Entries Tagged as 'Money Saving'

Shopping Tips for Black Friday

You’re probably familiar with the shopping frenzy that follows Thanksgiving Day – Black Friday, which falls on 29th November 2013 this year. As the first official day to start shopping for Christmas, you have probably encountered not only the great deals available on the day but also the mad rush in stores.

In fact Black Friday is often described as the busiest shopping day of the year so it follows that retailers and marketers want to sweeten the deal and make it all the more appealing to shoppers to make purchases on the day. Here are some tips to get the best out of your Black Friday shopping experiences:

Make a list – this is actually a no brainer, but surprisingly few among us bother to make a list or remember to stick to it. Impulse shopping or shopping without a plan will mean that you end up getting a lot of stuff that you don’t need – stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now seems like a dead loss. Also without a list you will end up forgetting to buy the important stuff and may then regret having let Black Friday pass you buy.

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Do You Make These Common Shopping Mistakes?

Shopping is an art – I firmly believe this. You should have an eye for good deals and understand what good value for money is. I also believe that I have this quality – why else would so many people enviously tell me “I never get the deals that you seem to find” and so many of my friends take me along for shopping expeditions? My best friend in fact calls me her “lucky shopping mascot”! My point is, you can shop smart too – just avoid these common shopping mistakes:

  1. Not shopping around – Shop around; especially for the big ticket items like home appliances or designer wear. Compare prices in different stores, check online and then decide what to buy and when.
  2. Not making a list – make a list and don’t make impulse purchases. To the extent possible follow that list and try not to buy stuff simply because it seems like a good deal in bulk.
  3. Buying TV dinners – Don’t buy pre-prepared meals. They may be convenient and in an emergency they may be fine. But on a regular basis they are a drain on your pocket when compared with the cost of cooking yourself. They are also terribly unhealthy, loaded as they are with preservatives, fat, sugar, salt and artificial flavors.
  4. Buying crates of soda – No one needs to have soda – seriously there is no reason to consume those fizzy beverages packed with empty calories. They are quite simply a waste of money. If possible leave the sodas off your shopping list altogether but if you feel you need to have some of the stuff once in a while, get a bottle or two home.  [Read more →]

Top Things You Should Always Buy Used

You know I am this discount loving soul and I wait for things to go on sale before I let myself wrap my greedy little fingers around them. So since I have this predilection towards not paying the sticker price for things, I also tend to favor the idea of buying gently used pre-owned – used, secondhand stuff. And here’s my list of things that I feel one must buy second hand; in some cases, only secondhand:

  1. A home – A majority of us are never going to be able to afford to build a home of our choice and to our specifications. Best to look around and buy what someone else built. You may end up getting freebies such as furniture, a concept kitchen, additional woodwork etc with the home.
  2. Baby clothes – Children outgrow stuff so darn quickly it makes sense to use hand-me-downs. However beware of using used car seats, cribs and other safety equipment – it may not be equipped with the latest safety features and may be damaged by prior use.
  3. Car – Thoroughly perform all checks beforehand, but buy a used car. A car’s value depreciates the minute you drive it out the first time. And buy a used car particularly if you have fancy tastes in cars – else how will you ever afford the Beemer or the Merc?
  4. Designer clothing – The sticker price for new designer clothing is usually so obscenely highly that used designer togs are all you should opt for. [Read more →]

The Art of Window Shopping

window shopping benefits

Window shopping is defined as browsing products just for fun, or with the intent to buy them at some later date.  For me it is often therapeutic. I adore window shopping. It is a stress buster and a terrific way to spend time with a good friend.  I also like to look at things in stores and look at the window dressing – they give me ideas to make the best use of what I have. It also helps me find the best deals around.

Window shopping is time well spent

One of the things I enjoy most as a way to spend my leisure time is a good, long mall crawl. I call up a good friend who is similarly inclined, we make a date and we push off. We look at the latest trends, admire some of the really good window displays, laugh at some of the more outlandish stuff, and generally have a good time. This is a goodish workout even though we don’t realize it. We then head over to the food court for a well earned latte or a snack.

