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money-saving-apps

Coolest Money-Saving Apps of 2018

If you find it difficult to stretch your paycheck over the entire month, don’t worry. Often times, it just takes being organized and creative to make it work. It is not about tightening the belt even more or starting a second/third job, but about using the newest technology to your advantage. There are numerous money-saving apps that will help you save some extra money and earn rewards for things you buy anyway.

money-saving-apps

Earny

This free app monitors retailers and notifies you when they reduce their price on an item that you have already purchased. In other words, it tells you that an item you just bought is now on sale. It calculates the difference and contacts the company so that they can return that amount to you.

Earny App

It is especially useful for retailers that will price match and you basically don’t do anything but enjoy the refund.

Swagbucks

This is one of the best apps that gives you rewards for simply because you shop, search or do other common activities online. The app includes a search engine that looks a bit like Google. This custom engine gives you points for searching, shopping at partner stores and participating in online surveys. When the points add up, you can get a free gift card for stores like Amazon or cashback into your PayPal account. While many apps offer gift cards, only Swagbucks provides you with cash into your account, which you can transfer to your bank and get actual cash.

Honey

Honey is a plugin that can be used with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera and helps you save money by not letting you forget that you have coupons that give you a discount. Honey applies the coupons automatically at the final stage of online shopping. A popup window will appear at the checkout stage of your shopping and all you need to do is click on it. Honey will check all coupon codes and apply the one that best fits the purchase. The plugin works with over 3,700 online stores and also gives you “Honey Gold” points. When you collect enough, you can exchange the points for a free gift card.

Wikibuy

This plugin is similar to Honey but only works with Chrome and Firefox. There is also an iOS version for iPhone and the site promises to launch an Android version soon. The plugin is considered less reliable than Honey, but if you find it more useful, you can use it. It also gives you points that can be redeemed for gift cards or other products.

Raise

Raise is a free app that helps you find discounted gift cards or sell your own gift cards for cash in case you do not want to use them. Raise allows you to find gift cards with an average discount of 12%. You can search gift cards by brand, category or value. This is the best place to save money by buying or selling gift cards depending on your needs.

CamelCamelCamel

This money-saving app is designed especially for those who love shopping on Amazon. It allows you to view charts and details with the history of product prices that are for sale on Amazon. It helps you compare current prices to the past trends and thus decide whether now is the best moment to buy or if you should wait to get a better deal. Since Amazon changes prices constantly, this app is a very useful tool to save money if you are an avid Amazon shopper.

Shopkick

This app is very useful for those who love to shop both online and offline. You can earn points that are called Kicks as a result of different activities, some of which do not require purchases. You get certain Kicks for going to a physical store and buying certain items that are eligible for awarding you points. In some cases, you are just required to physically visit a store and find a given product on the shelf without buying it. You need to upload your receipts in order to get the points and then exchange them for gift cards that can be used on Amazon, at Starbucks,and at Target.

As you can see, there are various money-saving apps that can help you with your budget. Choose those that you prefer. Be careful, since you can use only one app of a given type, so select the one that gives you the best results.

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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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Protecting your Identity or Personal Information

10 Steps to Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft is something people tend to neglect, no matter how often they hear about it. It always seems as something terrible that only happens to others but never to us. The unpleasant truth is that identity theft can happen to anyone. And even though there is no 100% guaranteed method to protect ourselves against it, there are a number of simple things we can do to make us less likely to become a victim of identity theft.

But first, let’s see why we should do it.

What qualifies as identity theft and why you should be careful

Protecting your Identity or Personal Information

We often imagine identity theft as someone walking around, pretending to be us. In reality, unauthorized use of any piece of personal information is considered identity theft. This could include address, email address, previous addresses, mother’s maiden name, the place where you were born, pin number, bank account details, social security number, passwords, and more.

Having your SSN stolen sounds pretty scary – with it, a criminal could do almost everything that the real SSN holder can. Your property would be at risk. Not only that, but a criminal could commit a crime using your SSN and name. Then the police would come looking for you, thinking you’re the one who did it.

But how could a criminal use your mother’s maiden name to do you harm? Indirectly. Many companies keep your personal information these days and questions like “what is your mother’s maiden name” are common before they give you access to your data. Someone could take advantage of this and break into your account. Once they do, they would likely find more sensitive information, which can be directly used for their benefit.

Online Identity Theft Prevention

Identity theft is not something new but modern technologies and lifestyle present new risks. Social media, for example, makes it very easy for thieves to find victims and acquire personal information. You can’t be completely safe. There is no way to hide your email from everyone or even control who sees it. But you can take certain precautions.

  1. Use strong passwords –many sites today ask users to use a password with at least 12 characters, including letters, capital letters, numbers, and symbols. This a safety measure against brute force hacking into your account. Ideally, a password like that is random-generated. However, recent studies suggest that this practice had made overall web security weaker. That’s because people simply cannot remember those passwords and as a result, they write them down somewhere – on a separate text file or on a note on the desk. This makes it easy for others to find and use those passwords. Perhaps the best advice is to use a password you can remember but is hard for others to guess.
  2. Use 2-factor verification for all of your online accounts–upon login, you will be asked to enter not just your username and password, but also something else – like a pin code sent to your phone as an SMS. This drastically improves security and is common practice for banks and financial institutions, but you should use 2-factor verification wherever possible.
  3. Be mindful of your privacy settings on social media–you are able to choose who sees what of the things what you share. An open profile makes it extremely easy for identity thieves to learn an awful lot about you. Take the time and adjust your security settings now.
  4. Don’t be quick to open or download any email attachments – they are often infected with malware which gives hackers access to your computer and any private information you store on it.
  5. Be hesitant to share sensitive information on sites which do not have SSL certificate – check if the web address starts with https. If it does, it means that the site will encrypt the information you are about to submit, making it unreadable to hackers.
  6. Remember that public Wi-Fi connections might be corrupted – do not use them to log in your PayPal account or online banking. Actually, do not use them to access any accounts. Hackers could easily steal your information over non-secure Wi-Fi networks.

Offline Identity Theft Prevention

Compared to the online world, we feel more secure in the real world. It is hard to imagine how someone could trick us into giving them sensitive information. But practice shows this happens a lot and we shouldn’t underestimate the risks.

  1. Be careful with documents that contain private information. Documents such as bank statements and solicitations should be shred or at least torn up. Some people could search through your garbage to find your private information. Don’t throw the ATM receipt in the nearest bin. Carry it in your pocket until you can get rid of it safely.
  2. Do not give away any private information over the phone. Ever. No company would ask you to do that. If someone is trying to collect your information, it is most probably a scam. If it seems urgent, hang up, call the company back, and ask them to confirm that they indeed need this information from you.
  3. Monitor your credit score. You can request a free credit report from the three national credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union – once a year. This means that every 4 months you can check for anything suspicious going on with your credit. For example, if someone has tried to apply for a loan using your social security number.
  4. Pay extra attention to how you protect your Social Security Number. Do you keep it in a safe place? If it is in your wallet or purse, how likely is it to get stolen? Who has access to it? Whenever someone requests you to give a SSN, ask if it is absolutely mandatory and why. Be familiar with their privacy policy.

Identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in America. It may cause you serious trouble and it is typically hard to undo the damage. Protection of your personal information should be a priority. And if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, contact the authorities immediately. Stay safe!

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