Aug
28

Creative Ways to Heal a Skin Sore

Skin sores can come in many shapes, sizes, textures, etc. and you just have to take them as they come. Some aren’t serious at all, and others can last for months on end. If you have a skin sore you have been trying to heal at home, there are a few creative techniques you may want to try. These won’t cost a lot of money do test, and you don’t have to see a critical care nurse to get the job done. Follow the suggestions below, and your skin may heal in no time.

Clear Fingernail Polish

Applying clear fingernail polish to your skin will deprive it of oxygen, and some skin conditions thrive on that to grow. You might have to deal with shiny, leathery skin for a bit, but you will be healing yourself along the way. This is kind of like putting a lid on a candle to put out the flames. Instead of a lid, you’re using a sealant. The polish will come off over time, so all you have to do is wait for it to work.

Emu Oil

Emu oil can be found in just about any health food store or pharmacy, and it can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It contains special nutrients that plump and soften the skin from multiple layers. A friend of mine uses it to treat a recurring rash she gets around her mouth, and I have used it to treat issues with dry skin around my face. If you use this underneath some other kind of skin medicine, it will actually help it absorb better into the lower layers. That’s just something to keep in mind.

Lotion

I sometimes have skin problems because my skin is too dry. You might want to use some healing lotion to make yours go away. I usually do this for round sores I get on my legs when the humidity in the air is low. The lotion provides just enough moisture for my legs to look good again.

Consider all of those options the next time you have a problem on your skin, and hopefully you’ll find a solution you can count on.

Aug
09

The Right Way to Use Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of getting paid to promote other people’s products and services. Every time someone clicks on one of your affiliate links, the site you’re working with tracks the transactions. If the person buys a product as a result of your link, you make money. It’s as simple as that. The problem is that a lot of people try to post false information on the web in the hopes of getting people to buy certain products. This could lead to a ton of unhappy customers and a short-lived business.

If you want to actually make money in all of this, you need to practice ethical affiliate marketing. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Point out the Pros and Cons

Don’t just focus on the positive aspects of the product you’re promoting. You need to mention the negatives as well. For instance, you might say that a weight loss pill works great, but only with proper diet and exercise. Far too many people claim that miracle products exist in the world, when they really don’t. If you can bring up the downsides of a product and still make it look good, you’ll have no trouble earning money through affiliate marketing.

Specialize Your Marketing

Rather than reviewing “whatever,” try to become an expert on a certain kind of product. For instance, you might know a lot about technology, which means that you would do well reviewing phones and computers. If you can establish yourself as a voice for a specific niche, people will trust you a lot more. This will lead to more popularity, which of course will improve your chances of making money.

Consider the Readers

What do people really want to know? Do they want to just see product specs, or do they want to read about real experiences? For the most part, people want actual opinions from actual people. You have to adjust your writing to accommodate that. If you make your review seem like every other one online, you’ll end up with no readers whatsoever. I doubt that’s what you want.

At the end of the day, you really have to focus on providing content people can trust. Don’t claim that the Flex Belt will give people six pack abs overnight, when really it’s nothing more than a novelty gift for the overweight. As long as you remain honest in everything you write, you should be able to make some decent money with affiliate marketing.

Jul
16

Decorating a Dorm on a Budget

Are you tired of your boring dorm room, with the white walls and plaid sheets? Do you want to redo the whole damn thing, even though you only have a $500 no essay scholarship to your name? Believe it or not, there is a lot you can do on a limited budget. You just have to be willing to think outside the box. If you can let your creative juices flow, you should be able to come up with a low budget solution for your current situation. Here are some tips to help you redesign your dorm room without spending a ton of money.

Make Your Own Pillows

If you can’t afford to buy new bedding, why not make your own pillows? You could use old clothing for the fabric, and then all you have to do is find something to use for stuffing. Buy a big bag of batting for like $3.00 at JoAnn, and then all you have to do is sewn all of this together. If you don’t want to use any clothing for fabric, you can buy scraps from most fabric stores for next to nothing. All you have to do is look around.

Make Your Own Art

There is no easier way to bring life to a room than through a good piece of art. This can be expensive to buy on its own, unless you hang up your Backstreet Boys poster from 1998. If you can scrounge together the money to just buy a blank canvas, you could use that to make art. Slap some paint, photos, or paper on there and let your imagination run wild. You could go for a splatter paint effect, or you could even make a picture collage. That’s up to you. Just make sure whatever you do goes with the theme you want for the room.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Cover that tacky bulb light with something more exciting. Get some chicken wire to adhere to the ceiling, and then you could hang crystals or even Christmas ornaments off it. Believe it or not, Hobby Lobby already has all their Christmas stuff out right now, so you could go there to get some really pretty glass balls to hang from the ceiling. Just make sure that your chicken wire isn’t pressed right up against the light to avoid a fire. If you can do that, you should be all set :)

Try to think of ways to maximize whatever money you have to spend, and you’ll be able to make your dorm look amazing. All it takes is a little creativity and some good old elbow grease.

