Archive for the ‘Saving & Investing’ Category

Coupons: The Great Money-Saving Strategy

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

If you’re trying to find ways to reduce household expenses while waiting for your lawsuit settlement to come to a conclusion, you may be looking for opportunities to cut back on your grocery bills.

To cut costs on those items you just can’t live without, like groceries, toiletries, and other necessities, we’ve put together a list of some of the best informational sources to help you reduce, reuse, and save some green!

Coupons

If you’re ready to see your grocery bill cut down to almost nothing, and your stockpile of groceries and toiletries multiply at the same time, extreme couponing is for you. We’re not talking about saving $0.25 when you buy 3 of something you didn’t even need in the first place, here. The new strategy of ‘extreme couponing’ is to use all sources available (newspapers, internet, and store sales) to maximize your savings, and many times even get needed items for free!

There are several websites that will help you learn how to do this, but one of the best we’ve found is The Krazy Coupon Lady. There is an entire category dedicated to beginners, to help you learn how to start working with coupons for maximum savings.

Online Savings

If you need to make a larger purchase, or one outside the scope of what you can find on coupon sites and in newspaper listings, it’s time to check out the vast array of websites dedicated to helping you save money. For best results, be sure to check these sites before making any purchase, whether in-store or online.

  • Restaurants.com – substantial savings on gift certificates to use in restaurants throughout the country. Be sure to look here before planning your next night out.
  • Groupon.com & LivingSocial.com – daily deals on services and products in your neighborhood. Simply register your email address, and you’ll get deals delivered to your inbox for merchandise and services in your area.
  • RetailMeNot.com – this site is a compilation of promo codes and special offers on thousands of products and services throughout the country. Before making a big purchase, be sure to look for special offers here.
  • Ebay.com & Craigslist.com – unbelievable selections of new and used items from individuals and retailers throughout the world.
  • Promo Codes – last but not least, if you are set on a particular product, service, or retailer, go to Google.com and type in ‘X brand/company/service promo codes’ to see if any offers are available online that you can use.

If you do your homework and change the way you shop, you’ll be able to minimize your monthly and household expenses and increase your savings immediately.

Saving For College? 3 Plans To Consider.

Friday, December 31st, 2010

For many Americans, the cycle of debt is starting earlier and earlier in life. With college tuition, room and board, and various expenses incurred over 4 years in school, students are often left with mountains of debt before they even start their first job.

To stop this cycle of debt before it starts, here are some great plans to start building that college savings program years before the kids have to think about which classes to choose.

Traditional Savings Plans

They say it takes a village to raise a child. So therefore when you are faced with requests from family members and friends asking what toy to give your child for their birthday and other holidays, you can ask for help contributing to their education. A few gifts of $10 or $20 from several people a few times a year can really add up over 18 years, when saved in high-interest accounts.

When your kids are young, it is a great time to start putting aside a small amount each month towards their education. While it may feel like an added expense at the time, you’ll be thanking yourself in a few years that you didn’t have a need to clean out your 401k to fund their tuition.

Non-Traditional Plans

529 Plans

These tax-saving investment plans are a great way to save for tuition at a high-interest yield. There are no age or income restrictions, so you can virtually jump into these programs at any time prior to your child entering college. Here is a comparison of some of the best-performing 529 plans for your review.

Reimbursement Plans

These plans are similar to credit card miles/points programs. Simply register your credit and debit accounts on Upromise.com, and each time you make a purchase from one of their partner retailers (including Best Buy, Target.com, and Bed, Bath & Beyond), you’ll receive a percentage of money back toward tuition payments, a 529 plan, or an existing, eligible student loan.

Tax Incentives

Tax breaks can often be as good as cash in hand. If you are currently making tuition payments, you may be eligible for The American Opportunity and/or Lifetime Learning tax credits. Once you receive these credits, it is usually best to reinvest the cash value into your existing college savings account to cover current or future expenses.