Tag: Saving Money

Save Money on Funeral Expenses with These Excellent Cost-Reducing Tips

When your loved one passes away, the funeral expenses generally start with a two thousand dollar service fee and go up from there to cost upwards of eight thousand dollars on average.

For that price tag, you get the removal and embalming of the remains, preparation, and dressing of the body, use of the facilities for a ceremony, use of a hearse or service van, printed memorial materials, a casket, and a funeral director to lead the proceedings.

While each of these items is considered part of the standard funeral package, not everyone can afford to spend that much. But, there are ways to cut costs and save. Read on to learn more.

1. Shop Around Online for Your Biggest Funeral Expenses

Companies make it easy to shop online and compare their prices for services like providing flowers, making printed materials for funerals, and more. Violet Florists, in particular, has a very easy-to-navigate website, https://www.violets-florist.com/florist-upper-east-side.

While funerals tend to happen quickly if you have the time to shop online you can reduce your stress and find multiple places to save money on your expenses. Just make sure you factor in the extra time it might take to have things shipped to you.

2. Don’t Embalm

While embalming a body has become the standard in the United States, around the world it isn’t common practice.

Many salespeople for funeral products will tell you that you need to embalm the body because otherwise there will be an odor and the decay process will begin. But in actuality, most modern funerals take place before these potential issues would become a real problem.

By choosing not to embalm a body, it won’t be preserved for the next hundred years, instead, it will decompose naturally and in a manner that is best for the environment.

3. Avoid Costly Upgrades

While things like gaskets on a casket or shiny finishes may sound nice, they really aren’t necessary to make the casket functional. Make sure when you are selecting items for the funeral, you pay for the costs you can’t do without first, like preparing the body.

Then you can think about how much you want to spend on preventing the elements from getting into the casket and making sure that it’s roomy. If you want to make sure you have a top of the line casket for your own funeral, consider setting up a living trust.

4. Consider Cremation

Cremation is another way to potentially save money on a funeral since it gives you the option of cremating the body before the service saving you the cost of dressing and making up the body.

Cremation also can save you money in the long run since you won’t need as large of a burial plot for the body. You can opt to spread the ashes in nature, store them in a decorative urn, or have them places in a large monumental memorial.

More Articles for Savings

Saving on funeral expenses is all about streamlining what is really necessary for the process and putting together a simple service.

For more savings tips for frugal living, check out our blog today.

Thrifty and Stylish Advice: 9 Creative Ways to Spend Less on Shoes

This year the world’s most expensive shoes were on sale for a whopping $23 million, as reported by MTV.com.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a single pair of shoes to think you’re spending too much on your footwear.

It’s not easy being a ‘shoeaholic’ on a budget!

You don’t want to fall behind the latest footwear fashion trends. But, you also want to find ways to spend less money on shoes.

You’re in luck! We’ve got 10 creative ways to save money by spending less on shoes without compromising on your style. Let’s go!

1. Get Your Shoes Repaired

It’s really sad when your favorite shoes get damaged or broken. However, you don’t have to give up. You can always take your shoes to get repaired by a professional.

Although you’ll be charged a repair fee, it’s always cheaper than buying a new pair of shoes.

It’s worth checking with the cobbler whether it’s possible to fix your broken shoes. This way you can bring your favorite oldies back to life and save money at the same time.

2. Buy Second-Hand Shoes

Many fashion lovers are ditching the throw-away fashion for second-hand quality.

Second-hand stores have experienced a growth of 84 percent over the past few years, according to CNN.

By shopping for second-hand shoes you can take advantage of other people’s throwaways. You’ll be surprised by some of the bargains you can get in your local thrift store or charity shop.

3. Quality over Quantity

How many pairs of shoes do you buy every year?

If the number hits double figures, you’re probably buying too many shoes.

You may find if you switch to concentrating on the quality of the shoes you purchase, they last and look better for longer.

You may have to reach deeper into your pockets to buy each pair of shoes. But in the long-run, you’ll spend less.

