Author / Kevin

Frugality

Halloween Candy Coupons

I checked over at Coupons.com and found these great deals on candy for Halloween. Candy in bulk can get pretty expensive so be sure to use these coupons to help save you some money.

– $2.00 off ONE (1) Nestle Candy Variety Bag
– $1.50 off ONE (1) Wonka Mixups
– $2.00 off ONE (1) Wonka® Best on the Block
– $2.50 off TWO (2) Nestle Candy Variety Bags
– $1.50 off any THREE (3) bags Skittles, Starburst, Lifesavers

Find all of these great coupons over at Coupons.com

Money Management

Don’t Make Payday Loans a Scapegoat

Payday loans are the fastest way to get cash before your payday and the best way to get financially ruined in no time. People often forget that any money borrowed from a payday lender will generate high interest rates that summed up to an already existent debt, make payday loans a heavy load to pay off.

If you are already trapped in a debt circle resulting from credit cards, mortgages or another type of loans, you do not really need to add a payday loan to this circle, but find suitable alternatives for your imminent money need. There are at least four alternatives to a payday loan that might be the answer to you are looking for, so simply analyze them and decide yourself which is the best in your particular case.

Negotiating

The most viable way is talking to your creditors and asks the possibility to extend your due date. Okay, you need money, not refinancing or similar thing, but this way you can take the money that you reserve to repay your debt, assuming that you have this money available in a savings account or somewhere at home. There are two possibilities here; on the one hand that you really need the payday loan to repay other debt. In this case, a creditor can extend the due date without reporting to the bureau or charging a penalty for late payments, thus removing the need to get cash advance. On the other hand, you might have never thought to put aside any money to repay your debt, living on a paycheck to paycheck basis.

Credit Cards

However there is a second alternative here, as long as you need the money to buy something or that your credit card grants you access to cash advance. Yes, using your credit card to pay for items is cheaper that borrowing money from a payday loan. However getting a cash advance from a credit card (when allowed) is costly than paying for goods at the time of purchase, although both of these solutions into one financial instrumental will always be cheaper than a payday loan, and some banks give a few days grace period to repay cash advances before interest rates apply.

Family or Friends

The third alternative to payday loans is not always suitable and not always impossible; which is to borrow money from a family member, friend or even your neighbor. Perhaps this last thing will only give you nothing more than a few bucks, but sometimes a few bucks can make a difference. However family members or friends may have your money solutions in their hands and it is about daring to ask them. The main advantage is that they may lend with no interest rates, but there is a risk factor involved here. Money is often responsible for broken relationships, so if you are unsure of your financial capability to repay their money in a timely manner, you will do better select another alternative. Be honest about your financial situation when talking to them and never promise without having the certainty on what you are saying.

Reevaluate Expenses

Perhaps the fourth alternative is the best of all of these; cut down on your bills. Depending on how much money you need, you can cut out some services that you do not need, or you can delay the payment without being reported to bureau if your delay does not exceed past 30 days. If you cannot live without paying your carrier the extra module that enables you to text your friends beyond the limit of you cell phone plan, for instance, then try to cut out the amount of beers that you drink. Tighten your belt for a month or two will not hurt and can give you the extra cash that you need, or can be an “extra” income if you keep reducing expenses consistently.

There are several other alternatives to payday loans, but these are some of the easiest solutions that you can find.

Author Bio: Noel Finlay works for FastCash.org a company that provides information on quick loans. 

Business

Modern ways of making a lasting brand impression

It used to be that brands were the province of large, established companies and organisations, a hard to grasp concept that had something to do with their logo design and business ethos. Nowadays, most start-ups, SMEs and cottage industries are aware of the need for a brand strategy that creates a lasting impression.

What is a brand?

  • It’s not just your logo, though that forms a part of your branding.
  • Your brand is everything that your company stands for.
  • When people see your name or logo they think of X, Y or Z.

For instance, everyone knows the MacDonald’s logo but what does it stand for? Fast, tasty food at a price you can afford? A place where all the family can go? You know what you are going to get when you go into a MacDonald’s because the operational processes across all its stores have been standardised; same uniforms, same menu, even a similar layout of their restaurants.

That’s the MacDonald’s brand.

How to Develop Your Brand

The bad news is that there is even more competition out there with the rise of the internet and the reduced cost of starting up a commercial business. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to develop your brand and get it noticed.

  • Have a clearly defined and enforceable brand. If you are committed to excellent customer service or support then make sure you provide it, not every so often, but all the time. If you pride yourself in the innovation of your product then don’t rest on your laurels. If you innovate then innovate.
  • Make sure your literature matches. If you use a particular font for your website, use it for your brochures too. If your logo is placed in a certain position, then make sure that stretches across everything. Have an easy to follow strategy for producing marketing goods that staff can refer to when they are producing new promotions.
  • Have a distinctive logo that can be incorporated into all of your promotional literature, from corporate holiday ecards to business cards, emails and social media accounts. The logo is the visual representation of your brand and, if you can burn it into the mind of customers you are on your way to creating an enduring reminder of what you are about.
  • But…be aware that logos aren’t as important as they used to be. It cements your identity but what really consolidates your brand is how you deal with your customers, both online and off. It’s no longer just about simply standing for something, you now have to cultivate your customers with effective and engaging conversation.
  • Use social media to build brand ambassadors. Your greatest allies, especially on a limited budget, are the people you engage on social media. If you can get them on your side then they will promote your brand and, here’s the good news, they will largely do it for free – because they like you.
  • Be bold, be brave. It’s difficult to find new and innovative ways to build your brand but for start-ups especially it pays to be a little more daring than your competitors and the larger corporations who are usually stacked with bureaucracy.

