Credit Myth: There is only ONE FICO score

Have you recently experienced a bankruptcy?  Do you have some late payments or collection accounts showing up on your credit history?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are probably trying to figure out how to rebuild your credit.  In order to do this, you will have to work towards increasing your credit score.  And to achieve a higher credit score, you must not be fooled into believing the credit myth that there is only one FICO score.

This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law.  All opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed. 

 Trying to rapair your credit and increase your score? Make Sure that you focus on all three credit bureaus and don't be fooled by the Credit Myth: There's Only One FICO Score // #creditmyth #creditmythbuster #FICOscore #creditscore #lexingtonlaw

You have more than one FICO score

Creditors use your FICO score to evaluate the risk of extending credit to you.  But your credit score isn’t just one number—you actually have three credit scores.  There are three different credit bureaus: Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. These agencies receive information about you from your current creditors and assemble that information into a credit risk score. Some creditors send and receive information from only one credit bureau, some use all three. Each credit bureau only uses the information—both positive and negative—that is supplied to it by the creditors that utilize that particular bureau.  So it is quite important to know what is reporting to each bureau and work to make sure that all information that is reporting is accurate and updated—to not just one bureau, but all three.

FICO score vs. credit score

FICO is an acronym used to represent the Fair Isaac Corporation—the company that creates the credit scores that the vast majority of creditors use to evaluate creditworthiness.  So, a FICO score is basically a synonymous term, interchangeably used with the term credit score.  A credit score is a number ranging from 300-850, which indicates your future credit risk.  FICO calculates the credit risk based on historical patterns of creditworthiness.  Creditors will use this number to determine if they will to lend to you, the maximum amount that they will lend to you, and at what rate they will lend to you.

How is a credit score calculated?

Each bureau has slightly different information that they use in order to calculate your credit score.  While each bureau may be utilizing the same formula created by Fair Isaac Corporation to produce a score, keep in mind that not all creditors report to every bureau, so the information that each bureau is using will likely generate a small range of scores.  However, they all use the same basic credit components to calculate your score:

  • Payment history
  • Level of debt, as compared to available credit
  • Number of open accounts
  • Type of accounts
  • Length of credit history
  • Number of recent credit inquiries

Why do I need to worry about all 3 credit scores?

Not all creditors report to all three of the credit bureaus, likewise, not all creditors check all three bureaus when they are evaluating your creditworthiness.  While a mortgage lender may use a tri-merge credit report and obtain information from all three credit bureaus during their approval process, a creditor for a smaller amount, such as a credit card company, may only look at a single credit bureau when determining your risk level.  Because you likely won’t know ahead of time which bureau the credit will be using to obtain your score, nor will you have a choice in which one they will use, it is important to know what each of your scores are and make sure that each bureau has updated and accurate information to reflect the highest score possible.

Because some lenders only look at one bureau, they may not be seeing the entire picture of your credit history.  For instance, if you have one credit card that has a late payment history or collection accounts that are only reporting to one of the bureaus, your FICO score generated by that credit agency may be quite a bit lower than your other two credit scores.  So if that happens to be the bureau that your new creditor is using to review your creditworthiness, you may end up with a lower credit line and a higher rate than you’d like—or even deserve.

Understand how your credit score impacts your monthly bills

Your credit score will have an influence on the rates that you qualify for when obtaining financing.  So when you apply for a new credit card, auto loan, or a mortgage, creditors base the programs and rates that they offer to you on your credit score.  If you have a high credit score, you are going to qualify for a lower rate, which will give you lower monthly payments.  If your credit score is low, creditors will lend to you at a higher rate because they look at you as more of a risk, thus causing you to have higher monthly payments.

While your credit score can fluctuate and change, relatively based on the information that is reported each month, once a creditor has extended credit to you, the rate and terms will not likely change.  So how does this affect your monthly bills?  It means that if, for example, you are approved for a car loan based on a lower score, and you may be locked into a higher interest rate, which in turn, causes your monthly car payment to be higher than if you would have been approved with a higher credit score.

Check your credit report

It is important to regularly review your credit report to make sure that the information reporting on you is accurate and up-to-date.  It will not do you very much good to work hard to pay your bills on time and get everything up-to-date, just to have old accounts showing up, or negative items that have not been cleared off your report to continue to drag down your score.  Monitoring your credit to make sure it is accurate is crucial to the credit rebuilding process.  It is also critical to review your credit to make sure that no fraudulent activity is taking place.

12 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas

Are you longing to take a vacation, but not sure that you have the time or money for it?  Save money this year, pay down some bills to get your credit back on track, and take a budget friendly staycation instead.  These staycation ideas will help you feel like you are still getting away from the everyday grind—even though you aren’t traveling that far!

This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law. Please know that all opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.

Want to take a vacation, but don't have the time or money? Try these 12 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas. #staycation #budgetvacation #staycationideas

12 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas

Take a day at the museum

The Association of Science-Technology Centers offers a program that allows you to visit science centers and museums around the country for free for an entire year, with the purchase of a membership.  This can be a great source of educational and fun entertainment for you and your family this summer.  Over 250 science centers and museums are part of the program.  Although you will have to plan where you buy your membership, because you cannot use it at other science centers or museums within 90 miles of the center which you are a member of or within 90 miles of your residence.

