Saving

Best Blogs on Saving Money

Have you ever experienced budgeting blues? With all the news about the recession, it is never easy to be calm when you are in the phase of your life where budgeting is the main concern. But did you know that making the most out of your money and/or financial planning should never be a tedious process?

Below, you will see some blogs that will help you to save money and will help make calm decisions to make the most out of each pay check in order to save for retirement.

MONEY MAGPIE
This blog is made by Jasmine Brittles, a finance expert. It is one of the leading sites that talk expressly about justifiable opportunities in money-making. This beautifully and elegantly designed blog advises readers on how to make and save money by means of the ‘bargain’ section and free e-books that can be downloaded. This blog is regularly featured in different local and national press.

PRETTY MUCH PENNILESS
The owner of this blog is a self-proclaimed finance expert and economical fashionista. This blog proves that you do not need to have a lot of money just to look good. The owner of this blog advises her readers on how to stretch their budget when dressing up and buying clothes. If you need some inspiration on how to inexpensively look fabulous, go to this website and get some inspiration.

BUDGET TRAVELER
If you are someone who likes traveling but you don’t have a lot of money, budget traveler is a great blog to visit. This blog tackles a variety of budget tips when traveling. This site also contains affordable places for you to stay in countries all around the world.

GO SELF SUFFICIENT
If you are suffering from a cough, you do not need to go to a pharmacy and spend your money to buy a cough medicine. You can make use of honey and other ingredients that are available in your house. This is what this blog is all about: being self sufficient. Whether you want to save money by making your own medicines (take note: Safe ones) making the most out of the junk in your kitchen, or saving money with other common household items, this website is the one for you.

CASH QUESTIONS
Do you have questions about financial topics but you do not know who to ask for advice? Go to this website and ask whatever it is that you want to ask. This website, which was created by Annie Shaw, has forums in which everyone can ask anything regarding money matters. It is important to mention, you do need to become a member first before you can ask your question.

Remember that it is possible for you to save your money. You don’t have to really follow this blog keenly and strictly just to save your money or make the most out of it, budgeting solely depends on you, not on any magic formula. These aforementioned blogs are excellent ways you can develop a working budget strategy and see your money go further. It is your dedication to budgeting that will dictate your success. Happy budgeting and I hope that this list of the best blogs on saving money helps!

Best Books on Saving Money

If you are someone who loves reading something about money-saving matters, you have come to the right place. For many readers, it is beneficial to read about the ways other people save their pennies. Below, you will see the top books that you can add to your book list to gain some money saving inspiration. Here are some of the seven best books on saving money.

The money $aving mom's budget
THE MONEY SAVING MOM’S BUDGET

by CRYSTAL PAINE

This book gives the readers several tips on how to save money in a lively, humble and engaging way. There are many great tips spread across 9 chapters. The topics in this book are proper use of coupons, saving with the help of coupons and having fun without being lavish. The proceeds from the sales of Paine’s book goes to the Compassion International, a charity supported by Piane.

BE CENTSABLE: HOW TO CUT YOUR HOUSEHOLD BUDGET IN HALF
BE CENTSABLE: HOW TO CUT YOUR HOUSEHOLD BUDGET IN HALF

by KRISTIN MCKEE AND CHRISSY PAT

The authors of this book are moms, they wrote this book because they wanted to substantially cut their bills and share with others how they did it. They have teamed up to discover different ways on how to save their money with the use of stockpiling, price matching and of course –couponing. These two moms are making big waves when it comes to saving up money and reducing bills for moms everywhere.

INSTANT BARGAINS: 600+ WAYS TO SHRINK YOUR GROCERY BILLS AND EAT WELL FOR LESS
INSTANT BARGAINS: 600+ WAYS TO SHRINK YOUR GROCERY BILLS AND EAT WELL FOR LESS

by KIMBERLY DANGER

The author of this book is also the founder of mommysavers.com. This book focuses on saving money from groceries and food. This book emphasizes many money-saving ideas that will suit your way of life, so if you do not have time to cut some coupons from magazines or stockpile some products, there are still ways for you to make the most out of your money.

THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR
THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR

by STANLEY AND DANKO

The authors of this book have interviewed and surveyed several wealthy people so that they could find trends in data. This book discusses how these millionaires live, budget and spend their money.
This book also brings in concepts on how to save up money just like millionaires.

NOT BUYING IT
NOT BUYING IT

by JUDITH LAVINE

The author of this book and her partner promised that they would stop buying anything but their necessities. Because of this, they struggled to understand the meaning of necessity. This book also tackles what is necessary for living and some common items that are viewed as necessity but really are not.

MONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS
MONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS

by MP DUNLEAVEY

The authors of this book will show you how to use the money you already have to make you the happiest person in the world. This book is the nicest read if you think that you do not have sufficient money to survive. Everyone has hidden cash that they can utilize to live a happier life.

THE FRUGAL FAMILY’S KITCHEN BOOK
THE FRUGAL FAMILY’S KITCHEN BOOK

by MARY WEBER

This book is stuffed with practical information on how you can save cash and time. The book has a buying guide and several great and delicious recipes that are inexpensive when it comes to the ingredients (these recipes are not only delicious, they are also nutritious).

Love Birds Love Saving

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It is not just the perfect opportunity by sweet candy and delicious chocolate for your loved one, it is also another chance to spend some money!  But here is the good news; you do not have to break the bank to show your significant other how much you care.  Give this list a good once over and you will walk away with some sweet ideas.

1. Be Crafty

Homemade gifts can mean so much more than something store bought, so be creative and get crafty!  Try using a free photo editing site to do something cool with a picture of the two of you. Make a coupon book of sweet and/or romantic requests.   So have fun with this one! Check out Pinterest for some other awesome ideas.

2. Bake Away!

I do not care who you are, cookies, brownies, cake, or any other sugary treat always hits the spot.  Break out a new recipe or an old favorite and bake up some love for your love.  Someone mind passing this tip on to my boyfriend?

3. Everyone Loves a Good Movie

You and your love bird have probably seen at least 3 movies together since becoming an item.  Renting a movie on Red Box or through Netflix is inexpensive and a great way to just spend some time together.  You will make popcorn, hot chocolate, and some great memories.

4. A Walk Down Memory Lane

This tip is definitely more for the couples who have been together for at least a couple months.  Take your significant other on a walk through your relationship. Go to the place you first met, then your first date, then to the last place you were together.  You do not have to buy anything, just talk about the good memories you have from those places. You will laugh, maybe even cry, but you will definitely make some good memories.

So happy early Valentine’s Day to all the loves birds out there and give these tips, one or more, a try. Let me know how it goes!

I Love It Not…

Valentine’s Day, for some, is fondly referred to as Single’s Awareness Day. So what do all singles people do on Valentine’s Day? Well, they can wallow in self-pity or bitterness, or they can do something that shows how much they care about themselves.  What is even better is that it can be inexpensive too.

1. Polish Party.

Get a few of your single girlfriends together, bring all the nail polish you have, and take turns giving each other mani’s and pedi’s while bad mouthing all the boys who have done you wrong and what celebrity got arrested the night before.  You will not only get some polish powered confidence, but some much needed girl time therapy.  What will this cost you? Nothing, unless you need to pick up some new polish!

2. Bubble Bath… That’s Right.

Stop by your local bath and body shop and pick up some bubble bath in your favorite scent.  Nothing says relaxation more than a bubble bath.  Now light some candles, grab a book, or just turn on some soothing music and take some time for yourself.  The max this one will cost you?  $15. Try it out, you will not regret it.

3. Need a Good Cry?

Pop in Dirty Dancing or Marley and Me and enjoy some of what I so fondly refer to as movie medication.  Get your favorite drink and snack ready. Put on those pajama pants that fit just right and those fuzzy socks that you love so much and over medicate yourself to your single heart’s content.  Using Red Box?  This one will cost you a max of $5 for the movie and $20 for your drink and snacks.  Indulge a bit.

