I used to purchase video games, and given that there was a new game I wanted to play almost every month, this ended up being quite costly. On average, I was spending over a thousand dollars a year on video games. I was able to recoup some of this cost by eventually selling the games on Ebay, but this was always a bit of a hassle, and I wasn’t always the best about selling games that I no longer played. Another, easier option for selling the games was to go to Half Price Books, which would give me cash for the games. But they usually only paid a few dollars for the game, and I really did not make out too well doing that.
Eventually, I learned about an Internet service called Gamefly, and this service was a life saver. Basically, the service works in the following way. You make a list of games you want to play on the website. Gamefly then sends you those games, either one or two at a time. You play the games as long as you like, then return them, at which time the next games on the list are sent to you. All this only costs you a monthly membership that starts at $14.95. Given that I was spending over $60 a month before buying new games, this was an excellent bargain for me. I also was able to save a bit of money on the front end by using a Gamefly free trial from a web site called Free Trial Spot, and this trial gave me the first month of service free.
I have a Playstation, but Gamefly has games for many other platforms such as the Xbox 360. They even have games for some older platforms. You typically won’t have any issues renting newer releases. I am usually able to rent the games I want, although I’ve had to wait in a few cases. Overall, I am pleased with how little the service costs, and with how many games I am able to play with a membership. If you are still buying your own games, I encourage you to stop this expensive habit and get a Gamefly membership instead.
Old habits die hard, and we all have a habit of wanting to buy things we wear at physical stores. This can include glasses and contacts, but in my opinion, this can be a mistake, at least in so much as it concerns your wallet. For the lowest prices, the best place to buy contact lenses or glasses is from online stores.
Take contact lenses as an example. I go to a store called Lens.com, where I get a low price guarantee on the contact lenses I purchase. In addition to that, I’m usually able to find some Lens.com coupon codes from sites like Couponleaf.com. The end result is that I end up paying less than half the retail price for my lenses.
The same is true for eyeglasses. If you buy from a store like Pearle Vision, you should expect to pay a minimum of $200, even for a mediocre pair. If you go to an online store like AC Lens, however, you can purchase glasses for as little as $20 or $30. You may automatically dismiss such lenses as cheap, but don’t make that mistake. I have purchased cheap glasses online that outlasted designer frames that cost ten times as much. And in terms of the way they look, you couldn’t really tell a difference.
Not everything that’s cheap is good, but in the case of glasses and contact lenses, I have found from my own experience that cheap is the smart way to go.
Previously, I wrote a post about how to minimize printing costs when working with online printing companies. Today, I’d like to talk about how some people try to minimize costs when doing printing on their own, by using ink refill kits.
If you are frustrated about how expensive ink cartridges are, you may have thought of refilling ink by yourself using something called an ink refill kits. You can buy these kits at office supply stores or over the Internet. These kits contain ink and other tools that can be used to refill spent ink cartridges. Once the cartridge is refilled, you can put it back into the printer to be used again. In theory, the concept sounds great. In practice, I have discovered that it is anything but that.
Without a machine to refill your ink, you are unlikely to be able to do a good job. I have tried myself a number of times using various ink refill kits. Typically, some sort of problem is likely to arise, such as inaccurate colors or the cartridge not working at all. A good deal of troubleshooting is necessary before you can get to a point where the ink cartridge is actually usable.
What then, is the solution? I have found that it’s much better to not attempt ink refills on your own, and leave that sort of thing to the experts. Instead of refilling ink, you can purchase something called remanufactured cartridges, which are ink cartridges that have been refilled by professionals. In most cases, you won’t be able to find such cartridges being sold at the neighborhood office supply store. Instead, you will need to go online to stores such as 4inkjets or Inkfarm to find these sort of cartridges.
You can expect to pay a few dollars less per cartridge when you purchase remanufactured cartridges. This may not seem like a lot, but if you make a habit of this, the savings can be quite large over time. When buying ink online, it is also a good idea to look for online coupons to bring down the price even further. To find the latest Inkfarm coupon, simply go to the printing website, Inkjet Printer Discounts.
I often have to order professional printing for greeting card and invitations. Of course, I could make these myself to cut costs, but I find that if you pick the right printer, you can get some really high quality work done at a price that isn’t that much more than what you’d pay doing it yourself.
