Last Minute Thanksgiving Reminders

Posted on Tuesday 22 November 2011

There are just a few days left before Thanksgiving, and if you haven’t already done your grocery shopping, now is the time. But before you do, make sure you don’t let yourself spend out of control in your attempt to become the best roast host around. In addition, it’s important to make sure to stock up on obvious necessities when grocery stores are open, as opposed to being forced to take out online collateral loans to afford those marked up gas station prices. Consider the following tips on how to prevent overspending for Thanksgiving:

The calculated list: It’s very easy to simply write yourself a blank check for Thanksgiving spending and toss into the cart extra amounts of everything – just in case. But you benefit greatly by sitting down and performing some basic equations to determine how much of everything you really need. Otherwise you’ll have far more than you need for no reason other than a lack of wanting to do the math prior to purchase.

Being realistic about leftovers: Sure, plenty of what doesn’t get eaten on Thanksgiving day will disappear in the days that follow. But certain items will be eaten in the days that follow far more than others; turkey and other meats can stay tasty for several days, while vegetable-based sides usually sit and get moldy. Use this knowledge to further calculate what you ought to be buying.

Sticking to Thanksgiving traditions: When winding through the aisles we can let our imaginations run wild. The result can be far too much variety in our offerings. Not only is this too much work and too much money, it can be too risky with picky eaters and having too many traditional eats to compete against.

Remembering the peripherals: If you’re expecting guests, then arm yourself with obvious extras in terms of paper plates, napkins, cups, toilet paper, and beverages.We tend to forget about these things when focusing on the once-a-year items, but they’re certainly just as necessary and are things you definitely do not want to be without. You don’t want to be stuck paying 8 bucks for 4 rolls of toilet paper at the drug store on Thanksgiving.

Since Christmas is right around the corner, it’s imperative that we do everything we can to save money that can instead be used to afford gifts for friends and family. Do not make Thanksgiving spending an exception to this. Your family can still have a wonderful and plentiful experience, just make sure you don’t buy more than you need, or spend more either.

savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances
Stressing about Money

Posted on Friday 18 November 2011

Nearly everyone has financial worries. This is just part of life and with our economy in the middle of a historically bad recession, stressing over money has become almost a rite of passage. You may need to consult a personal advisor or a financial planner. Keen.com offers a wide variety of options, including spiritual readings and relationship advice. Services like this may help you to adjust how you’re thinking about your situation. For example, some things are worth worrying about and other things are not. There’s no point in stressing about conditions you can’t control, like the economy and the job market. Here’s a quick run-down of money concerns that are worth stressing about and concerns that do nothing but spin your wheels and raise your blood pressure.

Student loans – spinning your wheels

Pay what you can and then let it go. The education board isn’t going to come break your kneecaps. Plus, it’s well-established that graduates are having a tougher time than ever finding gainful employment. Make a payment every month and wash your hands of it.

Bar tabs – reasonable worry

If you’re having financial troubles and you’re frequently running up bar tabs on weekdays, or even weekends, you should probably reign in your drinking habits. Not only does alcohol act as a depressant, it sucks your wallet dry. Nothing worse than being hungover and broke.

New computer – spinning your wheels

Having a computer that facilitates you learning new software, organizing your files, and applying to jobs on the Internet is crucial for nearly everyone. This is an investment in your life that will pay major dividends. Don’t worry yourself silly or feel guilty about joining the 21st century and buying a computer. It may just be your link to a new career.

Eating out everyday – reasonable worry

If you eat out at least once every day AND you’re worried about money you’ve got a cognitive disconnect on your hands. Eating out is a classic way to drive up your credit card bill and there’s really no justification for it unless they are business lunches in which you’re doing some major networking or scoring clients.

These are just a few examples, but you get the point. Some things are worth worrying about and some things aren’t. You can’t control physical reality and you can’t wave a magic wand over your financial situation and instantly fix it. But you can take practical steps toward reducing your debt and putting yourself in a better situation.

savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances
BeFrugal

Posted on Wednesday 16 November 2011

BeFrugal.com offers an average of 5% Cash Back on 1,616 online stores including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, Gap, HP, Dell, and many others.

Since its launch in 2009, BeFrugal.com’s online coupons have saved shoppers more than $20 million dollars – an average of 27 percent per order on online purchases. Starting today, shoppers will be able to save even more with BeFrugal.com’s new cash back program that rewards shoppers with cash back for eligible online purchases.

Given today’s tough economy, it’s increasingly important for consumers to stretch each shopping dollar. With BeFrugal.com’s new cash back offering, shoppers can “double-up” on their savings by combining cash back with coupons to get extra savings on each purchase.