Creating an enduring and effective brand takes a good deal of work but it’s a vital part of business development if you want to be remembered. It involves bringing numerous strands together that work in harmony and begins with knowing what you stand for and should end with a business that has a solid reputation and more than a few hard-core followers.

Home Ownership

Is it time to replace the old boiler?

Yet again the British summer is dragging its heels, with no sign of any prolonged sunshine coming our way anytime soon. Whilst the lack of rays can be depressing, as there’s not much chance of getting to the beach anytime soon, it’s not the biggest problem.

For lots of us the summer brings relief as our gas bills drop dramatically. When you have a monthly outgoing, that for many now stems in to three figures throughout the winter, it’s always nice to see it drop for at least a short while in the summer months.

Sadly, with the daily temperature struggling to hit double figures across the country the heating is still having to go on and no end is in sight. Add to this, the mentality of the major providers, whose only real concern seems to be squeezing as much money as possible out of the public, and you could be forgiven for thinking the only solution is to buy more woollens or emigrate to warmer climates.

Does your boiler need replacing?

Well, all is not totally lost, as you can take certain steps to bring the cost of your heating down a good bit over the cost of an average month. Taking the time to replace your household boiler can save a substantial amount of money over a short period, not to mention reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, if you are considering upgrading your boiler, it’s important to speak with a reputable supplier such as Help-Link as it’s vital to have it done professionally and for as little cost as possible.

If you’re concerned that your boiler is costing too much to run, the first step is to speak with an expert, as they are in the best position to advise you. There are many different types of boilers on the market and it may be that yours is very dated, or that it is just the wrong type for your property.

An expert will discuss the types of boiler available to you and what advantages can be gained from the various options available. It may be that a combi boiler is the right option, as for many homes, these are the most cost efficient on the market.

Which boiler is the right one for your home?

Or, maybe your water bills are of an equal concern and a water efficient boiler may the right one for you. Energy efficient condensing boilers save money by recycling the waste gas and then reusing it to generate heat and if you don’t currently have one, you could be throwing valuable money down the drain. Either way, it’s important to consult an expert on this, as not every boiler is right for every home.

Another factor to consider is warranty. Some suppliers will offer a very limited warranty, whereas others will offer a guarantee that can last as much as a decade. This is very important, as the last thing you want to do is to end up paying out a few years after having the new boiler fitted.

The one expense you will have when you fit a new boiler is the initial outlay. Two important factors to remember are as follows. Firstly, you may be entitled to a grant which could help reduce the costs considerably, so it’s best to enquire before jumping in head first. Secondly, it may be that you can take out finance and spread the cost of the boiler, so you are not paying out in one go. This can be a great way of paying as you can offset the cost of the new boiler against the savings you are making from reduced outgoings.

It doesn’t seem that the British summer is going to be here anytime soon so you if you are considering a new boiler, it may be more prudent to speak to someone now, rather than waiting until the winter.

Frugality

5 Tips For Making the Most of Black Friday

Deal lovers everywhere love Black Friday. They wake up while it is still dark and wait hours outside of their favorite stores for rock bottom prices on electronics, DVDs and many other great holiday gifts. If you want to save some money this holiday season you can use Black Friday as your secret weapon.

However, if you don’t have a plan, Black Friday can end up being a nightmare rather than a money saving opportunity.

Watch Out for Retailer’s Tricks

Retailers are looking to make big money on Black Friday. While there are some great deals, you need to focus on savings rather than getting caught up in the bargains. A great deal is only a great deal if you can afford it.

As you make your purchases, watch for tricks and don’t buy anything that you can’t afford. The stores will be filled with impulse purchases and you need to be careful not to fall prey to these.

Take a List

It is a good idea to take a list with you to keep you on track and on budget when shopping at Black Friday. Make a list of everyone who you need holiday gifts for. Next to each name include a budget. For example your list might say something like, “Molly- $10-$15.” When you find a perfect gift for Molly, make sure that it is within your price range or less. If it isn’t, keep looking.Once you make a purchase, cross the name off the list. Don’t buy gifts for people that aren’t on your list.

Also, decide how much you are willing to spend on yourself and stop spending once you hit your limit even if you see a great DVD that you need for your collection.

Be Careful with Cash and Purchases

Black Friday is known for being a little bit crazy and hectic. This means an ideal situation for those looking to steal money and holiday gifts. Be careful with your cash, wallets and purses. It can be so easy to misplace money or have it stolen in all of the chaos. Don’t walk out of stores carrying cash in your hands; always put it away before leaving the register.

It is a good idea to leave your purse at home and instead carry your cash, cards and ID closer to your body. When leaving purchases in the car, always leave them in the trunk and make sure that expensive items aren’t visible through the windows. Park in a well lit area close to other cars.

Read the Ads

It is also important to read the various ads for your favorite retailers to find the best deals this Black Friday. Most items are first come first served, so if you want the best deals, you might need to make certain stores your first stop. Some retailers even give away small promotional gifts or gift cards to the first 100 customers or so.

Remember that lines build up quickly, so you might have to be willing to spend a few hours, or even a night, in the cold if you want to be one of the first customers in line.

Eat Breakfast and Get Enough Sleep

We make our best decisions when we are well rested, not hungry and not in a hurry. If you plan on getting up early for Black Friday, make sure you get to bed early. In the morning grab a quick and nutritious breakfast before you head out.

Don’t be afraid to take your time and analyze purchases. While the sales might only be a few hours, it is better to think carefully than to regret purchases later. Always save your receipts just in case you need to return anything. If you take your time and are rested and full you will make better decisions in the stores.

Black Friday can be a great way to get some excellent deals, however you need to keep your budget in mind as you make purchases. Don’t get caught up in the crazy spending atmosphere or you might find yourself regretting that early morning shopping trip.

What tips do you have for surviving Black Friday?