17 Ways to Save Money When You Live in a Big City (It’s Actually Possible!)

I know I don’t have to tell you this, city dwellers: Living in a big city is expensive.

I was slapped with that cold reality when I moved to Denver. After living in two relatively rural college towns, I was used to paying a rent I could almost afford; groceries that were, well, normally priced; and a night out with friends that never remotely creeped close to $ 50.

Then there were those times I visited New York City and San Francisco for long weekends… Don’t get me started.

Anyway, kudos for making it work — but I know it’s got to get difficult sometimes. That’s why we put together a list of ways to save money when you live in a big city.

1. Save Money on Any Debt You’ve Already Accumulated  

Moving in general is expensive, but moving to a big city and adjusting to that new cost of living is difficult.

If you accumulate any credit card debt in the process that’s still lingering, consider refinancing or consolidating it to find better interest rates.

A good resource is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

2. Get $ 3 Pantry Essentials Delivered to Your Door

Groceries tend to be more expensive in big cities. Goods in New York City are 10% higher than average U.S. prices, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The task itself also tends to be more difficult, depending on how far away you live from the closest store.

A great way to save money is to order the essentials online — where prices are more likely to be the same nationwide.

With Brandless, you can stock up on all your grocery essentials for $ 3 each. Yup — everything’s $ 3. And you’ll get $ 5 off your order when you sign up with your email address.

Better yet, Brandless carries organic, gluten-free and vegan options. You could spend hours perusing the virtual aisles, but here are a few examples:

  • An 8-ounce jar of organic, 100% pure honey: $ 3
  • Organic aged white cheddar popcorn: Two for $ 3
  • Roasted and salted almonds: $ 3
  • Organic, fair-trade, light-roast ground coffee: $ 3

You can also stock up on Brandless cleaning supplies, household essentials and clean beauty supplies.

Shipping is free when you spend $ 39 or more.

3. Claim Cash Back on Drinks and Takeout Orders

Life tends to be a bit more stressful in the big city, and it’s important to take time to unwind. Whether you prefer to do that with alcohol or takeout, claim cash back.

Traditionally, Ibotta is known for its cash-back offers on groceries, but it’s also available for restaurants, bars and food-delivery services.

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

  • 10% cash back for new DoorDash users.
  • $ 5 back on two bottles of Stella Artois.
  • $ 2 back on a glass of Cupcake Wine.

Just download the app for free, then select “Find Offers.” When you claim your first cash-back offer, you’ll pocket a $ 10 bonus.

4. Ease the Pain of Those Higher Car Insurance Rates

The good news is big cities typically have public transit systems, so sometimes you can get away with selling your car and living that car-free life.

If you still need your car, though, you’ll probably face higher car insurance rates.

Here are three options to help alleviate the pain associated with those high costs:

  • First, find a pay-per-mile insurance policy. If you live in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington and drive less than 200 miles a week, consider getting insurance through MetroMile, a company that lets you pay for insurance by the mile. I you only drive 5,000 miles per year, you could save $ 500, according to MetroMile’s calculations. Find out if it could help you save by snagging a free quote.
  • If you still drive quite a bit, take a few minutes to compare rates from other providers. A service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work. Gabi says it finds an average savings of $ 720 per year for its customers.
  • Help offset big-city costs by renting your car out when you’re not using it. With the Getaround app, you can safely rent out your car to people in your community and neighborhood. The company insures your car for each trip, offers 24/7 roadside assistance and screens drivers for a safe driving record.

5. Count Your Many Steps and Turn ’Em Into Cash

Whether you walk to work or take public transit, you tend to spend more time on your feet in big cities.

Go ahead and reward your barking feet with the Achievement app.

Achievement connects to your phone’s health apps and runs in the background, so it works passively. Many users report being happily surprised when logging on and checking their progress.

Once you earn 10,000 points, you’ll score $ 10, which you can deposit directly into your bank account.

Pro tip: Achievement connects to more than 30 Android and iOS health-related apps, including MyFitnessPal and Garmin. The more apps you connect, the more earning opportunities.

6. Negotiate Your Monthly Bills (or Have This Bot Do It)

A great money-saving tactic when living in a big city is to negotiate your bills. Some may be more difficult to negotiate than others (you can even try negotiating your rent), but we suggest starting simply with a free negotiation tool.

Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees.

After downloading the app, create an account and link your bank account and/or credit cards. Turn on the bill negotiation and outage protection features. Boom. TrueBill is already searching for potential refunds — it might get you a refund even when you didn’t know an outage occurred.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

Signing up and using the service is free, though there are some paid premium services that are totally optional — but could totally be worth it.

7. Set up Your Big-City Budget

If money’s tighter than you’d like, it’s important to keep a budget.

Budgeting can be a little scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to find out how you’re doing now. Luckily, you can have a financial assistant right in your pocket to help you out.

The Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

Link the app to your bank accounts, and it will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you are overdoing it. That’s right: It will show you just how many times you went out for dinner because you didn’t want to do the dishes.

Set a monthly spending limit and the app will show you a graph that can tell you in one snapshot just how you’re doing for the month. Are you over the line or under it? It’s that simple to see how you’re doing so you can adjust your spending accordingly.

8. Declutter Your Space — and Earn Some Extra Cash

Affordable apartments tend to be small, so if you’re feeling a bit cluttered in your space, clean stuff out.

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This easy-to-use app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. It removes a lot of the hassle of selling things online, and it’s 100% free to use.

If you’ve got old technology lingering (think: phones, CDs, DVDs or video games), download the Decluttr app, and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use, you won’t pay listing or seller fees, payment is super fast and even shipping is free.

Plus, enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $ 5 for your trade-in order!

9. Entertain Yourself on Your Commute (and Win Cash)

While you’re swiping around on your phone and wasting time on your commute, go ahead and download the Lucky Day app

You could win up to $ 10,000 playing digital scratch-off tickets or even a whopping $ 100,000 in the daily lotto. You’ll also have a lot of chances to win gift cards to cool places like Amazon, Walmart, Dunkin and Target.

It’s all free to play, with no in-app purchases. The company has already awarded more than $ 3 million in prizes to winners since 2014.

Try to resist an embarrassing happy dance on the subway if you win money.

10. Create an In-Case-of-Emergency Fund Without Thinking

When you have to spend a lot of money just to get by day to day, the task of saving money will easily fall to the wayside.

Don’t let that happen. Digit allows you to save money without even noticing.

This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, one Penny Hoarder saved $ 4,300 without noticing — read his Digit review.

If you need that money sooner than expected, you’ll always have access to it within one business day.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

11. Dress up to Big-City Standards Without Credit Card Debt

There’s something about living in a big city where there’s more pressure to dress like, well, a real human. Fashion trends are actually timely, and you want to look professional when walking into your skyscraper of an office.

But just because you have pressure to look trendy doesn’t mean you have to rack up credit card debt.

Instead of shopping online at any ol’ retailer or signing up for a clothing subscription service, check out flash-sale site Rue La La first.

It offers top brands for up to 70% off. How? When retailers have excess product, Rue La La takes it and sells it at a hefty discount — but each sale is only available for a limited time.

Just sign up for free with your email address. (It’s an exclusive site — discounts are for members only.) Then search your favorite brands, or browse the boutiques to see what’s available.

12. Protect Your Abode and Belongings With Affordable Insurance

If you’re renting, you know some cities and states require renters insurance. It might seem like a pain at the time, but it can really save you in the long run.

For example, when my boyfriend lived in Denver, a hail storm hit and destroyed his complex’s roof, causing water to flood into his apartment. After his deductible, his renters insurance paid for him to move into a hotel near his workplace for about three months. If any of his items had been damaged, it would have covered those expenses, too.

If you don’t yet have renters insurance — or want to shop around for a better rate — start by getting a free quote. We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, through which renters insurance starts at $ 5 a month.

Beyond affordable rates, Lemonade adds a layer of transparency you don’t often see in the insurance world. Instead of profiting extra when it doesn’t have to pay out claims, the company keeps a set 20% of your premium for itself, and 80% goes into a pool for paying claims. Money left over after paying claims each year goes to a cause of your choice.

That also means Lemonade isn’t going to be super stingy about granting customers the claims they deserve — ’cause the money isn’t going into its pockets.

13. Find a Side Gig (Opportunities Abound)

Big cities are basically playgrounds for side gigs. If you’re struggling to make rent or are racking up credit card debt, consider increasing your income, even if only temporarily.