There are so many printing services to choose from these days that it’ll make your head spin. Your initial instinct may be to hire a well-known company such as Vistaprint. After all, they even have commercials for these guys and familiarity does breed a certain amount of trust. But I have found that it pays to shop around, especially if you want a good discount on your orders. You don’t want to go too cheap and sacrifice quality, but you do want to get the best deal possible. Don’t overlook smaller companies such as Printplace, which is actually a perennial favorite of mine.
That’s where online coupons come into play. It seems that big printing services always have some sort of special promotion going on. I typically hunt for a good quality coupon that will save me money, and go from there. A good place to find discounts for printing services is http://hotprintingdeals.com/coupons/printplace.php. That’s the site I used recent to get some Printplace Coupons, which were I found online by using Google.
Professional cards are nice, but if you have a chance, why not send some handwritten cards? It’s a dying art, and I find that I rarely get them anymore, but when I do, I definitely take notice. It’s on my list of things to do in the future when I have a bit more time.
Although not as serious as the “flash crash” back in 2011, today is not looking good for computers and businesses. First, we had United facing glitches with its computers, causing many travelers to be stranded.
Then, just about an hour ago, the New York Stock Exchange has halted trading due to technical, computer-related problems. For more on this, just go to: http://money.cnn.com/news/
All this raises questions about whether we as a society have become too reliant on computers and technology. It’s frightening to think that something as simple as a glitch can shut things down completely at huge entities such as United and NYSE.
The use of electronic cigarettes has become highly popular, and I recently read that up to 4 million Americans are currently using these products. Usage is even higher in European and Asian countries, and electronic cigarettes continue to gain popularity year after year.
I think of e-cigarettes as the middle road between smoking and quitting altogether. While these devices still deliver a dose of nicotine, which is not the best thing for your health, they are also recognized by most people to be a lot safer than traditional smoking. Therefore, if you have been unable to quit smoking altogether, it might make sense for you to transition into using electronic cigarettes since they are the lesser of two evils, so to speak.
Here are some facts about electronic cigarettes that may help you decide whether they are right for you.
They are new products, so the effects of long term usage are not well known.
Vaping is significantly less expensive than smoking regular cigarettes.
Most experts do believe e-cigarettes are safer for your health, but there are still some risks.
There are many different flavors you can buy, from traditional tobacco flavors to more unusual flavors like chocolate or cheesecake.
E-liquids are toxic, so make sure you do not ingest them or have them come in contact with your skin.
Where should you start?
A good thing for beginners to do is obtain a starter kit from a popular e-cigarette store such as Volcano Ecig. Make sure you utilize an online coupon when you purchase such kits, since this will allow you to get a significant discount on your purchase.
Consumers have a perception that something that is highly priced has more value. This has been true regardless of the actual quality of the product, and hence, when something is not selling well, often raising the price will fix the problem, ironically.
With online dating, the priciest service I’ve seen is eHarmony, where membership can cost you just a hair under $60 every month. And yet, they have grown to be one of the largest dating sites in the world, enjoying lots of recognition and success.
But is eHarmony worth the price of admission? Recently, I experimented with an eHarmony free trial offer to find out. By establishing a free account, I was able to take the infamous personality quiz and begin receiving matches that the eHarmony system would find for me. I was able to review these matches, and on average, I received anywhere from 1 – 3 matches a day.
Without a chance to compare the service to other similar ones (the only one I know of being Chemistry.com), it’s hard to decide whether their matching technology warrants their high price. Granted, they did do a rather nice job of matching me with people I may be interested in, but is that not something I may be able to do myself on other, less expensive dating sites like Match.com?
Go ahead and get a free trial account and let me know what you think. The free account (which you can get from Onlinedatingtrials.com will allow you to communicate for free on eharmony and get a free personality profile. One downside of having a free account, however, is that you are blocked from viewing images of your matches. This can be quite a hindrance, so if you intend to use eHarmony for your online dating, you would need to get a membership plan at some point.
At a certain point, all tires will need to be replaced. It’s best to be proactive about this rather than waiting until the last minute? Why? Because the last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire.
Experts agree that you should replace your tires when the tread depth wears down to less than 4/32 of an inch. There are a number of ways to measure this, with one well known one involving using a penny. Whatever method you use, you need to proactively monitor the amount of wear on your tires so you know when they need to be replaced.
