Although I don’t personally think it is necessary to get the new iPhone 5 if your current phone is in perfect condition, everyone has different circumstances and are entitled to buy as they please. Apple recently announced that they received over 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 within 24 hours of announcing their new money making product, which is evidence that people are still convinced more than ever that t’s worth their money.
If you haven’t already placed your order for your new iPhone gadget, we have some ways to reduce costs and maybe even make a few bucks in the process of upgrading your Smartphone. Check out the best frugal strategies below!
Sell your old iPhone
You have many options when it comes to selling your old iPhone. You can hit up auction sites like eBay or Amazon or you could sell locally via Craig’s List. One of the newest websites that is giving cash for old iPhones is Gazelle, a company that buys old gadgets for about a third of their value. This Boston-based company offers a quote and then allows you to actually sell or pass. So far, Gazelle claims they have bought over 1 million iPhones! Now the downside to this is you may have to go a few days without a cell phone. Hopefully you have an old one you can temporarily use to bridge the gap between the few days of selling your old phone and receiving your new one.
Get a family Plan
If you are like most people who still have a year or more left on their contract and do not qualify to get the new iPhone 5 at the $200 price until then, consider adding a line to your plan. Consider someone who is trustworthy and reliable and who will either use your old iPhone or already has a phone they can link up to your account. Make sure to check with your cell phone provider to make sure this is feasible as not all phone providers follow these procedures.
Get a prepaid plan
Did you know that Virgin Mobile is offering a pre-paid plan for iPhone users for just $30 a month after a $5 discount if you set up automatic payments with your credit card? This could cut your monthly cell phone bill into one-third of what it is now, and in effect cover the cost of the new iPhone 5! There are three major pricing plans that you can take advantage of at Virgin Mobile. For the second option, you can pay $40/month and end up only paying $1,610 for two years compared to $2,400 (AT&T and Verizon) and $2120 (Sprint). That is a huge savings! If you are interested in this option, click here.
Just like that, Summer time is gone and September is here transitioning many of us from humid hot to cool chilly weather. Besides the awesome change in weather conditions, now is the perfect time to start strategizing and saving for the holidays. Do you recall last year feeling stressed about your accumulation of credit card debt or money you didn’t have for holiday expenses you couldn’t avoid? Planning ahead is one crucial element to avoiding those same depressing feelings this holiday season.
The American Research Group, Inc. claimed that on average, Americans spent almost $700 on gifts for the 2011 holiday season. That doesn’t even include fancy holiday dinners, outfits, traveling expenses, decorations, etc. So our advice to you is to sign up for PowerWallet (it’s FREE!), and start planning now so in three months, you will be prepared and ready to deal with all the financial burdens that come along with the festive winter season. Below are 5 ways you can get the most out of PowerWallet to help you achieve your holiday financial goals.
1. Make a plan – If possible, try to see how much you spent last holiday season. Then, go through your plans for this holiday season and try to realistically estimate how much you will need to cover all your holiday costs. You can create a plan within PowerWallet to help you achieve your financial goals.
2. Set savings goal – Determine realistic savings goals (short-term and long-term) so you don’t find yourself in crazy credit card debt in the New Year. PowerWallet can help you achieve your financial goals easier and send you saving goal progress notifications so you can always know where you are at when it comes to your financial status. Remember to be realistic and over-estimate than underestimate your holiday costs.
3. Get spending limit alerts – While creating yourself a long-term budget with PowerWallet over the next four months, try to cut down your expenses in some of your shopping categories at least for the months of September and October and put that excess money in a holiday savings account. One way to stay on top of your expenses is to set up spending alerts within PowerWallet.
4. Schedule bill pay reminders – Even though the holidays may require you to spend more on discretionary items, you still have to stay on top of your monthly regular bills. With PowerWallet, it’s easy to stay on top of your bill due dates with our Bill Calendar and bill pay alerts.
5. Take advantage of awesome PowerSavers – Whether its holiday dinner entrees, decorations or traveling plans, make sure to check out PowerWallet’s customized coupons and deals. We call them PowerSavers and you can use them to get the most bang for your hard earned bucks this holiday season. With our deals and coupons, you can save up to 50 percent on hotels, airfare, holiday gifts, seasonal outfits and more for FREE!
