Moving property is one of the most expensive things that you will ever have to do in your life. The thought of spending your money on transporting all of your possessions, renting or paying off a mortgage, and setting up your new life, is incredibly overwhelming. However, you can find some peace of mind by making savings wherever possible. By taking a little time to weigh up your options and thinking outside of the box, you can reduce your costs significantly. Below are four ways that you can save money when moving from one property to another.
Compare your options
When you are looking for a new property, it is important that you consider all of the choice available to you. First, you need to think about location. Then you need to decide whether you want to buy or rent. This is all before even thinking about the property itself! By comparing your options online, you can simplify this decision process. If you use an online apartment finder, you will be able to find all of the best deals. You will also be able to filter your search based on your specific requirements. For instance, if you can only move to a pet-friendly apartment, you won’t want to spend hours trawling through unsuitable matches. Instead, you can skip to the properties that are perfect for you.
Hire your own removal van
Taking care of your own removal and delivery service is a fantastic way to save money. All you need to do is hire a van and find some eager helpers. This will also help you save on removal insurance, as you won’t have to worry as much about your possessions being broken or damaged in the move. Instead, you will be in complete control.
Get your boxes for free
Large removal boxes are surprisingly expensive. This is because most companies know people who need them don’t have much choice. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Visit your local stores and ask them if they have any large cardboard boxes out back. If they regularly accept deliveries, this is more than likely. Some friendlier stores will offer you these boxes for free. This will secure you a massive saving on the cost of your move. You could also try wrapping your fragile items in clothes or bedding. This saves you from having to purchase bubble wrap and means that you will have less rubbish to dispose of.
Out with the old and in with the new
Use your move as the perfect opportunity to review your living costs. Don’t just automatically return to the same providers. Look through your bills and try to identify areas that you could be saving money. Use online comparison sites to secure yourself the best deal. It is also worth calling up your old providers and giving them the opportunity to secure your business. If you suggest that there are other deals on the table, they will be more likely to offer you competitive rates.Tammie~
When you’re trying to find the best possible deal on a specific item, it goes without saying that you’ll have to do some shopping around. Some people enjoy searching for bargains and staying aware of the latest and greatest deals, while others find it to be a burden and a hassle. In fact, the majority of purchases made online are transactions in which the buyer paid more than the lowest possible price. Indeed, many consumers are willing to spend a bit extra in exchange for the convenience of getting the sale over with quickly and easily. However, if you don’t mind taking a few minutes to research your purchasing decisions, then you could save a significant amount of money in the long-term, especially if you heed the following five tips:
1. Check Review Sites
Comparing price is a straightforward and simple process, but there are other factors that determine whether you’re getting a good deal, such as the quality of the item. When there are multiple competing brands to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one to go with based on price alone, which is why reading customer reviews is such an important step in the initial product comparison. The best way to read a large number of reviews quickly is to use a review site that specializes in that niche. For example, if you were in the market for a portable Jacuzzi you might spend some time reading inflatable hot tub reviews on Portable Tubs HQ. In fact, since finding the best prices typically involves little more than comparing a few numbers, reading reviews is a step you should be devoting most of your effort to, especially if it’s a relatively expensive item.
2. Use a Shopping Comparison Tool
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to visit dozens of different websites individually in order to find and compare all of their prices, as you can use a shopping comparison or aggregation tool like Google Shopping. Such platforms list the prices and site links of competing products based on the keyword you’re searching for. Using Google Shopping is as easy as clicking on the Shopping search option after entering in the name of the product. If you’re looking for the fastest and easiest way to compare prices from multiple providers, a shopping aggregator would definitely be the best way to go. Savvy shoppers use Google Shopping as their go-to tool for determining the fair market value of an item.
3. Take Advantage of Discount Codes and Sales
Many times, people overlook the option to enter a discount code, even though it could save them a huge percentage on the cost of their order. Finding such codes is usually as simple as searching on sites like Groupon and RetailMeNot. These sites not only list coupon codes they’re also great directories for finding your favorite brand’s current offers, promotions, and sales. Furthermore, all you have to do to use these discounts is copy and paste a simple line of text during checkout. Be sure to look carefully for the option to enter a discount code, as sometimes it can be difficult to find or may come during the last step. Another way to get exclusive codes is to join your favorite brands’ websites and sign up for their email newsletters. That way you’ll receive direct notifications in your inbox when a sale is coming up or a new discount is available.
