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3 Amazon Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money

3 Amazon Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money

Amazon is arguably the most popular eCommerce retail website in the world. It’s pretty hard to beat in terms of product range, discounts and sales, free delivery, speed of delivery, support, and pretty much anything else.

With such a fantastically competitive offering it’s easy for us Amazon shoppers to become complacent and assume we’re already getting the best possible prices on everything we buy there. But we’re not. Here’s why!

With so many different sellers on Amazon – there are currently a few million third party sellers competing via Amazon’s online marketplace – it is virtually impossible to search through every new offer all the time. There’s so much information there that the truly awesome deals can get hidden in all the white noise.

That’s why, if you’re serious about saving money when shopping for top quality products, you have to start making use of the some online tools and services that can do the job for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of free services that can save hundreds of dollars (possibly more) on your next big shop.

Find The Best Deals On Amazon Best Sellers

Ok, so it’s quite easy to find lists of best selling items all over the Internet. From the NY Times best-seller lists, to Amazon’s top 1000, lists of top selling products are ubiquitous. But finding the best deals and biggest discounts on these best selling items is not so commonplace. Fortunately, there’s a freely available tools that does just this.

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RankTracer’s Amazon best seller page not only returns a list of the best selling products on Amazon, it also goes through each product and finds the best deal or discount to return to you at the same time. This means that your best seller list now has extra information directing you to the biggest available savings on those products.

Here’s an example of their results showing the biggest deals on the best selling books:

amazon-best-sellers-books

    So far so good. But what if you don’t necessarily want to buy one of the top 10 items in a given category?

    Fortunately, this tool offers two methods of searching for discounts on products; the first is ‘by category’ (i.e. books, electronics, clothing, etc) and the second is by keyword (i.e. ‘pressure cooker’, or ‘frozen princess doll’). This makes it a cinch to narrow down the search to any specific product you like and find the best available deal on it.

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    I decided to look for discounts on a gift for my niece (she loves Frozen), and here’s a few deeply discounted items I found:

    amazon-best-sellers-frozen-crocs

      amazon-best-sellers-frozen-toybox

        amazon-best-sellers-frozen-dress

          Not bad for twenty seconds worth of effort, right? That’s about $48 in savings over three products. Not bad considering the total list prices for all three comes to $94.97 – making those discounts a touch over 50%.

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          But what happens if there is a specific thing you want to buy but there’s isn’t currently a discount or sale on offer? Well, if you don’t mind being patient and waiting a bit you can either check back each day or you can automate the process of tracking a product’s price over time and receive alerts when the price drops.

          Track Product Price Drops

          There are a bunch of Amazon product price tracking tools available online. The one I use is CamelCamelCamel because it is quick and easy to use and, above all, free. To get a feel for the type of data they can provide on Amazon sales prices, here’s price data for the same ‘Disney Frozen Enchanting Dress – Elsa‘ item shown in the previous section:

          amazon-best-sellers-ccc-frozen-dress

            What’s super interesting about this graph is that it show the dress actually went down to as low as $6.14 sometime in late October/early Novermber of 2015. Basically, the current price ($15.77) is about average – it’s been a lot cheaper and it’s been more expensive too.

            It’s worth noting that RankTracer’s Amazon best seller page actually returned a better price for this item. CamelCamelCamel quotes a best price of $15.77 today, whereas RankTracer quotes the best price at $13.49.

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            Go To The Source

            If you’re serious about really finding the best bargains available it may be time to go straight to the source. Amazon’s staff do a fantastic job of coming through popular products and finding the ones that offer simply massive discounts (sometimes more than 60%) and add ’em all to their Gold box deal page.

            You can also make use of their wide range of filters and search criteria to help find items you’re interested in. The problem is that there is no real search feature and the list is created by someone else – meaning you may not find the items you’re after. I narrowed down the Gold box deals to girls fashion hoping to find the Frozen dress:

            amazon-best-sellers-goldbox-girls

              Hmm, not ideal.

              So while the Gold box page offers incredibly low prices and massive deals that will save you plenty of cash, it can’t offer every product in their catalog and so can end up being of limited use. But, if you’re searching for gifts and not specific items then this page is absolutely perfect.

              So those are my top three tips for getting the most out of your Amazon shopping. How much money have you saved by using the above-mentioned tools and resources? What other strategies do you use to save money on Amazon? Share your tips in the comments.

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              Last Updated on January 2, 2019

              How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

              How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

              Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

              Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

              Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

              This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

              Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

              What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

              Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

              When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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              How It Leads to Financial Improvement

              It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

              Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

              Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

              It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

              Types of Personal Finance Software

              When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

              Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

              For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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              Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

              When to Use Personal Finance Software

              So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

              Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

              1. You Have Multiple Accounts

              There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

              If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

              Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

              2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

              Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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              There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

              With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

              3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

              Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

              Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

              Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

              4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

              Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

              You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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              How to Get Started

              From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

              Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

              It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

              When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

              Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

              Final Thoughts

              Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

              In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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