficient in everything you do and thus reduce waste. This goes for energy efficiency of course too – and simple things like planning what you are going to wear can help you to save a lot of money that you would spend running your washing machine or on washing products. Even carefully timing when your heating comes on and for how long can make a huge difference.

So when you’re saving for a mortgage , don’t think you have to stop doing all the things you love. Just learn to do them more efficiently!

 

 

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The author of this post, Jack Norman, is a freelance blogger who often writes for First World Mortgage, a company that provides home loans in CT. An audiophile, Jack is the proud owner of the Boney M signature collection.


25 Quick And Clever Ways To Save Money

Many claim that saving becomes more and more difficult due to the high cost of living. This may be true in a sense, on the other hand, saving money seems impossible at times because of how we treat money. We allow money to easily slip through our fingers sometimes without giving it a moment of thought. Then we find that saving is not an option right now and that is how the act of saving money seems challenging. Saving does not depend on your income or your expenses, here are ways to help change the way you handle money in future:

A green button with the words Erase Debt on it 1.       Stop Making Debt

Often you might say or hear someone say “Saving is not an option for me now, I have way too much debt”. But the very next day we get ourselves further into the very situation that is believed to obstruct the act of saving money. Refrain from using any credit facility to make purchases, even if it means cutting up all your credit and store cards. The less debt you have the more opportunity there would be to save money.

2.       Don’t Pay Interest Unnecessarily

Debt prevents most people from saving money due to high interest rates that consumers are obligated to pay as a result of buying now and paying later. Small purchases made on credit is reason why many consumers fall under the debt trap to begin with. Purchasing an item worth R200 on credit with a payment plan of 12 months on an interest bearing account is one example of paying unnecessary interest.  Save for a couple of months to buy the item cash instead to spare yourself from paying interest for an entire year for small purchases. The money that you would have contributed towards interest could have been saved for future purchases.

3.       Settle All Debt

Compile a list of all your debt related expenses such as accounts, store cards, credit cards, personal loans etc. Work on a strategy to decrease the amount of debt you have. One way to realistically do this is to focus on one account at a time until it is settled. Select the account with the lowest balance as a starting point to slowly change the way you deal with debt. Make it a priority every month to pay double the total due amount, for example a store account with a 12 month payment plan can be settled in 6 months by using this strategy. As soon as the account is settled follow this process with the next account until eventually all your debt is squared up. The freed up money you find yourself with after having no debt can go towards saving.

4.       Consider Debt Consolidation

For those battling to keep up with debt repayments should apply for debt consolidation. It has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day you have more of your income at your disposal each month allowing you to cope with living expenses as well as making it possible for you to focus on saving money.

5.       Purchase an Investment

The only justifiable interest bearing purchase is an investment such as purchasing a house. A home loan is considered an investment because it is one of your assets. Therefore, investing in property is a great way to save money as opposed to renting. Think of it this way: the money that you spend on rent over 10 or more years could have been used to pay almost half your bond.

6.       Pay Extra on Your Home Loan

By ridding yourself of all insignificant debt obligations, you now have a lot more funds at your disposal. A smart manner to make use of the additional funds is to commit to paying extra on your home loan instalment each month. This could reduce your payment term noticeably, depending on how committed you are in settling your home loan. Also the amount of interest you pay drops, saving you money long term.

7.       Open Multiple Savings Accounts

You save money to accomplish various things and one savings account is not enough. Have a savings account for each goal you want to achieve for example, one savings account for that holiday you planning, another to renovate your home and not forgetting the most important savings account: your emergency fund. This is a useful way to save as it allows you to monitor how you progressed in reaching each goal. Set up the amounts you want to deposit into each account depending on whether it is a short or long term goal and the total amount you need for each occasion.