Jun
04

Saving Money Day by Day

You always hear people saying to take matters “one step at a time.” That is how you learn to walk, start to talk, get through college courses, and do just about everything else in life. Saving money is included in all of this. You may be able to save when you get in large chunks of money, but perhaps it would be better to put back a little bit every day. If you can do that consistently, you may be able to save a whole lot of money without making a big sacrifice. Here are some tips to help you save “one step at a time,” so you can have some security for your future.

Save Your Change
Try to pay for everything in cash and then put away the change you get for every transaction. This won’t seem like much money at the time, but it will add up over the course of several months. Act as if the change doesn’t even exist and tuck it away somewhere safe. Then you can go to it if you every have a financial emergency.

Remove One Expense
Remove one expense from your daily habits and put the money for it away. I took out the drink on my Chick-Fil-A breakfast order, and I was able to save $1.25 a day as a result of it. That’s $7.50 a week (since it’s open for six days), which comes out to $390 a year. By making one simple sacrifice a day, I was able to save a ton of money. Perhaps you could do the same.

Make a Piggy Bank
Something as simple as a piggy bank could be all you need to save money. Make a goal to put a dollar in the jar every single day, or put in all of the money you save from the suggestions above. If you get something that is clear, you may be able to see your savings progress and therefore get more excited about the money you’re putting away. Even if you have to build this up penny by penny, it will eventually lead to some decent money you use for your daily expenses.

Try to save a little bit of money every single day, and it won’t seem like you’re giving up a lot. If you can do that consistently over a long stretch of time, you may be surprised by what you can save.

May
07

How Professionals Can Save You Money on Kitchen Remodeling

Everything seems expensive nowadays, from a cup of coffee to property and beyond. If you are planning to do a kitchen remodel on a budget, you may not see any solution other than to do the work yourself. Believe it or not, that could actually cost you a lot more money in the end. Before you spend a ton of time and a large portion of your probation officer salary doing the remodeling on your own, you need to find out how contractors could save you money with their services. Here is a look at how the savings may start rolling in.

Cheaper Materials
The U.S. offers a wide variety of material suppliers that cater to professional remodelers. Your contractors may be able to get a better deal on supplies for your kitchen remodeling, or they may already have some from another job. You may have to pay for their labor, but you will save money on actual materials. If you go out to buy materials on your own, the markup you pay will be tremendous. That’s why it is sometimes better to hire help to do your projects.

Less Time
Contractors are likely going to be more efficient at the kitchen remodeling than you will be. That will give you a chance to use your kitchen sooner, which may save you money in eating out or hotel costs. This also gives you a chance to spend your time doing aspects of the remodeling that do not require physical labor. If you use that time to work, you will be making more money than you would doing the job on your own.

Better Work
You will need to make sure that your kitchen remodeling is up to the standards required in your area. If your work does not pass inspection, you will have to spend time getting the problems fixed. You may also have to pay a fee because you did something that was against the law. Since general contractors should know the codes for the area, they will abide by the laws. This will leave you without repair costs to cover.

Affordable Suggestions
Some professionals know tricks of the trade that they can share with you to save money on kitchen remodeling. They might know of a creative material you can use or an innovative way to work with the materials that are already in the kitchen. Whatever the case may be, you can use their expertise to save you money in the end. If you go into this blindly, you may spend two to three times the money necessary for a project, just because you didn’t know about the alternatives out there for you. If you manage to find a savvy group of pros, they may be able to point you to the biggest savings possible.

As long as you hire a good team of contractors to work with you, you should have no trouble finding an affordable solution for your kitchen remodeling. You can rest assured knowing that the work is done right, and you can see your finished kitchen much sooner than you would doing the labor on your own. Overall, it seems like working with the pros is the right way to go. Now all you have to do is look for a group of people to work with. Use the reviews on Angie’s List as a starting point, and you will be saving money in no time.

Apr
16

Good at Saving Money? Become an Accountant!

This blog is devoted to helping you save money, and I just realized that character trait may actually make you a really good accountant. Think about it – savvy shoppers are obsessed with their financial documents, and they keep track of every penny they make and spend. That is exactly what people in accounting careers do every day. If you have been looking for a new career to try on, you might consider this as an option. Here is an overview of an accountant’s job so you can decide if you want to have it in the future.

What Accountants Do

Accountants take on a wide range of tasks in their work places, and all of those tasks have something to do with money. If you are good at balancing the books, you will probably do well as an accountant. Here is a list of job duties you may come across as an accountant:

  • Analyze financial documents
  • Draft payroll statements
  • File tax paperwork
  • Provide investment advice
  • Provide tax advice
  • Review financial records
  • Stay informed about new tax laws

Think you can handle that and more? If so, a career in accounting could be a perfect career for you!

