Five Tips To Help You Save For Your Next Purchase

When you are saving for your next big purchase, you might not know where to begin Some people will try to save for their purchase quickly, but others will save for their purchase using several different options that are listed below. You can combine savings tips as much as you like, or you might prefer to use one savings tool that always seems to work for you. Try arch of the five below to determine which is the best for you.

1. Get A Short-Term Loan

A company like LendVia is a good place to get a short-term loan because you need to get your cash immediately. There is nothing wrong with getting your cash instantly, but you should remember that you might not have any choice. If you take out a short-term loan, you can save to pay off the loan in the future. Make sure that the loan payments are accounted for in your budget.

2. Use A Penny-Saving App

A penny-saving app is a good place to go when you want to start saving as soon as possible. You can save a few pennies on every purchase when you download an app that will save money every time you buy something. The app will round your purchase up to the next dollar, and the pennies that you save will be deposited into an account that is associated with the app. These apps help you save money fast, and you can send the money to any bank account you like. Plus, you could cash out this money using a gift card or a similar prize option.

You might save your change if you are paying cash around town. Keep the change from your pocket in a jar in the house that you can count up and convert to cash in the future. You are approaching your penny-saving lifestyle from more than one angle so that you can save money effectively.

3. Make A Monthly Budget Where You Remove Your Savings Every Month

You can save your own money by removing money from your budget, putting it in a savings account, and saving a certain amount every month. By doing this, you are making it very easy to save money. You can see how much money is in your savings account, and you will enjoy having a bit of money left over at the end of the month.

When you are saving a particular amount of money every month, you can figure out how many months it will take to save that money. As you plan to save money, it is very easy for you to make wise choices. Also, remember that you can save for more than one purchase. Add up the money that you need to save, remove that money from your account, and put that money in a savings account with a high yield.

4. Find A Cheaper Item To Buy

Some people might not be able to reach their savings goals because they think that it will be hard for them to save as much money as they need. Because of this, you need to make sure that you have thought about how cheap your purchases could get. You will find a nice item that is much cheaper, and you can reinvest that money in other purchases that you need to make.

You need to do your research before you start saving money. Plus, you should buy your fantasy item when it is on sale. You will have extra money left over, and you can use that money to buy something else. Plus, you could keep that money in your savings account as you begin to save for a completely different purchase.

5. Share The Costs With Friends

There are times when you and your friends or family are saving to buy a mutual item. When you do this, you can work with your friends and family to combine your savings in a single account or app. Talk to your friends, family, or roommates about which app or account you are using. When everyone is saving well, you can make your purchase much faster.

Conclusion

Saving for a big purchase is much easier than you think, but you need to make sure that you have truly thought about this before you start. You can save your own money, download an app, or save your change. You can get a short-term loan if you need it, or you can share the cost of this new item with friends.

Seven business secrets for how to earn extra during black Friday sale

The growth of Black Friday year-on-year in e-commerce sales has been massive and 2019 is set to be an even bigger year than ever. The numbers don’t lie and there is certainly a lot of potential for the promotion of products on Black Friday. Storeowners find it’s one of the best days for selling in the year.

In this post, we take a look at how you can get a slice of the pie as people pull out their credit cards to buy on Black Friday.

Put together product bundles

When people buy on the internet, they are always looking for a bargain, especially on Black Friday, and they are often willing to make bigger purchases than normal. You can increase your value per sale by bundling products together and attracting people when they are on this shopping spree. Product bundling is perhaps the easiest way to increase the amount you earn off each visitor.

Use price hooks

Get people signing up for price alerts and do this at different levels within the market so that you can get people buying brands and product bundles at the price points that they are looking for. This makes for effective marketing and also enables you to build discount landing pages and call-to-actions that are in line with what people are in the market for.

Use social media to build anticipation

In the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, develop an emotional connection with your customers by publishing imagery that attracts them and by using positive testimonials on your social media platforms.

Make sure your site is ready for sales

Black Friday can really create a spike of traffic on your website meaning you need to make sure that the speed of your servers and the design of your site is capable of coping with this increased demand. Make sure your site is ready for the rush and that your back-ordering system is able to cope with shipping and the rush of customer enquiries that may come.

You should also be sure that your payment systems are all up and running, and properly synced with your current account so that customers do not encounter payment problems during checkout.