The Treasury Department announced yesterday that the federal government has officially surpassed $16 trillion in debt. If this unfathomable number were divided up by the number of U.S. citizens, it would cost each of us about $50,000. Yikes! That is a lot of money and doesn’t even include our own personal debt (credit, student loan, mortgage, etc.).
Besides voting for public officials, what can individuals really do about the outrageous debt levels that America has incurred? Unfortunately, we can’t do much. Rather than complaining about our deficit, lets focus on our individual net worth and how we can reduce our own personal debt.
Below are 4 awesome tips that can help you reduce your own debt and become a more financially stable person!
1. Pay off your credit card debt – Credit card debt can be a burden on your psychy but it doesn’t have to! Examine all your credit lines, the interest rates you are being charged and then figure out how much you can pay on them per month to see how long it will take you to fully pay them off. Once you start paying down your credit card debt, your credit rating will improve and you will get access to better rates on future loans. Also, after you are done paying off debt, you can reroute that money to go into a savings fund.
2. Don’t take our payday loans – These loans are very dangerous for your budget because they cost up to 30 percent to take out. No other loan or line or credit costs that much to borrow. Also, getting a payday loan could potentially damage your credit score and leave you in an even worse financial situation than you originally started off in.
3. Make a budget – You cannot fully pay off your debt and improve your finances if you don’t know how much you earn, spend and save each month. By creating a budget with PowerWallet, a free online money management tool, you can get a real-time picture of your current financial situation and then improve your debt problems.
4. Reach out to a profession for help – After carefully evaluating your budget and getting a realistic picture of your current financial situation, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proactively conquer your debt. Reach out to a professional credit counseling agency to see your options and help reduce the interest rates on your credit cards. A certified credit counseling agency can help you pay off your debt in less than five years, can consolidate all of your debt payments into one low monthly payment and can
Most people associate managing one’s finances as a boring task. Yes, working with a dreadful excel sheet can be a frustrating chore but PowerWallet, a free online money management tool, can change your perspective on budgeting. Would you use a free budgeting tool that can help you save more, manage all your bills from one secure place? On top of all of those awesome qualities, PowerWallet allows users to earn PowerPoints as they plan and budget. This fall, PowerWallet will unveil exciting rewards that users will get just for doing their regular money management tasks. Yep, that means you will get FREE stuff just for budgeting and staying on top of your finances! We live by one simple motto here at the PowerWallet office headquarters: “Not everyone likes to budget, but everyone needs a plan.”
In today’s blog post, we have a few highlights as to why and how PowerWallet can lead you to financial security:
1. Help you take power over your bills – Stop paying late fees, penalty fees and interest on your bills or credit lines and set up bill pay alerts with PowerWallet! It’s completely free to use and simply get an email notification every time you have a bill that is about to be due. Also get an overview of all your bills and what part of the month they are due by looking at the PowerWallet calendar.
2. Start planning with a positive mindset – Once you sign up for PowerWallet and start using it on a regular basis, your attitude about money management will change for the better. With the easy-to-use interface, you should find yourself psyched about achieving financial success. PowerWallet is a great personal financial management tool that can help individuals of all income levels.
3. Make a realistic plan – With the help of PowerWallet, make realistic long-term and short-term financial goals and then let PowerWallet help you achieve those goals! With spending limits and personalized budgets, you can get a real-time picture of your financial situation all from one place.
4. Cut down your costs with Customized coupons & deals – One of the best features PowerWallet has to offer are our customized coupons and daily deals. Get all the best deals, discounts and coupons from our platform! Via email or from our PowerWallet dashboard, get customized deals based on your geographical location and spending history! It’s amazing how much money you could save on living expenses just by taking advantage of our deals and coupons!
Take power over your money and bills NOW and visit www.powerwallet.com and sign up today! It’s easy to use, secure and FREE!
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – PowerWallet, a free online money management website founded by tech entrepreneur Bob Sullivan and personal finance expert Howard Dvorkin, will launch at this year’s Financial Blogger Conference (FinCon) in Denver, CO Sept. 6 – 9 to the top personal finance bloggers, journalists and financial literacy leaders.
