How To Save - Part 6

How to Save

How to Save Money on Trading-In a Car

Posted on Monday, February 5th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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person driving car from StockSnap ioAre you thinking about trading your current car in for a new (or gently used) one? It is a good idea to take the time to figure out what kind of car you want to get. After you have decided upon the make and model, it is time to use some advice from State Farm that can help you save money on a trade in.

State Farm recommends that you make use of the free car appraisal tools that can be found on the internet. Using them correctly, and honestly, can give you a good idea of how much your car may be worth. There are very few cars that will be rated as “excellent”, so don’t worry if your car is rated as less than excellent.

It is important to be honest when discussing your trade-in with a car dealer. Let them know about the light on the dashboard that has been going off. Tell the dealer about any “fender benders” (or, more serious accidents) the car was involved in.

The dealer is going to find out about those things the moment he or she has your car serviced and evaluated. Lying to the car dealer, or attempting to hide the truth about the state of your vehicle, is not going to result in a better deal for you.

Use an online tool to find the value of your trade-in. The online car appraisal tool is going to provide you with a dollar amount that signifies what your car is worth. That doesn’t automatically mean that the car dealer is going to offer that amount to you for your trade-in. That specific dealership might already have too many of the type of car you want to trade in.

State Farm recommends you visit several dealers. Ask each what they will offer for your trade-in. Ask if they have any special deals going on involving trade-ins. State Farm also recommends that you visit at least one dealership that is different from your car’s brand.

Doing this might seem tedious, but it will help you to save money on a trade-in. You might be able to use what you learned to persuade a dealer to give you a deal that is at least as good as, if not better than, the what the dealer down the road offered you.

What if your car turns out to be not worth very much as a trade-in? One option is to consider donating your car to a charity. Some charities can give you a tax write-off for the amount that your donated car was valued at.

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Money Saving Tips for 2018

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Piggy BankThere are two New Year’s Resolutions that remain very popular year after year. One is to lose weight. The other is to save money. Neither one of these goals are possible to start and finish in a day, or a week, or a month. You can, however, use some money saving tips for 2018 to make progress on your savings goal.

Limit Credit Card Use
Credit cards might feel like “free money” to some people. You pay with a plastic card instead of using money from your bank account or paying cash. The reality is that each purchase made with a credit card comes with an interest fee. The result is you can actually end up spending more money on a specific purchase made with a credit card than if you bought it with cash.

The easiest way to avoid racking up large credit card fees is to greatly limit your credit card use. Use your credit cards for emergency situations. This prevents you from increasing your debt. Work on chipping away at your credit card debt by paying more than the minimum payment each month. The less debt you have – the more opportunity you have to save money.

Stop Dining Out
You can save quite a bit of money by eating at home instead of going to a restaurant or fast food place. Part of why this tip works is that because meals cost more when you dine out than if you made the exact same thing at home. Cook your own meals, and you won’t have to pay extra for labor, tips, or delivery.

Another good reason to stop dining out is that it forces you to use up your groceries. Make and eat your breakfast at home before you go to work. Bring a tumbler of coffee with you. Pack a lunch. You will end up with few, if any, groceries that go bad before you ate them.

Use Alternative Transportation
If possible, try and walk or ride your bike to work. Doing so costs absolutely nothing, and gives you the opportunity to get some exercise.

Or, you could take the bus or train to and from work. The cost of a train ticket might be less expensive the the amount of money you spend on gas for your vehicle and the price of parking it while you are at work. Bus passes tend to be very inexpensive. Some cities offer a discount bus pass to workers in an effort to entice them to take the bus and leave limited parking spaces for shoppers.

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7-Eleven to Offer Mobile Ordering, Delivery, and In-Store Pickup

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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7-Eleven logo7-Eleven announced that it is testing on-demand ordering for delivery or in-store pickup for select 7-Eleven stores located in Dallas. This is being done via its new 7-ElevenNOW smartphone app.

The new 7-ElevenNOW app is currently being tested in 10 downtown and uptown 7-Eleven stores in Dallas, Texas. The app is expected to be rolled out to other locations in the United States during 2018. Customers in the Dallas area who enroll in the new 7-ElevenNOW app will receive free delivery on their first order.

The 7-ElevenNOW app is available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store. It would be wise to wait until the on-demand ordering for delivery or in-store pickup services is offered at the 7-Eleven stores where you live before you download the app.

7-Eleven has more locations than any other convenience retailer in the world. It is currently undergoing a digital transformation, as it looks for ways to expand and enhance the company’s shopping footprint. In addition, 7-Eleven wants to give consumers quick and convenient ways to shop at 7-Eleven.

