Tag Archives: budgeting tips

Save Money when you Purchase Refurbished Products

Most of use enjoy being able to buy the items we need as well as enjoy some luxury items now and then. The cost of many items though makes it difficult to budget for them if you don’t want to simply run out and charge up your credit cards every time you want or need something.

One of the best ways to get what you want, or need is to take a close look at refurbished items, also referred to as reconditioned, that are for sale. These items offer you the same name brand and the same quality, but they are sold for less. This is because the item has been returned because it did not work properly. Yet it has been looked at and repaired so it is just as good a purchasing a new one. Many refurbished products come with a warranty as well but several of them are purchased in an as is condition. Make sure you ask about this before you make the purchase.

Some individuals avoid refurbished products because they fear they won’t work well for them. They figure since the product has already proven to be defective one it surely will again. This is very rarely the case as refurbished products are examined by those trained to repair them. Once the problem is identified the work hard to correct it. Before the product is resold it is thoroughly tested.

Some items that get refurbished are more common than others. Generally, all of the various types of electronic products out there can be refurbished. Vacuum cleaners and computers are two of the most popular. Why pay for a new computer or a new vacuum when you can get the same model with the same features for less than of the price just by purchasing one that has been refurbished?

iPods are popular items many of us would like to have but not everyone is able to pay a couple hundred dollars for one from a retailer. Buying a refurbished iPod can be done for less than $100 and it will work for you just the same as one you buy off the shelf in the box. Other big-ticket items where you can save a great deal of money is on television sets and home theatre systems or stereos.

Most people don’t realize it, but the computers, cameras, and other products that are opened and placed on display in stores are often sold as refurbished items rather than new ones. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the product it has just been handled by many people and it likely won’t have the original packaging. You can ask the store manager about getting the store model at the refurbished price. They can contact you once the display period has ended.

Buying refurbished electronic products is an opportunity to save money over buying them new. To get the best bargain for your money, make sure you take the time to research the product you are interested in. If the reviews show that many of them have problems operating correctly you really don’t want to make that purchase. However, if the product has a good review then you can reasonably expect what you purchase to last you a very long time.

Try to find refurbished items that offer you the option to return them to the store if you have any problems with them. You should also look for items that offer you a warranty with the product at no charge. Too many refurbished items only come with an extended warranty period that you must pay for in addition to the cost of the item.

To find out where to pick up a refurbished product that you are looking for, contact the various retailers that sell it in their stores. You can also look around on the internet to get some great information. Make sure you only purchase refurbished items from reputable retailers though as you don’t want to be disappointed with your purchase.

4 Tips on How to Cut your Medical Expenses

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Moreover, there is no such thing as free medication. Some time or another, all of us will need medical treatment. Whether it would be for simple colds or for serious illnesses, these things would hurt us and burn our pockets.

According to a recent study, Americans spend more money on medical expenses than any other nationality in the world. As prices get higher and life gets harder, saving some money from your medical expenses will benefit you.

Here are some practical tips on how to cut your medical costs:

Mind Your Health

Prevention is always better than cure. Being fit and healthy seems to be a 21st century fad and it wouldn’t hurt us if we join in the bandwagon. An analysis of the 1987 National Medical Expenditures Survey revealed that people who are more active spend less on medical expenses than those who live lethargic lives. The analysis equated the benefit of being physically active to $330 (1987-dollar value) per person.

For smokers and drinkers, reducing cigarette and alcohol consumption is an option which you may find feasible. You will not only reduce future medical costs but also reduce direct costs from purchasing these products.

Go Generic

Taking generic drugs is the way to go. Patents are used by manufacturers to be able to set a price to recover their costs in developing their products. But these patents don’t last forever and sooner or later, generic versions of these drugs will be available. Generic drugs are basically the same as the branded ones in terms of ingredients and quality.

Going generic can save you a lot of money. According to the Association of Chain Drug Stores, the generic drugs are priced at $24 on the average in 2004, while the average price of the branded ones is $96 dollars.

Deal with your Doctor

Take time out to discuss things with your doctor, for this can also save you a lot of cash. Don’t be shy to ask him about the possible alternatives that you can take. Ask him if there is a generic drug that you can take if he prescribes you a branded drug. If you are going to have surgery, try to schedule wisely, to prevent overstaying in the hospital. And most importantly, do as you are told. If he asks you to quit your vice, quit it. If he tells you to be active, then you’d better be!

