Feb 272018

Reevaluate Your Expenses to Save Money

To reevaluate your expenses can be the top way of saving money – everyone loves saving money – even rich people. But sometimes it appears that the goal to increase how much cash is left over every month is almost as hard as keeping a New Year’s resolution for more than just a couple of weeks.

Therein lies the catch when it comes to consistently saving money as it comes to having a plan.  With that in mind, here are three ways that are sure to save you money -if feasible.

  1. I Got Bills to Pay

While there are few things in life that are reliable, one thing (or things) that always seems to come on time are bills. Heck, you could set your clock to when certain bills come. In addition, it seems like there are more ways for bills to find you these days. Sure, there is first-class mail, but you can also get bills by email and even by notification on your cell phone.

No doubt these bills can lead to a fair amount of fatigue but the reality is that one of the best ways to save money is to take the time to look at your bills. Let’s face it, we live in a world where almost everything is on a subscription basis and what this means is dozens of revolving charges.

Think about it, you’ve got your cell phone, Netflix, your health club, Microsoft 365, cable, and many others. The list goes on and on and there seems to be no end to companies trying to get you by their widget for just $4.99 per month.

While it seems like these charges are small, they tend to add up over time and the next thing you know you are spending hundreds every month on subscriptions. This is pure madness as few of us use the things we are paying subscriptions for.

As such, the first thing you want to do when saving money is to go through your bill and cancel those subscriptions you no longer need.

  1. Freedom or an Anchor?

Think about your car and how you use it. Does it spend days on end sitting in your driveway, or do you really need a car to make a living? The reality is that most people use their cars less than 5 percent of the time they own it. This means that they are making car payments, insurance payments, and every property tax payments on something they rarely use.

To add insult to injury, cars aren’t really assets. Sure, they sit on the asset side of a balance sheet but the reality for most people is that the banks own the cars they drive and all they do is move from car payment to car payment.

This opens several opportunities to save money when it comes to transportation. For those who need their cars for work, then look at ways to pay off your car loan faster and to keep your car a bit longer. The result will be that you have more time without a car payment and this can help you to bank these payments instead of handing over your money to the banks.

In addition, take a good look at your car insurance to see if you really need to pay as much as you are. One good way to do this is to check out what other customers say about their car insurance companies by checking out Mercury insurance reviews among others. This will give you the inside scoop on how people are s­aving real money on car insurance.

Now, if you barely use your car, then you should ask yourself why keep it? For small trips, you can ride a bike or get an Uber. While for longer trips like weekend getaways, you could just rent a car when you need it. Not only would this eliminate your car-related payments but riding a bike to get around will help you to get fitter.

  1. Home Sweet Home

While having a home of your own used to be the American dream, more people are waking up to the fact that it can be nothing more than a financial albatross. Not only are there people who are figuratively underwater – i.e. they own the banks more than their home is worth – but there are people whose homes are literally underwater.

Either way, one great way to save money every time is to rethink your living situation. Maybe it is time to downsize or maybe you can rent out that back bedroom. Beyond this, the housing market is finally getting back to pr-recession highs and this might mean that it is time to sell your home and then bank the cash for a rainy day. Don’t worry as it’s only a matter of time before the housing market takes a step backward and this will be a good time to find a bargain.

When you reevaluate your expenses to save money – it’s a win-win.  We renegotiate our cable yearly and auto insurance at least every 3 yrs.  It may be a bit time consuming, but time is money.

Feb 152018

How to Make Money from Online Coupons

How to Make Money from Online Coupons

Note this article is not about starting a coupon website; instead, it is a guide on how to make money by saving money from online coupons. If this sounds like something that would interest you, then read on – after all, who doesn’t like saving money.

Let’s face it, the economy might be growing but the fruits of the expansion are not being shared with everyone. This means that those of us in the 99 percent need to find hacks to make ends meet. One of these is coupons; however, this is not your grandmother’s days of sitting with store circulars and clipping coupons – today’s smart shoppers go online to find the best deals.

Did you know that couponing is not just a way to save money, it is also a way to make money? Imagine someone like David M. Offen, Philadelphia Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, just helped you clear up your debts. Well, that is great but you need to work on the next chapter of your life and that means figuring out how to put food on your table without going broke again.

You might be asking yourself how is this even possible. I mean, everyone knows they can save pennies with coupons but how exactly how can you make money? Part of the answer is knowing which coupons bring in the most cash and this increasingly means going online.

It all starts with knowing how to examine what’s on offer online; maybe it’s a free dog grooming session, or it could be 20 percent of a new computer. Either way, there is money to be made.

Tax-Free Income

Most people don’t think about this but the money you save on coupons is tax-free income. That’s right, this is money that you don’t have to pay taxes on and the result is that you end up with more money in your pocket. What are you waiting for? Coupons equal cold, hard cash.

But can you really save a lot of money on coupons? The answer depends on how good you are at finding deals. On average a shopper can save about $125 to $150 per month with coupons. That works out to close to $1,800 per year or $18,000 over 10-years – think about how that would go to your kid’s college fund.