4. Pay Attention to the Cost of Shipping
Many buyers are swindled into paying a high price when they think they’re getting a good deal because sellers will sometimes charge an exuberant amount for shipping. These unscrupulous sellers are relying on the fact that a certain percentage of people who shop online will forget to check the shipping costs and/or won’t want to bother with finding an alternative just to save on shipping. You can be part of the smart crowd by simply paying attention to the cost of shipping and looking for sites that offer free or discounted shipping. It’s also important to review your selected shipping option during checkout to make sure you don’t accidentally choose a more expensive method. Also, don’t be fooled into paying much more for 2-day shipping if you can afford to wait, as basic ground shipping will often get the item to your door in 3-4 days anyways. Expedited shipping options should only be considered when they’re absolutely necessary, as they can add up to quite an expense that could be easily avoided.
5. Consider Refurbished and Gently Used Alternatives
If price is your biggest concern you might want to consider opting for refurbished, remanufactured, or otherwise gently used items instead of their brand new counterparts. Taking this route will usually save you 50% or more on the purchase price and typically the product itself is still fully functional and may only contain a few blemishes that aren’t easy to notice. Even if you originally wanted the item to be new, you might be surprised at the condition of the refurbished version, and many companies who sell refurbished goods also offer a guarantee or exchange policy that will give you the assurance that the item is at least going to work properly and look decent.
Spend Some Time to Save Some Money
Ultimately, it boils down to whether you’d rather save a little time than a lot of money. Although time is technically money, it really doesn’t take that long to make sure you’re not giving yourself the short end of the stick when it comes to shopping online. Heeding the tips above and honing your online shopping skills is something you can do in your spare time with very little effort, and if you’re already going through the hassle of pulling your card out to make an online order, you might as well take a few additional measures to ensure you’re not ripping yourself off just to save a couple of minutes.Tammie~
Retiring early gives you an opportunity to pursue your interests and hobbies while maintaining your standard of living. You do not have to report to an office every day or live a structured life year after year. Many people are afraid to think about early retirement because of their dependence on their jobs. The greatest fear about early retirement is the lack of income to sustain your current or dream lifestyle. The truth is that many professionals have retired early and lived a better life than they did while working. It just takes knowledge and proper planning to retire early. If you have been thinking about retirement, but are unsure about how to get there, here are some tips to guide you in the process.
The way to overcome the fear of early retirement is to do the necessary calculations. Determine the amount of annual income you will need to maintain your lifestyle in your retirement years. The next calculation is to determine the portfolio you will need to get that annual income level. The latter calculation will help you make the right decisions on investments today. Take into account the safe withdrawal rate and inflation when estimating the retirement portfolio. The recommended withdrawal rate is 4% of your portfolio.
The rate means that you will not exceed that level of annual income if you want your portfolio to continue to grow. This means that your actual portfolio must be 25 times the estimated annual income to sustain your lifestyle. Remember that the cost of living will go up by the time you retire. Hence, you must account for inflation effects in your calculations. Since you cannot predict the inflation rate for the next say 25 years, use past data to estimate the inflation rate and account for it in your income and portfolio estimations.
If you choose to retire today or in the next year, chances are that you will need more income to meet your needs. If you do not do the necessary calculations as outlined above, you will be forced to go back to employment to survive. You may be thinking of withdrawing from your IRA account to navigate early retirement, but that decision is costly.
The IRS charges you a 10% penalty for any early withdrawals from IRA accounts. Hence, you will lose some money if you choose to retire before reaching fifty nine and a half. The good news is that you can withdraw from your IRA account before the retirement age without a penalty by following the 72t rule. Anyone intending to retire early must learn the 72t distributions rule because at times the retirement portfolio will be insufficient to handle bills. The rule simply requires you to withdraw from your account in equal period withdrawals to avoid the 10% penalty.
