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There is No Shame in Buying Used Items

Friday, August 18, 2017

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Some may balk at the sound of “used”, like it’s some sort of disgusting product just because someone used it before.  I’m not suggesting that we seek out someone else’s shoes or underwear to try and save a few bucks, but for items that you might not use a whole lot, it can definitely be worth buying second-hand with a significant savings off the new sticker price, to tide you over until you are finished using them.

Maternity Clothes

My wife just giving birth within the past few months, I got to experience her going through the pregnancy stages, being able to wear her normal clothes, to eventually wanting a whole new wardrobe while she was in the weeks and months leading up to the birth of our baby.  While she did purchase a few items, she mostly noticed that most of her normal clothes could get her through the process, and mentioned there’s no point in buying all new clothes just for a few months of the end of her pregnancy, when we don’t plan on any more children.

Formalwear

This has to be one of the least used products in your house, and for sure in your closet especially.  Unless you have a wedding, a job interview, or an unfortunate funeral, if you are not in an office environment where you need to wear a suit, there is really no point in spending a lot for a new suit if you can find a used suit still in great shape, that will save plenty of money off of the normal price for something you will only wear once a year.

Children’s Clothes

As soon as you put your child into that size, it seems like they immediately grow out of it, so is there really a point in stocking up on brand new clothes for a premium price only to wear for a little while?  Especially if you have family and friends that are looking to pass down their outgrown clothes, you could look to score big, and can continue to look for different sizes until they finally stop growing, what, in college?

Baby Supplies

Speaking of kids, the short period of time they are babies it seems like the entire house is filled up for products that they will “need” during this stage.  From cribs, swings, seats, for this short time that they are in, you can buy used and in good condition for someone who was in the same boat as you, wondering why they never registered for this item in the first place.

Books

I know what you’re thinking, who reads books anymore?  Well they are still popular, digitally and in print, and when you do read, how many times do you read the book?  Once?  There should be no point in spending full retail price on a book that you are going to read once, so look to getting a used gently used copy for less of the price, with all the same satisfaction.

Your Ultimate Day Trading Guide

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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Getting started day trading is a great way to really make the committment to exit the rat race. The rat race is a bit of a cliched term, but it really does encapsulate the drudgery and false urgency of most of the corporate American life. It can be daunting to consider how to get out of it and move towards financial freedom, but it is ultimately worth it.

The one problem that sticks out with day trading is that it can feel like jumping into the ocean with a bleeding wound, surrounded by sharks. Less than 10% of traders make money. More than 90% lose money. But, to be perfectly honest, that is a result of poor preparation and education than an indictment of the day trading industry itself.

When looking for reputable day trading guides, you want to find information from sites that offer good education and the tools you need to succeed. To learn how to day trade means learning strategies for finding stocks, figuring out how to enter them at the right time and how to manage your risk with each trade so that you can maximize your profits and minimize your losses.

The first step is making the decision that you really want to learn how to day trade. Then you find a site that offers accessible online classes, a community of like-minded veteran and novice traders that you can interact with and learn from. And a trading simulator that allows you to trade just like in the real market, but with virtual currency.

What you learn when you are getting started day trading is a need to be able to identify penny stocks that are about to make big gains, quickly and efficiently. The quickly part is key. You need to get in on the ground floor and have the discipline to lock in 5-10% profits, while getting out before the stock takes a dive. Day traders thrive on daily volatility, but undisciplined day traders get eaten alive by that same chaos. You need to learn to ride that dragon with aplomb.

Once you learn the proper techniques and strategies, practicing in a paper trading simulator is key to the next growth phase of your day trading career. Learning how damaging it can be to stick with a bad trade in hopes of a miracle recovery or staying in a hot trade too long and watching your big gains evaporate are both essential lessons for aspiring day traders. Trading simulators help make that less painful, because you are not losing real money.

To find out how easy it is to learn how to day trade, visit Warrior Trading on StockTwits.

