Category Archives for "Money Management Tips"

Read Our 6 Tricky Tips and Learn How to Save Money at Target

Know how to save money at Target? Find out more secrets here!

Save Money at TargetNow you can learn how to save money at Target without becoming a financial contortionist. The retailer makes it easier than ever to buy whatever you need in their stores, and with the following tips, you’ll never have to shop at the alternative again.

Save some cash every time you walk through the front doors of your local Target using these 6 savvy steps:

1. Download the Cartwheel App

Target created this easy to use mobile application that works with iOS and Android devices. Cartwheel organizes all their best deals into helpful categories you can browse before you buy. It also allows you to search for particular items, so you can stock up on savings while you fill your cart. Simply ask the cashier to scan your Cartwheel barcode at the very end of your purchase – after all other coupons but before you pay – and you could receive 20 percent off or more.

2. Download the Target App

As strange as it sounds, Target has coupons on their store mobile app that aren’t included in Cartwheel, and you can combine the two! More than that, you can also throw in a Red Card discount if you use a Target Red debit or charge card. It seems a bit overwhelming at first, so start with Cartwheel if you only want one.

3. Check out Slickdeals.com

With all the sites on the web reporting retailer specials, it’s hard to pick one that’s really trustworthy. Slickdeals relies on customers to share the best deals and to rate them enough to get them on the front page of the site. With a generous and knowledgeable user base that takes their savings seriously, you can trust the crowd at Slickdeals to point you in the right direction. The web site’s organization is also top-notch, making it easy to get around and to set up Target notices.

4. Investigate the Sales Aisle

According to ForeverTwentySomethings.com, Target has a few unique practices that make saving big extra easy. The chain has policies in place dictating the days they process clearance in each department. Use the following chart from the site to get in on deals as soon as they’re available:

Monday: Electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby, and stationery

Save Money at TargetTuesday: Domestics, women’s clothing, pets, and market (food items)

Wednesday: Men’s clothing, health and beauty, lawn and garden

Thursday: Housewares, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, decor, and luggage

Friday: Auto, cosmetics, hardware, and jewelry

In addition, they claim the amounts on clearance item give clues as to whether they’ll continue to drop in price. Tags ending in .04 are bottom dollar, but those ending in .08 or .06 will be priced lower in the future if they don’t sell.

5. Shop from Home

Target is one of a growing number of retailers that allows you to purchase things online and pick them up in the store at customer service at your convenience. This helps you avoid impulse buys and ensures you get exactly what you’re looking for. It also lets you take advantage of online only specials!

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Price Match

One tool used by only the savviest of shoppers is Target’s Price Match Guarantee. If within 14 days of your purchase, you find the same item offered by their store or by select competitors at a lower price, Target will match the price. You can request a Price Match at the time of purchase or after you buy. For those who want to avoid their main competitors, this is an excellent way to get what you want at the right price while giving your money to a store you can stand behind.

Visit your nearest Title Tree store for more tips on spending less – or if you need a little help making ends meet right about now. In the meantime, we’ll teach you how to save money at Target and other favorite retailers.

 

5 Ways to Spend Less on Your Groceries Without Your Stomach Growling

How do you spend less on your groceries and still keep your family full?

Spend Less on Your GroceriesSpend less on your groceries? Whether you have an entire houseful to feed or just yourself, it can be a challenge to shrink your food bills. At least, the initial idea is an obstacle. For many, food is one of those items you just don’t cut back on. You spend your money wisely and buy the highest ingredients available. However, even if you eat as organic, vegan and gluten-free as possible, there are ways to save mega cash in the process!

Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself eating more for less every single month:

Check out weekly grocery specials.

Most chain stores release weekly specials on meats, fruit, and other items that generally cost a bundle. According to Money, creating a weekly meal plan around these deals can save up to half-off your regular grocery bill. If items are easy to freeze, you can wind up saving on a popular item all month, just don’t go overboard. Hoarding food often leads to needless waste, and it prevents other savvy shoppers from taking advantage of deals they may depend on to eat well. Not everyone is community-minded, however, so be sure to get to stores the day they announce their budget buys.

