Monday, December 22, 2008

12 Ways to Not Go Broke Over The Holidays!

Time is running out for Christmas shopping, but you can still save money with my 12 days of Christmas list of ways to save money over the holidays. Follow these steps, and you'll avoid a credit card hangover in January.

1. Shop online, especially if you are buying electronics. Online retailers have less overhead, more rebate promotions, and they will lower their prices deliberately to compete with brick-and-mortar retailers.

2. Pay Cash for your gifts. I'm talking about paying with cold, hard cash. Studies have shown a correlation with increased spending when using plastic, even if it's your debit card. Remember, negotiating price is easier when you pay with cash.

3. Stay away from shopping malls. I have no clue why so many people are drawn to the atmosphere of a busy, crowded shopping mall. All of the most expensive retailers are in the mall, because they are the only ones that can afford the lease agreement in shopping malls. The frenzy of watching everyone else spend might influence you to spend over your budget. There's a reason why shopping malls constantly pump music in your ear. They know that it motivates you to get into the holiday spending spirit!

4. Do your research. If you prefer seeing the gifts before you purchase them, then go online first and do pricing research to make sure that you are getting the best deal. iTunes has an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows you to scan a 2D or 1D bar code and receive tons of pricing research from other retailers.

5. Avoid impulse buys. Sometimes we see something that looks, smells, and feels like a great deal, but in reality it's not that great of a deal. We get caught up in the moment of shopping, so we go ahead and purchase something without much thought. To avoid this, if you see something that you weren't planning on buying, put it down and sleep on it. If you still want to buy it the next day, then go back to the store and buy it. This will avoid buying lame gifts that seemed make much more sense when you bought them.

6. eBay is still a good resource for hard-to-find gifts. If you are looking for a collector's item or antique as a gift, eBay is still the leader and best place to find a bargain on these items. Clothes are also great items to buy on eBay. I would avoid buying everyday electronics on eBay. It's too risky, because many of them are not new, or they are imposters made to look like the actual product.

7. Write down everyone you want to buy a gift for and put a dollar amount next to each of their names. For instance, mom gets a $50 gift, sister gets a $30 gift, and so on. It sounds like you are taking away the "spirit" of giving by placing a set dollar amount on gifts for each person, but in reality it helps you budget your gift giving. And remember that it's not about the gifts, it's about the thought and time you put into thinking about someone.

8. Do your December budget without factoring in Christmas bonuses. The holidays require a lot of extra cash to have on hand. Save your Christmas bonus for gifts, holiday food, and having fun. It's the holidays, relax and have fun with your family! If you already budget out your bills with your normal income and save the bonus for Christmas expenses, then this will save you from using credit cards on the holidays.

9. Be a creative gift giver. Many of you have a ton of talent when it comes to making crafts. Being creative and making a gift for someone can turn out to be a much better gift than receiving another Gap sweater. When faced with giving a gift to your parents who seem to have everything, go with something sentimental that reminds them of you or family memories. They'll eat it up with a spoon.

10. Spend time spending time with loved ones. So many people go to the movies and spend $8 on a ticket and $20 on food and candy. All this does is get you fatter on the holidays and avoid having to talk to your family. Play a board game, go bowling, or go to the park during the holidays. Try doing something that facilitates more time to catch up on what's going on in your lives.

11. Make the most of your leftovers. Another thing people do is go out to eat more on the holidays. Again, i'm not a scrooge, so live it up on the holidays, but don't go overboard. You'll spend more money on groceries over the holidays, so utilize and be creative with the yummy leftovers in your fridge.

12. Host a pot-luck New Year's Eve party. You'll spend much less money having a party at someone's house rather than going out somewhere, plus it's safer than going out. Ask your 8 - 10 closest couple friends over and assign them with a different food category to bring over. Some music, good laughs, and games will bring you through to the new year without killing your wallet.

About the Author

PeopleJam is the #1 resource on the internet for self improvement articles and reviews.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2nd Edition of the Bugs Munny Blog Carnival.

You loved the last one, now here it is. The 2nd edition of the Bugs Munny Blog Carnival that is growing in popularity. Enjoy and leave comments.

jcr8392 presents Common Mortgage Terms Explained posted at Truthful Lending dot Com, saying, "This is a glossary of some of the more common, and most important mortgage terms. This list will help to familiarize you with some of the terms you should know to find the best mortgage program for your needs."

