This question depends on your situation. This number can be as low at $40,000 a year and up to $100,000 a year. I believe that a $75,000 / year salary would buy happiness. Why? Because by making $75,000 / year would allow my wife to quit her job, and grow the business that she loves, Firefly Flashbacks Photography. It would also in turn allow her to stay home with the children we will have some day. What’s your magic number?
|Have you joined in on the new trend? Saving money with coupons? For some people coupons have become a way of life. Coupons free up money for other necessities.
Coupons use to be available everywhere. Now you have to work for them a little more. If you use your time wisely it will pay off, below is 4 reasons you should use coupons.
Save money on must have items
Lets face it, how much toilet paper do you use? Tons I bet, and even more if you have women in the house. You can save up to 50% or more off of Items like toilet paper, light bulbs, washing power, dish-washing liquid, etc.
Allows you to try new products
Have you seen those new razors? You know the ones with 4 blades instead of 3, and before that 3 blades instead of one. This is just one example but there are several products that you can try at a reduced price. Other items may include food, HBC items, cleaning products, etc.
Eat Free, Get Free Products
Its hard to believe this but yes, coupons can score you free food or free products. Just yesterday I scored free fries at Wendy’s and you can too. Usually if you look on restaurants websites, when they come out with a new product, they place coupons for free items, so the consumer can try before you buy. Other products may be a little harder to get, but still obtainable. You may have to combine coupons to get the products free. With a little searching you can get free food and free products!
Coupons make splurges more affordable
This applies more to electronics, clothing and home goods. If you look in your Sunday’s paper, I guarantee you may find a coupon for 40% off one item at Hobby Lobby, or maybe 20% off Macy’s, or maybe $10 off $50 at Kohl’s. Some coupons like the $10 off of $50 may encourage you to spend more, but if you use them on occassions such as anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays you can save tons. Check out how we saved $255.00 on our Christmas Shopping this year with the use of coupons and sales.
|Let’s face it, property values continue to slope it has become more and more of a buyers market, not so much a sellers market anymore.
There are several things you can do to make your home stand out and gain value to the potential home buyers in this time of price decline.
Fresh coat of paint
Paint is very is one of the cheapest improvements you can make to your home. If you have bright vibrant colors in your home, I suggest toning the colors down to appeal to a wider range of home buyers. Go with neutral warm colors, they sell its a fact. Weather painting a small room or a huge room you will need the necessities. A small and large paint brush, a small and large paint roller, and lets not forget a gallon bucket. If you hate painting like I do you may want to try to barter your stuff with a painter like we did.
Did you know that by replacing your old refrigerator with a new energy star one can save you more than $100 per year on your electric bill. Imagine how more appealing your home would be if you could share those facts with the home buyer about all your appliances. Currently the government is offering a rebate on Energy-Efficient Appliances. Do your due diligence, I think the rebate runs out as of Jan 1, 2011, so you must hurry to take advantage of this…
Install new fixtures
Most of this can be a DIY project. You can easily replace your sink faucets, shower heads, change out the dated brass and upgrade to stainless steel or aluminum. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping in and getting your hands dirty there are several videos on youtube that can teach you how to change just about any fixture you can imagine, not to mention the experts at Lowes and Home Depot can steer you in the right direction. They usually offer free classes. Contact your local Lowes and Home Depot to find out when their next class is. I’ve noticed that just about any fixture you can dream of is available online, and cheaper, sometime with free shipping. Take a trip down to Lowes and discover your perfect faucet,toilet, shower, etc, then head back home and search amazon for it. I guarantee you more than likely will at least save $20 or more on it.
Lets face it, if the home buyers don’t like the outside of your home you have no chance of getting them through the front door where they can feel your home out. Its very important that your yard be well maintained, bushes trimmed, no trash in the yard. The same applies to your neighbors yards surrounding your house. Its a fact your neighbor can make or break a deal. If you haven’t already, make buddies with your neighbors. Volunteer to help them out with their not so hot yard. By improving their yard, your increasing your homes value and your neighborhoods worth.
Switch out color of outlets and light switches
If you live in an older home, your light switches may not be white. In my case they were a tan color. I made it a point to upgrade plugins in each room as I painted the room. White looks fresh and new, tan looks old and used. This is simple and inexpensive. You can get a 10 pack of outlets covers onAmazon for only $7.99. Light switch covers cost about the same depending on if you need single or double switch cover plates. If you really want to do it right replace the recpticle and cover plate.
