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Tricks for Saving Money

saving money while gas is cheap

For years, we had the hardest time saving money. Although there was money coming in, it made the briefest of stops in our checking account and was out the door before we could even register a bump in the account balance. We used debt, busy lifestyles, and the Joneses as excuses and figured it was normal to be living paycheck to paycheck. After deciding to dig in and finally get out of debt, we also learned a few tricks for saving money along the way. Gas is On Sale, Save Up! Perhaps one of the best tricks for saving money right now is based on oil and gas prices being lower than they were two decades ago. Unfortunately, most people will end up spending any money saved at the pump. I have no problem with taking a cheap road trip to cash in on savings, but don’t waste extra dollars on eating out or even worse, buying a brand new gas guzzler just because you can. If I have learned anything during the years since obtaining a driver’s license, it’s that gas prices fluctuate. Everyone loves cheap gas. Then, once prices rise, out come the articles and testimonials about how ...

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Black Friday Shopping Checklist

shopping on Black Friday

Although hard to believe,¬†another Black Friday is almost here. Shopping the day after Thanksgiving can save conscious consumers all kinds of money but also has the power to derail a holiday budget or even worse, send people into debt. In order to avoid that latter, it’s important to have a Black Friday shopping checklist in place before spending a dime. Missing Black Friday Isn’t the End of the World Black Friday is not the end all be all when it comes to bargains. In fact, many door busters have very limited quantities. Unless you’re willing stay up late or get up obscenely early to fight the crowds, you could miss out on some of the bigger advertised deals. Don’t fret. There are usually other deals available. Being able to shop on your own terms is sometimes worth more than saving a few bucks. Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping have gotten kind of crazy over the past few years. I’m kind of happy that some stores are bucking the trend and staying closed with REI even shunning Black Friday altogether. If you do decide to venture out on Friday, it’s important to be prepared. Make a List Lists aren’t just for ...

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Don’t Leave Free Money on the Table

leaving free money on the table

We all like free things. Why else would people stand in line two hours for a free pancake? Sometimes wasting our precious time for things that return pennies on the dollar is not a smart idea, but what about legitimate free money being wasted or left on the table. Even if you’ve been guilty of not giving your money the attention it deserves, there is no time better than right now to make changes. Don’t Get Penalized for Being Late My daughter got her first quarter report card last week. I don’t expect perfect grades, but one area where I will insist on perfection is with turning in homework. Third graders get a letter grade on report cards for having their homework done on time. It doesn’t matter if it’s done neatly or correctly, it just has to be turned in when it’s due. I’m always blown away by how many students don’t turn in homework. Yes, I realize that some kids don’t have the stability at home to get any work done, but it’s not just the troubled kids who don’t turn in assignments. This is the easiest A anyone can ever get! I see this with adults as ...

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Look Great While Shopping Less

shopping less to save money

I’ve come to the realization that I have and probably always have had too many clothes. Being gone for almost a month this summer with only one carry on size suitcase showed me that I really don’t need that much. I don’t want to become a minimalist, but I have made an effort to pare down my wardrobe. Sure I didn’t have to bring work clothes or seasonal items on my summer vacation, but the logic applies no matter what type of clothing you need from day to day. Here is how you can look great while shopping less. Don’t Buy Trendy Clothes Yes, I probably am a fuddy duddy when it comes to the latest styles, but you can still look fashionable without having to buy a new wardrobe every season. Stick to solids that mix and match. That way, you can conceivably wear the same pair of pants twice in one week with a different shirt and no one knows it’s not a different outfit. If you want to stand out, add an accessory instead of a crazy pattern that you’ll be tired of in a few months. I also try to avoid styles that just don’t have ...

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7 Ways to Help Your Finances in Less Than an Hour

use time wisely

In today’s world, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who says they aren’t busy. In fact, not having enough time is one of the biggest excuses as to why we can’t have money, be healthy, take on a side hustle, and on and on. Today is not about excuses. I know anyone can find an extra hour if the motivation is high enough. Whether you find 60 extra minutes by staying up late, getting up early, or by not wasting time on non-productive things, here are 7 ways to help your finances that take less than an hour. 1. Set up Automatic Savings We’ve all heard that it’s wise to pay yourself first. The reason being that it’s very easy to spend or convince ourselves that we “need” things if we know there is money available. Sometimes we go ahead and spend money knowing that there is a good possibility of running short before the next payday. Sure, you can spend money that goes into savings, but in my experience, if you save some money in to an account other than your normal bill pay account, no matter how small the amount, you’ll be much less likely to spend ...

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