What Are The Best Ways To Save Money On Gifts?

Buying gifts is something that many people love to do, and at certain times of the year, it’s even expected. However, if you love buying things for people ‘just because’ or you have a lot of people to buy for when it comes to Christmas, birthdays, and other occasions, you may find that it all starts to add up and become much more expensive than you’re comfortable with.

What is the answer if you don’t want to stop buying gifts? If you want to keep giving presents, the only solution is to look for ways to save money – read on for some useful ideas that might help you do just that.

Shop In Advance

One of the best things you can do if you want to save money when buying gifts is not to leave things until the last minute, but to shop in advance. In this way, you can take your time and look around for the best prices instead of panicking because you’re running out of time and just buying from the first store or website you see. You can even look for coupons and discounts if you leave enough time. By downloading a Mellow Cosmetics coupon code, for example, you can save money and buy something lovely that your recipient is going to adore.

Plus, the more time you have to look for a gift, the more likely it is you’ll be able to receive it in time. Although a lot of items can be obtained through next day delivery, one of a kind pieces, personalized gifts, or anything coming from a different country will always take longer, and that means that the earlier you order them, the more chance you’ll have of giving them to your recipient when you want to.

Give Something Homemade

Another way to save money when giving gifts is to make something yourself. Think about what you would have bought, and see if it would be cheaper to make it yourself – in some cases (although not all), it will be. Plus, giving a handmade gift that you have put time and effort into is always going to be received well – remember, you don’t have to spend a lot to give a great gift, you just have to be thoughtful about what you are giving.

Or why not just make something without looking around at what you might have bought anyway? If you have a particular skill such as baking, painting, poetry, or anything else, this can be used to make a wonderful gift. Even if you don’t think you’re particularly talented in the crafting department, you can still try, and the results might be better than you think. No matter what, a homemade gift will be well received and often much cheaper than buying something from a store.

Give Your Services

For some, their talents lie in potentially less creative areas, which means that, at first glance, making something homemade really isn’t a viable idea. Yet what about your other skills? Are you particularly organized? Can you clean a house brilliantly? Could you tidy someone’s garden or paint their garage door or anything else that’s needed around the house? By offering your services, you are saving the recipient money if they would have hired someone to do the work or time and effort if they were going to do it themselves. Either way, this is a thoughtful gift that helps everyone and doesn’t cost you much – if anything – at all.

 

Top Ways To Make Money From Things Just Lying Around The Home!

Now more than ever, it can be a real struggle to ensure you have enough money to pay for the cost of running your home, affording your children’s numerous extracurricular activities, not to mention the impending holiday season which will put even more of a strain on your finances.

With that being said, continue reading to discover how to source random, unwanted things that are just lying around the home that can be turned into instant cash and also clear some more much-needed space.

CDs & DVDs

Whether you still thoroughly enjoy listening to your favorite artists and bands on compact discs and have decided to shun the technological evolution of the mp3 and streaming, or moreover you have a large box of CDs gathering dust in the attic, any unwanted CDs you no longer want can be converted to cash through a number of available online websites.

Obviously, your old music albums are unlikely to make you a million bucks, unless you are incredibly lucky and fortunate, but you will be able to make some money that goes straight into your bank account.

Gift Vouchers & Cards

You will more than likely recognize the situation well; a close friend or family member gives you a gift voucher for a store you don’t normally shop in and you place it carefully in a drawer to give somebody else or try and use it a later date.

The beauty is that now, thanks to fabulously innovative online companies such as CardCrazy, you are able to sell your gift cards for a nominal fee which the company will then use, repurpose or sell back on themselves.

Spare Change

Set yourself a half hour timer on your phone and rush from room to room in your property searching for loose change and random coins in coat pockets, under and inside chairs and generally in every nook and cranny in the house.

Most larger superstores have a coin machine, usually located near the entrance, where you can pour your collected change into the slots and the machine will count the money and give it back to you in dollar notes.

You will be surprised at the sheer amount of change you will find and, as the cliché goes, every little helps!

Crafty Websites

If you are particular skilled or maybe you simply just enjoy creating small craft objects or creating bespoke and beautiful birthday and Christmas cards, then you might consider selling your creations on specialized handmade selling sites.

In the case of not being overtly creative or particularly crafty, you could perhaps start creating small food and drink hampers, tied with a ribbon, using unwanted consumable gifts that you no longer need. You could even buy food goods in bulk to do multiple hampers at once for less money.

Alternatively, you could always consider holding a yard sale or even attending an early morning car boot sale to both clear your home of unwanted clutter and make some extra money in the process.

