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Frugality

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.

Frugality

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?

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

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?

Frugality

Winter Holiday Cards Sale

Vistaprint is having a sale for a limited time only on Winter Holiday Cards.  You can get a set of 20 winter holiday cards for only $1.99. There are many designs to choose from including cards that you can add your own photo to. Go check it out because it’s for a limited time only. Stock up on cards now.

Vistaprint – 20 Holiday Cards for $1.99