Check your pantry before shopping, and spend less on your groceries.

Take stock of what you already have before you go shopping. Utilize apps like Superfood and Out of Milk to track what food you have on hand and how to make the most of it. Not only does this save roughly a quarter of the groceries you buy from going bad, but it will also save a chunk of your budget. These apps help you devise a weekly meal plan that puts your investment to its best use. In need of new recipes? Try MyRecipes.com for easy searching based on ingredients you already have in your fridge.

Make a shopping list.

Putting together a grocery list based on the meals you intend to make during the week is an excellent way to spend less on your groceries once you get to the store. Winging it is an easy way to be influenced by grocery store advertising and layouts. Stick to your list, and you’ll buy just what you need. Also, take the time to plan your route through the store, avoiding unnecessary aisles.

Skip gourmet grocery stores.

In many medium-to-large cities, you’ll find gourmet delis, grocers, and bakeries. These shops tend to charge much more for top-tier ingredients, but you’d be surprised where else you can find the same brands for less. Amazon, for instance, carries specialty items like Beemster cheese and Busseto salami, along with an extensive selection of items for those with special diets. They have options for vegans and vegetarians, organic and kosher dishes, and for those with food allergies, such as gluten-free meals and ingredients.

Shop for groceries on your own.

You’ll cut down on unplanned purchases and spend less on your groceries if you shop solo. It gives you the chance to take advantage of many tricks for spending less on your food. Use smaller-sized carts. Listen to your own music. Make sure to snack before you head to the store. Is shopping on your own not possible? Check out the personal shopper options in your area. Several store chains allow you to shop online and still get the benefit of weekly specials. Then you can pick up your order or have it delivered for a small fee. The small investment leads to big savings.

Even if you’re working to save money while learning how to spend less on your groceries, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on into Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need.

 

How to Stick to Your Budget without Sacrificing Family Fun

“How do I stick to my budget without losing sight of what’s most important?”

How to Stick to Your Budget Learning how to stick to your budget without sacrificing family fun is a bit of a balancing act, and every once in a while, it’s the source of family fights. Children may have unreasonable expectations or assume you’re not putting your money where it’s needed the most. Truth be told, most parents struggle with this, so you’re not alone with it. Thankfully, there’s help if it’s needed.

Following these simple tips can help you stay true to your budget while making enough room for family fun:

Talk with your children about money.  

Some parents refuse to talk with their kids about finances in any way. Why? Most likely because they were frightened by bill problems when they were children. There’s nothing quite as powerless as being in a struggling family when you don’t have a way to contribute. However, it’s important for parents to understand the power you gift your children by giving them appropriate information.

“We shouldn’t spend all of our money on entertainment. We still need to pay our bills and put money away in savings, so we’ll have to decide. Would you rather go to the movies tonight or skating tomorrow?” These kinds of discussions put kids with you in the driver’s seat. Talking about budgets, planned spending and investing in ways you feel are truly valuable help prepare your kids for spending money of their own. It also gives them a sense of security because they see the way you spend money is under control.

Find free activities.  

Every community has free things for children to do, but they might not be so obvious. Just finding out about them can be difficult. The public library can be an excellent source for announcements. Schools often are the first to hear about new clubs or kids’ nights in the area. Your local community center, parks and recreation, the visitor’s bureau or even Facebook buy and sell groups can also be good sources of information.

In addition, every area has opportunities for free fun for family groups by way of people creating their own opportunities. Use a free app on your phone to go geocaching—or make a cache with your family—or invite the kids on a survey of the neighborhood they can use later to draw a map. YouTube and Pinterest are both great places to shop for ideas on free and fun things for parents to do with their children.

Spend money wisely.

Chances are there are several paid activities your kids would like to do with you. When deciding on what types of family fun to invest in, it’s important to take an educated approach. Using similar methods to discovering free opportunities, strive to find out about absolutely everything available in your area. Then discuss them with the kids.

You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, you should do your best to spread activities out to get the most bang for your buck. If you’re always taking part in big events, it can be easy for your children to start taking them for granted (and for taking part to become less fun for you and more of an obligation).

