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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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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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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Insuring Your Life & Assets

Life is full of so many unexpected things, that it always pays to be prepared. We cannot protect ourselves and those we love from disaster, but insurance helps us protect our wallets when the inevitable happens. With so many insurance options, you can be prepared for almost any possibility. Speedy Cash has provided a list of the different types of insurance to “ensure” your financial security.

Life Insurance

Your loved ones will thank you for providing for them if something happens to you. Those you leave behind will be facing high funeral costs, as well as any bills or debt you leave behind. Experts recommend your life insurance policy cover ten times your yearly income to cover existing bills/expenses, funeral costs, and provide a cushion to help those you’re leaving behind recover.

Health Insurance

If you don’t have it, get it. Medical bills are expensive enough with insurance. Ask your employer for information or get a policy on your own. You may think you’re healthy, but disease or accidents can happen to anyone. It’s difficult to think about medical bills while you’re healing, and it’s important to get the care you need instead of rejecting treatment to save money.

Disability Insurance

What would happen if you suddenly couldn’t work? Something as simple as a broken finger could prevent you from typing. How would you pay your bills? Disability insurance can protect you by providing income to pay bills and other necessities if you’re unable to work.

Homeowners and Renters Insurance

It’s relatively affordable and worth every penny! If you rent or own a house, apartment, duplex, etc, you need to protect your assets. Anything from theft, flooding, and fire can leave you without essential supplies. Get rental or home insurance to protect your furniture, appliances, electronics, and other valuables you keep in your home or rental.

Natural Disaster Insurance

No matter where you live, natural disasters can occur. The Midwest has tornadoes; the coasts have hurricanes and earthquakes; and don’t forget flooding and mudslides! Natural disasters can be devastating, and the last thing you want to worry about is rebuilding your home and life with little or no money. Protect yourself based on your location. Make sure your disaster insurance covers your assets, and you and your family’s lives.

Paying for numerous types of insurance each month can get costly. There are ways get the best deals by bundling using the same company for multiple types of insurance and shopping around each year before you renew your insurance contract. If you have a car, make sure you’re covered with auto insurance. Being covered by all these insurance types will give you a solid financial safety net. If you can afford to, make sure you’re also putting money in a savings account to cover any deductible amounts your insurance company may charge you.

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7 Ways to Supplement your Income

Your financial security is directly affected by how much money you make and the amount you save. There are basically two things you can do in a financial pinch: make more money or cut your spending. It may sound simple to cut spending, but it can be hard. If your basic expenses are eating up your income and preventing you from saving, look into supplementing your regular income. Speedy Cash has 7 ideas to supplement your income and earn extra money to save or invest for your future financial security.

1. Sell Unused and Unwanted Items

Modern day garage sales happen online. Ebay is simple to use and there is a large audience, but they charge a small fee based on your sale price. If you want to avoid paying a fee, try craigslist. The audience is local and the site is easy to use. Beware of scammers and use caution when doing a transaction in person.

2. Become a Part-Time Representative

Many companies empower individuals to represent their business and you can choose when and how much time you spend working. Mary Kay, Avon, Silpada Designs, Cutco, Arbonne, and Pampered Chef are just a few of the companies that have outside sales representatives.

3. Host a Party

If you don’t want to commit to being a sales representative for one company, you can still make money hosting parties! There are businesses that pay you a portion of their profits to get your friends together and buy things at a party. Types of parties include: Tupperware, food, jewelry, kitchen products, and gold buying. The company you are selling will take care of the promotion; it could be as simple as sending out an email! All you have to do is provide a place to hold the party and get people there!

4. Freelance

There are many companies looking for freelance individuals to work occasional jobs. Freelance opportunities include writing, blogging, computer work, and other technical skills. Freelancers are usually paid per job and can negotiate pay based on experience and skills. Freelancing can be demanding on time and energy so be sure to pick something that can be flexible depending on your other time demands.

5. Turn a Hobby into a Job

If you enjoy crafts, making jewelry, or fixing things like electronics or appliances, make it into another job. Sites like ebay and etsy make it easy to sell your products and you can advertise your “handy” services on sites like craigslist or in a newspaper’s classifieds section. Get more business by spreading the word through family and friends.

6. Babysit

It’s not just teenagers who can make money watching kids. You may be surprised how much babysitters get paid. A trustworthy individual to look after your children can be hard to find, so make it known to all your friends who have kids that you are interested in babysitting. They’ll be thrilled that they can pay someone they know to watch their kids!

