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mailing lists to subscribe to while planning your wedding

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mailing lists to subscribe to while planning your wedding

It’s no surprise that weddings are expensive, and any way to reduce spending is well appreciated by everyone. (Well, everyone except perhaps this bride.) To protect my inbox (and my sanity,) when I started planning, I set up a dedicated inbox to use for communicating with vendors or people involved in planning to keep everything better organized and all in one place. I highly recommend doing this! Whether you have a domain-based email for your wedding website, or just create a new, free Gmail address, it cuts down the disorganization and crazy-making promotional emails in your main inbox.

Especially with Black Friday/Cyber Monday coming up, it’s a good time to set that inbox up and subscribe to any stores or vendors you’ve been eyeing products from. You never know if they’ll choose this month to deeply discount your perfect wedding band or aisle rugs!

Be sure to sign up for eBates as well to earn cash back on all your online shopping!

Dresses, Suits, and Shoes

Jewelry

Decor

Stationery (Save-the-Dates, Invitations, Thank You Cards)

Some others that are worth subscribing to would be your venue, caterers, or photographers you’re interested in – you never know when they might get in the promo code for wedding game!

What mailing lists are you subscribing to to save some money on your wedding or reception?

October 27, 2019
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helpful holiday shopping hacks

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holidaysave

Holiday shopping season is in full effect now, and it can be an expensive for last-minute shoppers. I thought I’d share some of my new and old favorite ways to save both online and in-store. These tips are great all year – no need to save just during a few winter months each year!

I’ve no doubt blogged about Swagbucks ad naseum at this point, but it’s because it’s my favorite way to save not only on Christmas presents, but on every day purchases all year. When you use them as your search engine (or take advantage of their other points-earning opportunities, like taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, or online shopping) you have the chance to win points, which you can then redeem for gift cards, cash back, or prizes. I almost always go for the Amazon gift card (although I do occasionally opt for a little Starbucks treat) and use my gift card balance to buy gifts or groceries (PrimePantry is a must-have, folks!) Start searching at Swagbucks now – when you sign up with a referral code, you’ll get additional points added to your account.

Paribus.co this is a newer one for me, and to be honest, I’d forgotten that I’d even set it up until they sent me a message letting me know that there had been a price drop on the laptop stand I ordered at Amazon. It works by scanning your email inbox to look for online prices, then reaching out to the retailer on your behalf when there’s a lower price available for a product you’ve purchased. I was a bit surprised that it took so long to see a refund because I order from Amazon fairly regularly (but maybe because I often use camelcamelcamel, I order when the prices are low anyway,) but hey! A few more bucks back in the Amazon gift card bank to churn somewhere else.

eBates is my first stop when online shopping, because it’s a super easy way to get cash back on purchases just by starting your shopping trip through eBates’ link, rather than the retailer’s direct website. Because they’ve started airing commercials on TV, this one isn’t such a little secret anymore, but it’s still a great one – I’ve gotten nearly $200 back over the few years I’ve been using it! They also display lots of promo codes for additional savings as well. (If you’d rather accumulate this to be wrapped up in your Swagbucks balance, they offer a similar “points”back system when starting your shop through their search.)

RetailMeNot has gone downhill a bit for me in the past year or so, or maybe stores aren’t offering as many discounts as they did previously. At any rate, it’s easy to whip out your phone while waiting in line to do a quick search on their mobile app or website for an in-store or online coupon!

What are your favorite ways to save, at the holidays or anytime? I’m always looking to pad that savings account!

November 9, 2015
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M.O.N.E.Y / April is Financial Literacy Month

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A

pril has been Financial Literacy Month, which is great timing as I’ve been focusing this month on “spring cleaning” my finances and getting my money back in order (and spending under control.) I’ve definitely been guilty of lifestyle inflation lately and it’s a habit I want to get out of. Especially since I’m traveling so much this year, I’d much rather save up cash to be able to have great experiences rather than impulse shopping because I’m bored at home alone.

Obviously, the most important thing is to budget your money and track your spending so you know where it’s going. Every dollar has a job, and you are your own CFO – it’s on you to make sure those “jobs” are getting done. I won’t pretend to have the best budgeting spreadsheet or system, but I really like the tools on Learnvest and Mint. They connect with all your financial accounts and do the hard work for you, so you can log in to one place to see all your money matters.

This year, I have worked hard to get comfortable being uncomfortable. When I moved, my living expenses more than doubled, so I’ve had to cut out and cut back some of my favorite treats like daily Starbucks or weekly mall trips. Things that were by no means necessary, but little things that I enjoyed that made me happy. Cutting these and making coffee at home and having clothing swaps with friends have taken the place now, and while it’s a little out of my comfort zone, it’s definitely been worth it.