What Accountants Make

Accountants have the potential to make good money, so you should not have to worry about supporting your family with this profession. You just have to find a good employer to work under and stick with your job. Possible pay rates for accountants include:

  • Less than 1 year of experience: $30,439 – $60,237 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $37,772 – $65,158 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $43,935 – $83,392 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $48,143 – $109,241 per year
  • 20 years or more of experience: $48,588 – $148,740 per year

What It Takes to Become an Accountant

If you want to become an accountant, you will need to get a college education. The list below shows some of the degree programs you may go through as a result of this:

Associate’s Degrees

  • Associate of Science in Finance
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Associate of Science in Accounting

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting & Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Business in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting & Finance
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics
  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting & Finance
  • Bachelor of Accountancy in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Accountancy in Accounting & Finance

Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Science in Taxation
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Science in Accountancy
  • Master of Professional Accountancy
  • Master of Business Administration in Finance
  • Master of Business Administration in Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration in Accounting
  • Master of Accounting in Accounting & Finance

You can select a degree program that fits your plans for the future, and then all you will have to do is complete it to begin your work.

Accounting Certifications

If you decide to become an accountant in the future, you will need to obtain a certification of some sort. That tells people that you really know what you’re doing. Here is a list of common certifications associated with accounting careers:

  • Enrolled Agent
  • Certified Valuation Analyst
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Certified Internal Auditor
  • Certified Information Technology Professional
  • Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Business Certificate
  • Accredited in Business Valuation

Consider all of the information above, and determine if you want to become an accountant or not in the future. A fun and rewarding career may be right around the corner!

Apr
02

Saving for Retirement Starts Now

If you are a college student living on a small budget, you may not even be close to thinking about retirement. It’s hard to think that far into the future when you’re still going through your police officer training, but the fact is that now is the best time to start saving for retirement. The habits you develop now will carry you through the future, so you might as well learn how to put away money as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help you save as much money as possible so you can have a stress free life later on.

Invest in Life Insurance

Life insurance is designed to help your family pay for your final expenses if you happen to pass away. You may not want to think about that, but it is something that will come up over time. Investing in life insurance is wise as a whole because it gives you peace of mind in the event of an accident. You know that your loved ones won’t be overwhelmed by debt when you pass. In spite of all these benefits though, there is also the benefit of using your life insurance policy for retirement. Some policies build great amounts of interest, so you have the chance to get a lot more than what you save over the course of a few decades. If you have the right policy on hand, you should be able to withdraw whatever you need during your retirement to survive.

Autodraft Your Account

If you get paid on the same day every week or month, you may want to set up an autodraft on your account that will pull savings money out for you. This will give you a chance to save money without even having to think about it. If I hold on to my savings money for very long, I know I am going to spend it. That is just the nature of the beast. With an autodraft though, I don’t have to worry about going through my savings. It will be taken out of the equation before I even have time to figure out what I have left. You can do the same in your life and hopefully save a lot of money as a result.

Save Your Tax Refunds

If you get a tax refund check every year, you may think about putting that away for your retirement. This is money that you do not necessarily expect to have, so it could be put away without impacting your life. It may be tempting to use that money to buy something you have been wanting for a while, but you have to think about where it may be put to the best use. If you normally don’t have enough money to save much of anything, this may be a great opportunity for you to put back a little cash for the future. It may not be much, but it is definitely a start.

Get a CD

A CD is going to have a much higher interest rate than a savings account, so it may be the best option for your savings. You can get one that lasts for however long you want it to, and then you can get another CD after that. Do this as many times over as you feel necessary, and it will help build up your money without any effort on your part. Talk to a bank about the different ways you could go about doing this, and hopefully you can find a solution that will pay for your retirement.

Mar
19

How to Lower Your Car Payments

Most people in college don’t have the money to pay for a car all at once. They have to finance a car and make payments on it on a monthly basis. If you have been using college student scholarships (more info http://www.scholarshipscouts.org/college-student-scholarships/) to make your car payments every month, chances are you need a way to keep them as low as possible. That way you will be able to continue paying them, even with a tiny budget. I have financed an assortment of cars over the years, and I have figured out a few tricks to keep my payments low and affordable. This article just explains some of those tricks so you can use them in your own life.

Refinance the Car

One of the easiest ways to lower your car payments is to refinance your vehicle. If you have had your loan for at least a year, you may be able to talk to the bank about getting a new loan to pay off the balance of your current one. This will make you pay for a longer period of time, but it will allow you to make lower car payments every month. It is possible that the bank will just lower your interest rate in refinancing, but most lenders will create a longer term for you to make payments in because that will allow them to make the most money from the deal. See if you qualify for refinancing, and you should be able to get a lower payment than what you are making now.

Get a New Car

If you have good history from the car you are paying on now, you should be able to get financed for another vehicle in the near future. That would give you a chance to make a lower car payment than the one that you have now, and it would get you into a new car to play around with. I went from a $712 a month car payment down to a $520 car payment recently just to lower my bills a bit. I actually got a better car out of the deal, and I got a shorter loan term. My car payments are a little higher than most people’s, but that just goes to show you the kind of difference getting a new car could make.

