Money Saving Tips

  • Unnecessary Cellphone Charges: Advice from the Better Business Bureau

    July 11, 2012 - Leave a Comment

    It's summertime and you know what that means?? VACATION!!!! Some of you will be traveling for vacation and some for business. In any case, have you thought about your cellphone coverage and or data plan? Make sure you add checking with your cellphone provider to your to-do list before you go, especially for international travel.

    Better Business Bureau Advice: Guard Against Added Cell Phone Charges When Vacationing

    · Turn off your phone.

    · Contact your cell phone provider.

    · Invest in a prepaid SIM card.

    · Check with your BBB. Travelers should always check with your BBB before choosing an international service provider at www.bbb.org

    Read entire article here

    Cell phone charges, cell phone signal booster

  • AJC: "Telework can work for you, too"; UPS Supports the First-ever Georgia Telework Week!

    August 26, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Catherine Salvadore is a human resources manager at UPS corporate headquarters in Atlanta.  The following are a few excerpts from her article in the Opinions Section of the AJC to report back to the community how Teleworking worked for UPS.

    Telework can work for you, too
    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/telework-can-work-for-599688.html

    "After the launch of our pilot program, the results spoke for themselves:

    Productivity when working from home jumped by 17 percent, and 86 percent of UPS teleworkers agreed that job satisfaction improved when reporting to work without leaving home.

    Thanks to the work-life balance benefits of working from home, UPS also found that our teleworkers save an average 87 minutes a day by eliminating their commute, and they use that time to get more work done, spend time with family and exercise."

    In addition to being a great efficiency productivity booster for their employees, Catherine goes on to discuss the positive impact of teleworking on the environment, also.

    "By eliminating their commutes just a few times a month, the UPS teleworkers involved in the initial pilot program kept more than 46 tons of pollution out of the air we breathe over the course of a year.

    Not to mention the more than 93,000 vehicle miles eliminated from metro Atlanta’s roads, reducing congestion — the void that costs employers in the Atlanta region nearly $3 billion annually in lost productivity.

    With a recent survey showing that one-quarter of commuters in metro Atlanta do not telework, but believe that their job responsibilities would allow it, these programs can play an important role in relieving the strain on our region’s transportation resources and improving air quality."

    __________________________________________________________

    zBoost by Wi-Ex is a great tool for people and companies who use teleworking. The zBoost line of products provide cellular signal solutions to those who are unable to get a reliable signal in their homes, thus allowing them to stay connected to be more productive while teleworking. Wi-Ex provides an array of cell phone signal boosting products that suit everyone's needs. The YX540 SOHO, and the YX540 METRO, are the newest additions to our line:

    •   YX545 SOHO, is a home and office unit that boosts signal for up to 3000 sq feet.
    • YX540 METRO, is a signal booster for people who live in apartments, urban lofts, and metro areas. You are able to place the antenna on a window and boost up to 1500 sq feet.
  • Money Saving Tips

    October 19, 2009 - Leave a Comment

    It's the time of year to begin thinking about your holiday shopping.  Every year I vow to spend less and shop early, so I thought a little research in October would be appropriate.  I found this story on The Dollar Stretcher www.stretcher.comIt offers some great ideas for thoughtful but inexpensive gifts.  The story specifically mentions Christmas, but these suggestions are perfect for all gift giving occasions.

     

    A Less Is More Christmas List
    by Gary Foreman

    "What's the best Christmas present you ever got?" Mary asked the question almost absent-mindedly, but John knew that there was something behind that innocent question.

    "Probably those old records you found for me one year. I listen to them all the time. Why do you ask?"

    "Just thinking about our Christmas shopping list. We shouldn't spend so much this year and yet I don't want to feel like we're cheating our friends and relatives. Thought that maybe remembering our own best and worst gifts would put me in the right frame of mind to put a good list together."

