Choose A Prepaid Debit Card That Fits Your Wallet

Prepaid debit cards took off in the ‘90s as credit card companies realized that a large amount of U.S consumers were not able to qualify for their credit cards. Many different prepaid cards with varying fees have been tried and tested by credit card companies since. With so many options available, how do you choose a prepaid debit card that’s right for you? Speedy Cash helps you find the best prepaid debit card for your needs.

A smart, cost-effective alternative to credit cards and traditional bank cards, prepaid debit cards have many advantages: they’re safer to carry than cash, you can use them worldwide, there are no bills or debt associated to the card, and they’re easy to reload. Even better, almost anyone can qualify for a prepaid card because there’s usually no credit check!

Prepaid debit cards vary in effectiveness depending on a person’s needs. Before researching the cheapest prepaid debit card stop to think about how you will use the card. Ask yourself what benefits do I need from a reloadable debit card? Include prepaid card advantages like direct deposit, bill payments, pin/debit transactions, signature purchases, ATM usage, overdraft protection, transferring money, shopping online, and live customer support.

Make 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’re looking to use a feature such as direct deposit, look for a card with little to no fees for direct deposit.

For a prepaid card with flexibility consider the opt+® Visa® Prepaid Debit Card which offers 3 types of cards to fit your needs. The “Pay as you Go” option is designed for those making occasional purchases and there is no monthly fee. The “Monthly” card has affordable fee options for those who want to use it more often. Finally, the “Direct Deposit” card allows you to use it like you would a bank account. Enjoy free direct deposit, no transactional fees, and overdraft protection. All cards offer features to meet your spending needs and free ATM usage at any Speedy Cash store. To get an opt+ card visit a Speedy Cash location near you.

Find out more about opt+® Visa® Prepaid Debit Cards.

From Aug. 6 to Aug. 19, 2012 stop by a participating Speedy Cash location for a chance to win $100 loaded onto an opt+® Visa® Prepaid Debit Card. Find details on Facebook.

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5 Things to Know Before You Rent a Home

While home ownership is the dream of many, situations and timing may not allow a lot of people to buy. Renting can be the best choice if you don’t want the hassle or expense of repairs and general upkeep of a home. Speedy Cash has hints for renting and ways to save money by leasing a home instead of buying.

Tenant Rights: Get everything in writing and negotiate the terms of your lease. Depending on the amount you’re paying for rent, the landlord could be persuaded to pay for water or trash service.

Renter’s Insurance: Get it. Renter’s insurance protects your belongings in the rental as well as liability for accidents that happen for which you’re responsible. You’re not paying homeowner’s insurance or other taxes associated with ownership, so renter’s insurance can be affordable.

Repairs: You and your landlord should have an understanding of who is responsible for which repairs and how long it will take to get started on them. Your landlord is responsible for providing a safe, functional living space and making sure the property is up to local and federal housing code.

What’s Included: Many rentals come with larger appliances like a refrigerator, stove/oven, and dish washer. Make sure you confirm that the appliances in the home when you tour will stay there. You can also look for a rental that is already furnished to save money on furniture.

Test Everything: Ring the doorbell, turn on the faucets and test the water, verify smoke alarms, overhead lights and fans, wall sockets, and, most importantly, the thermostat. If something’s not working, try to get the landlord to fix it before you move in.

While renting seems pointless to some, remember the money you save with no down payment, no interest from a mortgage, no property taxes, and no repair costs that come with owning a home. There are other options which include renting to own a home.

Find out more about rent-to-own.

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Rent-to-Own: A Modern Payment Option

Why rent when you can own? If you can’t afford to buy it now Speedy Cash has your solution. Rent-to-Own wraps up the benefits of buying and renting all in one. Renting to own is a purchase agreement where property is leased through weekly or monthly payments, with an option to buy. This payment option can be a great alternative to only renting or only buying when considering all of your needs. Here are some of the benefits of rent-to-own so you can decide the payment option that’s right for you.

One great benefit of the rent-to-own process is that it can be used on a short-term basis. When you need to use property for only a short amount of time, you’re able to borrow the item as long as you’re making payments. When you’re done, return it! In most cases there are no obligations to buy and you won’t be held responsible for the remaining payments.

Renting-to-own can also be used as a long-term alternative. If you would love to buy an item such as a dishwasher but don’t have the cash you need upfront you can make a small down payment and leave with it that day. Your minimum weekly or monthly payments go toward owning the property. Keep making small payments to eventually pay the set value of the item, and you’ll own it.

