Save a Lot of Money with These 7 Simple and Effective Tips

Do you find it difficult to hang on to your money? Does it feel like things cost more than they ought to and drain your bank account faster than you were expecting? You’re not alone in feeling this way. Moreover, it can seem tough to know how to hold on to your money longer.

a large pile of dollar bills

Getting in control of your spending isn’t as difficult as it may sound, and these simple tips can help you save a lot. Making everyday purchases shouldn’t cause you to lose tons of money. With a bit of savvy shopping and know-how, it’s possible to drastically reduce your spending and save a lot.

How to Save a Lot

a miniature shopping cart

The average person spends nearly $600 per month on everyday purchases. When a household has more people in it, the cost per person goes down somewhat, but the average family of four still pays over $1,500 per month.

Saving money takes self-discipline and planning, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun. There are many ways to buy things at discounted or inexpensive rates, and over time this can quickly add up to be a huge amount of money.

Don’t assume that saving money means you’ve got to constantly say “no” to new purchases. It also doesn’t mean that you’ve got to go without things or buy flimsy, old, or boring items to fill your home.

Having a set budget can be super helpful when you’re trying to save money. It can enable you to keep track of your expenses. And contrary to what some people believe, having a budget doesn’t mean you can’t ever spend frivolously. But even if the idea of setting up a budget is too daunting right now, utilizing these concepts and principles in your buying habits will still result in you saving a lot of money.

Top 7 Tips to Help You Save a Lot

1. Search for Coupons and Better Deals on the Internet

a large pile of shopping coupons

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, it’s possible to use the internet to find better deals. Search for coupon codes before you check out, and see if there are any deals being offered by other competitors. If someone else is providing the same item for a lower price, you can either purchase it from them or see if the original store will price match for you.

2. Sign Up for a Cash Back Program

dollar bills close-up

There are many websites, such as Ebates or Swagbucks, which offer cash or points for online shopping when you click to head to the retail site using their link. Using these links can give you a decent chunk of change back. You can save a lot if you shop online regularly and use these sites every time.

3. Shop During Sales

one day sale sign

Sure, it can seem strange to go Christmas shopping in August or earlier, but if your budget can manage it and you find a sale right now, there’s no reason not to buy things way in advance. When you see a sale for a non-perishable item that you know you’re sure to eventually use and need, go ahead and stock up.

4. Pay Off Credit Cards and Debt Quickly

a crumpled dollar bill on credit cards

It can be very tempting to pay the minimal necessary amount on your credit cards and other loans. But because of interest, this can actually result in you paying a lot more money than you really need to. If you pay off your credit cards in full each month, or at least as much as your budget will allow, you’ll avoid paying extra interest and save yourself money in the long run.

5. Avoid Purchasing Items You Don’t Really Need

the words stop overspending on a yellow board

If you’re just starting to coupon or search for deals, it can be tempting to purchase any item that’s on sale just because it’s a good deal. But that doesn’t automatically mean you’re saving money. If you aren’t going to use it or don’t need it, you’re still spending more than you should.

6. Prepare Food at Home

a fancy dinner plate

Cooking your own food is typically far less expensive than eating out. Learning to cook even a few simple items can save you a lot of cash every month. Review your regular spending habits to see if investing in things like an espresso machine, grill, or other kitchen appliances would save you money by allowing you to make your favorite foods and beverages at home instead of paying premium prices elsewhere.

7. Be Willing to Purchase Used or Slightly Marred Items

a sign of a garage sale

If you’re willing to buy gently-used items, you’ll typically be able to save a lot of money. Shopping garage sales, online buying and selling groups, and thrift stores can save you a lot of money on many different items. You’ll have to do your homework and be careful to avoid scams, but it can still pay off in the end.

Many stores also have large-ticket items which are discounted due to slight blemishes or cosmetic faults or have off-season items listed on clearance. You can save a lot if you’re willing to buy from these categories when you go shopping.

Bottom Line

Obviously, the types of ways you can save money don’t end here. There are a lot of other ways to pinch your pennies, but these are some of the top principles. Start here, and once you’ve mastered a few of these ideas, you can search for more smart methods to save a lot.

If you’ve got some excellent money-saving tips to help others save a lot, we’d love to hear them! Tell us about your ideas in the comments below, and let us know whether you already use the tips listed above, and what other things should be added to the list.