Make partnerships with coupon sites

Coupon sites are massively popular these days and they are also highly ranked in search engines for Black Friday deals. If you run a small or medium e-commerce store, getting on these coupon sites can create a real spike in traffic and get your name out there so that you are chosen not only on Black Friday and Cyber Monday but also become the location of choice for loyal shoppers.

Develop a referral programme

Referrals are still the best form of advertising on the net, whether that be direct referrals or people reading reviews. Get more reviews on quality websites and list them on product pages and make it easy for people to recommend your products and website by pointing towards a valuable and filled program.

Think about free delivery

The modern customer is always very conscious about how much delivery costs and offering free delivery can make the difference. Some retailers are offering free delivery as their carrot rather than heavy discounts in an attempt to play on this current trend in the e-commerce market.

Using thresholds for deliveries is also a great way to encourage people to spend more.

Wrapping up

These are just a few strategies that you can including your e-commerce strategy for the biggest retail weekend of the year. Think strategically and make sure that you understand your audience persona in order to make the most of this sales opportunity.

Savvy Spending Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Season

‘Tis the season where just about everyone goes into debt trying to put on smile on the faces of the ones they love most. Though the holiday season is a time for giving, going above and beyond what you can actually afford will have you stressed out by the New Year. If you want to buy meaningful presents for your friends and family without creating a headache for yourself, consider using these savvy holiday shopping tips below:

Create a Budget

Before ever going into a store or looking online for things to buy for the holidays, start with a budget. Determine how much you can afford to spend this holiday season. Start by making sure that all of your regular monthly expenses will be covered first. Then, look at your savings, and excess income to see what you have to work with. If your budget is much smaller than you’d like, there are short-term loans and credit card offers that you could apply for to boost your budget just a bit. Just be sure that if you’re going to go this avenue that you have the means to repay the balance in full within a few weeks to avoid late fees and other charges. 

Make a List

Once you have an idea of what you can afford to spend on holiday shopping, create a list of everyone you need to purchase gifts for. Then, divvy the budget up amongst those on your list. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be an equal amount per person as your spouse might get a more expensive gift than your boss, coworker, or best friend. However, essentially, you want to give everyone a limit or cap on the amount you’ll spend.

Think of Meaningful Gift Ideas

Everyone wants their relatives and friends to be pleased with the gifts they purchase, but spending more than you can afford on something isn’t the wisest decision. Instead, sit down and think of gifts that are meaningful while still affordable. For each person on your list above, think about their personalities or personal interests and look for gifts that match. 

For example, maybe you can’t afford that flat screen for your husband this year, but maybe you could afford a soundbar or a new comfy chair for him to watch his games in. Maybe your mother is into health and wellness and would appreciate a basket filled with tea bags, essential oils, scented candles, and bath salts.

Don’t underestimate the significance of handmade gifts either. If you’re the creative type, a present that took time and effort to make speaks wonders. You could paint pictures, crochet or knit scarves, bake cookies and brownies, put together gift baskets with a collection of small gifts in them, or even take family photos and make decorative picture frames. 

Shop Online

Aimlessly shopping around this time of year will cause you to go off the budget fairly quickly. You get caught up in all the unique things available and purchase things you likely don’t even need (but most likely can’t afford). Online shopping is a lot more convenient in that you can stick to searching for products you want and also find a ton of deals. Many stores offer online exclusive discounts and bonuses that you can take advantage of. Shopping online for the holidays also allows you to compare the prices of various competitors to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. What’s even greater is you can skip the chaos and long lines this time of year brings.

Track Your Spending

The only way to make sure you stay on budget is to figure out a method for tracking your spending. After making a purchase online or in stores, mark off on your list who you’ve already made a purchase for and how much you spent. If there is money leftover in the spending limit you had for that particular person, you can either shop for more gifts or add those funds to another person’s gift. Repeat this process until you’re done your entire list. Also, keep the receipts just in case you find better deals elsewhere before the holidays. You can easily return those items and get them for a better price and save even more money. 
The holidays bring out the best (and worst) in all of us. With so many advertisements, deals, and new things to buy, it can be easy to spend so much that you end up in debt a few weeks later. Rather than haphazardly searching for the right gifts for you and your loved ones this year, use the holiday shopping tips listed above to get things they’ll love that you won’t have to suffer for later

Money Saving Tips that are Just Plain Weird

Being in debt, or permanently just skirting it, can be really stressful. It can feel like you’re trapped in a swamp – the more you struggle, the deeper in you feel. Of course, setting up a debt management plan is your first priority, as you’ll feel – and be – more in control.

