Archive for November 2012

Did Jesus intend to bankrupt families? How to save money this Christmas

Don’t be surprised if the word ‘Christmas’ gets replaced with the word ‘Commercialism’ in the near future, because that is what it has unfortunately turned into. People feel so much financial stress and anxiety around Christmas time, trying to come up with money and gift ideas to buy for their close friends and family. And when it is all said and done, your credit card is probably maxed out.

And the frustrating part for some, this tradition is only getting bigger every year.  You always have new friends, coworkers or family member i.e new nephew, sister in law etc.) that you need to buy gifts for. Where does it end? When you have to dedicate almost two weeks or even more of pay, to buy gifts, you know something is wrong with this tradition. Something has to give.

How about doing a little game called ‘Secret Santa’ (AKA Kris Kringle) which a lot of you are familiar with? If you are not sure what it is or have never done it, it is quiet simple. First, you decide on who will be in the pool (your extended family circle, coworkers etc) .  Each will draw a name randomly from the pool and you only buy gift for that one person. Depending on how many pools you are in, you will probably have to buy a maximum of 3 gifts instead of 10, and spend a maximum of $200 instead of $700 or more. That is a huge saving of about $500, not to mention time and your sanity.

There is no shame in suggesting this to your social circles, if it hasn’t already.  No one will or should think of you as being cheap, in fact, they will be quiet happy that someone came up with this cost-saving idea for gift giving.

Let us take commercialism out of Christmas. Let us go back to the true meaning of Christmas: birth of the Christ, love and joy. Jesus didn’t come or intend to make his birthday a cause for bankrupting families. He wanted his birth date to be a cause for celebrating joy and the love of God.

Auto Insurance Saving Tips and Strategies

Car insurance is a necessary expense, yet many people lack the coverage they need in an effort to get the cheapest rate. While the monthly premiums may be lower, the amount of coverage this allows in the event of an accident is limited. However, the quality of a policy does not have to be compromised in order to get the best deal. By following some simple tips, a great rate can be maintained with ample coverage.

Responsible Driving Pays Off

One of the most efficient ways to get the best car insurance rate is to maintain a clean driving record. Insurance companies must determine the liability of each customer; if they see a client has a record of reckless driving, that person becomes more of a risk for them to cover. By adhering to all rules of the road and never driving under the influence, this is relatively easy to attain.

Newer Models Come With Higher Prices

Most people have a dream car they will likely never own; however, in the event that it becomes possible to acquire a newer model, it should be taken into consideration that the insurance will likely be higher as opposed to an older model. When seeking ways to save money on car insurance, it all starts when the consumer picks out the vehicle they will be insuring.

Seek Out the Best Offer

The insurance market is a competitive one. In order to understand what deals are available, it is necessary to shop around. When doing so, however, consumers should beware of offers that sound too good to be true; they often are. Rather than being primarily price-oriented, smart shoppers will investigate the integrity of a car insurance company prior to paying for a six month policy.

It is good practice to make a note on the calendar about a month prior to an existing policy’s expiration date. This gives the consumer plenty of time to search out current offers and make an educated decision in their new policy.

Raising Deductible Lowers Premiums

If a policy feels right but is just a bit more expensive then the shopper is able to afford, it is often possible to adjust the deductible levels in order to better accommodate. Those shopping for insurance should understand that these levels can be adjusted to fit the individual, and they are encouraged to ask how these aspects can be modified.

Inquire About Discounts

In attempt to keep up with the competition, most insurance companies offer special discounts to both encourage new business as well as retain current customers. When shopping around, customers should always ask what kind of discounts they can take advantage of. For example, some companies will offer a lowered rate if homeowners insurance and car insurance are bundled into a single plan.

Make Payments in a Timely Fashion

In order to get the best possible rate far into the future, it is vital for consumers to maintain a good payment record. When the bill is regularly neglected, the company could put a red flag on that consumer that other companies have access to. This not only makes it difficult to get a cheap rate, but it can also cause the customer to be rejected when shopping. In the event that a payment must be late, giving the company notice is better than simply not paying.

Consider these tips from Kanetix as you try to shop for affordable car insurance.  Also be mindful to avoid circumstances that may cause your insurance rates to rise.  If you follow these rules, you’ll be sure to pay the absolute minimum price for your insurance premiums.


