Category Archives: Frugal Living

Money Saving tips

Smart Spending For The Holidays

holidays, present, christmas, childhood and happiness concept - close up of child and mother hands with gift box over shopping center background

 

By : Jurissa Ayala

Tis the season for shopping and, for most people, overspending. You don’t have to let that be your tale for morning after Christmas regret. You can spread holiday cheer without breaking the budget. These tips and tricks will help you resist impulse buying throughout the holidays so your New Year doesn’t begin in budget jail.

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Comparing Your Options: Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or 401k?

Confused businessman concept as a man standing on a road making a decision on a path to take with a group of arrows going in many directions.

By Bryan Cambra

How do you know which type of retirement account is right for you?

There are three main options available for most individuals. The Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, and 401k retirement accounts are the most common because they are easy to establish and provide tax advantages. Take a look at each one to determine which could be right for your needs.

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Emergency Medicine for a Toxic Workplace

Stressed businesswoman covering her ears with hands

The Monday-morning heart attack is more than a myth. Studies published across the globe in the European Heart Journal, the American Journal of Hypertension, the British Medical Journal and others confirm the heightened incidence of heart attacks on Monday morning.

The rise in heart-attack incidence coincides with the return to work after the weekend. According to the American Institute of Stress, “Increased levels of job stress as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.”

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The Sharing Economy: Renting Luxury

 

 

beauty rich brunette woman in luxury interior near empty frames, vintage elegance, gold close up

By Jurissa Ayala

Many women would die to reach into their closets and pull out a new designer garment for every day of the week. But considering today’s unstable economy and the exorbitant prices demanded by high-end brands, this is unrealistic. Luckily, businesses are capitalizing on the public’s desire for luxury apparel. America’s new approach to a sharing economy is via rental.

Eager fashionistas now flock to various websites to borrow high-priced handbags, jewelry, and gowns for a fraction of the retail cost. Each lender comes with its own unique system and policy, but all in all, fashion-hungry women are making out like bandits as they sell, borrow, and buy some of the most coveted pre-used luxury pieces on the market.

Here’s a spotlight on some of the most Continue reading

5 Unique Ways Baby Boomers Are Making Money From Home

 

 

 

Hands holding a piggy bank and a house model. Housing industry mortgage plan and residential tax saving strategy

By Jurissa Ayala

In today’s fast-paced, technology driven world, opportunities abound for earning money while staying at home. This is especially beneficial for baby boomers who have graduated to the level of senior citizens.

While achieving senior citizen status has its benefits, many prefer to stay busy and productive. Through the years, seniors have learned a lot of things whether its through a specific career path, travel, hobbies or life experiences and now they are ready to put their lifetime of experience back to work, staying engaged, being involved, and all the while earning money from the comfort of home.

If you’re ready to “punch” a work-at-home timecard, consider one, or all, of these potentially profitable ideas.

Freelance Writing

Many seniors have a desire to write but don’t know where to begin or they don’t realize there’s a market for their knowledge on the Internet. Every website has content that has been written by staff writers or contracted to third party content websites that use independent writers to produce the work. As an independent contractor, writers are responsible for claiming the income and paying taxes but it can be a lucrative home job once a client base is established.

Use the many free writers websites that provide information to aspiring freelancers about companies that are hiring and links to the application page. There is no need to sign up for any service that charges for this information. It’s readily available by doing a little research on your own.

Share the experience you’ve garnered through the years to create informational content. If you have a career specialty such as marketing, finance, retail sales, fashion buyer, human resource or customer service representative, veterinary assistant, chef, home designer and decorator, home renovator, plumbing specialist, and much more, your experience and talent are worth money.

Create a Website

Set up your own at home business with a website where your experience and expertise can earn additional income. Whether you work as an independent travel agent, web designer, consultant, freelance writer, or any other online service related field, you set the prices, terms, and a schedule that works for you.

The website can also serve as a storefront to sell individual or bulk items. Whatever you choose to sell, it’s important to “network” or “link” your other selling venues such as eBay or Etsy to your website to showcase your online inventory. For flea market inventory, post pictures and prices on your website. Through networking, you’ll draw more customers which generate more traffic to the individual websites that can result in more sales.

