Living frugally doesn’t mean you have to suffer. The tips listed here are meant to increase your savings in ways that don’t impact your quality of life. If anything, they add to it.
Here are a few strategies to help you save more money every day.
Whether you’re saving for the holidays, a vacation or to build up your bank account, try these simple money saving hacks.
The average American family spends about $330 a month on groceries. If you’re spending more than that, a few simple tweaks to your shopping trip can significantly bring down your monthly grocery spending.
First off, check for coupons at your local grocery store. You can look online at the Simple Dollar Coupon Finder to find several daily coupons on grocery items, or check your mail or daily newspaper. When items are on sale, buy them in bulk to save money in the long run.
Next, make a list based on your coupons and weekly ads. Stick to your grocery list while in the store. The list will save you money from buying unnecessary items and time from making decisions in the store.
The Internet makes shopping much more convenient – too convenient. Now your favorite e-commerce websites can store your credit card information, make suggestions on what to buy, and ship items to you in no time. It’s no wonder we’re looking for more ways to save money!
Fight against it by making it harder for yourself to buy things online. Removeyour credit card numbers from your online accounts so you have to manually enter them whenever you wanted to make a purchase. This way, you at least are forced to think about it a little bit longer rather than clicking “Buy Now” and being done with it.
It doesn’t have to cost money to have fun. There are tons of things you can do for free.
Make a list of hobbies you’ve always wanted to try. Look on a site like Meetup.com to see if there are any free events based on those hobbies in your location. Browse the Internet for free classes on a hobby, whether online or in-person.
A little planning ahead can save you money every day and probably make you healthier. Going out for lunch or ordering takeout can add up day after day.
It’s simple – when making dinner, make enough so that you have leftovers for the next day. After cleaning up from dinner, pack your leftovers so you have lunch ready to go.
This hack can really add up over time. Every time you come across either a $1 or $5 bill – whichever you choose – in your wallet, put it aside in a savings envelope. This simple trick helped a college professor save almost $40,000 over 13 years!
Implement these money saving hacks into your life to easily save money. With these extra savings, you can pay off debts faster or plan the trip of a lifetime!
Now that you’re saving money quickly and easily, learn how you can resolve your debt!
Top stub checks are a great option for many individuals and businesses. Instead of having to flip clumsily to your check register and back, all relevant information is available right at the top of the check.
If you’re interested in frugal living, you know you need to track your money without spending a lot in the process. Discover why these checks are effective and efficient, as well and how to choose and buy them online.
A top stub check is similar to a traditional top-tear check. You carry it with you, write the check, and tear it off for the vendor. The difference is that when you remove the check, there is a stub left above it.
That stub allows you to write in information about who you wrote the check to and how much it was. Keeping track of everything in one place is faster and easier than flipping back and forth between a check register and a check.
When you’re writing a check, you don’t want it to take more time than necessary. Saving time and having your records conveniently available are just two reasons to use top stub checks.
The first place many people think of when it comes to ordering checks is their bank. Your bank may not offer top stub checks as an option, and if they do, they will likely be expensive.
When you order online, you can find any type of check you want. You can also find a variety of designs and covers to make using your checks enjoyable. You’ll also be able to compare different suppliers, which will allow you to make the choice that’s right for your budget.
Many online check suppliers also offer free shipping, which is generally not available through your bank. When you shop around and compare prices, you’ll discover that buying online gives you better quality at a lower price and with less hassle than ordering from your bank.
The first thing to consider when ordering checks online is data security. Your financial information is important it deserves the best protection.
You also want to find someone who has a wide range of custom designs. A wide variety of designs helps you find checks that you will enjoy using.
Finally, you want a provider that is cost effective. If you can’t save money order checks online, it’s often not worth it!
4checks is one provider that ranks highly in all these areas. They have strong security measures, are CPSA certified, and offer frequent special promotions. There are dozens of designs available in their top stub checks category.
Carousel Checks also offers a wide range of designs with top stubs. They have verified and certified security protocols, and can help you save a lot of money compared to bank prices.
Handling your finances wisely means tracking what comes in and what goes out. Checks with a top stub make that easy. For more information about making smart financial decisions, take a look at our blog!
Most of us don’t run out of checks all that often. In fact, with the onslaught of made-easy online bank transfers, ATMs on every corner and then some, there are plenty of check-less payment options at our disposal.
Still, you’ll likely need a check to pay rent, the IRS or you know, give someone the gift of cash. And when you’ve run out, it’s hard to know how much you should invest in replenishing your check supply.