It’s surely better to have a few favorite shoes that you love than dozens of pairs of shoes which you’re not too bothered about wearing.

4. Great Deal? Get Back-Ups!

Have you spotted a deal on one of your favorite brands or models of your shoes?

Have you been wearing this shoe for many years? Every time a pair breaks or damages, you replace them with another pair.

You could take advantage of a great deal by investing in a backup pair of your favorite shoes. Place the second pair in the back of your closet, and they’ll be waiting there for when the other pair is damaged or broken.

Even though you’ll have to fork out more cash on the day, it’s reassuring to know there’s another brand new pair waiting.

Take advantage of discount days, such as Black Friday, where you can pick up a bargain and spend less money in the long-term.

5. Browse and Research Before You Buy

Do you make impulse buys and never wear your shoes?

You need to cut out the habit. You’re wasting money if you buy shoes you don’t end up wearing anyway.

Make sure you spend a lot of time browsing and researching before you hand over your credit card or click the magic button.

6. Keep an Eye Out for Coupons

The thrifty fashion shoppers are always on the look-out for coupons to get discounts and freebies. Check out our page on the best print-out coupons to save money on your shoe budget.

Have you considered joining SwagBucks? By signing up for free, you can earn free gift cards and other coupons at your favorite shoe stores.

7. Join a Shoe Store’s Rewards Scheme

Do you want to receive reward points every time you make a purchase at the shoe store? Can you imagine receiving a free coupon on your birthday?

There are plenty of stores providing rewards schemes for you to join. What are you waiting for?

8. Spend Less by Buying Fewer Shoes

It’s easy to say but not so easy to do. If you want to spend less on shoes, buy fewer shoes.

Every time you go out shopping and find a pair of shoes you like, you need to ask yourself – do I really need another pair of stilettos?

If the answer is anything other than “yes definitely”, then you should put the shoes back on the shelf and your wallet back in your bag.

9. Capsule Wardrobe for Shoes

From Cosmo to Daily Mail, everyone’s talking about capsule wardrobes. You no longer need to have your wardrobe jam-packed with accessories, tops, and pants you never ever wear.

The increasing awareness of sustainable eco-fashion makes durable, simple and versatile clothing and shoes the new cool.

You only need a single pair of shoes for every occasion. Do you really need two pairs of red kitten heels?

Why do you need more than one pair of platform boots? Learn more here!

You need to determine the kinds of shoes you want to wear and don’t allow yourself to go over the one pair rule.

More Creative Ways to Save Money on Fashion

That’s our 9 top tips to spend less on shoes.

If you want to become a thrifty shopper of shoes, you have to realize this truth – you don’t have to spend big bucks to stay in tune with the trends of the today.

By following our tips, you can keep up to date with fashionable and beautiful shoes without breaking the bank. Happy shoe shopping!

If you want to find out more about how to save money on fashion, check out our Thrifty Momma Ramblings blogs on Beauty and Fashion Tips.

How to Save Money on Organic Groceries

In recent years, the popularity of organic food has increased dramatically. In fact, nearly half of all Americans care about organic food in their diets.

It’s for good reason, too: organic foods, which are free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, don’t put toxic chemicals into our bloodstreams. And, they are often higher in nutritional value since the plant must defend and support itself without the assistance of harmful chemicals.

Okay, okay, you get it: organic is best. But it’s just so expensive, right?

Wrong. Read on to learn our top tips on how to eat organically for a price that won’t bust open your wallet.

Shop Seasonal

This one’s a no-brainer: if you’re interested in how to eat fresh, pesticide-free produce at a reasonable price, you must eat seasonally. Seasonal foods tend to be riper, sweeter, and higher in nutritional content.

Eating seasonally means buying strawberries and tomatoes in the summer when these fruits are in high production for local farmers. And it means winter squashes and Brussel sprouts in autumn when it’s high-time to harvest these delicious goods.

