Archive for January 2016

8 Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas for Your Car


save money on gasEven though gas prices are a lot lower than they used to be, gas for my car is still something I don’t like to spend too much money on.

Luckily it’s actually pretty easy to save money on gas by changing just a few small habits.

Here are eight ways to save money on gas for your car with little effort.

Don’t Warm Up Your Car for too Long

Most people warm up their car for 5 – 10 minutes on really cold winter mornings, but the truth is your car won’t run any better if you let it warm up for that long vs. only a minute or two. The only benefit of letting you car warm up for a longer period of time is that it will be warmer on the inside of the car for you. But the trade-off is having to spend more on gas. You can save money and stay warm by wearing a winter coat instead.

Buy Gas Early in the Morning or Late at Night

During summer months, it’s best to buy gas early in the morning at late at night, when it’s cooler. When it’s cooler outside gas is more dense and you lose less through gas emissions when it’s cooler and more dense.

Shut off Your Engine

Letting your engine idle is a huge waste of gas. Instead of sitting in line at a drive-thru restaurant with your engine idling, it’s best to shut it off and save gas.

Brake and Accelerate Slowly

Avoid jack-rabbit starts and sudden stops, which use more gas because your car is being less efficient. Braking too hard or too often can also cause your brake pads to wear out prematurely.

Drive Slower

If you can, leave a few minutes earlier and drive slower to reach your destination. Although speed limits on interstates and highways are higher than ever before, allowing you to reach your destination more quickly, this higher speed limit does result in a higher use of gas.

Use Cruise Control

When you are going a longer distance, use cruise control to help your speed stay steady. Driving at a steady speed will help your car use less gas.

Monitor Tire Pressure

You need to check your tire pressure regularly. Temperature changes can cause your tire pressure to fluctuate, which is hard on your tires and your gas mileage. Under-inflated tires are a particular concern because they cause tires to wear out faster and are a waste of gas.

Avoid Using the A/C

Just like how the A/C in your home can cause your summer utility bills to be high, using the A/C in your car will also cost you money by using up more gas. Instead, use a sun shade to block the sun while you are parked, and roll down your windows to circulate air and keep you cool.

Even though gas prices are lower than they used to be, you can still use these tips to help you save additional money?at the pump.


Do you do any of these things to save on gas??What other tips can you think of to help save money on gas?


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3 Reasons You Need to Start Saving for Christmas Shopping Now

christmas shopping

saving for christmasIt doesn’t take much imagination to figure out why most people feel that December is the most expensive month of the year. Depending on the size of your family and circle of friends, you may have to buy hundreds or even thousands of dollars in gifts each year, putting a major dent in your budget. Even if you do a great job of managing your budget throughout the rest of the year, a costly December could set you back for months to come.

Wait a minute – didn’t we just finish Christmas shopping? Why are we thinking about that now? Simple – it is never too early to start planning for an expense. If you are willing to start thinking about Christmas shopping even when the day is nearly a year away, you can take the sting out of the costs that you will incur when December rolls around.

Make It Fun Again

Unfortunately, many people have come to look at Christmas as a chore rather than an exciting time of the year. That is a shame. You should be excited to spend time with friends and family, have some great food and exchange presents. Of course, it is tough to have fun when you are worried about how much money you have been spending.

If you can plan ahead and set aside a little bit of money each month, or week, toward presents for next Christmas, it will be much easier to put your worries aside and simply enjoy the holiday season. We do this by setting aside funds in our Discover Bank?account each month so we know exactly where the money is going to come from when we need to buy a gift.

Set a Budget

By planning ahead, you will know exactly how much you can afford to spend when you start to do your Christmas shopping. A shopping budget is always important to make sure things don’t get out of hand when you get swept up in the holiday spirit, and it will be easy to determine your budget when you have been earmarking money throughout the year specifically for this purpose.

Simply check on your saving status in October and November leading up to shopping season, and you will know precisely what you can afford – and what you can’t. If you find ways to save money on your shopping then you’ll double your efforts. For example, if you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, you can get up to 8.5% cash back by shopping through the TopCashBack portal.