Retiring at an early age requires some sacrifices. For you to invest in the required portfolio estimated in the first step, you need to cut your spending. Save as much as you can today and invest or bank the money. You will need everything you can get to live a good life after. Analyze your current spending and identify the areas that need change. Do you spend too much on groceries or pay TV? Do you have to take a vacation every three months? You will have to cut off some of these luxuries depending on your level of income to afford an early retirement.
The secret to saving for retirement is to start early. Do not wait until you have three years or less to make drastic changes. Every saved dollar counts in this journey. It may be time to start checking the discounts, sales, and coupons on some items. You will reap great benefits from the sacrifices you make today.
As you adopt the saving culture, stay away from credit card debt and any other form of debt. You cannot achieve your goal with accumulating debts. The interest charged will take away the largest part of your income from your portfolio. This means that you will withdraw more than the safe withdrawal amount and deplete it fast. Break away from the common myths that you must get a mortgage and buy a retirement home or a car loan to drive your dream car. You can rent a home as you slowly accumulate money to buy or build your own.
Pay off your credit card debts as soon as you can and avoid accumulating more debt on any of them. One of the considerations you may have to make is reducing your cards to one or two. Good debt may help you build your portfolio faster, but you must consider your ability to repay and invest wisely. Do not borrow for consumption or for luxuries even if you can repay the loans with your current income. Live within your means and cut down your expenses to the lowest level possible.
You may realize after doing the math that you may have to continue working longer than you want to build your portfolio. The way out is to look for alternative sources of income. You can take another part time job or start another side business to increase your income. In other words, you will work more every week and retire early. Look at your current schedule and find creative ways of using your free time to increase your income. Getting another part-time job or starting a new business may actually help you cut costs.
Retiring at an early age is possible if you start making the right decisions today. The kind of lifestyle you want to live after retirement should influence those decisions. Start by estimating the level of income that will give you the dream lifestyle and then make steps towards accumulating that income today. The steps include paying off your debts, saving more than you currently do, reducing your expenses, and increasing your current income. While making these steps, stay for focused on the goal and the fulfillment of living your life without work-related stress.Tammie~
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time online. Tweeting celebrities, checking Facebook, and killing time playing games are all common ways of using the internet, and they might provide us with lots of entertainment, but are they really the best ways for us to spend our time online? Probably not.
You see, the internet has provided us all with unparalleled opportunities to make money online and improve our lives. Here are just a handful of the most profitable ways to spend time online:
Write a Blog
Instead of spending all your time online browsing other people’s blogs, why not divert some of your spare time to creating your own blog. You can have a blog up and running within a matter of hours, and if you take it seriously, dedicate a few hours a week to writing and build up and audience, you could make a full-time income from your new hobby.
Browsing websites like http://www.sweepstakesdaily.com is a great alternative to spending your spare time checking Facebook because they collect together all of the best contests on the web for you to enter. Even if you spend only a few minutes each day looking through and applying to a fraction of the sweepstakes available, there is a good chance that you will get lucky at least occasionally, and win some great prizes. So great are the opportunities for turning a profit by entering sweepstakes that there is a small but growing group of people who treat competition entry as a full-time job and many of them do quite well out of it too!
If you’ve always wanted to become an author, but the thought of having to submit your work to publisher after publisher has put you o9ff, now might be the time to give it a go because self-publishing for the Kindle and other eBook platforms is really starting to take off.
Even if you don’t have the time or implication to write a 50,000-word novel, you could make a regular income by creating short instructive eBooks. You can find out more about self-publishing at http://www.copyblogger.com/professional-self-publishing/, and you should consider giving it a try because it’s a great way to create passive income.
Create a Course
If you have a particular skill that you think other people might want to learn, creating a video course and publishing it on Coursera, Udemy or Craftsy could be a great way to use the internet to your benefit, So, instead of idly passing the time discussing your hobby on your favorite forum, start writing and recording tutorials and make some extra money.
Set Up a Store
Instead of whiling away the hours trawling Etsy or browsing Amazon for bargains, start making the internet work for you by setting up your own online store on one of the most popular platforms. It’ll take some hard work, but with a little determination, you could start making hundreds of dollars per month just in your spare time.
Are you making money online? Which methods do you use to bring the money in?Tammie~