Category / Frugality


Benefits of leasing and asset finance

Buying property such as a new car or house is not easy due to the large initial cost. However, you may need to own it at some point. Leasing and asset finance is one of the convenient and affordable ways you can get what you need without having to raise a large amount of cash up front. Through leasing, you can use the asset for a decided time after which you can buy the property or return it to the owner. Some of the benefits of leasing include:

Increase your purchasing power

Leasing helps you to increase your purchasing power so that you can acquire better quality equipment rather than settling for something cheaper and most often than not less effective. You may need a vehicle that is worth $2,000 but you only have $900. You can use this amount to lease the vehicle of your choice for the time you need to use it, the actual cost of the vehicle not being a factor. This way, you get what you need without having to compromise due to cost.

Enjoy tax advantages

Depending on the sort of leasing contract that you have, you may enjoy some tax benefits. The availability of these benefits depends on various factors and you can find out more about them from your accountant.

Hedge against inflation

Most equipment prices often depreciate with time and usage. However, when leasing, your payments apply to the use of the equipment. Therefore, you do not suffer inflationary pressures. Furthermore, you are not subject to losses when it comes to resale of the equipment.

Flexible payments

One of the biggest advantages of leasing with asset finance is the flexible payments that you make towards the leasing contract. These payments plan designs conveniently fit into your income budget rather than going through the pressure of raising a large amount of cash. These flexible payments can also contribute to the hire purchase cost of the equipment if you intend to own it after completing the leasing period.

Leasing gives you options

If you are not ready to commit to a single asset or if you are unsure of the long-term needs of the equipment, leasing is the only way to make sure you do not end up with dead weight that costs a lot of money. Most leasing contracts have provisions for returning, extending or purchasing the equipment after the leasing term is complete. Leasing fits into a wide range of budget allocations.

Enjoy the warranty period

Most leases for equipment such as vehicles run for about three years. This is almost equivalent to the warranty period of a new vehicle. Therefore, the warranty covers most of the repairs done to the vehicle during the leasing period at little or no extra cost to you. However, you also need to play your part in maintaining the equipment in good condition to prevent any penalty fees at the end of the lease.


How to Compare Your Utility Company Options

One of the biggest shocks to many residents is that they have a choice with regards to their utility company. Since the deregulation of electricity, many citizens have more than one option. This is not true for every state. But in those deregulated areas, it is possible that portions of the population are not aware that they can choose something else. The first thing you have to do is determine if you are in a deregulated area.

The state of Texas is one of those states that offer citizens a choice of electric companies. Where there is choice, there is responsibility. We have a responsibility to research our options, and make informed decisions about what is right for us. Here are some of the things you should look for when weighing your options:

Deregulated Areas

It is not enough to know that Texas offers areas of deregulation. You can live in Texas and still not have a choice of power companies. If you do live in a deregulated area and are enjoying the benefits, you will want to be sure that your next move is to another deregulated area where you can pick up with the service you had.

TXU Energy is one of the big electricity retailers since deregulation in 2002. A site called Local Electricity Companies shows you where you can get that service. And provides a little information about service in that area. The first, most important thing you can do is arm yourself with where, and what your choices are.

Dollars and Cents

The main thing people want to know about their electric company service is how much their monthly bill will be. While there is no way to know for certain, we can make reasonable guesses. When comparing prices between electric companies, the only number you really need to know is the price per kWh. That is the number each provider can control. The rest are fixed costs like state and local taxes. Those costs will be the same regardless of provider.

The price per kWh can vary widely within a given market. One service might charge a price of 6.59¢ kWh, while another charges over 10¢ kWh. If price is your only consideration, then the comparison math is pretty easy. The state of Pennsylvania provides a handy price chart, along with an introduction to comparing the various services offered in that state.

Beyond Price

If money is the only thing we care about, then we cannot claim the moral high-ground over the greedy and heartless companies against which we like to inveigh. In every case I could find, the highest monthly rate goes to energy options that are 100% renewable. While I cannot tell you exactly why those options are higher, it is not entirely unexpected. In the same way that healthy eating is more expensive than less healthy options, there is a price associated with responsible alternatives. Each individual must decide how important those alternatives are to them.

There is also a matter of service. Monthly savings mean little if the service is dicey. When you call, do you get a machine or a person? If a service call is needed, how much is that visit going to cost you? Good service will almost always cost more than poor service. Often, a low monthly rate is made up by poor service and hidden fees. The important thing is that all of these rates and fees can be known beforehand. For many, quality service and responsible energy management will be more important than the variable price per kWh.

Choice does not just stop at electricity providers. For heating, you might be able to choose between electric or gas. You might also have more than one water option. The important thing is to choose what is best for you. And the only way you can do that is by doing your homework for the choices in your local area.