Another good way to keep an eye on your money is to track your income. For people who have just one salaried job where the paycheck doesn’t change each week, this is probably not imperative or even helpful – in my old job, I was salaried, and didn’t have any side hustles, so I always knew every month precisely what I was going to take home. Now that I have multiple income streams, my income varies. I always budget based on the bare minimum I know I’ll be making from my full time job, and track everything that is extra in order to see what I have left to play with (aka save for travel or pay down student loans.)

trim the fat – Going along with spring cleaning, this is a good time to look through your credit card or bank statements and see what you can cut back on or eliminate totally. If there’s a recurring subscription you haven’t used in months, get it out of there. If there’s a credit card with a low outstanding balance you can comfortably knock out, do it. It might also be a good yearly reminder to get on the phone to your cell phone and internet providers to remind them what a great customer you are and see if there might be a reduction they can offer you or a new discount you can take advantage of.

SAVE YOUR MONEY. Do whatever it takes, set up your budget in whatever way you’re most likely to a) stick to it and b) save money and spend purposely. I have to trick myself into pretending it’s a game. (Because I’m an adult.) I track the number of no-spend days I have in a row and celebrate if I break a streak. Things like that really help me want to be mindful of my money and concentrate on the ins and outs of it.

The most important thing in my financial journey has been reading personal finance bloggers. Some of my favorites are Budgets are Sexy, According to Athena, Money After Graduation, brokegirlrichVanessa’s Money, and Blonde on a Budget. The Billfold is one of my favorite reads as well. They all have fantastic resources and advice, whether you’re a finance all-star or just starting your budget for the first time, and sometimes it’s just nice to read through other people’s successes and failures as well.

How do you “do” money? Do you keep to a strict budget and track your spending, or do you just hope to break even at the end of the month?

April 27, 2015
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How to Save on Medical Care Costs

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It’s flu season – surprise! I got knocked out pretty badly after Christmas, and it took a whole month to get back up to speed. Toward the end, I finally acquiesced and saw a doctor (exposing myself to even worse bugs, being told to stop running for a week, and feeling better before I even picked up the prescription.. but still a $40 co-pay lighter. Ugh.) There are a lot of ways to cut medical costs stemming from colds, injuries, and even chronic illnesses, including ways to make money with your body (that don’t include working on a corner.)

  • If you’re sick or experiencing a minor injury, I’d check out a CVS Minute Clinic or MedExpress before heading to the doc or ER without health insurance.
  • Clinical trials – I’ve already made $40 this month from attempting to qualify for one study (I wasn’t eligible, but got paid anyway) and have two more scheduled. I imagine it would be a great way to get treatment for conditions or even to get on things like birth control (there are several studies going on now about Mirena, but since I already have one, I’m ineligible. They may cover the cost of the implantation, but I’m not sure.) I’m on a waiting list right now to study the effects of running with minimalist shoes – this one doesn’t have compensation, but you do get a free pair of barefoot shoes, so I hope they get funding 🙂 Of course, this isn’t going to be for everyone, and you should only sign up for the studies you feel comfortable with (which might only be ones that include motion studies, x-rays, or blood draws.) Check your local research hospital or university med school, find federally funded studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, or search private facilities on CenterWatch.com.
  • Pay your co-pay at the time of service to avoid any processing/billing fees. If they don’t advertise that they charge these fees, pay up front anyway and ask for a discount. It’s worth a shot – at the end of the day, it saves them some money. And if it’s feasible, try paying your balance in cash – the office won’t have to pay the debit/credit card company the 2-4% fee or wait for a check to clear, and they might give you a credit for the difference.
  • When visiting a doctor’s office, if it’s a collaborative practice, try setting appointments with nurse practitioner’s or physician’s assistants.
  • Planned Parenthood is great for discount contraceptives (including condoms and the pill, which usually runs around $25 for a month’s supply,) and they also offer affordable sexual health services for men and women. I’ve been treated wonderfully by PP in the past, and their sliding scale meant that I paid nothing or very little for visits with them early in my college career.
  • If you’re a current college student, you’re probably already paying some kind of fee for the health services they provide. Take advantage of it, even if the reputation is less-than-stellar.
  • Check out local colleges for dental or optometry clinics.
  • Ask for drug samples or coupons from your doctor’s office. You could also check to see if the manufacturer of a prescription you take has a discount program.
  • SET UP AN HSA! This is especially good for someone like me who has so many dental issues going on. I maxed mine out knowing I would use it all up, and if I have to spend money on my teeth, I’d rather that money not be taxed if I can help it. In future years, while I may not max it, I’m still definitely going to have one. You can use it on some over-the-counter drugs, or even things like acupuncture and massage.
  • Get in shape and eat right. This is more of a preventative medicine thing, but seriously – eat like crap, feel like crap. Your body reacts to the things you put in it! (If you don’t agree with me, juice for a week, then turn around and eat fast food the next week. Tell me when you felt better.)

How do you save on health care?

February 4, 2013
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