Archive for Shopping

5 Rules for Shopping for the Holidays on a Budget


With holidays around the corner, our budgets threaten to tip toward the lower side on the scale. If we aren?t vigilant with saving and budgeting, we might very well be playing with negative here. Spreading cheer during the holidays doesn?t mean depriving yourself of everything in the coming months.


Instead of stressing and worrying and then rushing off for last-minute shopping, try planning in advance. Planning in advance can help you save quite a lot, make smart decisions, and also make the shopping experience more pleasant. There are also sites like 24Cash that provide you external help to deal with the holidays better.

Here are Five Rules You Should Remember While Shopping on a Budget:

1. Expectations and Limits

You might want to gift everyone the greatest gift they can ever receive, you might not want to think about money and budget when buying gifts for your loved ones, but reality doesn?t always give you that privilege.

This is one of the reasons that can bring you stress, but you do not always have to buy expensive gifts to show someone how much you care. Understand your budget and set expectations for the type of gifts you can buy and for what price point. Set limit for your holiday shopping budget; either as a whole or per person.

2. Start Early

Most of the budgeting issues arise when you don?t plan in advance. The prices are usually jacked up at the last moment because they know you have no other option but to buy the overpriced product.

You need to start making a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for and what gifts you would like to buy for them. Then see if the gifts fit in your budget if it doesn?t then keep it on standby. One of the perks of starting early is that you can look for things during different sales. Sometimes you can buy something for a fraction of the original price, which is why you can keep expensive options on standby.

3. Consider Every Expense

When making a budget for the holidays, make sure to tally in every expense not just the gifts. If you are going to be traveling on the holiday, then you might have to cut back the budget for the gifts. If you are going to be paying for someone?s trip, say your family?s, then you can get a small ?something,? if you don?t want to go with ?nothing.??

It makes no sense to spend on a trip as well as an expensive gift and tip the budget for everything else, does it now?

4. Do It Yourself – DIY Your Way Through It

Something you made by investing your time and effort will always top something you bought. It shows a person that you care enough to spend time and work hard to get them something they love. When you make things yourself, you can easily customize it for the person you are gifting it to. Budget wise it can be cheap and love wise it can be expensive.

5. Plan Secret Santa

If you are really tight on budget, then Secret Santa is your best bet. It is fun and carries a sense of mystery and excitement. You don?t have to buy gifts for everyone, so you won?t be stretching your budget. Even with one gift, there is usually a predetermined limit on how much you can spend, so no one is going to be upset that you didn?t get something more extravagant.

Final Thoughts

Holidays are about being happy and enjoying time with family, gift-giving should be a way of showing someone you love and giving them something that need and that they will enjoy. Just keep those things in mind, then you will understand that you don?t have to break your bank to make the people you love happy.

The Best Mobile Apps to Sell Your Stuff Online

sell stuff

Are you interested in turning your free time into profit? Do you have a lot of unneeded stuff lying around in your home?

In today’s internet savvy world, there are dozens of money-making opportunities out there. Most of them always sound too good to be true and end up being a boondoggle, but there are plenty of legit ones too. Selling used stuff online is one of the ways to make money the easy way. You cannot go wrong in this business. All you need to do is take pictures of the surplus items in your home, upload them to an online marketplace and wait for the cold cash to arrive at your doorstep.

sell stuff

Here are the 3 best mobile apps to sell your stuff online

1) Decluttr

Want to get rid of the vintage video game lying in your basement for ages? Decluttr is free of cost app that lets you sell off your old electronic gadgets for a decent price. You will be surprised to learn that there are still people out there who respect and admire vintage video games.

To sell your used electronic items online, you need to verify your items by entering the model name and number as shown in the picture above. Select the item from the dropdown list and then provide some more information about the item(like the cell phone carrier, physical condition, etc). That’s it. Decluttr will ask you to ship the item to their warehouse where they will verify the item further. Once you clear this stage, your item will be listed in Decluttr for sale.

2) Facebook Marketplace

This list would be incomplete without mentioning Facebook Marketplace. This is the most trusted marketplace as the buyer gets to know the seller better than on any other platform. It is easier for people to trust a stranger when they have things in common.

