8 Tips that Will Help You Save On a New Car

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Shopping for a new car is both an exciting and stressful process. So many questions start running through your head as you do all of the necessary planning to make your new car dreams a reality. Whether this is the first new car that you’re buying on your own or your fifth, these tips will help you get the best deal possible.

Know What You Can Afford

Knowing how much you can afford to pay will guide you throughout the research process. You should know what monthly payment you can afford before getting attached to a vehicle that is outside of your budget.

You should also factor in cost of ownership when estimating your monthly car expenses. Factors that you should consider include how much you’ll pay for insurance, gas and vehicle maintenance each month.

Do Your Research

Once you know how much you can afford to pay, you’re ready to start researching cars. Compare a variety of different vehicles within your pre-determined price range and avoid letting emotion influence your decision if possible. You also want to read reviews of each vehicle you’re considering and you should look into how much each vehicle costs to maintain.

When Is the Best Time to Buy?

Knowing the best time to buy can save you a lot when they bring you the final bill. Traditionally, the best time to purchase a new car is the last week of December, as dealers will be working furiously to reduce their stock from the current model year.

If you’re looking to buy a brand new model, wait a few months for prices to drop. Dealers charge more for a new model until their inventory increases.

Get Pre-Approved for an Auto Loan

It may seem like a hassle, but securing financing for your new car before you even step on the lot can save you a lot of money. If you put work into getting approved for a loan ahead of time, you could receive an interest rate that is a couple of points lower than what the dealer may offer. Check with an area credit union to see what interest rate you could qualify for—they’ll be able to walk you through the process with ease.

Call Ahead

Once you have narrowed down which cars you want to look at and have found a suitable dealer, you should call ahead or submit a request online to see the car that you’re interested in. By doing this, you will provide the sales team with ample time to get the cars out and ready to test drive.

Take Advantage of the Test Drive

When you take a car out on a test drive, make sure that you see how the car performs in a variety of different settings. Drive it on the highway and in traffic. You should also see how the vehicle handles while parking. Be sure that you have the mirrors and seats set to your specifications to get a good idea of how the car feels.

You should also ask the salesperson to show you how all of the bells and whistles work. Knowing what you’re getting for your money is a key part of the test drive.

Don’t Fall to Pressure

Don’t believe a salesperson when they tell you that a deal comes with a time limit. Unless the deal is tied to a specific sale or promotion, they are trying to get you to make a snap decision without considering all of the facts.

Additionally, if the salesperson offers a different car to you than what you had planned on getting, make sure that you go home and do your research before agreeing to take the deal. You need to know what you’re agreeing to before saying yes.

Time to Negotiate

When it comes time to negotiate the price of your car, make sure that you’re negotiating on the full price of the vehicle, not your monthly payment. Otherwise, the salesperson will know what they can tack on to the price of the vehicle to reach the maximum you’re willing to pay for the car each month. If you’re trading in your vehicle, make sure that you know how much you can expect to receive for your trade-in so that you’re not surprised by their offer.

For additional information on negotiating, use these tactics to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Take the Guesswork Out of Shopping for a New Car

By using these tips, you’ll be sure to take the guesswork out of car shopping. What tips can you share to make shopping for a new car more manageable?

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8 Car Maintenance Myths that Are Costing You Money

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Due to technological advancements, cars built within the last several years don’t require the same level of service as cars that were built 30 years ago. If you are a car owner, you have certainly received a lot of unsolicited advice from a few well-meaning individuals looking to help you keep your car in good condition. If you’re not sure what advice to take, we’ve compiled a list of myths and related facts that should help you distinguish reality from fiction.

Myth #1: You Must Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles

Unless you’re pulling a trailer, driving through the mountains or a dusty climate, or you start and stop a lot while driving, you only need to change your oil every 7,500 miles. Otherwise, you’re just throwing your money out the window on unnecessary service.

