Maximize the Value of your Holiday Gifts

It’s the day after Christmas. You’re all shopped out and you’ve got a pile of opened presents by the tree that you have no idea what to do with! The financial strain of the holidays probably has you looking for ways to conserve — especially on December 26. Speedy Cash has your back with valuable tips to get the most out of your unwanted holiday gifts!

Re-Gift
Did you get something really nice, but you have no use for it? Save it for someone else! Simply tuck it away and make a note of who gave it to you (so you don’t accidentally give it back to them) and remember where it is the next time you need a gift.
Gifts that are great to re-gift:

  • Picture frames
  • Bath and body sets
  • Gift cards

Return
As long as you know where the un-wanted gift came from, you may be able to return it without the receipt. Many large retailers become more lenient after the holidays with their return policies, although you may only end up getting store credit back.

  • Retailers who have lenient return policies: Macy’s, Target and Walmart
  • Retailers who have strict return policies: Toys R’ Us, Best Buy and Home Depot

Re-Purpose
If the gift you received isn’t exactly your style — don’t trash it! Try re-purposing it for your taste. Here are a few common gifts and ways to re-invent them into something you can cherish.

Need more ideas for getting more out of this year’s presents? Visit us on Pinterest!

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Discover the Benefits of Prepaid Debit Cards

As a cost-effective alternative to traditional bank cards, prepaid debit cards have many advantages. They’re safer to carry than cash, you can use them anywhere most cards are accepted and they’re prepaid — so there’s no balance to pay off.

So, what are the specific features you can enjoy from a prepaid card? Speedy Cash is here to give you the 411 on the pros of a prepaid debit card.

Prepaid cards vary in usefulness depending on your personal needs. To access your individual benefits, think about how you will use the card. Here are a few of the valuable features that can come with prepaid cards:

Direct Deposit - Use your card like a bank account by depositing your paycheck directly onto it.

Bill Payments - Transfer funds to make your utility, phone payment and more from your card.

PIN Transactions - Debit funds from your card by swiping it at a store and entering your PIN (Personal Identification Number) to verify the purchase.

Signature Transactions - Use your card without entering your PIN to complete a transaction with just your signature.

ATM Usage - Withdraw cash conveniently at an ATM.

Live Customer Support - Access support and alerts for your card account online or over the phone with live help.

Before you decide on a prepaid card, be sure to research fees associated with the card’s transactions. It’s important to find a prepaid card that charges the least amount of fees for actions you’re more likely to make. For example, if you want to deposit your paycheck directly, look for a card with little to no direct deposit fees.

Read more on the growing popularity and benefits of prepaid debit cards.

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7 Ways to Trim Food Costs and Eat Healthy

Rising food and gas costs are a major concern for families on a budget. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a moderate food plan for a family of four averages $1,030 a month[1].

Speedy Cash knows how important it is to feed your family nutritious foods. We’ve gathered 7 tips for you to cut costs and still eat healthy!

1. Plan Ahead

Before you head to the grocery store, plan your menu for at least a week — then make a grocery list and stick to it.

2. Make Smart Choices

Avoid sugary, processed foods like soda, pastries, chips and cookies. It’s also a savings to limit your spending on pre-packaged food. It may be convenient to buy that bag of salad instead of a head of lettuce, but you pay for the packaging.

3. Buy In Season

Produce items are especially expensive at times they’re not abundant. Only buy items that are in-season and readily available. Plan your menus accordingly.

4. Use Coupons & Sales

Taking the time to clip coupons can save you a bundle. Make sure you only clip those with products you’ll actually use. Same with large quantity buys — stock up on items that won’t spoil quickly like peanut butter, honey, rice and sugar.

5. Remember Leftovers

Is the raw chicken in your fridge about to expire? Cook it all at once and you can add it to your meals throughout the week.

6. Choose Generic

Grocery stores all have their own brand that’s usually cheaper than others. Who cares if the packaging isn’t fancy? Buying generic brand cereal can reduce the price up to 50% a box.

7. Grow your Own

Depending on the climate of your home, you could grow your very own veggies, fruit and herbs. The cost of a vegetable garden varies widely, but compared to the prices of fresh produce in a grocery store? You conserve cash and know that you’re serving your family pesticide-free food.

Have your own way to cut costs on healthy foods? Share it on Facebook!

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DIY Done Right

Couple improving home themselvesHave a project you’d like to do yourself this summer? DIY projects can save a lot of money in the long run, but are you prepared for the risk if it doesn’t work out? One mistake can end up costing you way more than necessary. Speedy Cash has your guide to successful do-it-yourself jobs with these savings tips.

7 Tips to Cut Spending on DIY Projects

1. Get Advice

Before you start any project, use all available resources. YouTube has thousands of how-to videos and hardware stores such as Home Depot® or Lowe’s® offer complimentary workshops.

2. Start Small

Begin with a simple job and work your way up to more complicated projects. You’ll learn as you go.

3. Pass on Purchasing Tools

Borrow or rent the tools you need initially. Don’t splurge on pricey tools until you know you’ll get your money’s worth out of them.

4. Use Professionals When Necessary

For potentially dangerous jobs, like electrical and plumbing, use a professional. Invest in an account on Angie’s List ($17 for a year) to get reviews and pick a professional who will get the job done right the first time.

5. Prep Your Space

Take time to prep your DIY space (like covering your furniture and floor when painting) so you don’t end up making a costly error.

6. Don’t Skimp on Materials

Pick quality material that will last. You don’t want to do the same job over again in a year or two.

7. Shop Sales

Hardware stores can have great off-season pricing — or — check out scrap yards for a deal on left-over material.

Want more DIY advice? Check out these money saving resources:

http://www.pinterest.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/Howcast

http://www.instructables.com/

http://www.ehow.com/

Share your own money saving DIY tips on the Speedy Cash Facebook page!

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Fun Facts About Gold

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some fun facts about gold:

1. Gold is so rare that the world pours more steel in an hour than it has poured gold since the beginning of recorded history.

2. Gold has been discovered on every continent on earth.

3. It’s thought that 80% of the world’s gold is still in the ground.

4. 75% of all gold in circulation has been extracted since 1910.

5. An ounce of gold can be stretched over 50 miles.

Visit Speedy Cash on Facebook to find more fun facts!

*Information found at http://facts.randomhistory.com/2009/03/09_gold.html

 

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