If you apply these 5 steps. I guarantee you success!!!
||There has been some debates on what is the difference in a Thrift Store and a Consignment Store. The major difference is the price. Thrift stores take donations, consignment stores sell for individuals. If you think about it consignment stores add a middleman that wants to make his or her profit on the goods that you and I are buying.|
Thrift Stores are usually non profits, that take in any kind of donation, and turn around and sell it for a reasonable price, to keep their mission going. Thrift Stores provide jobs, and sometimes shelter to people who are in need. Consignment Stores are retail stores that pocket their percentage of the profit and move on to the next deal. They offer no jobs for people trying to get back into the work force, nor do they offer shelter, for those who have none. From a consumer side and humanitarian side, the Thrift Store just makes more since. I guess you can say its a circle of giving. You can donate items, that the Thrift Store turns around and sells to other people at reduced prices, that pays the employees that need jobs, and helps feed and shelter the ones that need it, as well as puts food on their table, and a tax write off in your file.
I much prefer shopping at Goodwill any day over a consignment store. The prices are much more affordable. $4.25 for a gently worn polo shirt is much better than $20 at a consignment store any day. I’m not saying I wouldn’t shop at a Consignment Store, but by shopping at a Thrift Store, I’m helping a larger crowd, not to mention helping myself to great deals. I use to visit Goodwill weekly to see what I could find. We have found several awesome deals. You may remember our $50 table and what it looks like now with a fresh coat of paint or my great trash to treasure finds. Its like a treasure hunt, go visit your local Goodwill today and see what you can find!
|It’s that time of year again, days away from Christmas. Have have you purchased all of your gifts yet? This weekend we marked all the remaining items off our list!
Last year we bought with out regards to sales. This year we went for sale items only or items we can use coupons on to make the items on sales.
So what did we get? and how much did we save? That’s the big question all of you want to know. Get ready your going to be proud of us this time around. If you remember back in August we took a trip to Charleston, SC to celebrate our 1st year of marriage. While we were there we received $75 gift card to Bass Pro Shop for setting through the awful Bluegreen Resorts presentation. We took that $75 gift certificate and applied it to the $159.99 Stealth Cam Jim Shockey “Sniper Pro” 8.0 Mega Pixel Digital Camera bringing our balance down to $94.59 tax included.
Stealth Cam Video Recorder
Next we moved on to Bed Bath and Beyond. We love this place, we have been collecting 20% off coupons for sometime now, and every now and then we get $5 off $15 coupons. The great thing about Bed Bath and Beyond, they let you use one coupon per item, and it doesn’t matter if the coupon is expired or not!! We bought a Keurig B-40 B40 Elite Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System. Regular price was $99.99 we saved 20% = $20.00 off. So we spent a grand total of $84.16 tax included.
Keurig Single-Cup Brewing System
Next was Target. Target had an add in the paper for a Westinghouse 26" LCD 720p HDTV - SK-26H730Sfor only $199.00 the regular price was $279.99. That’s a savings of $80.99. Luckily we got the last one at that great price. I don’t know if you know this but LED is the newest kind of TV, slowly replacing LCD TVs. Great deal for a combined Christmas gift. Grand total $210.94 tax included.
Westinghouse 26″ LED TV
On to the PGA Tour Store, back this summer Katie got a $20.00 gift card for helping with a golf tournament at work. Time to put that to use for us. We bought her grandfather a
Dorfman Pacific Hat Regular price $28.95 – $20.00 gift card Grand total of $10.69 tax included.
Straw Golf Hat
Lastly we stopped at Office Depot and picked up 2 Ativa 7″ Digital Photo Frame for the Grandmothers for $39.99 each with an instant savings of $10 on each for a total savings of $20 on the 2 digital photo frames. We also picked up a couple 4GB SD memory cards to house the photos for original price $29.99 with a savings of $20 on each of them. Grand total of $84.76 tax included.
2 Ativa 7″ Digital Photo Frame & 2 4GB SD Cards
If you take your resources, like gift cards you’ve collected and coupons you’ve clipped, and ads you just happen to notice in the weekly sales paper you too can save a ton during the holiday season.
How much did you save on your Christmas shopping this year?