Myth #2: You Need a Tuneup Every 60,000 Miles

Tuneups have become unnecessary as manufacturers continue to improve the construction of the vehicles we purchase. In the past, tuneups were needed in order to change the spark plugs, rotors and points, as well as distributor caps. Now, spark plugs last around 100,000 miles, cars don’t come with rotors and points, and most don’t even come with distributor caps.

Myth #3: Keep Chassis Lubricated

If your car was made within the last couple decades, then you do not need to lubricate the chassis. Ignore any mechanic who tells you otherwise—they are only in it for the money.

Myth #4: Flush Your Coolant Every Fall and Spring

These days, coolant—also known as antifreeze—is made to last around five years, which eliminates the need to flush your cooling system twice a year. However, you should keep an eye out for decreases in coolant levels, as this may be a sign of a leak.

Myth #5: Flush Transmission Regularly

Modern transmission systems do not need to be flushed prior to reaching 60,000 miles. If your transmission has a filter, check your owner’s manual to see how often it should be replaced.

Myth #6: Premium Gas is the Best Gas

Most cars do not require premium gas—it is perfectly alright to fuel up with gas that has an octane of 87. Higher octane fuels are designed for high-compression engines that run hotter than your everyday vehicle. While higher octane fuel won’t hurt your vehicle, it does not provide any real value and costs you more money.

Also, keep in mind that fuel injectors are not necessary unless your vehicle’s manufacturer says so. Gasoline is required to have detergents in it that keep your car’s fuel injectors and combustion chambers clean. If your car is running rough, it is likely because of another issue.

Myth #7: You Need to Inflate Tires to the Amount Listed on the Tire Sidewall

The numbers listed on the sidewall of your tires is the maximum amount of pressure that the tires can safely handle. The recommended amount of pressure in pounds per square inch should be listed on the sticker in your glove compartment, inside your fuel door or on your driver’s side door jamb. By using the amount listed in these places, you will avoid unnecessary wear and tear to your tires.

Myth #8: You Must Get Service Done at the Dealer to Keep Warranty Valid

You need to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for your warranty to remain valid. The dealer will recommend additional service so that you will spend more money at their establishment. You can take your vehicle to an independent mechanic or perform the maintenance yourself. Your warranty will remain valid as long as you keep records of the work performed. Remember, it is important to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for changing your oil and air filter in order to ensure that your warranty remains valid.

Always Consult Your Handbook

Knowing which advice to follow can be frustrating, but it is possible to keep your car in good shape without overspending by doing your research and consulting the owner’s handbook provided by the manufacturer.

What false vehicle maintenance advice have you received?

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Personal Finance Tips for Every Stage of Your Life

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Your age makes a big difference when it comes to your personal finance goals and what you should do to reach them. Knowing what to focus on at each stage of your life is important to ensuring that you remain financially stable. Regardless of your financial goals, the following tips will keep you on track throughout each life stage.

Twenties: Building a Solid Financial Foundation

Finishing college and figuring out where you want to live may be on the top of your list, but don’t forget to keep your finances in mind as your forge your own path.

  • Develop your personal finance knowledge.
  • Create a budget and track expenses.
  • Start saving for retirement—take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) offering.
  • Start paying down your student loan debt.
  • Build your credit by managing your credit cards responsibly.
  • Start saving for a rainy day.
  • Make money on the side by freelancing.

Thirties: Achieving Financial Goals

Your career is in full swing and starting a family may be a high priority. Make sure that you continue to make progress towards paying down your debt.

  • Save up to buy a house (if you haven’t already!).
  • Set money aside for expenses that come with having children.
  • Create your investment portfolio with the help of a certified financial planner.
  • Pay off your non-mortgage debt and plan to have your student loans paid off by 40.
  • Keep enough in your emergency fund to cover 6–12 months of expenses.
  • Make sure your budget matches your financial goals.
  • Write your will and keep it updated.

Forties: Investing Aggressively

Retirement is not as far off as your may think. Keep your investments in line with your retirement goals.