You can buy and register a domain name and also sign up for an online store at GoDaddy.com or use an optional free service to create a website at WordPress.org that also offers an ecommerce shopping cart to sell goods and services.

eBay

eBay has been a source of making money from home for many years. The company takes a percentage of each sale and in return provides the platform to sell just about anything. You have access to plenty of information explaining how to set up an account, determine pricing and shipping, and how to receive payments through PayPal. You are responsible for keeping track of sale items, providing feedback to buyers, collecting payments, and shipping the item.

Etsy

Open a shop at Etsy and sell handcrafted, vintage, and collectible items or supplies. It’s fun, easy to set-up, inexpensive to post sale items, and Etsy, like eBay, takes a percentage of sales to keep the site running smoothly.

Telecommuting Jobs

Consider working as a customer service representative, data entry operator, medical coder,  virtual assistant, or other telecommuting jobs in the comfort of your home office. Many companies outsource work to at-home employees. Just a few of the telecommuting opportunities that exist are in the fields of home shopping sales, insurance companies, medical billing, graphic designers, software developers and virtual administrative assistants.

Each company has its own training and equipment requirements. Some may require onsite training for a short time, while others offer online training via a computer and phone where you will work through a paid training course over a set number of days with a trainer.

Companies may offer fulltime or part-time positions with various schedules during the day, evening, and weekends with set working hours and scheduled days off. Depending on the company, assigned schedule, employee status as a regular employee or a temporary employee, you may be eligible for insurance, employee discounts, paid holidays, and accrue time for sick leave and vacations.

Designer Duplicates: 5 Tips for Avoiding a Counterfeit Bag

women handbags hanging on wall in store

For as long as high-end designers have produced exclusive handbags, buyers have had to avoid near identical fakes. Thrifty fashionistas enjoy a convincing knockoff, but the majority of people want the real thing. So, how can you tell that the item you’re buying is authentic?

The reality is, people are duped by designer knockoffs every day, and the counterfeit bag market remains a billion dollar industry. Scam artists no longer prowl the streets of major cities looking for their next shopping victims. Instead, they target online buyers by providing false descriptions, pictures, and the promise of an unbelievable deal for their inferior products. So-called “purse parties” also remain popular, where hosts bring in vendors to supply designer or imitation bags at down-to-earth prices. Continue reading

5 Budget Tricks When You’re Living On Social Security

Social Security and retirement income concept of financial planning and its future

By Bryan Cambra

While congress continues to debate the issues surrounding the funding of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, millions of Americans face the daunting challenges of making it through the month on a fixed income. Over the past years taking care of family members receiving Social Security or Social Security Disability payments, I have learned how to make the most out of little money. Each year, the amount of the benefit payment grows slightly, but it’s not nearly enough to live the same lifestyle as many people who are still employed. To help you adjust to the lower-income of Social Security, try making some of the following lifestyle changes. Continue reading

5 Discount Sites You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

 

Portrait of a surprised young man wearing eyeglasses

 

 

The Internet is filled with ways to save money on a wide range of items for house, home, and closet. Few sites, though, address the needs of the thoroughly modern family in quite the way that the money saving sites, dedicated to helping you save serious money on groceries and other necessity items, will.

Krazy Coupon Lady

This amazing coupon website offers daily news about new products that website visitors to get at a fraction of their regular costs, including things like:

  • Food
  • Electronics
  • Personal Care items
  • Cleaning Products
  • Toys
  • Clothes for the Kids
  • Automotive Goods
  • Gifts

The list goes on and is updated throughout the day. The site also offers a coupon database, a dedicated area with information for couponing beginners, and page after page of money-saving tips for shoppers of all levels and budgets. They’ll turn you into discount divas in a snap.

