Last Updated On: November 17, 2014 11:02

As we’re nearing mid-November, the holiday season is on the minds of many. Family gatherings, the great food, and, of course, the gifts that so often accompany these occasions. It’s time to start preparing for the expensive time of year that the holidays bring with a few tips to help you save!

Time to start now! The best way to save money is to shop now. Research your options and find the best products at the best value for the items on your list. Don’t let a last-minute gift run find you spending way more than you had originally wanted to.

Plan ahead - and then stick to your budget!
Sit down and work out a list of everyone that you’ll be buying presents for in the coming months. Also, write down possible gift ideas. This will help you research your options. Lastly, when shopping, stick to your budget. Even if you do find another little trinket you think your niece would like in addition to her other gift, resist. One gift is plenty when you’re on a budget.


Shop online! Want to mostly avoid the distractions of the cleverly laid out aisles in the store? Stick to shopping online. Keep an eye on deals and search sites for coupons to help save and possibly get free shipping in the process.

With plenty of time to still shop for the holidays, another tool that you should be taking advantage of is rewards cards. While still sticking with your budget, using one of these cards not only helps you purchase the items on your list, but also rewards you back with cash, points, or other benefits. Check out the offers here to help you get started on your holiday shopping!

P.S. The biggest shopping day of the year is just a few weeks away – keep an eye here next week for our tips to surviving Black Friday!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: November 03, 2014 14:10

The leaves and the temperature are quickly falling, signifying the change of the season; winter will be soon upon us. With the very drastic change in weather that we will soon be experiencing, it is best to get our lives ready for winter – not only to protect our belongings, but to save a bit of cash on energy bills during the cold months of the year. Here are a few tips to keep you toasty!

Outdoors:

  • Make sure to store outdoor furniture accordingly. Don’t let the items you bought get damaged and in need of repair come spring.
  • Empty out hoses and store them indoors. Also, turn off water to all outside lines and spigots. This can save you from some frozen pipes!
  • Clean out your gutters before the snow hits. When it comes time for the snow to start melting, it will drain correctly through the gutters when no old leaves are clogging them.

Indoors:

  • Block the drafts. The areas around windows and doors are where you can lose the warmth. Be sure to seal these up.
  • Change your furnace filters regularly. Changing the filter monthly can save you in energy costs since your furnace will not have to try as hard to push the air through a clean filter.
  • Turn down your water heater. A normal temperature that many set theirs at is 140 degrees, lowering the temp to 120 degrees can reduce water heating costs by up to 10%.
  • Keep an eye on your thermostat. The best advice is to get a programmable thermostat so you can set timers on when you need your house warmer – no need to keep the house toasty while you’re not even home!
  • Dress warmly. Layers are your best friend in the winter months. Warmer clothes mean you don’t have to have your thermostat cranked all the way up!
  • Insulate pipes! This will help keep your pipes from freezing in the winter, preventing a costly plumbing repair if the pipes burst.

Making it through the winter months does not have to be spendy. Just keep these tips in mind as you prepare in the coming weeks to help you save some of your hard earned cash on your energy bills until we hit spring (and warmer weather) again!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: October 29, 2014 16:30

With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, “your next trip is just around the corner.” If you’re looking for a new travel rewards card, look no further than the Arrival Plus™ World Elite card for its many unique, ongoing features for the avid traveler.

Not only does the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offer 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 90 days, but it also offers a multitude of other great perks that you may not be aware of, including 10% miles back when you redeem miles for a travel statement credit, the ability to do partial redemptions and an EMV chip, which gives you extra security and confidence wherever chip technology is supported. This rewards card is loaded with benefits a traveler simply cannot pass up, all for an $89 annual fee. With the Arrival Plus™ World Elite card, you, as a cardmember, will also receive your complimentary online FICO® credit score, along with earning 2x miles on everything so you can build up miles quicker.

Oh, and don’t forget to join the Barclaycard Travel Community where you can share your travel stories, research future adventures and earn participation miles!  Don’t miss out on the great benefits that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Product Spot Lights
Last Updated On: October 22, 2014 10:22

As we’re nearing the end of October, many minds are on candy and costumes – Halloween is near! For anyone with children (or even those that just love this holiday and tend to go a bit overboard), all that Halloween entails can creep up on you quickly and scare your budget. Check out these five tips to keep your budget from trembling in fear!

1. Make your own costumes! Costumes can easily be the most expensive item for this holiday with store-bought costumes, so it’s time to get resourceful. Visit the thrift stores or even your own closet for items that can be repurposed into a costume.
2. Wait until the last minute! We don’t say this often, but for a few items this fall, it’s best to wait. Pumpkins for carving or decorations are a prime example. While the best might be gone, the stock left at the patch will be price reduced the day before and day of Halloween. Make it a tradition to carve pumpkins the day of to decorate your front door!
3. Get creative – you don’t need to buy expensive decorations! A simple search on Pinterest can give you many DIY ideas for decorations. A few pieces of old cardboard can be cut and painted to make tombstones to go in your yard, an old sheet can become a ghost – you get the idea. Use what you have.
4. Candy costs don’t have to make you go broke! First, don’t overestimate the number of trick-or-treaters you’ll have. Not only will this save you money, it’ll possibly save your waistline from devouring all the leftovers yourself! Buy in bulk or stay away from the name brand candy to save a bit more cash.
5. Think ahead! It may be a bit late for this year, but start planning now for next year. Halloween and fall decorations will be at steep discounts right after the holiday, so stock up now and any of those that you can’t live without and store them away for next year’s festivities.

Keep these money saving tips in mind for the next few days as you get ready for the costumes, trick-or-treaters, and parties! Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: October 03, 2014 11:15

In light of all the credit card breaches and the number of identity theft cases within the last year, protecting your identity cannot be overlooked and forgotten any longer. Keeping yourself safe from having your information stolen is not difficult; here’s a few suggestions given by the Federal Trade Commission and a few other tips on how to keep your personal information safe!

• Shred any credit offers or applications, insurance forms, checks, bank statements, and any other document that shows your private information that you do not need anymore.
• When on the go, only carry the identification and cards you will need.
• When online, be on the lookout for impersonators. Don’t give out your personal information to anyone unless you’ve started the contacting so you know who you’re working with.
• Keep passwords private! A simple tip that surprisingly a lot of people don’t follow. Don’t disclose your passwords with anyone.
• Check your statements diligently! This is the fastest way to catch any unauthorized transactions in any of your accounts.

Keeping your information safe doesn’t have to be a hassle. These tips are precautions you should be taking every day to help thwart off any person trying to steal your information and ruin your credit. If you haven’t checked out your credit lately, make sure to visit our Credit Reports page to help you find the best way to check and monitor your credit score.

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Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup.com.  Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

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