Buying strawberries in the dead of winter means the fruit won’t be as sweet and ripe, and it will likely have traveled farther from its origin. This means higher prices. Why? Because the store needs to pass on these added transportation and storage costs to someone…and that someone is you.

Store Selection is Key

If you want to eat cheap organic food, it’s crucial that you shop at the right places. Not all produce aisles are the same!

Some “big box” stores offer only a handful of organic options; this means the quality is limited and the prices are likely high. Scope out your local stores, and consider those that sell predominantly organic foods, or have large sections devoted to clean eats.

You’ll learn which stores have your favorite products, too. This might mean a bit more time on grocery shopping each week, but if you can save $10 on a package of organic, free-range chicken breasts, that’s well worth the time and gas to make the extra stop!

Also, consider your local Farmer’s market. This is a fun and healthy way to spend a weekend morning and allows you to interact directly with the farmer (no need for the middleman, i.e. grocery store.) It’s also a great way to chat with the grower about the health and quality of his or her organic crops.

Prioritize Like a Pro

If you’re experiencing organic food sticker shock, fret not: spend your money on the highest-priority food items. This includes meats and dairy, which nearly always have added antibiotics and hormones. Yuck.

Next in line is produce, fruits and veggies. Focus on buying those without protective skins or rinds. For example, a grape would be a better product to buy organically than an orange, since any pesticide residue will be removed when you peel the orange.

Finally, your hard-earned money should go to packaged foods last. Since packaged foods, like crackers and cookies, are so highly-processed, you’re already exposing yourself to added, undesirable ingredients. Which brings us to our next point…

Go Part-Time Vegan & Eat Whole Foods

It’s no surprise that some of the most expensive products you can buy at the store are meats, eggs, and dairy products. An organic, grass-fed steak can cost upwards of ten dollars. Simply put, putting meat on the table for most meals isn’t cheap.

Many nutritionists recommend going “part-time” vegan or vegetarian. This is the best of all worlds: you aren’t completely giving up meat or dairy, but you’re certainly cutting back. Some people choose to eat meat only for dinner, and others allow themselves meat or dairy every other day.

There are countless health benefits to this, too: by skipping out on meat, eggs, and dairy, you’re allowing yourself that much more in vegetables, grains and legumes, and fruits. Since these organic food options are cheaper than meat, you’re saving money, too.

And while we’re talking about it, remember that whole foods – unprocessed and often unpackaged – are always best. This is what our body evolved to eat, and whole foods are always preferable to packaged food items.

Plan Meals for the Week

In order to buy cheap organic food, we don’t recommend making a week’s worth of meal decisions while standing at the produce counter. To help with chemical free shopping, spend thirty minutes each week at home with a small notebook and do some meal-planning.

Consider the following when thinking about how to eat organically, in order to save the most cash:

  • What’s about to expire? Do you have fresh, organic produce sitting on your counter, or in your fridge, that needs to be used up?
  • What’s in your pantry? Are there canned or dry goods that you can toss into a pasta, soup, or use as a side dish?
  • Do a bit of coupon-clipping. Check the local papers, social media, or phone apps to see what’s available. Yes, grocers do offer coupons for organic foods!
  • Cook in bulk! Make a large meal and freeze smaller portions for next week’s lunches.

Believe us when we say this, spending a few minutes each week to plan meals will save you time and money in the weeks and months to follow. It means less meals out at restaurants, and fewer purchases of those high-dollar products that you might buy when dinner needs to be on the table in thirty minutes.

Make vs. Buy

Think carefully about the organic “snack” foods that you enjoy. Do you find yourself buying organic seasoned kale chips, organic whole wheat bread, or an organic salad dressing?

These are, unfortunately, still considered processed foods. By making these simple items instead of buying them, you’re cutting out processed ingredients, reducing packaging waste, and, yes, even saving money. A sweet potato is less than a dollar, whereas a bag of organic sweet potato chips might cost five times that.

Making your own “chips” (kale, apple, sweet potato, etc.) is as easy as slicing and baking until crisp. Salad dressings can be whipped up using your own vinegar and oil, and even a fresh bread can be easily made with a few ingredients and a dutch oven.

