Tips to Save Money for a Rainy Day

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Extra funds for a rainy day are always welcome. Finding loose change in the couch or forgotten cash in the laundry is always cause for celebration. Use these tips to save money for a rainy day fund so that you’ll always be ready to celebrate!

Save Loose Change

The first step in saving money is taking stock of the money you already possess. Set up a jar in the bathroom or laundry room for any loose change found in pockets or purses. If such money isn’t accounted for or saved, it is easily spent without purposed thought.

Start Meal Planning

One of the most variable expenses in any budget is the grocery section. Junk food, fast food, and restaurant meals can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars a month. Meal planning allows you to choose ahead of time what food you will be eating. Once the meal planning is done, stick to the list at the grocery store and keep an eye out for coupons that fit your grocery list. If you are used to eating out often, plan a lunch or dinner out once a week so you don’t feel deprived. Keep in mind that lunches out are frequently cheaper than dinner. Meal planning means less trips to the grocery store and more cash and time saved!

Choose Free Entertainment

Entertainment can drain cash flow quickly with trips to the movie theater or high cable bills. Consider ditching the cable in favor of watching shows for free or a nominal monthly fee via the internet. HDMI cables are able to sync televisions and computers and, depending on the internet connection, may be able to play High Definition broadcasts. Get to know your library and the media options there. Keep an eye on new movies coming out and put in your library request early to reserve the DVD. Often, using this technique, you are able to checkout brand new DVDs for a full week without any cost. Many libraries also stock entire seasons of television shows.

Know Your Utilities

Keep an eye on the fluctuations of gas and electricity bills. Consider adjusting the thermostat before leaving for work or begin using a programmable thermostat to use lower the utility bill. Challenge everyone to see how long they take in the shower and decide whether improvements should or could be made. Be aware of leaving lights on when not in a room or appliances left on when no one is using them. As another variable section in the budget, it may be in your favor to ask the utility company to do a free efficiency check on your residence. Some cheap fixes in leaks or behaviors can save a lot of money over time.

Swap Services

Discuss saving money with friends and family. Bartering or swapping services can save a bundle of money. Service skills such as hairstyling or landscaping could be swapped for meal preparation or snow removal. Develop a helpful community between friends and everyone will be left with some extra cash in their pocket.

Amber Tate always endorses saving money whether that’s adding more to the piggy bank or not needing to spend as much for say, your travel insurance when you travel.

Simple Methods Women Use to Save Big

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Saving money is something everyone knows they should do; whether or not they actually do it is an entirely different story. Some people choose to save money for a rainy day, others for their dream vacation. Others choose to save money to create an emergency fund that will protect them in case something unexpected happens and they need money to help them get through whatever the situation is. Whatever you are trying to save for, there are easy ways you can save. Women, especially, have a number of unique and easy ways they can save money for a rainy day.

Negotiate

One of the easiest ways a woman can save money is to simply make a phone call. By calling her credit card company and asking for a lower interest rate, she can save hundreds of dollars in interest each year. Many card companies are happy to help a consumer that calls and asks for a little help; they will be more inclined to help a consumer that has made all of her payments on time and has no negative history with the card company. By kindly informing her credit card company that she is considering leaving for a card with a lower interest rate, she may be able to negotiate a lower rate for herself, as card companies do not want to lose business.

Use Coupon Codes

Women are notorious online shoppers and they love nothing more than buying their favorite designer items for less than full price. Women can save a significant amount of money at their favorite retailers when shopping online by simply entering the name of the retailer plus the word coupon into any internet search engine. Hundreds of coupon sites will appear with lists of coupons that will save them money on everything from shipping to a percentage off their entire purchase. This is a great way for women to save on their favorite products every time they shop.

Use the Dishwasher

While many people do use their dishwashers on a nightly basis, they think it’s simply because they are a little lazy and would rather not hand wash dishes. This is not the case. Using the dishwasher is far more cost effective than washing dishes by hand; especially for women who have energy efficient dishwashers.

No More Bottled Water

Many people choose to drink water straight from a bottle than from the tap; this is not at all cost effective. The average family spends a little more than $1,200 per year on bottled mountain water when a water filtration system that fits right over their kitchen faucet costs as little as $30 at the hardware store. This is a huge savings for everyone. Instead of spending that $7 per case on water, women can put that money in a piggy bank or in their savings account and use it at Christmas to buy presents or on their next family vacation.

Read Instructions

Household items such as shampoo, laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid come with instructions on the back. These are not just for fun, they are for a purpose. By using the amount that is specified on the back of the bottle of your household items rather than simply pouring things into the washing machine or dishwasher, you will save money because you will use less each time, which means you won’t have to restock that item as often.

Women are savvy; they can save money even when no one else can figure out how to. This is why women are often the ones in control of the budget. There are so many things that women can do to save money on everyday items, on things they don’t need often and on things they didn’t even know they could save on. Money can be saved in a myriad of places; not just the places that seem obvious. Women know to turn off the lights when the leave a room and they know to find coupons for groceries, but looking for coupons for shoes and hair accessories can only help.