Speedy Cash offers a service similar to rent-to-own known as Easy Pay Electronics, though when you leave Speedy Cash with your new electronic, you’re the owner. This payment option is a great alternative to buying when you don’t have all of the cash upfront. Take home your electronic with little money down and make small payments scheduled around your pay dates. Contact a store near you & ask if they participate in Easy Pay Electronics to get your new TV, Laptop or ipad today.

Consider rent-to-own when choosing how to pay for a high-dollar item. From furniture to your home, how you make big purchases affects your financial stability. Consider all of your needs and choose the payment option that’s right for you.

Find how to save money by buying at the right time.

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Save Money: Buy at the Right Time

We’ve all heard about off-season sales, promotions and clearance events. It’s usually better to plan and wait for the right time to buy, than getting an item the instant you want or need it. Speedy Cash wants to help you save money by giving you the optimal times to buy some of life’s most essential items.

Furniture
Best Time to Buy: In January, stores lower prices on furniture to clear out the showroom because they bring in new models in February. November has the most sales on furniture, not necessarily the best prices.

Worst Time to Buy: February through April when new spring inventory is in at full price.
Other Tips: Look for furniture store sales around Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Electronics
Best Time to Buy: TVs and home theater equipment are on sale in January up until the Super Bowl. Laptops and computers are on sale at the beginning and end of the regular school year. November brings Black Friday and Cyber Monday with many good deals- if you get up early enough and fight the crowds.
Worst Time to Buy: While older models go on sale in January, when new models come out, the new models are very high-priced. Who wants to buy an old model tablet or camera?
Other Tips: If you can’t wait until peak sales seasons, computer and electronic deals can be found on Mondays when manufacturers apply rebates.

Houses
Best Time to Buy: If you want to get a good deal, the fall and winter is the best time to buy.
For more selection and a wider-range of prices/options, the spring and summer is the best time to buy a house.
Worst Time to Buy: Peak market times when housing prices are highest: September and early spring.
Other Tips: It’s said that the best days of the year to buy a house cheaply are Easter Sunday and Christmas Day because of the lack of competition. To get a deal, look for a low-competition time.

Cars
Used
Best Time to Buy: The best time to buy used cars is October or early November when there are little to no bonuses or people are saving extra money for the up-coming holidays.
Worst Time to Buy: The used car market is sensitive around tax refund time. Mid-February to early June used cars are sold at a higher price because more people have money from refunds
New
Best Time to Buy: Greatest discounts for new cars can be found late in the year and around holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Worst Time to Buy: Early in the year when new models come out.
Other Tips: Occasionally sellers try to get the sale before the end of the month and could discount prices.

Vacations
Best Time to Buy: Most cruises for the next winter go on sale in April. September is a slow travel month and can be the best time to book holiday travel for deals.
Worst Time to Buy: January is the most popular month to book spring and summer travel. Try to book earlier or wait until after March for better “last minute” deals.
Other Tips: Booking and traveling mid-week (at low travel times) can significantly lower the price of a trip.

Appliances
Best Time to Buy: Good deals can be found on used refrigerators in May when many are remodeling their homes and upgrading appliances. Other large appliances are discounted in January and February to clear out older models.
Worst Time to Buy: New models are released in September and October raising prices.
Other Tips: Sundays are the cheapest days to buy appliances, as are holidays such as Memorial Day.

Find good deals at the right times of the year to save big! Use this guide to plan ahead and shop around for these necessary items at the best time of year to buy. Happy shopping!

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Save Money with Your Move

Moving to a new home is a long, hard process, spending hours packing and unpacking your entire house. Whether you’re moving because of an adjustment in your financial situation or you’re making the change for another reason, it’s stressful enough without worrying about spending money. Speedy Cash wants to save you money during your move with these simple guidelines.

Pick through your junk. Donate, sell or recycle it to save you space in your new home. You could make money from selling things in a garage sale or online, or get a tax break if you make a donation.

Save money on moving boxes. Stow boxes away when you get packages in the mail, ask friends, grocery stores, offices, etc. or use heavy-duty, large plastic bags ($9.97 for 22 bags at Wal-Mart) for clothing and other non-breakable items.

Pack items yourself using blankets, sheets, comforters, old newspapers and plastic bags to save money on bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc.

Move between September and May, during off-season when moving company rates are the lowest. Companies will give you a deal to get your business.

Choose what you need help with the most. You can pay for the whole moving process including packing, lifting, driving and storage, or you can choose the service you need to save money. If you can lift everything yourself only pay for the rental truck and driver, or drive yourself and only rent a moving truck.

Get proposals/quotes from several moving companies before choosing one.

Ask for help- if you’re moving for business purposes, ask you employer to help with moving expenses. Also, ask friends and family to pitch in and in return help out when they move!