Here are some of our favorite side-gig options for folks in the big city:

  • It’s no secret big cities attract more tourists, and that’s good news for you. If you have a spare room, try earning some extra money by listing it on Airbnb. If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
  • If you’re looking for a flexible, independent way to earn money — and you love hanging out with dogs — Rover might be your perfect gig. The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town. Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month.
  • Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people? Try driving with Lyft. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

14. Call it Quits With Your Expensive Cell Phone Provider

If you’re sick of of paying your cell phone carrier hundreds of dollars each month, look beyond the so-called Big Four and into the discount carrier Twigby.

That’s what Zak Wilson did. He’d been paying Verizon Wireless about $ 180 a month for two lines. So he tried Twigby. For both phones, he’s now paying $ 60 a month.

Plus, new customers get 25% off the first six months of service.

Pro tip: Big cities mean big Wi-Fi opportunities. Whenever you can, tap into free Wi-Fi to save on data.

15. Snag Cash Back — Even From Your Favorite Local Deli

Cash-back apps are great, but many of them don’t cater to your favorite local haunts — like that unsuspecting deli on your block or your favorite coffee pitstop on your way to work.

But don’t worry. We found an app that’ll reward you for keeping any receipt.

As seen on Shark Tank, CoinOut is a shopping rewards app. You’ll earn cash when you snap a photo of a receipt — any receipt, from any retailer, featuring any item. (Similar apps are a lot pickier.)

We put it to the test: A couple of Penny Hoarder staffers dug out receipts — a $ 5 Wendy’s order and a salad from a local sandwich shop. One collected 5 cents, the other 4 cents. The better condition your receipt is in, the more you’ll earn back, so resist crumpling it into a ball.

You can also earn cash back when you shop online with one click through the CoinOut app. Featured retailers include Walmart, Overstock and Warby Parker.

You can cash — ahem, coin — out once a week for an Amazon gift card or funnel the money right into your bank account or PayPal.

16. Don’t Let Laundry and Dry Cleaning Shrink Your Budget

Laundry’s a big expensive chore in big cities. And dry cleaning? Don’t even get us started…

You’ve probably already invested in that magical Febreze Fabric Refresher spray (if you haven’t, just trust us), but now it’s time to tackle the costs of dry cleaning.

For some fabrics, it’s totally necessary. But for others (even if the tag says dry-cleaning only), it’s not.

Dive into your guide to saving money on dry cleaning. It just might change your life (or at least your budget).

17. Find Fun (and Free!) Weekend Activities

All right. We’ve addressed all your big recurring bills, but you’ve got to have some fun, too. After all, you live in a city where there’s tons to do and explore.

Look into your neighborhood’s farmers market, check out free museum passes from your local library, take a hike (genuinely), plan a picnic or window-shop.

Get some inspiration from our list of free things to do in Orlando.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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How to Save Money on Everything You Buy for Baby Without Clipping Coupons

There was a time when my wife and I could go to Target, and the only things we’d have to worry about kicking up our bill were bags of M&M’s or home decor items no one really needs.

Now we have twin babies. These days, our cart fills up with diapers, baby food and a variety of odds and ends I never even knew those little people needed. It adds up fast.

In the first year alone, parents can expect to spend at least $ 20,000, according to a NerdWallet survey. While a big portion of that number comes from daycare and medical costs, those everyday items can make you want to cry louder than your baby.

Luckily, we found an app that can help you save big time as you load up on some of those costly things you need to keep your baby happy and healthy.

You may know Ibotta as a great way to get cash back on groceries, but have you looked at all of the baby items it features?

Get up to $ 6 Cash Back on Baby Formula

A hand holds powder milk for baby and blue spoon.

We all know breastfeeding is the most affordable way to nourish your little one. I mean, Mother Nature provides the good stuff for free, right?

While as many as 83% of babies are breastfed, fewer than half of them are breastfed exclusively, even during the first three months, according to the CDC. That means parents are filling the gap with formula.

At nine months old, our twins are primarily breastfed and still go through two cans of formula per week at roughly $ 20 per can. Ouch.

Here are just a few of the recent formula deals we’ve seen on the app:

  • Similac: $ 3 cash back from multiple stores, including Target and Walmart.
  • Enfamil NeuroPro: $ 4 cash back at Walmart.
  • Parent’s Choice: $ 3 cash back at Walmart.
  • CVS Health: $ 4 cash back at CVS Pharmacy.
  • Member’s Mark: $ 4 cash back at Sam’s Club.
  • Gerber Natura Organic: $ 6 cash back at multiple stores including Meijer, Publix and Walmart.
  • Berkley Jensen: $ 4 cash back at BJ’s.

We’re not talking a few cents here.

If you’re using formula at all, you can be saving significant money by using Ibotta. Just find a deal for your favorite brand, snap a photo of your receipt with the app, and bam — cash back.

Bonus: When you earn your first cash-back offer through the app, you’ll pocket a $ 10 bonus.

Get up to $ 3 Back on Baby Food

Eventually, your little bundle of joy will need more than just milk. Pretty soon, you’ll be filling your cart with an amazing variety of pureed veggies and fruits that will inevitably end up all over your baby’s bib, in their hair and on the floor. But that’s all part of the experience, right?

Ibotta can help out here, too. Get these tidier treats:

  • Happy Baby Clearly Crafted Pouches: Get 75 cents cash back when you buy any three at Walmart, or $ 2.50 cash back on a 10-pack at Sam’s Club.
  • Gerber Organic Pouches: Get $ 3 cash back on a 12-pouch box at Sam’s Club.
  • Beech Nut Organic Pouches: $ 2 cash back at multiple stores, including Food Lion, Meijer and Babies R Us.

Earn up to $ 3 When You Buy Vitamins, Wipes, Bottles and More

The list doesn’t stop there. There are tons of odds and ends we need to keep our babies happy and healthy. Here are a few of the best deals:

  • Zarbees Baby Vitamins: $ 3 cash back at multiple stores, including CVS, Meijer and Publix.
  • Aveeno baby products: $ 1 cash back at Walmart.
  • Johnson’s Baby Products: $ 1 to $ 3 cash back at Walmart.
  • Desitin: $ 2 cash back on a 16-ounce jar at Walmart.
  • Huggies Wipes: 50 cents cash back at Walgreens.
  • Baby Bum Products: $ 1.50 cash back at multiple stores, including Target and Buy Buy Baby.
  • Playtex Baby Bottles: $ 3 cash back at Walmart.

Earn up to 18% Cash Back When You Shop Online

What new parent has extra time to go to stores? Ibotta can help you save money with your online shopping, too.

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

  • Up to 5.5% cash back from Amazon.
  • 5% cash back from Etsy.
  • 4% cash back from Groupon.
  • 2% cash back from Buy Buy Baby
  • 3% cash back from Overstock.com.
  • 18% cash back from Warby Parker.

Just download the app for free, select “Find Offers” and the mobile shopping category, then shop your favorite retailer through the portal.

Look Before You Shop

The best way to take advantage of Ibotta deals is to take a look through the app before you head to the store and see which deals are available. Are your favorite brands offering deals? Are you willing to try a different brand to save a few bucks?

We don’t see any diaper cash back deals on the app right now, but keep checking. We also have seen some sneaky ways to get free diapers.

If you haven’t tried Ibotta yet and you have a bouncing baby bungling your budget, now is the time to sign up.

With all the money you’ll save, you can get a great start on that college fund… because you do want them to get a great job and move out eventually, right?

Tyler Omoth is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework

For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.

Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.

In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.

Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.

Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.

How To Choose The Best Car Insurance

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.

  • Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.

 

  • Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.

 

  • Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.

 

  • There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.

 

  • Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.

 

  • Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.

 

  • Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.

 

The post Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework

For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.

Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.

In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.

Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.

Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.

How To Choose The Best Car Insurance

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.

  • Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.

 

  • Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.

 

  • Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.

 

  • There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.

 

  • Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.

 

  • Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.

 

  • Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.

 

The post Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Tesla’s home solar system price cut can save you up to $5,000

Tesla just lowered the price on its solar shingles and other whole house solar components by up to 25% in an effort to boost sales of its under-performing home solar system.

RELATED: Free electricity: Yes, it’s for real and here’s how you could get it!

Tesla’s move will save homeowners between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000

Tesla has confirmed to Reuters that it’s now slashing installation costs on its home solar systems after sales of the systems have trailed off.

A company executive told the news agency that any residential customer getting a quote after November 15, 2018 will realize an average savings of between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000 on material and installations costs versus prior quotes.

Tesla has struggled with its solar installation business since its 2016 acquisition of Solar City, which was then the largest residential solar installer in the country.