4. Go Home!

If you are a college student like me and going home is a rare luxury, plan ahead and make the trek back home.  Be around people who truly love you, aka, your parents!  If your parents are like mine, they will smother you in hugs, candy, and free food (something every college student loves.)

 

Valentine’s Day does not have to be Single’s Awareness Day.  Make Valentine’s Day about you, and tell Single’s Awareness Day where to shove it.

Five Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bills

Gas prices keep rising and lowering (but definitely more rising). Our utility bills continue to increase, as does the overalls cost of living especially while food prices steadily continue to increase.

cut grocery bills

With that being said, we are looking for ways to save money and one of the easiest ways to save some quick cash is probably a way that you have never thought of before. Cutting your grocery bills will save a tremendous amount of money and it’s easy!

Here are five ways to cut your grocery bill, which means more money in your pocket for your mortgage payment, your utilities, or even a luxurious day at the spa (or golf course for you men out there!):

1. Clip Coupons – While it may not seem like 50 cents here and 75 cents there will save you money, it will if you know what to do and when. You want to save coupons and use them at the store when the store is having a sale on that particular item. In some stores, you can double or triple your coupons saving you that much more! Here’s how it works: let’s say you pay $2.50 for Prego spaghetti sauce and your favorite grocery store has it on sale for $2. Let’s say you have a coupon to receive 75 cents off that can of spaghetti sauce and let’s go on to say that the coupon doubles at the store for a total of $1.50 off the $2 sale price. That means you are paying only 50 cents for an otherwise $2.50 can of Prego spaghetti sauce. It pays to learn how to clip coupons and use them efficiently. Note: you can get easily coupons in your Sunday paper or online with the click of a mouse! And don’t forget to always be on the lookout for “Buy One, Get One Free” specials at the store and coupons. Match them together and that’s some savings to brag about (maybe even completely free!).

2. Stockpile During Sales – When items go on sale, stock up on them. Use your coupons, too. This means you will need to have plenty of room in your pantry – or somewhere! – so that you can store the additional items, but when the price goes up, you won’t need it saving you money on your grocery bill.

3. Purchase Store Brands – We don’t always have to have name brand stuff, do we? Sure, it’s nice sometimes, but store brand food is generally just as good and you can save a ton of money. This doesn’t only pertain to canned goods, this also relates to fresh fruits and veggies, frozen foods, baked goods and much more! In some cases, the store brand foods taste better than their name brand counterparts!

4. Avoid Convenience – Don’t purchase already cut-up carrots that are pre-packaged when you can purchase carrots individually and cut them up yourself for a lot cheaper. Avoid pre-made foods because in the long-run, you will save more cooking it from scratch at home rather than purchasing it in the frozen section especially in the long-term. Same goes for pre-cooked foods. It’s just better to buy the ingredients separately and make it at home. Next time you want the same meal, you’ll already have some of the ingredients on hand thus saving money!

5. Make a List – We all know that we spend more money at the grocery store when we go in without knowing what we need. By making a list of the things that we need (and sticking to it!), we are saving a ton of money on items that the household doesn’t really need such as extra junk food, an apple pie that looked too good to pass up, etc. So, check your fridge, pantry and cabinets before heading to the grocery store and make that list of the things you need to avoid excessive, unnecessary costs.

Utilizing the above-mentioned five ways to cut grocery bills, you will save a huge amount on your grocery bills each week. In fact, you will probably save more than you could have ever imagined you could save. When you go to the grocery store, make sure you are equipped with these five shop smart ways you can save money.

Party On!

Do you have any big parties coming up? Birthdays? Social Events? Anything?  Well, whether you have a reason or not, throwing a party is always a great way to get together with some friends and family. Parties are not always cheap, but with a few of these money friendly party ideas you will have some great inexpensive fun in no time!

1. Game night!

Be a kid again! You would be surprised at how much fun those old board games or other games can be.  Apples to Apples, Monopoly, video games, even hide and seek all bring back some good memories and a lot of fun with them.