 

Top Tips For Living Well On A Budget

Just because you have a budget to stick to it doesn’t mean that you can live your best life in the process. Budgeting can be just as fun as spending lots of money can, so don’t let being on a budget get in the way of your life or stop you from enjoying every day as much as you can. Life is full of opportunities, and even when you are on a budget, you can grab any opportunity or chance that comes your way with both hands and make the best out of what you can and when you can. Here are some top tips for living well, even on a budget.

Discounts on Everyday Items

Wherever and whenever you can, keep an eye out for the discounts. From small savings on your morning cup of coffee to money off your grocery shopping or larger discounts on travel, there are savings to be made. All you need to do is keep an eye out for them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount on any item you are purchasing that is full price. Some retailers may flatly say no, but other retailers might just take you up on your offer, especially if the difference is having a sale and not having a sale.

Batch Cook to Stay Healthy

Cooking larger amounts of food and freezing for future use is ideal as it ensures you can buy and use ingredients when they are cheap and when they are on offer. When you batch cook, you can also have a source of meals to cook even at the last minute when you are running late or are home late from work. Cook up more than you would usually, freeze it for a later date, and reheat as and when you need to. By having homecooked food ready to go, you can ensure that you stay fit and well every day.

Swap Out Products to Stay Healthy

There may be times, of course, when you are busy, can’t always afford to cook meals due to budget limitations, or simply find that you don’t have time to make healthy, nutritious meals. If you find yourself turning to ready meals, snacks, or skipping meals entirely, you won’t be getting the full range of nutrients you need for a healthy life. In this case, supplements could potentially help. Herbal Health CBD features a range of CBD gummies, including a vegan range which may just help keep you going until your next meal. Supplements are easy to take and swallow and can be taken while you are on the go, so they are convenient too.

If you think you don’t have the money to budget this in, you could always swap out your skincare range for one with CBD instead, which can help to keep your skin feeling and looking great.

Plan Ahead Save Time and Money

If you know you need to make larger, more considered purchases in the near future, then start saving now. Planning ahead so you can stretch your funds and get what you want is essential, as there is nothing worse than wanting something and not being able to have it simply because you didn’t plan well enough and save little and often when you could.

Set Goals and Achieve Them

Just because you are on a budget, it does not mean that you cannot have goals and plans for the future. Sometimes having goals, targets, and aims in place for what you want to achieve and by when can help get you through a patch when you may not be feeling so positive or upbeat.

Freebies Galore

They are everywhere; you just have to start paying attention. From free drinks to free samples of food, there are lots of things you can get for free that you would normally have to pay for. There are also lots of things you can do for free which enhance your life, including taking a walk in the park, meeting up with friends and loved ones, and having some all-important “me time” throughout the day.

 

How to Have a Successful Retirement Abroad

As we get older, we tend to worry about our future. We cannot work forever, and we think of how are we going to survive our golden age without having financial hardships. It is also unfair to solely depend on your family and become your children’s responsibility when you are no longer capable of earning to support your needs. This is the reason why having a retirement plan is essential. Settling down and spending your retirement abroad is also another thing to take into consideration. Retiring in another country is an option for those who want to stay engaged and active in life.

Here are some simple tips on how to have a successful retirement abroad.

  1. Choose your dream destination. One of the major decisions when retiring is where you will spend the rest of your life. Settling down in another country allows you to learn new experiences even if you are already ageing. You get to meet new people, and you can still fulfil some of your dreams, like to travel and pick up a new hobby. Before choosing your retirement place, consider visiting the country and try living there for a couple of weeks or months. See how well things go, and if the lifestyle is suitable for you.
  2. Be optimistic. Our future is not guaranteed, but we have to be optimistic when planning for it. Think positively that you will get your dream retirement without worrying about financial stability. Keep in mind that you may encounter more financial problems during your retirement, so you have to be prepared. Here comes the importance of having a retirement plan.
  3. Start your retirement plan now. The important key to having a successful retirement is to have a retirement plan. Planning should start today and not tomorrow. It’s better to plan early than to regret later in life. You may seek help from financial advisers, like TailorMade Pensions, if you want to be in a better situation when you are ready to settle down. The more savings you have, the more comfortable life you will have.
  4. Never stop dreaming. You may feel like you can no longer fulfil your lifelong dreams when your older, but this is a reminder that you should never stop dreaming. Continue to pursue your dreams even if your body says you can’t. As long as your breathing, you still have the chance to do things on your bucket list.

Most people don’t see the importance of having a retirement plan, especially when they are at a young age. They take it for granted, thinking they can work things out in time. However, it is a must to have a retirement plan if you want to spend your entire retirement abroad. Moving out of your country is like starting your life again. You get yourself a new place you will need to buy new furniture, you meet new people, and more. For you to have the best retirement, you have to be financially stable even without the need to work. Start planning your future now.