8.       Save First Then Spend

We often determine the amount we are able to save by first calculating all our expenses then allocating what is left over to a savings account. It should be the other way around, you first need to reserve money for saving before deciding what you should spend your money on. Never leave saving as an afterthought, it should be your main concern.

save-money-using-home-depot-coupons9.       Budget for Saving Money

List saving as an expense when doing your monthly budget and be sure that it takes priority over entertainment. Working it into your budget is one way to ensure that you save dutifully and you would see growth in no time.

10.   Deduct Savings Deposit from Your Salary

Many times we open that savings account and make deposits for the first couple of months and thereafter we find other ways to use that money. Allow your savings account to debit the specified amount from your salary. This way you are guaranteed that you regularly contribute to your savings and the habit of saving is forced upon yourself.

11.   Not Spending Money Equates to Saving Money

One of the easiest ways to save is to simply not spend money. By deciding against making an unimportant purchase you have already saved money. A fancy savings account offering the highest interest rates is not the only solution to saving money. Sticking your money in a jar is also a means of saving and to make sure that it stays there for longer is to just leave it alone instead of finding reasons to spend it.

12.   Justify Each Purchase

Before making any purchase ask yourself if it is needed or wanted. And classifying the purchasing of coffee every morning before heading to work as a need is not justifiable. Drink water instead because it is healthier and free. If there is another solution that involves spending less or no money then the purchase is not justified. Choosing the less expensive option allows you to save money.

13.   Always Negotiate

The ability to drive a good bargain is a useful skill to have especially when making big purchases. Seize any opportunity to negotiate with the seller to lower the price. Target independently owned shops and stalls, most times they are willing to negotiate to make a sale.

14.   Purchase Second-Hand

Before heading to the store, try and find want at a second-hand store. You can get it almost for half the price compared to purchasing it brand new. Just make sure that it is worth the bargain and in good condition before buying anything second-hand as you would not receive a warranty.

15.   Generic Brands

Keep your eye on the price rather when shopping and opt for generic brands as they are always the less expensive option. It never hurts to choose the less popular brands that looks and functions the same as the household brand names. When trying to save money it pays to be oblivious to name brands.

16.   Find a Substitute for Money

Thinking of purchasing a relatively expensive item? Hit the classifieds or trading websites to find someone who is willing to make a swop for an item that you have of the same value. By swopping you kill two birds with one stone as you get rid of the item you don’t want and receive the item you want at the same time without it costing you a cent.

Or maybe someone you know has something to sell that is of interest to you. Instead of buying it cash, think of something that you could do as payment for getting that particular item. The less you spend on purchases the more you are able to save money.

6953588530_6a2339de6c_n17.   Sell Unwanted Goods

When in the business of saving money you should never just throw away items of value that you no longer need or want. Use the classifieds or trading websites to sell your goods to put a few hundreds back into your pocket.

18.   Join Loyalty Programs

Be rewarded by merely shopping or making use of a service. Loyalty programs are exceptionally helpful in assisting consumers to save by issuing coupons or vouchers to use against future purchases. These rewards allow you to save hundreds or sometimes thousands on grocery shopping annually.

19.   Do Not Get Lured into False Bargains

Be aware of promotional offers that trick you into buying things that you do not need or in excessive quantities all because it is a special offer. This is where your justifying purchasing skills come in handy when deciding the worthiness of the offer. Many people try and justify pointless purchases by claiming that it was an offer they could not refuse. You are not always the winner when buying 5 items for the price of 4 when you really only need 1 of it.

20.   Quit Habits That Cost Money

Start by quitting cigarettes, it is an expensive and unhealthy habit. Many smokers will finish a packet of cigarettes a day. A packet of the average brand of cigarettes costs about R21. As a smoker, you are literally blowing close to R600 a month. Money which could have contributed to your savings account or even to settle some debt.

Non-smokers are not off the hook, there are many other habits that people indulge in that cost quite a bit on a monthly scale. For example, buying fast food for lunch every day. A reasonably priced meal costs about R30, which also amounts to R600 a month spent that could have been saved by making the effort to pack in lunch instead.