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Save Money While Traveling

Travel saving tipsI always say, my main reason for wanting to be rich is so I can travel. Traveling is a passion, but even there I would like to save money if I can. Here are some ways to save money when traveling; many of which I live by when I travel:

  1. Drive there. If your holiday destination isn’t that far, drive to it. Not only will you enjoy the drive, you can stop where and when you want and enjoy great flexibility. When you arrive at your destination, you don’t need to hire a cab or bother about hotel transfers. Grab a map or your GPS and you’re ready to roll!  [Read more →]

Online Prices v/s In-Store Retail

retail or online purchaseThe Internet has introduced many things to modern society, but nothing has had more of an impact than the ability to shop online. With just a few keystrokes, a person can enter into a shopper’s paradise, purchasing things that they need or want, at any time of day. The convenience of online shopping has made it very desirable. This convenience has also made it very easy to make larger purchases.

The question of the day, however, is purchasing online always the best deal? The answer is yes and no.

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Couture on a Budget

couture labelsThe world of high fashion is a complicated place. Artistic creations boasting six-inch shoulder pads, aluminum petticoats and any number of other unconventional details dominate the runways of many top designers.

While the artsy end of the fashion spectrum might not appeal to those shopping for an everyday look, the designers behind these clothes are in high demand, with even casual shoppers yearning for the top brands.

Unfortunately, most designer clothing comes with price tags out of reach for the common shopper. For the industrious bargain hunter willing to put in just a little more effort, however, there are ways to either make it or fake it to score the name brand look.

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From Engagement to Wedding: Cut the Costs, Not the Joys

wedding engagementYou can have a memorable engagement and wedding without ending up in debt. With some sensible planning and firm resolve, you can have unforgettable events you’d love to tell your grandchildren in the future.

The great danger of overspending is always hanging above every couple in every engagement or wedding. Since you’re in love and your feelings are on a high, you’d feel you want all the nicest things in the world – no matter what the cost. And the morning after the wedding, you’ll realise you’ve made some of the biggest financial mistakes of your life.

Before you make any of those errors, here are some suggestions on major aspects of engagements and weddings that can help you avoid getting into any financial fix and still have a happy celebration.

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Get the Best Out of Your Credit Card

Regular readers know that I am wary of plastic and usually go around telling people (and readers) to eschew buying stuff on credit. While I stick to my position and reiterate that credit cards are just a way for financial institutions to make money, they can be quite useful if used the right way.

credit card safe useVery often, credit cards are just too convenient to avoid especially now during the shopping holiday season – for instance there is a really good deal you’re getting but you don’t have ready cash at that very time. And I have to grudgingly admit; credit cards can also mean savings in some cases. So here’s what you can do to get the best out of your credit card:

  1. Credit card companies offer many blandishments to lure you into using plastic. Find out about and utilize reward points, frequent flyer miles, sign up bonuses, and cash-backs that are offered by your credit card company. Sign up bonuses can offer between $50 and $250 and you can get between 1 and 5% cash back on purchases. [Read more →]

Top 10 Money Saving Mantras to Live By

Economizing is a smart way to live. It is not a confession that you have less – it is actually facilitating; ensuring that you have more! I live by some of these simple but smart rules which increase my resources and let me do more with my money:

  1. Energy saving is a mantra that I live by daily. I switch off lights and appliances when I leave a room. I cycle or walk wherever possible. When I drive, I try and see that I get the best out of my fuel. I try and save water, fuel and electricity wherever possible – I feel good about it, and save myself a lot of money.
  2. Shopping around to find the best bargains. If you don’t need something urgently, take your time looking online and elsewhere to find the best deals.
  3. Never buy on credit what I cannot afford. If I know that I will be able to pay the credit card bill when it arrives, I will buy it, else I will not. A simple rule that keeps me out of debt.
  4. Warehouse shopping may not be a glamorous way to shop but it is a smart way to shop, which saves me big bucks. [Read more →]