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6Apr/11Off

Grocery Shopping Budget Tips

Grocery shopping is a regular expense for most people. Unfortunately, many shoppers end up spending more than they should. Learning valuable grocery shopping budget tips can help you save a significant amount of money.

Shopping for groceries is without a doubt a necessary expense. After all, nearly all the things that you buy in the grocery store are all essentials, such as food and toiletries. However, this doesn’t mean that you can afford to neglect how much you spend in your weekly shopping. In fact, chances are you might be spending more than you should. Here are some tips to help you avoid going over your grocery shopping budget:

1. Look for stores with special promos.

One of the best ways that you can save on groceries is to shop in stores that offer plenty of specials. Many grocery stores offer plenty of bargains and other specials to help attract more buyers. You can probably save more money if you do your shopping in these stores. You can stay updated on store specials through local newspapers, posters and fliers.

2. Start buying in bulk.

Another good way to save money on groceries is to buy certain items in bulk. Buying some products by the bulk will usually let you avail a good discount. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should shop for everything in bulk. However, if you need a regular supply of a particular item then buying it in bulk can certainly help you save money in the long run. Examples of items that you should consider stocking on are toilet paper, soap, pet food and other items that your household needs on a regular basis.

3. Don’t enter a grocery store when you’re hungry.

Doing your grocery shopping when you’re hungry is a sure-fire way to end up buying things that you don’t really need. When you enter the grocery store with a growling stomach, you will end up wanting to fill your grocery cart with all the goodies that you see on the aisles. Not only will this make you go beyond your budget but it can also cause you to gain extra pounds.

4. Write down a grocery list.

Making a shopping list of all the things you need to buy from the grocery is another good way of ensuring that you stick to your shopping budget. Jot things down on your list during the week to make sure you don’t forget anything when shopping day arrives.

5. Pay with cash.

Paying your groceries with your credit card might seem tempting especially when you don’t have to cough up any cash. However, this might not be the most practical thing to do in the long run. One common way of racking up debt in your credit card is using plastic for just about all of your purchases.  Know when it’s right to use your credit card and know when it’s not. Ordinary expenses like groceries and dining should be paid for in cash, not with a credit card.

6. Collect coupons.

Collecting coupons from newspapers, magazines and websites can also save you money in your grocery bill. Although most coupons seem like they are only giving you a miniscule discount, you’ll be surprised at how much you save on your groceries once the total bill is rung up.

25Mar/11Off

On Children and Mobile Phone Ownership

Parents who are planning to give their children mobile phones must understand that mobile phone ownership requires discipline. Therefore, in order to prepare children for the responsibilities that come with mobile phone ownership, parents must plan everything well; themselves and their children.

The decision to give children mobile phones stems from parents’ desire for their children to be readily accessible to them. Parents want to be sure that they can contact their children anytime they want. To be able to do so gives them an assurance that in case of emergencies, their children can always reach them, and vice versa.

What many parents do not realize is the fact that mobile phone ownership, especially when it pertains to children, is something that must be planned well. It is more than just choosing the right phone, or the right mobile phone service provider, or the right mobile phone plan.

What is it then?

Mobile phone ownership, to some degree, requires maturity from the mobile phone user. Surprisingly, it’s not only about maturity in age; it’s also about mental and emotional maturity – which is not really based on age. It is a fact that some people can be 30 years old and still be immature emotionally and mentally; while someone can be 15 years old yet can be emotionally and in a way, mentally mature.

Parents have a serious responsibility to prepare and help their children develop and become mature – physically, mentally, and emotionally – by allowing them to go through the process of learning by “doing”.

Hence, mobile phone ownership, in some ways, can actually be used to teach children responsibility; but only when parents understand why.

It is crucial, for example, that parent and children both understand the conditions, effects, responsibilities, and the risks that come with mobile phone ownership, especially if the children are still very young.

Important Things to Consider

Costs

If parents decide to allow their children to own mobile phones, it will definitely increase the expenses of the family, as mobile phones come with great cost. What if there’s more than just one child? Therefore, parents must be sure about their finances first, whether they can afford the additional costs of having many mobile phones, before finally making a decision regarding giving their children mobile phones.

The costs involved with mobile phone ownership are not limited only to the purchase price of the mobile phone unit; it includes monthly subscriptions to the mobile phone service provider, fees, and charges.

What if the children lose their mobile phones? Or what if they break them? These, too, can be very costly.

Risks

There are certain risks involved when children are allowed to have their own mobile phones.

One such risk is that of exposing children to strangers; something that even parents can not stop. Children with mobile phones can easily be accessed by strangers through their friends’ phones. Passing around of mobile phone numbers can be very dangerous, as one can not really be sure that it only reaches reliable and trusted people; mobile phone numbers can also end up in the hands of the wrong people.