So, make sure you create a good profile with high-quality images. To sell your items, all you have to do is download Facebook Marketplace on your phone, log in with your Facebook credentials, and click on the “Sell Something” button. Add details and you are good to go.

3) OfferUp?

OfferUp, Inc. is a Bellevue, Washington-based company founded in the year 2011 by two entrepreneurs Arean van Veelen and Nick Huzar. The mobile app OfferUp is known to be the number one marketplace in the nation. It allows users to sell used items on their platform for free.

This is how you can make money on OfferUp. Just like any other buy-n-sell app, OfferUp is a community of both sellers and buyers. To gain trust if a buyer, the seller gets to build their reputation by collecting reviews and ratings.?

If you are not concerned about doing this as a business and just wish to offload the surplus items in your home, just create a profile and begin selling in less than 30 seconds.


Selling used stuff online is one of the most lucrative passive businesses. How much you earn is up to you. There is no one formula to becoming a successful online seller, so you will have to try and test several products and market places. I hope you make the most of this golden opportunity.

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Gift Tax

gift tax

Have you ever wondered what a gift tax is? Does it make sense to pay taxes on gifts?

The Gift tax was introduced by the Congress government in the year 1932 to rapidly generate revenue in the period of the Great Depression. To make it appealing to the wealthy people, they kept the Gift tax rate 25 percent less than the estate taxes. at that time.

gift tax

The plan worked out well for the Congress as they were able to prevent property owners from transferring their wealth to someone else(most probably their children or relatives) to avoid paying the estate tax. The tax exemption at that time was $50,000 but now, in 2019 it has reduced to $15,000 per recipient.

Here are a few interesting things you would want to know about the Gift tax in the United States.

1. Not all gifts are taxable

To your relief, not all gifts you give or receive are going to tax. Any gift under $15,000 is tax exempted. You can present any number of gifts. The only condition is, the gross total of your gifts worth should be less than $15,000.

Secondly, you can also donate a certain amount to the political organization, social welfare organization, or charitable organization without worrying about Gift tax. The IRS does not levy Gift tax on money, items, or property donated to help the needy.

2. The gift tax does not apply to a non-resident alien

When it comes to a non-resident or someone on a work visa, the Gift tax rules begin to appear a bit complicated. The screening process is also is far more stringent compared to the one with Income Tax. A non-resident person has to pay the Income Tax no matter what, but he/she may or may not have to pay tax on the gifts he/she sends or receives. A lot depends on whether the real estate property received as a gift is in the US or not. Also, there is no gift tax on shares in US corporations.

3. Gift tax can be avoided with Split payments

Split payment is a method of payment with which you can split a large sum into multiple small payments. It can be done to make life easy as paying a large sum is not everyone’s cup of tea, or, done to avoid Gift taxes. As already stated above, you won’t be charged a tax on gifts below a total of $15,000 annually. So, to present a gift above $15,000, you can pay $14,999 right now and the rest in the next year.


For a wealthy person, there are a ton of ways to avoid paying Gift tax. However, the methods they use to get away from paying this kind of a tax are so complex and sophisticated that most journalist news reporters find it difficult to grasp and as a result, don’t present them in front of common people. Some rich people also hire a progeny(a child or an offspring).

5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy

Online store

You must be pretty acquainted with the try before you buy model of clothing stores and street-side outlets. Every store has a trial room where you can try out the item and make sure it fits right. This saves you time and energy as you don’t have to come back to the store to return the item– in case it doesn?t fit well.

Online store

Likewise, some popular brands are also providing the try before you buy service on their online stores. You can order a few items or free samples at your home, use them for a week and make an informed decision to buy them or not.??

Here are 5 online stores that let you try before you buy their products/items.

1) Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Similar to Prime Samples for Prime Members, Amazon Prime Wardrobe also lets you try before you buy. Amazon is the most trusted e-commerce company in the world and the try before you buy option is only going to add to its reputation. Only products with the prime wardrobe logo are eligible for this. To get started, you can fill your box with items like shoes, clothes, and accessories and order them home. Once they arrive, you can try them out for a few days before you make your final decision.