Andrea Smith presents Low Interest Debt Consolidation: Can That Really Attractive Loan Package Actually Be Hazardous To Your Financial Status? posted at Free Debt Consolidation: Qualified Financial Management.

Praveen presents Don't Be A Seminar Junkie posted at My Simple Trading System.

Mac presents 10 Ways To Save A Dollar During Hard Times posted at Actorlicious.

Praveen presents Lehman, Merril Lynch, and AIG Lead to The "Unbubble" posted at My Simple Trading System.

Jeremy Zongker presents Free College Education Exists posted at Destroy Debt.

Erika Collin presents Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: What Next? posted at Currency


imarketing4s presents Wise Debt Consolidation and Budgeting posted at Free Debt Consolidation: Qualified Financial Management.

Faron Benoit presents 5 ways to save money on gardening Financial Learn posted at Financial Learn.

FIRE Getters presents Save Your Wallet With These Penny Hacks posted at FIRE Finance.

AmberJones presents Geezeo: Free Online Personal Finance Management Software, Budgeting Tools, Financial Advice and Community » Blog Archive » The 10% Rule posted at Geezeo: Free Online Personal Finance Management Software, Budgeting Tools, Financial Advice and Community.

Linda W. presents Budget Engagement Rings posted at The Eclectic Female, saying, "You may be able to score a great engagement ring for much less than you think."

Raymond presents 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards posted at Money Blue Book.
Growing Wealth

KCLau presents How not to Spend that Money? posted at KCLau's Money Tips, saying, "Article on how to prevent spending unnecessary money. Also 3 methods on how to do so."

Jon Li presents New Behaviour Techniques that Help You Save Money posted at - Personal Finance Portal, saying, "Learn new money saving behavior techniques that will improve the health of your personal finances."

Raymond presents How To Apply For An American Express Black Centurion Card posted at Money Blue Book.

Card Blogger presents The Best Credit Cards posted at Credit Card Blog.


Investing Angel presents Investments To Avoid posted at Stock Tips, saying, "Certain types of investments should just be avoided by beginner investors."

The Stock Teacher presents Speculating On The Election posted at Stock Investment, saying, "If you think McCain is going to win the election, certain stocks may be worth betting on."

Laws of Money

Raag Vamdatt presents You are 30 - Think of 50: Impact of inflation on your budget :: :: Financial Planning demystified posted at

Sherin Devassy presents Money lessons to kid posted at Investment Internals, saying, "Teach your kid about money and how to deal with money at various ages. Let them achieve financial wisdom when they start earning."

Helen Anderson presents 6 Safe Places to Invest Your Money posted at Bankaholic.

Raymond presents How To Generate Valid Credit Card Numbers posted at Money Blue Book.
Passive Income

Raag Vamdatt presents An Introduction to Reverse Mortgage :: :: Financial Planning demystified posted at

Save Money presents Get FREE Gift Cards from Blue Cross Blue Shield posted at How I Save

Blogging for Money

supermom_in_ny presents Freebies4Webmasters.Com: An Easy Way for Bloggers to Make Money posted at Getting Out of Debt, saying, "This is an easy way for bloggers to make money online."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of bugs munny carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
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Make Money During a Slow Economy

The economy is tough and the media isn't making anyone feel better about the future. Money is still out there and here are some proven ways to make it.

Sell stuff you don't need-I had a friend who recently had a garage sale at her home. She made about $300 in one afternoon. When I asked her what she sold she said, "nothing of real significance." You'd be amazed how much people will pay for your stuff. Tip: Jewelry and tools are hot items.

Referee at a local league-Local city leagues and schools hire people to referee their sporting events. If you know enough about the rules in sports like baseball, basketball, football, and hockey you can apply to become a ref.

Teach what you know-If you have knowledge of a subject you may want to consider teaching that subject part-time. There are many different ways you can do this. You can offer a one day class on the subject and charge a small fee. or maybe you can teach at adult education schools.

Pizza delivery in a good neighborhood- If you have a reliable car, this is another good way to make extra cash. Pick your pizza store location carefully. You want to be in a good area so that the customers tip well.

Start a small business-If you have a talent or service you are able to provide, you can become your own boss. Well, your own part-time boss anyway. Starting a small business is getting easier these days. If you know how to do anything well, most likely someone is will to pay you to do it.