Waste Nothing

Many organic eaters care greatly about the environment and attempt to reduce their impact on their local and global surroundings. A great way to do this? Composting.

Think of all those food scraps that you toss away on a regular basis: apple cores, banana peels, corn husks, and tomato stems. Did you know that all of that can be “recycled” and broken down into new soil?

Some cities and communities offer cash rewards and incentives to households who either recycle and/or compost their food waste. Check out your local extension office or city government websites to see if you can get cash or rewards for your smart habits. The environment will thank you, too!

One form of “reward” for composting? If you’re part of a compost pickup program, you may get finished compost in return! Perfect to fertilize your own organic garden, which brings us to our next tip…

How to Eat Organically? Grow Your Own!

Don’t be daunted by the prospect of starting your own mini-garden. For those looking at how to eat organically, sometimes this is the cheapest (and most fun!) option available.

Organic seed packets, available online or at any hardware store, are no more than a few dollars and often contain 25+ seeds. Depending on the productivity of your plants, this can save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of a few years.

Learn your local agricultural zone and, as mentioned above, plant seasonally (e.g. berries and zucchini in the summer months.) If you have a “bumper crop” (lucky you!) then freeze or can the extra produce. This is a great way to enjoy cheap organic food any time of the year.

And remember, the key to organic gardening is to use no fertilizer/pesticide, or only organic fertilizer/pesticide. This means getting creative with products like neem oil (a naturally-derived pesticide) and natural fertilizers, like fish emulsion.

It’s No Mystery!

Many health-wise consumers are scared to “go organic” because they assume it’s more hassle and more money. Not true: by following some (or all!) of the tips we’ve included above, anyone can learn how to eat organically without breaking the bank.

For more fun and useful advice about living on a budget and making smart money decisions, check out the rest of our blog!

How to Save Money On a Wedding Photographer

As you gear up for your big day, everyone keeps telling you that the photography services you choose are more important than anything else you purchase for your wedding.

They are completely right.

Your photographer — even more than the wedding decor, venue or dress you choose — can make your wedding day look like a storybook one for all the world to see. And as the years go by, the pictures are all you’ll have to help you to remember the details of your big day.

But how can you hire a photographer without going broke?

Everything about a wedding is ludicrously expensive, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you still need to hire a wedding photographer, here’s a rundown on how to secure affordable wedding photography services.

Let’s get started!

Set a Budget and Negotiate for Affordable Wedding Photography

Before you begin your wedding photography search, you need to develop a budget for your photographer.

If your budget is a bit tight, you may want to search for a photography student or a newer professional photographer.

Then, it’s time to negotiate.

A photographer will likely be open to negotiating with you if you book him or her on a day besides Saturday or if you book off-season.

Of course, you’re fooling yourself if you think you can convince a top-notch photography professional to charge $1,000 for your wedding photos when he or she normally charges $5,000.

To make negotiations work best for you, it’s critical that you find a professional who is as close as possible to your photography budget from the beginning.

And don’t forget to compare various photographers’ costs and packages to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

You should be able to find a photographer’s rates on his or her website. For instance, a company called Professional Portrait Photography clearly spells out rates and pricing on its website. This website also provides galleries of photos so that you can see examples of the photographer’s previous work before you decide to purchase the company’s services.

Book Your Photographer Early

Some photographers will also offer you a discount for booking them early. So, try to find a photographer immediately after you’ve set your wedding date.

Even if a photographer doesn’t necessarily give you a discount, you may still receive a lower price than you would if you booked the photographer closer to your wedding day.

Here’s why.

Budding photographers have a tendency to increase their rates as their reputations grow each year. And even photographers who are established may raise their rates each year to stay ahead of inflation.

Therefore, if you know that you’ll be getting married a year now or a couple of years from now, it only makes sense to secure your photographer now and lock in today’s prices.

Another way to save on costs is to pay for your services upfront, which might lead to a nice discount.