Pay off the Balance

Paying of the balance of your car may not lower your payments per se, but it will allow you to make fewer payments in the future. A good portion of your payment each month goes into interest for your car. If there is no loan, there is no interest to pay. That means that you will be saving money in the long run. Try to put back an extra car payment a month or something along those lines, and then pay off the balance of the loan when you have enough saved up. Then you won’t have to worry about car payments ever again.

If you know that you can’t afford to pay for a car from the start, don’t get it. You will destroy your credit that way, which will prevent you from getting another car in the future. You can use a site like AutoTrader to look for vehicles in your area, and then you can truly get the best deal on a car before you buy it. Hopefully everything works out so you can find a way to pay for a car without having to go over budget. I can attest to the fact that there is a solution out there for everyone. You just have to put forth the effort to find it.

Mar
05

How to Get a Loan in a Rough Economy

The economy is rough right now, and it has forced a lot of people to seek out loans to pay for their overwhelming bills. Perhaps you lost some hours at work or you just can’t seem to get caught up with your debt. Whatever the case may be, there may come a time when you are in need of a personal loan. This is not going to be easy to do because banks have stiffened their policies for lending money. Nevertheless, it is something that you can get through with the right tricks up your sleeves. Here are some tips to help you get the money you need, even when no one wants to help you.

Provide Collateral

If you can provide collateral for a loan, you are much more likely to get it. That is because the bank has nothing to lose at that point. If you do not pay the loan, they will take whatever property you provided as collateral. That will encourage you to keep up with your payments. The collateral that you provide needs to be something with a title to it, like a car or a house. That way the bank will be able to repossess the collateral in the event that you do not make your monthly payments. If you already have a loan out on all of your property like this, you may have to get a little more creative for your loan.

Review Your Credit

Most lenders will be willing to work with you if you have a really good credit score, depending on what sort of loan you are trying to get. It is a good idea to review your credit before you apply for a loan so you can figure out what a logical amount of money would be. If you have a really low credit score, you may need a cosigner to help you secure the loan. You may also have to provide more extensive proof of income that way than you would if you had a high credit score. Get an idea of the history you have to work with, and you can ask your lender questions from there.

Know What You Can Afford

You may be approved for a lot more money than you can actually afford to pay back with your paralegal salary. Thus you need to take the time to fully assess your financial situation so that you can figure out what you actually want out of a loan. If you can only afford to make payments of $250 and the payments for your loan are $400, you need to get a lesser amount or extend the term. A banker can work with you to figure all of that out.

Apply with a Bank You Know

Before you go to one of those payday advance places, you need to first ask the bank you work with if they have any options for you. They will know what your financial situation is, and they may be able to cut you a break because of your loyalty with them. Some banks do not work well with personal loans though, so do not get your hopes up that you will get a loan without question. You may still have to look for other banks to help you out.

As long as you have enough extra income a month to pay back a loan, you should be able to get some sort of help for your financial situation. You just have to take the time to find a lender that will work with you.

Feb
27

Stay Frugal with Fast Food Freebies

Most people don’t imagine fast food when they think about saving money. I know I never did. That is until I discovered all the freebies that come along with eating fast food. All you have to do is spend $1 on some fries, and you can have access to tons of free kitchen supplies to use at home. I had a friend of mine that used to do this, and I always thought he was just being a little conservative with his money. Nope, he was a genius and I never had the chance to give him credit for that. Here are a few things I have started to collect from fast food restaurants in an effort to save money. They could make a big difference in your life over time.

Condiments

One of the easiest freebies to get from a fast food restaurant is your favorite condiment. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce – whatever you like, you can get it for free in local fast food places. If you have bottles of these condiments already sitting in your fridge, you can wait for those to get empty and then fill them with the small packets you get from fast food places. You could also get some cheap plastic bottles to put them in if you want. I try to gather condiments when I get chicken nuggets, a large set of tacos, or something else along those lines because that doesn’t look suspicious. You can do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Note that most fast food places have jelly, butter, syrup, coffee creamers, and much more. Keep a look out for stuff like that, and you can stock your fridge in no time.

Napkins

Napkins and paper towels cost a lot of money – much more than most people realize. My husband and I used to go through eight rolls a month at minimum, and now we probably go through one paper towel roll a month, if that. This is all because we started taking extra napkins home from fast food restaurants and using them with our dinner. We just keep a little bucket of them on the counter, and then we get a few out with every meal. If we start running low, we know to pile them into our bags the next day at Chick-Fil-A. We probably save a good $200 a year just on paper towels, let alone the other stuff we take from fast food restaurants. Keep this in mind as you start striving to save money.