PowerWallet is a budgeting tool designed to help everyday Americans manage their personal finances with ease, but more importantly, to help people achieve financial empowerment. “After helping millions of Americans conquer debt over the past 20 years at ConsolidatedCredit.org, I saw the need for a budgeting tool that is truly user friendly and offers the best money saving technologies in one place,” said Howard Dvorkin, CPA, personal finance expert and founder of ConsolidatedCredit.org.
After running in Beta for the past four months, the PowerWallet team has listened to new users and updated the platform to include manual transactions and accounts. “For those who would prefer to manually upload their spending transactions, they can now do so from any mobile Smartphone or computer device,” said Bob Sullivan, president and co-founder of PowerWallet.
“We’ve already received an enormous amount of positive feedback from new users about the simplicity and accessibility that PowerWallet offers compared to competitors,” Sullivan said. This fall, PowerWallet is set to launch a new rewards program. “Although the final details are in the works, we can say that users will be able to earn discounts at the places they shop or get cash back for budgeting with PowerWallet, a feature that is a big differentiator compared to competitors,” Sullivan said.
- Get the power to plan ahead and create custom budgets by categorizing transactions
- Get a powerful overview of your current financial situation by seeing all of your online bills and financial accounts in once place
- Get the power to manage your bills with bill pay alerts
- Get powerful deals that are customized to your geographical location and spending history
- Get the power to organize and live within your means with spending limit alerts
- Get the power to plan and budget on the go with PowerWallet’s mobile site
- Get powerful rewards this fall with our PowerSaver rewards program
PowerWallet is a free online personal financial management tool that helps users budget smarter, manage their monthly bills & expenses easier, plan for the future and save more with customized coupons. Launched in early 2011, PowerWallet has quickly grown with the intent to help Americans take power over their personal financial situation. For more information on PowerWallet’s free online money management service, visit http://www.powerwallet.com.
The PowerWallet team hopes that your long Labor Day weekend was not only relaxing and enjoyable but also a great success for your budget. Did you overspend? Perhaps you fell prey to all the ‘amazing’ sales taking place at all your favorite major retailers?
No worries! Maintaining a healthy personal finances is a a life-long goal that must be worked on every day. Now that Summer is basically over and the first official day of Autumn/Fall (Sept. 22) is right around the corner, now is a great time to start examining your money management habits and make some improvements! Below are four crucial financial management tips you can start implementing into your personal finances so you are financially savvy and ready for the new season!
1. Create an emergency savings account — Not having an emergency fund to fall back on is one of the primary reasons people find themselves stressed out over their personal finances. With the change in seasons, it’s a great excuse to make some changes in the way you manage your money by saving a portion of your paychecks. Even if it is $20 every paycheck, start saving something so when an emergency comes up in the future, you will be more equipped to handling it.
2. Start saving for the holidays — Can you believe that the holidays are just around the corner? All of your favorite coffee chains are already offering pumpkin flavored latte’s! Yum! With this in mind, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays and all the expenses that arise from fun holiday parties, gatherings, gift exchanges and traveling adventures. Create a separate savings account for your holiday expenses and start NOW while you still have a few months to find great deals, save ahead of time and properly plan for your holiday activities.
3. Budget at least a month in advance — User our free online money management tool to link all of your financial and bill accounts and start seeing where you are actually spending your money. Once you have determined your current financial state, start making proactive changes to your budget by creating spending plans. PowerWallet can help you start finding areas in your budget that you can cut back on so your savings increase and you can pay your bills with ease.
4. Cut your debt — If you don’t want to find yourself in a holiday debt hangover in the New Year, now is the perfect time to take a strategic stab at paying down your debt. First, take a look at how much you owe and what interest rates your creditors are charging you. Focus on the high interest rate cards first and figure out how much you can realistically pay them until your cards are paid off. If you feel like your interest rates are too high, try calling your creditors to negotiate a lower rate. If that doesn’t work, reach out to an accredited credit counseling agency for help. They can help consolidate all of your debt payments into one low monthly payment at a lower interest rate while still helping you pay 100% of your debt off, which will reflect well on your credit report.
By Samantha Savory
No one predicts a job loss or a medical emergency but these types of incidents do happen and it’s important to be prepared. The financial experts at PowerWallet have compiled a list of strategies that anyone can use to become a savvy powerful Saver!