A year later, Tesla began accepting orders for its solar roofing shingles, which look like this:

Textured
Smooth
Tuscan
Slate

But despite a lot of buzz around the shingles and Tesla’s residential solar initiative, it didn’t get off the ground in quite the way the company had hoped.

Installations have fallen from 200 megawatts (MW) a quarter in early 2016 when Solar City was at its peak to less than half of that — just 93 MW — in the third quarter 2018, according to Reuters.

Adding to the woes is the fact that Tesla tinkered extensively with Solar City’s successful sales model, which relied heavily on door-to-door canvassing in solar-friendly states, among other proven approaches.

Meanwhile, Tesla also terminated a retail relationship with Home Depot in 2017. That means the all-electric automaker could no longer demo its whole house solar approach at some 800 stores across the country.

Tesla executives now hope a lower price on its solar systems will bring in more customers.

You can request your new, lower quote here.

More real estate stories on Clark.com

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Hufflepuffs Can — And Will — Save the World

Move over, Gryffindor. Hufflepuffs are the real heroes here.



When we reached out to our Harry Potter community, asking all self-proclaimed Hufflepuffs to describe their unique House pride, we weren’t at all surprised to find that many fans didn’t love their Hogwarts House assignment at first. Countless stories began with community members expressing their knee-jerk shame in being sorted into Hufflepuff — some outright admitting to lying or cheating to skew their results.

“I never really wanted to be a Hufflepuff,” began FANDOM user Squidwiki2017, echoing many similar responses. “Gryffindor was my house until I [took the] Pottermore quiz.”



Once the butt of many jokes, Hufflepuff has blossomed into one of the proudest and most-searched Houses online on our site alone with over 800 thousand page views each year. How did Hufflepuffs reveal themselves to be the true heroes of the Wizarding World, and what made us too blind to see it for so many years?

Hufflepuffs Began as Punching Bags



First, we must ask ourselves where all the Hufflepuff Hostility™ came from. Draco essentially said he would leave Hogwarts for good if he were dubbed a Hufflepuff. Even Hagrid — the benign, the beloved! — had less than flattering things to say about the Hufflepuff House: “Everyone says Hufflepuff are a lot o’ duffers.” This from the loose-lipped professor who drank in front of students and led unsanctioned excursions through the dangerous Forbidden Forest? I love you, Hagrid, but glass houses, my man. Glass houses.

The blatant bias against Hufflepuffs wasn’t contained to the books and films alone. Out here in the non-Wizarding World, the name “Hufflepuff” became synonymous with everything bumbling and unremarkable. Youtube videos, mean tweets, and jokes from parents and peers painted Hufflepuffs as the butt of the joke. If you were the Hufflepuff of your group, of Congress, of the New York Yankees — it meant you were less sharp and less accomplished than your peers. Even Mindy Kaling — as beloved and benign as Hagrid — once tweeted, “No one wants to be a Hufflepuff.”

Type ‘Hufflepuff’ into Google and it will autofill your search with mean questions from days past: “Why Are Hufflepuffs lame?” “Is Hufflepuff for losers?” Our personal favorite: “Hufflepuff = stoner house.” But all the trite Huffle-puff-puff-pass jokes aside, where did all this hate come from?

The History of Hufflepuff



Some people attribute Hufflepuff’s broad-stroked reputation to its aesthetic: Their mascot is a seemingly timid badger, and their house color is a polarizing bright yellow. But let us never forget the much-memed “Fearless Honey Badger” who took on six lions, or Beyoncé’s now iconic dress in the “Hold Up” music video. Sadly, no, the real source of all this Hufflepuff Hate is far less surface or cosmetic; it comes from a deep and reckless misread of the House’s Hogwarts origin story.

Everyone knows that before there was a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there were Four Founders (or, as I like to call them, the Alliterati): Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Salazar Slytherin, and Helga Hufflepuff. Each created their own namesake house. Gryffindor famously chose students who were brave and chivalrous; Slytherin called dibs on the ambitious and the cunning; Ravenclaw selected the studious and the intelligent; and, according to the Sorting Hat’s sing-song version of the legend in Order of the Pheonix, Helga Hufflepuff “took the rest.”



A shallow read of this tale implies that Hufflepuff was established as a House of leftovers; the bottom-of-the-barrel kids left on the bleachers and selected last for gym class Quidditch teams. But this is a complete misconception. The Hat’s song goes on to say that Helga “taught them all she knew.” These teachings included magical cookery (apparently she could whip up one mean pot roast), fostering House Elf and wizard relations, and more. Helga valued generosity, ingenuity, and friendship — and she made sure that anyone who bore her namesake House would do the same.



And Helga succeeded. Some of the most dedicated and steadfast characters in the whole franchise hailed from Hufflepuff. Take, for example, the courageous Triwizard contender Cedric Diggory, or the Heiress of Herbology herself, Professor Pomona Sprout. (Please, leave your Herbology stoner jokes at the door.) Yet people still perpetuated the tired idea that Hufflepuff, unlike the other three Houses, was a motley hodgepodge of the talentless and unremarkable. Clearly, something had to change — and who better to usher that in than the source of the holy texts herself, Harry Potter author JK Rowling?

The Hufflepuff Revolution



“Hufflepuff is my favorite House in some ways,” Queen Rowling said in a 2012 live chat. “The Hufflepuffs stayed [to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts] for a reason. They didn’t want to show off. They weren’t being reckless. That’s the essence of Hufflepuff. My daughter Jessica said to me recently, who wasn’t sorted into Hufflepuff, ‘I think we should all want to be Hufflepuffs.’ I can only say to you, I would not be disappointed at all to be in Hufflepuff. I’m a little upset anyone does feel that way.”



There it is, folks, staring us in the face as clearly Lily Potter’s green eyes: We should all want to be Hufflepuffs. Rowling’s quote jump-started a grassroots PR campaign for the Hufflepuff House. No longer were they the leftovers — now they were the loyal; the hard-working; the aspirational. And as if being ordained by Rowling wasn’t enough, celebrities began to come out of the woodwork as Hufflepuffs, including “proud Hufflepuff” Eddie Redmayne, Rupert Grint, and Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. This is the Dwayne Johnson that battles earthquakes and giant gorillas for a living, so remind us how Hufflepuffs aren’t badasses again?



On FANDOM, no House’s Wiki has come close to collecting more pageviews in the last four years (with over 3.4 million visits to the page and counting). The Hufflepuff community on Reddit challenged the other three houses to a good-doing contest. They encouraged their peers to better the world, in true Huffle spirit, with small but impactful tasks like conserving water and donating books to a local library. Hufflepuffs, once marginalized on the internet, have become a mobilized force to reckon with.

Hufflepuff’s Famous New Hero



And, of course, there’s Newt. No one deserved a leading man more than the Hufflepuff House, and they finally got a hero in Newton Scamander, the next-generation hero of the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise. Newt, in all of his Hufflepuff glory, isn’t much of a rabble-rouser; his power comes from his empathy. “You know what I admire about you, Newt?” Dumbledore asks during Crimes of Grindelwald. “You do not seek power. You simply ask, ‘Is a thing right?’” As the Fantastic Beast films have and will continue to prove, Newt’s the unconventional hero we all deserve: diligent, moral, and as kind to magic’s cousin of the rhino (the erumpent) as he is his fellow human beings.



When we asked Hufflepuffs from our Harry Potter community to explain what made them gleam with Badger Pride, user RackUp said it most magically: “As a person, I parallel Newt in many ways. He’s a kind soul that tries to always be honest, but he’s also a bit of an introvert when it comes to people. Once you get to know him, however, you learn that Newt is actually a great person, if a little atypical (maybe the Swooping Evil joke on Kowalski wasn’t the nicest). Now that I know how similar other Hufflepuffs are to myself, I’m proud to call myself one.”

The Future of Hogwarts’ Houses



Now that Hufflepuff has received its much-deserved comeuppance, what House shall history reconsider next? You could make a convincing argument that Slytherin needs a public rebranding; they’re in no way all Death Eaters and bigots, and to claim that is to paint with the same wide brushstrokes that maligned Hufflepuffs for all those years. Or maybe it’s Ravenclaw that deserves its time in the sun — comparatively little is known about Hogwarts’ brainiest house, and it seems fans are growing increasingly intrigued: No other house has seen such a surge in pageviews on our site (a 33% growth in just four years).

Maybe, with the cinematic expansion of the Wizarding World, fans will come to associate themselves with Houses from wizarding schools abroad. In ten years, will the young and the young-at-heart define themselves as Thunderbirds from America’s school, Ilvermony? Or a now-unknown house from Brazil’s Castlobruxo, or Uganda’s Uagadou?