How to Quickly Get Out of a Difficult Financial Situation

It can be worrying when you suddenly find yourself in a difficult financial situation, whether you have lost your job, there is an expensive household repair or any kind of unexpected cost which will be challenging to afford. These things do happen, though, and if you do not have any savings like many people, then it can be hard to know what to do and begin to interfere with your mental health. There are options open to you if you need access to money quickly to help you manage, so read on for a few ideas if you ever find yourself in this situation.

Borrow from Loved Ones

It may feel uncomfortable borrowing money from loved ones. Still, often this is the best option because you can get the money quickly without worrying about approval, credit ratings, and interest rates. You must be careful with this, as even borrowing a relatively small amount can change the dynamic of your relationship, so you need to make sure that you are both comfortable and agree on when the money will be repaid by.

Freeze Spending

It is also a smart idea to freeze spending if you do not want to borrow a large sum of money. While it may be impossible to totally freeze your spending, you should be able to cut out all non-essential spending for a short period, which can help you to quickly raise funds, and this can also be a smart way to make positive long-term changes to your spending habits.

Car Title Loan

Taking out a loan is an obvious choice, but you may find that getting approved for a bank loan can be a prolonged and stressful process, which is why a car title loan is a smart idea, especially if you do not have a good credit score. You can take out detailed car title loans Westchase for those in Florida, which will allow you instant access to 50% of the value of your car, which involves you temporarily transferring the car title to the money lender in exchange for cash (you can still drive and keep the car). If you are looking for quick cash, then this could be your best option.

Sell Assets

Another route that many people take when they find themselves in need of fast money is to sell certain assets, which could include jewelry, artwork, vehicles, and technology. This can be a brilliant way to raise a substantial sum, but it can be a lengthy process trying to find a buyer, and it could interfere with your life in the long-term, so you should only sell what you can live without.

These are the best options if you find yourself in a difficult situation and need money quickly for one reason or another. This can be a stressful time but knowing that there are options available can alleviate stress and let you to make the best decision for your situation if you ever find yourself in need of money.

How to Tell if You Have Bad Credit – And What to Do About it

A bad credit history can wreak havoc on your life. Not only could you struggle to take out new credit in the form of credit cards and loans, but you could also find it a challenge to rent or buy a house, invest in a new or used vehicle, and even find a job! It is true that most employers run credit checks on potential employees before deciding whether or not to hire them. In short, one should avoid bad credit at all costs.

Read on to discover the various signs that you might have bad credit, along with advice regarding how best to remedy the situation going forward.

10 signs you have bad credit

  • Your recent loan or credit card application has been rejected.
  • You are being offered high Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) by lenders and your limit on your credit card is low.
  • You frequently pay your bills after the provided due date or you have made late loan repayments in the past.
  • You have skipped out on payments altogether without timeously notifying your lender and reaching a mutual agreement.
  • You make minimum payments on your credit card.
  • You routinely use more than 30% of the credit availed to you.
  • You have had an account closed by a lender in recent times.
  • You have received calls from debt collectors.
  • You have applied for multiple loans in a short period of time, resulting in several ‘hard’ credit checks being conducted in your name.
  • You have recently closed or opened a new credit account.

Ultimately, the only way to tell if you have bad credit for certain is to visit annualcreditreport.com and request your free credit report. You are entitled to a free report every 12 months.

How to improve your credit rating

It is essential that you understand that improving your credit rating takes plenty of work and certainly isn’t something that will happen overnight. However, the effort that you put in will prove to be well worth it both in the short- and long-term.

  • Only borrow from reputable lenders: If you need to take out a loan despite your bad credit, avoid doing so via shady lenders. Always seek out bad credit personal loans from lenders with a clear, respectable reputation, such as SimplePersonalLoans.
  • Reduce the balance owed on your credit card: Strive to use no more than 30% of your available credit at any given time.
  • Negotiate: Negotiate with your credit card provider to see whether you can get penalties incurred through late payments removed.
  • Manage your debt: Ensure that you take steps towards paying off all your debt. You might want to consider taking out a debt consolidation loan to help make this process easier. Another option is to apply for a zero APR credit card.
  • Check your credit report: Do so at least once per year.
  • Make payments on time: Avoid any new late payment penalties and always pay the full amount owed each month.

Put all this advice into practice and your credit rating is sure to improve significantly over time. Focus on more efficient financial management going forward and you should be just fine!

 

How to Save Big When Buying Jewelry

Jewelry is a great gift for any occasion, but its high cost often means that you either opt for the smallest choice or go for costume jewelry instead.