The best thing about Krazy Coupon Lady, though, and what sets them apart from so many other sites, is the Brag Lounge. This is the area where real people, just like you, who are either seasoned pros at coupon bargain shopping or rank beginners celebrating their first “Hauls” go to show off their grocery store scores! Be warned you could spend hours sifting through these pages in awe!

Amazon Mom

For moms who understand just how fast diaper dollars, or lack thereof, add up and never seem to have enough arms to lug those big boxes inside, there’s Amazon Mom. This club allows monthly autoships of diapers (they ship them to the door for you!) for 20 percent lower than the average discount diaper in the grocery store. The service is designed to help moms save money from prenatal months through the toddler years with discounted items and money saving offers throughout.

You must be a prime member to join Amazon Mom, which is free to join. Since it is a prime service, you also get the free two-day shipping on prime items (like the above mentioned diapers).

My Litter

Featured on The Today Show, TLC’s Extreme Couponing, MSN Money, and Rachael Ray, My Litter is a site dedicated to helping all moms save serious money while feeding their families. Site owners have seven children and are able to maintain their sanity and their family budget by following the same money saving tips and tidbits they share with their readers.

The site features money saving offers, coupon matchups, and even deals on travel and (drum roll please!) kid-approved recipes made with ingredients purchased with coupons.

Coupon Mom

Perhaps one of the most famous of coupon sites, Coupon Mom does require users to join the site. There’s no fee for doing so. The site offers a database of online coupons, printable coupons, national deals with drug stores, grocery stores, and traditional retail stores. The deals are updated weekly to include the latest coupons and store advertisements.

In addition to traditional money saving offerings, Coupon Mom offers a spreadsheet style display that organizes deals according to the percentage saved over normal sale prices for the retailers as well as weekly freebie or almost free items at major stores like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target.

Hip2Save

Another great site offering matchups and special offers from major retailers, pharmacies, and grocery stores, Hip2Save takes things even further offering information about sweepstakes, restaurant deals, online bargains, and more. It’s a great place for savvy and stylish shoppers to stretch their limited funds even furthers.

While these amazing sites alone won’t help you make more money, they can certainly help you save enough on the essentials that it will feel like they have.

Liven Up Retirement: Three States that help Seniors Do More on Less

Senior woman wearing big sunglasses doing funky action isolated on white background

The chief benefit for all three of these states is that they have no state income tax. Each state offers something different in terms of its environment. Florida is tropical, Nevada is a beautiful dessert, and Washing is a state full of forests and cooler weather. As you consider where to retire to, think about all that these states offer.

Florida: The Sunshine State

Florida has no state income tax. In addition, Florida also does not have an inheritance tax. Less taxation is a boon to seniors because you have more to live on, especially when you have a fixed income. While less taxation is a good thing, there is more good things that Florida offers.

Florida is the sunshine state. The weather here is good. Seniors who move to Florida leave behind the frozen north. No more shoveling snow. The average temperature in Florida is just 81 degrees. In winter, Florida rarely gets anywhere near freezing. The average winter temperature is just around 60 degrees. The beautiful weather means sunsets, long walks on the beach, and the opportunity to enjoy retirement. Florida also has a low cost of living and as such, you can do more living.  The small communities scattered throughout Florida offer seniors an opportunity to live on less. As for healthcare, Florida offers many senior focused healthcare services. There is a huge population of seniors who live in Florida. Expect to find top quality healthcare services, and comprehensive senior care in Florida.

Nevada: The Silver State

Nevada, like Florida, does not have state income tax. The desert offers beautiful vistas and amazing mountains. One good thing about moving to Nevada is that the price of real estate is lower in Nevada than in many other states. This is a quiet state, despite the reputation of Las Vegas. Nevada is also undergoing a huge growth in population. Selling your home and moving to Nevada could earn you a windfall due to the lower property values in Nevada.

Cities like Incline Village and Gardnerville have topped many lists of the best places in Nevada to live. The area around Lake Tahoe is beautiful, and the summer temperatures are mild. Even Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas are senior friendly. These flat land cities tucked in near the Arizona border offer mild winter weather and plenty of outdoor activities. If you want a night on the town, you cannot beat Las Vegas. Take in a show, enjoy dinner, or listen to music in the park.