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How to Get Out of Debt Fast – 7 Main Steps

The debt of an average American is skyrocketing, and many are dealing with overwhelming financial struggles. As the saying goes, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures.’ So, many American households are looking for information on how to get out of debt fast. How can you manage your payments, get out of the bull’s eyes of creditors and save your credit score?

the words debt relief scrabble letters

Dealing with a debt crisis can bring on a lot of frustration and stress. However, there are ways to approach debt and make it more manageable. We have gathered the top tips from financial experts on how to get out of debt fast. We hope that the following tips will help you find a financial peace of mind.

How to Get Out of Debt Fast

Debt can be an overwhelming thing to deal with. However, with the proper advice and planning, you can get out from under the shadow of your piling bills. There are many different types of sources that debt can come from. The most frequently cited reasons for debt is student loans, credit cards, and car loans. It might take a while, but there are steps you can take to help manage these debts.

a pile of credit cards

The quicker you get the debt paid off, the better. Not only will you have saved on interest, but you will also be done with the stress of dealing with hefty monthly payments. You might think that living in ignorance is the answer to dealing with debt.

However, ignoring your financial situation will only result in disastrous outcomes. For example, you will have a hard time every owning a home, buying a car or securing lines of credit. Become familiar with your financial situation and create a plan on how to make it as manageable and possible. The future you will thank you.

Top 7 Steps on How to Get Out of Debt Fast

1. Find Clever Ways to Make Some Extra Cash

some dollar bills under a rolling pin

It is pretty simple. The more money you have coming in each month, the more you are able to put towards paying off your monthly debt. Find an effective way to make a little extra cash on the side. For example, do you have a creative hobby?

Find a method to share your talent with others. One woman reported making around a thousand dollars a month crocheting scarves and hats for local craft fairs. Handmade wares can be extremely moneymakers.

Another simple way to make some extra money is to get a part-time job. Services like Uber or Lyft, are great opportunities for someone looking to make extra income in their spare time without making a big commitment. Don’t forget traditional ways of making money, such as babysitting, cleaning or handyman services.

2. Utilize the Debt Snowball Method

You might have heard of the debt snowball method. It all begins by listing all of your debt and outstanding balances from smallest to biggest. Then work your way down the list. Put the majority of your funds towards the smallest amount of debt, while you continue to pay the minimum amount on to the other debts.

As you pay off the smaller debts, you are working your way to the biggest. This will create a snowball effect, allowing you to pay more towards bigger debts. Eventually, you will find yourself debt free.

3. Create a Budget

dollar bills in the shape of a pie chart

Even if you don’t find yourself struggling with crippling debt, a budget is still a healthy way to manage your finances. Write down all your monthly expenses, from bills to spending money expenses.

Then, using your monthly income, find out how much money can be spent on each category. A budget will help you from overspending on frivolous things and keep an eye on debt or important bills. This is also a helpful way to see your money spending habits.

4. Pay More Than the Minimum

Mostly all debt, especially credit cards and student loans, accrue interest this month. This means the total amount you will spend to pay off your balance will increase. This is the reason that it is so important to pay more than the minimum payment each month.

Try to put as much towards the debt as possible. Before making a large payment, check with the credit company and make sure there are no penalties for paying debt off early.

5. Negotiate with Collectors

If you find yourself unable to cover monthly payments or feel as if a balance is too high for you to find the means to pay off, don’t be afraid to call the company. Most debt collectors are willing to negotiate. Some will even be willing to work out a better payment plan or even lower your balance amount.

Sometimes once a debt has been out for so long, collection agencies are willing to settle for a less amount just to get the account closed. Don’t ignore debt collection calls. Answer the phone and be completely honest with your financial situation. You might find that they are willing to work something out.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Lower Interest Rates

a big red zero percent sign

Speaking of talking with the credit company, another topic you shouldn’t be afraid to bring up is interest rates. Some companies might be willing to negotiate a lower interest rate, which means more savings for you.

7. Drop Expensive Habits or Indulgences

An obvious step to help create more income that can go towards outstanding debt is dropping expensive habits, such as that daily Starbucks latte. It is pretty incredible to see how these small daily indulgences can add up each month. Making sacrifices like this is key on how to get out of debt fast.

Bottom Line

Using these simple tips is the perfect answer for how to get out of debt fast. Whether you have a small amount of debt or a crushing total, it is possible to achieve a financial peace of mind. Start now and remember that every dollar counts. What strategies or tips do you have for how to get out of debt fast? Have you tried them? Tell us your debt stories in the comments below.