Silverware

If you don’t have a reliable set of silverware to call your own, you could always use the plastic utensils at fast food restaurants. I always keep a set of these as a backup, just in case my dishwasher stops working or I have something that I don’t want to use a real fork or spoon for. Just as an example, I use a plastic fork to put wet food out for my cat. I don’t want the smell of the food to get in my dishwater or on any of my dishes, so I just use the plastic so I can dispose of it. Rather than buying a set of silverware like this for your backup, you could just get a set from fast food restaurants in your area.

Spices and Sweeteners

Do you know how expensive Splenda is? My goodness, it costs a fortune! Instead of buying sugars and spices on my own, I usually just take little packets of them from fast food places to use at home. I do invest in sea salt for the house, but most everything else comes from a fast food joint. If you really want to save money on the things you need most, you have to be a little creative in how you go about getting them. Hopefully the tips above will help you do just that.

Feb
20

Bankruptcy vs. Debt Consolidation – Which Option Is Right for You?

Do you feel overwhelmed by your financial burdens? Are you looking for debt relief? If so, you have two main options to get rid of your debt: bankruptcy and debt consolidation. Both of these options can potentially relieve your debt stress and get you back on your financial feet, but you first have to determine which process is right for you. Here is a brief comparison explaining the difference between bankruptcy and debt consolidation so you can choose the best relief for your situation.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a process that wipes all of your debts clean, allowing you to completely get out of debt so you can start rebuilding your credit again. While this may sound like an ideal option from the start, there are some consequences that come along with filing bankruptcy. Your credit score will drop considerably after this happens, and you still may have some debt to overcome even after the paperwork is finalized. You may have to give up some of your property for the bankruptcy as well to help pay back some of the debts. It just depends on what your situation is.

Bankruptcy is usually the last resort people choose for debt relief, but it is an option to keep in mind. You just need to make sure you explore other opportunities as well along the way. Most online accounting courses will tell you to find any other way to pay off your debts before going through bankruptcy. It has that much of an impact on your credit. You need to think carefully before going with this option because it could make a big difference in the way your finances go in the future.

What Is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is the process of compiling all of your debts into a lump sum in order to pay them off over time. This may happen by transferring all of your debts to a low interest credit card or getting a loan to cover the debts you have with various credit companies. Debt settlement is designed to give you a chance to have a single monthly payment to cover, rather than an assortment of bills at varying times in the month. That can make the process of paying off debts much easier in the long run.

A debt help group can work with you to help you get a low monthly payment, and they may even be able to reduce the interest you pay as a whole. They will work with your creditors to get your debt payments as low as possible. You will have to review the options for your debt to see what sort of consolidation payments you can secure. With the right plan in place though, you should be able to pay off your debts without having to actually go through the process of bankruptcy.

Which Option Is Right for You?

Only you can determine if your debt is better suited for consolidation or bankruptcy. If you have a low amount of debt that you feel you could manage to pay over time, you need to strongly consider a debt settlement plan. If your debt has gone above any means that you would have to pay for it, you need to consider bankruptcy instead. Debt consolidation is going to help you build your credit up over time, but bankruptcy could give you a chance to restart your financial life free of debt. You can speak with a debt help specialist to find out what the best route will be for your monetary burdens.

Feb
13

How to Use Coupon Matchups

Coupon stacking is the process of using manufacturer coupons on top of store sales to save as much money as you can on an item. This is done with the help of coupon matchups, which highlight the ongoing sales for various stores couponers like to shop in, as well as the coupons that may correspond to those sales. You could match coupons on your own, but a lot of times it is easier to refer to a website that has all of the matchups for you already. Either way, you really need to learn how to use coupon matchups if you want to save a lot of money when you shop. Here is an overview of how the process works to give you a better understanding of what you need to do.

How Coupon Matchups Work

Unless you’re a fan of TLC’s Extreme Couponing like I am, you may have a hard time grasping the concept of coupon matchups. Let’s look at an example to make things a little clearer for you. We’ll assume that Kroger has Awesome Possum cereal on sale, 5 boxes for $10. Awesome Possum has a coupon on their website for $1 off every purchase of two cereal boxes. If you buy 10 boxes of cereal at the store, you will get them for $20 with the store sale alone. You’ll get an extra $5 off because of your coupons though, so you can actually get all 10 boxes for $15. If you get a store discount or anything else along those lines, you could get each box of cereal for close to $1. Not a bad deal, eh?

On a side note, making up the name “Awesome Possum” may not have been wise on my part because possum cereal sounds pretty gross. I’ll keep that in mind for my next post ;)

Where to Find Coupon Matchups

As I said in my intro, you can match all of your coupons up on your own. You’re just going to have to keep track of all the sales for all the stores you like to shop in, as well as all the coupons out online and in your local paper. That process can be overwhelming and time consuming, to say the least. If you want a simpler solution, you could check out one of the options below:

I have gone to all of these lists at one point or another and found matchups I had no clue where out there. If you start looking around them, you should be able to find information about a store in your area. Hopefully you’ll be able to snag a deal that will save you a ton of money in the long run.