2) Trunk Club by Nordstrom

Now you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollar on stylists and fashion designers. Nordstrom provides you access to a top stylist at a fee of mere $25 dollars. Trunk Club is try before you buy model that allows your stylist to choose a few items based on your profile. You can try them out at home and choose any of the items from the box. Once you make your final decision Nordstrom will charge you for the items subtracting the $25 initial fee. So, basically, you get advice from a top stylist for free.

3)  M.M.LaFleur Bento 

For people who are serious about their appearance, M.M.LaFleur is the best option as they design top-notch clothing items. Moreover, stylist cherry-picks items for you by studying your profile. They deliver the bento box at you home without charging you a dime. You are charged only when you decide to keep an item from the bento box. However, the price range of products from M.M.LaFleur is a bit higher than the other brands on this list.

4) Warby Parker

Warby Parker provides the try before you buy option on eyewear like sunglasses and prescription glasses. They have a wide range of eyeglasses and sunglasses for both Men and Women. Some online stores have the option of trying out an eyeglass on your face with the help of a software. But I find that very dodgy and unreliable. Warby Parkey ships the selected product at your doorstep so that you can try it out by yourself. That too for 5 days.?

5) Sephora

Sephora has a large collection of beauty products for both men and women. You can buy anything from a make-up kit to bathing soap on their online store. As far as their try before you buy feature is concerned, they let you pick up to 2 free samples per order. They also provide free sample in their physical stores. The free samples allow you to test out the product on your skin or hair and make sure that you are not allergic to its ingredients.


The only downside of this way of shopping is you get to try on only two or three samples. The online stores cannot afford to send you plenty of samples to try since it is logistically difficult. But still, it is a good deal considering you also get access to a top stylist for free of cost.

Are Warehouse Club Memberships Worth the Cost?

Are Warehouse Club Memberships Worth the Cost?

Are Warehouse Club Memberships Worth the Cost?Generally speaking, you want to keep as many memberships off of your monthly budget as possible. Memberships are charged month after month, and businesses like that arrangement because they get to collect your dollars even if you didn?t use the service.

Gyms are notorious for being able to stay in business by collecting monthly membership fees from those who don?t actually go to the gym.

However, this rule of thumb doesn?t mean that you should automatically eliminate all memberships from your monthly expenses.

If something could potentially save you money ? like a membership to a warehouse club ? that would at least be worth considering. In the end, it all comes down to math.

How Much Does It Cost?

The first thing to think about is how much the membership costs per month. You may wind up paying annually for the membership, but it is still best to think about the cost on a per-month basis.

So, for example, if the membership is $60/year, that works out to be just $5/month. That probably doesn?t sound too bad, but there is a little more math to do.

How Much Will You Save?

This is where things can start to get tricky. When people shop at a warehouse club, they tend to overestimate their savings ? sometimes dramatically.

For instance, if you purchase a large package of soft drinks, you might save $5 over the cost of shopping at the grocery store. That?s great ? right? If you save $5 on the soda, you will have made back your investment for the month just with that one purchase. Or so you may think.

The hidden cost of a warehouse club is in the purchases that you didn?t need to make, and would not have made otherwise. Would you have purchased that much soda if you were just shopping at the grocery store? Maybe, maybe not.

If not, you would have actually saved more money by staying away from the warehouse club ? and you would have saved calories, as well. In some cases, warehouse clubs simply promote over-consumption, leading shoppers to actually spend and consume more in the long run than they would have otherwise.

Use Memberships Responsibly

We are not trying to argue that it is always a bad idea to join a warehouse club. In fact, these memberships can work out nicely ? as long as you use them responsibly. It is your job to shop with a plan, think about your needs, and not fall for the marketing tricks used by the store.

One way to get value in this situation is to use the warehouse club to purchase non-perishable staples and household goods rather than traditional groceries. Clubs like Costco have great deals on non-perishable items. Costco hours for their gas stations aren’t cut off either, so feel free to stop after the warehouse closes for the evening.

For example, you might decide to buy your toilet paper in bulk at the warehouse club. The paper is not going to go bad, so you don?t risk wasting it by not using it fast enough. Also, this is an item you were going to purchase anyway, so you haven?t increased your consumption.

When you apply critical thinking and common sense to warehouse club shopping, you can get your money?s worth in the end.

Do you shop at a warehouse club? Why or why not?

Photo courtesy of: tokaijru