Archive for August, 2010

5 Money Saving/Yielding Websites to check out

Many of you frugalers are surely die hard fans of shopping websites like Amazon.com, Craigslist.org, ebay.com saving money on every gifts you purchase and try to find deals on day to day shopping as well. Recently we bought diapers at Amazon saving $10 compared to walmart. I don’t know an item Amazon don’t sell. Anyways, here is few more to add to your list. These websites are all different kinds, not just shopping websites so check them out.

SmartyPig.com Saving smart towards goals.


I like to call Adult version of PiggyBank, real and smart. It is a unique patent pending savings program launched to help people save for specific goals. It is neither a bank or credit union. It is just internet company who bridges consumers and banking breaking away from traditional savings methodology. I came to know about this website from mymoneyblog.com.

In our traditional banking world, we all have checking and savings account. May be you can have “n” number of savings account in ING Direct but still it is just another savings account towards a goal. But SmartyPig main motto is about giving importance to your goals and savings account is  placed behind it. They can add money into your account. It gets even better with high interest from reputed BBVA bank insured by FDIC.

You can have goals like buying a car, Christmas shopping or anything. Another intersting aspect, you can use social media to invite friends to help save for you. Few things which turned me away initially was, they are not a traditional bank with account numbers for your saving goals. You can only transfer or withdraw money via ACH or debit cards. With high interest rate and retailer gift cards with bonus percentage, it is an attractive savings program hard to miss out. I will post more details about SmartyPig in my later post.


VistaPrint.com – Cheap Marketing tools.


This one is my favorite when comes to ordering marketing tools like business cards, banners, car magnets, T-shirts. I been using Vistaprint for almost 2 years now. They been around for a while but expanded their offerings a lot in recent years. They offer cheapest marketing/advertising in the internet. I only paid $9+ shipping to get a T-shirt, Cap, Large and small car magnets. Actually I paid only shipping and item are free. If you are small business and just want to put words out, it is the cheapest and simple way to start your marketing for the business. Quality is reasonbly good and worth for the price paid.


Neighborgoods.net – Borrow, Share or lend and save…


This one is interesting site taking our good old concept online. A website where neighbors help neighbors to save by borrowing and sharing..

We all used to knock on neighbors door for a tools or pint of sugar when in need but these days neighborhoods have become so security conscious and privacy oriented. We lost the human touch of living in a lively neighborhood. I am not going to say this website helps to get along and party but it surely helps on step forward to share, lend, borrowing items in need. I signed up and posted few items which I don’t have problem lending to a neighbor who can prove me he/she lives in and around the neighborhood. That’s the way it should be.

Groupon.comDaily deals at Best



I discovered this website last week from different sources. It is about group purchasing and offering the deals to consumers. If you are aware of woot.com which was recently bought by Amazon.com, the idea is similar except Groupon is not about just product. It can be any businesses. At woot.com, they used collective purchashing to publish great deals everyday and consumer has to purchase quickly until it runs out. Groupon.com uses similar collective/group purchasing concept to find deals for consumers in different areas and market it with consumers who are signed with them. Simple concept to deliver best deals for group of consumer using email and social media in your area and around town. You can sign up and check it out.

Meritline.com –  Find almost any Handy Electronic stuffs cheap.

Last but not least, I always wanted a website where I can find everyday electronic or tool stuffs which we usually don’t have time to search and get at HomeDepot or Lowes. Meritline is the place to go, it has been real saver of time and money. I have ordered many items like battery charge finder, LED lights for kids, cheap head phones and more for the past couple of months. Most of the time no shipping, just pay for the item and it usually ships from Hong Kong or Singapore and takes 2-3 weeks. As per the quality, I cannot guarantee it. It depends on the product and various. You get what you pay for. Try it out.

Finally a bonus website, OverMyMinutes.com – Use your minutes wise.
I been using this website for almost a two year or so. It saved me bunch of dollars by alerting when I was close to go over my talk time. You can put your provider info in their websites and they will alert you to make you aware that you are close to your allowed talk time. It is a useful tool for your kids cell phone as well which every parents needs these days.

Hope you get chance to check out the above websites and share you feedback. If you know of any other similar type of website, please share with us too.

CARD ACT: CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS NEW LOOK

Beginning of this month, we saw an update on the CARD Act and talked about possible changes expected to happen in response to the bill both from credit companies perspective and personal level.  Making credit card statement simple and easy to read is one among many changes requested by law. Many credit companies and banks made those changes way ahead and you should be getting new version of your credit card statements now. It is really very detailed in every aspect for the consumer.  Thanks to Card Act 2009.