Another risk is mobile phone bullying; children can become victims of bullying, or they can be the bullies themselves.

Truly, mobile phone ownership requires a certain degree of responsibility and discipline, even from children as young as 6 years old; this is now the common age of young children with mobile phones. Therefore, parents should make sure that their children are prepared and are responsible and disciplined enough to be trusted with a mobile phone.

Teach your kids responsibility by letting them have a mobile phone of their own. However, parents should be careful in choosing a phone so as not to overspend. Search for the best deals in the market and apply for plans that will work well for them.

25Mar/11Off

Tips on Mobile Maintenance

Taking good care of your mobile helps to ensure it will have a long and productive life.

To properly take good care of your mobile phone, here are some things that you can do to help ensure that your mobile phone functions efficiently for the longest possible time. Following the instructions or suggestions below will increase the productive life of your mobile phone, giving you more than your money’s worth.

Ways to Protect your Mobile Phone

Ensure that your mobile phone is properly protected by placing it in a protective casing. Women mobile phone users normally place the mobile phone in a purse or a bag. Users believe that placing them in bags or purse is protection enough. However, what many users do not realize is that inside the bag or purse, the phone gets knocked around. This happens as the person carrying the bag walks; as she puts down the bag; and as she tosses the bag (at times) to the couch, the bed, the table, or the chair. Rough treatments such as these can damage electronic circuit boards, ultimately damaging the mobile phones. Hence, for added protection, place mobile phones in protective casings. Try hard to avoid dropping your mobile phone or subjecting it to unnecessarily shaking.

Keep your mobile phone covered; protective covers help keep at bay dust and dirt. Moreover, mobile phone covers protect the mobile phone screen and other surfaces from scratches. Just be sure to use a cover of good quality. Low quality covers normally do not have air pockets; without which humidity inside the cover can accumulate and can damage your phone.

When cleaning your mobile phones, wipe only with a soft cloth. Never use harsh detergents and chemicals or cleaning solvents when cleaning your phone.

Use only the prescribed batteries from your mobile phone manufacturers. Do not be tempted to use counterfeit batteries as there have been factual reports of explosion, causing damage not only to the mobile phone but to the users as well.

Properly charge your mobile phones. There is a right way of charging mobile phones. One, charge it only when it is fully used up; when the battery is dead. Recharging your batteries too early shortens the life of your battery. It causes your battery to run out of power more quickly, thus causing you inconvenience.

Always store your mobile phone in a safe, dry place. Avoid liquids, areas with high humidity, and rain. Mobile phones have electronic circuits that may corrode if they get in contact with liquid containing minerals.

Avoid subjecting or exposing your phone to extreme temperature changes, such as from hot to cold, and vice versa; as these create condensation and damage the mobile phone. Do not place mobile phones near stoves and ovens, on top of microwave ovens, inside your car, on top of the refrigerator, and near air conditioning units.

For mobile phones to last long, they have to be protected from many elements that may damage them. Moreover, many mobile phones today cost a fortune; especially those that are categorized as smartphones. Gadgets that are expensive, such as iPhones and other high-end mobile phones can last for a very long time as long as they are well protected and kept safe. So if you want to enjoy your mobile phones; and if you want your money’s worth, follow the suggestions above and surely, your mobile phone will serve you well.

Safeguarding your mobile phone will not only save you the hassle, but will save you money as well. To save yourself from constant repairs, make sure you buy a durable mobile phone. Read mobile phone reviews and do a comparison to make sure you get only the best.

24Mar/11Off

Android Phone Applications

Have you ever come across the word android and android apps? To many, it may sound like a movie similar to Star Trek. But what is it really? And how is it related to mobile phones?

When choosing a mobile phone, you will most likely meet the word Android and Android Apps, and, if you’re like the majority of mobile phone users, there is a great likelihood that yes, you’ve heard about it, but still know very little about it.

With the emergence of great developments in technology, phones are no longer used just for basic communications such as calling and text messaging. Inventions and innovations have made it possible to extend the usability of mobile phones into so much more.

How did this happen?

What Is an “Apps”?

Recent developments in technology have made it possible for various manufacturers in the phone industry to come up with mobile phone applications otherwise known as “apps”.

These apps allow a phone user to go beyond the normal uses of a phone and utilise it for many other reasons such as gaming, web browsing, computations, entertainment, as well as productivity tools. Android applications are available at the Android market which can be found online as well as on your Android phone. You can browse through hundreds and thousands of applications that suit your needs.

Since Android is considered to be open source, developers all through out the world can have a look at the source code and documents as well as tools to create their own application. As such, many have taken the challenge and thus more free applications are made for people to enjoy.