Schedule Your Photographer Wisely

Let’s say that your photography package includes a total of eight hours of video and photography. Chances are that your wedding day will be a virtually all-day affair, so it may be in your best interest to choose the eight-hour period that you definitely want your photographer there with you.

For example, you might prefer to have your photographer there with you more when you’re getting ready at the start of the day. Then, you can have the photographer leave right after your cake cutting.

Sure, you might miss capturing a few awesome moments toward the end of the wedding reception. But you might also save hundreds of dollars in overtime charges, too.

Alternatively, you could have your photographer skip your pre-wedding festivities. Instead, your groomsmen and bridesmaids can take these photos with their digital cameras.

Remember, time is money in the wedding photography world. So, schedule your photographer wisely.

Ask about Referrals

Ask if your prospective photographer offers a referral program.

With such a program, you may receive a discount simply for referring your engaged friends or coworkers to the photographer either in person or through social media. Or instead of a discount, you may receive credits for purchasing photos or albums.

You could convince your friends to sign up with the photographer you’ve used by showing off your wedding photo proofs or posting your final photos online.

Bypass the Album

You may be tempted to have your photographer assemble a wedding album for you. This is an excellent idea if you’ve got the budget for it. If not, don’t worry — it’s not totally necessary.

Sure, your photographer has an excellent eye for selecting the best pictures. But you can also choose the pictures you like the most and put together your own physical or online album.

Besides saving money, the good thing about assembling your own album is that you get to fully control your album’s flow. Plus, you can effortlessly produce copies for friends and family members, too.

Speaking of copies, one of the best ways to save on photography costs is to stick with a digital package.

At the outset, purchasing digital rights to photos may seem more costly. However, once you’ve got a disc filled with your wedding photos, you can freely print off affordable ones for your family members elsewhere — even using your home printer.

You could even simply send your family the photos via email and have them print them off.

Either way, going digital is a smart way to save money on a wedding photographer.

How We Can Help

We offer a wide range of tips and advice for those interested in living frugally and earning money.

For example, in addition to learning affordable wedding photography tips, you can find out how to throw a wedding on a budget. You can also learn how to provide healthy yet cheap snacks for the kids, or how to maximize your tax refund to improve your financial situation each year.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to save money and thus enjoy a better quality of life long term.

How to Dress Well on a Budget: Everything You Need to Know

Not all of us are born with great riches. Trying to figure out how to budget all of your money to get to the month can be hard on its own. Trying to do so while looking and feeling good about yourself is a whole other challenge on top of that.

Many consumers seem as if they are committed to buying expensive brand name clothing, and you may feel as if you can’t keep up. Worst of all, these brand name items are only getting more expensive.

But these brands aren’t a necessity in looking good. By following a few easy fashion tips and tricks, you can turn an outfit of any price tag into a wardrobe highlight.

Read on, and we’ll walk you through how to dress well on a budget. Follow these tips, and you can look and feel great without having to empty your bank account.

Think Classy and Classic

There are certain pieces of clothing that never go out of style and should be affordable on any budget. Though there are people who have shelled out over one hundred dollars for a plain white tee before, it should be an easy and affordable buy and a look that works anywhere.

And it can be more versatile than you think.

A class trenchcoat, crisp black or white shirt, or sleek black trousers are appropriate and fashionable choices no matter the season. The “little black dress” is a well-known item for a reason, after all– it’s simple, elegant, and worth investing in. Regardless of their brand or origin, these elegant and simple items look great year round.

Avoid things like jeweled embellishments or pleated tops or distressed and whiskered denim, since details like these are really hard to do well on a budget.

Colors like black, white, and beige are timeless and best of all, they match everything. A great pair of black pants will be far more useful to you than any eccentric pair of purple corduroys. Invest in simplicity and elegance, and it doesn’t have to cost you much.

If you are going to spring extra for something big, make it something that will stand out in your collection, like the Starkiller Jacket or some other statement pieces.