Write for money- If you have some talent, you may consider writing for money. There are three sites that I write for that will pay for good articles.

Helium-This site gives you topics that you can give your opinion on. Your article gets rated by helium visitors and ranked based on votes. Helium shares a portion of the ad dollars that they make with you. The more your articles get viewed the more money you make so you have to write often in order for the money to really add up.

Associated Content-This site gives you the option to sell your articles to them and they would offer you a price for them. Or, you could also post articles and get paid per page impressions. Either way if you're a decent writer you will earn some income.

Constant Content- This site is not for your ordinary everyday blogger. This site gives you the option of submitting an article to them that is posted and available to be sold to anyone who would like to post the article on their website. Be careful, if they reject three of your articles because they weren't good enough, they will cancel your membership. So take a look at the type of articles they accept beforehand.

Valet park at nice hotels-It seems the extremely rich have not yet felt the sting of a slow economy. They are still traveling and they are still tipping their valets well. My brother-in-law recently started doing this for some extra cash. There two big advantages of this job.1. You go home with cash in your pocket every night.2.You get to test drive a Ferrari, Lotus, and a dozen different Benzes all night.

Multi Level Marketing- Sometimes called a pyramid scheme, most people shy away MLM. Most times it is a good idea but there are some programs that can earn you a some passive income. Think objectively before making any decision. Most MLM programs don't work but I know some people who are making about $1,000 a month. You can be successful at this but it does take some work.

Other ways to make money
-Ask for a raise
-organize events
-take surveys online
build a blog or website

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Sickness and in Wealth By: Tom Justice (Guest Post)

For StartersWhen asked to name an effective way of obtaining wealth, a common answer is: "Invest". What is the problem with this answer? Well, the majority of respondents have very little or no money in their savings account. I see the beginning of wealth building in a different light. A saying that almost everyone knows but nearly no one applies is: "A penny saved is a penny earned". In today's culture it is definitely much easier to spend money than it is to save it. The average American is exposed to 247 advertisements in one day! Less than 5% of Americans have at least $3000 in savings and no debt. It is no wonder that most consumers struggle with saving money or grasping the concept of building wealth. We are mentally flogged with television and radio commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, signs, posters and even conversations. Whatever the method, it all serves one main purpose - to take your money and make it theirs.

Unveiling the Mystery
So with all those statistics and all that advertising, how in the world is it possible to build wealth? Well consider yourself ahead of the game already. By reading this article you are opening your mind to ideas and concepts which could help you to begin the process which is more than can be said for most people out there. A house starts with a single brick and the same is true with wealth building. You have to start with what you can and keep adding to it.

Why not jump in to stocks, mutual funds or other investments right off the bat? Life will continue to happen whether you plan for it or not. So plan for it. You must start with a lump sum of money in your savings account which has been referred to as an "emergency savings". A good figure for this is $1000. You MUST pay your savings first, before anything else. If you do not, your savings will not grow (or it may not happen at all). This extra money will act as a soft landing for any financial falls that can and will occur while you pay down other debts that are road blocking your way to building wealth. You must realize though; this money is first priority but can not be touched - ONLY for emergencies. By following these 2 steps:
1) Stocking up your savings with $1,000 and then2) Eliminating extra debts (with great fervor), you will prepare yourself for a much easier road to building wealth.

Making it Happen
You have to take action now or this whole savings thing will not happen. First, get a savings account. If you have one, find out what the interest rate is. Many have something like 0.25% to 1% (WHOOPEE!). Remember that you are not trying to make all your money in interest right now but since the money is going to sit you may as well look around. It is possible to land up to a 3-5% interest rate. Another option is a money market account to get a good rate although restrictions sometimes apply for things like early withdrawal fees and keeping a minimum amount in the account at all times. Secondly, as I stated earlier, take your savings off the top on payday. You have to make a painful change as well though. You may have to sacrifice some things to get that initial $1,000. This could mean no eating out or temporarily cutting out an expensive hobby. You also might want to try changing your phone company or downgrading your cable package. I hate this next idea but it is for a good cause: Drop your credit card payments below the minimum (JUST FOR NOW). Anyway, you get the idea. Cut some here - cut some there. Now, take all the figures you cut and add them together. This is what you will put in to your savings account until you reach $1,000. See, when the average person feels like they are getting ahead or even staying even, a setback occurs and sends everything spiraling downward. This is the hard part of building wealth and it is just the beginning (the first brick). However, without this extra money in savings you will tread water until you eventually drown, so stop thinking about it and start acting on it today.

