Be Smart about Your next Car Purchase with this Ultimate Guide

New cars in this day and age tend to have much better safety features and they also come with way more tech gizmos as well.  That being said, a lot of people make mistakes when they buy a new car. They go into too much debt and they also struggle to come out of the other side better off. If you want to find out more then carry on reading.

Get Preapproved

The best advice you can get is to get a preapproved loan before you go to the dealership. If you have a preapproved loan from your bank or your credit union then this will help you out far more than you realise. You may even find that you are able to save money on the deal you are getting from your dealer and that you are able to pay down your car faster too. Another bonus of doing this is that the salesperson won’t be able to talk you into taking out extra features on the car you have chosen because your loan will be pre-approved and you won’t be able to go over this amount. If you aren’t sure if you need a new car then remember that you can easily source diesel truck parts online if you need to get your existing car repaired.

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Keep it Simple

If you are purchasing a car at a dealership then you have to make sure that you focus on a single thing at a time. Don’t tell the salesperson too much, remember that you’re playing a game. If you’re playing poker, you don’t show everyone that you have a pair of queens, do you? At the dealership, you need to start out with the price of the vehicle you plan to buy.  The dealership will want to know if you plan on trading in your existing car. If you can, don’t tell them this. You are going up against pros so the more you can keep things in your favour, the better. You need to negotiate the best deal possible and then offer to trade in your car. If you do this, then you may find that you are able to come out with even more money knocked off your purchase, so keep that in mind.

Don’t Buy Add-Ons

If you have bought a car then you will probably know how this works. You have probably been at the dealership for a number of hours and you’re probably tired by the end of it. Your dealer will probably offer you a ton of extras at the end, whether it is an extended warranty, paint protection plan, tyre protection plan or even gap insurance. Dealers tend to make a small fortune on this kind of stuff, and usually it will be very overpriced. Most people have no idea how to get a fair price here, so you need to say no to all of it. If you do, then you will probably come to the conclusion you don’t need it anyway.

Beware of Seven Year Car Loans

A third of loans that are given out tend to be over 7 years. This is a very dangerous trend because you will be paying way more interest and you may also find that it is harder to pay everything down.

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Why Your Business Needs A Rainy Day Fund

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Every business can benefit from setting aside money into a rainy day fund. In the event of a disaster, such money could help to pay for any reparations. This could include paying off a lawsuit, covering employees wages during a period of closure, replacing broken machinery or making repairs to your premises. 

The following post explains in more detail why you need a rainy day fund – and how you can go about setting one up. 

You can’t always plan for disasters

Preventative measures can be taken against some disasters. For instance, investing in security measures could help to reduce the risk of getting burgled or being the victim of a cyberattack. Alternatively, it may be a wise idea to invest in flood defences if you have an office based in a high risk flood zone. 

Unfortunately, you cannot plan for all disasters. Just take the pandemic as an example – before 2020, few businesses would have ever predicted such an event. Those that had a rainy day fund set aside have been able to use this to keep their business alive. For businesses that didn’t have savings set aside, it’s been much harder to deal with the closures and restrictions.

In essence, a rainy day fund is a useful form of financial backup for those hard-to-predict disasters. If a surprise storm hits and you need to pay for storm restoration, it’s unlikely you’re going to have storm insurance if you don’t live in a high risk area. A rainy day fund could be a more flexible option – serving as an all-purpose form of self-insurance that you can dip into if necessary.

Saving is a better option than borrowing

When disaster strikes, some businesses simply take out a loan. However, saving up a rainy day fund has many benefits over borrowing money:

  • A rainy day fund is cheaper. You won’t have to pay interest (in fact, you can earn interest by putting your money into a savings account).
  • You don’t have to worry about finding a lender that will approve you. If you have a low credit score, savings are a much better option.
  • When using savings, you don’t have to owe anyone. This means not having to pay back the money in installments. 

How to set up a rainy day fund

Ideally you want to put your rainy day fund into a high interest savings account. This should be an account that you can still access urgently when necessary. To prevent you dipping into this money for other purposes, you may want to look into savings accounts with withdrawal penalties. You can compare business savings accounts online to find the best interest rates.