Make Your Clothes Work For You

Looking good on a budget means making your wardrobe work as best as it can for you. Some of this means buying smart at the store, and some of it means good upkeep of clothing at home.

When you purchase new clothes at the store, consider having them tailored to perfectly fit your body. A $10 skirt can look better than a $200 designer one if it’s tailored to better suit you, and usually, all it takes is a few quick stitches. The simpler the garment, the cheaper and easier it usually is to tailor.

There are other steps you can take to make your purchases look fresher on you. Consider doing a little button surgery and switch the buttons out on some of your new items. Ditching plastic buttons for metal or pearl can make a shirt or jacket suddenly feel like new.

These buttons can be bought affordable from sites like eBay, Etsy, or even thrift stores in your town. You could even take buttons from old clothing items that you don’t wear anymore. If replacing them yourself seems stressful, you can take your shirts and new buttons to the local dry cleaner– most places will replace them for you at little cost.

Once you have your clothes at home, try not washing them so much! You, of course, want your clothes to be clean, but over-washing clothes wears down fabric and fades colors. Try spot washing with a sponge or toothbrush, or putting clothing items in the freezer to kill odors.

Invest In A Steamer

One way to ensure that your clothes will look nice when you leave the house is to get a steamer. Wrinkles can make any item of clothing look cheap, so having something that can get those wrinkles out fast can be a lifesaver.

A steamer can blast wrinkles out of a piece of clothing in a few short minutes. Steaming is quicker and easier than ironing, and you can use it on many clothes that otherwise wouldn’t be iron-friendly. It also is much more space friendly and takes up less room in your home.

Using a steamer is easy: you simply hold the garment in one extended hand or hang it on the back of a door. Bring the head of the steamer up and down and within moments you should have a piece of clothing that looks fresh and brand new.

Be A Smart Shopper

There are a number of things to keep in mind that can help you save money on great clothing.

You should be mindful when clothing prices tend to rise and fall. Everyone will start buying summer clothing come April and May, so prices will rise– you can get much better deals if you think to find your summer wardrobe a few months ahead of time.

Places like TJ Maxx are great to find brand name items with major discounts. Exploring thrift stores and consignment shops in your area may be a great way to find amazing items for less, and maybe even discover standout items you’d never find at your local retailer.

Always remember to look out for deals and budgets as well. Stores are always doing some sort of sale, and many offer discounts to students, military or other factions of citizens.

Make sure to take advantage of these deals and cut some money off your bottom line when you can.

How To Dress Well On A Budget

Looking good doesn’t have to a break the bank enterprise. By following the above steps, you can easily spruce up your wardrobe and hit the streets looking amazing, with money left over in your pocket.

Know that you know how to dress well on a budget, the only thing left to decide is what you’ll wear out today.

Need more wardrobe and beauty advice? Check out our blog for more tips and tricks.

How to Save Money When Buying Engagement Rings

Engagement rings are expensive, and the fact that folks in the United States spend an average of $6,351 on them is proof!

Let’s consider the monthly average salary of people in the typical “marrying age” (between 25 and 34 years old), which is around $3,300. This means an average engagement ring costs about two months’ worth of salary!

In an ideal world, an engagement is something you’d want to spend money on. However, this precursor to marriage is only a small start of more wedding-related expenses to come.

That’s why engagement ring sales should make it in your list of prospects. After all, you’d want enough budget for the wedding itself, and the family you’ll soon build.

How exactly can you save money with these ring sales when it’s time to propose though?

Don’t worry. This guide we came up with will show you how to do that!

Why Go for Engagement Ring Sales in the First Place?

A recent Forbes article pointed out that engagement ring prices average $5,000. That’s $1,351 less than the average actual spending. But it’s still a hefty price.

Think about how you can use a lump $5,000 to make a down payment on a new house you’ll share with your would-be wife. Or how you can spend it on a one-of-a-kind honeymoon. You can even start a family with less student loan debts!