Importantly, you don’t need to pay taxes on this money. So, while you could invest this money into a 401k, why deal with all the rules and the potential penalties. As such, a better way is to put the money you save into an interest-bearing account as this will help your money to make even more money.

Big-Ticket Items

Another way to make a lot of money with online coupons is to use them for your big-ticket purchases. Maybe it is a computer or a washing machine or even a family vacation. Coupons for all these purchases are available online and this is a big reason why you need to look before you buy. Why pay full retail when stores are literally falling over themselves to offer discounts on your most expensive purchases? Granted, this might mean you end up at a competitor to one of the big box stores in your town but the goal is to get the best deal.

Don’t forget the auction sites as well. While finding the best deals on these sites can be cutthroat at times it is another option to get the best possible price. When it comes to auction sites, one of the best ways to maximize their power is to go mobile as it will allow you to compare prices while you are in the store.

Where to Find Coupons

While the days of people waiting for weekly circulars in their newspapers are not a prominent as in the 70’s the fact remains that you can still make money from your newspaper, though you might want to skip the subscription and just pick up the issue with coupons – after all, this article is about making money by saving money.

From there you need to develop of a list of coupon sites as deals constantly rotate as no one site will have the best deals all the time. If you don’t know where to start then go to the blogs first as many of these people have spent years cultivating their knowledge of online coupons.

Also, try searching through Google and other sites as well – just be wary of paid promotions and online advertisements. The first rule is to be tenacious, don’t stop at the first page of results as some of the biggest deals can be found buried in search results.

There you have it, now go out there and make some money.

If you’re not understanding how to use cashback sites – check out this post.

Nov 202017

How to Refinance a Vehicle

How to Refinance a Vehicle

Why Refinance?

If you are working to raise a family, there are several strategies you can use to reduce debt and help you stretch your budget. If you are paying on a vehicle, then arranging to refinance it may result in an improved interest rate and lower monthly payments. This can be especially helpful if you need to invest more money in other areas of your household budget. However, before you try to take advantage of refinancing, it may help you feel more confident if you know what to expect during the process.

Not All Lenders Have the Same Terms

When you first start to contact lenders for refinancing, you may be surprised at the difference in the terms each one offers. Interest rates usually vary the widest, depending on the rules and regulations of a particular bank, your credit score, and whether a financial institution has a positive professional relationship with your current lender.

Take the time to shop your loan around town. Credit unions typically offer the most competitive rates, so if you do not belong to one, you may want to consider opening an account to take advantage of their refinancing offers.

Your Credit May Be Run Jointly

If your current vehicle is titled under both you and your spouse’s names, then a lending institution will typically run credit on you both, even if you want to refinance the car under one person’s name. While the bank needs permission to run your credit, you may be able to get a more competitive rate if you combine your income information with that of your spouse. This can be especially important if one of you has a superior credit score, which may improve your chances of getting approved.

Be Prepared with Vital Information

Being prepared to refinance your car can help you feel more confident when you take the first steps for doing so. Once you find a lender and make an appointment, take the time to gather up all the pertinent information they might ask you for. This can include employer and payroll information, including addresses and phone numbers, the name and number of your current lender, your car’s vehicle identification number, its mileage, and proof of insurance. You can contact your local insurance provider before your appointment to ensure all your information is up to date.

The Process May Be Lengthy

It is a good idea to schedule your refinancing appointment when you have no others looming because the process may take several hours to complete, especially once you get approved. There is much information to gather and then paperwork to complete, and you do not want the added stress of a time constraint as well. Some banks can give you an answer within a few minutes and others may take up to an hour or more, so you want to give yourself plenty of time.

Your New Lender Pays Off the Previous One

Once your loan is approved and you sign all the paperwork, your new lender will cut a check in the amount of what you currently owe on your vehicle and send it to your previous lender. This pays off your original loan and transfers it to your new lender. You should receive a payoff letter from your previous lender within thirty days, letting you know your financial obligation with them is fulfilled.

If you do not receive any correspondence from your original lender, it is a good idea to contact them and ensure the loan transfer is complete. This can be especially important if your previous due date is approaching, so you do not get hit with a penalty due to an oversight on their part.

Refinancing your vehicle can help you save thousands of dollars over the course of your loan. However, before you take advantage of the process, learning what to expect can help you seek a more competitive interest rate and lower monthly payments with confidence.

Procedure Recap

  1.  Call several financial institutions to determine the rate they offer for the year of your vehicle. Remember –   Credit Unions usually offer the best rates.
  2.  Apply at your preferred institution – being prepared to have vital information/documentation and allowing yourself enough time at the appointment.
  3.  Credit check will be performed
  4.  Approval/disapproval will come
  5.  If approved – new lender will pay off your old loan for you.

Money in your pocket is certainly better than a creditors…redesignate the money you’ll save wisely.

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