People who live in areas where their 7-Eleven stores have begun offering on-demand ordering for delivery or in-store pickup can place their order through the 7-ElevenNOW app. The customer can choose to receive the delivery directly to their location, or can pick up a prepared order at the participating store of their choice within the 7-ElevenNOW footprint.

Options for delivery or in-store pick up include a wide selection of items. Those options include snacks, cosmetics, gift cards, home goods, beverages, and hundreds of other products. Customers can pay for both delivery and pickup via the 7-ElevenNOW app.

If you want your purchase delivered, the app will place the order at the customer’s nearest participating 7-Eleven store. A courier will pick up the customer’s prepared items at that store and deliver them to the customer’s location. If you want to pickup your order, you can select which participating 7-Eleven store you prefer to pickup your items at. The order will be waiting at the register.

While you are waiting for the 7-ElevenNOW app to be useful where you live, you may want to download another 7-Eleven app. 7Rewards is an app-based customer loyalty program that is now available on a wider range of eligible purchases. In general, store loyalty programs typically offer special discounts, sales, and digital coupons to users.

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Target Will Offer Same-Day Delivery

Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Target and Shipt logosTarget announced that it will acquire a company called Shipt, which is a same-day delivery company. This acquisition will make it possible for Target to offer customers same-day delivery in many of its stores. The process is being rolled out to individual Target stores in 2018.

In early 2018, Target will be able to offer same-day delivery in about half of their stores. Those stores will be able to offer same-day delivery of groceries, essentials, home products, electronics, and other products.

Target is aiming to make same-day delivery an option at the majority of its stores by the 2018 holiday season. Target’s goal is to offer same-day delivery on all of their major product categories by the end of 2019.

The purpose of offering same-day shipping is to make shopping at Target easier, more reliable, and more convenient. The company has already launched a few things that expand ship-from-store options.

Target Restock was expanded in August of 2017 to include Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver. Target Restock is an easier way for people to get their household essentials and groceries. Those who live in areas where Target Restock is available can take advantage of this next-day delivery service.

People who live in the Twin Cities area can make use of Drive Up. As of the Summer of 2017, Drive Up was offered for free at Target stores throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The service allows people to make a purchase on the Target Drive Up app, and have it ready for them when they arrive at the Target store. A Target worker will bring the items out to Drive Up customers, who are parked in designated areas.

Want to know if Shipt is available at from your local Target store? Visit the Shipt website to find out. If it is not yet available, you may want to check again in a few months. Where it is available, Shipt has an annual membership fee of $99. Those who have memberships with Shipt will be able to get same-day delivery services from their local Target store for the year.

Shipt makes sure that the same person who shops for a customer’s items is also the person who delivers those items to the customer. Shipt has a rating system that allows customers to give feed-back in real-time. Customers who rate a particular shopper highly are more likely to be paired up with them again.

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The Minimum Wage is Going Up in 2018

Posted on Monday, January 1st, 2018 at 5:09 pm
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moneyOne easy way to add to your savings account is to make more money. In 2018, people who are paid their state’s minimum wage will see that rate of pay go up. There are 18 states, and several cities and counties, that have decided to increase their minimum wage in 2018.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The Economic Policy Institute reported that at the beginning of 2018, 18 states will increase their minimum wage, providing over $5 billion in additional wages to 4.5 million workers across the United States. The Economic Policy Institute reports that the current federal minimum wage is too low. If it had kept up with productivity since the late 1960s, the federal minimum wage should be about $19 an hour in 2018.

Here is where the minimum wage will increase as of January 1, 2018:

Alaska – $9.84 (an increase of $0.04)

Arizona – $10.50 (an increase of $0.50)

California – $11.00 (an increase of $0.50) The $11.00 wage raise is for businesses with 26 or more employees. Businesses with 25 employees or fewer will offer $10.50 as minimum wage.

Colorado – $10.20 (an increase of $0.90)

Florida – $8.25 (an increase of $0.15)

Hawaii – $10.10 (an increase of $0.85)

Maine – $10.00 (an increase of $1.00)

Michigan – $9.25 (an increase of $0.35)

Minnesota – $9.65 (an increase of 0.15) The $9.65 wage raise is for businesses with annual gross revenue of $500,000 or more. The minimum wage will be $7.87 for businesses with annual gross income of less than $500,000.