Over the years, and especially considering the evolution of Hufflepuff, we’ve learned that we must approach Hogwarts House assignments with a touch more nuance. Many were too quick to judge Severus Snape as a self-serving Slytherin when he actually dedicated his life to avenging the woman he loved. And what about the ultimate Gryffindor, Albus Dumbledore? Was he not sometimes driven by the desire to attain glory and even to escape death? Aren’t those classic Slytherin characteristics?



Identifying with a Hogwarts House is a phenomenal diving board into introspection. Who are you? What do you value? Do you look good in yellow? (Answer to the last question: Not as good as Beyoncé.) But people are complicated, people! You can tell them which section of a castle to live in and which Quidditch team to root for, but you can’t reduce their personality to a single trait and judge them for it. Humans — be they magical or muggle — are so much more dynamic than their Hogwarts House.



The post Hufflepuffs Can — And Will — Save the World appeared first on FANDOM.

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When Meghann Adams learned that she was pregnant in early 2015, she was ecstatic. Starting a family with her husband, Chris, had not been easy, but she was carrying twins. They were to be named Delly and Aubrey.


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Your New Baby Will Cost More Than You Imagined. Here are 5 Ways to Save

The parenting books tell when you can expect your baby to reach physical milestones. The parenting classes teach you the proper way to bathe an infant and change a diaper.

But new parents, who are projected to spend an average of $ 233,610 from birth through age 17, are often clueless and unprepared when it comes to how to manage their financial lives after having a baby.

Laura Adams, host of the “Money Girl” podcast, sat down with Andrea Woroch, an expert on how consumers can save money, to discuss common money mistakes new parents make. Woroch also draws advice from her experience as a mom to a 2-year-old, with another baby on the way.

5 Financial Mistakes New Parents Make

“Having a baby is certainly a joyous time, but it can also be an emotionally and financially stressful time,” Adams says.

If you’re planning a family, learn from these new-parent money blunders so you’ll start your family off on a better footing.

Mistake No. 1: Not Building Savings

Having a baby comes with a lot of responsibility — and a lot of new expenses. It’s important to build up a savings buffer.

You may lose out on earning income if you or your partner takes time away from work after the baby arrives. On top of that, there are additional costs each month, like higher health insurance premiums and all the unexpected things that crop up, like ordering takeout on those days when you’re just too exhausted to cook.

When you plan to have kids, it’s smart to stash money in a high-yield online savings account. Also look into ways to cut costs, like lowering your monthly grocery bill.

Mistake No. 2: Not Preparing for Child Care Costs

Child care tends to be one of the most expensive recurring costs parents face in the first few years. However, a recent survey conducted by The Penny Hoarder showed about 85% of parents surveyed did not save up for child care costs before having a baby.

Doing research ahead of time can help parents know what to expect. There are also ways to cut costs, like finding more affordable care options or trading free babysitting with friends who have kids.

Mistake No. 3: Not Getting Life Insurance

Celebrating a new life isn’t usually the time when you think about end-of-life preparations. But buying life insurance is a smart money move when you have a little one who depends on you.

It’s good to have coverage for at least six to eight times your annual salary, but you should have life insurance even if you’re currently a stay-at-home parent.

Mistake No 4: Overspending on Baby Gear

It’s tempting to buy all those cute little baby clothes, snuggly toys and that vibrating rocker everyone swears you’re going to need, but infants can get by without all the extras.

Save money by clearly defining your needs and wants. Utilize hand-me-downs and buy gently used gear instead of paying top dollar for new stuff your kid will outgrow in a matter of months.

Mistake No. 5: Not Saving for College Early Enough

The magic of compound interest lies in saving early. It might seem odd to save for college when your little one’s still in diapers, but it’s the best way to optimize your college savings.

A 529 college savings plan is a great vehicle to get funds together for your child’s future education. You can even ask friends and family to contribute in lieu of birthday or holiday gifts.

Listen to the podcast for more advice on handling finances as a new parent.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She is the mother of a 4-year-old and has made nearly ALL the money mistakes as a new parent.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reportedly hire private team of firefighters to save house from Woolsey fire

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s California home escaped unscathed from the wildfires raging through the state after the stars hired a private team of firefighters to fight the blaze.

The couple’s Hidden Hills neighborhood faced mandatory evacuations after the Woolsey fire erupted Thursday, and…

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These 11 Easy DIY Alternatives Will Save You Money on Household Products

The older I get, the more I realize how much I’ve been duped into buying items I don’t need.

I thought I needed specific store-bought products until years of being broke forced me to find affordable DIY alternatives. I learned to forgo some items all together.

Seeking out other options for expensive household products can save you money and make a dent in your bottom line over time.

Affordable DIY Alternatives for 11 Household Items

Edge these items off your grocery list and put more money in your pocket with cheaper substitutes — or by doing a little DIY experimentation.

Deodorant

A person holds a lemon outside near a plant.
Lemons can work as a deodorant, but they do not block perspiration. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

I didn’t waste money on deodorant for years because I didn’t need it. Why buy something I didn’t need?

Well… I did need it eventually and found an inexpensive natural alternative that blew my mind.

Lemons work as a natural deodorant. Citric acid kills bacteria and odor, plus this method is 100% natural.

Dice up the lemon into wedges and rub the juice side of the wedge on your armpit. Get the whole area wet. One wedge should work for both sides.  It doesn’t take much, and the same wedge can be used until it dries out, which can be days or more than a week.

You can use fresh or overripe lemons. Experiment to find what size works for you. They will not stop you from sweating because they’re not antiperspirant.

Pro tip: Do not apply after a fresh shave, ladies. It’s painful and might cause irritation. Trust me.

Not into lemons? Try Crystal brand mineral deodorant. One stone costs around $ 3 and can last for a year.

Mouthwash

A person makes saltwater.
Dissolve table salt into a glass of water for a mouthwash replacement. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

A name-brand bottle of mouthwash costs between $ 5 and $ 10. A saltwater rinse costs a few cents. Mix table salt with warm water and you have the cheapest mouthwash around.

Or try apple cider vinegar, a common homemade mouthwash before over-the-counter mouthwashes became popular. Use two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one cup of filtered water.

Another solution is right in your medicine cabinet for a fraction of the cost: hydrogen peroxide.

Look closely at the bottle, which says, “oral debriding agent” right on the front. This means it is safe to put in your mouth as an oral wound cleanser. On the back, you’ll find debriding instructions. You basically dilute with water and swish for a minute.

You should use the water and peroxide mixture immediately, and don’t save any leftover solution.

Hana Rashid, a dentist in Roseville, California, said she loves to gargle and swish with peroxide, especially when she has a cold or sore throat.

It helps reduce inflammation in the mouth and keep bleeding from gum disease down between visits, she says. The burning or bubbling sensation means it’s working to calm inflammation.

“It is not an unsafe mouthwash, but care must be taken not to swallow large amounts,” she said.

Peroxide is the main ingredient in tooth-whitening products, so if left too long, Rashid warned, it can temporarily bleach your gums, lasting about 20 to 30 minutes.  

Swishing with peroxide will yield similar results as expensive mouthwash, but it won’t taste great.

“I like to use essential oils, like peppermint, cinnamon bark and clove in water,” she said.

Try mixing peroxide with baking soda for your own whitening paste and skip buying whitening strips while you’re at it.

Shaving Cream

A bar of soap is photographed with a razor.
Bar soap can be used as a replacement for shaving cream. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

I stopped using shaving cream years ago.

I simply sub in bar soap or hair conditioner.

Most of us have a nearly empty bottle of conditioner occupying precious shower real estate. Use up that sad vessel next time you shave. You’ll wonder why you bought shaving cream all these years.

Conditioner and bar soap aren’t ideal for facial shaves, so try substitutes like shave soap or aloe vera. One $ 3 bar of shave soap can last more than six months.

For aloe vera, apply directly from the plant to your face, or use an affordable gel. It works great as an aftershave, too. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce razor burn and irritation.  I have a garden full of the stuff, so it’s a freebie for me. Consider planting some!

Cleaning Rags

It took years before I figured out that I didn’t need to buy cleaning rags. (Don’t be mad at yourself for not realizing this sooner.)

Use old undershirts, leftover fabric and any clothes unfit for donation.

Tear or cut them — careful to remove any buttons — into pieces. They last longer that way, and you’ll have an endless supply to fit your cleaning needs. Toss them in the wash and reuse until they reach retirement age.

As for that orphaned sock, put your hand inside and use it to remove dust. Wash, repeat.

