Loan

When Can Loans for People with Bad Credit Be Good for You?

Despite the term “bad” in loans for people with bad credit, these financing tools can actually be good for you in various financial circumstances in your life.

There’s number of circumstances in your life when you need the power of financing. You want a new home or car? You’re most likely going to have to finance it. Financing through student loans also make it possible for you to finish college education. But what comes in your mind when hear the phrase “loans for people with bad credit?”

Loans for People with Bad Credit Are Good!

Looking beyond the term and focusing on the purpose, loans for people with bad credit can actually be good! As bad credit loans, these loans give you the facility to meet financial emergencies even if you have poor credit score. Lenders are willing to looking beyond your credit score and lend you the amount you need.

You cannot and shouldn’t expect loans for people with bad credit to be as affordable as traditional loans or if you have great credit. These loans naturally have higher interest rate because of the risks you carry. Lenders hang on to these rates and hope that you don’t miss your payments or default on the loans.

But loans for people with bad credit are good because they’re so easily attainable despite your poor credit records. You can take the loan and get the money the within the same business day. This can be an ideal financing solution for when you need relief for debts and bills; medical emergencies and other forms of basic needs.

With the help of loans for people with bad credit, you can meet a lot of unexpected expenses without worrying about your bad credit. And as long as you manage your finances properly despite the financial setback, taking these loans can be a wise move.

Loan

Prepare Your Own Taxes and Save Money

own taxesFor the first few years after my husband and I were married, we took our taxes to a well-known tax service and spent a couple of hundred dollars to get them prepared. Although going to a professional seemed somewhat easier than doing our own taxes, it was actually costing us a lot of money we could have put towards something else. We now prepare our own taxes and save over a hundred dollars each year.

Most major tax services have online tax preparation programs that enable you to simply go on the computer and prepare your tax return. There is also software available such as TaxAct and TaxCut that you can purchase for a very low cost at any major department store. If your annual income is less than $52,000, check out the irs.gov website and search for “free file”. You will have a variety of options to file your federal taxes for free through the Internal Revenue Service.

Unless you have a very complicated return to prepare or an unusual financial situation, filing your own taxes online or through software is extremely easy. All you need to do is input information into the system, which does all the “hard” work for you. In less than an hour, you can have your tax return completed, including e-filing. In a couple of weeks you will receive any refund due to you via check or direct deposit (the faster way to get your refund). If you owe the government money, you are able to pay online or print out your return and send a check.

Here are some of the documents you will want to get together before you prepare your taxes:

  1. Last year’s tax returns (state and federal)
    2. You and your spouse’s (if applicable) dates of birth and social security numbers
    3. Social security numbers and dates of birth for any dependents
    4. End of the year bank statement – Form 1099-INT
    5. Home ownership information showing interest and points paid – Form 1098
    6. W-2 Forms from all jobs

These are just documents needed for a basic return. Depending on your situation you may require several other documents like child care or child support information. Of course, if you are self-employed, you will also need additional documentation. Most information you will need to get started is available online through tax sites or the IRS.

Cost to prepare taxes through an online tax service (if you are not using Freefile), is approximately $10-40. State returns will usually be an additional $10-20. However, when you compare this to what you would spend going to a tax office, doing your own taxes is a good deal.

General

How to Save Money During Baby’s First Year

Everyone thinks that babies come with hefty price-tags. Once the initial excitement of knowing the baby is coming starts to subside, the worries begin. You’re worried about the type of parent you’ll be, how life will change, and, of course, how much it will cost. In reality, it’s easy to blow your budget on baby things. And if you have the money, then go shopping! But for those of you with a knot in your stomach as you see your savings spiraling down the drain, don’t worry, there is another way. Babies just don’t cost as much in the first year as you may think.

The best advice is to go used on most things. Clothes, furniture, toys, books and other items can be bought at second-hand stores and from individuals for a fraction of the cost. However, any used furniture or equipment (swings, high chairs, etc.) should be in good working condition and meet all safety standards. I bought an Exersaucer for my son at a second-hand store when he was about 6 months old for less than $20 when they were retailing for around $80.

I recently read an article that said that the average baby costs anywhere from $2,000 to as high as $6,000 to diaper from the time they’re born to potty training. You can save lots of money (and trees) by cloth diapering. The initial investment can be higher, but once you buy the diapers in the right sizes, your spending is essentially done. You can spend lots on cute prints or fancy all-in-one diapers. But if you spend $150-$200 on good pre-fold diapers and some covers, you can do it without spending a fortune. The best are Chinese pre-folds, diaper service quality (DSQ), made by a variety of manufacturers.

