Saving Tips for Technology

Don’t overpay for your cables. Shop at monoprice.com or at AmazonBasics to buy off-brand phone chargers or connector cables. They work as well as those from Apple or other brand names.
Do you know the best time to buy tech? TV’s, Blu-ray players and cameras go on sale during the year-end holidays. Computer prices drop in late spring. Older Apple products often get discounted when new versions hit the store, usually in the fall.
Need expert budget picks on your technology? Try websites like Reviewed.com, The Wirecutter.com and The SweetHome.com review home tech gear. Along with their top-rated items, they usually include a budget pick.
Looking for a free music “Speaker”? Insert your cellphone-speaker first-into a mug and enjoy the increased volume and richness.

“No one limits your growth but you. If you want to earn more, learn more.” Tom Hopkins

Nothing Saved

Bankrate.com reveals that Americans have not saved very much for their future. This is a sad state of affairs for the richest country on the earth. Most Asians save 40 – 50% of their income and Europeans save about 25% of their income. Here are the U.S. stats:

66 million: number of U.S. adults who have nothing saved for an emergency
33%: share of 36-to-51-year olds who haven’t saved anything
27%: share of those 18 and older who failed to put any money away
28%: share of Americans who have put away six months’ worth of expenses

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” Og Mandino

Financial Tips to Save You Money

Reduce your auto insurance. As your car ages, the maximum payout for an accident (calculated by subtracting your deductible from the cars value) steadily decreases. Crunch the numbers to see if the price of collision and comprehensive coverage is still worth it.
Buy more to spend less on life insurance. Life insurers have price breaks at certain amounts, called price bands. When you move up a band, the cost per thousand dollars of coverage goes down. For example, if you’re looking at a $450,000 policy, also get a price quote for $500,000. You might find you can pay less for more coverage.
Ask for discounts from monthly billers. Want lower cable TV, phone, utility or even gym rates? Call up the customer retention department and tell them you are considering switching to a new provider to save money. Often, they’ll offer a deal rather than lose a customer.
Don’t put college tuition on a credit card. Many colleges charge a fee averaging 2.62 percent – or $262 for every $10,000 in tuition, according to a survey by CreditCards.com. Check whether your college charges a fee before saying “Charge it”.
Here’s another tip. Check the unclaimed property sites for every state where you have lived. They might be holding a dividend check in your name, money in a savings account that you forgot or an uncashed refund check. To check, go to naupa.org find your state and enter your name.

Free advance directives. An advance directive documents your end-of-life medical care wishes. You can download a directive that meets your state’s legal requirements at caringinfo.org.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell

Shopping Savings for the Home

You can save on home projects by doing it yourself. There are tutorials on YouTube and Wikihow to teach you how to regrout a bathtub, upholster chairs etc. Do the job on your own and save big bucks.

Get to know your retail seasons. January is the time to buy furniture and linens. April brings deals on gardening supplies and outdoor décor. May is the month to purchase mattresses. The best time to buy a grill is after Labor Day. Shop October for appliances and November for cookware. You can also shop online discounters for home décor. Filene’s Basement, the century-old discounter, has resurfaced as filenesbasement.com. And check out bargains at Overstock.com, particularly its Worldstock items, made by disadvantaged artisans overseas. Happy Shopping!

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned”
Peter Marshall

Do It Yourself Investing

For those who like to do their own stock research and are true “Value Investors” (like Warren Buffett) here are a few sites that may be helpful.
Money chimp (MoneyChimp.com) is a free site. Enter the ticker symbol and you can see if your stock is undervalued. Valuation methods include discounted cash flow, dividend discount model, The Benjamin Graham formula (Buffett is a disciple of Graham).
Another free site is ValueWalk.com. This site has a host of filters you can use.
These other two sites do research over and above the 10,000 securities listed in the U.S. You pay a subscription fee to use them, but they may be your cup of tea. Check out GuruFocus.com and YCharts.com

Here’s to your investment success!