Author BioTom Justice is the webmaster for Clean Credit Online and does all the designing, marketing, SEO and maintenance for the site. He has a passion for personal finance and how the economy and consumers are affected by money. To see how you can use Clean Credit Online to help you with your personal finances please visit
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bugs Munny Money Carnival

Here is the first edition of the Money Carnival. I've got a lot of good submissions. Enjoy

KCLau presents The Money Book: A CAP Guide to Managing Your Money posted at KCLau's Money Tips, saying, "Published by Consumers Association of Penang (CAP), a run down on how to manage your money and a list of what the money book discusses."

imarketing4s presents Reward Credit Cards - How To Make It Work For You! posted at

KCLau presents 48 Fuel Saving Tips posted at KCLau's Money Tips, saying, "Article on how to save fuel"

Praveen presents Making Money Online Through CPA Offers posted at My Simple Trading System.

KCLau presents Frugal living doesn’t mean cheap posted at KCLau's Money Tips, saying, "List of benefits of being frugal and what frugality is about"

KCLau presents What Do You Know About Bankruptcy? posted at KCLau's Money Tips, saying, "Bankcruptcy is a word that immediately brings a negative vision to our minds. It happens everywhere in the world and is not partial to a certain country, race or nationality. An article on how bankruptcy happens and how to be discharged from bankruptcy."

Michael Snyder presents 15 Things That Are Wrong With America posted at The Moral Collapse Of America.

Blogging for Money
Sarah presents Annie Duke - Duchess of Poker posted at Female Poker Player, saying, "Few women have made as large a mark on the world of female poker players as Annie Duke."

Praveen presents Be Aware of ClickBank's Dormant Fees posted at My Simple Trading System.

hank presents Good Socks - The Things I Don’t Mind Overspending And Overloading On. MiB

Smarter Money posted at My Investing Blog.

FIRE Getters presents Top 5 Ways To Trim Our Grocery Bills! posted at FIRE Finance.
siliconhaiku presents fuel money mileage posted at making money / haikus, saying, "saw this article. thought i'd write a haiku about it."

Growing Wealth
Larry Russell presents Financial Planning Reading List posted at Pasadena Financial Planner.

Toni Graybill presents Wealth - Making It Up As We Go posted at Maximize Health and Wealth, saying, "Know it, do it"

Anand presents Ian Stephens - Identity of a Wealth Builder posted at Anand Dhillon . com, saying, "This post includes a free download of Ian Stephens wealth building audio program:
Identity of a Wealth Builder. Ian went from being more than $100,000 in debt to living in a $1 million home in 3 years. In this program, he details his formula for financial success."

Sandy Naidu presents Tips On Saving Money At The Supermarket - Grocery Stores & Supermarkets FutureNestEgg posted at Future Nest Egg.

Sandy Naidu presents Behavioral Finance - Investor Psychology - Behavioral Finance Stock Market Investment FutureNestEgg posted at Future Nest Egg.

Sandy Naidu presents Emergency Fund Savings - Emergency Fund Tips FutureNestEgg posted at Future Nest Egg.

KCLau presents How a medium family can retire comfortably (Real Life Case Study) posted at
KCLau's Money Tips, saying, "a success story about a frugal family. If everyone learn to manage cash flow like they do, there will be no financial problem in Malaysia."

Slackerwealth presents ShengdaTech Inc, A Small Cap Gem from China? posted at A Slacker's Quest for His First Million, saying, "Stock analysis of a small cap materials company."

Passive Income
Phil B. presents Stop Using Credit Cards « Phil for Humanity posted at Phil for Humanity, saying, "Save money by stop using credit cards."
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of bugs munny carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

15 ways to save money during a recession

In this slowed down economy, many people are looking for ways to use their money wisely as well as finding ways to save some money. I am a big believer in the idea that the economy does not decide how you live. Investing money wisely should be a practice that you are taking part in whether the economy is good or slow. Here are some ways you can save some extra bucks so that you still have the opportunity to use your money to grow your wealth.

