how to make coupons work for youIf you’ve ever watched TLC’s Extreme Couponing program, then like us, you’ve probably been pretty amazed by just how much money a person can save by clipping (or scanning) coupons. And while it might seem as simple as selecting a couple of coupons, taking them to the store and earning your discounts, like most things in life, couponing does actually have a bit of a “science” to it.

If you’re interested in becoming a coupon pro, we certainly want you to be successful at it. That’s why we’ve provided you with a list of five newbie couponing mistakes that many people tend to make along with the things that you can personally do to avoid them.

Not researching many coupon websites. Sure, there are fliers that tend to come in newspapers and you might be familiar with the more popular websites such as Coupons.com, but the reality is that there are all kinds of websites and blogs that one, have different coupons posted and two, can show you how to get the most out of them. So, as you’re learning more about couponing, make a point to visit websites such as Couponing101, ImTHATLady, Fat Wallet, and Ebates for the best online shopping deals.
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are you frugal or cheapEverybody knows that buying things that are cheap is much better than buying things that are expensive, right? Well, not exactly. What you need to understand is that there is a difference between being frugal and being cheap.

The biggest problem that people have is they get these two definitions mixed up and it makes them look bad. You are being cheap when you spend very little but in doing so you sacrifice quality. You are being frugal when you are spending very little but you are getting good deals on exceptional products.   For example, if you search cheap London hotels, frugal folks will find great deals on really nice hotels.  Every one knows that traveling in Europe can be expensive, however, if you are willing to do a little leg work, you can really find some amazing deals online without having to sacrifice quality.   Alternatively, cheap customers will end up in a dumpy hotel that is uncomfortable and perhaps even unsanitary.   Frugal customers will have gone online to a website like Priceline.com or Travelstay.com and got a great room for the same price as the cheap customer, but will be staying in a comfortable, clean room.   So you see there is definitely a big difference between being cheap and being frugal.  Below are some more examples to drill home the point:

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online shopping tipsEveryone knows that the Internet can be a dangerous place when you are shopping online. No matter if a particular shopping cart says that it is secure, it could be a scammer trying to take your hard earned money. In fact, statistics say that 14% of all transactions end up costing somebody their money or their identity. However, most of the time, if you take the right precautions, shopping online can be as safe and secure as shopping at a local retailer.

Here are 5 tips for playing it safe when you shop online:

If you feel like a site might be a little suspicious, pay with your credit card and not your debit card. With your debit card a thief can empty out your entire checking account. A bank might give you part of the money back, but because it is essentially cash you can possibly lose a lot of it; this can be extremely unfortunate if you have a lot of money in your account. With credit, you can usually report it as fraud and not have to pay that portion of the bill when your statement comes at the end of the month.

Make sure that the website is a secure shopping site. There are a number of ways to find out if a site or the site’s payment gateway is secure. For one, there might be a little lock at the bottom of the screen that connotes that the site is secure. There might also be a symbol in the URL bar that will ensure that the site is secure and won’t record any of your personal information for later use.
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is now the right time to buy a homeBy now you have probably heard about all the people looking to buy houses.  The reason you are hearing all of these rumors is because people want to take advantage of the low interest rates on mortgages at the moment. A lot of people assume that they will not be able to get a house later on down the road because of the interest rates going up; however, that is not true.

What you need to understand is that if you can buy a house in 2013, then you should go for it. The reason I say this is because the interest rates are so low that they will not likely be this low again anytime soon, the housing market has hit the bottom, so the prices won’t be this low for a while either, and there are still many tax benefits for buying a house as opposed to renting one. Just know that 2013 is a great time to buy a house, but if you don’t have the money or the income, then it just doesn’t make financial sense.
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how smartphone apps can save you money when you shopThanks to modern technology, there are now more ways to spend your money than ever before. Internet shopping is a massive industry, with e-commerce sites driving record sales numbers during all of the major holidays. When you watch television shows online, you’ll often be subject to interactive commercials, with one-click access to the purchase of the described item. Megastores like Wal-Mart and Costco are in towns great and small and regional retailers are still doing big business, regardless of the state of the economy. Thankfully, technology is also in place to help you save while you buy. If you have a Smartphone or tablet device, take advantage of these five shopping apps that will help you save money.

First off, check out the I Love Free Things app, which is a free thing itself. It doesn’t get cheaper than free, and with this app you’ll be able to track down any short term free deals in your area. You’ll start an account and enter in your location information, and it will give you a daily breakdown of the free promotions and samples nearby. Use it on a Smartphone and it will tap into your GPS, allowing you to find free stuff when you’re out and about in town as well.
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luxury car features that you should ask forAre you in the market for a new car? If so, you might have your eye on one of the luxury vehicles that are on the market and if so, who could blame you? Aside from how attractive they are, there are so many features that they have that make driving a true pleasure.

However, if your budget is saying that you can’t really afford a luxury vehicle, the good news is that that there are some “luxury features” that you can request in a car that retails for far less money; features that will not just make you feel like you are living among the rich and famous, but will prove to be ones that you actually do need.

So what kind of essential luxury car features should you look for in a standard automobile? We’re so glad that you asked:

Leather seats. There are very few luxury cars that you’re going to see that do not have leather seats. Although they do make a car look quite expensive, there are some practical reasons for why manufacturers put leather in certain cars. Leather is comfortable, durable, it’s easy to clean, it doesn’t trap odor into the fabric and it’s great for individuals with allergies because things like dust, dirt and particles do not penetrate the fabric.
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ways to save money when you shop for your new Spring wardrobeCan you believe it? Spring is just around the corner. That means that it’s time to pack up our sweaters and scarves and start looking for a few new pieces to add to our “it’s getting warmer” wardrobe.

If you happen to be someone who is still recovering from all of the Christmas shopping that you did a few months back, you might have the kind of budget that speaks more to “window shopping” than actually spending any money. The good news is that we have a few simple ways that you can save on a new springtime wardrobe; ways that will keep money in your pocket, a smile on your face and you looking super cute.

Write down what you actually need. Shopping for clothes is a lot like shopping for food in the sense that you tend to make smarter financial decisions when you plan ahead. So, before you head out to the mall, jot down a list of things that you actually need. It will help to keep you focused while looking at all of the pretty new trends that are hanging in the storefront windows.
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