Want to take a vacation, but don't have the time or money? Try these 12 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas. #staycation #budgetvacation #staycationideas

Visit a national park

While many national parks are free to visit, some are not—unless you have a fourth grader in the family.  Every Kid in a Park is a unique program that offers fourth graders and their family’s free access to national parks and sites around the country for free!  You may even want to check out Recreation.gov and search some of the cool places to go in your own state that are very affordable or free, such as campgrounds, tours, parks, or landmarks.

Go to the movies

Taking the entire family to the movies can get expensive—unless you take advantage of summer movie clubs.  Cinemark and Regal both offer an extensive list of movies throughout the summer for kids—and admission for kids and adults is only $1!  If you plan on going to all of them, you can buy a pass and save even more on admission.  There are also snack specials so you can save big on getting a popcorn and soda too!

Go to a drive-in movie

While they are not as popular as they used to be, taking the entire family to a drive-in move can be a lot of fun—and quite affordable!  Instead of paying per ticket, you pay per vehicle, so your entire family gets to watch the movie for one low price!

Visit a lighthouse

There are several lighthouses across the country that are not only beautiful, but are rich in history.  Of course, the coastal states have several lighthouses, but you might find that one of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes is much closer to home.

Go canoeing/rafting

When you think of going canoeing or rafting, you may imagine braving the whitewater rapids (which I would definitely recommend going with a guide!), but there are several rivers all across the country that are much calmer and allow self-guided rides down the river.  This is a great way to get out into nature, get some exercise, and still be able to relax.

Want to take a vacation, but don't have the time or money? Try these 12 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas. #staycation #budgetvacation #staycationideas

Visit national monuments

Did you know that there are national monuments located in 31 states throughout the country?  Take a look at this National Monument map to find out where the closest ones are to you.  Most are free to visit and you may just learn a bit about our country’s history too!

Go to the beach or lake

If you happen to live close enough to drive to the beach for the day, you can truly feel the relaxation of a beach vacation for the day.  Of course, not everyone lives by the coast… but you probably can find a local campground, lake or park that can offer some fun in the sun and water.  Do a little research ahead of time and you will find that many parks and campgrounds offer waterslides, swimming and other water sports at very affordable rates.

day trip to the beach

Visit a local campground

Besides roughing it for the weekend in a tent—or even unplugging and staying in a rustic cabin—campgrounds offer quite a bit more.  Many offer day passes to come and enjoy all of the activities, without actually staying.  You will find that many campgrounds have a lake for swimming or canoeing, but you can also go hiking, bike riding, go-kart riding, mini-golfing, or even horseback riding.  Call ahead or check online for special pricing for groups or packages.

Day trips

Sometimes we take for granted the area that we live in and don’t recognize all of the great things around us because we are so busy doing all of the daily routine things.  A staycation is a great time to take a fresh look at what there is to do within a couple hour drive of where you live—you might be surprised at the interesting things you find!  Do a quick internet search or even contact some a local visitors bureaus for the best suggestions.

Take the kids bowling

Did you know that your kids can go bowling for free all summer long?  Just sign your child up at Kids Bowl Free and you will get coupons emailed to you each week.  Times will vary by location, but many bowling alleys nationwide are a part of this program, so you might just find that you have this free activity close to home.

Taking the kids bowling is a fun and cheap staycation idea! #staycationidea #kidsbowlfree #kidsactivities #familyfun

Host a potluck cookout

Okay, maybe you don’t have the money to take a trip to Hawaii this year, but you can host a little luau party with some of your closest friends and bring the island feel to your own backyard.  There are great decorations for themed parties, such as a luau, at your local dollar store or discount party center.  Just because you host doesn’t mean that everyone expects you to make all the food—ask guests to bring their favorite side dish or dessert to share.  And don’t forget the island music.  If you have a smartphone you can probably find the perfect music for your back yard party on a free app, such as Pandora.

Special Offer for Winc Wine

 

Here’s a great offer for wine lovers!  Winc Wine offers 4 personalized wines each month, with bottles starting at $13 each.  Now, my readers can get $22 Off Your First Month of Winc Wine!  Start enjoying a nice glass of wine, customized to your preferences, with this special offer for Winc Wine.

This post may contain sponsored content or affiliate links. Please know that all opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.

Special Offer for Winc Wine Save $22 Off Your First Month of Winc #winc #wine #cheersdelivered #usfg

Winc Wine is not your traditional wine club

Winc is a direct-distribution global wine company that personalizes the entire wine experience.  How are they doing this?  By perfecting how wine is made, distributed, perceived and purchased via our Palate Profile quiz that recommends wine based on your unique tastes.  It takes the hassle and guesswork out of picking a bottle from your local liquor store and delivers the perfect bottle directly to your doorstep.

Winc appeals to a new generation of wine drinkers.

Do you enjoy a nice glass of wine, but are a novice wine drinker?  Winc is changing the industry with no more intimidating language, steep price points, and helping to create more joy in the act of sharing a bottle.