Another method to save big is to compare car insurance quotes offered by various insurers. By using a quote comparison service like Kanetix, you could save up to $600 or more on your insurance in just minutes. Apply online today to save time and money.

Review These 5 Contracts Each Year to Save Money

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Most people enter into contracts on a regular basis and the average person probably has multiple contracts that impact their finances every month. If you find yourself entering into contracts on a regular basis, you may want to review these contracts regularly to make sure that you’re not paying more than you should. These five contracts are some of the most common ones that the average person should review every year to make sure they’re not paying too much.

Cellphone Contract

Many consumers pay too much for their cellphone contract every month. If you’re paying for things that you don’t use on your cell phone, you could save a lot of money by cutting those extra features out. For example, you might be paying for unlimited Internet access on your phone but you only use it occasionally. Some people pay for unlimited text messaging and only use a few text messages per month. Review your bill and see what you’re actually using. Then see if the cellphone company offers a cheaper option for you to choose. By doing this, you could save yourself some money every single month.

Television

Most households pay for some kind of television subscription, whether it’s through satellite or cable. If you find yourself paying for one of these two subscriptions, consider cutting down your subscription to save money. Many people opt for the premium TV subscription and then never watch the vast majority of the channels. If you fall into this category, you may want to cut your subscription down to a more basic channel lineup. In some cases, you can even cut out your TV subscription completely. With the availability of online TV streaming, you can usually find most of the shows you want online for free.

Car Insurance

Your car insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. Although you must have auto insurance if you drive a car, you don’t necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Every year, it’s a good idea to shop around and make sure that you’re not paying more than the market rate. In some cases, you can switch to another insurance company, get the same service, and pay less in premiums. Call around to some different insurance companies in your area to get quotes. You may also want to shop around online to see if you can find any good deals. Ask your own insurance company if you’re getting all of the discounts that you’re entitled to. For example, you might qualify for a good student discount, a safe driver discount or a mult-line discount.

Rent Contract

If you’re a renter, you might be paying too much for rent. If you’ve been in the same place for a long time, you might be able to negotiate a cheaper rent contract with your landlord. If you’re a good tenant, your landlord may be willing to concede some money in rent in exchange for the regular rent payment that you provide.

Movie & Game Subscription Plans

Many people today pay for movie and game subscription plans. Plans like Netflix and Gamefly provide customers with an opportunity to enjoy entertainment from their homes. You can get movies and video games sent to you through the mail. You can even stream many movies and TV shows straight to your TV. While these plans can be convenient, they can also get expensive. Look to see if you could reduce your plan to a cheaper one. For example, if you have the three DVD plan from Netflix, you might be able to get by with one DVD or two DVD’s at a time. If you never watch the movies or play the games that you’re paying for, you might want to cancel the contract completely. You can always cancel it and join again later if you find that you miss the movies and video games.

If you are looking to renew your car insurance policy, you should do an auto insurance comparison to see which insurance provider is most affordable for you. Go online to www.kanetix.ca to see which insurance provider offers the cheapest insurance quote.

Debunking the Top Five Myths About Debt Consolidation

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With so many people in debt, there is no shortage of companies to assist them in paying off their bills. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation regarding the various debt relief methods and that misinformation is confusing people. Here are the top five myths about debt consolidation services offered by debt management companies and the truth behind the myth.

1. Debt settlement is always much better than debt consolidation.
Debt settlement companies are very different from debt management companies. Many debt settlement companies promise to negotiate with credit card companies and other creditors to get lower interest rates. They charge their customers an upfront fee. Debt settlement companies instruct their customers to stop paying their bills, which generally leads to more credit problems for the customer. Debt consolidation combines all monthly debts into one manageable monthly payment.

2. Debt consolidation is quite similar to credit counseling.
Credit counselors assist clients by helping them learn how to effectively manage their money so they do not repeat the same behaviors that got them into credit trouble. Debt consolidation assists customers with their current credit issues and helps them get out of debt so they can practice the strategies they learn in credit counseling.

3. Debt Consolidation will improve a credit score.
The way debt consolidation affects your credit score depends on a lot of factors. If you have already missed payments, making them again will increase your credit score over time. Making payments also positively affects your credit rating because after you make a payment, you have more credit available. Again, this is an increase over time. It will not occur in a day. However, if you close accounts after you have paid them off so you won’t use them again and get back into debt, your credit score will decrease.

4. Filing bankruptcy has less impact on your credit than debt consolidation.
Bankruptcy is a good choice for a small percentage of people. Those people have debt that far exceeds their ability to conceivably repay it. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on the filer’s credit report for 10 years. That is far longer than debt consolidation payments will affect your credit. After your debts are repaid through debt consolidation, there will be no record of it on your credit report. Debt consolidation is not the best course for everyone. If you cannot commit to the monthly payment plan because you lack the resources, bankruptcy will have less of an impact than nonpayment of your bills.