Items to Look Into Buying Right Now in August

Saturday, August 5, 2017

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The summer can be a time when you pay the premium price for such things as wedding, gas for travel, not to mention booking air, hotel, and rental cars due to the peak travel season.  It’s amazing the supply and demand when it comes to the timing of making purchases, so it’s important to buy low whenever you can.  Although summer may be prime price hiking season, as we get to August is when you can start looking for deals on certain items.

New or Used Cars

By now you will start to see all of the “summer clearance” sales commercials for just about every local car dealership in your area, so great if you are in the market for a new car, and annoying if you’re not.  Obviously take a look to the fine print when you see how cheap the deals are, what they don’t tell you is that price is with just about every discount available, but out the door will still be cheaper than the rest of the year, as they are moving the old models in favor of the new coming in.

Summer Attire

Sure, it may be getting too late to build up your summer wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start building for next year now.  The summer attire will begin to go on sale in favor of the fall line, so this could be a good opportunity to buy a new swimsuit, although it would be for next year, unless you can squeeze out another month or two of great beach weather if you are lucky.

Back to School Supplies

Even as an adult it’s sad to hear about back to school, as that means the summer has gone by too fast, and that means the kids are about to go back to school, of which you can start to shell out money for back to school clothes at top dollar, but can get a deal on supplies.  If you can wait until right after the kids go back to school is when you can clean up.

Laptops

Speaking of needed supplies for school, the other kids (or yourself) could use an upgrade to the laptop, so now August and September is a great time to start shopping and you might be impressed with the deals you find.  Although we are pretty relied on your smartphones and tablets, there still is need for a computer believe it or not, so staying up on the current technology at a decent price is well worth the cost.

Patio Supplies

While there may still be a couple months left of nice weather, it will be scary that stores will be putting out Christmas supplies in no time, so they will want to begin unloading outdoor supplies such as patio furniture & accessories, not to mention BBQ grills and lawnmowers.  The great thing about grilling is that you can BBQ all year, so pick up a grill for cheap now to enjoy all the way through the dead of winter!

How to Save Money the Easy Way

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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No one can deny that buying new things feels good. Plus everyone can say that dining out beats cleaning up at home. Doing those activities is ok, but doing it all the time is not. There are many ways in our day to day lives where we can save money but do not. If you think you could be saving more without disrupting your lifestyle too much then keep reading!

The biggest aspect of spending more wisely is to know what you are spending your money on. There are many things you need to buy day to day in order to survive. This probably includes food, transportation, and clothing. Meanwhile you are probably spending money on things that you do not need to survive. You should label those types of items as wants instead of needs. Although those kinds of items are fun to have, they add up quickly and mean less savings.

The next time you are considering buying an item you do not necessarily need think about the item. How often will you use the item?  How long will this item last? Will this item really benefit my life? All of these questions and more should be taken into consideration. Be honest when answering them and you will be content with your decision.

This leads to another way to save money the easy way, by using coupons and promo codes when you shop. Many stores constantly have great offers that can help you save on your purchases. Are you an avid online shopped? Than I definitely recommend downloading the Honey plugin. Honey is practically a huge “pot” of coupons and promo codes. It applies the best one when you are at checkout. Not only is it super convenient and saves you time, but it also saves you money. Talk about a two in one!

Down the road you will definitely come across some expenses that you cannot just eliminate from your life, but you can choose to be smarter when you spend on these larger purchases. For example, if you are in need of a car, whether it be used or new, it is probably valuable to search through a variety of options all over your area. That way you can find the car you want for the price you want. To make matters more convenient you can do this all online at cars.com. You can search by make, model, mileage, exterior color, and so much more all from your comfy couch or on the go on your phone. Plus if you are looking to make some money by selling your car, cars.com has an area for that too. You can sell your car directly to a dealer for the price you want or you can create a classified ad on the website. Either option you choose, they will be sure to assist you along the way.