  • Invest with retirement in mind.
  • Evaluate your progress with your financial planner.
  • Keep your credit cards paid off and reduce any remaining debt.
  • Max out your employer benefits and watch your 401(k) grow.
  • Make the maximum contributions to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

Fifties: Keeping Your Eye on the Prize

Retirement is on the horizon. It’s time to eliminate your remaining debt so that you can retire as soon as you possibly can.

  • Pay off your mortgage to avoid working longer.
  • Diversify your investments to reduce financial risk.
  • Get out of debt completely.
  • Reduce financial commitments.
  • Continue to max out your employer benefits.
  • Start planning when you want to retire.

Sixties: Moving On

It’s almost time to retire. Make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row before your last day on the job.

  • Know how long your retirement savings will last.
  • Evaluate whether or not you will need a part-time job when your retire.
  • Sell any remaining assets you don’t need.
  • Create your retirement budget.
  • Make any necessary long-term health care plans and evaluate whether or not you need to supplement Medicare coverage.
  • Review social security benefits.
  • Make plans for the transfer of your business if you pass away.
  • Keep your will updated.

Regardless of your life goals, you need to have a plan for managing your finances so that you are taken care of throughout your life. What are your doing to reach your financial goals?

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6 Essential Tips for Retirement Success

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Most people don’t spend enough time planning for retirement even though it’s essential to ensuring their financial well-being in their later years. Some people spend months—even years—planning their weddings, but hardly give a thought to what retirement means for them. If you’ve been putting off retirement planning, here are a few things that you need to consider in order to make sure that you’re taken care of when you’re older.

Start Saving Now

If you haven’t started saving for retirement, start now so that you’re in the best possible situation the day you retire. If your employer offers 401(k) matching, take advantage of it, but make sure that you know the terms of their program. Putting off saving for retirement can cost you thousands of dollars when you could really use it.

Still need to be convinced about the importance of saving early? Check out this calculator to see how 5 years can make a difference when it comes to saving for retirement.

How Much Will You Need?

Knowing how much you’ll need for retirement can be a guessing game if you don’t know where to start. Most people need to earn 70–90% of their preretirement income in order to maintain their standard of living. You should also keep in mind that most Americans spend approximately 20 years in retirement.

When calculating how much you will be able to save for retirement, remember that you may not work full-time throughout your career, you may not always make as much as you make now, and your salary may not rise as much as you expect it to over the course of your working years. Keeping the estimate of what you can save on the conservative side will decrease the number of surprises that you may encounter down the line.

Social Security

Remember, you should delay collecting social security as long as possible. Most people are eligible for social security as early as 62, but delaying to 66 or even 70 will increase your monthly payouts in a meaningful way.

To learn more about your social security benefits, contact the Social Security Administration.

Meet with a Financial Advisor

Going to a professional might alleviate some of the concerns that you have about planning for retirement. A financial advisor will assess whether or not you have the appropriate mix of stocks, bonds and savings while addressing any other financial concerns that you may have.

Downsize

If the kids have long since moved out and their bedrooms have remained empty, you might consider selling your home for a less-expensive option. Downsizing to a smaller home might free up some extra cash for your retirement savings and will allow you to purchase a home that will be easier to maintain as you age.

What Does Retirement Look Like for You

As you get closer to retirement, start planning for the day that you want to retire and address any matters that you need to before then. You’ll need to know how much you expect make each month and what your monthly expenses will be. Determine whether or not you’ll need to work and how much. If you don’t plan on working, what will your days look like? Going from working full-time to having your daily schedule wide open can be a major adjustment.

Whether retirement is decades away or just around the corner, these tips will help you navigate the transition to retirement seamlessly.

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5 Easy Ways to Save Money on School Supplies

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Are you pulling your hair out in anticipation of your quest to find affordable school supplies for your kids? Don’t fret! There’s still hope for you. Use these tips and you should come out on the other end of this back-to-school madness relatively unscathed.