Building up a rainy day fund takes patience. Put as much money into it initially as you can and then try to contribute money on a monthly basis to build it. You should try to keep a minimum of $500 in this account so that you’ve always got some money to fall back on when disaster strikes.

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Need Windows 10 But Can’t Afford It?

There is no shame in money being tight, but when you need your laptop to work from home and your Windows has crashed out on you, there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a budget. You need to work from home right now more than ever and having a slow operating system is just not ideal. You want to be able to upgrade your windows, but what are you supposed to do?

Most laptops and desktops come with Windows built right in, and the price for that operating system is likely factored into what you paid for the laptop in the first place. So, if you pay for a cheap laptop, you’re going to get a slower, cheaper operating system. Right now, you need to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 so that you can get work done and stop being frustrated by the slowness of your current system. So, let’s take a look at how you can get Windows 10 without breaking into your overdraft!

Man Sitting While Using Laptop

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  • Run It, But Don’t Activate It! Okay, so it’s not the most honest way to do it, but did you know that you can run Windows and not activate it? It won’t shut off after a month like the notifications promise you that it will, either. The system will keep nagging you about activation, and you can’t personalize your screen the same way. However, it feels worth it to be able to use the system temporarily until you can afford to activate it properly.
  • Go Back In Time. If you can, go back in time to upgrade your system from an older Windows version. When you run Windows as an update on your computer, you can upgrade it for free. So, pop back onto that old laptop and it should stop talking to you about your expired promotion. You can run Windows update on your older laptop, and then use the Update Assistant to run the update properly.
  • Go Back To School. If you’re already a student, great. If you have an alumni account, you could log in and use that. Windows 10 Education is not much different from Windows 10 Enterprise. If you’re a student, you can access it for free and all you need to do is prove it!
  • A Cheaper Key. This one isn’t free, but it’s much cheaper than buying a whole new Windows 10 disc box. You can buy OEM keys for Windows 10 at a lot of places, and companies like ComputerGarage can help you to find the right way about it. Upgrading your system is easier than ever, and you don’t have to be out of pocket to do it.

Try out these methods today, and you’ll be able to get your upgrade you need. Budget should not be a factor if you’re trying to work from home. If you can’t use any of the methods above, contact your IT team at work. They should be able to provide you with a workplace laptop for a while until you can upgrade properly.

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College Is Expensive: Here’s How To Talk To Your Teenager About It

Every single teenager with aspirations to do great things have college in their plan. Most of the time, conversations about college don’t happen until the end of the junior year, but when it comes to college, teenagers need to know about the cost involved. Your teenager has to be well versed in what it costs to go to college before they start filling out those applications, so that they can apply for the appropriate schools in your budget.

There is a lot that goes into going to college. Parents and teenagers need to have open conversations about college prep high school online, the costs of the applications, how many schools are on the radar and more. Open conversation will encourage good communication about costs, what you can afford and whether they want to get a job to pay for their own expenses. If your teenager knows the kind of education you can afford for them, you’re going to have a much better time of it when it comes to their college prep. They will be able to apply for colleges that they are aware that you can afford, and you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing that they are happy with what you can manage.

Two Men Studying Together

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If you have an ambitious and excited teenager talking to you about college, then you need to think about broaching the conversation of college funds as early as possible. If they want Ivy League or international schools, you need to be able to talk them through their current college fund and what assistance can be open to them to make up the funds. IF you cannot afford a high-fee school, don’t over promise them what they can do. 

You can broach the subject of savings goals even before high school, as you can get it into their minds as early as possible what their options could be. Encourage your teenager to take a summer job to add to their expenses fund. Talking about costs and savings will show them that you want to work with them to save and prepare for their fees and their general living costs. It’s a commitment to work together on their education!

Savings, spending and debt should be a regular and ongoing conversation. There doesn’t need to eb a face to face meeting and it doesnt need to be formal every single time. This should be a discussion not a dictator and you should think about colleges together. If your teenager has some preferences, work on how you can achieve those preferences.