Luckily, there are some options when it comes to finding cheap checks online, and in person, if you know where to look.
Read on to learn more:
While you may think of checks as being the bank’s game, there are plenty of third-party sellers that may offer savings that the banks just cannot provide.
First of all, personal checks from third-party printers come with far more customized options than your basic bank choices, and, even better, many are much more affordable than your bank.
While ordering from a third-party printer might seem like the best solution, especially if you’d like something more customized than say an assortment of endangered species, ordering directly from your bank might not be all that expensive.
The point is, do your homework if you’re looking for serious savings—and don’t be afraid to ask for a quote.
Hey, it never hurts to ask. If you only need a few checks here and there, you may be better off asking If you only need a couple of checks for a rent payment or some other urgent matter.
Many banks supply a freebie here and there, however, some may charge a small fee.
Bank of America provides emergency or temporary checks in the interim before your order arrives, while Chase charges something like $2 for a few checks in a pinch.
Buy your checks like you buy your toilet paper. Er.. sort of…
Big box stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club offer checking printing services, so check “shopping” doesn’t need to be an inconvenience.
Both stores also sell cheap checks online. Meaning, you don’t need to set foot into the big box to save big on paper checks.
Be warned, some checks like those inspired by Disney’s Frozen are sold at a lower rate than their more traditional-looking counterparts.
In addition to shipping out your myriad packages, the UPS store also provides check printing services starting at $9.99 for a pack of 150 checks.
While it’s got nothing on free checks, this may prove more cost effective than ordering from your bank.
Beyond saving money by buying cheap checks online, Credit Zipper has plenty of advice for cutting costs and starting off on the road to debt free living.
Contact us today to learn more about our debt consolidation and credit repair services.
Afraid you’re spending way too much money on groceries?
You’re certainly not alone. In 2014, Americans collectively spent a whopping $638 billion on groceries!
In an economy where most people are surviving from paycheck to paycheck, taking steps to cut back on your grocery budget is a prudent thing to do.
But how easy is it to forgo some of your favorite food stuff? In truth, it is not an easy task. You need the right strategies and, importantly, strong financial discipline.
Read on to learn how to save money on groceries.
The first step to reducing your expenses is to have a good handle on how much you’re currently spending on groceries.
The best way to know this is to record every single grocery expense in a span of one month. Next, ask yourself, how does this amount compare to my monthly income?
According to CNBC financial experts, you should spend a maximum of 14 percent of your income on groceries.
If you’re spending more than 14 percent, it’s time to head to the next step.
Grocery items range from essentials such as bread and fruits, to ‘luxury’ products such as wine and exotic beverages.
Now, there is no doubt everyone wants to lead a fine life. But we can only do this when our finances allow.
If you’re looking to save money on groceries, you have to give your shopping list a second look and identify all the items you don’t really need to lead a healthy life.
Are you, for instance, a wine aficionado who buys 3-5 bottles a week? You need to cut back on the wine to 3-5 bottles a month! That’s how you save money without significantly changing your lifestyle.
Impulse shopping is the all-time greatest destroyer of budgets.
Going to shop for groceries without a clear picture of how you would want your menu to look like in the next one or two weeks exposes you to impulse shopping. It’s not uncommon for consumers to buy items that will stay unused in the kitchen for weeks.
As such, take time to craft your menu at least two weeks in advance before shopping. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy for your needs.
Ask any vegan what was the motivation behind embracing exclusive plant-based diets and they will tell you it’s all about saving animals and leading a healthier lifestyle.
Well, that’s mostly true, but there’s another reason people never reveal. Going vegan saves money!
According to research, you could save up to 750 bucks a year eating plant-based diet cooked with oil instead of lean animal protein!
This is a no-brainer.
You should also check out local magazines and visit your local grocery websites to know when they’re having a sale. Identify the items that will be on sale, and use the opportunity to grab some of them.
One thing, though. Never buy an item you don’t need because it’s on sale. Buying a $15 item you barely consume at $10 doesn’t mean you have saved $5. It means you have unnecessarily spent your $10.
Really, the steps you can take to save money on grocers are only limited to your will to do it.
Monitor your grocery spending, take out things you don’t need, and then craft a minimalist budget and stick to it.
Need more smart money tips? Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list!
Everyone wants to be able to travel, but sometimes the expense makes it a challenge.
To help make this the year you finally go on your dream vacation, we’ve created this list of the top 5 summer travel tips! Get ready to pack your bags.