    Since John hated shopping he was all for anything that would make Christmas shopping easier. If Mary could make it cheaper, too, she'd really have something! "I'll tell you one rule we should use this year. If someone already has one of something we shouldn't buy them a replacement. Take your Dad, for instance. Last year we bought him that new putter. After six rounds of missing puts with it he was ready to throw it into the lake. Don't think we bought any real happiness with that gift!"

    Mary chuckled, but she knew that John was right. "Remember those shirtshttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/mag-glass_10x10.gif we got for your brothers? I was looking for something where I could buy two and give one to each. I ended up getting something that really wasn't right for either of them. This year, I'm just not going to buy the same gift for more than one person."

    John hadn't told Mary, but one day last spring Bill had mentioned that he returned the shirthttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/mag-glass_10x10.gif. "What we need to figure out is what to do with all of our friends. If we don't have enough time to see them regularly how are we supposed to find a gift that they really like?"

    "Oh, I didn't tell you. Susie and I were talking on the phone the other day. We decided that instead of trading meaningless gifts that we would save the money and use it to go out to dinnerhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/2.gif together in January. It's set for the 9th. We thought that would be a good chance to catch up with what's going on in each other's lives."

    "Great! Why don't we do that with Jim and Nancy, too?"

    Mary responded to John by making a note on her list. But she was still concerned that there were too many people on the list where she just didn't have any good ideas. "What about Ellen and Tony? She always says that they don't need anything. But I can't just skip my own sister."

    "How about this, Hon? With the three kids they never seem to have any time on their own. Why don't we babysit the kids while they go to dinner or a movie?"

    Mary thought for a moment, then a frown crossed her face. "Even if they want to go out, Ellen will never call to ask. It'll be like giving them nothing."

    "I can solve that. Do the same thing you did with Susie. Pick a date and then just remind Ellen about a week before. That way they have to do something specific to avoid going out."

    Mary brightened. "Oh, I like that! I was thinking of something similar for Joannie. Since the divorce she never gets any time away from the kids. I thought that we could babysit while she goes to the mall or has lunch with some girl friends. Now I know how to get her to actually take me up on the offer!"

    John joined Mary on the sofa and peeked at her list. "Oh, I've got an idea for your folks. Heard it on the radio. You always talk about how much they mean to you. Why don't you write it down. Sort of like a tribute to them. Include how they've helped you and why you love them. I'll use the computer to print it up fancy and we can frame it for them. The guy on the radio said that he's seen parents break down and cry when they get one." John wasn't too sure, but he thought that his bride's eyes were just a little bit teary at the thought.

    "What'll we do about Aunt Edna? Guess we can't get by with a fruitcake, can we?"

    Mary shot an elbow at John's ribs. He never missed an opportunity to poke some fun at her aunt. "I've got that one covered, wise guy. She's always saying how she wishes she could see more of the kids. So I'm going to get a little photo album and fill it with a bunch of family pictures. I can put it in the mail to her and it'll almost be like a visit. You know, you should be more respectful of your elders!"

    John grinned and gave her hand a squeeze. "Ok, now all we've got to do is figure out what to do with all the kids. Is there something in the Christmas rule book that says that children's gifts all have to be electronic or cost over $20..."

     

    The Dollar Stretcher www.stretcher.com is dedicated to "Living Better for Less". You'll find the web's largest collection of free articles to save you time and money. There's even a free weekly email newsletter send email to subscribe-dollar-stretcher-2@hub.thedollarstretcher.com.

     

    Please share your cost savings methods so we can share them with our readers, by emailing me at rpridemore@wi-ex.com.  Check back next month for additional money saving tips.

  • Money Saving Tips

    September 21, 2009 - Leave a Comment

    The DJI is closing in on 10,000 but many people are still out of jobs and home foreclosures are on the rise.  Is the recession coming to an end or will 2010 be a continuation of 2009?  No one knows for sure, so we continue with our money saving tips. Here are five tips from the Simpledollar.com. See their full list of 100 tips at http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/02/06/little-steps-100-great-tips-for-saving-money-for-those-just-getting-started/

    1. Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities. This is often a tricky thing to do, but there are a number of techniques you can try. My favorite one is to be the first one to suggest something – that often gives you the power to steer the group towards things that are cheaper. If you can convince your friends to go to the park and shoot hoops instead of going golfing, those green fees are going to stay in your pocket.

