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Earn Cash Back or Donate to Charity With Giving Assistant

getting cash back

I’m a big fan of online portals. Who doesn’t love getting money back after shopping for items you needed to buy anyway? Giving Assistant is a new website that offers rebates and coupons for various online merchants with the added bonus of being able to donate all or a portion of your cash back to charity. Giving Assistant is different from other cash back portals in a few key areas. More Cash Back All cash back websites are paid a commission from retail partners for originating purchases. The Giving Assistant website states that 100% of the commissions earned from their retail partners are given back to members through cash back, meaning the rebate percentage is greater than what is available from some of the other online portals. For example, Ebates is currently offering 3% cash back for Amazon purchases in home improvement, jewelry, handbags, and shoes. Giving Assistant offers 5% cash back for any in stock purchase through Amazon.com. It looks like some things are not included, like gift cards and purchases from third party sellers, but for the most part, it’s 5% back from Amazon! You can also use Giving Assistant concurrently with Amazon Smiles for an even greater ...

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What’s the Best Way to Save for a New Car?

best savings accounts

Although we just got a new to us car earlier this year, our other vehicle is ten years old with over 150,000 miles. Unfortunately, it won’t run forever. It’s time to start planning our next vehicle purchase. What’s the best way to save for a new car? Buying Used Saves Thousands Actually, it won’t be a brand new car. We learned the hard way that factory fresh cars are usually a waste of money. I know there are many people who believe in buying new and driving the car for many years, but we think it’s smarter to buy vehicles that are a few years old with low miles. We bought Jim’s Toyota Tacoma back in 2006 when it was a year old with about 10,000 miles. It saved about $4,000 and was practically new. The truck still runs fine, and we hope to have at least two or three, maybe more years until we have to get something else. Just in case it’s sooner rather than later, we need to make plans. Taking on a Car Payment Mathematically speaking, with a low interest loan, having a car payment isn’t a bad idea. If we invest the chunk of change ...

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Five Things That Are Cheaper to Buy in Fall

things on sale this fall

If Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, that means fall is just around the corner. It’s hard to believe we are closing in on the last part of the year, but I do enjoy fall better than any season. Changing seasons can also be a great time to take advantage of discounts, especially on these five things that are cheaper to buy in fall. Landscaping Tools and Plants Fall is a great time for landscaping, even better than spring in some areas of the country. Plant roots grow anytime the soil temperature is above 40 degrees, so even after frost, roots continue to take hold. By fall, weeds have gone dormant and won’t be in competition with new plants or trees. The other great thing about fall landscaping is that garden centers and nursery prices are at rock bottom. The selection might not be as robust as in spring, but what they do have will be deeply discounted. We recently picked up four new rose bushes at $6 each plus bags of mulch at $3 a piece. With my free DIY gardening skills, I gave the front yard a much needed makeover for under $50. Fall ...

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So Why Haven’t You Cut Cable Yet?

cancelling cable

  We cut the cord on satellite TV over two years ago. It took a long time to get to a place where we were ready to let go, but it’s been nothing but positive. Not only do we save money every month, we choose when and what to watch, resulting in way less TV altogether. Who has time to watch TV when there are side businesses to hustle, rental properties to be found, and family trips to be planned? In fact, TV is one of the biggest time sucks known to man. In years past, I can’t count how many times I’ve turned the TV on for background noise only to find myself four hours later caught up in a Law and Order marathon. I can’t think of one benefit to having cable or satellite TV, and I’m going to shoot down every excuse today and ask why haven’t you cut cable yet? Cutting Cable Does Not Mean No TV At the end of a long day, I like to sit down and watch a show as much as the next person, but you don’t need cable to do that. With all the streaming and on demand options available, ...

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Save on Back to School Shopping

back to school shopping

  I can’t believe it’s already time to think about back to school, but sticking my head in the sand about the impending start of the school year does nothing to help us get prepared. Last year the average family spent almost $700 on back to school costs. Unless your kid requires a computer, I don’t believe it’s necessary or wise to spend that much. Before heading out to stock up on school supplies, take some time to prepare. There are tons of ways to save on back to school shopping. Look Around the House for Functional School Supplies Once you obtain the necessary school supply list, take a look around the house. It’s tempting to pick up the list from the store and throw everything in the cart that same day, but there is a good chance you don’t need to buy everything new. We were able to find an unused glue stick, some markers, folders, scissors, rulers, notebooks, and plenty of paper towels and tissues. Our PE shoes from last year still fit, so that’s a nice savings. Kids also don’t need new backpacks and lunch boxes every year. We will be using our same backpack from 1st ...

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