Finding the best tires for your car is not hard if you have unlimited funds to spend on tires. But most likely, you are working with a budget. Expect to pay a minimum of $100 per tire if you want a decent set of radials. Sometimes, by using coupons or other promotional offers, you might be able to get a price that is lower than this. But I would resist the temptation to buy the cheapest tires out there, as tires play a role in the actual safety of your vehicle. They’re not something you should be skimping on.
You can ask your tire dealer for recommendations on tires, but most salespeople will be biased toward the tires that make them the most commission. A better way to get the lowdown on tires is by doing research online. Consumer sites are a good place to start, as are sites like Tire Rack and other tire-related sites that review tires on a regular basis.
When it comes time to actually purchase your tires, a good way to get discounts is by ordering online. As an example. I took advantage of Tire Rack offers many rebates, and prepaid cards for purchases you make online. To get the best Tire Rack deals, I recommend going to Hottiresavings.com. Such deals can frequently save you $60 – $80 on a full set of tires. In general, I recommend getting a full set, because by the time one of your tires needs to be replaced, the rest don’t have much life left in them anyway.
Are you in the market for a house? Do you instead want to refinance your current mortgage? Borrowing money to finance a home purchase can be done by a mortgage. The process can often be confusing, but it should go more smoothly with this information.
New rules under the Home Affordable Refinance Program may allow you to apply for a new mortgage, even if you owe more than what your home is worth. This program makes it easier to refinance your home. How can it benefit you through lower payments and an increased credit score?
In order to be eligible to a home mortgage, you need to show a stable work history over the long term. A two-year work history is often required to secure loan approval. Having too many jobs in a short period of time may make you unable to get your mortgage. Also, you shouldn’t quit your job if you’re trying to get a loan.
Refrain from spending excessively while you wait for your pre-approved mortgage to close. Too much spending may send up a red flag to your lender when they run a second credit check a day or two before your scheduled meeting. Try waiting on major purchases until after getting the new mortgage contract.
You should plan to pay no more than thirty percent of your monthly income toward a home loan. Taking out a mortgage that eats up an excessive amount of income often leads to serious financial difficulties. You will have your budget in better shape when your payments are manageable.
If your mortgage is for thirty years, making additional payments can help you pay it off more quickly. That additional money will go towards the principal on your loan. This will help you pay your loan even faster and reduce your total interest amount.
Never let a single mortgage loan denial prevent you from seeking out another loan. Even if one or two lenders deny you, that’s no assurance that all of them are going to reject you. Check out all of the options and apply to those which best suit you. Consider bringing on a co-signer as well.
You should learn as much as you can about the type of mortgage you will need. There are several different types. When you are well educated about them, you will have an easier job of making a decision between them. Speak to your financial institution about mortgages that are available to you.
Try to lower your debt load prior to purchasing a house. Having a home mortgage requires greater responsibility and with that comes increased risk, but to lessen that, you should never add on too much debt. You will make it much easier if you have minimal debt.
Once you have your mortgage, start paying a little extra to the principal every month. This will help you get the loan paid off quicker. Just $100 more each month could cut the length of the loan by as much as 10 years.
Learn how to avoid shady mortgage lenders. Many of them are legitimate, but there are others that will do what they can to get the best of you. Don’t fall for fast talkers. Don’t sign loans with unnaturally high rates. Do not go to a lender that claims that bad credit scores aren’t a problem. Don’t do business with any lender who encourages you to lie.
Cut down on the credit cards you use before you get a house. Having a bunch of them, no matter the debt amount, may make you seem financially irresponsible. Keep only a few credit cards in order to be considered for better home mortgages with lower rates of interest.
If you’re able to pay a slightly higher payment for your mortgage, consider 15 or 20-year loans. In most cases, you’ll get a better interest rate with these options, and you will only have to pay slightly more each month. Over time, though, you will save a great deal as opposed to using a 30-year mortgage. You can find out exactly how much your monthly payment will be by going to CNN Money.
Follow this advice to get the best home mortgage. When you’re ready to apply for a loan, feel confident that the information here will give you a great start. Owning your own home is wonderful and the mortgage process can go smoothly.
The first video breaks down supermarket psychology. Although the video is made in Britain, the concepts apply equally to US Consumers:
The second video is more marketing oriented, intended for people who are trying to sell to consumers. I know this isn’t you, but by being aware of the tactics sellers use, you will become less likely to be manipulated.