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30 Best Websites And Apps That Will Save You Money On Almost Everything

30 Best Websites And Apps That Will Save You Money On Almost Everything

In these tough economic times, most of us are doing what we can to save money. There are many websites that can help you do just that, and you can often get a lot of stuff for free. Here are 30 of the best websites in the world that will help you save money on just about everything:

1. Five Dollar Dinners: Recipes, Printable Coupons

5 dollar dinner

    Find recipes for family meals that only cost $5 or less to make and save money on your grocery bills. Check out saving strategies, coupon database and browse recipes by ingredients.

    2. PaperBack Swap: Trade Used Books for Free

    Paperback swap

      Take those old books you’ve already read and trade them for some you haven’t read. It’s so easy to use PaperBack Swap: just list books you’d like to swap with other club members. Once a book is requested, mail it to the club member. It is that it’s totally free!

      3. Savored: Free Way to Make Online Reservations and Pay Lower Prices

      Savored

        Get restaurant free reservations and save money on your bills so you can afford to dine out more often. Site is designed well and extremely easy to use. Savored is a Groupon company, so it will help you save up to 40 percent. Just choose the city, number of people and date!

        4. Gazelle: Sells and Recycle Electronics

        Gazelle

          Don’t throw away your old electronics. Trade them on Gazelle and make money: select your device and get an offer in just a few steps. There is no risk at all and Gazelle offers free shipping!

          5. FreeCycle: Changing the World One Gift at a Time

          Freec

            Find a network of people who are trading free goods in their own communities. Freecycle has 7,888,541 members all over the world. It is free to use. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on ‘Browse Groups’ above the search box.

            6. Free Printables: Printable Labels, Gift Tags and Note Cards

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            Free printables

              This is a Pinterest board with amazing DIY design ideas. You can save a lot of money when you use it for coloring books, calendars, cards, and other printed items.

              7. CellSwapper: Get Out of Your Cell Phone-Mobile-Wireless Contract

              Cellswap

                Switch or give away unwanted cell phone plans without worrying about breaking contracts or additional fees. Here is the service idea: you post your cell phone plan details online and attract buyers; somebody takes over your wireless contract and you become 100 percent contract free! CellSwapper has great customer support.

                8. Trusted Cleaner: Find Your Local Professional

                Trusted Cleaner

                  Find the best cleaning companies in your area, as well as the best deals on cleaning services. To find a list of recommended cleaners in your local area just enter the service you require and your location. Choose from carpet cleaning, home cleaning, gutter cleaning, office cleaning, and many other services.

                  9. Camel Camel Camel: Amazon Price Tracker

                  Camel

                    Get the price history of any item on Amazon, and be alerted when items go on sale. You can easily create Amazon price watches, it is free! Camel Camel Camel has extension for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome called The Camelizer.

                    10. Money Saving Mom: Intentional Finance. Intentional Family. Intentional Business

                    Moneymom

                      Here you will find money-saving tips, as well as coupons and weekly deals on household items. What you’ll find at MoneySavingMom: Deals, Steals & Coupons; Money-Saving Tips & Frugal Ideas; Deals at Your Local Stores; Coupon Database. Website goal is to tell you about practical ways to help you save money in everyday life.

                      11. ThredUp: The Largest Online Consignment & Thrift Store

                      Thredup

                        This is an online consignment store for women and children. Instead of tossing out kids’ clothing that has been outgrown, simply sell it on consignment and get some of your money back. ThredUp donate proceeds from the items they do not accept to charities like Teach for America. Orders over $50 ship for free. If you want to return an item they will refund you. Just return it within 30 days.

                        12. GasBuddy: Find Low Gas Prices in the USA and Canada

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                        Gasbuddy

                          Find out where to find the best prices on fuel in your area. Join now, and get a chance of winning a $100 gas card by reporting gasoline prices. GasBuddy also provides historical gas price data, charts and statistics.

                          13. Swap a DVD: Movie Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Used DVDs

                          swapdvd

                            This is the same as PaperBack Swap, but you are trading movies instead. List movies you’ve already watched. Once a DVD is requested, mail it to the club member. In return, you may choose from 255,333 available movies! However, a 49-cent swap fee applies to receiving DVDs. DVDs you request are mailed to you postage-paid.

                            14. Supercook: Recipe Search by Ingredients You Have at Home

                            supercook

                              Find money-saving recipes that using the items you already have in your kitchen. Just click any ingredient to focus on and you’ll get the list of recipes.

                              15. The Krazy Coupon Lady: Extreme Couponing

                              Krazy Coupon

                                This is a giant database of printable and mobile coupons, as well as deals from national retailers. Also the sites has a huge Tips section with the DIY, Family, Money, Home, Recipes, Style, Travel information.

                                16. SecretSales: Secret Sales, Discount Designer Clothes Sale

                                Secret sales

                                  Get the lowest prices on luxury gear from Burberry, Firetrap, and other fine retailers. Experienced team of buyers work with over 600 brands to bring you new sales every day. The best selection of products across a range of categories including fashion, accessories, beauty and homeware. Mostly sales last between 2-4 days and have discounts up to 70 percent off, so you’ll need to be quick!

                                  17. Yapta: Track Flight Prices and Check for Airline Refunds

                                  Yapta

                                    You will be alerted in real time when the prices go down on airline and hotel prices so you can have the most economical vacations. Yapta has an app to track flights and hotels, with real-time iPhone alerts.

