Best coupon and discount sites to save you money

Best coupon and discount sites to save you money

In the past, we had to hunt for discounts in the local shops and cut coupons from the newspapers and magazines to pay less for the goods and services we wanted to purchase. Now, things are much easier because most sites also offer some form of discounts in the form of cashback, coupons, or other deals. There are also specialized coupon and discount sites, allowing you to source deals from the comfort of your couch. Many of them also have a friend referral program, meaning that you get an extra bonus if a friend of yours uses the site as well.

Best coupon and discount sites to save you money

So, let’s look at the best coupon and discount sites that are worth bookmarking.

Coupons.com
Using this site, you can check for deals near you by entering your ZIP code. You will also find cashback offers and loyalty coupons.
Browse through the items, pick the ones you need, print the coupon, and take it to the store to get your discounted product. It is as easy as that.

The Krazy Coupon Lady
This site offers more than just coupons—it also offers a lot of couponing tools, tips, and advice—which are very useful for those who are just getting started.

RetailMeNot
This is another great site that offers many coupons and discount possibilities. You can get assistance from the online community regarding questions such as how coupons work, which is quite useful for newbies. The site even allows you to vote and rate coupons and leave comments. It has a nice feature that allows you to e-mail a coupon to a friend if you find something that might interest them. You can check items from one retailer or you can check one given item, no matter who offers it. You can proceed with online purchases or find printable coupons.There is also an option to subscribe to their newsletter and receive e-mail notifications regarding the latest coupons and bargains. You can find coupons for over 130,000 online and local shops on RetailMeNot.

Amazon
Amazon also joins the group of sites that offer additional opportunities to save money. You can choose a product and click on “Clip Coupon” in order to get the desired item for less money. Another option to pay less is to subscribe to a repeat delivery of a product through the category “Subscribe & Save”.

Groupon
This site offers a service which differs from the regular coupons you can find on the above-mentioned sites. You can choose among a great variety of discounted goods and services (spa, massages, hotels) to purchase. Then you get an e-mail with a link to your voucher, which you can print to redeem, or you can utilize their mobile app to redeem vouchers. Take a note that these vouchers have an expiration date. If you realize that you won’t be able to take advantage of the voucher, then you can simply ask for a refund and your voucher will be canceled. If you refer a friend to Groupon and they sign up to use the site, you get a $10 Groupon credit.

Ebates
Ebates is one of the best sites for bargains and discount purchasing, despite the fact that it doesn’t offer coupons. Ebates offers online cashback shopping. Most often, the return is between 3% and 10%. However, some of the partnering stores may give up to 25% in cash back. You can use the bonuses for further online purchases or you can choose to donate them to a preferred charity. Like Groupon, Ebates also has a friend referral system. You get a $5 bonus for every friend who uses the site to buy goods totaling at least $25 within a given time frame.

It is easier now than ever before to find a coupon or some other form of discount online. Make good use of the above-suggested sites, but also check out any other suggestions that you may come across while browsing for deals.

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to improve your credit

7 Things you can do this year to improve your credit

Whether you want to purchase a house or a new car, you need a good credit score to get approved and get a decent interest rate.

There are things you can do to improve your credit score. However, the process takes time because your score shows your money management habits over a several-year span. Here’s what you can do today to improve your score.

things you can do to improve your credit

Pay bills on time

Late or missed payments are a credit score killer. One way to make sure you pay on time is to set up a monthly payment with your bank. Don’t make the mistake to schedule the payment for the day it’s due. Instead, schedule it for a day after you get paid. Otherwise, you risk running short of money when the due date comes.

Alternatively, create a calendar event on your phone. There are plenty of scheduling apps that will remind you of payment due dates. It will only take a minute or two to set it up.

Lower your credit card balances

A major factor in calculating your credit score is the ratio of how much credit you have available versus how much you are actually using. Lenders recommend you to keep a credit utilization rate of 30% or less. Pay down the balance and try to maintain the balances at 30% or less, if possible.

Pay off small balance credit cards

How many cards you have with a balance is also a part of your credit score calculation. If you happen to have quite a few cards, try to pay the ones with a small balance off. It is better to have one or two cards and use them for the major purchases. Furthermore, getting rid of small debts will give you a psychological boost to pay off bigger sums in the future.

Keep old debt on your report

As already mentioned, a report shows how you handle your debt and how financially responsible you are. There is no need to remove a debt from your report (like a car loan you paid off). Leave it on your report to show future creditors that they can trust you with your next loan. Besides, the old debt will be gone from your report in seven years.

Pay attention to your credit score

Get used to checking your credit score regularly. There you can see exactly what needs improvement. Download Credit Sesame to get payment reminders, organize your debt and even get a sample credit score (an estimate, not your exact FICO score).

Negative credit report

Understanding negative reporting is important because negative information not only stays in your report for seven years (ten for bankruptcy), but it also lowers your score. The causes are usually late payments, debt collections, judgments, charge-offs, repossession, foreclosure, tax liens, or even bankruptcy. If you want to settle a debt you cannot pay in full, make sure you understand the full terms of the “re-negotiation”. It is better to pay in a settlement than to declare bankruptcy so make sure you carefully consider all your options.