Paper Towels

A stack of dish towels are photographed.
Try using dish towels and wash cloths instead of paper towels. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This one is really hard to quit. Paper towels are so integrated into our daily lives that we hardly notice how many we use for tasks such as cleaning up spills, wiping greasy paws or picking up dead bugs.

My usage greatly decreased when I invested $ 12 in a set of 12 cloth napkins. I use one multiple times before washing (unless I’m extra messy) and always have extra for guests.  

This one move significantly reduced the volume of paper towels I went through and freed up a little room in my grocery budget.

A coworker said she likes to use cheap fabric from Goodwill and repurposes old tablecloths as napkins instead of buying paper towels.

When it comes to spills or hand drying, use wash cloths and dish towels, or something from that old T-shirt rag pile. You’ll be surprised at how little you need paper towels.

Makeup Remover

A person squirts jojoba oil onto her fingertips.
Jojoba oil can be used to remove eye makeup. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

There are makeup removing wipes, creams, pads, cloths and an assortment of accessories to clean your face at the end of the day.

Stocking up on these not only takes up space, but they steal valuable budget dollars from more important items.

Jojoba, olive and coconut oil remove makeup.

These one-ingredient wonders last for months, have a multitude of uses and take up little space. You might even have one of them in your home already. Most oils do the trick, so try something that works best for you.

If oil isn’t an option for you, try aloe vera, alcohol-free witch hazel, shea butter, a cotton ball dipped in milk or a cucumber slice to remove makeup.

Bathtub Cleaner

I have tried so many bathroom cleaners. None of them quite works right.

Once I tried to strong-arm tub stains by combining all the cleaners I had. That dangerous concoction was a terribly unsafe idea that didn’t work, either.

Did you know that you can use a grapefruit or lemon juice to clean your bathtub?

Get your tub wet. Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle salt on the exposed part. Start scrubbing! Use this technique on sinks and faucets.

Lemon juice with a scrub brush yields a similar result. The acidity of both fruit eats through scum and leaves your bathroom smelling naturally fresh (and not like a chemical bomb).

If you wanna skip the fruit scrubs, try one of these cheap DIY cleaner recipes or a homemade cleaning product  to get the job done.

Dryer sheets

Wool dryer balls are pictured on a pile of laundry. They naturally help keep clothes soft and static-free without using dryer sheets.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Dryer sheets are a common laundry additive that you just don’t need. They’re a single-use product far from waste-free, and full of chemicals.

I stopped using them years ago and don’t miss ’em one bit. If you don’t need them, don’t use ’em.

However, if you live in a dry climate or are a static magnet, then try wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

They’re good for thousands of uses, reduce static cling and wrinkles and speed up drying time. Not to mention they’re cheap, nontoxic and chemical-free.

WD-40

A coconut oil cooking spray is photographed.
Cooking spray can be used as a replacement for WD40. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

You know what you have in your home and works just like WD-40? Cooking spray.

Yup, I use cooking spray anywhere I would WD-40.

It greases sticky locks and creaky doors and unsticks gum. You can also use Crisco or a homemade concoction of cooking oils if that’s what you have on hand.

Fabric Softener

Remember when we talked about that nearly empty conditioner bottle earlier?  If you don’t want use it to shave, consider repurposing it as a fabric softener.

Try this homemade fabric-softener recipe by mixing two cups of conditioner, three cups of white vinegar, six cups of water and adding any essential oils you like (optional), and voilà; you just saved yourself from buying overpriced fabric softener.

Stain Remover

Dawn dish soap is photographed with an old white shirt.
Dawn dish soap can be used to get rid of stains. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Not all stains are created equal. Removing them is an art form unless you have blue Dawn dish soap. That’s the secret ingredient in most DIY stain removers.

Most DIY recipes have a variation of peroxide, baking soda and water. Maybe you’ll learn  a personal favorite (do tell), but try this mom’s “miracle cleaner” that works on carpet, clothes and upholstery to get you started.

How excited are you to try all this home?

Next time you’re at the store, don’t forget to smile when you pass all the items you don’t need to buy anymore.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She may have reached granola status.
Read her full bio here or say hi On Twitter @StephBolling.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.


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This drone concept could save people from burning buildings

Drones have become a popular toy for hobbyists and in some cases vital tools for various professions, but could they ever save your life? A group of design students in China think so and they’ve developed a concept they call “Net Guard” that turns drones into life-saving guardian angels. The idea here is that a…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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Ready to Buy a Home? 6 Simple Steps to Save for the Down Payment

So you’re ready to stop renting, and we don’t blame you.

The price of rent has been steadily increasing since 2014, according to a recent Penny Hoarder analysis of Zillow data. As of October 2018, the median Zillow listing nationally for a two-bedroom rental is $ 1,646 a month.

Your other option is to buy a home, and that isn’t cheap, either. It’s a big commitment — but at least you’re gaining an asset and not funneling your whole paycheck over to a landlord.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ll want to start saving for that down payment sooner than later.

Yes, it’s a big savings goal, but this guide will help you get on the right track.

Real Fast: What’s a Down Payment?

A down payment is the amount of money you pay upfront for your home — the money you’re putting down. Say you want to put 10% down on a $ 200,000 home; your down payment will be about $ 20,000.

This down payment goes directly toward you owning your home outright. What’s remaining will be covered by a mortgage loan. Like other forms of debt, you’re responsible for making monthly payments on that loan, which often include interest.

The more you’re able to put toward a down payment on a home, the lower your monthly mortgage rates — and the less you’ll pay in interest over time.

Pro tip: While you’re saving for a down payment, work to improve or maintain your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better chance you have to secure a mortgage with a low interest rate. If you’re not sure where to start, Credit Sesame is a free platform that allows you to see your credit score, credit report card and personalized advice.

How to Save for a Down Payment: Your Step-by-Step Guide

A down payment is different from any expense you’ve saved for before, including a car or a vacation.

“A down payment represents a ‘purchase’ that has longer-term consequences,” says Marc W. Lieberman, CFA charterholder and CEO of Shorepine Wealth Management.

“When you save for a vacation or a new TV, you are making a one-time purchase that likely does not have additional spending needs. A home is a purchase that requires constant maintenance and the financial wherewithal to maintain ownership.”

So how do you even start saving for such a big financial goal? Follow these six simple steps to start saving for what’ll likely be the largest purchase of your life.

No big deal or anything.

1. Determine How Much You Need to Save for a Down Payment

Woman doing finances
lamstocker/Getty Images

Before starting your savings journey, you’ll need to map out your goal. Here are some numbers to consider:

  • Generally speaking, what’s your budget for a new home? In your desired city and neighborhood, take a look at properties you’d be interested in and that meet your needs. To determine the maximum mortgage payment you can afford each month, personal finance guru Dave Ramsey suggests multiplying your monthly take-home pay by 25% (0.25).
  • How much money do you want to put down? Now that you have an idea of how much you want (or need) to spend on a home, consider how much you want to put down. Putting down 3% is considered low — but doable.

On the other hand, if you’re able to put down at least 20%, you’ll avoid making monthly payments for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is generally 0.3% to 1.2% of your loan amount, according to Investopedia.

Don’t feel like you have to stretch yourself to pay 20% down, though. Say you take out a 10% down payment. Once you’ve made enough mortgage payments to hit 20% equity, you can cancel your PMI.

  • When do you want to make the big purchase? Set your timeline.

Remember: Buying a home doesn’t simply require a down payment. You’ll also need to consider closing costs, real estate agent commission, property taxes and homeowners insurance — just to name a few. You can find more details about closing costs in our first-time homebuyer’s guide.

Lieberman also suggests tacking on a 10% to 20% “slush fund” to your savings goal for any additional expenses. This can help cover any unforeseen maintenance required when first moving in. Even if you don’t need it (fingers crossed you won’t), it’s nice to have that just-in-case cushion.

Now, do some math. Calculate how much you’ll need to save each month — or week, if you prefer working on a smaller scale.

Using a mortgage calculator like this one from Zillow can be super helpful when playing around with these numbers.

2. Open a Separate Savings Account

A family at the bank
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Once you know how much you need to put away, start considering where you want to keep this savings. Keeping such a large chunk of money in your primary checking account is risky — just because it feels like that money’s at your fingertips, ready to spend.

Instead, open a separate, hands-off account. Lieberman suggests a high-yield-interest savings account.

Try an iOS app called Varo Money. Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 1.75% annual percentage yield. For context, one of my banks offers a savings account with an APY closer to 0.03%.

Additionally, you’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no cash replacement fees.