Hire an amateur, such as a friend’s college-age son. This will save money because you’ll be paying him a fraction of the amount a moving company would charge and they can help lift the heavy items that take 2 people or that you don’t feel comfortable lifting yourself. Moving always goes faster the more people help!

If you pack and move as much as you can yourself, as well as ask for help from friends and family, your moving expenses will be minimal. Only pay for heavy lifting and transporting large items to prevent them from being broken.

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Saving for Trips: Tips to Get Creative

Major expenses, like vacations, take time and planning. Saving enough money for a nice trip can be tough. Speedy Cash is here to help with unique tips for saving money especially for vacations.

• Choose a savings goal that will account for your entire trip – plus a little extra. Don’t be surprised by extra fees that pop up unexpectedly (the travel industry is known for them).

• Once you’ve established your goal amount, open a dedicated savings account. Set up automatic transfers so your savings will go straight into the appropriate account and you won’t be tempted to withdraw the funds.

• If opening a savings account doesn’t appeal to you, try stashing your vacation savings. Put it in a place that makes it easy to contribute– such as an envelope or jar. Having a visual of your destination will help you achieve your goal.

• Shake a spending habit. For example, buying expensive coffee from a chain coffee shop. Every time you crave a coffee, put the money you would have spent away to save for your vacation.

• Save with a buddy. Just like sticking to a diet or exercise plan, saving with a buddy can help you stay motivated. This will help eliminate “cheating” and spending the money elsewhere.

• Evaluate your unused assets. Sell that extra table and chairs you’ve had in your garage for months or, if you have a lot of unused things, throw a garage sale. Put the total profit toward your vacation.

• Ask for support from others. Instead of birthday presents, ask for money to put in your trip savings fund. The same can be done for holidays- Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc.

• If you still can’t seem to save enough money for vacation, consider joining a volunteer group who travels to help out diverse communities. Volunteer organizations are often given travel grants or special travel rates. In some cases churches or organizations will pay for transportation and lodging of volunteers in return for unpaid help with a project.

Pick one of these tips or combine several of them to meet your getaway goal. Learn ways to save while on vacation to maximize your budget. With these trip-savings tips you’ll be flying, driving or cruising in no time. Happy saving and traveling!

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15 Cool Ways to Save on a Sizzling Summer Vacation

Are you dreaming of a sizzling summer getaway? Turn your dreams into reality! Use these cool ideas from Speedy Cash to heat up your summer and make a vacation more affordable.

  1. Travel at night to avoid paying an extra night at the hotel.
  2. Ask the hotel for a free room upgrade.
  3. Share a room or book a suite instead of booking 2 rooms.
  4. Search the local chamber of commerce website to find deals and coupons.
  5. Book the smallest size car feasible and ask for a free upgrade when picking up the car.
  6. Fill the gas tank before returning your rental car.
  7. Avoid expensive taxis by using public transportation such as subways, metros and buses.
  8. Research local restaurants and pricing and plan your meals before your trip.
  9. Request a hotel room with a refrigerator and cook your own meals (crock pots make great travel buddies!)
  10. Be flexible on travel dates and book/travel mid-week when traffic and prices are lowest.
  11. Consider bundling your vacation and booking through a travel site or agency to get a discount.
  12. Avoid buying anything for your trip beforehand if you want to shop local stores during vacation.
  13. Ask your hotel concierge for local deals, coupons and inexpensive vacation activities.
  14. Look into online discount travel sites like Groupon Getaways.
  15. Sign up for frequent traveler rewards points through airlines and hotels.

These are just a few money-saving travel tips. Find creative ways to save money for your trip. Is your summer vacation more than a dream yet?

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Road Trip Savings Around the Nation

Fill up your car, grab the kids or some friends, and explore the United States this summer! Speedy Cash has travel tips and facts you’ll want to know before you hit the road to save time and money on your vacation.

First, research where you’d like to go, and what you’d like to do. There are many famous and interesting places with FREE admission around the nation. Here are a few of our favorites:

East
Washington DC- Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, National Mall
Philadelphia, PA- Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall

West
San Francisco, CA- Goldengate Bridge, Mission District
San Diego, CA- Mission Beach

Central
Chicago, IL- Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, Millenium Park
Denver, CO- Red Rocks Park, United States Mint tours

South
San Antonio, TX- Riverwalk
Myrtle Beach, SC- Myrtle Beach Beachfront

Before you get out your road map (or GPS), consider the total cost of your trip. Start with the most expensive consideration, fuel.

The average cost of gas per gallon is $3.85 across the nation this summer. You can calculate how much you’ll pay for gas by determining how many miles you will be driving from start to finish and back again. Then, figure out how many miles per gallon of gas your car gets. Divide the miles per gallon by the miles you’ll be driving. This will tell you how many gallons of gas you’ll need for your trip. Finally, multiply the gallons of gas needed for your trip by the national average cost of gas. Make sure you find out what the cost of gas is where you’re going. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises in the middle of your vacation!