 

Winc Wine is on a quest to improve the experience for consumers, create a platform for artisanal winemaking, and build a grape-to-glass supply chain that’s sustainable for the planet.

Special offer for Winc Wine

$22 Off Your First Month of Winc Wine – New members can enjoy $22 off of their first month of Winc’s monthly wine subscription. Winc offers 4 bottle personalized wine recommendations each month. Bottles start at $13 each.
http://www.trywinc.com/usfamilyguide

 

3 Skills Your Kid will Learn at Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp

This post may contain sponsored content or affiliate links.  Please know that all opinions are my own and are honestly conveyed.

 

My son has played soccer for several seasons now.  Even though his team practices frequently throughout the season and even participates in an indoor winter league, it is still beneficial to take in a soccer camp during the summer.  Of course, being different coaches, they have a slightly different way of teaching and focusing on skills.  Here are 3 skills your kids will learn at Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp:

 

3 Things Your Kid Will Learn at Soccer Camp. British Soccer Camp with Challenger Sports will help your child develop soccer footskills, passing and learn some fun soccer tricks! #challengersports #soccer #soccercamp #britishsoccercamp #footskills #soccertricks

Soccer footwork drills

Each day of British soccer camp starts off with drills. One of the best things that your child can work on as a soccer player is footwork and foot skills. Why? Because when a child is in control of their footwork, they will be able to better control the soccer ball.

3 Things Your Kid Will Learn at Soccer Camp. British Soccer Camp with Challenger Sports will help your child develop soccer footskills, passing and learn some fun soccer tricks! #challengersports #soccer #soccercamp #britishsoccercamp #footskills #soccertricks
Ladder drills were a daily part of the routine for speed and agility.
Dribbling in and out of cones helps the child learn how to move forward while maintaining control of the ball.
Juggling the ball with feet and knees.

 

Soccer passing drills

Passing is one of the basic skills that your child needs in order to play soccer.  Being able to successfully move the ball forward and up the field towards the goal is key.

3 Things Your Kid Will Learn at Soccer Camp. British Soccer Camp with Challenger Sports will help your child develop soccer footskills, passing and learn some fun soccer tricks! #challengersports #soccer #soccercamp #britishsoccercamp #footskills #soccertricks

Relay passing—passing with teammates up and down the field
Ronaldo Chop (pass behind)—this allows soccer players to keeping running forward, even when coming up to a defender by kicking the ball to the side.

 

Soccer tricks

While soccer tricks aren’t important to learn for use in a game, they are definitely fun! Not only do the kids like to learn them and try to do them, but they also reinforce balance and control of the soccer ball.

3 Things Your Kid Will Learn at Soccer Camp. British Soccer Camp with Challenger Sports will help your child develop soccer footskills, passing and learn some fun soccer tricks! #challengersports #soccer #soccercamp #britishsoccercamp #footskills #soccertricks 3 Things Your Kid Will Learn at Soccer Camp. British Soccer Camp with Challenger Sports will help your child develop soccer footskills, passing and learn some fun soccer tricks! #challengersports #soccer #soccercamp #britishsoccercamp #footskills #soccertricks

Foot Stall—Balancing the ball on their foot and then popping it up
Back Stall—Pop the ball up and quickly bend down to catch the soccer ball on your back (between pinched shoulder blades).
Heel pop—start on the ground, trap the ball between ankle and heel and then pop it up

Find a British Soccer Camp near you

It’s not too late!  To find a soccer camp near you and get the code for lots of fun freebies, check out Challenger Sports: British Soccer Camp Signup + New Bonus Items.  

 

 

11 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Beach Vacation

Are you planning a family vacation to the beach, but feel limited because you are on a budget? Don’t worry. Here are some simple summer savings tips for taking a great and cheap beach vacation. Try these 11 ways to save money on your next beach vacation.

This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law.  Please know that all opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.

11 Ways to Save on Your Next Beach vacation // Money Savvy Living #beach #vacation #budgettravel #frugaltravel #travel #cheapvacation #summer #simplesummersavings #lexingtonlaw

Avoid peak season

June, July, and early August are definitely peak season when it comes to going to the beach.  If you don’t mind waiting until later in the season, you can still have an awesome beach vacation that will save you some money and may be a little less crowded.  With school starting back in early to mid-August in many states, you may see a drop in prices even starting in late August.  Depending on what beach you are planning to visit, you can still find warm enough waters for swimming even into early autumn.

 

Related post: Fun in the Sun at Marco Island

Check out last-minute deals

If you don’t have your heart set on a specific location and have flexibility with your schedule, you can check out last-minute deals from airlines or travel websites, and may be able to take advantage of great savings for a spontaneous trip.  Hotels and airlines want to fill every room at the resort or every seat on an airplane—and that can mean giving a deep discount to get those last few spots filled.  You can sign up to receive email or text notification on deals from hotel chains, airlines, or even specific airports to find out when last-minute deals are available.