Missouri – $7.85 (an increase of $0.15)

Montana – $8.30 (an increase of $0.15)

New Jersey – $8.60 (an increase of $0.16)

New York – $10.40 (an increase of $0.70) New York is complicated. The minimum wage will be $13.00 for New York City businesses with 11 or more employees. It will be $12.00 for standard New York City businesses with 10 or fewer employees. It will be $11.00 for standard workers in Long Island and Westchester. It will be $10.40 for standard workers in the rest of New York State. Fast food workers in New York City will have a minimum wage of $13.50. Fast food workers in the rest of the state of New York will have a wage of $11.75.

Ohio – $8.30 (an increase of $0.15)

Rhode Island – $10.10 (an increase of $0.50)

South Dakota – $8.85 (an increase of $0.20)

Vermont – $10.50 (an increase of $0.50)

Washington – $11.50 (an increase of $0.50)

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Tips for Saving Money in the New Year

Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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downloadThe end of the year, and the promise of the new year ahead, inspires many people to make changes. One popular resolution is to save money. Try some of these tips for saving money in the new year.

* Which of your credit cards, or loans, has the highest interest rate? Focus on putting a little extra money towards paying down that debt. In other words, pay more than is asked for. Getting rid of that debt will take time, but is worth it. Paying it off frees up money that can be put in your savings account.

* There is an alternative approach. Focus on the credit card or loan that is the smallest amount of the debt you owe. Pay back more than the minimum each month. Chipping away at that small debt won’t take as long as paying off the bigger ones. Getting rid of a small debt can motivate you to work on getting rid of other debt.

* Cook your meals at home instead of dining out. Doing this forces you to use up your groceries before they go bad. If the groceries go in the garbage – you wasted your money! For convenience, make several large meals that can be frozen in individual portions. Those can be quickly heated up as needed.

* Compare prices before you make a purchase. One store is going to be selling that item for less than the other stores are. For best results, wait for a sale (that will bring the cost down more).

* Those techniques can be used on anything, but are especially effective on groceries. Check the store’s weekly paper to see what is on sale. Collect coupons that the store will accept. Get the store’s loyalty card for extra discounts.

* Start a savings account (if you don’t already have one). Set up an automatic transfer of $25 a week to go directly into your savings account. You can pick a higher amount if you are able. Over time, that little bit of savings can add up. Pick a specific goal to save for, like a nice vacation. Don’t take that money out of savings until you reach the goal.

* Walk instead of drive. This trick works best for people who live in places where the weather is generally nice all year round. It helps if you live in a place that is small or that has lots of nearby places to shop. Walking is a good way to get some exercise, and it saves you the expense of burning gas and paying for parking.

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How to Lower Your Heating Bill

Posted on Monday, December 18th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Winter SKinWinter weather makes people want to bundle up before going outside – and to keep their homes nice and warm. In many parts of the United States, it gets dangerously cold, and there is no choice other than to spend money on heat. This causes people’s heating bills to rise. If you are struggling, here are some potential resources that could lower your heating bill.

Seek Help from Your State
Benefits.Gov has a page dedicated to energy assistance programs. Every state is listed in alphabetical order. Each state has its own energy assistance program, and there is a button you can click to find out more details about them.

The majority of the programs on that website are to help low-income people cope with the high cost of home energy. Their titles might say “low-income”, or “weatherization”, or “heating assistance”. Your family might, potentially, qualify for help with your heating bill.

Try a Federal Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. LIHEAP provides federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, and weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.

Benefits.Gov has details about the general program requirements for LIHEAP. There is a chart with two columns: Household size, and Maximum Income Level (Per Year). In order to qualify for LIHEAP, you, or your family, must have an annual household income below those amounts.

Wrap Up in Layers
There are some simple and inexpensive tricks you can try that may help you keep warm at home. Some of these methods have been used for decades! Put flannel sheets on your beds. Add an extra comforter, or get an electric blanket. Wear warm socks to bed. Wear a winter hat while you sleep. The hat will help prevent you from losing heat.

During the day, wear a sweater or hoodie to stay warm. Doing so might make you comfortable enough to be able to avoid turning up the heat. The sweater you already have is free – and can help you save money on your heating bill.

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Five Ways to Make Christmas Less Expensive

Posted on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Christmas treeAre you still paying off bills from last Christmas? Is your budget tighter this year than it was last year? Those situations can make it difficult to make it through the holidays. Here are five ways to make Christmas less expensive.

Get an Artificial Tree
A real Christmas tree will last for one Christmas season – if you put in effort to take care of it. Buy one too early, or forget to give it water, and you could find yourself having to throw it away and buy another one before Christmas Eve. Next year, you have to spend more money on a real tree.