1. Calculate your current networth. How can you measure you financial success if you don’t know what financial level you are currently at? Whether you have no savings or have a plethora of investment and saving accounts, add it all up and establish your savings starting point. Manage your net worth in a free, simple and secure way with PowerWallet, a free online personal financial management website!
2. Save a portion of your income each month. The financial experts at PowerWallet suggest no matter how much you make on an annual basis, try to save a portion of your monthly income. This will prevent you from getting yourself into debt if a crisis occurs. Being prepared for financial emergencies is a significant part of being financially successful. If you can start saving 5 percent of your monthly income and work your way up to 10 percent, your savings nest will grow substantially over time! Remember, if you are proactive about your finances now, you will never have to be reactive when a major expense comes up.
3. Make a spending plan. Most people call this a budget, but the word “budget” is so unappealing. The money gurus at PowerWallet like to refer to a budget as a spending plan. Calculate what your monthly bills are, what debts you have, how much money you make each month and set a guideline. As a rule of thumb, your monthly rent/mortgage payment should never be more than one third of your monthly income. Also, creating and using a spending plan will show you where you are splurging too much and where you can cut back.
4. Pay off credit card debt. If you are in the negative because of the debt on your personal balance sheet, it will be hard to save. Calculate how much debt you owe and the interest you are being charged and establish a debt reduction program. If you feel like your debt is spiraling out of control and you need help from professional, reach out to a accredited credit counseling agency.
5. Open a savings account. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to go to your local credit union or major bank to open a savings account. If you are really constrained on time, check out free online-only banks.
By Samantha Savory
Many college kids have just started college or are about to in the next few weeks. Now that admissions and class schedules are taken care of, it’s time to know to how continuously save money while going to school. Once parents leave the kids in their college dorm, it’s up to them to be frugally smart when it comes to their college living expenses.
1. Get a free student checking account –Why pay for services that you can get for free? Check out your local bank for a free checking account to keep your money safe and secure in. Also, most colleges partner with a bank and offer a college debit card. Make sure to explore all your options to see which one is the best for your personal financial situation.
2. Make a plan – Use a free online budgeting tool to plan for your college days expenses and monitor your spending and saving habits so you can see where there is room for improvement.
3. Don’t pay for alcohol – Either buy the cheap stuff, look for a happy hour or let the guys cater your to a few drinks when you go out!
4. Buy books online – Skip your local book store as they tend to charge way too much! Look on Amazon, eBay or any college book sales site to find your books for 30% less the cost listed in the book store.
5. Sell your books back – At the end of each semester, do a little research and see how much you can sell your books back at the bookstore and online. This will help you cover books for the next semester.
6. Live close to campus – This will cut down on your transportation costs which over a four year span can be a significant amount of money!
7. Find your local Wal-Mart – Most college towns have a Wal-Mart. Make sure to find out where it is and what shuttle can take you there and stock up on affordable snacks and food for your dorm or apartment.
8. Open a savings account – This should be free for students as well. Open a savings account and practice saving a tiny amount of money every month. This trait will carry into your years after college and trust us, it will come in handy in helping you be financially successful!
9. Use coupons – Don’t be afraid to use coupons when you are grocery shopping or eating out while in college! Who cares if it is cool, it will save you money and allow you to get more bang for your buck!
10. Shop the discount racks – Whenever you need a new business ensemble for school or a new outfit to go out, check your local Marshall’s or similar discount stores and save up to 50%!
11. Volunteer – Rather than spending money on items you don’t need, volunteer with some of your friends at a local homeless or animal shelter and give back to your local community.
12. Live with roommates – After your first year of college, most students move out of the dorms and into an apartment. Opt to get roommates so you can split utility costs and chances are, your rent will be lower as well.
13. Decorate your place on a dime – Make sure to not go too heavy on decorating your room or apartment. Also, check dollar stores and other discount stores for decorative items and try to split the costs of your living room decorations with your roommates.
14. Get a furnished apartment – This is the best economical option for most college students on a tight budget. Rather than buying furniture which can be very expensive, look for apartments that come fully furnished.
15. Take advantage of your student discount – Make sure to take your student ID with you everywhere you go because you never know who is offering college student discounts. Whether it’s the movie theater or a restaurant, many places in college towns offer great discounts!