Knowing what you are looking for, what metal types and stone types mean, and, of course, exhausting your options to help get a good deal are all crucial aspects of buying jewelry at a great price.

Saving big is possible, so use these tips to find beautiful gifts for your loved ones:

Know the basics of jewelry

The first things you need to know are the basics. Understanding gold karats, for example, and plated gold options can help you get jewelry that is allergy-free (minus gold allergies, of course).

Silver, gold, white gold, gold plated – understanding what each of these means is key to getting a good deal. The most affordable gold jewelry, for example, is 9k gold plated jewelry, but for quality that lasts, you will want to go up to 14k, or even 24k, gold.

Know what pieces they need

Another way to get a good deal on jewelry is simply making sure that it is something they need. If they already have four pairs of hoop earrings, get them a stud earring, for example. Though this tip doesn’t help the upfront price, it does help ensure that the cost-to-wear value just continues to go down because you have gifted your loved one something they love and will wear often.

Know the right sellers

Jewelry is one of those items where the price can typically be negotiated. It is like buying a car, so knowing the right people or shopping at the right time can give you a better deal. Find local jewelers you can build a rapport with, or, better yet, find an online jeweler. As for buying at the right time, this tip will help you best in big-brand jewelers whose employees will have a quota they need to fill by the end of the month, quarter, or year.

Consider shopping second-hand

For great deals on beautiful pieces that would typically be out of your budget, you cannot beat shopping second-hand. These items are refurbished, cleaned, and perfect to gift, especially when sold through a reputable seller. Pre-owned jewellery allows you to save big on unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. The only downside is that to find something really special, you will want to keep checking in regularly.

Repair Old Treasures

Another great jewelry idea is to have any precious treasures fixed. If your loved one had a necklace and the clasp broke, it is far cheaper to get that fixed by a jeweler than to try to replace the item. It shows care, thought, and can be a great surprise for a birthday gift, anniversary gift, or even just a spontaneous gift.

Jewelry is hands-down one of the best gifts you can give, and with these top tips, you will be able to find great jewelry for a steal. Buy new, used, or repair old jewelry, and you have your gift-giving sorted for the year.

 

Why you need to hire an estate attorney

The usual happenings of life can catch up with you unexpectedly if you don’t plan well. A perfect example is failing or forgetting to update estate planning documents. You have to keep on checking your will, trust, power of attorney, and any other useful tool to ensure your last wishes are fulfilled. The process of estate planning is a complex one, and rushing to online service providers may not be a solution. They may not prepare your legal documents as you wish, which may frustrate you and even spend more looking for other solutions. Avoiding such may require you to hire an estate planning attorney to take you through the process of preparing legal documentation to keep your assets safe. Keep reading!

Necessary documentation updates

Any document that has to do with your assets needs regular reviews to ensure proper updates are made when required. Documents that need frequent reviews or updates include wills and trusts. Your financial situation can change any moment, thereby requiring you to make some adjustments to your will to fit your current status. This is why san antonio estate planning lawyers review documents keenly to determine if any necessary changes should be made to fulfill your plans or wishes. For instance, you may have mind changes on where to distribute your assets, forcing you to re-evaluate your estate plan.

Current law should favor your documents.

The documents should match with your current plans. If you want to fail thoroughly, contradict your ideas with what’s included in your will or trust. Estate planning is a process that needs careful review and knowledge when it comes to what an online form provider is asking. You don’t want to overspend and have regrets later when your documents do not reflect your wishes. Failing to update your records regularly presents with errors when you die. You need an estate planning lawyer to periodically check any area of your document that may require drafting to reflect your goals.

Asset and beneficiary titles

Don’t fall to the belief that wills cover every asset. For example, retirement accounts or life insurance go individually of your trust or will. But if you want them to work together, it may force you to hire an estate planning attorney to assist with retitling your accounts and assets. You have to ensure your estate plan covers each of your assets through an attorney to avoid costly and timewasting probate proceedings when a person dies.

Seek future answers from reliable resources for your loved one’s benefit

It is paramount to have an honest relationship with your estate planning attorneys. This will give you confidence and peace of mind knowing that they will be there for you when in need. Attorneys have the experience when it comes to handling your loved ones if you die or you become helpless. Also, they ensure a smooth run in your estate settlement.

Bottom Line

Estate planning attorneys are vital if you need your will or trust documents to reflect your final wish. Even though it is a complex process, their professionalism provides value for any step required to ensure your estate plan runs smoothly.