An artificial tree is inexpensive, especially if you buy one a few days before Christmas or the week after. You pay once for the artificial tree, and it will last for years. Store it away carefully, and you will never need to buy a tree ever again!

Set a Budget
You can make Christmas less expensive by setting a limit on the total amount you will spend overall. Stretch that budget by shopping during sales, using coupons, and taking advantage of discounts offered to members or to those who have the store’s credit card. Use codes that lower the cost of shipping.

Limit the Number or Cost of Gifts
Another way to set a limit is to get together with your family members and make an agreement. Promise to buy only one gift for each person this year. Or, set a dollar amount that they can spend on each person. This enables them to buy someone a slightly more pricey gift, or several inexpensive ones. Everyone can save money without feeling like a “cheapskate”.

Use What You Already Have
Before you buy new Christmas decorations, take the time to find out what you already have. Ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, and other decorations can be used for several years in a row. Take an inventory and put a list of things you already have onto your smartphone. Refer to it before you buy more.

Shop the Dollar Stores
Do you need to replace a broken set of Christmas lights? Does your decorated tree look a little bit bare? Shop at your local dollar store and see what they have. What you need will cost less at the dollar stores than if you bought the same items from a department store.

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Ways to Save on Shipping Costs

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Gift MoneyPeople tend to spend a lot of money during the holiday season. Shopping online could come with expensive shipping costs. It can also be costly to purchase items from local stores and then try and ship them yourself. Here are a few ways to save on the shipping.

Use a Discount Code
The first thing you should do when shopping online is look for a discount code. Many companies will post codes that lower the cost of shipping on their website. Make sure to check if that discount shipping code is for all items or if it only for specific items.

Do you have the store’s credit card? It’s possible that card holders might get a discount on shipping. You might have to look around their frequently asked questions section to find out.

Have it Shipped to Store
Not every store will do this, but there are some that offer this convenience to customers. First, call the store and make sure that they allow customers to make a purchase from their website and have it shipped to the store. If so, then ask them how they let customers know that their item arrived at the store.

Visit the store’s website, put the items you want to buy in the cart, and make sure to let the website know which store you want it shipped to. The store will pick up the cost of shipping. All you need to do is remember to go to the store and get your items.

Bring the Gift With You
Will you be hanging out with friends and family members in person this holiday season? Wrap up their present and bring the gift with you. This is a good way to avoid shipping costs on items that you bought locally. Your friend or family member can choose to open the gift immediately, or to bring it home and open it there.

Have the Store Ship the Gift
Some stores will offer a special service during the holidays. If you buy items from their website, they will wrap it for you. Tell the store to ship the item to your loved one directly. This works well for people who absolutely hate wrapping gifts. It also solves the problem of buying something online, and paying for shipping costs, and then paying for shipping costs a second time after you wrap the gift and have to mail out.

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How to Make an Auto Accident Less Expensive

Posted on Monday, November 27th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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downloadMost people try and be careful while they are driving. They pay attention to traffic lights and stop signs, slow down at school crosswalks, and give their full attention to the road ahead of and beside them. Unfortunately, auto accidents can still happen. Here’s a few ways to make an auto accident less expensive.

Put Away Your Phone
Before you start your vehicle, put your phone into your purse, bag, or the glove compartment. Make it impossible for you to access your phone while you are driving. This is a good way to avoid distractions while you are driving. The best way to make an auto accident less expensive is to entirely avoid the accident!

Get Car Insurance Coverage
In many states, all drivers are required to purchase car insurance coverage coverage. You may already have coverage. It is a good idea to take the time to contact your car insurance company and make sure the policy you purchased still fits your needs.

Car insurance makes it easier for you to deal with an auto accident. Your car insurance company will use their expertise to handle the claims process, to work with the other driver, and to help you find a car repair shop.

In some cases, car insurance can supplement your health insurance. It might be able to cover some of the things that your health insurance will not cover after an accident happens. This could include dental work, care for accident-related injuries, or extended nursing care during your rehabilitation.

Carry Your Important Information
You should always carry your driver’s license with you when you get behind the wheel. Put a copy of your car insurance card and registration in your vehicle. Ask your car insurance company if they have a way for you to download an accessible copy of your car insurance onto your smartphone (via an app).

Those items will make it easier for you to access important information after an auto accident happens. In addition, you should contact your car insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner you call, the more likely it is that they can start working on your claim.

Use your smartphone to take photos of any damage that occurred as a result of the accident. Those photos can act as proof of what happened. Those photos will be useful as your car insurance claim is processed, and also if a lawsuit happens after the accident.

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