If all of that seems like too much work you can plug your information into this nifty trip calculator. It will give you the total cost of your trip and even tell you which stations on your route have the cheapest gas!

The next factor to consider when planning a road trip is lodging. Hotel costs and fees can add up quickly, so you may want to consider camping. The average cost of a campsite per night is $25. Split 2 or 3 ways the cost decreases significantly, but the gear required for camping can get costly. Borrowing a tent, sleeping bag, flashlight and other necessary equipment from a friend may be the best option to save money or shop garage sales for pre-owned prices. Modern technology has also made it easier to save so you won’t have to spend a lot on batteries. Try using crank-style flashlights and radios, solar charged devices or even kinetic batteries to make camping easier and more fun.

Now that your trip is planned, grab a camera and enjoy the memories!

Find more ways to save on a summer vacation.

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Celebrate the Fourth of July Across America

Happy Independence Day! This summer holiday is a great time to spend with friends and family honoring our country’s freedom. Speedy Cash has compiled a list of our favorite free and low-cost July 4th events across the nation.

New York City, NY: Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks will be set off from several locations from barges on the Hudson River, free to view.

Long Island, NY: Free festivities include fireworks, parades, festivals, races and more.

Philadelphia, PA: The Annual Welcome America Festival includes a parade, fireworks, and concerts- free to view.

Boston, MA: Fourth of July Harborfest includes free concerts, fireworks and more activities along the harbor.

Washington DC: View America’s National Independence Day Parade and enjoy a free concert on the Capitol’s West Lawn and watch the National Mall light up with fireworks at night.

Chicago, IL: Watch fireworks set off from the Navy Pier for free.

New Orleans, LA: Celebrate on the river with fireworks and entertainment at Woldenberg Riverfront Park. Coupons are offered for surrounding activities.

Dallas, TX: Go to Fair Park Fourth- free or discounted admission to participating museums, including the biggest fireworks display in Dallas.

St. Louis, MO: Enjoy 3 days of free entertainment on the Arch Gateway grounds including fireworks, concerts and a parade for the Annual Fair Saint Louis.

Los Angeles, CA: Among the many festivals and fireworks enjoy AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena: Cost is $13 General Admission, kids 7 and under and active military with ID get in free.

San Francisco, CA: Fireworks, festivities and free family fun take place at the bustling Pier 39.

Seattle, WA: Enjoy fireworks and family fun surrounding Lake Union.

With these fun July 4th activities happening all around the country, your entertainment expenses can take a break this holiday. Whatever you choose to do this Fourth of July, have a safe and happy celebration!

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Sell Your Gold for Cash A 7-Step Process

Gold. That precious metal has been a source of value long before cash existed. It has recently risen in value with market prices soaring, giving the opportunity to make some cold hard cash. You may have a small fortune in your home and not even know it!

If you find yourself strapped for cash or just curious to see how much gold you have, start digging around at home, beginning with your jewelry box. Don’t forget other things made of gold: cuff links, coins, medals, etc. Once collected, it’s hard to know how much your gold’s worth without knowledge of karat, weight, and the current market price of gold. Speedy Cash has a 7-step process to get the most cash for your gold.

1. Gather all broken or unwanted jewelry that looks like it may be gold. If there are any markings other than a karat stamp (a number with the letter “k” after it) be sure to research online as you may have a piece of jewelry that is more valuable for artistry than for scrap metal.

2. Test your gold with an acid test kit (find online- around $10 on Amazon.com). Instructions will come with the kit and you’ll be able to check for karat weight with acid tests. Speedy Cash does this at no charge in order to make a fair offer.

3. Separate your gold by karats- just because the piece is stamped 24 karat does not mean it’s correct. The higher the karat, the more gold the piece has, increasing its value.

4. Weigh your gold. A small digital scale (find on buy.com for around $12) will give you an estimate of your gold’s weight by gram. Make sure you weigh it separately by karat.

5. Check the current market price of gold the day you want to sell. Tip: go to SpeedyCashGold.com where the London Price Fix is listed and updated hourly.

6. Calculate the value of your gold.

7. Shop around. Get quotes from multiple gold buyers and don’t be afraid to ask for more if the initial offer is lower than you’d like. Don’t expect to be paid full value- most gold buyers pay around 60-70% of your gold’s value.

Knowing the full value will help get you the most cash for your gold. Make sure to shop Speedy Cash this week, June 18-23, 2012, to receive an extra 25% more cash for gold. Find participating locations or mail your gold to Speedy Cash gold experts to get a free quote without leaving home!

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