First up on our list of summer travel tips? Make sure to use hotwire.com to help you find the best deals out there.
With everything you have to do in a single day, you often don’t have time to comb through airfare and hotel listings to find the best deals. Luckily, hotwire.com does it for you!
They’ll send you personalized tips on travel deals that no one else knows about, help you find great prices on flights and rental cars in your dream destination, and even track flight price changes.
It’s easy to find the best time to book, or discover a destination that’s in your budget!
Did you know that Groupon, the famous online coupon website, has a travel section?
This way, you’ll be able to browse listings, read reviews, and see stunning photos of your potential vacation destinations — all for a fraction of the cost!
The deals make is very clear what is and isn’t included in your stay, and which dates are available. It’s easy to find the perfect vacation for you and your friends to book!
Roadtrips aren’t just tons of fun — they’re also a great way to save on your summer travel plans.
Plus, driving allows you to see tons of different destinations — and to discover ones you didn’t even know existed! They’re a great way to bond with friends and family members.
If you’re going to be traveling for a long period of time, you might consider renting an RV to save on hotel costs. To that end…
These days, there are so many more places you can stay other than a hotel. Airbnb, Couchsurfing, even housing swap deals…the list goes on.
Hotels are expensive, and most don’t include kitchens — which means you’ll be forced to eat out a lot. This can drive up the cost of your vacation quickly.
We suggest doing a social media blast advertising a house swap or asking if your Facebook friends know of anyone you can stay with.
Most cities offer museum and other activity passes that allow you to visit multiple landmarks for a fraction of the cost.
If you plan on seeing lots of sights on your vacation, be sure to keep your eye out for these deals! Always ask about multi-day passes on transportation, as well. Especially if you’re going to Europe, many cities offer discounts to tourists that take the metro or bus.
As you can see from this post, it’s completely possible to book the trip of a lifetime without wrecking your credit or going into debt.
Looking for more advice on how to make smart financial decisions and save money? Spend some time on our website!
When used correctly, credit cards can be a great tool for building your credit rating. They can also help out in the case of emergency, when you need something now but don’t have the immediate funds to purchase it.
Credit has to be used responsibly, however. With the Federal Reserve raising the interest rate recently, it’s more important than ever to understand how to use your card properly.
Here are 5 credit card payment mistakes to avoid.
Paying the minimum monthly balance on your card is akin to throwing stacks of money into a wood chipper. Credit companies make their profits by charging you interests on your purchase.
By only paying what they say you owe each month, you are lengthening the amount of time that they can charge you interest. This means that you pay far more in the long run than you should.
A lot of consumers think that if they are just one day late on their credit card payment, it’s not a big deal. The problem is that when your credit card reports your payments late, they only do so in 30-day increments.
From there, anyone that pulls your credit card report can’t tell if you paid the day after or 29 days after your bill was due.
Don’t take this to mean that if you are one day late, you can just hold off until day 29 to pay either. If there is a problem with processing your payment or an emergency pops up, your payment enters the dreaded 60-90 day late period.
This can be disastrous for your credit score.
This will hurt you in a number of ways. For one, a company that pulls your credit will see what is called a “high debt to income ratio”. In other words, they will think that all of your income goes to paying off balances.
Second, these payments add up. Even if you don’t listen to the first piece of advice and only pay the minimum, those payments can snowball out of control quickly.
You also run the risk of getting your cards and payment dates mixed up. Remember, one day late on your credit card payment is the same as thirty. There’s no need to risk that.
You will have a lot of people telling you to close your account and cut your cards in half. While this might seem like sound advice, it’s actually terrible for your credit.
This will reduce your available credit limit, which will lower your score. The best thing to do is keep the account open but keep your card somewhere so that it’s hard to get to and only can be used for emergencies.
If you find yourself using your credit card for things such as gas or groceries, it might be time to hide your card.
If you fill up your car twice a week, you aren’t paying the 70 bucks back. You are paying over 100. Multiply that times 52, and you are spending a whole lot of extra money that you shouldn’t be.
If you find yourself in the middle of the dessert and your debit card is missing, then it’s reasonable to buy gas on credit. Otherwise, you are just hurting yourself.
Information is power. If your credit card debt has gotten the better of you, we have all the information you need to take action now.
Use our website’s resources to learn about how to repair your credit. We also provide guides and a blog that will help you stay out of financial trouble and fix whatever damage might have already been done.