1.Lower your interest rate-Most of the credit cards you own have interest rates that are too high. If you call your credit card company you can ask for a lower interest rate on the card with the highest rate. If the operator says that it is not possible, ask for a supervisor. This might seem difficult at first but if you don’t get the discount you want the first time you ask, call back and try again.

2.Slow Down Your Internet-Downgrading to a slower Internet speed can save you a bunch of money in the long run.

3.Don’t Rent, Borrow-Most public libraries now have CDs and DVDs available for checkout. I found this out about a year ago and I haven’t rented a movie from blockbuster or any other movie rental company since. The library in my city has movies, TV series, concerts and many more that you can borrow for FREE! I can checkout up to 15 DVDs at a time. Considering how much they are now charging for movie tickets and DVD rentals, you can save a fortune.

4.Pay everything online-Save money on stamps and gas by paying your bills online. This is also a good way to save time.

5.Get rid of Home Telephone-I’ve tried to keep my home phone for as long as I could. I even removed caller ID, call waiting, three way calling, long distance, and every other special feature phone companies offer and I was still paying about $30 a month (including taxes and fees). Finally I said “screw it” and cut everything. I figured since the only people who were calling me on my home phone was telemarketers, I wouldn’t be losing much. Cell phones are now more affordable and convenient than a home phone do if you want to save some bucks fast, say goodbye to your home phone.

5.Do you really need all of those channels-Cable is definitely a luxury. I was at a seminar on financial growth and the speaker said, “Unless you are a millionaire, you can’t afford cable.” But if you positively cannot live without cable, downgrade to basic. During a recession luxury items should be the first to go and I definitely think that 300+ channels is a luxury.

7.Bring lunch to work-It’s getting harder to buy a good meal for under $5 these days. Most lunches will run you between 6 to 9 dollars. If you were able to score a $5 meal for everyday you worked, you would still be spending $100 a month on lunch alone. Factor in the breakfast, dinner, and snacks, your food spending could easily reach $300 a month. Begin to bring your lunch to work and save money that is being spent needlessly. People also tend to eat healthier when they bring lunch from home.

8.Buy generic-Most generic products are made with the exact same ingredients as their name brand counter parts. Try some generic products and most likely you will not notice the difference.

9.Buy from EBay- EBay is fast becoming my first option when buying an expensive item. Check EBay before buying anything. If you don’t see the item you are looking for, check back in a few days to see if someone has made the item available to buy.

10.Don’t pay checking account fees-Almost all the big banks are now offering free checking. If you are paying checking account fees you are throwing your money away.

11.Cut coupons-I use to toss the coupons section of the newspaper but now I look forward to seeing what’s on sale. If you find items that you need and use for a good price use them but try not to but things you will not use or need. I make a list of things I need then I look for coupons for those items. This prevents me from clipping and using a coupon just because it’s a good deal.

12.Buy with a rebate-I recently good a Blackberry Curve for a really good price. I took me a while but I found a rebate for the model that I wanted and it saved me over $150.

13.Car pool everywhere-Start with a car pool to work and then see where else you can go with people you know.

14.Stop smoking-Cigarettes are another one of those needless things that do nothing for us other than take out money. It is actually killing you and taking your money at the same time. There are absolutely no benefits of smoking but since it creates an addiction to those who smoke, they can charge almost anything they want for a pack and people will pay it. A smoker should never complain about being broke. If you smoke do whatever you have to do and quit. If you don’t do it for your health; do it for your wallet.

15.Take advantage of 0% Credit cards-I stayed away from these offers for a long time before I really understood how these can benefit me. Transfer balances from a high interest rate to a 0 balance if and only if there are no fees attached.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What this is

I started this blog for many different reasons but mostly because people need money help. Not only in their pockets but in their minds. The way people approach money and finance determine how they live thier lives. Those who feel as though there is only one way to make money and that is to clock in when they are told to, are victims of their own minds. If their mind believes it, their actions will follow.

I don't believe it. I've worked in finance and I know that money is everywhere and there are so many ways to get it. But you have to first believe that there is money out there then you have to work to get it.

The old saying goes "the rich get richer". People use that phrase when they resent what other people have done in their lives. I agree, the rich do get richer, but only because they keep doing what they were doing to get rich in the first place.

Here is an post that I found recently I think will help. Picking Warren Buffet's Brain>>