    Police officer2. Don’t speed. Not only is it inefficient in terms of gasoline usage, it also can get you pulled over and cost you a bundle, as I discovered a while back. It’s highly cost-efficient to just drive the speed limit, keep that gas in the tank, and keep the cops off your tail.

     

    3. Read more. Reading is one of the cheapest – and most beneficial – hobbies around. Most towns have a library available to the public – just go there and check out some books that interest you. Then, spend some of your free time in a cozy place in your house, just reading away. You’ll learn something new, improve your reading ability, enjoy yourself, and not have to spend a dime. Here are some more techniques for getting into the reading flow.

    4. Drive a different route to work. This is an especially powerful tip if you find yourself “automatically” stopping for something on the way into work or the way home. Get rid of that constant drain by selecting a different route that doesn’t go by the temptation, even if the new route is a bit longer. You’ll still be time ahead (because you’re not stopping) and you’ll definitely be money ahead.

    5. Air seal your home. Most homes have some air leaks that make the job of keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter that much harder – and that much more costly for you. Spend an afternoon air sealing your home – the DoE has a great guide on basic air sealing.

    Please share your cost savings methods so we can share them with our readers, by emailing me at rpridemore@wi-ex.com.  Check back next month for additional cost saving tips.

  • Money Saving Tips

    August 24, 2009 - Leave a Comment

    Since our last Money Saving Tips on July 20th the Dow Jones Industrial Index has risen about 500 points. Are you feeling any richer in your daily life?

    If you are like most people you are still looking for ways to save money and ease the financial squeeze on your household budget. Here are five of my favorite tips from the Simpledollar.com. See their full list of 100 tips at http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/02/06/little-steps-100-great-tips-for-saving-money-for-those-just-getting-started/

    Dollar-Bill-Home2

    #1 Master the thirty day rule. Whenever you’re considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and then ask yourself if you still want that item. Quite often, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed and you’ll have saved yourself some money by simply waiting. If you want, you can even keep a “thirty day list” where you write down the item and the day you’ll reconsider it, but I prefer just to keep this one in my head - that way, I often just forget about the unimportant things.

    #2 Invite friends over instead of going out. Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out. Invite some friends over and have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards and have a few drinks. Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and the others will likely reciprocate not long afterwards.

    #3 Drink more water. Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest it better, you won’t eat as much, saving on the ol’ food bill. You’ll also find yourself feeling a bit better as you begin to get adequately hydrated (most Americans are perpetually somewhat dehydrated). (Personal Note:  When you do eat out, order water as your beverage.  My children know that we can eat out more frequently if we order water as our beverage. Additionally it ends the "Can I have a soft drink?" argument.)

    #4 Keep your hands clean. This one’s simple - just wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day especially each time you use the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and medicine costs and lost productivity. That’s not to say you shouldn’t explore the world and get your hands dirty sometimes - that’s good for you, too - but basic sanitation does help keep the medical bills away. (This one is for the germaphobes in marketing)

    #5 Never give up.Whenever the struggle against debt feels like it’s too much, go read a personal finance blog and remember that there are a lot of people out there fighting the same fight. Read through the archives and learn some new things - and get inspired to keep going, no matter what.

    Please share your cost savings methods so we can share them with our readers, by emailing me at rpridemore@wi-ex.com.  Check back next month for additional cost saving tips.

  • CouponMom - Site of the Week

    August 6, 2009 - Leave a Comment

     
    In today's tough times everyone is looking for creative ways to cut their budget. With CouponMom you can cut your grocery bill in half while purchasing the same items you would normally. The process consumers have to do is:
     
    1. Stock up on coupons: Start a file for each week of coupons in your local Sunday paper and date the file. Don't clip any coupons because the site will tell you which ones you need later.
    2. Find Sale Prices: Go to CouponMom and find the grocery store you shop at regularly. The site will tell you what items are on sale and what coupons from what date could be used to knock the price of the item down a certain percent.
    3. CouponMom lets you check which items you want and print that list.
    4. Start saving
     
    Couponmom also gives consumers other coupons sites that have an assortment of coupons in addition to your local Sunday paper. Another tip the site gives consumers is to stock up on items that will last while their price is low.  To do this all you need to do is start tracking prices on items you purchase alot and only buy the items when they are at their lowest price.
     
