Focus on the Big Things – Part Two

by Scott Sery on April 17, 2014

Focus on the Big thingsRecently we discussed focusing on the big things, and how it is much more worthwhile to spend your time on the items that will save you a lot of money, like refinancing your house or negotiating your car insurance, rather than the things that will save you hardly anything, like making your own soap or skipping your morning coffee.  Today I want to take that one step further and talk about some more of those big things that need your focus.

Insurance

The concept of insurance is not a new one.  In fact, the basic concept of spreading out the risk can be traced back many thousands of years.  The idea that we know today, the one where we pay premiums in the event that our insured property, health, or life becomes damaged, developed within the past millennium or so.  Primarily due to the fact that this is the time period when cash based systems were replacing trade and barter systems.  An interesting fact that many people don’t know: the term underwriter came about when merchants were shipping their goods across the sea, they would post the shipment and its value in the public houses.  The insurer would assess the risk, and literally write his name underneath the shipment along with a premium that would be needed to insure those goods.

Modern day insurance is focused on the concept of indemnity, a fancy way of saying “to make whole.”  You can see it in every kind of insurance that you purchase today.  For instance, you have a car worth $20,000 and you purchase insurance on that vehicle.  If you wreck it, the insurance company will pay you what the car is worth (minus the deductible).  Granted your idea of what the car is worth may not be completely in line with what they company thinks the car is worth, but the point is you are being made whole, you are not making money on the deal.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Home Business Magazine for $5.99 Per Year

by Sean Bryant on April 17, 2014

Home Business MagazineHave you been thinking about starting a business? If you have then a great place to start might be with a subscription to Home Business Magazine. Today only you can get up to a two year subscription for just $5.99 per year. You will need to use coupon code ONESMARTDOLLAR at checkout. This is good for new or renewal subscriptions. You can also give this magazine as a gift.

Subscribe to Home Business Magazine

This deal will expire at 11:59 PM EST on April 17, 2014.

About Home Business Magazine Home Business caters to the 425 billion dollar a year home-business market. Each issue is loaded with editorials on business operations, sales and marketing, franchise and business opportunities, marketing and mail order advice, and more. This magazine subscription contains informative articles on setting up your home office, guides on using computers and the internet, success stories, helpful directories of businesses, and product reviews to help you start your own home-business.

Not interested in Home Business Magazine? You can use coupon code ONESMARTDOLLAR and save 20% off other magazine titles.

{ 0 comments }

Real Estate InvestingReal estate is big business and many people have made their fortunes by investing wisely in the right areas before they shot up in price. There is no time like the present to start investing in your future wealth.

Before plunging blindly in to the real estate market, you have to pull back, do some research, and find out which house is going to give you the best return on your dollar. These simple tips will help you identify the key signs that a region’s housing prices are on the up-and-up.

Trust your head not your heart

This may sound self-evident, but you would be surprised how many real estate investors have a bias against areas they are not familiar with or that have a “bad” reputation. Sound property investment is all about putting your emotions aside and crunching the numbers to find where your money will work hardest. Take the long view and monitor property price trends and auction clearance figures in a wide range of areas, by comparing these figures you will soon see trends emerge and will be positioned to buy-in early when an area is on the rise.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Love and Money – Women as the Breadwinner

by Melanie Lockert on April 14, 2014

The BreadwinnerThe changing face of the economy has brought about many new things. An increase in entrepreneurship, an over-educated working class, and a shift in gender dynamics: the explosion of women breadwinners. While these are very exciting times, the shifts in roles can affect our relationships in ways we may not be prepared to deal with.

Many women in my family are the breadwinners, and for a variety of reasons. Some of it has to do with education, field of work, unemployment, or health related issues. I find myself in a similar situation as my partner is a musician, with a fluctuating income month to month. On the other hand, I work a steady full-time job, and also side hustle every chance I get. It is hard to juggle conflicting schedules, sporadic income, and house chores, but here are some tips to make it work as a woman breadwinner.

Work As a Team

When one member of a relationship spends more time making money, there should be a balance in the household chores that reflects this. From talking with other women breadwinners, I’ve realized that gender norms are still prevalent in other areas of the relationship. Some women breadwinners are still responsible for the majority of cooking and cleaning in the household, while still bringing in most of the income. Not all women want to bring home the bacon and then have to cook it too. It is important to discuss the distribution of responsibilities and divide proportionately in relation to time and income.