21.   Generate Extra Income

Rent out a room or turn your hobby into a small business to supplement your income. Deposit the money straight into a savings account or use it as additional payment on debt.

22.   Share Costs

Share daily costs with family, friends and colleagues by clubbing for various purchases and making use of the goods or services together. For example, find someone to share a gym membership with on one of those 2 for the price of 1 contracts that are on offer. Or start a lift club to share the cost of travelling to and from work every day. As a result you spend a fraction of the cost for things you would have paid full price for had you done it alone.

23.   Review Your Banking Methods

Inspect your bank statement to check that you are not paying more than you should on banking fees. Find a method of banking that is suitable for your needs as well as cost effective. Cheque accounts usually work best to manage your salary. Open a cheque account if you do not already have one and choose one that would complement your monthly banking transactions.

24.   Review Car Insurance Options Annually

Every year the value of your car drops, make sure that you are not paying too much on your car insurance premiums. Get quotes from different insurance companies annually to find the best deal.

25.   Start Life Insurance Early

Applying for life insurance later could cost you. See that you are covered to dodge the high premiums you would have to pay each month. Getting life insurance at your earliest convenience helps you save thousands of rands.

Danielle van Reenen is a senior writer at MoneyVine.co.za, one of South Africa’s leading financial advise portals.


The Single Parent Financial Safety Net

At the risk of recounting anxieties here that are no doubt familiar to pretty much anyone reading this: times are tough at the moment. Being a single parent isn’t exactly a walk in the park at the best of time, but the state of the economy has further complicated the prospect of parenting without a partner. While the challenges of single parenting are probably too numerous to list here, a good argument could be made that virtually all of them are in some way, monetary. At the very least, if money doesn’t inevitably make someone’s life easier, having less of it makes life harder.

So, with the importance of money established, here are ways in which a single parent can manage it wisely.

Track Income and Carefully Maintain a Budget

This may seem like an obvious one, but establishing and sticking to a budget is extremely important. Do so by taking an inventory of monthly spending and plot out spending patterns based on fixed and average expenditures: how much always goes to rent or mortgage and bills, and how much on average goes to food, gas, clothing, entertainment, etc. Once a budget’s been set up, it’s easier to plan spending and it’s easier to save.

Almost inevitably, budgets reveal surprises: more money is consistently spent in one area than you’d have guessed, while you end up spending less in another, etc. Understanding those trends also contributes to effective saving.

Build up Savings and an Emergency Fund

Everyone’s saving decisions and priorities, of course, unique and based on their specific budget and spending habits. However, there are some more universal hints that can contribute to good saving habits. One good strategy is thinking of savings as money that isn’t yours (for spending at least), or like another bill. Getting in the habit of putting away as little as twenty dollars a month in a savings account can yield huge benefits later. Most banks will automatically transfer a portion of a paycheck into a savings account.

Make Sure Your Insurance is Up To Date

While no one is particularly fond of making insurance payments, doing so is far better than the alternative. Most important are health and life insurance. More than 60% of bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical expenses and when one parent is watching over their own health and that of their children, the threat of those expenditures is that much more pronounced. Life insurance is just as important. Morbid as it is- buying life insurance is comparably important. Should anything happen to a single parent, life insurance can provide for their children.

Plan Ahead, Stay Employable and Plan for Hardship

Keeping money flowing into the family coffers is obviously extremely important, and having a job is necessary for that flow of funds. If additional job training and/or education is available, it’s virtually always a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity. If a job is temporary, shaky or layoffs seem likely, get started on looking for more work. While it’s a cliché to assert that the best time to look for a job is while you have one, it’s also true. Start a job search before it becomes absolutely necessary to do so and consider padding your income with part time or freelance work if that’s available and doable.