You can open plenty of different college fund accounts to get your child to college. You can look at potential scholarships, but don’t rely on them if you can help it! Every dollar you save together is less than you have to borrow to pay your way through education. Save in your name not your teenager, as that can be taxed at a high rate.

It can cause stress to save up for college, especially if your teenager has high hopes. However, the more you work together, the better you’ll be at getting there!

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Earning Money from Residential Property During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis sent the real estate industry into a whiplash. While pundits can always make predictions on what can potentially happen during an economic downturn, no one could have pinned down exactly what would happen to real estate investors and their properties due to a pandemic-related recession. If you’re one of those investors and find yourself having a hard time looking for buyers or tenants, here are some ways you can turn yourresidential property into a money-making venture-especially if you worked hard and invested in its aesthetics.

But first, you should consider hiring a team of real estate agents and specialists who boast of a dynamic property marketing strategy and know exactly how to showcase your real estate asset in the best possible light during this pandemic. Make sure they have expertise in the area and know the ins and outs of digital technology, so they can market and eventually rent out or sell your property at the best price. Here are some ideas to market your property or some business ideas you can play around to earn money from it while you’re waiting for buyers.

Pop-up cafe or coffee shop

If you have a passion for coffee and pastries, consider turning your residential property into a small cafe or coffee shop where people can enjoy their coffee and/or food. The beauty of a residential property, especially if it’s on the smaller side, is that you would be abiding by state restrictions on the number of people who can gather in a small space. If you have a garden, you can also turn it into the main dining area so that customers can have their coffee outdoors, where chances of infection are much lower.

Studio

If your residential property allows for natural light and is clean and spacious, you can turn it into a studio where media professionals can do photo or video shoots. Professional photographers and videographers are always on the lookout for beautiful locations where they can do their projects or build their portfolio, so consider turning your space into a studio where marketing teams can hold their shoots.

Small event venue

Another option for a beautifully-designed residential property is turning it into a venue for small events. With gathering restrictions still in place in many states, small events like micro-weddings and birthday parties have been all the rage. If your residential property has a stunning backyard or designed in a way that allows for a romantic aesthetic and styling, consider marketing it as a potential venue for special events that are smaller in scale.

Bed and breakfast

If the property has several rooms and you want to maximize income possibility, consider marketing it as a bed and breakfast. Services like Airbnb have had to pivot in major ways to make sure that guests and hosts alike remain safe and healthy during the public health crisis. If you take every safety precaution possible, you can also turn your residential property into a bed and breakfast.

Storage space

The storage space industry has always been considered largely recession-resistant. The COVID-19 crisis didn’t necessarily change this since the pandemic has brought on many 4Ds: deaths, divorces, displacements, and disasters. There will always be a huge demand for more storage spaces because there will always be many people who need to find secure locations for their belongings while they figure out their next steps. During the pandemic, CNBC reported that more than a thousand universities and colleges had closed their doors to curb infections, affecting about 14 million college students. Students who needed to find new locations for their possessions while considering their options and storage spaces can be a godsend for them.

Market gardener

Regardless of where you live, you can turn your residential property into a place where you can grow your own produce that you can then sell. These include vegetables, fruits, and even flowers. If your residential property is in acreage, the possibilities are endless. While this would take a lot of investment and effort on your part, it can also help you save money in the long run if it paves the way for self-sustainability.

Endless Possibilities

The COVID-19 pandemic should not preclude you from earning money from your real estate investments. With some creativity, imagination, and the help of real estate experts, you might be able to turn the situation of your real estate investment around if you adjust to society’s current demands.

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What To Do When You Think You Can’t Invest

Money is something we all have a big problem with, but for some of us, there are some clearer red flag issues we have to deal with. And for the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on the crowd that wants to learn how to invest, in order to boost their bank account, but believe there are many obstacles in their way to doing so. 

But now’s your chance to learn a little more about the investing world, and your part in it. Because even when you have scant savings, you can turn to investments to make some more money. And here’s how: 

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Get Online

The first thing to do, when you feel trapped in your investment chances, is to get online. The internet has revolutionised the way the money world works, and in particular, it’s changed how you get to invest, and how you get to work with a broker. 