Inventory Time

Before you head to the store or look elsewhere online, search around your house to see which supplies you already have that you can reuse, including glue, pens and pencils. Leave no stone unturned while looking for supplies—every nook and cranny may hold something that your kids can use.

Budget

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on school supplies ahead of time and stick to that amount. Before you head to the store, explain to your kids how much money they have available to spend so that they can learn the importance of a budget. You can also explain that if they want something that will put them over budget, then they can pay for it with their own funds.

Stick to Your List

Once you have the supply list for your kids’ schools, you should commit to only getting those items. Don’t buy more than what is listed, as you will certainly be wasting money by doing so.

Where to Shop

Big box stores, including Walmart, should have what you need at reasonable prices. If you know some of the other parents at your kids’ schools, then ask them if they would like to split supplies from bulk retailers— such as Costco and Sam’s Club—so that everyone can save. Don’t be afraid to check out the dollar store, too! Their office supply section is sure to have what you need.

You should also visit your local thrift store and Craigslist for gently used backpacks. Visit eBay to find high-end backpacks at more reasonable prices.

Discounts

Who wants to pay full price for school supplies? If possible, wait until the rush for school supplies dies down and buy them on clearance. On a similar note, if you buy school supplies throughout the year when they are on sale, you can save money on next year’s round of supplies. It may be a weekend of madness, but shopping for school supplies during tax-free weekend will also help you save some money.

You can use student IDs, including K–12 IDs, to save on required software. Also, don’t forget to follow big box retailers’ social media pages for exclusive discounts and coupons.

Share Your Tips

How have you saved money by shopping for supplies online? Share your successes below.

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How to Pick a Credit Card that’s Right for You

Everyone has their own specific needs when it comes to credit cards. Whether it’s your first credit card or your fifth, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each card in relation to what you need when searching for a new one. Here’s what you need to keep in mind while doing your research:

Your Credit Score

In general, it’s essential that you know your credit score and are aware of what information is on your credit report. Your credit score is a good indicator of what cards you may qualify for, which allows you to narrow your focus when researching. You can access your free yearly report here. If you want to access your credit information more often, visit Credit Karma for regularly updated information on your credit history.

Your Needs

Establishing what you want from a credit card is essential to narrowing down which card is right for you. Keep this information in mind when making your selection:

  • Rewards cards are better for those who are planning to use their card for everyday purchases and will pay off the balance every month because they usually come with higher interest rates.
  • If you are paying off multiple credit cards, you should look for a card that is suited for balance transfers. These cards allow you to consolidate your credit card debt and offer an introductory APR of 0%, which typically lasts for a year and a half, allowing you to pay off your credit card debt faster.
  • For those who are looking for a credit card that will be used exclusively for emergencies, a card with low interest and no fees will work just fine.

How Do You Plan to Pay Down Your Balance?

Keep in mind how you plan to pay down your balance when doing your research. If you are going to pay off your balance each month, then a rewards card should work for you. The interest rate won’t really make a difference on this card since you won’t carry a balance. If you plan on carrying a balance, you should get a card with a low interest rate so that your monthly payments will be as low as possible.

Balance and Interest

You need to know whether the interest rate for your prospective credit card is fixed or variable, as this will affect your monthly payments. Keep in mind that your credit card provider can change a fixed rate—they just need to let you know ahead of time!

You should also be aware of whether or not there is an introductory rate for your card. By law, that rate will remain in effect for at least 6 months. After that, your provider is allowed to increase the rate. You need to be aware of whether or not this applies to your credit card so that you are not surprised by an increase in your monthly bill.

The method your credit card provider uses to calculate your balance is important to know before signing up. Most cards use the average daily balance method. This method works by adding up all of the daily balances from a given billing period and then dividing the total by the number of days in the billing period. You don’t want a card that uses two billing periods to calculate the balance because your finance fees will be higher.