Lieberman also suggests looking into a laddered certificate of deposit (CD) portfolio.

Whatever you choose, remember this: You want your money to earn some interest, but you don’t want the risk (like you’d face with investing). You’ll also want to keep the money in an easily accessible account.

“The last thing you need is to miss out on a home because the cash wasn’t available for the down payment,” Lieberman says.

3. Adjust Your Budget

A father and son eating fast food
Kosamtu/Getty Images

Now that you know how much you need to save and where you’re going to stash that savings, it’s time to adjust your budget.

Take that monthly savings goal and build it into your budget as an expense. To make some room, you’ll likely have to cut down in other areas.

To get an idea of how you can tighten your budget, try using the free app Empower.

Link the app to your bank accounts, and Empower will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you’re overdoing it.

Set a monthly spending limit and the app will show you a graph that can tell you in one snapshot just how you’re doing for the month. Are you over the line or under it? It’s that simple to see how you’re doing so you can adjust your spending accordingly.

It’ll take some finagling at first, but be patient — and realistic. Remember you’re saving for what’ll likely be the biggest purchase of your life, so it isn’t going to be totally effortless. 

4. Automate Your Savings

Woman looking at credit cards
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Now that you know you can afford to save these monthly sums, it’s time to automate your savings. This helps hold you accountable and makes the process easier and more hands-off.

“Automated savings is a wonderful way to trick your mind into living off of less,” Lieberman says. “It is amazing how much less one can live off of without even noticing the difference.”

If you’re using a savings account, set your paycheck to automatically deposit a certain amount (see Step 1) into that account.

The easiest way to do this is to adjust your payroll settings or see whether your bank will automatically do it for you — most do.

With Chime, for example, you can opt in to save a portion of each paycheck when you set up direct deposit. You can also turn on its round-up feature, which rounds up all your Chime debit card transactions to the nearest dollar. It’ll dump the digital spare change into your savings — a nice bonus.

You can also tap into an app. Digit is a great way to save toward a specific goal. Set your timeline and savings goal, and Digit’s algorithms will determine how much money you can afford to save, which will be stored in an FDIC-insured savings account.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward. If you’re saving for a big purchase, like your first home, that monthly fee could be worth it.

In all, automation is a great, hands-off way to keep building your savings — without obsessing over every penny.

5. Get Creative, and Cut Your Monthly Bills

Light bulbs hanging from ceiling
ArisSu/Getty Images

Outside of rent, your largest expenses are probably those monthly bills: electric, water, cable/internet, car insurance, student loan payments — you name it.

There are a number of ways to save on your monthly bills, but here’s a simple one to get you started: Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees.

After downloading the app, create an account, and link your bank account and/or credit cards. Turn on the bill negotiation and outage protection features. Boom. TrueBill is already searching for potential refunds — it might get you a refund even when you didn’t know an outage occurred.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

6. Increase Your Income

Dog walker
hedgehog94/Getty Images

If you’re still struggling to meet your monthly savings goal, you might need to boost your income.

Luckily, there are a ton of platforms that’ll help you start up a side gig, including one of our favorites: Rover. (Because dogs, duh.)

On Rover you can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month — just for snugglin’ pups!

Other flexible side gig options include driving with Uber or listing your space on Airbnb.

You should also plan to bank any windfalls — big or small. If you get a raise at work, automatically dispense the difference into your savings. If you earn a holiday bonus, bank that, too.

You can work to sell off some items you don’t need, too. After all, you’ll be moving soon.

If you have an old smartphone, tablet or laptop collecting dust, snag a a buy-back price estimate from an online trade-in platform like Gazelle. For anything else, consider Letgo. You can list just about anything on there — from cars to clothes.

Moral of the story? Slide any extra money you make into that separate hands-of savings account to go toward your savings goal.

Another Option: Seek Down Payment Assistance

If you’ve followed these steps and are still struggling to save for a down payment — or don’t have enough time — look into down payment assistance programs in your city or state.

John R. Thomas, a certified mortgage planner and the Delaware branch manager of Primary Residential Mortgage, outlined a few nationwide assistance programs:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are government-backed mortgages for those who can’t afford to put a lot of money down. They’re a popular option for first-time homebuyers. In 2018, borrowers with a credit score of at least 580 could put down 3.5%, according to the FHA website.
  • If you’re a veteran, current servicemember or surviving spouse, you might qualify for a VA home loan, which offers competitive interest rates without a down payment or private mortgage insurance.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also offers a no-down payment option if you purchase a qualified home and borrow from a qualified lender. Although it caters to those purchasing a home in a rural area, the definition of rural is pretty broad. Be sure to read into the requirements.

Thomas assures prospective homebuyers that these programs are simple to look into in any state.

In the end, know that buying a home isn’t totally out of reach. Just be patient with yourself, and you’ll be able to put the money away.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’d love to buy her first home sweet home… one of these days.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Great 4K TVs on sale: Save on Sony, LG, VIZIO, Samsung, and more this weekend

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November’s grey skies call for cuddling up under piles of blankets and watching hours of TV. (Don’t argue — you know we’re right.) Get the most out of your hibernation by investing in a new 4K TV. Of course, we’d never expect you to pay full price for it (or anything) so here are the best deals on 4K smart TVs from top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy. If you’re looking to upgrade, now is your chance to save on 4K TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG, VIZIO, and more.

There are a number of deals on 4K TVs that are 40+ inches, including Samsung’s 49-inch Q6F Series 4K UHD TV, which is priced at $ 699.99, while RCA’s 43-inch Class 4K LED TV is on sale for just $ 199.99. Read more…

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GOP scrambles to save suddenly vulnerable House candidates in Trump districts

In last-minute moves, Republicans are spending money on ads in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and Washington state in hopes of preserving their majority.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Clever ways to save money on traveling

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Sure, many of us have dreams of seeing the world. Who doesn’t? But we’re not made of money, and it seems as though our wings are yet to sprout; we need a way to see the world that won’t cost us a small fortune. Thankfully, there are clever ways to save money on traveling that will open up the doors of opportunity to so much more of the globe than we ever believed.

Think of the time

One of the biggest reasons vacation prices will rise is all thanks to those bundles of joy people like to drag around with them – or kids as they are usually called. If you want to go traveling but don’t want to pay a fortune for the privilege, then it’s best to avoid any kind of school break. Airlines and hotels love to ramp up the prices when they know families will be flooding abroad. Not only will you avoid any extra and unnecessary charges, but you’ll also get to enjoy a more peaceful vacation and still have the chance to soak up the beautiful weather in the out-of-season months.

Book at the right time

As well as heading abroad at the right time, it’s just as important to book your tickets when the time is right. Statistics have shown that booking your flights at the weekend could save you as much as 19% on the final fare. No one knows why, but many think it’s because travel agents are typically open in the week meaning they get plenty of business workers. These are usually the ones willing to pay the extra cost for a slice of luxury – or put it all on the company’s card instead. Either one works.

Go it alone

No, we don’t mean ditch your entire family and head of on a solo adventure. Although, that would be one way to avoid paying for the extra tickets. Using travel agents can be one way to book a vacation, but it might not always be the cheapest. Looking for your own flights through price comparison websites is one way to get the best deals on your airfare. Plus, a lot of times hotels will offer up the cheapest rooms if you call them directly or head to their website. Sometimes the extra work is all worth the effort.

Follow the locals

Of course, local residents won’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for everyday things. Watching where they all head to eat is a good start to saving money while traveling as you won’t be spending any extra tourist charges in popular restaurants. Have you thought about how you will get around once you are at your destination? Hiring a vehicle might give you a little more freedom, but public transport is usually the cheapest way to explore new lands. There could be deals on tickets, and you’ll save on any parking fees.

Don’t overdo the texts

How will anyone know if you’ve gone on vacation if you don’t flood their phone with texts and phone calls about your adventures? Although it might be tempting to call home at every opportunity, all those messages could soon add up to a whopping bill at the end. Rather than waste your money, take advantage of any free wifi dotted around and use an app to message instead. There are many free apps that mean you can send all the pictures and videos you like whenever you’re connected to the internet.

Jetting off on vacation doesn’t have to cost a bomb, and neither does enjoying your time while you’re there. Thankfully, these clever ways to save money on traveling will free up more budget for all those souvenirs, and maybe even the next adventure or two.

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The post Clever ways to save money on traveling appeared first on Worldation.

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Save The Waves Announces Global Contest, The “Dirty Wave Challenge”

SAVE THE WAVES TO HOST THE DIRTY WAVE CHALLENGE THROUGH ENDANGERED WAVES APP

Global contest to identify and clean the dirtiest surf location.

Davenport, Calif., (October 20th, 2018) – Save the Waves Coalition is proud to announce the launch of the Dirty Wave Challenge, a cash prize and a five thousand dollar stewardship fund that will be awarded to the dirtiest and trashiest surf ecosystem identified on the organization’s Endangered Waves App. The challenge opens October 20th, 2018 and closes on November 20th, 2018.

Launched in early 2018, the new smartphone App empowers surfers and beachgoers to monitor the world’s coastlines and surf ecosystems. Winner of best conservation mobile app in the HeroX competition by XPRIZE, the Endangered Waves App is available for iOS and Android devices.

The Dirty Wave Challenge is simple: capture a photo of the dirtiest and trashiest surf ecosystem, upload it to the app, and the winning photo will receive a cash prize and a day of stewardship with Save The Waves and partners to clean it up.

“There are approximately 31 million surfers worldwide, and they are the front line for our coastlines for climate change, trash, sewage, and other issues. Imagine if this entire community was mobilized to track and report coastal threats,” said Save The Waves Executive Director, Nik Strong-Cvetich.

The goal is to collect data and mobilize beachgoers and the surfing community around the key issues facing our coastlines, with this first challenge focusing on marine debris. Save The Waves Coalition plans to use the photos and data collected to better track and prioritize coastal threats, educate users, and share with coastal agencies and partners to take action worldwide.

“The Dirty Wave Challenge will help us fill the gaps in much needed coastal data and broaden our stewardship reach,” said Strong-Cvetich.

To Enter the Dirty Wave Challenge:

  1. Download the Endangered Waves Mobile App: www.savethewaves.org/mobileapp

  2. Using the App, take a picture of a surf ecosystem trashed with garbage, plastic or marine debris and use a common item for scale such as a person, a surfboard, your hand, etc.

  3. Select the Dirty Wave Challenge entry button, write a brief description, select your location, enter an email address, and submit.

  4. Share your submission on social media with the #dirtywavechallenge

  5. Each participant is only allowed 1 entry per challenge, but please have multiple photos of the issues available to validate entry.

 

The Dirty Wave Challenge is proudly supported by MJD Interactive, WSL Pure, and XPRIZE.

 

About Save The Waves Coalition

Save The Waves Coalition protects and preserves the coastal environment with a focus on the surf zone, through a unique combination of protected areas, economics, and direct action. See more at www.savethewaves.org

The post Save The Waves Announces Global Contest, The “Dirty Wave Challenge” appeared first on .

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Army officer-turned-terrorist thought attack would save mother’s soul, letters show

Newly published excerpts of jailhouse letters from U.S. Army officer-turned-terrorist Nidal Hasan show that he is almost completely without remorse for the lives he took.
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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Waze Carpool Is Now Available Nationwide to Save Commuters Money and Misery

Until teleporting becomes a thing, miserable commutes will remain a way of life.

You can make driving to work more bearable, however, by sharing the ride. At least when you carpool, everybody chips in on transportation costs. And you might be able to bypass some of that traffic if your route’s on a highway with carpool lanes.

Waze Carpool is hoping to get more commuters in the car with each other instead of clogging up the roads in separate vehicles. The Alphabet-owned app pairs drivers and riders to streamline the process of organizing a carpool.

You may remember when we wrote about Waze Carpool launching in Washington state back in March. Last week, The Verge, TechCrunch and other media outlets announced the company’s expansion to all 50 states.

How Waze Carpool Works

Commuters who download the app can choose to either drive or ride. The app matches up people traveling similar routes, based on their home and work addresses.

Users can filter out potential carpool buddies based on their workplace (so coworkers can ride together) or gender (so fellow riders are only women or only men).

The service’s efficiency will vary based on the number of users in your area. The more people in your community who use the service, the greater the odds that you can find riders traveling along your route. The Verge noted that Waze Carpool will be available at 50 Amazon fulfillment centers and plans to partner with other businesses, organizations and cities.

Riders are charged no more than 54 cents per mile. Depending on where you live and how long your commute is, using Waze could be less money than paying for gas, tolls and parking for your own car — or cheaper than hailing an Uber or Lyft.

The money riders pay is said to go directly to the driver through the app. Waze Carpool is reported to make its money by selling advertisements rather than taking a percentage of drivers’ earnings.

Although drivers get compensated for picking up passengers, Waze Carpool isn’t designed as a service for drivers to make money as a side gig or in place of a full-time job. The app allows drivers and riders to make only two trips per day.

Right now, Waze is offering people $ 20 to refer new users to try the service, with a cap of 10 referrals, according to The Verge. Riders also can enjoy $ 2 rides for 21 days.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Dak Prescott’s Legs Could Save the Cowboys Offense

A look at how Prescott’s ability to scramble has added a much-needed dimension to the undermanned Dallas passing game. Plus, more analysis from all the Week 6 Sunday games, including the Sunday night classic

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5 Steps That Will Save You Serious Money Every Time You Shop at Walgreens

There’s a Walgreens on just about every busy street corner. That means they’re super convenient for those times I run out of toothpaste, toilet paper and hair care products AT THE SAME TIME.

I’ve been a Balance Rewards member for years, but I never paid much attention to how the program works. I’ve just shopped as I normally would and enjoyed the occasional surprise at the cash register.

But after noticing more frequent rewards offers, I did some digging. Now, I’ve figured out how to get the most of Balance Rewards, so I can save more money at Walgreens.

How to Maximize Your Walgreens Balance Rewards

 

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards is a point-based system that offers 10 points for every $ 1 you spend in stores and online. You can also earn points on photo services and at the pharmacy.

You can track your points by logging in to your account or downloading the Walgreens app. You can redeem points as follows:

  • 1,000 points = $ 1
  • 2,000 points = $ 2
  • 3,000 points = $ 3
  • 5,000 points = $ 5
  • 10,000 points = $ 10
  • 18,000 points = $ 20
  • 30,000 points = $ 35
  • 40,000 points = $ 50

The best part is that you don’t have to rely solely on spending money to earn points. As a Balance Rewards member, you can also earn bonus points from paperless coupons, weekly ads and members-only perks.

Here are five ways to maximize your Balance Rewards.

1. Pay Attention to Your Receipts

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens receipts give you a summary of your rewards balance, and they’re often accompanied by Register Rewards.

Register Rewards are coupons you can use on your next purchase. Sometimes they offer savings on a specific item or type of purchase. Other times, you can earn bonus points, such as $ 10 worth of bonus points with the purchase of $ 25 or more of eligible items. Register Rewards for specific items are usually labeled with a yellow tag, and they expire after two weeks.

Another reason to pay attention to your receipts — aside from using them to score cash back through Ibotta — is to keep track of your points. While it can be fun to let your points add up without paying attention, you could miss out on points, because… well… technology.

You can see your point activity for the last 90 days in your account and your transaction history for the last year and a half.

Just remember: You can’t earn points on some products, including alcohol, tobacco and dairy.

2. Check Out the Weekly Ads

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you don’t pay attention to the Walgreens weekly ad, you could miss out on deals and opportunities to earn bonus points.

For example, an August 2018 circular featured these offers for bonus points:

  • 3,000 bonus points ($ 3 reward) for spending $ 12 or more on participating products.
  • 5,000 bonus points ($ 5 reward) for spending $ 15 or more on participating products.
  • 10,000 bonus points ($ 10 reward) for spending $ 50 or more on participating products.

Participating products are usually within the same category — for instance, the offer featuring 5,000 bonus points included children’s or infants’ Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin, Sudafed, Zyrtec and Desitin.

You can also find offers for bonus points and browse current sales, clearance items and online-only deals on the Walgreens site.

3. Save More With Paperless Coupons

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens rewards also offers paperless coupons, which you can find through your Balance Rewards account or in the app. These include manufacturer coupons, along with special offers for bonus points.

You can “clip” these coupons right to your Balance Rewards account, so there’s no need to print or physically clip coupons — just present your rewards card or phone number at checkout, and the coupons will be applied automatically.

As of this writing, 545 paperless coupons were available. Some of the most recent offers were for 5,000 bonus points on purchases of $ 25 or more and 500 bonus points on Walgreens brand bath tissue.

You can filter coupons by category and sort them by expiration date, coupon value, brand name, recommendations or most recent. You can also view and clip upcoming coupons.

Paperless coupons can also be used for online orders, as long as your Balance Rewards card is linked to your Walgreens account.