A record 1,616 online stores are participating in BeFrugal.com’s cash program. These include popular stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, Gap, HP, Dell and many others. BeFrugal.com offers cash back on a greater number of stores than any comparable cash back program.

BeFrugal.com offers an average of 5 percent cash back on purchases.

To earn cash back on online purchases, shoppers sign-up for a free BeFrugal.com membership, then start their online shopping by clicking on coupons and cash back offers on BeFrugal.com. Cash back earned is paid out via check or PayPal once the cash back balance reaches $20. Shoppers can sign-up in seconds with just an email and password here: http:// befrugal.com/cashback

Consumers who sign-up by December 31, 2011 will receive a $10 credit to their cash back account balance.

savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances
Tips To Pay A Cheaper Premium

Posted on Monday 14 November 2011

This is a guest post by Justin Toladro from Life Insurance Finder. Visit his site to find the best life insurance policy for you and your family.

It is important that we all have life insurance cover on our lives to protect those close to us from having to suffer financially should we happen to die while our family still depended on us financially. Without life insurance there would be much more misery in the world as any family that has lost an uninsured breadwinner will attest to.

It probably depends on your personal viewpoint whether you feel life insurance is expensive or not. If someone you know has recently died and had insufficient life insurance to cover all his or her debts, you will probably have already checked to see where your family would stand if they found themselves in a similar position. It is silly to over-insure yourself but it would be a disaster if you were to die while under insured.

It is also common sense to make certain that you are not paying too much for the cover you are getting. However, before you do this you should be aware that there are two distinctly different types of life insurance and you should not attempt to directly compare one against the other as that would be like comparing apples with oranges – they’re both fruit but they’re very different when you look closely. When comparing the cost of life insurance policies you can only compare one policy with another of the same type. The two types of life insurance from which all other life insurance policies are derived are term life insurance and whole life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance can be looked on as being much the same as general insurance as are your home and car policies. You take out term life insurance cover for a specific period of time, hence the word ‘term.’ Once that term has expired and you remain alive the insurance cover expires also and you are no longer insured. The premiums you will have paid during the term of cover will be forfeited to the life insurance company. If you had have died during the term your life was insured the company would have paid the insured amount to the person or persons named on the policy as your beneficiaries.

Whole life Insurance

As its name suggests, whole life insurance is taken out for the whole of your life and is made up of three components:

  1. Insurance on your life that will only be paid on your death
  2. A cash value component that you can either borrow or access by surrendering the policy.
  3. Administrative costs.

Because of this, whole life insurance costs more than term life insurance does as the life insurance company will have to pay back at least some of the money you have paid in premium, if you die or if you surrender the policy before you die. Of course, once you surrender the policy you are no longer covered.

How to Pay a Cheaper Premium on your Life Insurance Policy

Once you know what you are comparing you may find some of the following tips valuable in getting the lowest premium for the best possible cover:

  • Don’t accept the first quote you are given. Have a look around and see if another life insurance company can give you a similar cover for less cost.
  • Look for discount packaging. Some life insurance companies also offer fire and general cover and they often offer a cheaper package deal if you place all your insurance needs with them under the one deal. This is also a common practice amongst insurance agents. Look around between companies and agents and you could be pleasantly surprised.
  • Group insurance. Many employers and associations have a group insurance arrangement with a life insurance company. This means their employees or members can obtain life insurance cover far cheaper than that of an individual. Check this out with your employer or any association you are a member of to see if you are eligible. In some cases this type of cover is arranged through superannuation in which the employer is obliged to pay a percentage of the premium cost.
  • Consider term life insurance. If you have limited funds available but need the extra life insurance, consider buying the extra cover as term life insurance. You can take out term life insurance for terms of 10, 20 or 30 years at much lower premium cost than you can get whole life insurance. Although you will have to be prepared to lose your premium payments if you should see out the term. Although by paying extra you can get some term life insurance policies that will pay back some of your premium costs when the term expires and you haven’t.
  • Non-smoker discounts. If you don’t smoke you can obtain a life insurance policy cheaper than you can if you are a smoker. You will have to have not smoked for a full 12 months before you apply for the cover to enable you to benefit from the lower non-smoking premium.
  • Buy when young. It’s too late if you are older as you can’t wind back time, but if you are still young, now is the time to buy life insurance. Both term and whole life insurance get dearer as you age.
  • Only buy what you need.  You will need to make sure you have enough life insurance cover to adequately meet all your family’s needs should you happen to die. Any amounts above that can be regarded as being surplus.

There are many ways you can lower your premium costs if you go about it the right way. However, you must not lose sight of why you need life insurance in the first place. Although it might be prudent to keep your costs down it should not be at the expense of being under insured as it could be your loved ones who may ultimately pay the price.

savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances