A decade ago, the term Cyber Monday was conceived by the National Retail Federation to bolster sales even after the Thanksgiving weekend, and to create an online shopping equivalent to Black Friday. They implemented their concept by partnering with the media to couple the catchy phrase Cyber Monday with sales and promotions advertisements. Since then, it’s taken off. Last year, $2.68 billion were spent on Cyber Monday. That’s well … Continue reading Mistakes Exploited by Cyber Criminals on Cyber Monday: Part I
We are all familiar with Sears for its home appliances and goods. But did you know vacations are now in store, too? Well, maybe not literally “in store,” but the retailer did launch SearsVacations.com last week. Sears’ new online service provides vacation and travel packages, including adjustable flight-hotel-car rentals combinations, resorts and cruise search. This move from Sears certainly caught us by surprise, and we … Continue reading Would you book your next vacation with Sears?
Here is a list of five bad habits that could save you money each year if you quit. Some of these habits are also bad for your health, but all are bad for your pocketbook.
- Soft drinks – If you drink one soft drink a day at $1.50 each that is $547.50 a year! If you have three a day, you will have spent $1,642.50. That is a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere.
- Gossip magazines – Three to five dollars per magazine really adds up when you could simply get your weekly celebrity gossip from online for free! If you have a gossip magazine fix, you could pay up to $208 per year, with each magazine costing $4. Continue reading “Five Bad Habits That are Costing You Money”
Before making a big purchase, consider the hidden fees with each. You may think you have enough money to afford the monthly bills, however there are often times many “hidden” costs we forget about.
- Owning a home – utilities, furniture and ongoing maintenance are hidden costs many forget to consider. You may have enough to make your monthly payments on your home but what about having furniture? Will you buy the furniture all at once or will you tack this on to your monthly payment? Make sure you have a plan before making as large as a purchase as a new home. Other hidden fees to consider: moving expenses, homeowners association fees, landscape upkeep, closing costs, appraisal fees, home inspection, and pest control – just to name a few.
- Buying a vehicle – this is one of the largest and most common purchases with hidden costs, besides buying a home. Before you decide you have enough to make your monthly car note, don’t forget insurance and other fees – this may seem obvious but some of us do forget! These include: gas (which depending on the type of vehicle, can be up to 50 or 60 dollars a tank and may require filling up weekly), maintenance (oil changes, tires, windshield wipers), batteries and required inspection stickers every year. Inspection stickers average about $15-$20 and oil changes cost about $40 every three months. Continue reading “Thinking of Making a Medium-to-Large Purchase? Consider the Hidden Costs First”
Last week we discussed the first of the “three costliest money mistakes” according to Shape Magazine. This week we will look at why not having an emergency fund set up is another big mistake you can make. If you have an emergency or get sick, how do you plan to pay for it? Or what if some inevitable incident happens, like say you run over … Continue reading The Three Costliest Money Mistakes: Week 2 of 3
Expense 4-Health Care: Like all of the other expenses discussed in the three previous weeks, health care can be an unpredictable expense, even when considering the relative “protection” provided by health insurance. Expenses that must be covered are deductibles, preventative or elective care, vitamins and minerals, and prescription costs. Are you ready for these to pop up at any time? Your body doesn’t know if you’re short on money this month – it will get sick and need care regardless of how prepared you are. Continue reading “Unexpected Expenses You Can Count On: Final Week of a 4-Week Discussion”
Expense 3 – Appliances, tools and electronics: The reality of life is that things break. They do so frequently, often in bunches, when we least expect it, and at the most inopportune time. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the replacement cost of critical appliances, tools, and electronics. Consider the lifespan of a typical laptop – 3 to 5 years, perhaps. Are you prepared to purchase a new computer once your current one breaks down? Continue reading “Unexpected Expenses You Can Count On: Week 3 of a 4 week discussion”
Expense 2-Gifts: Have you ever said to yourself- “No, I can’t afford to buy that gift.” It is human nature to please others and more often than not, we are going to buy that gift for someone we care about. Gifts are sporadic and unpredictable. You may forget someone’s birthday or wedding shower until the last minute; and you WILL buy that gift no matter the “unexpected” expense.
This is why a lot of people go into debt at Christmas. They haven’t prepared or saved for it. This can be a very dangerous situation concerning credit card debt, and can spiral out of control rather quickly, not to mention the mounting interest rates on those cards. Continue reading “Unexpected Expenses You Can Count On: Week 2 of a 4-Week Discussion”
There are budget categories in life where sooner or later, money will be spent. It may be $500 on a repair this month, and $400 on a new product next month. Over the course of the year, we can average out and prepare for these expenses.
There are four categories of unexpected expenses that will be addressed one at a time over the next four weeks, so be sure to keep up with us for these valuable money tips!
Expense 1- Auto Repairs: Auto repair costs, or at least “reasonable maximum costs” can be predicted with relative accuracy based on the age of your vehicles and whether warranties continue to be in effect. For an 8-year old car, expect to spend up to $1,500-$2,000 on repairs and regular maintenance, and would like the car to make it beyond 100,000 miles. For a 3-year old car, the number is much smaller, perhaps $500 per year for things like tires and oil changes, although with the warranty now expired, you will need to re-consider this amount. Continue reading “Unexpected Expenses You Can Count On: A Four Week Discussion”