How to Use Coupon Matchups

Using coupon matchups is simply a matter of looking over the matchup lists above and finding the coupons that work for them. These coupons may come from the web or the newspaper, depending on what is going on that week. If the coupons are available online, you should be able to find links to them through the lists above. If not, you can just Google the coupons and print them off. Make sure that you catch the deal before the coupon expires or the sale ends. That way you can get the best price possible on whatever item you need.

Feb
06

Alternative Solutions to Savings Accounts

Savings accounts are the most logical places to store money. They are easy to set up, and they allow you to build interest on the money you put in. With this in mind, you may be able to save your money in other venues if you explore your options a bit more. This is a good option if you want to build up money faster or if you don’t trust banks in the modern world. Before you sign up for an account you may not use, you need to think about the alternative solutions to savings accounts. Here are some suggestions that can get you started.

CDs

No, I’m not talking about the CDs you can put in a stereo system. I’m referring to the CDs that the bank has to offer. A certificate of deposit is a small savings option where you lock your money away for a certain length of time at a certain interest rate. This interest rate is much higher than that of a savings account, so you can earn more for the money you save if you vow not to tap into it. This is a great option if you are trying to save for a long term goal, like buying a car or putting a down payment on a house. The longer you can set your CD for, the better interest rate you can get.

Universal Life Insurance

Have you seen this commercial yet?

If you hadn’t, now you have. It illustrates the idea of benefiting from life insurance while you are still alive. Most people don’t realize that they can do that, but it can be a great way to save money. If you have a universal life insurance policy, you can earn much more interest on your money than you would in a savings account. You do need to make sure that you pay a monthly premium for insurance in order to keep the account open, but after that, you can save a ton of money and earn a lot for it in return. Talk to a State Farm agent or a similar insurance provider and try to see what your options are.

PayPal

A PayPal account will not give you a chance to earn any interest on your savings money, but it will give you a chance to store the funds outside of a bank account. When I moved from Oklahoma to Texas, I needed a place to put my money because I was switching banks. I transferred everything from my bank account to my PayPal account, and then I sent it into my new bank when I got down here. You could also set up a business account and a personal account, using one for spending and one for savings. If you work online like I do, this should be a pretty convenient option for you.

Picture Frames

If you have a lot of picture frames in your house, you can use them to store cash for a rainy day. You might not want to put your whole police officer salary in picture frames, but a little cash here and there might be a good idea. I have a few family members who are police officers that do this, and it helps them save without necessarily putting back a lot of money at once. If that is what you plan to do, you may just want to tuck the savings away in your house.

There are tons of different ways to save money aside from putting it into a savings account. You just have to explore the options around you and find the right solution for your financial situation.

Feb
01

Saving for a Car vs. Financing a Car

Every college student has something he or she tries to save money for. You may be planning a wedding or saving for a new wardrobe, but most college students try to save for a car at some point in time. This brings up the debate of whether to buy a car outright or finance one to pay off over time. Each option comes with its own pros and cons to keep in mind, so you need to make sure you assess the situation before you settle on one option or the other. Let’s compare the process of financing a car to the process of buying a car and see which one may be the best option for you in college.

Overall Cost

The overall cost of buying a car outright is going to be a lot less than financing a car. If you finance a car, you are going to have to cover the cost of interest, which can get hefty over time. If you just pay for the car, you can usually haggle your way down to a lower cost, and you won’t have to worry about paying a bank interest. This is the best option if you are looking at saving more money in the future.

Credit

The problem that comes with buying a car with cash is the fact that you won’t build any credit from it. The world is run on credit nowadays, and you are going to need some if you plan on financing a car in the future. Most people wait far too long to start building their credit, so it may be in your best interest to get a loan for your first car in college. That way you can start building a good credit history for yourself.

Negotiating Power

If you have to get a loan for a car from a dealership, they are going to have the power over the price of the vehicle. If you pay in cash or secure your own financing outside of the dealership, you will be the one in charge. This could literally save you thousands of dollars on the cost of a car because most dealerships try to mark their automobiles up to make the most money possible. Get yourself in a situation where you are in control of the money, and then you will be able to get the best possible deal on a car of your choice.

Options

Most finance companies will not put a loan on a car that is “old” or has a lot of miles on it. The rules for this vary from one lender to the next, but most of them will only deal with cars that have been built within the past 10 years and have less than 100,000 miles on them. Since college kids usually don’t have enough money to support high car payments, they have to buy older cars with a lot of miles on them – most of the time. You may be limited in the number of cars you can choose from if you have to finance the car. With cash, you can buy whatever you want whenever you want to.

There are pros and cons to each option, so you just have to figure out which one sounds the most logical for your situation. You still need to save money either way because you will have to put a deposit on your new car and get it tagged. Don’t get caught off guard because the upfront costs of the car can be a little overwhelming at first. If you have the right amount of money put away, you will be prepared for anything life throws at you.