One last thing to do if you are trying to save more easily is to download a spending tracking app to your phone. People do not even realize how much money they spend in a week cause they do not look at their statements every day. There are some great applications that are free for smartphones that can help with tracking spending. One great app is called Dollar Limit. Dollar Limit allows you to set a limit for yourself and reminds you to stay within it. Another great app is called Mint. It is similar to Dollar Limit, but links with your account! That way you can really see how you are spending your money. Both apps are free of charge!

In conclusion, saving in little ways can really make a large impact in the end. Think about what items you need are are useful and buy those items first, but do not just cut everything. If you are shopping online do not forget to apply coupons and promo codes, they can really help you save! Just try to be savvy when possible and know when it is important to compare prices.

How Language Translation Can Save You Money

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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Some of us are lucky enough to be bi, tri or even quad lingual, however many can only freely communicate in one language: English. Though it can be argued that English is the universal language, it’s not the only one, and there are still plenty of people who don’t know it well or at all. That’s a fact that we know, and companies know, which can be seen by the presence of multi-lingual product descriptions, ingredient lists, and even marketing efforts.

However, sometimes you’ll find that, whether due to a very specific target audience or budgetary barriers, companies do not make the effort to communicate in more than one language. This especially hurts when that one language is not English. We could be missing out on amazing products, great deals, or even subjecting ourselves to danger when we can’t understand labels, announcements, or instructions.

What we usually do is avoid these situations altogether by staying away from ethnic stores, foreign goods, or limiting travel abroad to places where they understand English well. However, that’s the wrong way to go about this. Though perhaps less convenient, there is much to gain by making the effort to translate the languages we come in contact with, even saving you money!

  1. Stop Paying Tourist Prices

When traveling, especially to popular destinations, you’ll find that business have adapted to provide an easy tourist experience for visitors. However, in addition to hiring multilingual staff and translating their offerings into several languages, they will have raised their prices as well. Every budget-traveling guide will tell you that when you stay off the main streets, you will access services and products which are marketed to locals in their own languages. On top of a more authentic offering, you will find more approachable prices, however, you might have to struggle through the lack of communication options in your native tongue.

  1. Make Profitable Business Connections

When you resign yourself to using a translator or a translation service, you open many doors for your business. Offering your products in more languages means more people will find you, while you can explore suppliers or producers who don’t market themselves in English. Investing in English to Spanish translation services and Spanish to English translation services can especially help companies in North America make the most of the NAFTA agreement and exploit the opportunities that it offers.

  1. Keeps Satisfaction Up

When something is unclear, it can lead to a lot of heartache and potentially lost money. Minimize the number of times clients are unsatisfied with your offering, meaning ultimately that there are fewer returns, refunds, and/or less damage to your reputation resulting in fewer future sales. When you keep your communication clear and both parties understand what is on the table, there’s a slighter chance of there being a grievance on either side. By using translation services or a translator, you can get to the heart of the issue and eliminate the guessing game.

Though translation might seem like a waste of time or money in certain situations, it can also be a huge win for you financially. Whether you are using it in a personal or professional capacity, investing in translating content can really pay off in many cases. Apart from saving money by avoiding getting stuck in tourist traps or paying special “foreigner” prices, you can also make a greater profit by expanding your market in terms of suppliers and producers, as well as increase client satisfaction, further raising the value of your company. Whether accessing these benefits means hiring your own translators or outsourcing this function, remember that this cost will be repaid in full further down the line.

Beautifying Your Home on a Budget

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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Your home is your refuge, your oasis, your temple. It should be a place in which you feel safe, comfortable, and enjoy spending time in and around. However, bringing it to this state can take some time and money- think about all the renovations, furniture, décor, and even utility bills! Maintaining a real “home” takes more effort than most think, and the costs can really add up.

Thankfully, there are some tricks that you can use to beautify your home and truly make it your kingdom without blowing the entire household’s budget.

  1. Paint the Walls

A fresh coat of paint can really chance the character of a place, transforming it from drab to fabulous. Light colors can make a space look much larger while dark shades will give the  room a cozy feel. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, paint can solve some issues that even knocking down a wall can’t achieve. Paint also goes on sale quite often, and chances are that you might have some old cans kicking around in the garage. A bonus is that paints can be mixed to achieve new colors, stretching your possibilities and your budget.