With no state income tax, lower real estate prices, and a lower cost of living, seniors from all over the nation are flocking to Nevada.

Washington: The Evergreen State

Like Florida and Nevada, Washington also has no state income tax. To make this even better, the states sales tax is only 6.5 percent, and prescriptions are exempt from sales tax. Pluses include no tax on social security, and Washington does not tax retirement income. The benefit is more money on which to enjoy life. The downside to Washington State is its property tax which is high. The cost of living in Washington is higher than the national average. Still Washington has a lot to offer seniors.

The Washington weather is diverse. Washington has a reputation to be raining, but that is not true of all of this state. The eastern portion is dryer. For seniors who love the outdoors, Washington offers beautiful mountains, hiking, fishing, and golf. Cities in Washington, such as Seattle are also major ports of call for cruise ships. So seniors can disembark to places like Alaska’s inside passage and not have to pay for airfare to their port of call. There are plenty of golf courses, wineries, art and galleries here too. If you are a senior who wants a quieter state with plenty of green forests and snow-capped mountains, then Washing has a lot to offer you.

Other features include senior-oriented health care, plenty of outdoor living that is FREE, and a climate that is livable.

Save A Bundle On Your Kid’s Extra Curricular Activities: 9 Clever Tips

 

Sports and extracurricular activities can enhance your child’s education in many ways – from teaching valuable lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship to boosting problem solving and communication skills. While extracurricular activities add plenty of variety to your child’s schedule, they can get expensive. We’ve gathered a collection of great ideas designed to help you save on sports, lessons and activities – so you won’t have to make tough decisions or miss out on the fun of extracurricular programming.

Group of children having fun together in the park

If you have a skill, teach a class or program or own a business you may be able to barter with the individual or group offering the activity. Offer the drama class free sewing in exchange for lessons, provide update the business or group website in exchange for free or reduced lessons for a season.

Register Early:

Many teams and activities offer a reduced price for early birds – the team benefits by quickly filling up their season roster and you get the benefit of added savings. Review flyers or ads as soon as they arrive and make sure you sign up for mailing lists; you’ll get early notification of classes, and hopefully spot some great Early Bird specials, too.

Follow on Social Media

If the organization offering classes or programming has an online presence on Facebook or Twitter, make sure you follow them. Some businesses offer discounts to subscribers or followers only – so if you don’t follow, you may miss out on a deal when it is time to register for an activity.

Sign up as a Group and Save

If you have more than one child, ask for a discount on the second (or third, or fourth) child’s fees. In some cases, you may be able to pay a single family registration fee or pay a reduced amount for the youngest child.

Even if you only have a few kids in your family, joining up with a few other families could give you enough participants for a group discount. Some programs offer a discount to groups over a set number; don’t be shy about asking for a bulk discount and then recruiting other money savvy parents.

Scouting Discounts

Many programs offer discounts to Boy and Girl Scouts; these can be a considerable savings when compared to the regular prices. If you are already a scouting family, make sure you inquire about discounts before you register on your own.

Visit the Library

Your local library won’t be much help with sporting activities, but most offer comprehensive activities and programs for kids, from Lego classes to chess clubs. Sign up for your library’s mailing list and pre-register for classes that interest you; most libraries offer classes and clubs free or charge or for a minimal fee.

Shop Around

Check a variety of locations to find the best rates for the activities your children are interested in. Your local public school, community center or YMCA may all offer swimming lessons or baseball at different rates, so be aware of each program and choose the one that suits your family and your budget best.

Count the Entire Cost

The money you pay to participate in an activity may not be the only cost; make sure you are prepared for equipment and related costs. Purchasing some items second hand can help you save; gently used sports equipment can often be found at a significant discount at consignment or sports resale stores.

Volunteer

If you can, volunteer as an assistant or parent helper for your child’s team. Many organizations offer discounts for parents who commit to helping out on a regular weekly schedule. You’ll get the added bonus of meeting your child’s teammates and spending extra time with the group, too.