Act Early

If you are already saving for next year’s Christmas gifts well in advance, you will have money available in your account to make a purchase if you see something go on sale. You may already know some of the things that your kids or spouse would like for Christmas, so acting early to get a great price is a good opportunity to save some money.

In addition, you can take some of the stress out of the season by doing some of your Christmas shopping well ahead of time. You certainly won’t be able to do all of your shopping in this fashion, but just checking off an item or two at a time could leave you with more free time than usual as Christmas draws closer.

The Christmas season is always going to be an expensive one, but you can take some of the sting out of those bills by planning ahead and saving for Christmas a little bit at a time. Set aside a small amount of money each month starting as soon as possible and next Christmas should be one that everyone will enjoy.


Do you have a Christmas savings account? Have you ever shopped for Christmas all year long? How do you save money on Christmas shopping?


Photo courtesy of: WDnet

5 Tips To Help You Look Like A Professional


professionalProjecting a professional appearance and demeanor at all times is of utmost importance. So many of us lose sight of this fact as we try to climb the corporate ladder, but this simple step can in fact help immensely with your professional life.

One of the most basic things you should take care of is your actual look, the clothing in your work wardrobe. Although you might fear it will be expensive, with coupons from Discountrue you will be able to get all your supplies at such popular shops as Kohl’s or Neiman Marcus in attractive prices. Other than that, there are a number of attributes that can be demonstrated without having to open your wallet!

  1. Confidence

For better or for worse, a confident person seems as if they know what they are doing at all times. Superiors are far more likely to take notice of a job well done when a person exudes confidence. A closed mouth will not ever get fed in the business world, so leave the modesty at home and embrace your inner bravado. Just be careful not to project false confidence, as there is a slim line between confidence at work?and excessively cocky behavior.

  1. Honesty

When a person is proven to hide their true feelings in a business setting, this severely diminishes their overall credibility and keeps them from looking professional. The truest professionals are forthright at all times, they remain objective and they do not allow their personal point of view to keep from telling the truth. They’re known for assessing a situation and offering their honest, unvarnished opinion.

  1. Self Awareness

Self-awareness is one of the most crucial aspects of professionalism. Confidence is great, but only when it is used in service of ideas and opinions that have been thoroughly vetted first. A self-aware employee is someone who knows their strengths and weaknesses. They know where they fit in and they do not try to step outside of their areas of expertise. A person who is professionally self-aware also puts in the necessary work to correct their weaknesses.

  1. Caring

While some decry the importance of caring about others, especially in a corporate environment, those who take the time to pay attention to the needs of others are displaying maximum professionalism. How can you bring a team together and accomplish goals, unless you spend time getting to know about everyone’s goals and fears first? If you do not display a true sense of caring, your attempts to help will be considered disingenuous.

  1. Following Through

If you make any sort of promise or commitment in a professional setting and do not follow through, this speaks volumes about your level of professionalism. This seems like a really easy attribute to cultivate, but the corporate world is filled with people who will promise you the moon and refuse to deliver. Following through on your promises lets you look professional and offers a valuable opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Using these tips will help you look more professional at work and might even result in a raise or promotion in your chosen career field.


Photo courtesy of: Unsplash

4 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Clutter in Your Home


cut down on clutterThis time of year always has me in a mood to declutter. Even though my family had a pretty minimalistic Christmas, at least compared to some years in the past, I still feel the need to declutter?my home now that the holidays are over.

I think this urge to purge is pretty normal during this time of the year and it’s mostly attributed to the accumulation of more stuff thanks to Christmas gifts.

Not only that, but the whole “new year, new you” thing has many people in the mode to clean out old stuff to create a new energy for the new year.

If you are on a decluttering kick, here are four easy ways you can cut down on clutter in your own.

Return Gifts You Don’t Want or Need

I used to feel guilty when I got a gift I didn’t want or need and I felt the urge to return it. Now I know that I’m not the only one who does this. I haven’t gotten too many gifts over the past few years that were duds, but when it does happen I no longer feel guilty about returning, or even re-gifting, things I don’t want or need.