  1. Put up Mirrors

Mirrors are a classy way to adorn your walls while making the room they are in seem larger than they are. You can accent any room in your home with a stylish framed custom mirror which can be made to suit your style while costing the same amount as a stock version. A mirror is also a great addition to a room as it provides a spot to check how you look and can reflect light, giving a more airy and open feel to the space. The other great thing is that mirrors don’t add colour or ever look dated. If you think the frame is not quite what you pictured, you can always change it!

  1. Put up Art

Show your unique sense of style by hanging interesting art in your home. So what if you can’t afford to remodel your bathroom? You have a great framed vintage poster covering the crack in the plaster and a little statue decorating your outdated vanity. Sometimes you just need to embrace the current state of affairs and find items that match that theme creating a cohesive look that gives the impression of it being that way on purpose. Just be careful to not overwhelm your home with knick knacks. Think statement pieces and a unified style as you place your décor around.

  1. Replace Your Towels and Sheets

The budget doesn’t allow for a new bed or new fixtures in the bathroom, however, a set of new sheets and towels can do a lot to refresh a room. These often go on sale and can really change the look of a room, adding colour or an accent pattern. If you have already shifted the focus to different aspects of the space, go simple with these elements, but see that they suit the feel and colour scheme of the room.

  1. Thrift

There’s no shame in hitting up those estate sales, yard sales, Craigslist, or the thrift store. All of these places can be hiding real gems in the form of décor, furniture, linens, or even vintage appliances like old-school coffee grinders. Be on the lookout for items that already fit your home’s theme as well as ones that can be easily and cheaply transformed. By the same token, if you are looking to get rid of some stuff, it’s easy to sell it and pad your home beautification budget with the money earned.

Your home is a place that you should love and be proud of. Though it’s easy to get into the habit of spending lots of money on home beautification projects, there are many ways it can be done on a budget. By being smart and strategic about it, you can end up with a home that won’t just be the envy of your friends, but an inspiration for many. All with a minimal budget to work with!

Insurance Broker or Agent: Which Way to Go?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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Unless you work in the insurance field, it can be very confusing. Our rates can go up out of nowhere for no apparent reason. Deductibles confound us more than anything. It appears we meet our deductibles after an accident or doctor’s appointment, but then we still get bills down the road. No matter what the insurance is for, you need to get it as cheaply as possible because it will not cover everything.

When shopping for insurance, many people go to a local insurance company for the convenience. Maybe you have family that gets their insurance through them as well, so you feel comfortable with them being your insurance agency. You ask them what type of rates they can provide you. The actual agent will discuss with you that a higher deductible can bring down your payments, then you sign with them to represent you for your insurance needs. There is not much negotiating, but there should be.

How often does your insurance help you out? How many times do you make an insurance claim a year? The most frequent would be probably your health insurance. Any time you have a doctor’s visit, they cover part of it. Car insurance mostly seems a bit underhanded anyway. You have car insurance in case something happens to your car, but then when you make a claim, your car insurance rates go up. It doesn’t seem fair. Most people will get a dent or two on their car and not even bother to report it because of this.

The main question is how can you save money when shopping for insurance. That’s is part of the problem right there. Why are you entering a field that you know close to nothing about? Let somebody else do the shopping for you!

Insurance brokers do just that. Insurance brokers work with multiple insurance companies. An insurance agent is only representing the company that they work for. Brokers can offer a wide range of insurance quotes to their clients. They can work with the client’s budget better than what an agent can do. An agent is basically working for the company that hired them, a broker is working for the client.

If there is a claim, the insurance agent is doing what is best for the company that they are employed with. The agent is usually getting some sort of salary and is receiving a commission from their clients. A broker makes a living off of straight commissions.

You have to wonder who is going to give you the better deal in the long run. Car insurance is not complicated. A broker can find you the best deal possible while the local insurance agent is representing only their company. The amount of claims you will make are minimal, so it does not matter if your car insurance is bought local or not. There won’t be much contact going on either way.