Furthermore, if a gap in employment does loom, look into what steps are necessary for setting up unemployment benefits. Less well known is supplemental unemployment insurance, which can be invaluable for those concerned that an unemployment is looming. Generally, supplemental unemployment programs will pay at least 50% of someone’s former paycheck, making up the difference between state benefits and that 50% or more.

Basically, it comes down to planning and organization. Plan a budget, plan for the future, plan for potential financial hurdles and organize accordingly. Do that and there’s very little that can’t be accomplished.

Featured images:

Frank McCourt is an investment, frugal living, and just-about-anything-else finance related. When pried away from his laptop, he enjoys fishing and hiking with his wife across the northwest.


Your Savings Account Will Love You If You Follow These 5 Amazing Techniques

Save Money

People are always chasing their next raise because they think it’s going to make their life better and take care of all the money problems, but it’s not and you’ll blow it all. When someone makes $3000 per month they will find a way to spend every last drop of it. That might increase to $6,000 per month, but the only thing you can guarantee is that they will find a way to spend every last cent of it too,so there is once again nothing left at the end of the month.

They don’t do this because they are forced to spend money and neither are you. Everyone does it because they have no concept of saving, most likely because they have never been taught the right way to do it. You might find the odd few people with savings, but they’re few and far between. All you need to do is learn a few techniques for putting money away each month and you’ll feel a lot more secure. You’ll even realize these won’t even change your life too much, but your new savings account will.

Lower the cost

Vegetable market in Milan, ItalyWhen you buy things you usually have a couple of choices. The first one is always the designer brand that everyone magically feels amazing in without even knowing why. Their brain associates the garment with quality because the price is high, which is pretty crazy if you think about it. Your second choice is something that is cheaper and maybe just as nice. Unless it’s falling apart you know it’s good enough to wear so buy it. This isn’t just clothes and can be used for every purchase.

Save money when you get paid

Piggy savings bank

If you have lots of money in your bank account at the end of the month you will spend it on something. It’s there and you can hear it calling your name, “Jill, spend me.” As soon as you get paid you probably separate the money you need for paying your bills. At the same time you can take some money and put it into a savings account. When the month is drawing in you might not have money in your bank, but instead of raiding your savings account you will do without.

No more credit

People will give you credit for anything these days and it’s possible to get in some deep trouble. You might want something and you need to buy it right away, but credit should be the last thing you ever do. All of those monthly bills add up and the idea should be to have the least amount of money coming out of your bank account as possible. When you need anything desperately you should do without until you have the cash because you might think you are desperate, but sleeping on the street is worse.

Food for energy

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There is a big difference between eating food because you love the taste and eating it because it gives you the energy your body needs. There are thousands of recipes were the items on it are particularly cheap and this should be the food you are eating. You will find something you think tastes nice. Then you have meals like steak and duck which taste great, but they also come with a massive price tag. You can also cut the amount of times you eat out at restaurants in half.

Don’t carry money

Bad Credit History?

When you are walking around with a loaded wallet it’s easy to reach for it at every opportunity and you wonder why there is no money left at the end of the month. It doesn’t add up to nothing and can actually be a considerable chunk of your wages. You solve that problem by leaving your money at home because it’s not like you’ll need it in certain situations. At the very least you can carry a small amount around with you in case anything bad happens.

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Hugh Tyzack was a student at University of Oxford, and loves writing as much as a good cup of latte. He is a financial adviser who believes in long term profits rather then short term gains. You can know more about his work at MoneyQED Financial Advice here.


Tips to Save Money on Any Budget

So many people these days become so caught up in the moment and how they can barely keep up with their bills. What many of these people don’t realize is that no matter how ‘tight’ money may be, there are always ways to go about making the most of the cash you do have and even have some left over to save. If this sounds impossible to you, then you should definitely read on because we can help you no matter how tough your situation may seem.