Medical expenses can really dig a hole in your pocket. Try to be wise in your medical transactions and more importantly, take care of your health.

How to Save Money on Gifts

Giving gifts does not have to be spendthrift. As the adage goes, it is the thought that counts. This goes to show that people can start cutting back on gifts that would cost them hundreds of dollars. It is best to opt for things that may not be that expensive but would bring joy and amusement to the one who will receive the gift.

So, if you want to give gifts but with a tight budget, worry no more because there are many ways to cut back on the prices but still be able to give gifts that will be deeply appreciated.

Start a Gift Closet

If you have not done this before, try to do it now. Shop for gifts the whole year-round. This would mean less hassle and less expense, a definite money-saver.

The point here is that if you do not plan, you will end up spending more.

You could try buying gifts at bazaars, special sales, and out-of-town trips, which you can deposit in your gift closet. In this way, you can buy the items at a much lower price than it would be sold for during the holidays.

However, to make sure that you do not give the same gift twice, you should make an inventory of all your gifts. This will also allow you to keep tabs on what you have in your stock.

Alternatively, apart from stockpiling gifts, collect wrapping paper, ribbons, and other accents as well. A gift is better appreciated when it is beautifully wrapped.

Be Creative

Nothing could be more amusing than a gift that was specially made by the person who gave the gift. Personalizing your gifts is far better than commercially made items. In this way, you do not only create a smile to the one who will receive the gift but would also cut back a large amount from your expenses.

Organizing Tip

One of the best ways of saving money on gifts is to be organized with the process. That is, before going to the store to shop for the gifts, always bring with you a shopping list. It should be stated there the names of the person to whom you will give the gift and the budget for each person.

The bottom line is that gifts should not be expensive. What matters most is that you have thought of the person on that very special day and that’s enough to make them feel they are special to you.

Money Habits: How to Ditch Bad Ones and Create Good Ones

Money is a huge part of most adults’ lives—if not all. You put in a lot of effort to make it. So it can be painful when you can’t accomplish what you hope to with it. 

This post focuses on healthy money habits and how powerful they are.

Creating Lasting Money Habits

When you make something a habit, you are able to do it without much effort or thought.

Your money habits—how you spend, save and give—can either bring you peace or worry. But the good news is that you can change your money habits for lasting peace. 

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, even though you earn a good amount, its time to make some changes. Assess your habits and see which ones are holding you back. Then start dropping them. Here are a few tips to help.

Make a budget. The first habit you need to adopt is using a budget. A monthly budget directs your money, so every dollar is accounted for. Before you get your paycheck, you should decide the amount to save, spend and give. 

Establish goals. Before you get into new money habits, set a goal. Why do you want to do this? Maybe you are trying to save for your child’s college or a dream vacation. A goal is a great motivator.

Create a habit to help you attain the goal. Assume your goal is getting a new phone. You can decide to start a habit of cooking instead of eating out. 

Have a reward system. If you keep up a good habit for a certain amount of time, reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be something big. 

Monitor your progress. Every month, come back to your budget and see how you are doing. Make any necessary adjustments.

Don’t get discouraged if you didn’t do everything right. Learn from your mistakes. 

Good Budgeting Habits to Adopt

Budgeting habits are easier to get used to.

Monitor transactions. Do you sped more than you plan to? If you always find yourself spending more than you had planned, it is time to make adjustments. 

Get a budgeting app. Sometimes, entering every transaction manually can be tiring. Apps automate the process for you.

Where to Start: Easy Money Habits

Thinking of all the habits you need to adopt can seem like too much work. But the best thing to do is start small. Every week, try one or two habits and see if you can keep them up. If you don’t have any ideas, here are a few.

Make your own coffee. Coffee at home is cheaper and you don’t have to pay additional money for more hazelnut syrup. 

A new grocery routine. there’s so much money to be saved in grocery shopping. Buy everything at the farmers market, download coupons or order online so you don’t overspend.

Get books at the library. Instead of spending money buying books on Amazon, go to the local library.

Cash only. If you always overspend at your favorite store, leave your debit card and only bring cash.