American credit card debt is expected to reach over 1 trillion dollars this year. Don’t become a part of that statistic. Check us out, and let us help you take back control of your financial future!
Your business’s online presence means everything today. Having a well-maintained website and active social media pages is a must.
Some new entrepreneurs would think that establishing and maintaining an online presence would be difficult. As it turns out, they couldn’t be more wrong. It is more than possible to build your business online on a budget.
You just need to know which resources you should rely on as you build your business’s online presence. From affordable hosting to marketing outreach, here are 5 tips to help you build your business’s online presence on a budget.
There are several host providers on the market today. Few, however, are cheaper than Bluehost. Not only that, but Bluehost arguably offers customers a fair amount of functionality for the cost.
Further still, Bluehost has been especially kind to small businesses lately. The web hosting company teamed up with Google Domains earlier this year to allow Google Domains customers to use Bluehost’s site to create new accounts.
Almost everyone who has done 5 minutes of research on site building has heard about WordPress. The company has certainly earned its reputation. It allows people to build websites quickly and cheaply while providing them with tons of cool tools.
It’s also extremely compatible with several hosting platforms. Bluehost just happens to be one of those platforms, which makes WordPress and Bluehost a super duo of sorts.
Investing in your future is always good on any budget. Investing in expensive email hosting, on the other hand, is not.
We don’t doubt that expensive hosting offers some of the best premium features. You don’t, however, need pricey email hosting to have relatively good email hosting.
That said, look into free email hosting before you even think about purchasing premium email hosting services. You’ll be doing your wallet a favor.
Some business owners dream of having their own warehouses which are stocked with their businesses’ goods. Unfortunately, though, that’s just not plausible for small companies that haven’t gained much traction yet.
Dropship products are a great solution if you want to build your business online and don’t have the capital to deal with stocking and shipping items to customers.
There is no doubt in our minds that marketing specialists know what they’re doing. They have the necessary skills to navigate the data-driven market.
Despite that fact, small businesses have to be realistic about what they can afford. Not many small companies have the capital to hire seasoned marketing professionals, and that’s okay.
You can focus on marketing outreach by yourself. You likely won’t be amazing at it, but you’ll get the job done. When you reach the point at which you can afford a marketing specialist, then you can splurge on one.
Make no mistake here. While you can build your business online on a budget, it won’t be a cakewalk. Furthermore, you might eventually have to shell out some serious cash to get things going.
Having said that, if you find yourself in debt, take a moment to center yourself and then begin working on getting yourself back on track.
If, on the other hand, you’ve successfully avoided incurring debt, drop a comment for your fellow entrepreneurs. They’d love to get their businesses off of their feet without taking on too much debt.
Paying debts can be a difficult thing to do if you get behind. It can feel overwhelming and can soon become that if you aren’t careful. For many people, they reach a point where the only solution feels like filing for bankruptcy.
While it is a last resort for many people, others tend to file without realizing that there are many alternatives available to them. There are several steps you can take, even when things look bleak, to resolve your debt before filing.
If you find yourself trying to avoid bankruptcy, read on to see what steps may be right for you before making the final choice.
In order to avoid these consequences, it’s best to avoid bankruptcy if possible.
The first thing you need to do is get control of your monthly spending and weed out any unnecessary things. Most people have certain luxuries they buy. Having a daily cup of coffee, a cable subscription, or going out for a night on the town each week are some examples.
Cutting these luxuries out will let you keep more money to use for your debts.
If you are looking for an instant infusion of cash, selling things you don’t need or are no longer using can be an effective means. Think about what things you own and what you can depart with. You may need to be willing to make some hard choices.
Start with the big things. Perhaps consider selling a car, bike, or another big piece of equipment. If you have more than one thing, part with one. Eventually, work your way down to the small stuff that will add up.
Most creditors will want to help you avoid bankruptcy so they will get paid. Since bankruptcy will affect them as well, you can try working with the creditor to settle or renegotiate your debt.
The best thing to do is to be upfront and honest with them. If you try to deceive them or leave anything important out, they will be less likely to help. Simply explain your circumstances and try to explore the options they can provide to help you out of the situation.
It’s important to remain vigilant when it comes to avoiding bankruptcy since bad habits can undo any work you accomplish. If you follow these tips, you can increase your chance of success, but only if you stick with them. Avoid the temptation to spend your money on unnecessary things.
Racking up credit debt is easier than ever. Today, with the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen, you can literally purchase to your heart’s desire within milliseconds.