These show how many things you can do with the money you’ll save when you opt for more reasonably priced engagement rings. So, when the time comes to get on one knee and pop the question, you need to choose between being practical and having a status symbol.

Ring sales are your ticket to securing a rock for less. These deals give you access to more affordable options – including diamonds. All without suffering from the consequences of burning through two months’ worth of salary.

Now that you know you still have hope of getting your soon-to-be-spouse a diamond, next is to learn how to get it. So, without further ado, let’s start this money-saving list when buying engagement rings.

Be A Prince, But Don’t Spend Like Prince Harry

Did you know that experts believe Prince Harry proposed with a whopping $350,000-worth ring to Meghan Markle? Granted, the value has a lot to do with the ring boasting of two of Princess D’s diamonds. But all in all, that’s a price very few Americans can handle.

Yes, you want to be the prince charming your better half has ever dreamed of. At the same time, you also want to make sure you can still take care of the wedding and wedded-life finances.

As such, the first thing you should do is establish your finances. These should include the following:

  • How much you can afford
  • How much you’re willing to spend
  • How much more you can set aside as some sort of leeway

From here, consider the types and styles of ring your budget can accommodate. Yes, you need to learn the basics of diamonds’ 4 Cs. But you also need to consider your would-be wife’s needs and preferences.

Keep in mind that women do their careful research when buying men’s jewelry after all. So, the same should go true when it’s your time to shine and buy that shiny rock.

The 4 Cs of Diamonds You Need to Know

According to GIA, the creator of the well-established diamond 4C quality standard, these Cs stand for the following:

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Cut
  4. Carat Weight

All these contribute to the final price of the rock. But shape, such as whether it’s round, cushion, oval, princess, or emerald, also affects the price.

For your reference, the five above-mentioned shapes or “cuts” make the cut (sorry) when it comes to the most popular. Knowing more about them can then help you determine which one best suits your soon-to-be-bride. After all, you can already incorporate her own style and preference in your buying decision.

Buying Rings without the Middle Man

Make no mistake – when you opt for engagement ring sales, you’ll get a genuine stone. So long as you do so from a trusted merchant, you can buy a huge diamond and pay much less.

How?

For starters, because reliable and trustworthy jewelers offering these deals have no use for middlemen. In other words, the rocks and rings go straight to them. It’s for this reason they can sell their genuine products for much less.

Imagine proposing with a big ring that you saved a month for but would’ve otherwise cost you two months’ worth of salary. You can rest easy knowing your savings can handle the wedding, all the while putting a huge smile on your partner’s face.

Online Engagement Rings That Save You Even More Money

You’ll find many online merchants selling reasonably priced engagement rings, but not all of them can help you further cut your expenses.

For instance, not all online ring sellers offer free shipping – anywhere in the country or even the world. Also, considering that you’d want insurance to cover your purchase, shipping rates alone can already make your final bill skyrocket.

You also need to consider the possibility of returning a ring. For instance, you made a mistake on the ring size, having bought a 7.5 when you should’ve chosen a 6. Some merchants may not allow returns, and even if they did, charge you for fees incurred.

Lastly, think about the guarantee. Imagine 10 years from now losing one of the ring’s accent gemstones. It’s a rare occurrence in high-quality engagement rings, but it’s still a possibility.

That’s why you want to work with a jeweler who offers lifetime guarantees. This way, your then-wife can have her engagement ring back in the same condition she received it from you.

Start Your Search for the Best Engagement Ring Now

As you can see, engagement ring sales can help you propose sooner than you would if you have to save for several months to buy a ring. So, start shopping now for these rings at reasonable prices!

Also, don’t forget to check out our budgeting tips and tricks! These will come handy when it’s time for the wedding and the family-building!

How to Save for a Vacation on a Tight Budget

how to save for a vacation

Vacations are expensive. Let’s face it.

How are you supposed to take an enjoyable vacation when you’re pinching every penny in your everyday life? There’s gas, plane tickets, daily excursions, food, and more. When you tally up the costs, even a camping excursion can rack up a large sum.