Once you feel you’re headed in the right direction, you can take even more control – and maybe even bring a bit of fun (remember that?) back into your lives. Saving money can be a source of amusement and solidarity and can offer a sense of purpose – no matter how bonkers some of the ideas are. Here are four of the more out-there (but no less effective) ones.

Train your cat to use the toilet

As insane as this sounds, the cost of owning a cat can be more than £1,000 a year when you factor in food, vet bills, de-worming meds, toys and so on. You can’t nix the food and vet parts, but you can reduce or eliminate the cost of cat litter, which can total more than £100 per year. There are lots of toilet-training guides online, but if your moggy really doesn’t like it, then you’ll have to find another way of saving £2 each week. Like forgoing that fancy coffee.

Changing font before hitting “print”

Domestic printing is notoriously expensive – it can often be cheaper to just replace the printer and use its starter ink supply! Not using the printer at all would be the ideal answer, but it’s a necessary evil sometimes. Bring in some damage limitation by decreasing the size of the font and the font itself. Apparently, Century Gothic uses around a third less ink than the more commonly-chosen fonts. Using draft mode is also handy, but don’t go too far with this and with decreasing the font size – teachers don’t like using magnifying glasses to grade homework…

Make the world a cooler place

We all know how turning the thermostat down a degree can shave off 10% of your heating bills. That’s great, but how about having a chilly challenge? That’s right. No heating for one day a week, or for a few half-days a month. Our forebears managed it. Choose sunnier autumn and winter days and try to go as long as possible before sparking that boiler up. Even if you only manage a couple of hours, it’s something, and you can come up with some fun ways to stay warm, like hanging out in the kitchen and batch-cooking (which is another good money-saver; just not quite as bizarre…).

Wear too many clothes onto the plane

You’ve found some cheapo flights on a budget airline! Yay! But what’s this? Your luggage is a couple of kilos or centimetres over and you’re being charged £20? You can eliminate this risk, which is often a problem on return flights, by wearing some of your luggage – two jumpers, a skirt over trousers – you get the picture. You could also develop heat exhaustion, though, so do watch what you’re doing.

Improve your personal finance whilst having fun!

Unfortunately, most everyone will experience a difficult time financially. While this can often seem to be an insurmountable obstacle, the internet provides numerous possibilities to help ease one’s financial burdens. These are some fun options to consider.

Language Learning

Online learning has soared thanks to the internet with a multitude of courses being offered. This demand has naturally created a need for instructors covering many topics including language acquisition. One’s skills in their native tongue or even in a second language can translate to cash. Different online sites let prospective instructors register to offer their services. Typically, there are certain qualifications that much be met but this can provide a great way to supplement one’s income.

Clean out your Closets

We have all heard the adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This idea can also translate into income as well. We all have those unwanted items cluttering our lives that can be sold on various online auction sites. Of course, the most well known is eBay. However, many social media outlets, such as Facebook, offer virtual local marketplaces where you can sell your items without having to go to the trouble of shipping.

Online Gaming

This is a terrific way to add to your bank account while having fun at the same time. Players can opt for either an online casino like gamblinginsider.ca or perhaps a bingo website. No matter the game, many of these sites also provide further ways to increase winnings with bonuses as well as online tournaments such as slot machines. The great thing about this option is that it can be done anywhere which means you can fill certain chunks of time with gaming.

Whether you are experiencing financial difficulties now or may in the future, these ways can provide some additional income which can help improve one’s financial outlook.

I could make a full salary on Craigslist.

I’ve blogged many times about my love of Craigslist, and how I’ve used it to save money over the years. Over the last six weeks or so, I’ve been flipping furniture on CL and am shocked at just how profitable that can be. Spefically, when you are wheeling and dealing mid century modern furniture. Let’s look at a few case studies shall we…

Case Study 1: 

Girl Ninja and I had been using a black ikea cube bookshelf thingy as a storage space behind our couch. I hated how cluttered it always looked and decided it was time to look in to getting an actual credenza for our space. I came across this guy for $120 on CL. I offered $90 and the seller accepted.

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After realizing it was waaaaaay too small for our space, I decided to put it up on CL for $350 and see what happened. I’ll tell you what happened. Someone paid me $350 and bought it.

Profit: $260

Case Study 2: 

I made $260 in profit from my first credenza so figured it was only logical to roll that money in to another credenza. One that better fit our space. I paid $250 for this Lane Rhythm credenza…

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I did a little refinishing. About 30 minutes worth of work, sanding down the top and staining it to make it shine. I sold it for $650 less than 24 hours after buying it.