Mortgage insurance is much the same. If you fail to put more than twenty percent down on a purchase of a home, then you usually pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Lenders are protected by the mortgage insurance in the case that you default on your loan. It is not difficult to find a mortgage insurance broker who can instantly calculate your savings when you go with them instead of the local insurance agency.

Health insurance, especially in this day and age, can vary greatly. Some companies will give you quotes where you are paying a thousand dollars or more a month on your premiums. It would be wise to meet with a broker that can have access to many insurance companies instead of being tied down to just one. In doing so, you could literally save thousands of dollars a year!

Ways to Get Discounted Cosmetic Procedures

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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Are you interested in fighting the signs of aging? Does the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles propel you to consider the various ways that you can maintain your youthful appearance? Have you considered cosmetic procedures to ward off the signs of aging but haven’t taken steps to obtain the procedures you wanted because of the potential costs?

Well, there are some options to help you obtain the cosmetic procedures you desire at a discounted rate. You just have to be very savvy about finding ways to afford cosmetic procedures. While you may want a discount, you don’t want to forgo quality with something as important as altering the way that you look. Thus, the methods of obtaining discounted cosmetic procedures featured below provide practical, safe, and obtainable ways that allow you to afford the cosmetic procedures you desire without compromising quality.

 

  1. Ask about Discounted Rates – Just ask. There are a number of companies that offer discounted rates for cosmetic procedures. It pays to simply ask if this option is available. Discounted rates are sometimes available if you purchase a specified number of cosmetic treatments. In fact, the discounted rate for multiple cosmetic procedures is often more affordable than obtaining such services at the regular price for a single treatment.

 

  1. Stay Connected for Special Offers – Many companies offer customers special offers, but you have to stay connected. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become a very efficient means for cosmetic surgery/treatment companies to market their services to the public. Often special offers for cosmetic procedures are offered via these avenues. Some companies also provide special offers via their newsletters which you have to be subscribed to in order to receive. Thus, consider staying connected to your favorite cosmetic surgery/procedure company in order to take advantage of offers for discounted services.

 

  1. Web-Based Discounts – There are numerous companies that assist with finding discounts on just about everything…including cosmetic beauty treatments. It is easy to find such companies as Groupon that connect consumers with a variety of companies that offer desired services. All it takes is a simple search via these particular websites to be connected with local companies that provide discounted cosmetic procedures. Do your due diligence and make sure that the companies offering discounted cosmetic procedures are legitimate and offer quality services. It’s always worth checking out in order to reduce the costs of cosmetic procedures.

 

  1. Cash is Always Best – Did you know that paying for your cosmetic procedures in cash can result in discounts. It’s true. When you pay for cosmetic procedures in cash, you avoid the often overlooked pitfall of interest that is associated with obtaining financing via a loan or paying with your credit card. Likewise, many companies that offer cosmetic procedures are often hit with credit card processing fees that are often avoided when customers pay for services in cash. By paying in cash, some companies and doctors’ offices are willing to pass on a small percentage of savings to customers.

 

  1. Seasonal Cosmetic Treatments -There are times of the year when obtaining cosmetic treatments are more prevalent. At times, this can work in your favor, particularly if you are interested in obtaining something small such as small-dose Botox injections that relax facial muscles that cause expression lines. Such procedures may be more popular as the weather becomes warmer and more people want to be noticed and seen. However, there are times when it is far more economical to have your cosmetic procedures during an “off season”. This is something to consider when reducing the costs of your cosmetic procedures.

You don’t always have to pay full-price for cosmetic procedures if you are willing to do the work to find ways to obtain discounts. Seek out discounts that can make your cosmetic procedures easy on your pocket.

5 Ways to Save Money on Buying New Clothes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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If you have younger kids, it may seem that you are constantly going clothes shopping.  As soon as the piece fits them perfectly, the next week they have already grown out of it.  While you should try and donate all of your outgrown wardrobe to at least recoup a little expense during tax season, as you get to be an adult you need clothes less often, so it is important to take care of the clothes you do have.