According to US News & World Report, one of the easiest ways to save is by purchasing family memberships to nearby museums, zoos and other hot spots from your local library. Entrance to one of these spots for one day for a large family is often more than the cost of the family membership, and you can visit many times in a year for one price.

Save money as a family.

Put a schedule together, and post it on the fridge so everyone in the family knows what to expect. These systems help remind kids about everything you are doing together. They’re also very helpful when it comes to making last-minute changes. Did you just hear about a play you know your kids would love? Ask them to go over the schedule with you to decide how to make it part of your overall plan.

Reinforcing the idea of carefully investing your money in the most enjoyable activities will help them get more value out of every dollar they spend throughout their lives. Plus, you’ll save money without skimping on the important things.

Even if you’re working on how to stick to your budget, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on in to Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need in a pinch so the kids don’t wind up disappointed.

 

Feeling Lost? The Six Simplest Tips on How to Make a Household Budget

how to make a household budgetLearning how to make a budget can seem overwhelming, but once you master the basics, you’ll never find yourself in a financial pickle again. You also won’t feel like your time at work is wasted. Every minute you invest in the art of balancing your personal books is worth it. The relief alone is enough to motivate even the sloppiest of spenders, so get started sooner than later.

Balancing your budget begins with these six simple tasks:

  1. Get everyone involved in the discussion. The Penny Hoarder gives excellent advice to couples, who need a budget to prevent finances from becoming a problem down the road. While talking about the budget can seem boring, it can also introduce ideas, goals and aspirations you never knew about one another—or yourself.
  1. Count up all of your income. With as many avenues for income that we often have going at once, it can be easy to forget a resource or two if you just focus on paychecks. While regular, salary pay is generally reliable, you can earn money in many ways, from taking back pop cans to babysitting on the weekends to officiating wedding ceremonies for extra cash. Make sure you count up every cent, because, as they say, “money has a way of spending itself,” so it’s important to have a purpose for every cent.
  1. Figure out your necessities. Shelter, utilities, groceries, monthly payments for student loans or insurance policies, gifts for upcoming birthdays or holidays, house supplies and things needed for school or work all fall under “necessities.” These are the things you cannot do without, or will not feel good about yourself if you go without, and they may include contributions to a retirement fund or savings toward a vacation or a new car or house. Simply put, these costs cover your needs and obligations.
  1. Consider what’s leftover and what you’d like to do with it. First and foremost, a small amount of money should be allocated to an “allowance” fund for everyone in the family. This should be money they can spend freely without having to justify or explain. It’s important for everyone to have at least a little fun money, even if it’s only $10 a paycheck. Then consider your bigger objectives in life. Some will be immediate—like wanting to see the newest Neill Blomkamp movie—while others will be further off. Whatever they are, earmark funds for them now so you can follow through later on.
  1. Figure out where your money is currently going. Cell phones and other smart devices have revolutionized the way people budget, especially when it comes to tracking spending. These days, you can take a photo of your receipt, and your budgeting app will sort your purchases into categories like “Personal Care” and “Cleaning Supplies” on your behalf. These entries can be edited, just in case they’re wrong. Once collected, the information is shared in effective ways that help you make the choices needed to cut back on unnecessary bills.
  1. Commit to making changes. Once you realize you’re blowing your budget on morning coffees, it’s easy to say, “I’ll treat myself once a week, and save the rest of that money for a trip home for the holidays.” Making careful choices about your spending may feel uncomfortable for a month or more, but keep trying. Over time, you’ll notice the ends meeting more often, leaving more room for extras you feel are truly important.

Even if you’re working to make a budget, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Click this link to locate your nearest Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need as well as the assistance you need to learn how to make a household budget.

 

How to Stretch a Tight Budget and Still Have a Summer Getaway

stretch a tight budgetIt’s possible to stretch a tight budget to pay for many different types of last minute expenses. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity and a solid plan. At this time of year, many people are focused on going away for the summer. You can go too, even if you’re having trouble paying your regular bills, with just a few weeks of preparation.

Here are a few ways you can prepare financially for a summer vacation:

Get your budget on track.