5. Your payments will be significantly lower with debt consolidation.
Monthly payments under debt consolidation will normally not be very much lower than your regularly scheduled payments. There are instances where debt consolidation services are able to significantly lower interest rates, but sometimes the creditor considers that a settlement and reports the forgiven amount to the IRS, where it is considered income and therefore is taxable.

Several options are available for people who need help managing their debt. Consumers should evaluate their options carefully to be sure that they choose the solution that works best for them.

Matt Becker is a freelance writer with a strong focus on debt management. Matt blogs about personal finance for Cash Advance USA, a site that offer payday loans for those who need a quick money.

How to Check Your Credit History

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Knowing how to check your credit history – and actually doing so – is arguably the best way to keep informed about your credit situation and thus any potential problems. An excellent starting point, it can allow you to make better informed choices on the way you choose to deal with the latter as well as generally informing you how you’re doing.

What affects your credit history?

How good your credit score – and record – is is dictated by how well you’ve done keeping up with your payments and repayments as well as staying within your credit limit. Lenders find out this information by referring to their own records if you are already a customer, the information given in your application and your overall credit history as held by various credit agencies. The latter generally includes the credit score that has been calculated for you, which is indicative of how well you have been able to keep in line with your repayments and credit limit (almost always the higher the better).

You should always be truthful in your applications for credit so that the information kept on your credit record is correct and up to date. The best way to maintain a good score, as well as to increase your existing one, is to make sure that you don’t exceed credit limits, make late – or even completely miss – payments and let your lenders know of any changes in your circumstances should they occur.

So how can you check your credit history?

The quickest, easiest way to check your credit rating is via one of the online services offered by big credit reference agencies such as Equifax and Experian. Being able to check your credit record is a legal right as detailed in the Consumer Credit Act, and is incredibly easy to do if you follow the online instructions given on one of these sites.

However, if you don’t have regular internet access then you can also write to a credit reference agency with an enquiry, meaning that they then have seven working days to get back to you with the information you request. If you do write to a credit reference agency requesting information on your credit record, be sure that you provide them with sufficient information. This should generally include any names you have been known as in the past (for example if your name has changed due to marriage or a deed poll), date of birth, your present and past addresses (for the last six years is usually sufficient), proof of name and address (a bill generally work best for this, and it can be returned if you ask) and a cheque or postal order for £2 for whichever credit agency you chose to contact (don’t send cash).

George McKeenan is glad he learned how to check his credit history; it definitely saved him a lot of bother.

Reducing the Risk of Accidents and Other Ways to Reduce Teen Driver Premiums

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Getting the first driver’s license is a major milestone in any teen’s life. Even if they don’t have a car of their own to go with it, the driver’s license is another step into the adult world. It’s a major milestone for parents too. Besides the worry of them having an accident, there are a million other dangerous things that can happen on the road.

Add to this stress the financial cost. Every kid who gets a license expects to drive sometime, and getting behind the wheel means getting insurance. For those with their own ride, this need will be obvious. Part-time drivers will also have to be insured. As you might guess, insuring a teen is expensive due to the increased risk. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of insurance by reducing the perceived risk of an accident and reducing actual damage in case of an accident.

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Vehicle Selection

New cars are exciting, and getting one offers several benefits. Everything is still under warranty, there is little worry of engine trouble, and every year brings more optional safety features. The higher the value of the car, however, the higher the cost of insurance. Any car that is financed will further require collision insurance.

Saving money by purchasing an older model car will also save on monthly premiums. Another idea is to purchase a new car for an adult in the house and list the teen as a part-time driver on the oldest car. Be sure to ask the agent about which drivers are being covered in which cars.

Extending Driver Education

The discount for taking a driver’s education course is 15 percent for all providers, and everyone knows that one way to reduce the impact of a speeding ticket is to take another state-approved course in driving. Getting a discount for teen drivers can also be accomplished with extended education. These classes can be expensive, and they must be led by a state-approved instructor who includes time behind the wheel in the curriculum.

Insurers can vary in their specific rules on an acceptable class, but the discount will be secondary for many parents anyway. More education means lower risk of accidents and less stress for parents. Another form of continuing education is also supported by some insurers. A monitoring device can be installed in the vehicle to report on unsafe driving habits. Insurers do not get the information, but some provide a discount for you having access to it.

Shopping Around

Insurers sometimes specialize in insuring a certain demographic, and quotes can be substantially higher with some providers. Taking the time to compare the charge for adding a teen driver to the current policy with other providers can be worthwhile. Discounts that are available with through another provider may make changing policies a good idea.

Special Discounts for Reduced Insurance Risk

Good student discounts have become quite common today. Up to 15 percent discounts are available for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. One tactic to encourage good grades and safe driving is to have teens pay for their insurance. Unlike money for end of semester grades, a reduced premium means more money in their pocket every month.

Insurance premiums are a close track of risk, so parents of teens with lower premiums will have two reasons to smile. Taking full advantage of every discount available will require teen cooperation, and this is an excellent indicator of the responsibility needed for safety.

Christopher Jensen is a writer and car enthusiast offering advice on how to get an auto insurance quotes comparison,North Carolina auto insurance