Arlene Nguyen is a freelance writer who writes about insurance issues.

For more information on how to save money on car insurance, visit the following websites:


Our new family motto: “Work.Save.Play”

As a newly wed couple, me and the wife had to sit down (literally) and discuss a new family budget together. Each had a budget already, but now that we are married, it was time to coordinate and combine it into one. But being from two different schools of thought on budgeting and how to save and spend, the negotiation process wasn’t easy! We had to settle a lot of differences. As a single girl with not a lot of financial obligations, she was used to spending a lot of money and save little. Things had to change, now that she is married.

One of the things I suggested to my wife is to have a motto for our life and how we work and live it. It is three words short. These three words could help us live the rest of our lives together, happily, fruitfully and hopefully with little conflicts.

“Work . Save . Play”

And yes, they are in order, and can’t be re-arranged.

It all starts with work. If we don’t work and have jobs, we can’t do the next thing, ‘saving.’

Saving should be an essential component of every family budget. If you want to be able to afford life and the things you want and need, you have to save now and always. Which brings us to the third part in our motto: ‘Play’

Most of you probably know what we mean by ‘Play.’ It is the ability to enjoy life with no regrets. Be it traveling, partying, eating out, buying things you have always wanted etc.  If you have taken care of saving money already, you will be able to play and enjoy life to the fullest. Just remember, just because you have already taken care of the ‘saving’ part doesn’t mean you go crazy and spend all the money that is left (based on one pay cycle.)

We have seen people re-arrange our motto in many different ways. Whether it is to just play and do nothing else. Working and playing, and saving nothing in the process. Or even playing first and saving later. Different individuals and families may have different needs and circumstances. But as a core basic principle, saving should come before playing, otherwise you risk spending all your money and having nothing left for saving. And if you have no savings, you can’t play and enjoy life to the fullest.

And remember, as we have often preached, the sooner you start saving, the sooner you can start enjoying what life has to offer. More importantly, don’t forget to enjoy life and not spend all your time working and saving money.  As long as you remember to save before you spend!

How to Find the Best Deals For Computers

People often wonder how to find the best deals for computers like Dell. It’s tricky, especially when there are so many different brands, uses, speeds etc.

Decide what you need in a computer

When you’re looking for a computer, the best thing you can do is to do a quick search on the Internet. Look for computers that will fit your needs. If you’re a gamer, you’re going to need a computer that has a lot of memory and has a quick processor.

If you’re someone who writes for a living, you’re going to need one that will have a good word processor, has easy Internet access and is flexible for the types of writing you do.

So first, you’re going to need to assess what you need.

When you’ve decided what the most important aspects of a computer are, you’re ready to do some shopping.

Best ways to shop for a new computer

The best time to buy computers and computer accessories is either on Black Friday, when everything is on sale everywhere or right at the beginning of the year after Christmas when a lot of different things are on sale. You’re going to get a better deal on Black Friday, but not everyone can go shopping then.

The newspaper for Black Friday will be delivered on Thanksgiving. Read it! Look through all the ads. Most people don’t go to sleep that night; they’ll just go shopping really early in the morning. You will be able to get a great deal!

Another idea is to wait for clearance on items or computers that you want to buy. Most stores will have several clearance sales throughout the year. For something that is evolving all the time like computers, there will be several clearance sales to make room for the new items.

Unless you are using your computer for a specifically technical job you shouldn’t need to get the latest computer. Sometimes if you buy a model just older than the latest model you can get a great deal.

Alienware Aurora review- Check Reviews before you buy

You can also do some easy comparison-shopping online. Even if you are planning on buying at a brick and mortar store, you can get an idea of what the price should be on the computer you need. Sometimes the smaller mom and pop type stores will, if you mention that you found it cheaper online, either match the price, or offer an even bigger discount.

Really, you are only limited by the type of computer you need. If you wanted, you could get a used computer, however, be aware that can be dangerous if you don’t know enough about computers to be sure that there are no Trojans, viruses, or worms on the computer. Your identity could be stolen rather quickly if your computer is hacked, or your computer could die and that would put your right back looking for a new computer.


Article contributed by Jeena Smith