Time to Pick Your Card

Once you have defined your needs, you should be able to narrow down the list of cards that are right for you. Compare the attributes of the finalists to each other—including the fine print—and make sure that the card fits your unique lifestyle. This chart is a useful resource that will help you quickly compare credit cards that you may be interested in.

Questions to Ask Before Signing Up

Asking the right questions is a good way to make sure that you know everything about your card. Before applying, make sure that you know the answers to these questions:

  • How is the balance calculated?
  • Will the provider ever reduce or revoke rewards?
  • Will specific types of transactions be used against you to increase your interest rate or lower your credit limit?
  • How do I remove a cosigner?
  • What are the penalties for missing a payment?

By doing proper research, you should be able to find the credit card that will allow you to build your credit and achieve your financial goals.

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How to Make Money by Selling Your Stuff Online

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Strapped for cash or drowning in piles of unused items? There are a variety of ways that you can sell used goods and services online that will help you remove that extra clutter around the house and grow your bank account.

Jewelry

Going to the pawn shop is not the most pleasant of experiences and it’s hard to know whether or not you are getting a fair deal. Luckily, the internet is here to save the day. Try selling old jewelry on ExBoyfriendJewelry.com. You can list the price that you want to receive for the item without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Craigslist

We would be remiss not to mention Craigslist, the tried and true website for selling your stuff online. If you have baby accessories, clothes, appliances, and electronics lying around the house, bust out your camera, snap some pictures and start listing them on your city’s Craigslist page.

Remember, you should always be cautious when buying and selling on Craigslist. Use these tips to help safeguard you from any potential risks.

Gift Cards

Did you receive a gift card that you don’t see yourself using? Sell it online for some extra cash that you know you can put to good use. Websites like CardCash or Cardpool allow users to sell their unused gift cards to those who will be happy to use them. Typically, sellers can earn up to 92% of the card’s value.

Creative Services

Promote your creative services online using Fiverr. From copywriting and graphic design work to animation and programming, Fiverr is able to connect you with organizations who need your expertise.

If you’re looking for some extra experience as a photographer, try selling your work to various stock photo sites, such as 123RF. How exciting would it be if your work ended up on a company’s website or brochure?

Get Crafty

Are you known as the crafty one in your circle? Then, you should consider opening your own Etsy shop. There are many people around the world who would love to pay you for your work. So, bust out that glue gun and bask in the glory that comes with being a top Etsy shop owner.

Books

If you have piles of extra books and no room for larger bookshelves, you can always sell your books online. The infamous Amazon.com is always a good resource, or you can use AbeBooks or Powell’s to sell your old books to someone who can experience the magic of reading them for the first time.

DVDs, CDs, and Video Games

Not planning on re-watching some of your old DVDs or playing that video game that you already beat five times? Then, look into selling them on Decluttr. The process is simple: enter the product’s information, mail it to Decluttr for free and then receive your money by check or direct deposit. Seems easy enough, right?

Old Electronics

What do you do with those old cell phones and tablets when you upgrade to a newer model? If you don’t plan on using them again, visit Gazelle.com to sell old Apple, Samsung and other major brand’s devices to someone who will give them a new life. It’s better than letting your old devices go to ruin in your closet.

Musical Instruments

Have an old guitar or amp that you no longer need? Did your kids leave behind instruments when they went off to college? You don’t need to let old musical instruments collect dust. Sell them online using Music Go Round, Reverb or Lonely Instruments.

Be Safe

You should always be careful when buying and selling online. Read each website’s safety tips before listing anything so that you can avoid being the victim of a scam.

Selling goods and services online is a great way to make some extra cash to pay down debts or build your savings or an emergency fund. What websites have you used to make some extra money on the side?

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Plan a Party Without Breaking the Bank

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Throwing a fun yet affordable party can be quite the balancing act. It’s hard not to overspend when you want to show your guests an amazing time. Luckily, we’ve put together this list of tips that will actually save you money when you throw your next party.