3 Reasons Why the Latte Factor is Wrong

The silky-smooth latte with just enough caffeine to jolt you awake in the mornings has a bad rap. But how could something with adorable latte art have such a disastrous effect on your budget?

Woman Holding Cup of Latte

Ask David Bach, the millionaire and financial guru behind The Latte Factor. This financial principle exposes just how much money your daily cup of Joe costs you in the long run.

Bach casts it as the bad guy in your finances; it’s the reason why you don’t have savings and need to rely on an online personal line of credit when something goes wrong unexpectedly.

All in all, he says it swallows up $2,000 of your hard-earned money each year. He also claims that you could save $1 million for your retirement simply by skipping the latte and investing the money.

Sounds too good to be true? You’re onto something! Here are three reasons why the Latte Factor may not work.

Reason #1: It’s Bad Math

It’s easy to trust a talking head in a video hosted by CNBC and CNN who claims to have all the answers. But sometimes, it’s worth fact-checking what they have to say.

According to Bach, a $5 latte purchased every day for an entire year would cost you $2,000. But punch these into a calculator and you’ll see he’s fudged the numbers.

$5 x 365 = $1,825

Now let’s look at a Starbucks menu. Even accounting for the latest price hike, a Venti latte costs $4.15.

$4.15 x 365 = $1,514.75

That’s a difference of nearly $300! Admittedly, this may be a big boost to your budget. It would be a solid start to an emergency fund, a considerable payment against your online line of credit balance, or a way to knock out a loan from an online direct lender.

But when it comes to investing, a $300 difference may affect how long it will take you to reach $1 million.

Reason #2: It’s Unrealistic

However you invest it, $1,514.75 a year is a considerable sum. But no matter how you slice it, it’s not $1 million.

To reach this savings goal, Bach’s calculations rely on snagging an interest rate of 11 percent. Other financial experts think a rate of return this high in unlikely, and they may be right. The average 401(k) offers an annual return rate ranging between 5 and 8 percent.

Reason #3: It’s for Rich People

People are only poor because they aren’t working hard enough at budgeting. That’s a common belief underlining a lot of financial advice you read on the Internet.

While it’s true, some people are living paycheck to paycheck because of overspending on splurge items, most are in this position because they don’t earn enough for their immediate needs. They aren’t spending $5 a day (or $4.15, more accurately) on a latte because all their money goes towards rent, utilities, and other essentials.

Telling people they can solve their financial problems simply by eliminating what Bach calls “the daily extravagances that drain your resources” only works if you have the resources to make these luxury purchases in the first place.

For everyone else, the fixed costs of hard-to-change expenses (things like rent and healthcare) are what’s more likely draining your finances. Giving up an occasional latte won’t fix these chronic issues.

 

Cheaper and faster money transfers: The Money Transfer Revolution

There are many activities we engage in daily that are important, necessary or for fun. In the past, doing some of these was very expensive, difficult and slow. However, people have continually brought up innovative solutions that aided the speed and ease of carrying such services while bringing down the price. All of these have made it easier to get a lot of things we want that we would not have known about or had access to at our standard of living a few years earlier. One of such things is money transfer services. Not too long ago, transferring money implied going to the bank, joining long queues, filling forms and the recipient getting the money days later. However, it is now possible to transfer money and the recipient will get the money within a few minutes. Here are the steps to enjoying these cheaper and faster transfer services.

Select a Money Transfer Company
Many companies provide money transfer services including those that provide such services locally, internationally and both ways. They also often have some features that could be slightly different as well as their charges. In most cases, you would want to either find the fastest companies or the cheapest companies as long as they are reliable. You could read more about finance companies to know which finance companies provide which services, at what price and at what speed. From here, you could choose the companies that you are most comfortable with and do further research on them by visiting their site and probably contacting their customer care if you have further questions till you settle for the one you are most comfortable with. Examples of the companies you might want to research include ripple, n26 and Transferwise.

Open an account
Once you know the one you are comfortable with, you would have to visit their platform which could be their website and/or their app to open an account. For most of these companies, opening an account is usually free. You would need to fill their form and in most cases, provide some form of verification that would be an official document from your country. Once you have properly and correctly filled the form and you are verified, you would be able to start using the account.

Sending money
To send money, you might be required to credit your wallet or link a credit card. If you are crediting your wallet, you would often have the option of crediting the wallet from your card and other alternatives. Once you have done that, you can easily select the amount that you want to transfer and it would be sent to the person. A major reason why the services of these money transfer platforms are cheaper is that they convert the money that you want to send to local currencies of the country of the recipient. Thus, the money enters the account without extra charges from the bank or a lower exchange rate that the bank will be using. The platforms strive to use the exact exchange rate, which most local banks would go a bit below.