Jan
25

Using Cash Can Help You Save

If you are trying desperately to save money in college, you may want to think about spending money in cash rather than using a credit or debit card for all of your purchases. This may seem silly to do. Money is money after all. Nevertheless, you could actually save a lot more money by spending cash than you would using a card. This is something that I have learned through my married life, and it is something you might as well learn early on. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come along with using cash so you can consider it a venue for savings.

Put Away the Change

One of the easiest ways to start saving money is to refuse to use your change to pay for things. Every time you get coins back from a purchase, put them in a jar of some sort for safe keeping. Then you can keep that jar as a backup fund whenever you need it. My husband and I used to do that when we had to live on a really tight budget, and it helped us out of the hole countless times over. The change you give up won’t seem like much at the time, but it adds up quickly. I think we were saving $50-$100 a month just in coins when we were at the peak of our cash spending. Who knows how much money you could save in coins alone?

Monitor the Budget

If you have a trouble keeping on budget with your forensic scientist salary, you may just want to take out the cash you are allowed to spend in a week. Let’s say you have a $100 grocery/food budget each week. If you take out $100 to spend, you know that you won’t tap into extra money without a good reason. This will also give you a chance to control your spending as you strive to use less and less cash each week. It’s amazing how quickly money goes by if you actually pay attention to it. By paying in cash, you can easily monitor your cash flow and keep yourself on budget every time.

Pay for Things without Question

I am always worried that my debit card is going to get declined at a store, even if I know I have a ton of money backing it. The card company may put a hold on it without my knowledge, or a charge may come through that I don’t know about. If you get a little freaked out about that like me, you may want to use cash instead. You will always be able to pay for something in cash because you have hold of it at all times. There is no stressing about a decline after you have send hours shopping in a store. You can just get in and out without any issues at all.

Final Thoughts

It may be a little inconvenient to carry cash around, but I think it is a lot easier to save money that way. Sure there is a safety concern with that because someone could rob you, but hopefully you live in a safe enough area for that not to happen. If you keep a close clutch on your purse or wallet, you should be able to protect your money enough to use it properly. Then you can store your savings at home or in a special bank account when you start building up a decent amount of money. You’ll be able to buy exactly what you want in no time.

Jan
18

How to Create a Budget

If you are trying to save money in college, one of the first things you need to do is set a budget to follow. This will give you a chance to see how much money you can spend on the things you want and how much money you have left over to save every month. Every person’s budget is a little different based on his or her bills and income level, so you have to do whatever it takes to figure out what your budget is going to be. I have done this countless times over in my adult life, so I will try to shed some light on the matter to help you through this process. Read on to see how you can start setting a budget for yourself in the future.

Know How Much Money You Make

Before you can calculate a budget to follow, you have to know how much money you have to work with in the first place. This should be easy if you make the same amount of money each month, but it may be a bit of a challenge if you work as a server, bartender, or some other worker where your pay isn’t really predictable. Think about what you make at minimum in a week or month and then you can use that number to set your budget. That way if you make any extra money in the month, you can just put that directly towards your savings.

Add Up the Bills

You need to have a clear understanding of the bills you have to pay every month. These bills will grow in size and number as you progress through life, but you have to know what they are right now. Think about your rent, car payment, insurance, utilities, cable, phone, and any other bills you have. For unpredictable bills like water and electricity, try to plan for them being as high as they would logically be. This will again allow you to put extra money into savings if you find out that your utilities are less than you predicted.

My husband and I do this every month, and we are usually able to squeeze at least $100 extra into the savings account because we planned for the worst case scenario. For the times when we have really high utilities, we already have room in the budget to accommodate. You can do the same in your own life, and it should help you save money better in the long run.

Think about the Extras

On top of the bills you have each month, you also have food, fuel, and other miscellaneous expenses to think of. If you’re a girl, you may have to consider how much it costs to do your hair every month or get your nails done. If you’re a guy, you may think about the money you spend playing pool with the guys or washing your car. Can you tell I’m a girl? I don’t know what men do in their spare time. Geesh. In any event, you need to think about all the other expenses you have to take care of in a month before you can set a budget.

Plan the Budget

With all of the numbers in place, all you will have left to do is figure out what your budget is. When you can clearly see your disposable money every month, you can figure out what you will have left to put into savings. When you get in the right rhythm with your money, you should be able to stay on budget every time.

Dec
04

Holiday Freebies

The Holiday Season is just around the corner and companies all over the globe are making it easy for smart shoppers to save BIG, as they are giving out generous freebies to celebrate!

Amazon is giving out 25 days of FREE holiday music, keep up with My Free Product Samples for the free daily download!

Victoria’s Secret is giving out 100,000 VS Reward Cards on their Facebook page, worth $10, $50, $100, or $500, now through December 15th!

IM International is giving out Christmas Towel Samples (whatever that is ;) )

Kleenex has a deal where you can send a free share pack to someone and they will send you a free sample of their cool touch kleenex!