If you are an American express credit card member, you should have also got a pamphlet explaining the changes in your credit card statement. Not all banks and credit unions spent time and money to explain the changes to their consumer. Let us see the changes in details by looking at the old and new statement side by side.












OLD NEW




Click the images to zoom


OLD Statement

If you look at the old statement, it is simple and abstract with just about details. It shows the amount due, minimum amount due,  transactions details and available credit. That’s about it. If you incur any financial charges, it shows that in the bottom. It doesn’t explain, whats it is the minimum payment due, how it can affect your balance? What are the fees on this statement? It is very basic and only helps people who are familiar about how credit card works.

NEW Statement

On the other hand, new statement is very elaborate and detailed. Even for first timer, it is clear and tells what happens when only minimum payment due is only paid.  It surely will help many consumer looking for answers to their basic questions on their statement.  Lets look at new sections added in the statement one by one.



1. Warnings Section

This warning section clearly explains about late fees and minimum payment due. It will really help to put the things into perspective if they only make minimum payments. We can hope many consumers who will be alarmed to see the numbers and may consider paying full on time.





2. Summary Section

In this section, they summarized full activity of the credit account clearly to give a detail picture by breaking it down to show the fees, advances, interest and so forth. It is a very important section which will surely help even experienced credit consumer.




3. Fees and Interest Breakdown

This last section at the bottom might seem redundant but it another break down of fees and interest charges. If you have fees for late payment or cash advances, this will break it down to show them. Also if you have many different interest changes, Interest charged section will show that in detail.  Last but not least, Interest charge calculation section gives an idea how interest is calculated and charged.



I took my DCU credit card statement and AMEX had similar sections and most credit card statements should have them as well according to the law. These new addon sections to the credit card statement comes real handy for any type of consumer. We can only hope atleast now everyone reads their credit card statement and not give silly excuses they don’t understand it.

Money really matters, Why? – Five Factiods

When I was choosing the name for this website, I thought different and various possible names. Finally, I ended up with money really matters because I really made sense. Money really matters to every human being in this world. Don’t you think?
 

Money really matters to our livelihood.  It  obviously matters to each and every one of us to exist in this world. We all want a money tree or Duck laying golden eggs. But, let me rephrase with a caveat. It is not only that matters for our life. In our life many important things matters like family, friends, love, joy, fun and much more. “Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills“, said by Clifford Odets. socialist.  I totally agree but those bills surely brings and binds it all together. Let me share 5 factoids which I came up, why Money really matters to each and every one us.

Fact #1: The Life Supporter




Money is our life support like breathing to our body. Without taking breath, human cannot survive. Similarly one cannot survive without money in this earth. It helps to satisfy our essentials, needs and wants.  Zig Ziglar, an American author and motivational speaker once said, Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.
 


 


Fact #2: The Driving Force

Money is the driver behind all our lives. Almost every one of us wake up every morning and run to work or to their business just to make buck or more so all can live our lives and take care of our family.  It is the driving force but you are the driver behind the wheels. Don’t ever make the money drive you crazy.  Robert Orben, famous magician and comedy writer once said, “Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America.  If I’m not there, I go to work“.


Fact #3: The Problem Creator & Solver

Finally, Money  is the problem creator and as well the solution for it. Studies in many countries have shown that the main reason for breakup in relationship or divorce is money. It is the force behind your muscle which need to be controlled and never let it give a loose punch. “Money is neither my god nor my devil.  It is a form of energy that tends to make us more of who we already are, whether it’s greedy or loving”  said by Dan Millman, former Tramphilon world champion athlete, college professor

Fact #4: The Dream Enabler

Money is the enabler of our dreams. It helps to reach our life financial goals which leads to personal growth. When you set a timeline to your dreams, it becomes goals. When you pave the way to achieve them, you draft a plan. When you implement your plans to get to your goals by taking action, it becomes a milestone or success. Money many times helps you get to your dreams whether its a dream vacation to visit 7 wonders or buying a home.


Fact #5: The Social Signature

Money gives you a strong signature in the society to show your status. If you say, you are millionaire or billionaire. You are surely going to good reception in society. Having a luxury car, bigger home or beach house really adds up to your image. Money identifies you and me to this world whether by categorizing as middle class, lower, higher or upper middle class. 

But Mr. Warren Buffet, one of richest man in the world said, “Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.” It is that simple.

So money really matters to us but you decide how it actually matters to you. Whether to you shape your life or actually start a life. What is your factiod about Money? Share with us..

Image sources: universityofvirgina.com, newbeetleclub.com
Quote sources: quotegarden.com,brainyquote.com

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