17 Aug

5 Bills To Negotiate

Are there bills to pay? Or are there bills to negotiate? You decide.

What explains our aversion to price negotiation? Maybe its the ugly sounding words used to describe it. One example is “haggling” which means “to bargain in a petty, quibbling, and often contentious manner.” A second choice is “quibbling” which sounds like some kind of  crying/dribbling/quivering lip maneuver.

If you ignore your notions about bargaining and open up to its possibilities, it can pay off in spades.

After all, if we ignored William Shatner’s suggestion to “Name our Price” we would miss out on low airfares and car rentals.

We are not useless pawns in the economic process. Speak up America! Start negotiating where you’ve never negotiated before. What is the worst that can happen? Two little letters: N-O. You’re no worse off if you pay the asking price, but if it works in your favor, your bank account will thank you.

5 Bills to Negotiate:

Mortgage Rates:

Mortgage companies will quote you a rate when you ask, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to that rate. If your credit is good or you can put down a hefty down payment, you may have enough leverage to negotiate a lower rate and save thousands.

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10 Aug

Save on Back to School Expenses

Although it’s not news to parents, back to school costs are nothing to sneeze at. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Back-to-School Spending Survey of 6,500 consumers, the average family with children in grades K-12 planned to spend $630.36 on clothes, electronics and school supplies this year. Regardless of whether you have overspent, underspent, or kept to a budget, we have a few back to school shopping tips for kindergarten through college graduation that you may be able to incorporate into your spending (or saving) repertoire.

Students in any grade or year – Shop out of season. Shopping post-season sales and clearance racks is a great way to build up you or your child’s wardrobe on a budget. Take inventory to determine exactly what pieces you or your kids will need for the upcoming year, and then organize your budget around what you still need to buy. Keep a look out for winter coats, boots, and jackets in late February, and summer clothing in late August. If you have one, shop where your Student ID gives you a discount.

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02 Aug

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – How to Save on Summer Travel

Want to Save on Summer Travel?

The way we look at it Fall starts on September 22nd, so you have 51 days left of summer to take a summer trip. We’re determined to save you money on the different modes of transportation you’ll use to get there. In no particular order, here are ways to make your money go further when booking a flight, taking a train and reserving a rental car.

Planes –

It used to be all about waiting until the last minute to find deals. But with all of the low cost carriers and an increase in the number of people flying, you’re better off booking in advance. We recommend Kayak and Skyscanner. Both are comparison websites that perform all of the data digging to get you the best deal and tell you whether to buy now or wait. According to Kayak’s blog, “The lowest average domestic airfares are found 21 days prior to departure while international airfares are at their lowest point 34 days out.”

  • Fly on unpopular days: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Sign up for email alerts from airlines you fly regularly. Consider creating an email address or a filter for emails like this so as to not clog up your regular email account.
  • After you book, watch the fare – remember that you have 24 hours to cancel with most airlines. Some airlines like Southwest will let you cancel and rebook anytime before you check in.
  • Be willing to fly out of a regional airport. Bonus: Sometimes the parking is free, or at least cheaper, which helps to balance out the gas money you used driving there.
  • Fly Southwest – they are the only airline that allows a free checked bag, two in fact.

Trains –

Why would you book a train ride when air travel is so much faster?

Maybe it’s because the prices are more stable than airfare, you’ve saved up more vacation days so scrambling back is unnecessary, and it’s a more scenic way to see this great country. Any of the headaches that air travel gives you (long security lines and cancelled flights) are avoided with train travel.

Check out Amtrak SmartFares. There are new rail deals every week, available for travel Tuesday through Friday.

Trains have great discounts. Military personnel and their families and AAA members save 10%. Students save 15% no matter if they are full or part-time, undergraduate or graduate. If you are a veteran, you can save 15% with a card. Have little ones? Kids always pay half of an adult fare.

Sign up for Amtrak alerts to be in the know about new deals.

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