Sites like Mint.com help you get a handle on your budget by tracking your bank accounts and credit cards. The system automatically files transactions into “income,” or any number of bills, including “home phone,” “groceries” and other normal expenses. If one is categorized incorrectly, you can edit each entry. However, at the end of the day, this is an excellent way to track your budget, and see where your money is really going.

The system is easy to use and setting goals and budgets is very easy. The site also gives you the opportunity to see your credit score—for free—and offers recommendations on how to save what you need in order to reach the goals you’re saving for. You won’t know how much to save unless you know how much is coming in and where it’s going, so using a program like Mint is one of the easiest ways to get started.

Save money on items you’re already buying.

Today’s economy provides consumers with many ways of saving—and earning—whenever those regular, everyday purchases are made. Apps like Snap by Groupon give you a heads up on rebates you can collect simply and easily, and after you’re done, you can peruse the other specials currently going in your area. Ibotta and Check51 are also popular programs that pay out once you reach a reasonable minimum balance.

Give up a luxury item.

Some of us live on very restrictive budgets so coffee or chocolate may be your only vice. Want that summer vacation? It may be worth a few weeks of sacrifice. Instead of hitting Starbucks every morning, log into your bank account once you’re at work and move that $7 from checking to savings.

If you honestly have nothing in your routine you can ditch, consider putting certain bills on hold for a while. The weekday paper, cable or your cell phone can be put on standby for a month or two. Once it’s turned back on, you resume service and billing, though your contract—if you’re tied down by one—will naturally extend itself based on the length of time your account was on hold.

Carpool to work for a few weeks.

Is there someone you can ride with to work for a few weeks? You can save a significant amount of money just by sharing your transportation costs for a short time. You’ll stockpile even more for your vacation fund if you put a bike or your feet to work. Bonus benefit? You’ll be able to enjoy your vacation more after a few weeks of getting fit.

Declutter and sell your old, needless items.

Marie Kondo and her life-changing tome on reducing clutter has made a mark on the American homeowner, but you can put the Japanese art of tidying up to work for your vacation fund too. After clearing your home of all the extras that aren’t adding joy to your life, celebrate in style while you sell them at a garage sale, on eBay or through a Facebook buy-and-sell group.

It can take time and practice to learn how to stretch a tight budget. If you need a bit of wiggle room, a title pawn can help. Click this link to locate your nearest Title Tree store to call us or visit today to learn more about how to stretch a tight budget.

 

 

Believe it or Not, You Can Save Money on Gas! Read on for Some Great Tips and Tricks

save money on gasMost drivers want to save money on gas, but besides cutting back on their trips, they’re not sure how to scale back. Thankfully, there are many small changes you can make to cut back on your costs. Some of these take more of an adjustment than others, but in no time, you’ll be cutting back on your car expenses. To save money on gas, consider these tips:

Combine your trips.

Before automobiles were invented, back in the days when people either had to walk or hitch up the pony for a ride into town, planning trips was the norm. With the rising costs of gasoline, we’re seeing a return to this old way of doing things. Most people can’t afford to just go whenever they feel the urge, not if they want to be able to get around for the rest of the month, so planning trips is becoming more common.

It takes a mental adjustment, but it’s one that’s fairly easy to adopt. The process is simple—instead of going to the store as soon as you run out of sugar, write “sugar” on a notepad on the fridge. Once you’re headed in the store’s direction, grab your list and take care of your shopping while you’re already out. It may sound like a small change, but the amount of gas—and the expense—it can save really adds up by the end of the month.

Accelerate slowly.

Sometimes, it’s a simple habit that can make a big impact, such as accelerating after a stop. Whenever you accelerate, you burn more gas. This is the reason fuel efficiency is lower in the city, because you’re constantly having to stop and then speed up again. Even urbanites can save, however, by learning to take off slowly.

Allow your car’s engine to ease into transitions instead of slamming on the gas and revving through gear changes. This one simple change, which requires very little adjustment to make a new habit, can take a serious bite out of your gas expenses. Additionally, it’s better for your car.