Bonus tips

There are not many ways in which one can improve their credit score. It is pretty straightforward – do not be late with your payments and the overall score will increase.

Do not take risks

One of the best things to do while trying to better a credit score is to play it safe. Two of the biggest risks for your credit score are missing payments (for which, as mentioned above, an app can help) and suddenly paying less than normally.

Don’t focus on your credit too much

If you just pay everything on time, your score will slowly but surely improve. There are no shortcuts and there is no need to stress out. Be patient and watch your credit score get better month by month.

Know the types of debt

Credit cards are probably the first thing we think of when debt is mentioned. Credit card debt is one of the most common debts, along with student loans, and medical debt. But there are many more consumer debts, like mortgage, car loan, utilities, phone bills, installment plans, services, etc. What all consumer debts share in common is the fact that they are all covered by Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. As the name implies, the act sets some limits for debt collectors and protects certain rights of consumers.

Improving your credit score takes time and persistence, but it is not impossible. The earlier you start taking action, the sooner you will be able to meet your financial goals: getting a mortgage for your dream home, purchasing the dream car or even pursuing educational growth.

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10 Budgeting hacks that help you save more

10 Budgeting hacks that help you save more

If you have tried saving up money, you might have noticed that it is tougher than it sounds. Being part of a modern consumer society, we often find ourselves spending far more than we had planned. But with a bit of self-discipline, good organization, and our useful budgeting hacks below, you could save more.

10 Budgeting hacks that help you save more

Envision your success

Make your wish as specific as possible. Then surround yourself with it. If you want to save up for a car, the first step is to choose the specific type you want. Then print pictures of it and put them on your fridge, bathroom mirror, and on your workspace. Take a step further and set them as your phone and computer wallpaper. Make sure you are constantly reminded of what your goal is. That will help you to stay motivated and keep saving up money.

Cook at home

A lot of money is spent on food. Instead of having home cooked meals, we sometimes order food or go out to eat, which is much more expensive. In the dynamics of today’s world, few of us have the time to prepare meals at home. A solution we can offer is to cook only one day a week. Eating the same dish more than twice can be boring but you can prepare various meals and freeze them for later that week. This way you will be able to save up money and even take the food to work.

Think of the real price

When going for shopping, no matter what product or service you are about to spend your money on, first think of the real price. What we mean by that is to simply calculate how much time you have to work for the item of interest. For example, if you are looking at a dress that costs $70 and you get paid $8 per hour that would mean you have to work about 9 hours for it – an entire day and some more. Once you know how much it will cost you in terms of time, simply decide for yourself whether it is really worth it.

Grocery Shopping

Many times, we come out of the store having bought way too many things. By the time we get to use them all, we might even have to throw some away. This is mainly because we have the bad habit of grocery shopping when hungry. Besides going to the store on a full stomach, other things that can help us not waste time and money are to chew gum and wear headphones. The mint is used to counter the persuasive scents in stores. Likewise, listening to our own music blocks the one in the store usually carefully selected in order to make the customers spend more time shopping.

Use Cash

The next tip is to use cash instead of credit or debit cards. Cards are convenient because it is easier and safer to carry and use them instead of cash. The downside, however, is that one can very easily spend a larger amount of money on things that are not particularly necessary. This leads to falling off track and not reaching your financial goals. By setting a budget and carrying only necessary cash, you can stick to your budget much easier.

Sales

An important part of saving money is to figure out what your priorities are. Just because you are saving up for something doesn’t mean you have to cut all things that bring you joy. You can still go shopping and go eat out, it would just be on a budget. Sales are great because you end up buying something you want but at a lower price, of course, at the additional cost of the time, you would have waited for the item to be on sale.

Start slow

Like with everything else that requires a change in lifestyle, it is better to start slow. Take small steps by putting aside a small amount of money and then gradually increase with time.

Saving can be fun

If you get motivated by challenges, then try the 52-week money challenge.  The money you deposit each week is equivalent to the week number. So, in the first week, you will put aside just $1, during week 2 – $2, week 30 -$30 and so on. At the end of the year, you should have $1378 in savings. Another fun way to save money, besides challenges would be to use tools such as SaveUp, which reward you with cash and prizes for saving money.

Avoid

“Quick” visits to the shopping center and going out with friends are usually the types of activities where we get tempted to spend money most easily. Restrict yourself from giving into these temptations too often. At the end of the day, homemade coffee is as good – if not even better – as the one you are going to spend $9 for.

Treat yourself

Just because you are saving money doesn’t mean you have to stop doing/eating/shopping for what you like. Definitely treat yourself, whenever you reach a milestone. For example, when you have saved up the first $500 for your dream car, in order to treat yourself on reaching the mile stones, you should set a “fun” fund beforehand.

Saving money is not for everyone and we know for a fact that in some cases it isn’t even an option. For the times when you need money urgently, call us at Fast Money Loan. You will have cash with no credit check in as little as 30 minutes.

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