7. House Sit or Pet Sit

Summer is the busiest vacation time, so make some money instead of spending it. Offer to look after a home, a pet, or both when a friend goes out of town. They will be glad to pay you for their peace of mind. Make sure you’re charging the same or a little less than a kennel and word will spread fast between all those vacationers that you’re dependable and affordable!
All of these options to make more money can be done on your own time in addition to your full time job or raising children. Make the most out of your talents and interests and it won’t seem so much like a second job!

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Graduation Expense Breakdown What to Expect when Your High School Student Graduates

High school graduation is a major milestone. Depending on how you celebrate, graduation can also be a major expense. Graduation costs often get overlooked when budgeting. Speedy Cash has provided a breakdown of expenses you can expect to incur when your high school student graduates, along with budgeting “dos and don’ts.”

Announcements: $50-250

Figure out exactly how many announcements you want to send out and then order 25-50 extra. It may seem like an unnecessary cost up front, but it will save you a re-ordering cost once you remember distant relatives or friends that you’ve forgotten. Increasing your order amount can also get you a lower cost per unit from most vendors. Look into cheap online announcement options like Vistaprint or Tinyprints. Also, try to buy thank you notes at the same time to get a bulk discount.

Cap and Gown: $25-50

Contact the company your school recommends using for caps and gowns. Many have rental options that will bring the cost down tremendously. If you can’t find rentals, try and sell your cap and gown after graduation to make some money back.

Diploma & Transcript fees: $25-100

These fees are hard to get around as they cover the school’s costs. Try talking to the school administrator to work out a payment plan or get a price break.

Senior Pictures: $100-1,000

By the time May rolls around this expense is usually over, but if you haven’t booked senior pictures yet, do so as soon as possible. Look into amateur photographers who take photos as a hobby. Lots of amateurs are very good, they cost less than professionals, and they have more flexible schedules. Make sure the package you choose is the most cost-effective option. It’s best in a time crunch to get digital copies that you can print on your own at a discount printer.

Party: $100 +

If you choose to throw a party to celebrate, budget wisely. Invitations, food, decorations, and entertainment can add up quickly. Go simple and focus on the celebration, not the food or decorations. Another way to off-set the cost is to have a joint party. Share the cost by celebrating several graduates with one party.

Learn other ways to throw a party on a budget.

Gifts: $5 +

It’s tradition to congratulate a graduate with a gift. While giving money is the norm, it’s not the only gift of worth you can give. Try giving your knowledge and advice in a well-thought card and homemade package of baked goods.

Find more cost-effective gift ideas.

Total cost for high school graduation can average around $1,000 depending on how you plan and on what you choose to spend the most money. All of these costs can be lowered with a little preparation and knowledge!

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Go Green with Speedy Cash for Earth Day

Every year on April 22, Earth Day is celebrated by millions of people. Founded in 1970, it is a day created to increase public consciousness about pollution and the environment. In the spirit of Earth Day, Speedy Cash challenges you to “go green” with these simple ideas: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

 

 

Reduce

  • Turn lights off when you leave the room or are away from your desk – whether just for lunch, a meeting or out for the day.
  • Power computers down at the end of each day and unplug your electronic devices to prevent energy drain.
  • Go paperless – use the latest technology gadgets to your advantage to keep from printing.
  • Turn water off while washing hands, brushing teeth, etc.

Reuse

  • Minimize paper towel consumption – only use 1-2 to dry hands and use washcloths to wash dishes or the counters.
  • Get a reusable water bottle to fill with water from a filtered tap instead of buying plastic bottled water.

Recycle

  • Buy recycled paper products like toilet paper, paper towels and paper plates.
  • Set up a recycling bin to deposit cans, bottles, and newspaper.
  • Get a paper shredder and recycle the shreds.

Following these easy tips is the first step toward saving the planet and they can also save you money through reduced energy costs.

Speedy Cash has incorporated several ways through its corporate office to help the environment. Staff members have reusable water bottles to cut down on plastic bottle usage. Recycle bins are used to separate and recycle bottles, cans, and paper, and the office uses recycled toilet paper and paper towels in the bathrooms.

In addition to following these guidelines, Speedy Cash supports community involvement initiatives like the Care-A-Ton organization. Reducing, reusing and recycling have a major impact on the environment, and it’s something everyone can participate in!

Learn how to save green by going green.

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