Turn off cruise control while riding on hills.

Cruise control was created to conserve on gas, in addition to reduce strain on drivers traveling long distances. Unfortunately, when set in hilly areas, it’s constantly slowing down or speeding up. This is hard on your car’s parts and horrible for gas mileage, which relies on relatively continuous demand to stay high. In hilly areas, switch off cruise control and keep an eye on your RPMs.

Hypermilers, drivers who make a hobby out of conserving gas, try to keep their engines under 2000 RPMs and maintain a consistent pressure on the gas pedal, even if speed drops in the process. Unfortunately, that’s not always safe on a busy stretch of highway. When in doubt, err on the side of protecting yourself. Any gas savings you get through hypermiling will be offset if you wind up in an accident.

Pay attention at the pump.

One reason you might be struggling to get good basic performance from your car is because of impropriety at the pumps. When you pull up, you’ll usually see different types of gas available at different prices. Thankfully differences in gas tanks prevent most people from using diesel when regular gasoline is needed, but the same isn’t true if your car needs a premium mix in order to perform its best.

Downgrading to save money on gas can cost you in the long run, so make sure you read up on which gasoline is best for your ride. For instance, lower quality gasoline mixes may prevent your torque converter from kicking in on time, leading to higher RPMs, greater wear on components and burning much more gas than is necessary.

Keep an eye on tire pressure.

Even in areas like Georgia, small changes in temperature can have a big impact on your tire pressure, and tire pressure can drive your fuel efficiency straight into the ground. Don’t rely on your car’s tire pressure alarm for regulation. These typically alert you only once you’re in danger of a blowout. Instead, invest in pressure-reading air valves so all you have to do is look at your tires to know whether they need more air. Keeping your tires full will allow you to get the best mileage whether you’re driving in or out of town.

We hope these tips on how to save money on gas will help you stretch your budget further than ever before. However, you may need a title pawn to help you while you pick up new habits. Call 770.464.5800 or come on in to Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need.

 

Are You Fiscally Challenged? You’re Not Alone! Here’s How to Make a Budget in 6 Easy Steps

how to make a budgetLearning how to make a budget isn’t as tedious (or depressing) as it seems. Budgets actually give you more freedom because you don’t have to worry about what you’re spending. You’ll know automatically whether something is affordable or whether it’s something you’ll have to save for, and that—all by itself—can have a big impact on what you decide to purchase.

Get your financial health in order by following these simple steps:

  1. Figure out where your money is going. Most people set a budget based on how much money is coming in, and because of that, they feel restrained right from the get-go. Instead, write where your money is already going. Apps like Mint can help track your spending, but it can’t catch everything, so make sure you mark down all of your expenses in some way. Take a picture of your receipts, use a notepad or make an audio note whenever you purchase something. At the end of the month, tally it all up, and place each purchase into a category. You’ll be surprised by the results, and you’ll find yourself making small, helpful changes even if you don’t make a full budget stick.
  1. Invest in the services you really use. Similarly, take a look at your monthly bills—cable, phones, internet, gym membership and other recurring expenses set on autopilot. How many do you really use? How many do you use to their full benefit? If there are services you’re not taking advantage of, look for lower cost alternatives. For instance, if you only work out at the gym once a week, paying a daily rate might be more affordable than a monthly membership fee, even when discounts for classes are taken into consideration. Set your budget for services on what you’ll really use, based on what you’re already using.
  1. Shrink your electricity budget. Heating, cooling and basic electricity use can take up a huge portion of your budget, so look for ways to cut back. Check your thermostat for programmable features, and figure out how they work. While these units are commonly found in homes, they’re only put to use by 10 percent of homeowners, so chances are you’re missing out on big savings simply by avoiding a simple learning process. Turning lights off when you leave the room, keeping large appliances well-maintained and cutting back on your use of hot water are all big ways to save.Electric vampires are another common source of electricity waste. Unused chargers, large appliances and other gadgets that aren’t being used while being plugged in don’t add hundreds to your bill every month, but they do add up over time. Invest in one of the new power source plug-ins that switch off unused items, or invest a few dollars in upgrading your light bulbs. The latest smartbulbs are especially handy and really do save you money. You’ll be surprised how far you can shrink your utility budget with a few small tweaks.
  1. Make luxuries special. Many consumers delight in small luxuries—gourmet coffees, fast food breakfasts, high-priced salon items used day-to-day. When enjoyed on a regular basis, they’re easy to be taken for granted. Make them special again by relegating them back to specialty status. It’s one of the first steps in getting serious when learning how to make a budget. Reserve coffees for Sundays out with friends or rent the latest video game to reward yourself for finally getting the basement clean. By changing everyday treats back into luxuries, you can seriously shrink the amount of money you spend on treating yourself, and you’ll appreciate these purchases more in the process.
  1. Eat more green to save more green. Meatless Mondays started as a health initiative to get people to eat less meat and more vegetables. Making sure you eat something leafy and green once a day is important to improving your diet, and it’s relatively easy to do. It’s also good for your budget, as three pounds of Kale is much more affordable than three pounds of beef or salmon. Challenge yourself to eat meat-free a few days of the week, and you’ll see a big change in your grocery expenses.Don’t know where to start? Try these dishes for a simple, tasty vegetarian try-out: lentil soup, black bean salad, cashew noodles, honey-roasted red potatoes, spinach and feta pasta, and zucchini-potato bake.
  1. Get used to saving. Most of us carry around a cache of change in the car. Get used to taking this money inside and storing it in a safe place, like a kitchen jar. Once a month—versus when it’s full—make a stop at the bank. This is a small step toward building up a savings, but over time, you’ll get into the habit of saving extra money instead of considering it free money to blow on random purchases.