Examples of Android Apps

Here are some examples of Android Applications that are popularly used today:

  • Foursquare

This is a social-networking application (much like Facebook) that allows a user to ‘check-in’ to a place or establishment and let others know where you are. It also helps you find interesting ways to explore your city, see where your friends are and at the same time learn more about the places they frequent. There are over 4 million foursquare users around the world.

  • iTriage Mobile Health

This Android application was built by Doctors to allow users to have this as a reference for knowing your health status and help you make better health decisions. It lets you know possible symptoms to a disease, locate a nearby health care facility, locate doctors as well as pharmacies.

  • Crazy Snowboard

Crazy Snowboard is currently the #1 mobile snowboard games in the market. Available in the Android platform, this game lets you play through many levels encompassing many obstacles as you pass them all through your tactics and controls.

  • American Express for Android

This newly featured Android application enables the user to access credit information, pay bills, check balance, manage multiple credit card accounts and review recent transactions all in the convenience of your phone.

  • Grocery Gadget Shopping List

This application helps you get your grocery list handy as you rush to the store. You can check off an item in the list when you have it in your basket as well as have a tally of the items price. You can compare prices through different grocery stores. In a whole, it lets you get your grocery shopping done in a more organized manner.

Android phones can be your best friend if you're trying to keep track of your tasks or attempting to reach a goal. However, with lots of options in the market, it is very hard to choose which one is right for you. This is why before buying an android phone, do a comparison first to get the best deals in the market.

16Mar/11Off

A Business Rule of Thumb: Buy On Credit, Sell For Cash

Success in business does not happen by sheer accident. It happens because the entrepreneur who owns and runs the business strives to adhere to business rules of thumb, which greatly increase the likelihood of success. One such particular rule of thumb in business is Buy on Credit, Sell for Cash.

A business needs sufficient capitalization in order to survive. This is especially true if the business is capital intensive, just like businesses that deal with merchandise and production. Businesses in the manufacturing industry, for example, will require sufficient capitalization so that it can purchase raw materials; and raw materials can sometimes be very expensive, all the more if they are sourced from outside the country.

Wise entrepreneurs know how to deal with this challenge; they apply or use the business rule of thumb Buy on Credit, Sell for Cash.

How Does this Rule of Thumb Work?

Let’s have an example of a simple business transaction between an entrepreneur who owns a manufacturing business, Mr. A, and a businessman that sells raw materials, Mr. B.

Mr. A went to see Mr. B and expresses his desire to purchase raw materials on credit. Mr. B agreed and gave Mr. A 60 days to settle his accounts payable.

The transaction is mutually beneficial: Mr. A got his raw materials on account for 60 days, and Mr. B. was able to sell his raw materials. Assuming that Mr. A will be true to his commitment and pays Mr. B on the 60th day, both of them will have made money out of the transaction, which is the very purpose why they are in business in the first place.

However, the best question to ask is this: between the two businessmen, who made the most money out of the transaction?

Following the business rule of thumb above, it would be safe to say that Mr. A got more out of the transaction than Mr. B.

Here’s what happened.

Mr. B, when the transaction was completed, will have to wait for 60 days to finally be able to say that he made a profit.

Mr. A, on the other hand, upon taking hold of the raw materials, proceeded immediately to turn the raw materials into the finished product. Let’s just say that, within 7 days, most of the raw materials have been converted into finished products. Then, the finished products left the production line and went directly to distribution. Two more days and most of these products would have reached the store shelves. These finished products are then sold for cash. Within 10 days from the moment the raw materials were bought on credit, they were turned into finished products, sold, and money came in to Mr. A. The beautiful thing about the whole transaction is that Mr. A still has 50 days or even 40, to use his earnings from the raw materials he bought on credit. He can use it to purchase more raw materials, pay his bills, or practically just add it to the cash flow of the business, until such time the 60 days accounts payable becomes due. In simple terms, he is able to use Mr. B’s money on his business within the 60 days period.

Business Rules of Thumb really works. They are business practices that are tried and tested by many successful businessmen, or more aptly, by entrepreneurs. Thus, to succeed in business, an entrepreneur can do well to learn from other successful businessmen’s experiences.

Another rule of thumb in business is to separate personal expenses from business expenses. You can do this by applying for a credit card for your business alone. Before diving into this, however, make sure you compare credit providers to get the best offers.

14Mar/11Off

Serious Things to Consider Before Applying for a Student Credit Card

Of the many things young adults are very excited about in going to college; it’s the promise of freedom that tops it all. What many of the young adults tend to forget during this most interesting time of their lives is the fact that with freedom comes responsibility.

Being in college is one of the crucial turning points in the lives of many young adults. It’s a time when they begin to make choices and decisions on their own; decisions that will have an impact in the future lives.