On the flipside, there are trustworthy resources, like us, where people can educate themselves and adopt better planning and consolidating decisions.
However, not everything you read on the Internet is true, as you probably know. Credit facts can be skewed or misleading, so we wanted to clear up some of the biggest credit myths out there.
Don’t give up before you’ve even started!
If your credit score needs help, it’s not a hopeless situation. Every situation is different, but we can guarantee that there is a strategy we can build to help you get your credit score where you want it to be.
Pro tip: Instead of adding to it, stop the problem now. Start paying with only cash, and ditch the credit cards altogether. If it’s not in your checking account, don’t spend it.
This is possibly the biggest credit facts myth we want to debunk. There are two types of credit checks, hard and soft. Soft credit checks, which you request (personally), are only shown to you and will not affect your credit score.
Pro tip: Keep tabs on your credit reports with a bi-annual check up through Experian. That way, when you need to make a big purchase, a hard credit check (from a third party vendor) will be worth the cost.
Closing out a long-term credit card account is actually kind of foolish. Having a long history with a balanced credit card can work for you, not against you. Don’t close out your accounts for no good reason.
Pro tip: If you want to get rid of some cards, speak with an expert first to decide which ones are the best ones to get rid of.
If we were to do a credit facts check, this fact would come up as totally false. Although it can be messy, it is not impossible to create a credit score you’re proud of.
Pro tip: Every day you wait to get help is another day you could be working toward good credit.
This is not entirely true. Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! You deserve to enjoy the finer things in life, just like anyone else. Loans are still within reach, you just have to know where to look.
Pro tip: Consider a personal loan. Lenders created this option with borrowers who have bad credit in mind.
Chances are, you have a full-time job and you’re probably really good at it. You’re skilled in what you do, and you’re the best fit for it. Right?
So, why go outside of your scope and try to handle your credit dilemma on your own? Let us help you get your credit facts right.
At CreditZipper, we are a skilled team that can help you achieve the credit repair you deserve. We focus on reporting errors and improving credit scores at the fastest rate possible.
We are here for you, and we believe that everyone should have peace of mind when it comes to their credit.
The global economy is slowly starting to rebuild itself. Even if it hadn’t crashed, it would still be important to maintain a high credit score. But the fact that it did crash makes it all the more important that you build credit.
Having a high credit score indicates that you’re responsible and reliable. With a higher credit score, you’re much more likely to get a loan or successfully rent a property. Additionally, some places of employment won’t hire you if your score is low.
But let’s face it: Life happens.
Sometimes your situation spins out of your control, and your score drops as a result. When that happens, you need to start utilizing ways to build your credit back up.
Here are five easy tips for building credit:
One sure-fire way to drop your credit is to skip out on your bills.
Paying them even a few days late could affect your score in negative ways. Businesses that require monthly payments often sell bills to collection agencies.
Internet companies, phone services, utility businesses–these are all organizations that bill you monthly.
And let’s not forget your insurance, rent, and car payments.
Make sure you pay them on time every month.
When your credit score is low, it’s awfully tempting to just cancel most or even all of your credit cards.
After all, not having the cards removes the temptation to use them. Unfortunately, having credit cards presents a catch-22:
If you have too many of them, you increase your chances of lowering your credit score.
But if you have too few of them, you also increase your chances of lowering your credit score. Because fewer cards mean fewer opportunities to raise your score.
One way to get around this situation — check to see if you have cards from the same company.
If you do, you can call and ask about consolidating them.
If you’re already sinking in the bad credit pool, one thing you can try is negotiating.
This entails communicating with your creditors for missing payments. Explain the situation and ask them to work with you.
For example, let’s say you were laid off from work and missed a few utility payments. After you found work, you started paying on time again. Highlight that fact when talking to them.
Creditors may be creditors, but they’re also people.
In some situations, this one is easier said than done.
But to build credit, you’ll have to pay off your debts.
Talk to your creditors. See if they’re willing to arrange a payment plan with you.
Again, you shouldn’t give up on using credit cards because using them does help build credit.
Plus, if you don’t use your cards, they may become inactive.
A good compromise is to use them sparsely. Use them to pay for only certain items, such as food and gas.
As for paying for the rest? Depending on what you want to do, you may not have to pay anything!
There are plenty of free forms of expression and entertainment. Draw! Write! Read! Shamelessly sing karaoke at the top of your lungs with your friends!
If you need additional tips or want a consultation, feel free to contact us!