We hope these tips on how to make a budget will help you stretch your budget further than ever before. However, if you need a bit of wiggle room, a title pawn can help. Call or visit your nearest Title Tree store to find out whether you qualify.

 

 

Want to Know How to Spend Less Money and Still Make Ends Meet? Here Are 4 Tips You Can Use Now

how to spend less money

If you’re not making as much as you need to support the life that you want, you have two choices: earn more or spend less money. No one needs to tell you which is easier, but it can be difficult to get through the adjustment phase. It can help to keep your mind focused on the pride that comes from having the self-control to live within your means, and of having the ability to keep your family safe and secure no matter what financial emergencies you wind up facing.

While you’re working on changing your mindset, consider these 4 changes you can incorporate into your life to spend less money:

Pare your bills down to the essentials.

Many consumers with expanded cable, internet and similar entertainment packages aren’t using half of what they’re investing in. Some are paying for these services without even realizing, so take the time to really go over your bills. Figure out what you’re supposed to be getting and whether or not you’re really using it. If you’re not, there will be no adjustment at all in downgrading—besides paying a smaller bill.You might consider whether you need some of these services at all. Does your area have a free Wi-Fi source you can tap into for internet? Can you use your cell phone as a hotspot (or existing Wi-Fi for cell service?) Are your favorite shows available online? There are a number of products that allow you to tap into streaming services through your television, and the streaming itself can cost less than a month’s worth of a satellite or cable package.

Amazon Prime is just $99 a year for music, video and free, two-day shipping on all your purchases. Netflix is under $8 a month. iTunes and other stores allow for the purchase of movies and music at bare-bottom prices and many items are available for free. It can be worth the savings to pay a cancellation fee to get out from under an overpriced service, so check out your biggest expenses and then take time to check out your options. Chances are, you’ll find a cost-saving alternative which will provide more than you’re getting now.

Start shopping second-hand.

Buying used isn’t always appropriate, but in many situations you can find the items you need for a fraction of the price by shopping online, at garage sales or through consignment stores. If you’re buying online, of course, it’s easier to compare with new prices, but it’s important to keep shipping costs in mind. Buying clothes, for instance, can get expensive quick. However, purchasing used toys and video games, replacement parts, baby items and other goods second-hand can provide you with super savings. Many times, these items arrive in “like new” condition, so the only adjustment needed is how you find and purchase them.

Sell an item before you buy an item.