Every Penny Makes a Difference

Piggy savings bank

Too many people are so caught up in the short term and convinced that the long just is just out of reach that they do not realize how each day is an opportunity to save. Let’s say you are tempted to spend $2 on that coffee today. While it’s fine to treat yourself, why not take those few dollars once in a while and instead of spending them, put them in your savings account. $2 may not sound like much but 2 can quickly become 4, which becomes 8 and so forth. You’ll quickly start to see how those little extra expenses can help you in the future and when you have a high interest savings account, your money can add up quicker than you may think.

Know How Much You Spend and On What

A lot of people try to save so much and are overly strict on themselves. While this can work for a period of time, in the long run; if you restrict yourself too much, you are bound to go on a spending spree and all of your progress will seem like nothing. So, give yourself spending money from time to time so you don’t feel so limited. No one likes to feel like they are working for nothing.

Take some time to look at your receipts or credit card account and see how much you spend on what. This is going to help you to figure out where you may need to slow down a bit so you can save more.

Many people don’t realize how much they are spending because they choose to use credit cards or debit cards. Before you know it, your limit is reached and you are put in a tight spot. This is why you may want to try using cash for a period of time. This is going to allow you to better track what you spend and figure out what items you truly need and which things you can go without.

Shop for Deals and Hide What You’ve Saved

Money under the mattress

One of the best things you can do is to shop around and find the best prices. Even if you only save a few bucks here and there, you can take that money and pretend it was spent; because it would have been if you hadn’t checked various stores and put it into a savings account. You’ll be surprised how quickly this money can add up.

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Lisa Jackson is a financial advisor and tries helping people with financial issues. According to her contents insurance is very important for you if you want to avoid unfortunate incidents.


10 Tips To Save Money While Shopping

10 Tips To Save Money While Shopping

With children having recently returned to school, many of us are officially broke. Shoes, clothes, supplies (why do they need a calculator that costs $100), and other miscellanea have broken more budgets than marriage and divorce combined. That brings me to my topic:  smarter shopping. If you are smart about it, you can saving yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars annually.  As we all know, saving money is just as important as investing when it comes to wealth-building.  Here are ten tips that could help you keep more money in your pocket year-round.

10 Simple Money-Savings Tips

  1. Buy used whenever possible. That $100 calculator mentioned above, picked it up for $30 from a parent that paid full price last year.
  2. Always buy last generation tech. You will save at least 50% and you will still have the majority of options that you actually need.
  3. Never buy an extended warranty. Over 90% of them are never used.
  4. Do not wait until the last minute to buy. Every buying season is predictable. Buy summer clothes at the end of the season for the coming year. School clothes are usually on sale early in the season, so buy then.
  5. Always make a shopping list and stick to it. You should save 20% or more during each shopping trip if you plan your list and avoid impulse items.
  6. Shopping while you are hungry can be devastating. How many times have you bought a candy bar in a department store or five or six items that look good, but you didn’t really need just because you were hungry at the time?
  7. Before you go shopping for clothes, look through your closets and drawers. Have you ever bought a shirt or blouse only to come home and find a very similar item hanging up? Taking a careful inventory before you shop can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
  8. Do not neglect yard/garage sales or thrift stores. These venues can save you hundreds of dollars on items that are in terrific shape.
  9. Need a new furniture item? Look in the scratch and dent area. Retailers often receive items that were lightly damaged in shipping. It can be more cost effective for them to lower the price by 10-20% and the damage is usually difficult to see.
  10. Never pay for features that you do not need. Sure, the added features may seem ”cool”, but the added cost often outweighs any cool factor.

Hopefully, you have found a few tips that are helpful. Good luck saving money this year!

This article has been provided by the team at CarLoanArizona.com, a leading resource for AZ car shoppers in need of zero down payment financing.  We specialize in bad credit AZ auto loans.


Money Saving Tips for New Moms

Money Saving Tips for New Moms

Ah… the feeling of being a new mom. So much joy. So much hope. And so many questions… It’s a very exciting time. From the wonder to the uncertainty, being a new mom comes with a laundry list of new chores, new responsibilities and new expenses.
But being informed is the best way to keep these under control. And saving money as a new mom can be a challenge, but it can be done with the right know-how.