Food

Food tends to be the biggest expense for most parties, but there are ways to get around spending too much on food. Try keeping the menu simple by serving small appetizers. If you don’t hold your party during meal times, then there will be no need to plan a large meal to keep everyone satisfied. Additionally, if you buy in bulk and use ingredients that you already have on hand, you should be able to save a pretty penny.

You might consider hosting a potluck, as well. You could even pitch it as a way for guests to swap recipes and show off their cooking skills. Just be sure you keep track of the types of dishes everyone is bringing so that there isn’t too much overlap. You can also mix things up by throwing a breakfast or brunch party since breakfast foods typically cost less money.

Invites

Sending out eye-catching invitations is key to keeping attendance up, but there’s no need to break the bank over party invitations. There are many websites that offer free invitation printables that allow you to make your own invites. With a little time and effort, you can save big on invitations.

If you’re not up for paper invites, sending invitations online may be right for you. These days, most people are online, so sending out an Evite or Facebook event invitation should allow you to effectively spread the word about your party. You can always send a paper invitation to those who are not online.

Don’t forget to add a personal touch to your invites—paper or digital—so that the invitees feel that you truly want them to join you.

Decorations and Dishes

Creating the right mood with your decorations can add up quickly, so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and make your own decorations. Pinterest is a magical place chock full of information on how to make your own party decorations, among many, many other crafts. If you’re nervous about making your decorations, keep it simple for your first try and start early so that you’re not cutting too close to the day of the event.

If you start looking around early enough, you should be able to find some nice decorations on clearance. Start looking a month or two in advance. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to look for discounted decorations—it might not work in your favor. You can also stock up on seasonal decorations after the holidays and store them until next year.

If you’re in need of extra dishes and serving platters, check out Goodwill or area garage sales.You might find some vintage dishes that will be quite the crowd pleaser. There’s no need to spend too much on dishes you don’t plan on using regularly.

Share Your Tips

Trying to keep your bill low while planning a party may sound like a lot of work, but it also gives you a chance to get creative and make a party that is truly your own.

Show off your money-saving skills by sharing your tips for party planning on a budget below. We would love to hear about what has worked for you!

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What to Buy at the Dollar Store

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If saving money is one of your priorities, then you should check out your local dollar store and take advantage of the great deals that can be found there. However, not all items will be up to snuff, so we’ve researched the types of products that should consider on your next trip.

Decorations

Decorating can be expensive, especially when another holiday rolls around. If you’re looking for seasonal décor for your home or office, you should check out what the dollar store has to offer. You are sure to find some beautiful decorations for a fraction of the price. Additionally, if you’re in the market for votive candles or picture frames, see what the dollar store has before choosing more expensive options.

Gifting

Wrapping paper, greeting cards and everything else that goes into making your gift look amazing can be rather pricey. Ditch the major retailers’ options for more affordable ones by stopping at your local dollar store. You should find a variety of attractive alternatives that the recipient will love.

Kids

Overspending on items for your kids isn’t necessary when you can shop at the dollar store. Try purchasing the following items and you’ll notice immediate savings:

  • crafting materials,
  • hair accessories,
  • party supplies, and
  • toys, such as bubbles, bouncy balls, hula hoops, card games, glow sticks and puzzles.

Considering how often kids lose their toys and other accessories, it will save you money to purchase these items from the dollar store.

Get Organized

Getting organized can be an expensive process, but that doesn’t have to be the case for you. Give your dollar store’s organization and storage items a once over to see if they have anything that meets your needs.

You can also find a useful assortment of school and office supplies that should keep you organized. You can purchase poster boards, dividers, binder clips, tape, mailing supplies and file folders at your local dollar store.

Dishware

They may not be the fanciest of options, but they will certainly do the job. Buying dishware at the dollar store might be a good idea if you have kids, are planning a low-key party or if you are heading off to college. Another perk of buying dishware at the dollar store is that you don’t have to buy a whole set—you only have to buy what you need.