AcneFree is offering a free Therapeutic Sulfur Mask on their Facebook page, you just have to enter you name, email, and address.

Giorgio Armani Beauty is offering samples of either their Armani Code or Armani Sports Code via their Facebook page.

More samples and freebies pop up every day, so make sure to keep checking out those freebie sites on the “Your Link to Savings” page!!

Another great way to save money is to consider online courses!  Online courses allow you to work college into your schedule! If you’re interested in saving money with a top online university, you can start by checking out some of these Strayer University reviews.

Happy Savings!!!

Nov
28

Practically Free Victoria’s Secret and Carmex!

Victoria’s Secret has the most amazing deal this holiday season!!! Which is great because what woman doesn’t like Victoria’s Secret?  They have great holiday pajamas, fragrances, totes, and pretty much everything a girl could want! But the best thing about this season is the return of their ever so popular Secret Reward Card, which is a gift card worth $10, $50, $100, or even $500, that you get when you make a purchase over $10 prior to December 1st, 2012.  They can be used between December 1st and December 21st, 2012.

You can get the cards through in store, online, or phone purchases, but if you are looking to make a lot of smaller $10 purchases to get more of the cards it makes more sense to make the purchases in stores so you don’t have to pay the shipping costs that would pile up with each purchase.

Another great deal is the new Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm which is available in many retailers right now, but CVS has a great deal on specially marked packages.  If you purchase one of the special packages between  09/01/11 and 12/15/11 from CVS you can get a rebate of up to $2.99 by following these instructions:

Mail in this form along with the original UPC from product package and the original CVS store cash register receipt, dated between 09/01/11 and 12/15/11 with your product purchase and price circled.

And, if you’re looking to save some extra money going into next semester, maybe you should look into getting a scholarship!  Here are some easy scholarships to apply for, seeing as this is the busiest time of year!!! BUT, you’re never too busy for a little present for yourself ;) and there’s no better present than ensuring your education!!! So check it out and reduce those loans next semester! You owe it to yourself!

Merry End of Fall Break!!! Haha!

Nov
21

Five FREE Holiday Distractions!

So, the holiday season is coming up and you are foregoing the holiday visits to save some money.  Great! It will feel great when you graduate with $1000 less debt because you decided to stay on campus!  But, in the mean time, you may be feeling a little down because you’re missing out on all the family traditions… SO, I’ve provided you with 5 great, and of course FREE, ways to distract yourself this holiday season!!!

Note: This list will also help distract you if you choose to go and see your family but everyone is bickering so much you’re starting to regret not getting that psychology degree so you could sit everyone down and “fix them!” ;)

#1. The all time favorite is, of course, Facebook, but I’m sure you could have guessed that. Facebook is the ultimate distraction, and it’s everywhere…

#2. Online Games! Getting sucked into an online game during the break is a great way to relax and get out of your head.  If you’re in to building cities and conquering the world, some great games that are totally free and don’t require a download are Grepolis and Lord of Ultima. If you’re more of a word game person, or maybe puzzles are your thing, head over to pogo.com where they have a ton of free game that everyone can enjoy!

#3. Catch up on your favorite TV shows! Sidereel is a great site where you can find nearly every episode of all your favorite shows to watch online for FREE!

#4. Get addicted to following Freebie sites! ;) With Christmas just around the corner it’s a good idea to be following My Free Product Samples and Freebies Samples Deals for great freebies, coupons, and rebates on all your holiday purchases!

#5. Last but not least, StumbleUpon!  The best way to get lost in the things you love online! Start by just marking the things that interest you on their list then just hit the stumble button, and you’re on your way to stumbling upon and beyond all your wildest dreams!

Happy Fall Break!!

 

Nov
16

House Party and Shutterfly Team Up

If you read my post a few weeks back about House Party and joined I have some good news for you… they have teamed up with Shutterfly to offer members a free photo book.  So keep your eyes peeled for an e-mail from House Party, as they sent one to all members (from what I understand)!  Check your spam too, in case the e-mail got filtered automatically.

If you still haven’t signed up for House Party, now is a great time to do so, as you may qualify for a free photo book and free shipping!

For more information I’ll direct you to my post on one of my other blogs, Products & Reviews.

Happy Memory (book) Making!

Nov
16

Big Lots Disney Princess Castle and Barbie Toy Rebates

I wanted to direct you all to a quick post I wrote on one of my other blogs I think you may find beneficial during your holiday shopping!  It’s regarding a great rebate I just came across via My Free Product Samples that will ultimately give you two free toys.  So, if you are shopping for girls this season, check out my post on Big Lots Disney and Barbie Rebates.

Happy Shopping!

 

Nov
06

Free Custom Holiday Cards

Hello everyone! I just wanted to direct you to a post I just wrote on my other blog, College Mom! It has some amazing deals on free custom photo cards for the holidays!

Enjoy!

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