Breastfeed

Breastfeeding gives infants the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. It may also help new moms get back to their pre-pregnancy weight faster. Breastfeeding offers a number of health benefits fom baby and mom, and, lo and behold, it’s also a lot cheaper than bottle-feeding. New moms can save about $1,000 a year by breastfeeding.

Shop Online for Baby Products

Shopping online lets new moms take care of all their baby-shopping without leaving the house. That means no gas and they get to stay home with baby. Shopping online is also one of the best ways to save money on baby products. And the reason is simple: there are many more baby stores online than in any neighborhood so the competition drives down cost. Additionally, online stores don’t have the same overhead so they can afford to sell the same items at lower prices. Plus you can shop around for online clearance items, promo codes and free shipping. Some websites also offer rewards programs and giveaways.

Buy Cloth Diapers
A pack of disposable diapers can cost anywhere from $10 to $30. That may not seem like much, but it really does add up over time. A newborn baby can very easily go through a pack of diapers in three weeks. New moms can save over $500 a year (and upwards of several thousand dollars in a two-and-a-half year period) by buying cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are a little more expensive than disposable diapers, but they last much, much longer. That means cloth diapers not only save you longterm costs of buying new disposable diapers every few weeks, but also help do your part for the environment.
Use coupons

Mailer coupon books are usually chockfull of baby item discounts. Cut and save! But don’t stop there. If you’re alreay shopping online, go to sites like Coupon Cabin and Retail Me Not for promo codes to your favorite online stores. Coupons can be a money-saving mom’s best friend. Moms who use coupons can save from 20-50 percent on baby products.

Research
These tips are only the beginning. Remember, knowledge is the key to saving.

Do your own research. Find out when stores update their product lines and buy out of season. Visit thrift stores. Shop at eBay and Craigslist. The list goes on, but the point is motherhood doesn’t have to put a hole in your pocket.

Bryana is a blogger and online marketer for Diaper Junction, an online baby-products retailer.


Save Money With These 9 Helpful Tips!

Save Money With These 9 Helpful Tips!

Saving money is a lot easier said than done. However, it is very important for people to learn how to save money. The economy in general is hanging on balance. The rate of unemployment along with the prices of products and services get higher and higher each day. Saving can definitely make a huge impact on a person’s finances. The following are nine tips that you could do so that you could save money.

Keep the change

It would be nice of you to let people such as waiters, salesmen, and delivery guys to keep the change for the payments you made. However, it would be a lot you could keep the change yourself. You will never know how much you can save just by keeping stray coins. Buy a piggy bank so that you will have a place to store those heavy nickels, dimes, and pennies. In the US, there was one family who were able to save one thousand dollars in just a year just by keeping stray coins.

Reduce your electricity bills

High electrical bills can definitely make a bad effect on your finances. Lately, it seems that electrical companies have no plans in reducing their electric rates. Aside from that, appliances that are commonly used in homes such as the television and computer consume too much electricity. You could save money by turning off appliances that are not being used. If no one is watching the television, it would be a good idea to turn it off. Take advantage of free sunlight instead of turning on the light bulbs.

Save on gas

Why spend on gas when you can walk? Gas rates get higher and higher each day. Instead of using a car, you might want to ride a bike to your office or school. If your destination is not that far, you can also walk. Cycling and walking are good exercises.

Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions

Most people spend time in the Internet rather than watching television. This is because most of the things seen in television can also be seen in Internet. Therefore, it might be a good idea to cancel your cable subscription. You might also want to cancel your subscription to published materials such as newspapers and magazines.

Shop wisely

If you know how to shop wisely, you will definitely be able to save a lot of money. When you shop for groceries, it is a good idea to eat first. When you shop hungry, you will be tempted to buy more than what you need.  Always use devise a shopping list and stick to it. When buying non-food items such as clothes and appliances, it is a good idea to use coupons. Always think wisely before purchasing expensive items. Make sure that what you buy is really needed.