Go off the beaten path

Staying at the five-star oceanfront resort at a popular beach destination is going to cost you a pretty penny.  If you are willing to stay at a hotel a couple of miles from the action, you will still be close to all the tourist attractions, but you will save big-time money!  Of course, you have to be willing to give up the ocean view room and be willing to walk a little more…

Take beach necessities with you

Don’t fall into the tourist trap money pit when it comes to buying vacation necessities.  When you are planning to go to the beach, make sure that you buy things ahead of time that you know you will need, such as: sunglasses, sun screen, beach towels, sand buckets and shovels, arm floaties for your kids, and boogie boards for riding the waves.  And don’t forget to take a little first aid bag too with antibiotic ointment, waterproof bandages, and some ibuprofen.  While these aren’t “beach” necessities, you may find that you need them.  These things will all be much cheaper at your local discount store rather than buying them at the hotel gift shop or souvenir shop at the beach, where you can expect to pay a premium.

Bring a cooler with you

When planning your day at the beach, make sure you take plenty of drinks, snacks, and even lunch with you.  Like any tourist area, you will definitely pay a little extra for drinks and food—and if you are buying food and drinks for the entire family all day, that could really add up.  Besides saving money, it is really nice to have somewhere to store your drinks and snacks to keep them cold when you are out in the hot sun all day.

Pack your own chairs and umbrella

It really can be just as expensive to rent chairs and an umbrella for the day as it is to just buy them, and then you will have them available every time you go to the beach.  Make sure to buy chairs that are functional at the beach, as well as ones that can be used for camping, taking to sporting events, or even just in your own back yard for relaxing.

11 Ways to Save on Your Next Beach vacation // Money Savvy Living #beach #vacation #budgettravel #frugaltravel #travel #cheapvacation #summer #simplesummersavings #lexingtonlaw

Use a mesh laundry bag for toys and forgo the expensive tote

While an oversized tote can make a very fashionable beach bag, you will save money if you just bring all your beach necessities in a mesh laundry bag…and it is practical too.  If you are bringing things like toys for the kids or collecting seashells, just toss them back in the mesh bag at the end of the day and the sand will all fall out rather than gathering in the bottom of your tote.

Visit chamber of commerce or visitor’s bureau website

Want to know about all the local tips and tricks?  These websites will offer a plethora of information when it comes to local events, discounts, activities, entertainment, and attractions.  Each city wants to promote the very best of what they have to offer—and talking with the professionals at these local agencies will give you a lot of insight.  You may even be able to find some hidden gems that truly showcase the local flair.

 

Related post: 7 Family Friendly Things to do at Virginia Beach that are Absolutely FREE

Look for coupons

Websites such as Groupon offers deals on restaurants, entertainment, goods, and services… almost anything that you are looking for!  So if you are planning on visiting a beach, take a quick look at some of the local offers for whatever area you will be vacationing.  For savings on beach activities, just enter in your location and search for anything that you might be interested in, such as a dolphin cruise, paddle boarding, or surfing lessons.  Of course, you will probably be able to find deals on hotels and local restaurants here too.

Don’t forget to ask for discounts

Many hotels, restaurants, and attractions will offer discounts for certain groups, such as: AAA, senior citizen, military/veteran, teachers, or corporate.  Even if you don’t know which discount to ask for specifically, you can ask about discounts that they offer and they can work with you to figure out which discount would give you the best deal.  If possible ask about these ahead of time.  To qualify for most discounts you need to present verification, so make sure to pack your identification, badge, or membership card.

Notify your credit card companies

Calling your credit card company can make your vacation go much smoother.  The last thing that you want to happen is to find out that there is a stop on your credit card because your account has been flagged for possible fraudulent activity—especially if you plan on using a specific credit card to redeem points toward travel purchases.  Of course, hopefully you are already monitoring and tracking your credit, but taking this extra step will ensure that your credit cards will work just fine while you are on vacation—and allow you to save a little bit extra.

11 Ways to Save on Your Next Beach vacation // Money Savvy Living #beach #vacation #budgettravel #frugaltravel #travel #cheapvacation #summer #simplesummersavings #lexingtonlaw

 

 

Back to School Tax Free Weekend 2018

It feels like summer break just started, however, the countdown for back to school is already underway… and so is back to school shopping.  But before you head out to load up on all of those back to school supplies, you may want to check out to see if there is a tax free weekend in your state for 2018.

Several states offer tax free purchases on limited amounts of clothing, school supplies, and even larger items, such as laptops.  Check out this list of back to school tax free weekends for 2018:

Back to School Tax Free Weekend 2018 // Money Savvy Living #taxfreeweekend #taxholiday #backtoschool

Tax Free Weekend Dates 2018

Here’s a quick glance at the states and dates for tax-free weekends for 2018:

Alabama Tax Free Weekend—July 20-22, 2018

Arkansas Tax Free Weekend—August 4-5, 2018

Connecticut Tax Free Weekend—August 19-25, 2018

Florida Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

Georgia Tax Free Weekend— No tax free weekend for 2018

Iowa Tax Free Weekend—August 3-4, 2018

Maryland Tax Free Weekend—August 12-18, 2018

Mississippi Tax Free Weekend—July 27-28, 2018

Missouri Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

New Mexico Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

North Carolina Tax Free Weekend—No tax free weekend for 2018

Ohio Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

Oklahoma Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

South Carolina Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

Tennessee Tax Free Weekend—July 27-29, 2018

Texas Tax Free Weekend—August 10-12, 2018

Virginia Tax Free Weekend—August 3-5, 2018

Wisconsin Tax Free Weekend—August 1-5, 2018

Back to School Tax Free Weekend 2018 // Money Savvy Living #taxfreeweekend #taxholiday #backtoschool

States participating in a tax free holiday for back to school 2018

For a bit more detail on what items are included and the maximum dollar amounts for your back to school purchases, see the chart below.