                                    18. Temptalia: Beauty Blog, Makeup Reviews, How to Makeup

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                                    temptalia

                                      Find high quality copycat versions of your favorite high-end makeup brands at affordable prices. Temptalia was founded in October of 2006 by Christine Mielke. SIte is a global reference and resource for beauty enthusiasts featuring in-depth reviews, photos, swatches, tutorials, and beauty tips.

                                      19. Superior Resource: Print Shop

                                      Superior Resource

                                        Do you need to get anything printed? Superior Resource is the best way to save money on printing and get the best result. Superior Resource provides printing on all kinds of invitations, brochures, envelopes, stationery,  labels, pocket folders, annual reports, also large format pieces can be printed.

                                        20. AirBnb: Vacation Rentals, Homes, Apartments & Rooms for Rent

                                        airbnb

                                          Save money on vacation rental properties with AirBnb! Find cheap accommodations: rent a room, apartment, house, or even a castle. Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Airbnb connects people in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.

                                          21. Swap: Swap, Sell and Buy Pre-Owned Kids’ Items

                                          swap

                                            This the world’s largest swap marketplace, with 1.2 million members worldwide. Swap books, CD’s, and other media to get new stuff and get rid of old stuff. You can pay for the items with your own items. You can also buy or swap items from multiple users and combine them into one shipment.

                                            22. FashionVouchers: Fashion Voucher Codes, Fashion Sales and Fashion Deals

                                            fashionvoucher

                                              Get vouchers for shops as well as online stores and get the latest looks at low prices. It’s really easy to use FashionVoucers: you can browse all vouchers, check out the top 10 vouchers, browse all stores, and even find vouchers by category.

                                              23. Made: Great Design Direct From the Makers

                                              made

                                                Save as much as 70% off contemporary furniture designs when you buy directly from the manufacturers (No warehouses! No physical stores!). Special features of Made are grouping order, real time tracking and fuss-free returns.

                                                24. HomeDiscount: Everything For The Home Up To 75% Off

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                                                HD

                                                  You can save as much as 75 percent off items for the entire home, including the bathroom and kitchen. They are so confident of their low prices, that site offers a Price Match Service. HomeDiscount has a huge selection – over 20,000 products.

                                                  25. Visitbritain: Destinations and Attractions Throughout England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland

                                                  visit brain

                                                    Find the most fun and least expensive activities for economy vacations in Britain. Visitbritain has over 150 Britain products in their online shop: from transport tickets to popular attractions and sightseeing passes.

                                                    26. Independent Traveler: Train Deals

                                                    IT

                                                      Get the best deals on train travel, as well as deals on many attractions. Check out trip reviews and forum.

                                                      27. Coupons: Free Printable Coupons, Grocery Coupons & Online Coupons

                                                      Coupon

                                                        You can find deals on just about everything here. Instead of waiting for coupons in your local newspaper, you can get as many as you like on this website, whenever you want them. There is also the mobile app GroceryIQ, where you can get mobile coupons.

                                                        28. Getaround: Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing and Local Car Rental

                                                        get around

                                                          This is a great site for those who need reliable transportation but don’t have automobiles. This site allows people to borrow or rent vehicles. This is also great for car owners who want to make some extra cash. You can use the iPhone app to borrow or rent cars.

                                                          29. HomeAway: Vacation Rentals, Beach Houses, Cabins & More

                                                          homeaway

                                                            If you want to travel but don’t want to stay in hotels, you have the option to rent a home. There are approximately 1 million rentals at any given time on HomeAway. All you need to do is sign an agreement, pay a deposit, and start your vacation.

                                                            30. JustPark: Find Your Perfect Parking Space

                                                            Just park

                                                              You can rent out a private parking space or garage. JustPark is exactly like AirBnb, except for parking spaces. Just Search – Book – Park.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Carol Pyles via flickr.com

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                                                              Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                                              How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                              How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                              Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                                                              In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                                                              5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                                                              Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                                                              1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                                                              Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                                                              It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                                                              Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                                                              2. Keep Them Realistic

                                                              It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                                                              It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                                                              3. Account for Inflation

                                                              Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                                                              Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                                                              For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                                                              4. Short Term vs Long Term

                                                              Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                                                              As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                                                              More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                                                              5. To Each to His Own

                                                              The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                                                              It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                                                              By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                                                              11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                                                              Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                                                              • Ensuring healthy savings
                                                              • Making smart investments

                                                              You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                                                              Ensuring Healthy Savings

                                                              Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                                                              This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                                                              1. Track Expenses

                                                              The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                                                              Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                                                              2. Pay Yourself First

                                                              Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                                                              Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                                                              The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                                                              Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                                                              3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                                                              Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                                                              Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                                                              At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                                                              Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                                                              You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                                                              4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                                                              Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                                                              If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                                                              Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                                                              All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                                                              5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                                                              In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                                                              Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                                                              Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                                                              If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                                                              If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                                                              So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                                                              6. Talk About It

                                                              Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                                                              Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                                                              7. Maintain a Journal

                                                              For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                                                              So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                                                              Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                                                              When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                                                              At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                                                              Making Smart Investments

                                                              Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                                                              8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                                                              Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                                                              Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                                                              9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                                                              Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                                                              Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                                                              Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                                                              It is here where that classification will help.

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                                                              So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                                                              10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                                                              Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                                                              Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                                                              So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                                                              Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                                                              11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                                                              All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                                                              If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                                                              If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                                                              Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                                                              As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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                                                              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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