2. Creativity Time.

A few friends of mine came up with this idea.  We got together with our old bikes, searched Craigslist for other bikes, and went to pawn shops and looked for bikes.  In other words, we had a lot of bikes.  Each of us then bought a can of glow in the dark paint. We spent the day together painting the bikes, and then went riding through downtown that night.    It only cost us about $25 each to buy the paint and get used (or our old) bikes. So come up with something creative!  It might not be as cool as our glow in the dark bike riding crew, but that’s just how we roll. Pun intended.

3. Cookie Trade Off

This is a good one for those with a sweet tooth.  Everyone who is invited to the party bakes enough cookies for each person to have at least 2. They then bring a copy of the recipe and everyone tries each other’s treats.  You not only satisfy that sweet tooth that you undoubtedly have but you add to your cookie repertoire.   How much will it cost you to bake a batch or 2 of cookies? Around $20, unless you pay attention to stores with good sales who do ad matching!

 

These are a few simple ideas that will get you started.  Do you have any ideas for awesome parties? Comment below and let’s hear ‘em!

The Best Home Imporvements for Your Home

The idea of home improvement is one of the first things that come to many homeowners’ minds at the beginning of a new year or even during the holidays. This is because we tend to like the idea of starting over, a new beginning, or freshening things up.
home improvement
However, certain home improvements are worthwhile and some are simply a waste of your hard earned money, or even that mortgage or bank loan you take out to execute them. But what makes a worthwhile home improvement?

Well, the answer is fairly straightforward: something that increases the value of your house. Not only should you be recouping your money when you carry out a home improvement, it should be viewed as an investment, something that repays you at least three times over (and above). And of course, it should improve the overall livability of the home environment. It is only after these two aspects have been examined that you can look at aesthetics.

Suggested Improvements

Protective/Preservation:

This involves improvements that help protect the quality of the house. These include painting, plumbing and drainage systems, shutters and roof work.

Utilities Based Improvements:

Not only does maintaining your utilities keep up the value of the house, it is a great safety measure and also means with your utilities operating smoothly, you have more efficient billing. Look at your heating systems, electrical systems, especially wiring, water systems and of course again, plumbing.

Energy Saving Improvements:

This is an often ignored aspect of houses. They are huge consumers of energy, whether for heating, lighting, cooling or things of that nature. This would be a time to create more skylights, get in French windows, work on the heat conduction system in preparation for harsh winters; all these and others would make the house more energy efficient and save you a ton of money on bills.

Space Creation:

Sometimes a homeowner can find themselves in a house whose space distribution does not exactly agree with their plans or find they need space particularly for storage. One of the most practical steps to remedy this is to build an attic. An attic is convenient and helps free-up space within the livable part of the house, and is thus, a great home improvement idea.

Specialty Rooms:

No one feels like they own a house until they have their own area, especially in a family environment. Apart from this aesthetically pleasing aspect, this trait has its useful side. In an age when a lot of work is brought home from the office or a lot of people live and work in the same home, changing and redesigning some parts of your house into a study, office, studio or recreational area is an ideal, practical and even sometimes income generating way of improving the overall value of your home.

These changes, though not all-encompassing, will keep in line with the principles suggested above and help ensure that your home improvement is worthwhile.

Do Young Adults Need Disability Insurance?

Many things go through the minds of young adults, but seldom do they think of being grievously ill or being prepared for the worst. Usually it is later life when these things are considered and dealt with accordingly. The chances of becoming disabled are considered remote, and therefore not something of which to be concerned.
disability insurance

This leaves many young adults unprepared for such an instance. Unfortunately it is in these years when most people are actually at a higher risk of a disabling injury. Everyone of working age needs to plan ahead of time to see that their bills would be paid if they were to become disabled.

Accidents and illness could potentially cause long lasting or even permanent disability. In the event of temporary disability, a policy would provide a portion of income that would help get bills paid until the illness has passed. The loss of employment resulting in no income for just a few months can have devastating financial consequences for the young adult and their family.

A big benefit in getting disability insurance while young is the reduced cost over getting it later in life. It may also be possible to get a policy during this time that cannot be cancelled by the company. It makes sound financial sense as it stays in force as long as the premiums are met in a timely manner. A policy such as this provides lifelong protection.