Books

If you are looking for the latest release, then shopping for books at the dollar store isn’t for you. However, they might have what you need if you are looking for the classics. Don’t forget to peruse the book section the next time you find yourself at the dollar store!

Cleaning Supplies

It’s no secret that cleaning supplies can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you need to pay too much for them. The dollar store has cleaning supplies that will certainly do the trick. You should also pick up some cleaning rags and dish towels while you’re at it.

Keep an Open Mind

Don’t be skeptical about everything at the dollar store—they have many products that more than serve their purpose. What have you bought from the dollar store that went above and beyond your expectations?

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How to Save Money While Shopping Online

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Online shopping can be a magical experience. It gives you the opportunity to purchase products that you are unable to find in your area—usually at a better price—and everything can be shipped directly to you, so you don’t even have to get off the couch. Knowing whether or not you’re getting the best deal is another matter. With so many options, it’s hard to be certain about whether or not you made the right decision. By using these tricks, you should be able to get the best deal on your next online purchase.

Shop Around

Thanks to Google, shopping around can be done in minutes, not hours or days. Once you have found a something you like, you should take a few minutes to search for it on Google in order to see how much various retailers are charging. This allows you to receive the best deal possible and read seller reviews, which are an important part of ensuring that you have found a good vendor.

It’s also important to compare the online price to the in-store price of a product from a specific retailer. Sometimes, the in-store price is lower. If your goal is to get the lowest price, then it would be best to compare prices and choose the least expensive item.

Shopping on Amazon? Since online prices notoriously fluctuate, check out CamelCamelCamel to view price history for a specific product and sign up for alerts so that you can estimate when it will be the right time to buy.

Coupons

Before purchasing an item online, you should search for coupon codes so that you can save some extra money. Try websites like CouponMom, Coupon Craze and, of course, RetailMeNot to find codes for retailers and service providers.

One helpful trick for those using multiple coupon codes on an order is to remember to use them in the order that will save you the most money. For example, if you have a coupon code for $10 off and one for 20% off, you should use the 20% off coupon first and the $10 off coupon second so that you get the largest reduction in your overall bill.

Promotions

Online promotions are a great way to save money, but how do you stay on top of all of the promotions going on? For retailers that you regularly shop with, sign up for their email lists in order to get up-to-date information on sales and other promotions. If you don’t want to deal with a barrage of emails in your inbox, you can create an email account to field these emails for you.

You should also follow your favorite companies on their social media pages. Many retailers post information about sales and promotions on their profiles. Sometimes, they even post exclusive promos on these pages, so it wouldn’t hurt to check out what they have to offer.

Shipping

Shipping costs can kill you when it comes to online shopping, which is why you might need to have some additional tricks up your sleeve.

Purchasing items from the same vendor on Amazon is one way to cut down on shipping costs since the vendor will be shipping all of the items from one place. If the vendor lives near you, it is likely that you can receive your package in 2–3 business days for the price of standard shipping. Check a vendor’s location before selecting a shipping method so that you don’t end up overspending.

Many retailers set a minimum purchase price to receive free shipping. If the total of your order is close to this price, you should consider adding an inexpensive item to your order so that you can reach the minimum. You might actually save a small amount of money by using this method.

If you really don’t want to pay for shipping, you might consider ordering a product online and picking it up at the store. It may defeat the purpose of shopping online, but it might be your best option to avoid shipping costs if you have exhausted all other options.

Rewards

Joining a retailer’s rewards program is a good way to save money when shopping online. Your online account will track your orders and inform you when you can redeem your rewards. If you are regularly purchasing items from the same retailer, it would be a good idea for you to join their rewards program so that you can save money on products you are already planning on buying.

You can also take advantage of affiliate revenue by using Ebates. This rebate website makes money by promoting major online retailers. When you purchase something from one of these retailers, they pass some of their profits on to you. How could you say no to a deal like that?

There are an endless number of tricks to saving money online. What has worked for you?

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