    The best part about this site is you wont spend time clipping coupons each week because CouponMom does the work for you. Give about 15 minutes a week and save about save about half your grocery total. To begin cutting your grocery bill in half visit www.couponmom.com

  • Money Saving Tips

    July 20, 2009 - Leave a Comment

    July 2009 004If you follow any financial news, the constant debate is whether the recession is beginning to end or if there is another shoe to drop.  I'm not sure of the answer to that debate, but I know at most homes we are all feeling the squeeze in our daily expenses.

     Back in January, my family began the process of examining our monthly expenditures, looking for places to cut.  I'm embarrassed to say there was a lot of fat in our spending.  Our first step was to examine our monthly reoccurring charges.  As a result we were able to cut over $2,000 in annual expenses with no change in our lifestyle.

     Specifically we took the following steps:

    -Cancelled our personal American Express card which was charging us almost $600 a year to use.  This made sense when we signed on, because they were offering free plane tickets and other freebies, but these were items we no longer wanted or used.  We switched into a business American Express card, which waived all fees for the first year.

    -Called our TV satellite company and renegotiated our monthly bill, saving $25 a month for annual savings of $300 with no lost services.

     -Cancelled our landline phone, saving $50 per month or $600 per year.  We added a zBoost Dual Band cell phone signal booster to improve our in home cell phone signal. It had a onetime cost of $399, so the first year savings was only $200, but future years will be $600 per year.

     -Switched from EarthLink to AT&T for our internet provider and bundled this with our AT&T cell service for a monthly savings of $60 per month or $720 annually.

     -Cancelled a couple of subscriptions/memberships that we were no longer using for an annual savings of $400.

     -We also called our car and home insurance companies and found we could save about $200 per year total but decided that it wasn't worth it, since things seem to happen to our home and cars.  For instance, we were hit by a deer while on vacation and Amica, our insurance company, had the car repaired and paid for before our vacation was over.

    It's important to weigh short term savings with long term relationships or consequences.

    More recently we have been saving money in the following ways:

    -My girls started shopping at some of the local consignment stores like Plato's Closet (www.platoscloset.com) and instead of buying 2 items for $60 at the local dept store they began coming home with a whole bag full of clothes for the same amount. My son also sold some of his clothes to the consignment store for extra spending money.

    -One of our biggest areas of savings is my car.  We bought a used SUV in 2003 with 60,000 miles on it.  It now has almost 200,000 miles.  Prior to these difficult times, we would be looking to replace my high mileage car, but instead we hope to make it run for at least another 50,000 to 100,000 miles.  We keep it well maintained and in return it continues to be very reliable.  Our monthly repair expenditure averages less than $120 a month, verses a car payment of several hundred dollars. See the following article for tips to make your car last 250,000 miles.

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveonaCar/MakeYourCarLast250000Miles.aspx?gt1=33004

     -Our daughter will soon be attending the University of Georgia (www.uga.edu) and by attending an in state college we will be saving thousands of dollars annually verses attending an out of state college.  She was considering two out of state schools, The Ohio State University (www.osu.edu), which is our family alma mater and Auburn (www.auburn.edu), which is where her boyfriend will soon be attending. This was a difficult decision, she is a very good student and we had been saving most of her life for college. However, in this uncertain economy it wasn't prudent to take on the extra financial commitment that comes with out of state tuition.

    These are just a few of the ways our family has been cutting back.  Please share your cost savings methods so we can share them with our readers, by emailing me at rpridemore@wi-ex.com.  Check back next month for additional cost saving tips.

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