It’s also a time where they enjoy freedom; a time when they begin to govern themselves. It’s a time when they don’t have to ask permission anymore from their parents if they want to do something, or go someplace, any time of day.

Living alone, far from he comforts and safety of their own homes, young adults begin to face challenges, such as managing their finances. Most young adults, when in college, are already working part time, hence are already earning. The most difficult challenge for these young adults in not so much in earning the money; it’s more about managing their finances well.

This is when the lure of credit card comes into play. Most young adults in college will begin to think about getting a credit card to “make ends meet”. What these young people do not understand is that if not managed well, credit cards will make them suffer more in the future, rather than help them out.

Basic Information about Student Credit Cards

This is the very basic information all students thinking about getting a credit card must always remember: that every dollar they spend using their credit card, they will have to pay back, plus interest!

College students should always endeavor to stay within a self-set credit limit. Forget about the maximum; stay within the minimum. This will ensure that they will be in the safe zone.

Initially, students should “test the waters” first and see how they manage their finances.

To safeguard students from getting into too much debt, student credit cards have a minimum credit limit of at most $1,000.00; But there are some that offers only $500 as maximum credit limit.

Tips for Student Applicants

It’s a good thing when students aspire for better things, because it goes to show that they are maturing.

To make credit card ownership a good and rewarding experience, prior to application, student applicants must first assess themselves in terms of their financial maturity. A good way to do this is evaluate how they manage their finances and their debts or anything that they borrowed from someone – maybe from a sibling, a friend, or a classmate. Questions to ask may include the following:

  • Do you have a part-time job?
  • How much do you earn?
  • Do you have savings?
  • Do you buy things that you don’t really need?
  • Do you always run out of money?
  • Do you habitually borrow anything from anybody?
  • Do you pay off what you owe as you promised?

Questions such as the ones mentioned above, when answered honestly, can tell a person so much about his or her financial maturity, and whether he or she is ready for a bigger responsibility such as owning a credit card. The best advice, therefore, for students who are thinking of getting a student credit card, is to do the self analysis honestly, and then, decide well.

Always remember that a good credit history will have an effect in all your future financial transactions; hence, it will be wise to start building a good one while you are in college.

Having your own credit card can be beneficial if you know how to use it wisely. Being a good manager begins when choosing a credit card provider to apply to. One way to do this is to do a credit card comparison to know which providers offer the lowest rates. However, another option is to get a debit card instead. This offers almost the same benefits as a credit card, but you'd be using your own money instead of "borrowing" from a credit provider.

9Mar/11Off

The Main Considerations for Lenders to Approve Your Loan

Lenders are concerned with four factors that affect your credit history.  These main considerations can be subjective.  Like getting a job, you need to present yourself in the best way possible to get accepted for credit applications.  When lenders decide to grant you a loan, they are taking a risk based on your creditworthiness.  This goes the same for best credit cards you come across with. They will assess your ability to pay for every credit you make.

Character and integrity

The first thing that lenders consider is character.  They will take a look at your personal and financial information to check how well you handle your obligations.  How well do you manage your debts? Have you ever missed a payment?  These are some of the questions that lenders will answer for you when they examine your credit history.  By taking character into consideration, lenders are actually checking your integrity.

Capacity to pay

Another main thing to consider is capacity.  Lenders will evaluate your ability to pay a loan.  They will check if you have sufficient income to pay your financial obligations.  Having a secure and stable job increases your ability to pay since you will have a steady source of income.  You will find that even in instant approval credit cards scheme.

Availability of collateral

Collateral is another factor that lenders consider.  If you have sufficient collateral, lenders will know that your loan is secure.  Collateral serves as your alternative payment in case you can’t pay the loan.  It serves as insurance to lenders.  If you decide to default, the lender can acquire your collateral as payment for the loan.  For example, when you get a home loan, the house and lot becomes the collateral. 

Availability of capital

Lenders will also consider your financial worth.  How much capital can you accumulate?  They will also evaluate how a new loan will affect your financial situation.  Lenders will check if the new loan will only become a financial burden in the long run.  If you are always looking forward to your next paycheck, getting a loan might not be such a good idea after all.  You will only have difficulty repaying the loan.  Lenders will also check your other assets such as savings accounts and certificates of deposits as possible sources of capital.  Your sources of funds also serve your guarantee that you can repay your loan.    

Generally, lenders have their own set of standards that you need to comply.  They may have their own qualifications to help them decide whether to grant you credit or not.  A good credit score is your best bet to getting a loan approved.  Check also your current financial status.  If you can’t afford to apply for a loan yet, don’t force it.  You just have to learn how to manage your finances first before lenders will see that you deserve a loan.