Profit: $400

Case Study 3: 

I wanted to dabble with two tone furniture, so I was on the hunt for a mid century dresser. Found this guy for $200 on CL (paid $150 for it after negotiating)…

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I put about two hours worth of work in to this guy. Doing some light sanding, priming, and then painting, with leftover white paint I had on hand. This is what it looked like when I was done…
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I was super happy with the end result and felt like I just Pinterested the crap out of the dresser. I posted it up for $400, and it sold quickly.

Profit: $250.

Case Study 4: 

I had a tree taken down in our backyard a couple years ago and saved one of the rounds that was leftover, figuring I could make something cool out of it. Originally my plan was to make it a centerpiece for our dining room table, but then I decided to turn it in to a live edge, side table. I paid about $45 for some hairpin legs and simply screwed them in to the bottom of my tree round. This was the final product…

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I posted it up on CL for $180 and it sold shortly after listing it.

Profit: $135.

Case Study 5:

I paid $65 for this credenza.

IMG_4925Can you believe it! $65 for this diamond in the rough. The seller was using it as storage for his kids toys in their playroom. He decided he wanted it gone. Within 20 minutes of him posting it, I was on my way to meet him and take it off his hands. It had an ugly wood base that had pretty nasty water damage to it, so I hammered off the ugly bottom and was left with the picture you see above.

I got the bright idea to buy some mid century modern angled legs online and dress things up a bit. The legs and angled brackets set me back $90. That’s right, I paid more for the legs than I did for the actual credenza.

I rubbed the piece down with some teak oil to bring out the woods natural tones and this is what it looked like after…

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My total investment was about $165. I probably could have sold this for about $800 on Craigslist, but a friend of mine loved it and needed a new TV stand. I gave him a friend deal and sold it to him for $400.

Profit: $240 (could have been $600+ if I posted on CL).

Case Study 6: 

Found this mid century dresser on Craigslist Sunday morning for $200…

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I didn’t do a single thing to the dresser. I reposted it on Craigslist as soon as I got home for $450, and it sold six hours later for $450.

Profit: $250.

Case Study 7: 

If you haven’t noticed the theme, I like to stick to credenzas and dressers that could be used as credenzas. It was time to mix things up a bit so I decided to flirt with a new piece.

I saw this coffee table listed on CL for $60 (I paid $50 for it)…

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I brought it home, staged it, took some photos and back on to Craigslist it went. It sold 24 hours later for $200.

Profit: $150.

Case Study 8:

Picked up this Broyhill Brasilia Tallboy dresser on Sunday for $200…

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Haven’t done a single thing to it (except stage it and take some photos). It’s on craigslist right now for $750, and should sell somewhere between $500-$750. I may end up keeping it though because it’s so freaking pretty. I mean look at it…

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So beautiful, and a pretty rare piece at that.

Case Study 9, 10, 11, and 12: 

Picked up this Lane Acclaim credenza for $450 on CL…

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I sanded down the top and stained it to make it shine. I posted it for $800 on CL and had a slew of people wanting to come see it. Girl Ninja freaked out and pulled a trump card saying I wasn’t allowed to sell it. So for now, this is the credenza that we are keeping behind our couch 🙂 Unless I can find someone that is willing to pay me $950 for it, then I’m gonna trump her trump and sell it 🙂

Here are a few other pieces I could sell for a couple hundred more than I paid for them, but Girl Ninja has trumped…

Paid $220 for this white leather chair, could probably sell for around $400…

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Paid $150 for this mid century leather chair. Should sell for $300-$400. 00X0X_jUxBqGVeL1u_600x450

Paid $250 for this desk and chair. Posted it for $500 and had multiple people asking to come see it. That was before Girl Ninja told me I wasn’t allowed to sell it…

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Conclusion:

In the last month, I made about $1,700 by simply buying furniture on Craigslist and selling it a few days later (or sometimes the same day) for double or triple what I paid. And that’s without even trying. It just kind of organically happened. I bet I could triple that income if I really got serious about it.

If you’re interested in flipping on Craigslist here are a few pointers I have for you:

1. Look for crappy ads. Most of these items only had a single cell phone picture of the furniture piece and there was barely any description of the item. Craigslist posts like these tell me the person just wants the piece gone and doesn’t care about getting top dollar. If the furniture is staged and has a detailed description, the seller probably knows exactly what their piece is worth, so there isn’t much room for profit.