Try the One In, One Out Rule

The one in, one out rule is a good one to live by if you are satisfied with the amount of “stuff” you currently own. With this rule you get rid of one item for every new item you bring into your home. For example, if you got a new sweater for Christmas, then you need to get rid of one you already owned.

Sometimes this rule isn’t used to get rid of a like item. Instead, some people choose to be a little more loose with it. Instead of getting rid of a sweater to make room for a new one, you could instead get rid of a book or a kitchen utensil.

With a little alteration, this rule can also be altered to help you cut down on the number of things you own. If you think you own too much stuff, try getting rid of two items for every one item you bring into your home.

Set a Timer and Tackle One Area

Another easy way to get started with decluttering your home is to start small. Set a timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes and work on tackling clutter until the timer goes off. If you repeat this task every day in the same area or room, you’ll have?that area clutter free before you know it. Then you can move on to a new space.

Get Rid of One Item Each Day

If you don’t like the idea of working on decluttering for 20 minutes at a time, you can choose to declutter you home by getting rid of one item each day. This method is a smart way to de-clutter if you are prone to being too hasty with your decluttering and wishing you hadn’t gotten rid of something. Because you only get rid of one item of clutter each day, you’ll have plenty of time to think about those things that are more difficult to part with.

This time of year is the perfect time to declutter your home. In fact, decluttering and organizing your home now may mean more money for you in the future if you hold a garage sale to sell your clutter this spring or summer.


Are you in the mood to declutter? How do you cut down on clutter in your home? Have you used any of these methods?


Photo courtesy of: Hans

7 Easy Ways to Save Money in 2016

Save Money

6793826885_d3b6befb99_zAs we start a New Year, it is a good time to take a look at your finances and think about what you could do better in 2016. Even if you already watch your money closely, there are certainly areas that could be tightened up in order to make your bottom line look even better.

The list below contains seven easy ways you can save money in 2016.

1. Cut Back on Cable

Do you really watch all of those channels that you pay for each month? Probably not. While you might not want to get rid of cable altogether (depending on what you like to watch), you could likely cut back on your service while still enjoying most of your favorite shows.

If you don?t watch sports, you might not need cable at all ? look at other services, like streaming companies,?which offer subscriptions for a fraction of the price of cable. You can also try something like the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00GDQ0RMG” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]Amazon Fire Stick[/easyazon_link] that will allow you to get access to several dozen channels for a one-time $39 fee.

2. Reduce Your Phone Plan

Just like cable, you might be paying more than is necessary for your cell phone plan. Most people can?t get by without a phone these days, but there are many ways to save money on your cell phone bill. Of course, it would be best to get a no-contract phone plan, so you could drop the service quickly if you needed to save money. The lowest monthly cell phone plan is through Republic Wireless – you can get a plan as low as $5 per month.

3. Ditch the Gym

This is only good advice if you don?t actually use your membership ? which is the case for the majority of gym members. If you do use your membership regularly, you are probably getting a good return on your investment in the way of improved fitness.

However, if you simply send money each month without actually getting off your couch, it might be time to drop the membership and look for other ways to start exercising.

4. Reduce Your Number of Meals at Restaurants

It is dramatically more expensive to eat at a restaurant than it is to eat at home, even if you are frugal about it. If you can cut back even one or two meals out per month, you could stand to save a thousands dollars or more over the course of a year. Beyond the financial benefits, eating at home is typically better for your health.

5. Take One Vacation

Everyone loves going on vacation, but taking two or more trips within a year can start to put a real strain on your budget. Try to limit yourself to one great vacation in 2016. If you plan ahead, you should be able to organize a great trip that you will remember for years to come.

6. Be Smart with Your Utilities

Your utility bills can quickly add up if you get in bad habits such as leaving lights on, overwatering your yard, etc. Take care to limit your use of utilities and you will save yourself money and you will save resources as well.

7. Carpool

Do you have a long drive to work each day? Try to find a carpool partner or two that you can ride with in order to limit costs. This arrangement will lower the amount of money you spend on gas each month, and you will also have to perform maintenance on your vehicle less frequently.


Do you plan to save more money in 2016? What will your strategy be to save money? Will you use any of these ideas?


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