It’s no secret that a change in health comes with age. Medical history will play a big role in whether or not a person will qualify for disability insurance. Any kind of medical history will make an increase in the amount paid in premiums. This is where a policy purchase while in the health of youth makes so much sense.

Employers are the first place anyone should begin for any type of insurance. It could be readily available as an option in the company group insurance. Employees are responsible for inquiring about potential benefits they may qualify for as a current company employee. A quick trip to the human resources department will reveal what type of plans are available that can be automatically be deducted from earnings.

Most people are seemingly at their best during the young adult years. It is easy to overlook certain things at this age, particularly when it comes to topics of injury or death. However, it is the precise time to get prepared for all of the things that can catch us off guard. Disability insurance is not just for the elderly or frail. It is for all adults, young or old. These are the individuals that are smart enough to know they need it to take care of themselves should an unfortunate event occur.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Are you searching for an apartment or place to live?  Do not let your pocketbook be the only thing that holds you back.  There are a few very important aspects that you need to remember when picking out a house or apartment that can end up saving you and your pocket book a little bit of stress.

1. Home Improvements

Does the house or apartment need some tender loving care? Or more like some major repairs?  Either way, hope is not lost.  Take a look at what you will have to spare after you buy the home or apartment. Will there be enough there to make the changes you want? Changes that will really make you happy with this place and make it a home? If yes, sign on the dotted line!  If no, do not stop the search quite yet.

2. Location, location, location

If you are a college student, think about public transportation, work, and class. How far away are you?  There is no such thing as too close but there is such thing as too far.  You do not want to overdo it on gas money, nor use all that time commuting to and from your desired location.  Think about it.

3. Go Green!

Take a look at the environmentally friendly aspects that the apartment already has or can easily be adapted to.  Not only is it good for the environment, but often times going green can also save you some green.  Solar panels? Expensive, but they eventually pay for themselves.

 

Just a couple things to think about ya’ll.  Do you have any tips that need to be shared? Let’s hear them! Comment below!

Coupon Basics: Values of Coupons

The first article in the Coupon Basics series, “Types of Coupons,” hashed out the vital differences between manufacturers coupons and store coupons. But knowing which type of coupon you have before you is just the first part of the process; next you have to examine the value so you can be sure to use them.

Couponing

The best kinds of coupons are those that offer a free item, though these are the most rare. Freebie coupons are manufacturer coupons, typically often offered for new products. The manufacturers are willing to give away free products in hopes that you’ll get hooked and keep buying full priced products down the line. You can often get these by joining company email lists, checking company websites or by engaging with social media profiles of your favorite products and companies.

Single product coupons offer a set amount of money off the purchase of a single product. These will read something like “Save $1 on any one [product]” or “receive 50 cents off one [product]” Just be aware of the fine print, as you may be required to buy a certain size, variety or flavor of the product in order to use the coupon.

Multiple product coupons function like single product coupons, except they require that you purchase a set number of items, greater than one, to reap the benefits. Coupons like this will read “Save $1 on two [product]” or “Save $1.50 when you buy any three [products].” These coupons often allow you to pick from multiple products produced by the same company, or to mix and match various sizes, flavors or varieties of the same products.

BOGO coupons, or buy one get one coupons, are like a combination of freebie coupons and multiple product coupons. These coupons entitle you to a free or discounted product when you purchase the minimum number specified on the coupon. These will read like “Get one [product] free when you purchase two or more [products]” or “Buy three [products], get your 4th for $1.”

These Catalina coupons can have many different values, but usually come in two varieties: purchase or product. Purchase catalinas offer you money off your next purchase, regardless of the products that your next purchase contains, but they must be used at the same store where you earned the reward. If you receive a product catalina, for money off your next product order, the opposite is true; these are like manufacturer coupons and can be used at any store that sells the product in question.

Once you can differentiate between the various types of coupons and can easily understand the values of the coupons before you, you can move on to part three in the Coupon Basics series: Combining and Maximizing.