 

State

 

Items Included

 

Maximum Cost

 

2018
Dates

 

State Tax Holiday Source Links

Alabama clothing – $100
computers – $750
school supplies – $50
books – $30
July 20-22 http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Arkansas clothing – $100
school supplies
August 4-5 http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/
Connecticut clothing and footwear – $100 August 19-25 http://www.ct.gov/drs/
Florida clothing – $60
school supplies – $15
August 3-5 http://floridarevenue.com/
Iowa clothing – $100 August 3-4 https://tax.iowa.gov/
Maryland clothing & footwear-$100 August 12-18 http://www.marylandtaxes.com/
Mississippi clothing & footwear – $100 July 27-28 http://www.dor.ms.gov/
Missouri clothing – $100
computers – $1,500
school supplies – $50
August 3-5 http://dor.mo.gov/
New Mexico clothing – $100
computers – $1,000
computer equip. – $500
school supplies – $30
August 3-5 http://www.tax.newmexico.gov
Ohio clothing – $75
school supplies – $20
August 3-5 https://www.tax.ohio.gov/
Oklahoma clothing – $100 August 3-5 http://www.tax.ok.gov/
South Carolina clothing
school supplies
computers
other
August 3-5 http://www.sctax.org/
Tennessee clothing – $100
school supplies – $100
computers – $1,500
July 27-29 http://tn.gov/revenue/
Texas clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100 August 10-12 http://comptroller.texas.gov/
Virginia clothing – $100
school supplies – $20
August 3-5 http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Wisconsin clothing, supplies – $75
computer supplies – $250
computers – $750
August 1-5 https://www.revenue.wi.gov/

*information for graph obtained from Federation of Tax Administrators.

 

Mark your calendars and take advantage of the extra savings!

 

How to Find the Best Deals: Amazon Prime Day 2018

How to Find the Best Deals: Amazon Prime Day 2018

This post may contain sponsored content or affiliate links.  Please know that all opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.

Amazon Prime Day in 2018 is on Monday, July 16, starting at 3pm, and will go through Tuesday, July 17. Whether you are looking for deals on stuff for your baby, back to school items, electronics, or household, you can save a lot of money on Prime Day! If you are not familiar with Amazon Prime Day, it is similar to the deals that you might find when shopping on Black Friday so it’s kind of like Christmas in July.  However, unlike the deals on Black Friday, which are available to anyone, in order to take advantage of these deals, you do need to be an Amazon Prime Member.

How to Find the Best Deals: Amazon Prime Day 2018 // Money Savvy Living #PrimeDay2018 #amazon

How to become an Amazon Prime Member

So, if you are not already a Prime member, you can sign up and try Prime FREE for 30 days here.  This is great, because you can take advantage of all the deals on Prime Day and you have 30 days to decide if you want to continue with the membership.

Benefits of Amazon Prime Membership

You may be wondering if it is actually worth it to pay a membership fee of $119 per year.  And the answer is… it depends.  It depends on if you want access to the movies and shows only available to Prime members each month.  It depends on how much you order from Amazon each year because Prime members get FREE 2-day guaranteed shipping.  Besides the two biggest and most well known reasons to love your Amazon Prime membership, there are several other benefits:

  • FREE two-hour delivery of grocery or restaurant order (only available in select cities currently)
  • Perks at Whole Foods stores or even delivery of an order from Whole foods (delivery only available in select cities)
  • Music Streaming
  • Photo Storage
  • FREE audio books, games
  • Early access to exclusive deals

Best Deals for #PrimeDay2018

Okay, so let’s get into some of the best deals for Prime Day 2018!  You can just browse Amazon for some great savings… a lot of items are 30%-50% off!  Here are my Money Savvy picks:

Prime Day Deals for the Home

Donut Shop single serve k-cups, 72 count, only $28!  This makes each cup of coffee only $0.38!  Add some cinnamon and a bit of whipped cream and you will have a delicious gourmet latte.

 

Instant Pot 6-Qt Multi-Use Pressure Cooker, only $99! (I love mine!  Dinner for my family is ready in no time!!)

 

Quilted Northern 12 Double Rolls (equals 24 single rolls), only $6.99!  I have to be practical here… and this is a good deal!

 

 

Cozyna 3.7 Qt Digital Air Fryer, only $89!  Take this air fryer camping, or just pull it out instead of turning on the oven!