With the online portal to make good use of, minimum balances that you would need in the past are simply that – a thing of the past! You don’t need to deposit upwards of a thousand or even a hundred thousand to get trading anymore. This is simply because there’s better, more flexible communication, and a lot more benefits to reap via this new medium. 

Look for Alternate Account Types

Just because one trading account isn’t right doesn’t mean they’re all bad. There are plenty of alternate trading accounts out there, and finding the right one for you just takes a little bit of digging. 

For example, if your religious beliefs stop you from being able to earn or pay interest on the values you’re trading, there are some great Islamic forex broker services for you to rely on. Similarly, you may not know about  a ‘margin account’, which is where you borrow money to buy stocks and shares. However, stock falling below the ‘maintenance amount’ could force you to sell off early. Really, all you need to do is a bit of research here! 

Invest with Pennies

And finally, as we touched on above, you really can invest with just pennies. Some brokers out there allow you to open an account with a simple single cent, and build from there. This would net you about 0.001% of a company, but you would still own a little bit of that company, and watch as your money increases in value through it.

Indeed, some brokers are going to ask for more than a single cent, but if you can also afford round about $5, you’re also going to be in luck. Simply put, as long as the cash is in the bank, and you’re not struggling to pay for anything in your day to day life, you won’t need to worry about the amount you’ll have to raise to start investing. 

If there ever comes a moment when you’re not sure about your investment chances, all you need to do is look it up!

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How to Make Money with Your Car

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 With the current economic crash, most people are looking for ways to make extra cash. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far for viable income-generating ideas since they’re all over.

 For example, some apps pay shoppers to purchase through affiliate websites. Health care organizations compensate donors willing to part with eggs, sperms, and plasma. However, you need to prepare for the risk that comes with some forms of medical donations.

 If you’re a car owner, you’re probably looking for opportunities to make money with your car. Monetizing your vehicle isn’t a far-fetched idea. Here are vehicular side hustles to put your vehicle into good use instead of letting stay idle, which compromises its quality

Sign up With a Ridesharing App

Becoming a ridesharing driver is a convenient and serious way to make money with your car. It entails driving people from one point to another and getting paid for it through an app. Although you share the proceeds with the app, you get a bigger part of the share.

 Ridesharing isn’t without challenges. It requires you to pass criminal background checks and a driving record. You also must meet the minimum vehicle quality and age standards. Remember, you also must be able to initially meet expenses like gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. Some app options to consider include Uber, Lyft, and Wings. 

Food Delivery

Food delivery is a lucrative business that you can do part-time. Partner with local restaurants as their delivery driver. Alternatively, in this era of technology, you can use apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Bite Squad, or Grubhub.

 Being a food delivery driver is equivalent to being a rideshare driver, minus the passengers. The peaks hours vary from app to app, but most deliveries are during lunchtime and dinnertime. The latter option is best for you if you have a 9-5 job. Sign up with multiple apps for the highest number of orders. 

Renting Out Your Car

If you don’t use your car every day and can’t use it for the two business ideas above, rent it out. You can avail for short-term use by locals who don’t own cars. You can also avail it for hire by travelers who don’t want to use traditional rentals when visiting your locality. Think of it as “Airbnb for cars.”

 Alternatively, you can rent your car for corporate car services. These are on-demand transportation services without signing up with apps like Lyft or Uber. You can start your own service and work with corporate clients that need client pickup service or transportation to events.

 You can potentially earn several hundred dollars in side income per month. This can go towards subsidizing your insurance premiums or loan installments.

Final Thoughts

You can use your car to earn extra money, whether you use it full time or part-time. However, remember that it involves some risks and trade-offs you must be prepared to face.

 Nonetheless, if your car is in good condition and you’re in the allowed age bracket for these services, you’re good to go. If you don’t want direct involvement, you could give your car to car rental companies and wait for the money.

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Money Guide: 6 Common Pitfalls to Avoid with Your Retirement Fund

Many look forward to the wonderful image of retirement. They see themselves spending the rest of their golden years chilling out and enjoying fun activities, such as taking a dream vacation.

