wedding dress shopping tips that will save you moneyShopping for a wedding dress can be a harrowing process, what with trying on dozens of gowns to find the right one and then attempting to balance a budget with the prospect of purchasing the dress of your dreams. While you’re probably keen to save money wherever you can, you certainly don’t want to sacrifice style in the process. So here are just a few tips that should help you to meet all of your goals (fashionable and financial) when you shop for your wedding dress.

Shop trunk shows early. In most cases, trunk shows do not offer discount dresses, so you might wonder why you’d want to go. The main reason is to try on designer styles that local stores may not otherwise have in stock. Even if you can’t currently afford any of the dresses you slip into, going to these shows early in the planning process can help you out in a couple of ways. If you take photos and note the styles you like, you may be able to find them later on for less (once they’re out of season). Or you could look for something similar that costs less once you know what is flattering on you and which styles, cuts, or embellishments you prefer. And if you find the dress of your dreams, you can make a down payment and have plenty of time to pay it off before your big day. As a bonus, you’ll get a free consultation with representatives of the designer, and these professionals should be able to find the best look for you in their collection.

Shop online. If you have your heart set on a designer dress, consider that you may be able to find one online for less. Not only are there hundreds of discount dress websites to help you here, but you can also keep an eye on eBay or even Craigslist when you’re searching for a specific gown. Although you may end up with a second-hand dress, chances are it’s only been worn once.
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Top 5 Car Dealership Negotiation Tips

by Leon on October 23, 2013

tips for buying a car at a dealershipWhen it comes time to purchase a car, you need to have the negotiating power to take down the asking price and fit in a good compromise with the dealer if you need financing. The key is to not pay a big premium when it comes to the down payment and you need to push the APR down to near zero. When it comes down to it, a dealer will be getting your money regardless, but it is a question of how much. Do you want to drive away with the vehicle of your dreams or do you want to drive away with a sour feeling of regret. Here are the top five car dealership negotiation tips.

Have a solid budget all lined up. Having a budget in place will keep you within a certain price range. With a budget, you can reduce the risk of a car dealer pressuring you into a price range you can’t afford. Also, you want to have a budget on your monthly payments as well, because if you don’t consider interest, the car dealer could raise the APR to make up for any “deal” he or she gives you.

Make sure to do your research. The more research you have, the better equipped you will be to counter any false claims. Plus, it will give you a huge leg up when it comes to being able to argue or haggle down a price. Even when it comes to after market add-ons, you want to be able to show the dealer that you can simply go to In Sixth Gear (ISG) to get all the add-ons you need. That way you can get a more fully equipped vehicle for much less money.
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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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