Prime Day Deals for Baby

Babies can be expensive, here are a few deals that can help you save on everyday items:


Pampers Diapers

Newborn: $34.99, 128 count

Size 1: $43.93, 222 count

Size 2: $48.91, 204 count

Size 3: $48.44, 180 count

Size 4: $42.55, 164 count

Size 5: $46.56, 152 count

 


Pampers Baby Wipes, $14.64, 504 count

 

Infantino 4-in-1 Portable Carrier, only $29!

Portable Booster Seat, only $25!  Perfect for taking to Grandma’s house, on vacation, camping, or out to your favorite restaurant…

Prime Day Deals for Back to School 

Lunch box, only $9.79 (variety of colors)

 

Mead 2-inch Binder with Handle and Zipper, only $14!  Perfect for your middle-schooler… zipper so papers don’t fall out and a handle makes it easy to carry…

 

Fila Laptop Backpack, only $24.99 (my kids have Fila backpacks and we love them!  We have been able to use these more than one year so I know that they are durable!)

 

Prime Day Deals on Electronics

Flexispot Sit or Stand Desktop (35″ width), only $224.99!  I have this desktop and love it!  You can check out more about it here.  One of the things that I love the most is that you can move your desktop and not even disturb your water or coffee it glides up and down so smoothly!

Echo Dot (generation 2), only $29.99!

Fire TV Stick, only $19.99!

Toshiba 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV with HDR – Fire TV Edition, only $289!

 

 

Didn’t see an item that interests you?  Just browse Amazon for some great savings for some of the best deals for Prime Day 2018! … a lot of items are 30-50% off!

 

How to Find the Best Deals: Amazon Prime Day 2018 // Money Savvy Living #PrimeDay2018 #amazon

7 Quick & Easy Tech Tips to Make Your Life Better

Technology is all around us.  In fact, in recent years, it seems that you really can’t escape using technology even if you want to.  While you may feel like technology is taking over—seems like everyone is perpetually looking at a smartphone nowadays—there are ways that you can embrace technology for the better.  Here are seven quick and easy tech tips to make your life better.

Tech Tips to Improve Your Life

7 Quick & Easy Tech Tips to Make Your Life Better // Money Savvy Living #Amazon #PrimeDay #FlexiSpot #ergonomicdesk #techtips

Back-up data

Whether it is a website, your digital photo collection, or a paper that you are writing, make sure that you are in the habit of saving often—and even having data saved to a back-up server.  While technology is a very useful tool, it can also be very frustrating if you have put a lot of time and effort into a project on your computer just to have it all erased if you unexpectedly lose power or a shutdown occurs.

Use your smartphone calendar

You may be used to writing things on your desk calendar or wall calendar, but you really need to start using your smartphone calendar.  Not only can you set it up to alert you of events and meetings that you have entered, but you can also share events with family members in your network so they can view the event and will receive the alert too.  Definitely a great way to cut down on miscommunications and missed events.

Set parental controls

While many devices have the ability to set controls on devices in that group (for free), you can also buy products, such as Circle with Disney.  This device allows you to: set daily time limits on apps and websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, filter online content by age level, pause the internet, and check online usage to monitor where your kids are spending their time online.

Take frequent breaks

If you need to use your computer for extended periods of time, it is suggested that you take frequent breaks to rest your eyes and body.

  • Micro-breaks—this is not a break from work, just a quick break for your muscles to relax for a minute or so. Any repetitive motion can strain your muscles.  So to combat this, take a minute to flex your finger muscles and rest your hands when doing a lot of typing, or even take a moment to stretch or stand up to help alleviate back and neck strain.
  • Rest breaks—every hour or so, you may want to take a little bit of a break and get up and walk around. Taking a 5 minute break to get a drink or use the restroom can give your muscles a chance to relax and use different muscles groups, but also give you a necessary mental break.
  • Eye break—you may not realize that you need to give your eyes a special break. It is suggested that every 15 minutes or so you should take a minute to look away from your computer and gaze into the distance (approximately 20 feet away) to give your eye muscles time to relax.

Get an ergonomic design

In addition to taking breaks, you can make your workstation a bit more user friendly with an ergonomic design.  You might want to get an adjustable stand for your keyboard to take some strain off your wrists when typing. Or even get an ergonomic desk converter for your computer that can allow you the flexibility of sitting or standing to help relieve back strain.

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Know the simple keyboard commands

You may not know (or ever use) all of the function shortcuts.  However, there are a few shortcuts that you need to know to make your computer experience a lot easier:

  • CTRL + ALT + Delete—this is a quick way to get to the task manager. If your computer locks up, instead of just unplugging it and restarting, use this short cut to get to the task manager and shut down each application before powering down.
  • CTRL + prt sc—this will take a screen shot of what your desktop is showing. If you need to document a problem that you are having, take a quick screen shot and send it to the help desk.  They can probably help you solve the problem quicker if they can see the exact problem that you are having.
  • CTRL + rolling the scroll button on your mouse—this will change the size of the words and pictures showing on your desktop. Need to see some small wording? Click the CTRL key and scroll up to enlarge.  Roll back down to shrink the wording and images on the screen.