When you make the sacrifice of stashing away extra money in your retirement account, you want to make sure that you use those funds wisely. Making financial blunders with your money could prevent you from leading a comfortable life during your senior years.

As you get ready for retirement, take care to avoid making these six financial pitfalls:

  1. Moving Elsewhere on a Whim

Warm and comfortable climates are the siren call for individuals who are nearing their retirement. If you are thinking of heading to Florida and buying a homethere, you’ll want to test the waters first before relocating.

Many retirees who trudge off to their “dream destination” willy-nilly end up getting bored with the place eventually. The slow-paced lifestyle, along with endless rounds of beach strolls and golf, can become tiresome.

Years before your planned date of retirement, go on an extended vacation in your chosen area to get a feel of the location’s lifestyle, culture and people. This is incredibly important if you have plans retiring overseas where new customs, rules and languages can overwhelm retirees.

Once you do have a location in mind, don’t forget to do some house hunting in your preferred destination. Although the process may take years of house visits, home inspections and price negotiations, you want to make sure that the house you choose is perfect for you.

  1. Investing in Money-Making Ventures You Don’t Understand

Stay away from unfamiliar and dodgy investment schemes. If you’ve been invited to a business seminar with a free dinner, this income-earning opportunity could be a Ponzi scheme or a fraud. There are also apps related to investing but it’s a good idea to check them out first. The  robinhood app review on stockapps.com tells about one such app, the Robinhood app.

If you are going to take the self-employed route when you retire, such as starting a printing business, you’ll need to learn the ropes of becoming an entrepreneur. Take up business courses and consult mentors should you want to pursue this venture.

  1. Gambling on Stocks

Refrain from allocating a huge chunk of your valuable retirement money on stocks that are purportedly the next big Apple, Google, Facebook or Amazon. Although the notion of taking home big gains is exciting, look at this approach as going to a casino in Las Vegas and betting a large portion of your hard-earned cash on black or red.  

If you want to satisfy your thrill of betting into stocks, do it using small amounts of money. Of course, the better thing to do here is to avoid gambling on stocks at all. Make sure you do your homework before you make an investment decision.  

  1. Taking Money out of Your 401(k)

Borrowing from your 401(k) retirement savings funds can be tempting. After all, this is your money and you can do whatever you want with it.

Tapping your retirement money, however, is a terrible idea. You’ll miss out on the investment growth from the cash you borrowed and the missed contributions.

Another drawback to taking money out of your retirement account is the payback scheme. When you get a 401(k) loan, you’re obligated to pay back the money over a maximum of five years. If you leave your company before paying off the loan, you’ll be required to settle the outstanding balance in full within 60 to 90 days.

Before you tap from your 401(k), look at other loan options. If you’re funding tuition for college, for instance, you could explore student loans. When you need to repair a damaged part of your house, consider financing this project with a home equity line of credit.

  1. Thinking About Working Indefinitely

Some soon-to-be retirees have plans on working beyond age 65. They do this either to keep their mind sharp, earn money to pay off debt and make the most of their Social Security checks.

This plan, however, could backfire. The company, for instance, could force you to retire early. This may be due to several reasons, such as health-related problems, business-related issues like downsizing and the inability of older employees to keep their skills up to date. The best advice you can take here is to save early (and often) and assume the worst.

  1. Failing to Account for Medical Costs

Although many retirees have Medicare, they will still have to shell out cash for uncovered medical procedures and deductibles. Rather than over-rely on Medicare, earmark some funds for health care costs that will occur as you grow older.  

Get the most out of your retirement money by not incurring these six financial mistakes. Before you retire, take the time to create a financial retirement plan with the help of an experienced and trustworthy financial advisor.

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Saving Time When You Have To Move In A Hurry

Usually, when it comes to moving home, you want to ensure that you have all of the time that you need to prepare, get organized, and move as effectively and as stress-free as possible. However, some situations require you to get a move on sooner rather than later, and any delays can end up costing you big time. When that’s the case, here are a few time-saving tips to help you get the move underway.