Follow the Correct Washing Instructions

It may seem like common sense in correct washing, but not only washing and drying at the correct temperatures, but also turning your shirts inside out during the wash cycle can extend the life more than it would throwing it in with the others as-is.  I learned that the hard way between washing dry-clean only and ruining, shrinking and not being able to wear again, or having decals from a jersey come off from not turning inside out to wash.

A Solid T-Shirt is Nothing More

Whether it is a V-neck or crew, a t-shirt is a t-shirt, especially when it comes to solid colors, which are in these days for casual and even acceptable for a night out on the town.  The thing is though, since they are solid colors, no one will know what brand it is, so there really is no difference between a Target t-shirt, and from a high-end store in the mall, so spending anything over $9 on a shirt like that, as anything over that would be a complete waste.

Buy Only with Coupons

An in-store sale is never enough, so you should always look beyond that, with a coupon code online or a physical coupon to bring in the store.  Often stores like Express send you coupons in the mail every month or two, at which you can save a ton of money by hitting the spending threshold in order to take money off.  If you can hold off longer, stores like Carson’s hold yearly sales that seem items are practically given away.

Keep an Eye on the Seasons

Speaking of holding off, you never want to buy summer clothes in the summer, while that may sound odd to say, but that’s when they are top dollar.  Just like you wouldn’t want to buy a winter coat in the dead of cold.  If you can wait until the next season or two, retailers will give significant discounts off of those items that were full priced in their peak season.

Remove Clothes Shopping from your Budget

As mentioned with the Carson’s example, if you can avoid going clothes shopping every week and maybe at least once every few months, and at best, once a year, you can really get into the need vs. want, and make sure that when you are making a clothes purchase, that it is out of necessity, and not something you are buying just to wear out that night.  If you can live by that, you will save a significant amount of money.

Ways to Save Extra Money this Summer

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Summer can be an expensive time of the year.  You would think it wouldn’t be too bad, working outside around the house and the kids being out of school and playing outsi—–I mean inside on their electronics, but there can be all sorts of extra expenses that come with parties, vacations, and entertainment.  This makes all the more sense to cut corners at any place you can, so with a few life adjustments you should be able to save plenty of money this summer.

Cancel the Gym Membership

Sure, every little bit helps, and I bet you are paying more than just a little on your gym membership.  I know I was paying $50 a month for my wife and I, which I guess isn’t terrible, but it was throwing $50 a month away because we stopped using it.  Instead I’m finding myself working outside more, taking the dog for a walk, and if I’m really feeling motivated, I’ll take a jog around the block.  Maybe in the winter it makes more sense to join back up, but for now it just seems to be wasting money every month.

Stay Home to Eat

I’m sure you have realized by now the amount of markup for going out to eat.  Sure, they cook, serve, and clean up after you, but that’s why you pay the big bucks.  While I’m not against going out to eat once in a while, why go out often and pay the extra money when you can fire up the grill and cook while it’s nice out, enjoying a cold beer.  There are so many options you can grill these days between meat and vegetables, not to mention you save on your electric bill from not heating up the house while cooking on the stove or oven.

Plant a Garden

What better way to ensure that you have fresh produce coming in all summer, and fall for that matter, for just a few dollars of startup cost.  If you can section off an area in your backyard for a garden, you can plant of varieties of spices, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. that if you take care of it, can give you more than you’ll be able to do with.  Last year it stayed nice so late into the winter months that we had to give away tomatoes and peppers to friends and family, not to mention freezing many of the peppers.

Use a Rain Barrel

Water = money in the summer when it comes to trying to keep your grass from being all burnt up, plus watering flowers, and now that you have a garden, you can use a little free water and what better way than hooking up a rain barrel to your gutter.  All of the rain water will collect in the barrel instead of running off into the ground or even worse, the sewer.  You would be surprised how quickly the rain water will collect and you can use without the spike in the water bill.

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