Unplug

As great and useful as technology is, sometimes it is necessary to just unplug from it for a bit.  Even if you need to have your smartphone handy for work, you can still make it a habit to set aside all devices during meal times.  Another good habit is to put them away after a certain time in the evening to allow you sufficient time to unwind from the day and quiet your mind and body for a more restful sleep.

 

 

 

 

11 Easy & Creative Ways to make Money this Summer

Easy & Creative Ways to make Money this Summer

Summer is the perfect time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather.  It is also the perfect time to make a little extra money.  So whether you are looking to pay down some credit cards, pay off some old bills and clean up your credit, or take a little vacation, you may want to try these 11 easy, creative ways to make money this summer.

This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law and may contain affiliate links. Please know that all opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.

11 Easy and Creative Ways to Make Money this Summer // Money Savvy Living #lexingtonlaw #summer #makemoney #budget

Have a Garage Sale

Having a garage sale is one of the quickest and easiest ways to not only declutter your house, but also to make some extra money.  Start with your closest and clean out the things that you no longer wear or that no longer fit, and then head to the basement and pull out the bigger items that have just been collecting dust and taking up space for the last ten years—you know, like those skis that you haven’t used since college, old furniture, or even exercise equipment…

Related article: Tips to Make More Money from your Garage Sale

Sell Stuff at a Consignment Store

If you find that you have some clothing in very good condition, jewelry, hats, or even vintage items, you may want to consider using a consignment shop to sell your stuff.  You will probably make a bit more money than putting these items in a traditional yard sale too.  Don’t have a consignment store close-by?  No problem.  You can easily sign up for Thredup or Poshmark—both are online consignment stores where you can buy and sell used clothing and accessories.

Sell stuff online

  • Make Your Own Product—of course, you could open your own online store using Shopify or a similar service. But selling your own handmade products online can also be done with a platform such as Etsy.  Depending on the amount of sales you have each month, you can figure out which fee-based platform is right for your business.  But this is an easy way to quickly expand your market, and make some extra money.
  • Sell new or used stuff—whether you have brand new products to sell, or just cleaning out miscellaneous items from your home, you can sell nearly anything on Ebay. Make sure to take clear pictures and add relevant descriptions so your product is easy to find and people know the condition of your product immediately.
  • Buy low, sell higher—Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) offers a great platform for people to run an online business and sell products. You can sell products online from a business that you already run locally to expand your market, or you can run your business strictly through Amazon by re-selling new items.  Perhaps you run across a good sale, or a store is going out of business and you can find lots of bargains, or maybe you have contacts at a wholesale warehouse, whatever your connection, if you can buy products cheap and sell them higher, then you can potentially make a lot of money.  There are even inexpensive courses (not an affiliate link, just a good course that I recommend) out there to walk you through how to set up your own Amazon FBA so you can start making money right away.

Start your own side hustle

  • E-commerce business—so many business models are e-commerce based now and that makes it easier than ever for you to start a business with little start-up costs and almost no overhead—and quickly make a profit. Most of these MLM companies (multi-level marketing) are able to set you up with your own website so that as you share the products with family and friends, they are able to easily order through your website, and you earn commission.
  • Teach private lessons—do you have a talent that you can teach to others? Perhaps you are gifted at playing golf, the piano, or guitar… if so, you may be able to make some extra money teaching others how to learn these skills.

Related article: Side Hustles that will Actually Give You a Full Time Income

 

Become a Virtual Assistant

Because of the flourishing e-commerce economy that we live in low, there are many small businesses that need assistance with running their daily operations, but perhaps aren’t looking to hire someone full-time.  This is where a virtual assistant can come in.  The type of work will depend upon the type of business, but virtual assistants may be needed for marketing, social media, customer service, payroll, or recordkeeping.

Get a seasonal job

Many stores and businesses are in need of seasonal workers to help deal with increased demand.  Warmer weather brings about additional opportunities in tourist areas that see an increase in business, and outdoor related jobs, such as a nurseries/ gardening centers, construction work, landscaping and the like.

Use apps on your smartphone

There are certain apps that you can use on your smartphone to both save money and make money, such as Ibotta and Dosh.  Use these apps to save money on everyday items that you are already buying, but make some extra cash with these apps by referring your friends…

Use your car

If you own a reliable car and have a little extra time, you may be able to use it to pick up a few extra dollars this summer as a freelance “taxi driver.”  Uber and Lyft are two companies that offer the opportunity for individuals to utilize their own cars to drive people who are in need of a ride.  Obviously, you will need to have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and be able to pass a background check before you can start earning money.

Get certified to umpire or referee

Are you a sports fan?  Spring and summer are full of sporting events—and not just for professionals.  During the warmer weather, youth sports are in full swing.  Of course, you will have to get certified, but if you have a passion for baseball, soccer, football, or basketball, you could earn a few extra dollars as an umpire or referee.

11 Easy and Creative Ways to Make Money this Summer // Money Savvy Living #lexingtonlaw #summer #makemoney #budget

Sell produce from your garden

If you have a big garden, you may be able to plant a little extra and sell it to make some money this summer.  Or if you have too much, don’t let it go to waste…  Of course, you can just put a sign up alongside the road, but there are also various local farmer’s markets that allow vendors to sell goods and produce.