Everyone knows breastfeeding is cheaper and can even be free. Most people like to have bottles and even a manual pump (about $50 or less) on hand, but essentially, free. Formula can cost $20 a week or more.

Finally, the medical expenses. If you’re lucky enough to get pregnant in a different year than you give birth and you have a flexible spending account, use it! (Most FSA’s require you to set an amount at the beginning of the year.) Labor, delivery and first year doctor visits can add up to thousands. You may have out-of-pocket expenses beyond what insurance covers. You can allocate enough money for this through your flexible spending account. You’re going to pay it anyway, so it might as well be tax-free!

Don’t go crazy buying the newest gadgets and a new wardrobe for your baby. As someone once told me, you put them in pricey outfits for the first few months, then you get over it and start using hand-me-downs. Babies might be worth a million bucks, but they don’t have to cost you that.

General

Do You Save Money at the “DOLLAR STORE”?

An Investigation

I decided to conduct a personal investigation into the question “Do I save money when I shop at the ‘Dollar Store’?” I was actually surprised with some of my findings. I’ll admit that I was personally expecting to find no savings at all. In most cases, they were comparable to regular stores or slightly cheaper.

The biggest savings I found was on the generic label product. Most often, these items are much cheaper than the generic labeled items at our favorite stores. For instance, I found a 50 count of generic Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and 50 count generic Advil (Ibuprophen) for $1.00 at the dollar store and most retail stores sell these same items for about $2.00 ($1.97 and $1.74 respectively at Target).

save dollar

Generic window cleaner – 33 oz. for $1.00 at the dollar store and the 32 oz. generic at Target was $1.99 and about the same elsewhere.
300 count generic Qtips for $1.00 at the dollar store and 500 generic Qtips for $2.59 at Target (and similar price at other department stores).
A big shocker for me was on the tiny bag of generic sugar – 2lbs for $1.00 at the dollar store and 4lbs at our favorite stores for $2.29 – $2.49… I would be better off buying two bags at the dollar store!

I also found a great deal on generic Equal (Aspartame) in a 50 pkt box for $1.00 and generic Sweet & Low (Saccharin) in a 100 pkt box for $1.00 which other stores can’t even come close to in price.

Next, I decided to take on the brand names. I figured I could uncover a conspiracy at the dollar store with these. After all, we’ve seen those miniaturized packages of our favorite products at the dollar store, but are they cheaper? Let’s check:

1 lb of Meow Mix is $1.00 or 3.5lbs Meow Mix for $3.79 – $3.99 elsewhere. Cheaper to buy 4 bags at the dollar store.

3.5 oz Colgate for $1.00 or 6 oz Colgate for $2.44 at Target (that’s $.29 per oz at dollar store or $.41 per oz at Target) Cheaper at the dollar store.

7.5 oz Softsoap liquid hand soap for $1.00 at the dollar store or $1.39 – $1.49 elsewhere for the exact same thing. Cheaper to buy at the dollar store.

5 pack multipak of Extra gum for $1.00 at the dollar store or 8 pack multipak elsewhere for $1.79-$1.99 (the dollar store averages 20 cents per pack and other stores average a little higher) Cheaper to buy at the dollar store.

Tiny 30 oz bottle of Purex laundry detergent for $1.00 or 100 oz bottle elsewhere for $3.29 – $3.49 To my surprise, it’s almost the same (3.3 cents per oz at the dollar store to 3.3 – 3.5 cents per oz elsewhere – but sometimes slightly cheaper at the dollar store)

How about the dollar-sized boxes of Little Debbie Snack Cakes? 10 Cosmic Brownies, 10 Swiss Cake Rolls, or 9 Oatmeal Cream Pies for $1.00 and elsewhere we find 12 Cosmic Brownies, 12 Swiss Cake Rolls, or 12 Oatmeal Cream Pies for $1.25… Surprisingly cheaper by a little bit at the dollar store!

I finally gave in at the end and realized that for the most part, things are truly cheaper or sometimes comparably-priced at the dollar store. I expected to reveal that we’ve been wasting our money there but if you shop wisely, you may be better off buying multiple small containers of your favorite products at the dollar store. My recommendation: buy a small calculator (perhaps at the dollar store) and keep it with you to figure the price per ounce/pound of your favorite products and compare. Ultimately you may discover that you can save yourself hundreds of dollars per year by purchasing some of your groceries at the dollar store.