[click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

Used Clothes OnlineHave you ever found a $5 bill in an old jacket? Isn’t that the best feeling? Now imagine if that old jacket turned into a $20 bill. Most of us probably have closets bursting at the seams with clothes, most of which we don’t wear often, if, at all. Threadflip, a clothing resale website, conducted a survey of women aged 18-54 in the United States recently. The survey found an average woman has approximately 90 items worth about $1000 in her closet. Of these 90 items, about 51% of them are not worn anymore! That equates to a little over $500 worth of unused clothing just taking up prime real estate in one’s closet. How cool would it be if those unused clothes turned into cold, hard cash in your hand?

Where to Sell Used Clothes

Used clothes can be sold in a variety of places with the most popular being consignment/resale shops or online. Here’s a rundown of where your can sell your used clothing:

Local Consignment/Resale Shops

Consignment or resale shops are the best place to start if you have shops around you locally. Shops generally either buy your clothes up front for cash or will place your items for sale and will pay you if your clothes sell while keeping a percentage of the sale for commission. Check what each shop sells for clothing brands first. Some shops specialize in upscale designer duds while others accept a wide variety of popular brands. Most shops only accept the current fashion trends. If you clothes are older than 20 years then look for a vintage shop. Shops are seasonal so check what season shops are accepting clothing for currently. Shops will start looking for summer clothes during the late winter/early spring months. Some great consignment/resale shops with multiple locations throughout the United States include Second Time Around, Crossroads Trading, and Buffalo Exchange.

Online Consignment/Resale Shops

If you don’t live near a consignment/resale shop then you have many online options for both adults and children. Online shops are becoming very popular and new ones pop up all the time. Certain sites are geared towards different brands and styles so do your research so you can maximize your profit. Like above, online shops will either offer you money up front or take a percentage of the sale when an item sells. Some popular online shops are Threadflip, Twice, and Thredup among many others. For children’s clothing and accessories check out ConsignmentMommies.com for online and local shops. Selling clothes online has never been easier!

Ebay

Ebay is a great place to sell a wide variety of things. You probably won’t get a lot of money selling your used clothing on Ebay unless you have very popular designer brands. Most clothing that sells well on Ebay is new with tags. Do your research first before posting anything on Ebay. If you have a rare designer handbag or Lilly Pulitzer dress then you might make a nice profit. When posting items on Ebay, make sure you take lots of good pictures and describe the items in detail, including any blemishes.  You could also give Craigslist a try.

Yard/Garage Sale

Who doesn’t love an old fashion Yard/Garage Sale? If you’re trying to sell a bunch of your old stuff around the house then you can offer up some of your clothes for sale at the same time. Yale sales most likely won’t yield as much cash for your clothes than a consignment shop, but it’s worth the try if you’re setting up a yard sale to sell your other stuff. Hang your clothes in a favorable light and mark prices clearly to get the most customer interest.

Social Media

Perhaps all your friends have commented on your superb fashion sense. Use social media to sell your used clothing to your friends and followers on social media. There is nothing wrong in trying to make a few bucks on your used clothes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Maybe you can even organize a community clothing sale and get a bunch of your friends and family to participate.

Donate

When all else fails you can always donate your used clothing to organizations such as Goodwill, Dress for Success and charity thrift shops among many other options. You may not make any cash when donating items, but you can get a tax write-off that can be beneficial if you itemize your tax deductions.

Tips for Getting the Most Bang For Your Buck

  • Make sure your clothes are freshly washed and ironed if needed
  • Repair missing buttons and stitch any small holes
  • Do your research and know what brands each consignment/resale shop accepts
  • Check the policies of each consignment/resale shop and whether they pay cash or check up front or take commission on your sales
  • Consignment/resale shops will also offer you store credit as well, often more value than a cash offer
  • If you have tags or boxes for items bring them with you
  • Place items you bring into shops on nice hangers or garment bags – presentation matters!

Selling used clothing that you know is just sitting in your closet is a great way to earn a few extra bucks, especially if you’re trying to pay-off debt or save for a tropical vacation. Not only will your wallet get fatter, but your closet will get thinner and more organized!

{ 3 comments }

How to Avoid Paying too Much for Your Next Car and Insurance

April 9, 2014
Ford Escape

It’s normal to feel a sense of impending doom when you find out that you have to buy a car. It happens to all of us. The process of buying a car has been talked about and lamented over and even vilified for years. Eventually, though, I had to get over it. Why? I was […]

Read the full article →

A Farewell to Haggling? Changes in the Car-Buying Process

April 7, 2014
Haggling Car-Buying Process

Long gone are the days of loading the family into the station wagon, buying a round of ice cream cones and taking a drive through the local dealership to check out what’s for sale. Why bother, when you can just grab your tablet and browse vehicles online? Today, most car shoppers hit the dealership with […]

Read the full article →