Adopting this habit will help you in two important ways. Firstly, if you commit to selling something before you buy an additional item, you’ll prevent your home from being clouded by clutter. You’ll also keep yourself from storing valuable items that wind up going to waste. Secondly, of course, if you sell an item, you can use the earnings to help pay for your new one.This can be a tough habit for collectors to put into practice, even when they don’t think they need to spend less money. Pack rats are even worse. The idea of having something around if you need it can be overwhelming, and chances are, the first few times you sell something, you will immediately find a use. This is a self-defeating habit aimed at keeping you trapped under a load of largely unused stuff, and if you press yourself, you will find alternative solutions—many times that are easier or more suitable.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with collecting valuables or items that are important to you either. Just make sure everything you keep really does serve a purpose, and isn’t just saved for the sake of it. If you have a sizeable amount of items stored, you may need a neutral third party to sort out what you should keep and which items can be sold (or thrown out).

Use technology to find the biggest sales.

With over 60 percent of people today owning a smartphone, it’s likely this will be no adjustment at all. There are a handful of apps which allow you to earmark goods to keep track of when they go on sale. Input an item, or scan it at the store, and instantly find the lowest price either online or in your area. You can also set up alerts for when potential purchases drop below a certain price.

We hope these tips on how to spend less money will help you stretch your budget further than ever before. However, Title Tree is always here to help you.

If you’re working on learning how to spend less than you earn, an auto pawn could help you meet some immediate needs. Call your nearest Title Tree location for help now, or click to contact us online.

 

The Top 4 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolution Should Be to Spend Less, Live More

spend less live moreChanging your mindset so you spend less, live more is a popular New Year’s resolution that often gets abandoned before given a real chance to develop. People make it too difficult, and they fail to see the lifelong benefit that comes from becoming a responsible spender. Do things differently this year—give yourself the gift of better money management in 2015.

If your spirits waver, consider the following:

Every dollar you spend equates to hours you work.

That new cell phone isn’t free. Over the course of its contract, it will cost you upwards of two months’ income. That new car—with that financing—will take two years to pay off. Every single purchase you make relates to the time it takes to earn it. Remembering that can help you hedge in your purchases and is one of few things that can help you clear your cart before buying items you don’t need or want.

By the same token, every item you purchase is time you don’t get to spend with friends and family. It’s time you have to deal with the flickering lights in the break room, the smelly elevator, the creepy parking lot and all the worst elements of your job. Hopefully you find your job somewhat satisfying so focus on the negatives and on all of the positives you’re choosing to miss out on. What are you really spending your time on?

The latest gadgets don’t last long.

In the past, things were made to last and were fairly easy and affordable to fix, but the level of quality found in most things has changed. Cheap tablets cost under $100 and die out within three months, meaning you either have to buy a new tablet four times a year or do without. What do you really need it for anyway, and what alternatives do you have? If that tablet is for reading books and watching movies, perhaps that $400 would be better spent visiting a book store or going to a movie theater with friends.

Oftentimes, we’re influenced to buy things we see our role models using. It’s important to question purchases and whether or not they’re relevant to our lives. Do you just want something to have it, to feel like the kind of person who would own it, or do you have a real need? Instead of buying flimsy electronics on autopilot, tap into those feelings. Will you feel smarter, trendier, more relevant or worldlier with the latest gadget? Maybe it’s time to invest money in travel, education or in attending events that will give you those same feelings in a way that will last?

The more you buy, the more you need.

That tablet? It needs a rugged rubber case to keep it safe and also a screen protector, a car charger, LCD wipes, a rotating holder, a USB keypad, App Store points, a microSD card and a thousand other accessories, warranties and support items to really take advantage of it, right? Wrong. You could just buy the tablet and get a decent warranty, but that wouldn’t be as much fun. Whether you’re purchasing a car or a car stereo, there’s always something else you can/should/will buy to ensure you get the most out of it.

This habit we have of accessorizing doesn’t just lead to wasted funds, but to cluttered lives. The mandolin you buy for fast chopping, for instance, requires—at the minimum—a sharpening stone, protective clothes and a rugged cutting board capable of standing up to its razor sharp blades. Be sure to consider these at the time of purchase. Factor them into the costs, and into upkeep.