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Top 7 Advantages of the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan & Steps to Succeed at It

The 21 Day Fix meal plan is one of the most vital parts of the popular BeachBody fitness program. The meal plans implement nutritious foods and portion control. Many have followed the 21-day fix and shared impressive goals. Just with any fitness or healthy eating regime, it is important to follow the restrictions.

a salad and meat sandwich

We have put together some of the important steps to creating a successful 21 Day Fix meal plan. With so many healthy advantages, the 21 Day Fix meal plan is a great place to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Whether you want to reach a weight loss goal or simply learn to eat healthier, this is a great opportunity to implement into your daily life.

How to Succeed at the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

It is very important to eat clean and exercise portion control while on the 21 Day Fix. To make sure you will succeed from the very beginning, you should create an easy-to-follow meal plan. By prepping your meals ahead of time, you will have no excuse not to follow the program when hunger strikes.

Many BeachBody coaches recommend creating a food planning journal. This will help you log the foods that you eat and calculate calories and nutrition facts. You will want to stay in your recommended calorie range each day, and it can be hard to keep track without logging your consumed calories.

The meal plan calls for a strict schedule of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack. By eating smaller portions at meals and snacking on healthy tidbits throughout the day, your body will get the right amount to fuel yourself through the day.

Make sure you are eating clean and avoiding ingredients such as sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. There are several resources that offer clean eating recipes and snack ideas. No need to sacrifice flavor and variety, the possibilities are endless.

Top 7 Advantages of the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

#1. Cut Out Processed Foods

a lot of processed foods on a table

While on Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix meal plan, you can eat a wide variety of foods. However, process foods are on the no-no list. This is a great opportunity to learn to enjoy clean eating. By eliminating process foods out of your diet, you will experience several health benefits.

Followers of the program have reported weight loss, higher energy levels, clearer skin, sharper memory skills and more. Our bodies were meant to consume natural, clean foods. This meal plan will help you realize what type of fuel your body really needs.

#2. Use Up Leftovers

The great thing about meal planning is being able to incorporate past day’s meal ingredients. For example, use the leftover lettuce and veggies from yesterday’s salad to make a quick and easy midday snack for the next day.

Several Beachbody coaches recommend using leftover protein. Cook up an extra serving at chicken for dinner, and you will have a pre-made lunch the next day! Not only will this free up valuable fridge space, but it will also help reduce your food costs.

#3. Discover New Foods

two casseroles of food

The 21 Day Fix offers you the opportunity to try new foods or learn to love new flavors. Perhaps you are not the biggest fan of vegetables or lean protein? There are several clean eating recipes that utilize these ingredients. Their preparation or seasonings options could create a flavor that you absolutely love.

#4. No Fuss Meals

How many times have you or your family spent way too much time deciding what to eat for dinner? Or how many times have you come home from work way too tired to eat? By meal planning and preparing ahead of time, meals become completely fuss free. Most of the plan’s recipes call for no or minimal preparation. Basically, you can grab your prepared container and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal.

#5. Lose Weight

two healthy meals

Whether you want to achieve a goal weight or simply tone up trouble areas, diet is the best way to start. By implementing healthy eating choices and following the 21 Day Fix meal plan, your metabolism will begin to speed up, and your body will begin to repair the damage of unhealthy eating.

Also, a healthy diet will prepare your body for a fitness regime. While on the 21-day fix, you will realize you have more energy to get through a great workout session!

#6. More Energy

Healthy eating can be the answer to revitalizing those energy levels. If you suffer from feeling sluggish or tired, even after sleeping, a diet change could be just what your body needs. A healthy diet and fitness regime is recommended by many health experts. Give your body the fuel it is meant to have by cutting out processed foods and following this program.

#7. Easy to Follow

There is a reason that so many people choose to follow this Beachbody program. With your signup, a Beachbody coach will be assigned to you. They can offer you helpful advice and tips to reach your goals. Beachbody has made the 21 Day Fix as easy as possible to follow.

With shopping lists, recipe ideas and meal plans, you will be set up for success. The program even comes with a set of color-coded containers to help you control portions and make sure you are getting enough of each healthy food group!