16. Clothes shop at consignment stores – Not only will this save you money but it will allow you to wear items that aren’t massed produced by stores like Forever 21. This way, you won’t have to worry about someone else at your college wearing the same thing as you.
17. Carpool home – For your vacation breaks like Spring break and Christmas break, try to talk with other people that live in the same city you do and see if you can give them some gas money to ride with them. This will save you a ton on car repairs and this way, you won’t have to pay for the entire trip when it comes to gas costs.
By Samantha Savory
In the latest environmental news, yesterday President Barack Obama finalized new regulation changes on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Requirements, or CAFÉ, which will require new fuel efficiency standards on cars in the United States to get at least 54.4 miles to the gallon. In an effort to cut traveling costs for working Americans and help reduce air pollution, car makers have up until 2025 to fully implement these standards, with most of the changes expected to take place after 2020.
From now until 2016, automobile makers are required to raise the average fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg. Right now the average mile per gallon for American cars range from 25 to 35 mpg.
Gas prices have spiked 19 percent over the past three months, making the cost of simply driving to and from work astronomical and furthermore, making summer family road trip vacations nearly impossible for many middle class families. While current gas prices are hovering around $4.00 per gallon, this news comes at a great time for many commuters. This is not only positive news for the environment but it is also great for everyone’s budget! According to the While House, this new fuel efficiency standard will save Americans $1.7 trillion in gasoline costs and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.
With cars and trucks accounting for 20 percent of carbon emissions and more than 40 percent of U.S. oil consumption, this news comes at a great time that will help counter the increased pollution effects that the United States has produced, especially over the last 30 years. The standards will reduce carbon dioxide pollution by over 6 billion metric tons – equivalent to the emissions from the United States last year, or what the Amazon rainforest absorbs in three years. These new regulations will also act as another level of protection for the public’s health by significantly reducing air toxins, smog and soot.
CAFE requirements were first imposed in the 1970s in response to foreign oil embargoes, and the Obama administration says this is the first update in decades. For great ways to save on gas traveling costs in the meantime, click here.
By Samantha Savory
If you had to learn the hard way about how to manage your money, make sure to not make the same mistake with your kids as your mom or dad did with you! Most personal finance experts will tell you to start teaching your kids about money at a young age. Even if it is basic small concepts, you can start at a preschool age and teach them how to earn, save and spend wisely. To help you better educate your little ones, here are some great money tips to incorporate into your personal finance lessons.
1. Start saving now – It is never too early to save! Teach your kids at a young age how important saving is. This way, they can take those traits into their adulthood and be financially successful independent individuals. Saving is a huge contributor to being broke and stressed about money versus financially secure.
2. Keep track of spending – Around age 10 through 12, you can start to encourage your kids to keep track of their spending on a simple piece of paper. When they get a little older, allow them to use a free budgeting tool on their iPod or computer to monitor how they spend and save money.Kids are more tech savvy than any other generation so it should be pretty simple for them to learn how manage their money online.
3. Never spend it all – This tip is especially important. No one should ever have zero dollars to their name. Explain how accidents or emergencies can happen and that it is important to always be prepared for the worst. Encourage saving with a piggy bank and then allow your kids to open their own savings account when they get into high school.
4. Know wants vs. needs – Food, shelter, clothes and transportation can be categorized as needs by most people. Anything else is categorized as a want and should only be purchased if extra discretionary money is available. If your kids don’t have the money for a new toy or game, help them refocus on what is important and that they are fortunate and lucky to have everything that they do have.
5. Raise a savvy shopper – Always shop the discount stores and discount racks and instill in your kids to never pay full price for something. Teaching frugality can teach your kids to save a ton of money over their lifetime! Teach them about the various marketing and advertising schemes that are created to make them think they have to spend money on certain stuff. Educate them so they know they are more valuable than the latest sneakers or toy that they have. Also check out Common Sense Media – they have a lot of great information to help educate your kids from sneaky advertising tricks and scams.
6. Monitor the stock market – Some young teens particularly gravitate to this at a young age. Talk to your young kids about the stock market, how it works and encourage them to save their money to go towards one or two stocks they believe in because they use that product or service.