Where will you put all of these supplies? How likely will you be to use them once you get them home? How does your purchase fill a need in your life, and is there a more effective, authentic way of doing that? Would cooking classes, for instance, make you feel like a better cook in the long run than a dangerous and cumbersome appliance collecting dust in your cupboard? Ask yourself, “Which choice allows me to spend less and live more?”

When you spend, spend to earn.

There is one time when big expenses are worth it. The saying, “It takes money to make money,” is absolutely true, and if you’re spending money to either earn or save—such as taking advantage of a big sale on an item you would eventually buy for much more—the expense is often worth it. The trick is being realistic. Most people aren’t going to use a nerve-gas resistant suit within their lifetimes, so finding one at 80 percent off doesn’t save any money. Investing in a surefire way to turn dirt into diamonds isn’t likely to pay off either.

We hope these tips on how to spend less and live more will help you stretch your budget further than ever before. However, if you run into the need for last-minute financing, Title Tree is always here to help you.

Click to find your nearest Title Tree store if you need a little help making ends meet right about now so you can spend less, live more.

 

How to Save Money on Groceries Without Turning Coupon Cutting Into a Full-Time Job

save money on groceriesSave money on groceries without sacrificing your sanity or your health. It’s possible whether you own essential food prep equipment or not. Anyone in America can save money each week by investing a bit of a time in basic research and planning.

Follow these five tips to ensure you and your family are healthy and full with money to spare:

  1. If you have a smartphone, download a shopping app. Mobile applications exist for every situation these days, and budget grocery shopping is no exception. Scan local sales in seconds or shop the lowest prices available based on your shopping list. Some, like Checkout 51 and Ibotta, offer cash back on coupon purchases. Others, like Farmstand, help you tap into the healthy savings present at farmer’s markets. Don’t have a smartphone? Look over popular sites like Find&Save or Checkout 51 online for similar savings.
  1. Consider once-a-month cooking if you have a big freezer. By dedicating a few hours out of one day, you can make cheap, healthy meals to last for weeks. This method not only takes advantage of bulk-buying discounts but also saves you prep and cooking time every day. Make things ultra-convenient by freezing meals in both individual and group portions. Don’t even have a fridge? You don’t have to miss out on milk. Instead, buy powered milk you can mix with water or add to recipes.
  1. Plan your meals around proteins. Instead of clipping coupons each week, quickly scan grocery store specials for sales on meat and poultry. These are typically the most expensive part of any meal. Buying them separately instead of as part of processed, pre-packaged food items forces you to plan healthier meals. Don’t eat meat? Look outside traditional sources of protein. Quinoa is both cheap and protein packed, as is Greek yogurt. Beans and peanut butter are also common choices.
  1. If your car is on the fritz, healthy eating can be a real struggle. This is true even in areas with good public transportation. Sometimes it’s easier to opt for expensive cans of premade chili than separate bags of beans, meat and tomatoes, and ordering pizza becomes de rigueur once it starts to snow. It doesn’t take long to destroy your budget.This is one of the few situations where ordering groceries can be more affordable than doing your shopping in person. For just $10 or $15, your order can be taken and paid for over the phone or online, and then dropped off at your home at a predetermined time, giving you the ability to take advantage of weekly specials. Even when a delivery tip is included, ordering can save a lot.
    Don’t have a delivery service? Consider ordering groceries over websites like ShopFoodEx and Amazon.
  1. Reconsider buying bread. The cost of quality bread continues to rise, leaving only the worst quality products on the shelves affordable. Avoid making these a staple of your diet, and look to bread alternatives. Large lettuce leaves, for instance, can be used for tuna fish wraps, and banana slices can be topped in peanut butter. Can’t go without bread? Consider making your own. Not only is homemade bread much less expensive, it’s generally healthier, tastier and not nearly as difficult to make as people think.

Even if you’re working to save money on groceries, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on in to Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need. We’re happy to help. Call, click, or come in to the Title Tree nearest you, and you’ll see why we’re known for our excellent customer service – and the best rates in town.