Month : February 2013

Money Management

Is Buy Now, Pay Later A Bad Deal?

QVCI was talking with an older lady the other day that was going through bankruptcy. She was talking to me about how after the bankruptcy if she needs something she can’t afford, she would buy it from QVC with the easy payments. At the time I thought this was a bad deal, but then I actually looked into it a little.

I looked up a couple of the items on QVC and compared them to the cheapest price on the internet, including S&H. I also only looked at the products that were available with easy pay. It turns out that QVC isn’t that bad of a deal when you factor in that you get the product before you finish paying for it. I looked at a TV for $419 on QVC with $9.95 S&H and the cheapest price I could find on the Internet was $400 with free shipping. So for $30 more you get to get a TV upfront for 4 payments of about $105 a month. I don’t think this is that bad a deal when you consider that.

Would I ever take that deal? Absolutely not, but only because I’d rather save up the money for 4 months, have the satisfaction of paying in cash and get the $30 discount or maybe even wait for a better deal on a different TV. The main problem is you can find cheaper items on sale all over the internet. Probably during that 4 months I would search the internet for other TVs that end up being even cheaper in price and saving a lot more money. But QVC isn’t as bad a deal as I thought it would be. I can understand why she said she does that now. But that’s only if you can control your shopping and only buy things that are a “necessity” in our culture, like a TV.

Would you consider buying something on QVC if the price was in line with other places and you could make a couple of payments on it?

Extra Income

Make Money With Your Blog

Make Money With Your BlogPeople blog for a variety of reasons – to get their ideas out, to be heard by a worldwide audience, to express a strong point of view, to educate, to help, to spread and share knowledge, and you too can do that and make money with your blog. Not all blogs can be monetized with ease, but if you already have a blog that is popular or have the flair for writing on topics that people like, then you can be on your way to make some good money through your blog. Since blogging is mostly a fun activity, you can make money with your blog by doing something that you normally do anyway.

A Must To Make Money With Your Blog

To make money with your blog, the first requirement is that you should have a healthy blog with a lot of readers. If you don’t already have such a blog, you can always create one, but do be patient because it takes time to build a steady readership. If you are starting a blog from the scratch, you should always select topics that people will like and want to read about, instead of arcane academic or overly technical topics. Traffic is extremely important, so keep your reader in mind.

To drive more traffic, you should blog often about topics that are hot and in the news. This is important because you want to give your readers something good and fresh to look forward to in your blog. Only when you can provide quality content will your blog become popular and people will share and promote your posts. Quality is very important, but so is the quantity.

When you are blogging in order to make money, it greatly helps to target some keywords. When your article or blog post target a keyword, it comes in top of the search engine rankings for that keyword, so more people can get to your blog. A simple Google keyword tool is sufficient to target the best keywords. Never overdo using the keyword in your posts, but make it flow naturally.

Now It’s Go Time To Make Money With Your Blog

Once you have a blog that has been established, you should now look at ways to monetize it. The best and simplest thing to look for is Google Adsense. There are several alternatives but this usually works best especially for beginners. It is simple to set up and easy to install, without any detailed technical details from your side. The way Adsense works is that Google posts sponsored links on your blog that you have full freedom to design and decide the location of. When people read your blog and click on these advertisers’ links, you get paid a certain percentage of what the advertiser pays Google.

A blog is a fun and easy way to make some extra cash. If you are very serious and want to make money with your blog, then it is usually better to use a website instead of a blog, as you have more freedom designing and maintaining it. However, a blog works very well for beginners and it doesn’t need any technical knowledge, so anyone who has good thoughts and would like to get them out there can start to make money with your blog and get your voice heard.

Frugality

Don’t Let Frugality Take Over Your Life

For many people, finding ways to cut costs is essential for surviving a recession.  Many people take frugality to heart, but it is possible to go overboard.  Some people end up making sacrifices that don’t end up helping them in the long run.  Here are some things that you should think about before you become too obsessive about saving money:

  1. You don’t want to pay more by being frugal. This sounds counterintuitive, but many people feel that they can’t pass up a sale.  They end up hoarding or wasting many items they will never use.  Sales are great, but they work against you when they trick you into buying something you would never want otherwise.
  2. You compromise your ethics. We need to do what we can to get through the recession.  However, you need to know where to draw the line.  There are more important things than saving money.  Some people try to mooch off their friends who are even worse off than they are.  Others will do anything short of shoplifting from a goodwill store to get by.  We are in the middle of recession, but we haven’t devolved back to the Dark Ages.  Things aren’t so bad that you need to lie, cheat or manipulate people to be frugal.
  3. You put your health at risk. Do you eat foods that are past their expiration dates because you can’t stomach the thought of throwing them out?  These are choices that you need to cut out of your life right now.  Saving 80 cents on a can of beans is not worth a trip to the emergency room (especially if you don’t have health insurance).
  4. You forget the value of your time. I have heard stories of people who will literally clip coupons for hours on end.  After thirty hours worth of work, they may be able to find a hundred dollars worth of coupons off of products they intend to buy.  Surely, their time is worth more than three dollars an hour.  If you’re unemployed, it makes more sense to spend those hours trying to find a job.  If you have a job, it would make more sense to work overtime, pick up shifts or even a second job than to spend that much time cutting coupons.  What about your family?  Surely, your time with them is more important than a handful of coupons.
  5. You no longer find pleasure in life. Working on small budget doesn’t mean that you have to become depressed.  Sure, you need to make major changes when you have a new budget, but your budget needs to include pleasurable activities in your life.  It isn’t healthy to give up your social life or stop indulging yourself once in a while to save a few bucks here and there.  Just know what you can afford to spend and let other people know that you can’t get carried away if you go out.

Frugality is meant to make your life better.  Ideally, you would be able to cut costs without comprising too much of your happiness.  You need to assess your lifestyle and know if you are making unhealthy decisions just to save money.  Saving is great, but don’t go overboard.

Kalen Smith writes advice on insurance, finance and similar topics for the Homeowners Insurance Blog.