Ways To Save On Concert Tickets

The summer concert season is almost here, and if you love festivals or outdoor concerts — or if your favorite group is about to come into town — you’re probably wondering two things. First, how can you get tickets? Second, how can you save money on those tickets?

If you’re trying to get your Rolling Stones tickets, for example, you’ve probably noticed that they aren’t exactly cheap. A date night which includes a concert can be expensive for couples who don’t know the secrets. Here a few tips from expert concertgoers that will help you save money over the summer.

Understand the Ticket Market
The ticket market is divided into two parts: the primary market, and the secondary one. Buying on the primary market happens when you buy from the original source of the tickets, like the venue website, the box office, or primary authorized dealers.

The secondary market, on the other hand, are the resellers. Ticket search engines, secondary ticket sites, and scalpers all make up the secondary market. This does not mean the secondary market is more expensive than the primary one. According to a study by Seatgeek, a secondary reseller is the same price or even cheaper about 40% of the time.

Get Your Timing Right
Tickets tend to be the priciest right as they go on sale. If you’re buying tickets to a major act, bide your time and wait until the date is approaching, keeping an eye on the secondary markets. Tickets usually drop in price. (On the other hand, for small venues such as the Hard Rock Cafe, tickets will tend to go up in price, so buy yours early.)

Also, if an artist has multiple performances in the same location, the first show will tend to be the priciest.

Don’t Be Snobbish Over Seats
Many people look at “lawn seats” and think it will be like standing at the fence trying to get a glimpse of the show. But that often isn’t true. For many venues, lawn seats are an excellent experience. You may not get a “seat,” but you probably weren’t going to be sitting down much anyway. While it’s true you might hate the experience of lawn seats, if you haven’t tried it, go ahead — it’s plenty cheaper.

Take An Airline-Style Approach To Ticket Searching
Don’t watch just one website when you look around for tickets, use one of the search engines like Seatgeek or Seathound. These sites let you search across multiple sites.

Be Very Careful With Craigslist
The $20 tickets to a $100 concert you see listed on Craigslist aren’t a deal. Those tickets are fake. It’s hard to tell fakes from legit tickets on Craigslist, but never buy electronic tickets. Anyone can resell fakes if they aren’t in physical form. Keep in mind — if something is too good to be true, chances are it is.

Buy Direct From The Box Office
If you’re going to buy tickets right when they go on sale, you can often save a few dollars by avoiding websites such as Ticketmaster and buying directly from the venue box office. The box office usually won’t charge the service fees that the big websites do.


Are Deal Sites Really That Great Of A Deal?

You have surely heard of the many Social Discount sites that have been popping up all over the Internet. GrouponSocial Buy, Living Social and Dealster are just a few of the many group discount sites out there. These sites offer rock bottom pricing on great deals around your city if enough people take advantage of the offer. This can mean savings of anywhere between 50-90% off of the actual retail price. It sounds great, but are these deals really too good to be true?

How Do They Work?

If you haven’t used these sites before, basically you will receive a daily email letting you know what the deal of the day is. The deals change each day and can be anything from food, to beauty treatments to products. The featured company generally has a write up explaining the deal and showing the regular price for the item. Each deal requires a certain number of purchasers, so if you want your deal, it is a good idea to spread the word. The deal is then purchased and can be redeemed at a future point for savings. But, what’s the catch?

What’s The Catch?

In reality, there isn’t one. Businesses get huge amounts of exposure and you can get some really great deals on a bunch of useful products and services. In fact, you might even find that these deals can help you afford a few luxuries that you would be unable to purchase otherwise. As far as personal finance is concerned however, you do need to keep a few things in mind to make the most of these sites.

Don’t Buy Things You Aren’t Going to Use

Remember a deal is only a great deal if you actually use it. If it goes unused, it is simply a waste of money, no matter how cheap. If you see a great price on a 30 day membership to the gym and purchase it, you had better go to the gym to make the purchase worth the money. Don’t let your purchased deals and vouchers go to waste. If you use these sites, make sure that you redeem your purchases every time. Often there are terms and conditions associated with each purchase, make sure you read these before finalizing the deal to make sure that you really are getting a bargain.

Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need

Similar to the don’t buy things you won’t use advice is don’t buy things you don’t need or can’t afford. Remember you are on a budget. If you are out of money, don’t use your credit card to charge a deal even if it seems impossible to pass up. You can find low prices, but you can also end up spending a fortune on neat things that you can’t afford. Determine how much you can spend each month and stop when you hit your limit. It is a good idea not to visit these sites if you don’t have money. It is easier to not see the deal than to pass it up.

Take advantage of the many money saving opportunities that the Internet provides. Just remember that you have to use your judgment even if something is a great deal, you might not need it.

Do you use deal sites? Did you have a good experience?


Halloween Candy Coupons

I checked over at 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