But the vacation you want to take could be the experience of a lifetime. If you have a family, you want to do your best to create valuable memories that will last. If you’re a solo-traveler planning to backpack Europe, it’s likely that you’re aching for that trip and are just seeking for a way to make it happen.

Here’s the thing: it’s entirely possible to inch away towards the sum you need to have an excellent vacation. Read on, and you’ll find out a few key ways to save money and put it away towards a vacation.

How to Save for a Vacation

1. Where are You Blowing Your Money?

It’s understandable to splurge a little on things like coffee and snacks whenever you stop for gas. We all have those little guilty pleasures that we shouldn’t be spending money one, but is that where you want your money to go?

If you add up the cost of your weekly spending on non-essentials, you’re likely to find that you’re spending a lot more than you had previously thought. Things like soda, treats, movie tickets, and the like are all things that be eliminated.

If you dedicate yourself to a year without, say, drinking soda, you’ll be able to save maybe a thousand dollars alone on that front. Not to mention, you’ll be a lot lighter for that hike through the Andes!

The most important thing you can do to save money for your vacation is cut out non-essential spending, and set aside the money you would use whenever you have a hankering for that bag of Doritos, or can of soda.

2. Garage Sale

It can be difficult to start saving when your vacation fund is meager. It’s a lot easier to set money aside when you can see the result of your frugality. A great way to get your savings started is by having a garage sale.

Gather up all of the stuff you don’t need- old clothes, microwaves, knick-knacks, whatever. Often times you can get rid of a lot of clutter while making a couple hundred dollars to tuck away for your trip.

A lot of times neighborhoods will have community garage sale days. These are great because everyone knows that there will be a sale, giving you a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss out on. If you don’t have a community garage sale day, you can always advertise on Facebook a few days in advance to get the word out.

3. Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are often a place that your parents tell you never to enter. They rouse images of people selling their priceless items just to have money for gas or cigarettes. This is definitely not the case, and you can get some value out of the things that you couldn’t otherwise get rid of on Craigslist or similar sites.

Know that you won’t get the full value for your items. Resort to pawn shops only if you know that you’re not going to be able to sell your items to anyone else. Additionally, if you’re not having luck selling online and your trip is coming near, pawn shops are a great way to get that last little cushion that you need.

4. Get a Side Job

There are a lot of employers that are just looking for part-time work. If you already have a full-time job and you need a little extra cash, consider finding something that only requires you to work one or two days a week.

There are plenty of part-time gigs on Craigslist or Indeed, and you won’t be tied down to a commitment that you aren’t able to come through for. Another thing to consider is working for a delivery service, or taking online surveys.

You will find a lot of little side-gigs online if you do a little research.

5. Get a Separate Savings Account

It’s really easy to dip into your vacation fund when you need new tires or your old bicycle needs a tune-up. If you’re not in dire need of money, do your best to find out how to get the money you need in other ways.

Your vacation will never happen if you keep pulling money from your savings. An easy way to avoid this trouble is to create a separate account to save your vacation money in.

You can set limits on withdrawals, having a way to keep your money safe from yourself. If your wallet gets too tight you can always use the money for something you need, but if your goal is to go on a vacation try to discipline yourself and save what you want to save.

6. Seek out Deals

There are a lot of sites online that send email blasts with travel deals. Whether you need to take a survey or subscribe to a website, you may find a lot of discounts online.

Additionally, keep an eye out for plane tickets far in advance. You’ll often find the best deals if you’re thinking ahead and planning your trip a few months out. In fact, if you buy the tickets early, you’ll be more inclined to save that money and dedicate yourself to planning your trip.

Use the Resources at Your Disposal

There are so many great ways to find deals on vacations available online. Do some research and make sure to fine-tune your trip to your preferences and your family’s needs.

If you’re having difficulty finding extra money to set aside for your vacation, take advice from other people who have done it. Often times it takes that friend or individual online who has a special trick or trip. Be sure to look around online for advice on travel or budgeted living.