4. Earn Bonus Points With Members-Only Perks

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards also offers members-only perks, which are usually opportunities to earn more bonus points.

One recent perk offered 10 times the points on purchases of $ 20 or more in stores or online between Aug. 12-25. So instead of earning 10 points for every $ 1 you spent, you would have earned 100 points for every $ 1.

Another members-only perk is the Beauty Enthusiast program, which offers 5,000 points for every $ 50 you spend on beauty products, including cosmetics, nail care, skin care, hair care, fragrances, beauty accessories, and bath and body products.

When you opt in, you’ll immediately receive a welcome email with an offer for 20 times the regular  points. You’ll also have access to exclusive promotions and samples, a personalized beauty profile, product picks, and expert tips and tutorials.

5. Get Even More Points for Making Healthy Choices

runners compete in a race.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This is one of my favorite things about Walgreens Balance Rewards: You can earn points just for being healthy through Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices.

What I love most is it lets me automatically earn points for doing what I was already doing — tracking my health and fitness with devices and apps such as Samsung GearFit2, MyFitnessPal and Google Fit.

Points are earned by tracking your healthy choices, including:

  • Walking, running or cycling: 20 points per mile (limit 1 mile per day).
  • Exercise: 20 points per daily log.
  • Weight: 20 points per daily log.
  • Sleep: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood pressure: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood glucose: 20 points per reading (limit two readings per day).
  • Nicotine replacement therapy: 20 points per daily log.

And you don’t even have to connect apps or devices to earn points for healthy choices. You can still earn points by tracking your activities right from your account on the Walgreens website or app.

But if you do connect your apps and devices, you’ll earn 250 points per app and device. Plus, you’ll earn points without really thinking about it, as long as your activity tracker and fitness apps are all connected.

The maximum amount of points for healthy choices you can earn is 1,000 per month, which is equal to an extra $ 1 off per month. That may not be the biggest reward, but it’s great for a little extra motivation to keep your health and fitness goals on track.

If you’re an AARP member, you can an earn 50% more points for healthy choices, along with five times the points (50 points per $ 1) on Walgreens brand health and wellness products. You’ll also receive 1,000 points per vaccination you get at the pharmacy. All you have to do is link your AARP membership with your Walgreens Balance Rewards account.

After putting all of these tips to the test over the last month, I’ve saved a total of $ 17 from coupons and earned 21,000 points — enough for a $ 20 reward! I’m so proud of my new money-saving habits, I might just spend that $ 20 reward on something I don’t even need.

OK, not really. I’m saving it for the next time I run out of all of my bear necessities AT THE SAME TIME.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She had “The Bear Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” stuck in her head the entire time she wrote this post.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Save on Your Window Replacement This Winter

Most home improvement projects, including window replacements, are started and completed during the spring or fall seasons— when the weather is more comfortable and predictable. However, a home improvement project during high season will likely impact your estimate and project timeline. During these warmer months, contractors and supplies are in high demand. Contractors are less likely to offer discounts when during peak times. To save money on your window replacement, consider scheduling your project during the cooler months.

Save Money with Seasonal Sales and Promotions

Construction slows in the winter, but contractors still have a business to operate. To entice homeowners, many contractors will offer discounts and specials to attract business during the colder months. Take advantage of these seasonal offers to save money on your project.

Simple Scheduling and Cheaper Window Materials

During high season, it can take a few weeks to meet with busy contractors and order window supplies from manufacturers. During the winter months, contractors are more flexible. Materials are also usually less expensive and take less time to ship.

winter-window-replacement-savings

Enjoy Increased Energy Efficiency

Replacing your windows in the winter allows you to immediately see your return on your investment. See reduced energy costs on your utility bill, and enjoy a warmer home with new energy efficient windows.

Don’t Fret About Cold Weather Affecting Installation

Many homeowners are concerned that winter weather will impact caulking, adhesives, and materials. Products are made to perform under all weather conditions. Contractors are also skilled at making sure your home remains comfortable throughout the installation. Contractors will replace one window at a time to avoid significant heat and energy loss in your home.

No Snow? No Problem

While snow and wintery weather affects many locations, southern states enjoy moderate weather year-round. Homeowners in states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California should take advantage of seasonal discounts and pricing without much worry of ice and snow.

The post Save on Your Window Replacement This Winter appeared first on Modernize.

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Fixing the Fells: the campaign to save the paths of Scafell Pike

Lake District repair team fear funds to protect route up England’s highest mountain will fall short as crowdfunding deadline looms

At the busiest times of year, the stream of human traffic on the Brown Tongue path never ceases – not even at night.

The route used by 100,000 people every year – as the most direct way to the top of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain – is one of the most heavily walked paths of its type in the world. But its popularity has come at a high price.

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Game of Thrones Deployed a ‘Thing That Kills Drones’ to Save You From Spoilers. What Is That?

Sounds like the Game of Thrones crew is absolutely willing to go to extreme measures to prevent season 8 spoilers.

According to Sophie Turner—who plays Sansa Stark on the HBO drama—the production team deployed “drone killers” to disable any camera drones attempting to capture footage of the show’s sets during filming for the final season.

“If a drone flies above sets, there’s a thing that can kill the drones, which is really cool,” she told Entertainment Weekly during an appearance at New York Comic-Con. “It creates a field around it and the drones just drop. It’s very X-Men.

However, these so-called “drone killers” are special electronic devices that are typically used by police to force drones to the ground in the event of an emergency, not keep fans from learning the fate of Jon Snow.

“The purpose is primarily for emergency situations,” Oceanside police Lt. Aaron Doyle told the Los Angeles Times. “It won’t be used when someone complains about a neighbor flying a drone. It’s pretty much for a life-or-death situation, to save lives.”


Entertainment – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

Save $120 on 700 thread count hotel quality bed sheets, today only

Bed Sheets On Sale At Amazon

A lot of people think that if they want the most comfortable set of bed sheets they need to get something that’s 100% Egyptian cotton. As fancy as that sounds, it’s not true at all. Blends often offer a much silkier feel, and perhaps no set of bed sheets illustrates that more than the Weavely 700 Thread Count Hotel Quality Sheet Set with 2 Extra Bonus Pillow Cases. This 55% Cotton/ 45% Polyester blend is silky smooth even after being washed, and these sheets are on sale today at all-time lows in Full, Queen, and King sizes… with savings of up to $ 120 off retail pricing!

Full Size Sheets White, 700 Thread Count Cotton Rich – 6 Piece Sheet set, Bed Sheet, Pin Stripe…: $ 44.99

700 Thread Count Cotton Rich Bed Sheet, Pin Stripe 6 Piece Bedding Sheet Set, Hotel Quality She…: $ 50.24

700 Thread Count Cotton Rich Bed Sheet, Pin Stripe 6 Piece Bedding Sheet Set, Hotel Quality She…: $ 52.49

Here’s more info from the product page:

  • 55% Cotton/ 45% Polyester
  • This 700 thread-count premier pin-stripe sheet set wraps you in luxury for a beautiful night’s sleep. Cotton blended with polyester is easy to care. This set includes an extra pair of bonus pillowcases for your convenience. Fully elasticized fitted sheet for a perfect fit. Choose from Ivory, Sage, Blue, Grey, Gold or White color to complement bedding.
  • The beautiful striped cotton rich sheet set makes a perfect addition to any room in your house – bedroom, guest room, kids room, RV, vacation home. Available in multiple colors, design and sizes, great gift idea for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthday, Christmas
  • 6 PIECE SHEET SET INCLUDES: 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet and 4 pillowcases. Fitted sheet with deep pocket and elastic all around, 15 inch deep pockets fits snugly over mattresses up to 17-inches deep
  • SHEET SET DIMENSION: Full sheet set: Flat sheet 81″x96″, Fitted sheet 54″x75″+15″, Pillowcases 20″x30″ each Queen sheet set: Flat sheet 94″x102″, Fitted sheet 60″x80″+15″, Pillowcases 20″x30″ each King sheet set includes: Flat sheet 108″x102″, Fitted sheet 78″x80″+15″, Pillowcases 20″x40″ each
  • EASY CARE: Machine wash in cold water with like colors, gentle cycle. Tumble dry low, remove promptly

BGR Top Deals:

  1. This weatherproof home security camera somehow has 2-year battery life
  2. This $ 18 color smart LED bulb works with Alexa and Google, just like Philips Hue’s $ 50 bulb

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  1. By the end of the year, Apple thinks 60% of US stores will accept Apple Pay
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Save $ 120 on 700 thread count hotel quality bed sheets, today only originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 6 Oct 2018 at 08:29:05 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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