Teach your kids how to earn money this summer

Earning a bit of extra money this summer isn’t just for grown-ups, there are several ways that kids can learn some great money lessons and find ways to earn money this summer too: mowing lawns, pulling weeds, extra chores, set up a “lemonade stand,” make a craft to sell at a local market or online… the sky is the limit on creative ways to get your kids involved.

 

Start with these easy ways to make some extra money this summer and put yourself in a better financial position and take control of your credit and your money.  What will you do with your summer earnings? 

 

 

 

 

15 Simple Ways to Save Money this Summer

This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law.  All opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed. 

 

Summer is here.  The kids are out of school and the weather is nice and warm.  While there may be some summer activities that can be expensive, the warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours also give you a nice opportunity to take advantage of some simple ways to save money as well.  Put that saved money toward paying down account balances or getting bills up-to-date and improve your credit score for a brighter financial future.

15 Simple Ways to Save Money this Summer // Money Savvy Living #summer #savemoney #waystosavemoney #lexingtonlaw

Try these 15 simple ways to save money this summer and help get your finances back on track:

Grill out—not only is it a fun time to grill out when you have a backyard bar-b-que with friends, but grilling out during the warmer temperatures can actually save you money.   Instead of turning on the oven and heating up the entire kitchen, fire up the grill and keep the heat outdoors.

Give your dryer a rest—with warm summer temps and a nice breeze you can hang your clean clothes outside to dry rather than running the dryer.

Turn off the lights—another great way to save money during the summer is to turn your indoor lights off.  You may be used to just flipping on the light switch during the darker winter months, but longer daylight hours during the summer can help you save on your electricity bill by just opening the curtains and letting the natural light in.

Look for free community events—many communities offer events throughout the summer that are family-friendly, fun, and free!  From concerts at the park, to parades, festivals, and carnivals, three are many events throughout the summer that are sponsored by local organizations for the benefit of the community.  Check with your local visitor’s bureau, chamber of commerce, or community calendar for free local events.

Go camping—you really don’t have to go far to have a fun camping experience– you can just camp out in your own backyard!  Of course you can find a nice campground for an economical price, but you can just pitch a tent in your backyard and have fun “roughing it” for a few nights.  Cook hot dogs over a little camp fire and roast some marshmallows and get the full camping experience!

Make a day of fun at the park—pack a picnic lunch and take the kids to the park for the day.  Do a little research to see if there are any local parks that offer a splash pad or water activities– which would be especially refreshing on a hot summer day.  Your kids will have fun for countless hours at the local playground.  Pack a picnic lunch and don’t forget to take the cooler for some ice cream treats.

Go to the library—signing your kids up for a summer reading club will help avoid the summer learning slump, but there is a lot more to do at the library than just picking out books.  Your local library often times has train tables, Lego building area, coloring and so many more activities for kids.

Take a day at the beach—if you live close enough to drive to the beach for the day, you can have fun just soaking up the sun, swimming, or building a sandcastle.

Have a fun day at the lake—even if you aren’t close enough to a beach, you can probably find a lake nearby.  Have a family fun day canoeing, water skiing, boating, or just splashing in the lake.

Visit a national park—not only can you see the beauty of nature all around the country, many of these parks offer free admission.  Even the ones that do require payment are free for you and your fourth-grade student.  Learn more about the Every Kid in a Park program to plan your visit.

Catch fireflies—sometimes just being outside alone in nature can be beautiful and entertaining on its own. Take time to enjoy the beauty of the fireflies lighting up in the evening, look at the stars, and listen to the sounds of the crickets…

Watch fireworks—many towns across the country have fireworks displays, along with parades and other free activities around Independence Day.  Research the schedules ahead of time and take in a few shows.

Let the breeze in—on cool summer nights, turn of the air conditioning and let the cool breeze in.  It will save you a few bucks and it is just as refreshing.

Grow a garden—think about how much it costs to buy a salad or even lettuce at the grocery store.  If you plant your own, you will spend less for the seeds than what you can buy it for at the store, and you will have salad all summer.  Plant some veggies and herbs and you can greatly reduce your grocery bill over the summer.

Go to a discount movie—several theatres nationwide offer summer movies that you can take your kids to for $1.00 or even less if you buy the package ahead of time.  Many of the theatres offer special deals on popcorn and drinks for these events too.  Check out the summer movie schedule here:

15 Simple Ways to Save Money this Summer // Money Savvy Living #summer #savemoney #waystosavemoney #lexingtonlaw

How can the summer savings help you improve your credit?

Utilizing free or cheap summer entertainment or even being able to save some money on regular expenses gives you a bit of extra spending cash.  But be aware and make sure that you don’t spend that money frivolously—use that money to pay down credit card balances, or even get some of your bills up-to-date that may have slipped behind.  Perhaps, you are at the point that you need to track and protect your credit, finances, and identity.  Taking a few dollars of your summer savings to invest into monitoring these aspects of your life can help to set you up for a better financial future.

 

 

 

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