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Get rid of some stuff

If you want to reduce the time that it takes to move all of your possessions, then why not give yourself fewer possessions to move in the first place? Websites like Ziffit make it a lot easier to sell just about anything nowadays. There are also plenty of ways to donate unwanted items and, although wasteful, you can always simply discard the things that you don’t need anymore. This can make it easier to find cheaper moving vehicles since you need less space, and will also reduce the time it takes for both packing and unpacking.

Be organized in your pack

One of the biggest time-wasters when moving is disorganization in your packing. If you don’t know where things are and where things go, you’re going to spend a lot of time looking from box to box. You don’t need to keep a precise inventory of everything that you’re moving. You can simply use a labeling system to get a good idea of what is each box. Packing a box per each room tends to be the easiest way to organize them. Then, when you need to fetch or put something away, it’s a lot easier to know where it goes.

Have your car taken care of

If you’re moving a long distance, then you might think to drive the car yourself. However, this trip alone can take a lot of time and can disrupt the schedule of getting settled on the other side. You might even have to plan the drive ahead of the moving van to meet it on the other side. Or you can decide to take another means of transport and have teams like CarsRelo take care of it for you. This frees you to otherwise organize and deal with the move rather than being stuck on the road.

Make sure you have the accessories that you need

If you don’t have the right equipment, then moving your possessions is going to take a lot longer. Heavy objects are going to need things like furniture dollies. You’re going to want to use furniture pads to protect your objects from damage in transit. Ropes and fasteners can help you ensure that things don’t move around on the road. If you don’t prepare these in advance, you’re going to spend a lot more time figuring out how to move certain objects and make sure they stay safe on the road.

Moving is rarely an easy thing to do, but the above tips can at least ensure that it doesn’t take all year to make it happen.

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How To Save Money On A Daily Basis

How To Save Money On A Daily Basis 

If it feels as though you have to pay out for something every single day, and any money you earn slips through your fingers as soon as you get it, it’s time to step back and take a god, objective view of your finances. It could be that you are actually able to save more money than you think by making just a few small changes in your life, and it won’t take long until you are saving money on a daily basis. Read on to find out more. 

Plan Your Meals

Whether you’re a real foodie who loves to cook and try new things or you prefer to stick with simple recipes and food that you already know you enjoy, you’re going to have to go grocery shopping, and you probably do it more than you really want or need to since the average shopper heads to the store 1.6 times every week. 

You might be spending a lot more money on your groceries than you need to if you don’t plan ahead and know exactly what you’re going to be eating in the upcoming week. If you can plan your meals, you won’t buy anything you don’t need, and you’ll always have enough to sustain you until the next time you go to the store. This means you’ll be buying less on each visit, and you won’t be going there quite so much.

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Buy High-Quality Items

“Things of quality have no fear of time.” – Author Unknown 

Buying high-quality items will cost you more at the point of purchase, so of course, this might not appear to be the wonderful money-saving idea you’re looking for. Yet think about it this way; if you buy the best quality you can afford, whether you’re looking for custom cable assemblies, clothing, a car, a good contractor to carry out repairs around your home, tools, or anything else, those things are going to last a lot longer than if you buy something cheap and of much lower quality. 

If you do buy cheap, the likelihood is you’ll need to replace that item fairly quickly, and certainly much sooner than you would if you had spent more to start with. Replacing broken or faulty goods will cost you money, which is how buying quality will save you cash in the long term. One good quality item might cost more than one inferior quality version, but how many of those poor quality versions will you need to buy over the lifetime of the good quality one? 

Don’t Be Impulsive

Spending money is so easy, isn’t it? You can be browsing online and suddenly you see something you want, so you buy it. It’s done in an instant, and whatever you’ve purchased will arrive immediately if it’s a digital download, and in a few days if it’s a physical item. This is the world of instant gratification which, although fun, is terrible for your finances. 

Instead of buying something as soon as you see it just because you can, don’t be impulsive and simply wait. Wait for 24 hours, or even better, 48 hours (or as long as you can), and then go back to the item in question. If you still want it or need it, you can buy it. If you’ve realized you can manage just fine without it, don’t buy it and save money. It might be hard to do at first, but it’s a great habit to get into.

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