Summing It Up

Today could be the first day to a new you! By taking advantage of these tips, you can reach your health and fitness goals. Many people have seen great success with the 21 Day Fix. Now is the time for you to join that statistic. Have you ever tried to the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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Top 7 Best Savings Account Options You Can Access Online

It is extremely important to be prepared for any emergency financial issue that may arise. From an unforeseen medical expense to a sudden job loss, having a savings account is vital. With the emergence of many online banks, it has become more convenient and fuss-free to open a savings account than ever. Being able to access your account online is a great benefit, but not all accounts are created equal.

a yellow piggy bank on coins

How to Find the Best Savings Account for You

When looking for the best online saving account for yourself, there are a few factors you should keep in mind. Financial experts recommend choosing a high interest yielding account that offers low or no balance requirements and no account maintenance fees. High-interest rates mean more money in your pocket.

Whether you make periodic large deposits or add a little at every pay period, high-interest rates will help raise your balance and multiply your funds. With a national average APY of .06 percent, our picks for the best online savings accounts exceed this average with attractive percentages as high as 1 percent. Basically, high interest yielding accounts give you a little extra bonus to your balance.

While several banks will require you to keep a certain balance or risk being subjected to fees, we believe that you shouldn’t have restrictions. After all, it is your account and your money. Pick an account that will allow you to have whatever balance suits you. Also, no one likes being subjected to pesky hidden fees. Find an account that is completely open when it comes to several fee possibilities.

With literally hundreds of banking options available on the Internet, we waded through the offers to find the best savings account options. The following seven online savings account offer great benefits, customer service, and security.

Top 7 Savings Account Options You Can Access Online

a credit card detail

1. Barclays

A Barclays online savings account has many great perks that make it attractive to users. It offers a starting one percent APY. Not only that, but its rates are ranked about twelve times better than the national average. Their best savings account is convenient and flexible.

You don’t need to have a minimum balance, and Barclays promises no hidden fees. One of the most attractive features of a Barclays account is that you can link directly to a different pre-existing bank account.

2. MySavingsDirect

MySavingsDirect has a much smaller following than these other big bank names. As an online division of New York-based Emigrant Bank, MySavingsDirect offers a basic savings account with big perks. A high-interest savings account comes along with a low 1 percent APY. They also promise that users won’t have to deal with any pesky requirements or hidden fees. Plus, you can easily transfer money by linking the account up to a preexisting account.

3. Discover Bank

Discover Bank’s saving account do have the requirement that you make a deposit of at least $500. However, this deposit will earn you some pretty great perks, such as a super low 0.95 percent APY. After your initial deposit, you will not be subjected to any balance requirement or hidden maintenance fees. You have the convenient freedom to access your money almost anywhere. Discover has more than 60,000 ATM location across the nation.

4. Ally

You may have seen Ally’s commercials about their impressive saving account perks. Ally offers one percent APY, no hidden fees and no balance requirements on every account. As an online banker, Ally ranks as one of the best saving selection account options when it comes to customer service. Ally allows you to link a number of banking accounts to your Ally savings account, which gives you maximum control over your money.

5. Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank is known for having the best savings account options with high-interest yield and some impressive benefits. Their 1.05 APY is better than many of their competitors. Like many of the other banks on this list, Synchrony does not have a minimum balance requirement.

However, if your balance drops below $30, you will be subjected to a $5 monthly fee. Despite this small fee, there are plenty of other perks to outweigh it. Long time account holders earn travel discounts, identity protection and more.

6. Salem Five Direct

Salem Five Direct is another online division of a larger banking branch, Salem Five Cents Savings Bank. Their best savings account comes with an attractive 1.10 percent APY and also offers a lower APY percentage checking account that you can link together. With free ATM withdrawals, no account minimums or hidden fees, this is a great online savings account options. To start, all you will need is at least $100 as a beginning deposit.

7. Capital One

Almost everyone has heard of Capital One. This large name is a leader in the banking and credit industry. With such a high reputation, the company also offers one of the best savings account options. You can rest assured that your money is being protected by one of the leading banks in the nation.

With an 1 percent APY and a promise of no hidden fees or balance requirements, Capital One is a great choice for an online savings account. Capital One and all of these banking institutions are backed by FDIC-insured banks with legitimate reputations.

Let’s Recap

Find the best savings account for you and your finances. Look for convenient and attractive benefits, like online access, high-interest rates, minimal balance requirements and lack of pesky fees. By opening an online savings account, you can gain a financial peace of mind by building a valuable safety net.

Whether you are saving for a certain goal or building emergency funds, you need a savings account. Do you have experience with an online savings account? We would love to hear about your experience. Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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