Eliminate vices and expensive hobbies

Alcohol, beer, and drugs – these vices can easily drain your bank account. Not only can they make you poor but they are also very dangerous to the health. If you are engaged in hobbies that cost you a lot, it might be a good idea to start looking for new inexpensive hobbies.

Save on food

Food might be a basic necessity but there is the tendency to spend too much for it. A good idea to save on food is to learn how to cook. If you know how to cook, you will spend less time eating in expensive restaurants. If you really enjoy meals from fast food restaurants, do not have your orders delivered. Go to the stores instead so that you will not have to pay for delivery fees.

Never pay for services that you can manage yourself

There are times when people get lazy and they hire people to do household chores for them. Mowing the lawn, painting the fences, and cleaning the car- these are just some of the chores that you can do by yourself. Not only will you be able to save money but you will also put those muscles into good use.

Pay bills on time

Saving money might not be easy but no one said that it is impossible. Saving can force you to make particular adjustments in your life. However, you will get used to these changes and you will appreciate the results in the long run. Jeff Lobo helps in providing Structured Settlement Quotes and gives finance management tips so that you can take care of your expenses and live a better life.


Couponing for Beginners

Couponing for Beginners

As the economy gets tighter, many families have come to find that couponing is the only way to get what they truly need while sticking to the family budget. If you have wanted to get started using coupons but aren’t sure where to start, this quick-start guide is just for you.

Step 1: Get Your Coupons

There are many sources for great, usable coupons that will save you big. Try these for starters:

  • The Sunday Paper – Get the paper with the highest circulation for the biggest variety of coupons. If you are serious, buy one paper for each family member.
  • Friends and Family – Ask your loved ones to save any unwanted coupons for you. They will probably be happy to do so.
  • Hit the Internet – There are thousands of printable coupons on the Internet. You can find them on couponing sites or on manufacturer sites.
  • Use a Clipping Service – If there are current coupons that you could use in multiples, ordering from a clipping service could save you quite a bit in the long run.
  • Check Your Stores – Many stores have coupons available. All you have to do is ask or look around.

Step 2: Get Organized

Your organizational system will depend upon your style and preferences. Here are some possible ideas to get you started:

  • Envelopes – For beginners, a check file or a set of envelopes will suffice. As your operation grows, however, you will probably need to change your system a bit.
  • Electronic Organization – For the least amount of work, file your coupon inserts by date and then locate the ones you need through an online database of coupons.
  • Binder – One of the most effective systems for serious couponers is to use a three-ring binder with baseball card holders. Simply take your binder with you every time you shop.

Step 3: Learn Your Store’s Policies

For maximum savings, you will need to know your store’s policies on coupon redemption.

  • Loyalty Card – Many stores offer a loyalty card that offers special savings. These cards are free, so make sure to get yours.
  • Doubling or Tripling – Many stores will run double or triple coupon promotions. Find out when your store does so and shop on those days. You will also need to know the maximum double and triple amounts as well as how many coupons you can use during the promotion.
  • Stacking – Check to see if your store will allow you to combine store and manufacturer coupons on the same item.
  • Competitor Coupons – Many stores will honor coupons issued by their competitors and will also match advertised sale prices. It is worth your time to know which stores do so.

Have a Plan

To get the most from couponing, you must have a solid plan. Make a list before shopping and try to use coupons on items that are on sale for the highest savings. Check weekly ads and make sure to ask for a raincheck if an on-sale item is sold out. Just be sure not to buy an item you don’t need just because you have a good coupon. After all, couponing is about saving on items you would buy anyway, not spending unnecessarily.

About the Author

Kevin D. is a writer for HowDoIbe.com. This is a site that can help you learn how to save money, and even learn how to become a investment banker. You will learn more about couponing, and save more than before.

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