2. Always offer less than what they listed the piece for. ALWAYS! Most of the time I can save $25 to $100 by simply asking the seller if they’ll consider taking less. About half the time they agree, the other half they stay firm. Any money you save on the purchase, increases your profit come time to sell.

3. Stage your photos and use a nice camera to take pictures (your 12mp cell phone camera isn’t going to cut it). You’ll notice each of my listing photos are edited to really make the piece stand out. I increase the contrast and sharpness, bring out the natural colors of the wood, and blur the background to make sure the furniture stands out as the focal point. Great photography translates to great profits.

4. Don’t budge on price. You’ll notice in just about every instance I negotiated a lower purchase price from the seller. But I’ve never once budged on my asking price when I’m the one doing the selling.

By the time people have taken the time out of their day to drive to my house and see the piece, I’m almost positive they are emotionally attached to the piece. They ask if I would consider accepting less, and I respond with something like “Sorry, I’ve gotten a handful of other emails on it and am confident it will sell for asking. But I understand if you want to pass. No pressure either way.”

They fear missing out on it, and they end up paying me full asking. Worst case, they walk away, and the next day someone else is knocking on my door to pay full price.

5. Look often. Craigslist gets thousands of new listings every day. I’ve gotten very good at sifting through CL to discover the diamonds in the rough. Search terms, sorting by newest items, and putting the layout in “grid mode” will be your biggest helpers. There is an art to Craigslisting and if you spend enough time on there, you’ll figure it out.

Now get off my blog and go make yourself a little extra money!

 

 

 

I’m about to save you 10% on life!

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Thanks to you bullies, I decided to splurge the other day and buy a $450 Weber grill. I wasn’t able to bring myself to a point where I could justify the purchase, but after a bunch of peer pressure from some of my readers I felt I had to.

Okay, that’s a lie.

I just really wanted a new grill, and your encouragement was just the nudge I needed. So thank you for that. 

I don’t know if you keep up with the comments that I get on my blog posts, but on my previous post there was a comment made that TURNED MY WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!!!!

Buy the grill. Yours is toast and you can afford the Weber. If buying at Home Depot, go to giftcardgranny.com and buy some discount Home Depot gift cards to cover the purchase. That will reduce the price by 8-10% which will ease your pain–especially if you get a Memorial Day sale price.

What is this sorcery? 

It sounds too good to be true… ONLY IT IS TRUE!!!!

Intrigued I hopped on over to Giftcardgranny.com (GCG) punched in Lowes (since that is closer to me than Home Depot) and BAM, hundreds of gift cards were being sold at a discount.

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GCG doesn’t actually sell the gift cards, they simply point you to various websites that do. Kind of like how you don’t purchase your airfare from Kayak, but they simply show you prices for all airlines. 

I was lucky enough to find a $400 Lowes gift card being sold for $359.96.  There may be similar deals on Home Depot coupons.

A 10.2% savings!!!!!

I was a little sketched out by the process and was fearing it was all a scam, but I decided to be your guniea pig and give it a try. The gift card I bought had an e-code associated with it (so I didn’t have to wait for a physical gift card to be mailed to me).

I punched in my credit card information, submitted my payment, and sure enough, 5 minutes after being notified my transaction went through, I got an email with my Lowe’s gift card code.

The moment of truth

I was so nervous that I just got suckered out of $360.

I clicked over to Lowes.com, added the $450 grill to my cart, and on the billing screen punched in my gift card code.

IT FREAKIN’ WORKED!!!!

In less than 5 minutes I saved myself 10% off an item that almost never goes on sale (Weber grills are like iPhones, they’re almost never sold at a discount because they don’t need to be).

My life has been changed forever. 

Why pay full price for anything when I can save between 2% and 10% at virtually every big box store?

Answer: I won’t.

So thank you PDITF commenter for sharing that gem of a website, and enlightening me and my readers.

Oh, and on a random side note. I think the BBQ gods wanted me to get this grill for free because in the mail yesterday I got a $500 Chase bank promotional offer. I get $300 for opening a checking account with them (I’m currently with Wells Fargo) and setting up a direct deposit. And $200 if I open up a savings account and transfer over $15,000 that I leave there for 90 days. Totally worth it as this promotion covers the full cost of my Weber!!! WOOHOO!!!

Will you be using discounted gift cards in the future?