Best tips to save money, pay less taxes and waste less money on unneeded junk.
Bid For Low-Cost Travel Packages At SkyAuction
SkyAuction auctions off travel tickets and packages, ALL of them starting at only one dollar! New auctions begin each day. There are domestic and international tickets, last-minute getaways, entire vacation packages and much more. You can set up an "AuctionWatch" personal bid page, which lets you track all your bids on one page. You can also elect to receive an email alert whenever someone has outbid you.
Buy A Foreclosed Home... At Half Price!?
Check out Foreclosure Magazine for some outrageously low prices on houses and commercial properities. Some say that foreclosed properties often go for about 50 percent under market prices.
Be sure to check out every offer carefully first. Then buy it, fix it up, and either live there or sell it for a big profit!
Buy A Used Car Online
The Statewide Car Connection indexes used cars sold both by private parties and dealerships. Other available services include financing and insurance quotes.
Classifieds have good opportunities for getting a good deal on a used car. Try Classifieds2000 for a large and well-maintained listing of ads for used cars.
For classifieds, click: Classifieds 2000
Buy At An Online Discount Superstore
Value America is the site that best combines discount pricing with friendly customer service and a wide selection of products. If you're at all dissatisfied with any product you buy, you can return it within 15 days, no questions asked (a few products require a restocking fee.) You'll get discounts that give you a 5% to 20% savings over the pricing of major retailers such as Amazon.com, at this nice store based in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Buy Stocks With The Best Online Brokers
Muriel Siebert was the #1 ranked broker by Smart Money Magazine, and the #1 ranked mutual fund site by Forbes Magazine. They offer good service with a reputation for high customer satisfaction, an easy-to-use site, trades for only $14.95, and unlimited free check writing.
If you're looking for a site with super-low commissions, or you need an alternative broker for times when your primary broker is unavailable and
you really need to make a trade, check out InvesTrade Discount Securities, an online broker with stock trades for $7.95, option trades for $1.75 (minimum total $14.95), touch-tone trades and wireless trading through your pager. They also provide mutual fnds, no-fee IRA's, and free quotes, charts and research.
And also: InvesTrade
Buy Super-Cheap Book Closeouts
BookCloseOuts.com features book "Close-Outs" exclusively. There's not many best-sellers here, but you'll find your favorite subjects and authors at very low prices. The books aren't used, they're all in "as-new" condition. When you find a title you want, order it quickly because it may be gone tomorrow!
Compare Airfares Internet-Wide
An excellent article at About.com explains how to get the most bang for your buck when traveling. They explain how to download a browser plug-in that allows you to compare airfare prices from the top Internet travel sites in a few minutes, and how to get travel discounts at web sites and via e-mail newsletters. Best Tip: Remember that timing and patience are everything: you can get great deals by making repeated visits to travel sites to keep an eye on
fares that sometimes fluctuate wildly, and by jumping on last-minute deals with heavy discounts.
Compare Prices Across Many Auctions
The BottomDollar.com shopping agent lets you compare prices at many sites, including auctions. It doesn't cover all auction sites, but many major sites are covered: Yahoo Auction, Webauction.com, Auction Addict, Up4Sale and more.
Compare and Cut Shipping Costs
Sites such as iShip and SmartShip have online calculators that compare prices for shipping and express-mail services. You type in the zip codes of sending and delivery, plus the weight of the package. The prices for each service are then displayed.
To try SmartShip, click: SmartShip.
Cut Taxes By Hiring Your Kids
An article at Microsoft MoneyCentral explains how to pay your kids to work for you and subtract their income from your taxes. It's really one of the best (and most overlooked) tax savings opportunities. You must have a non-incorporated business (it's easy for anyone to start one from virtually any hobby; you just need to make sure you make a profit 3 out of 5 years), and pay reasonable wages.
Download IRS Forms Online
Save yourself a trip to the post office! Select from a list of forms and instructions published by the IRS itself. Then download it to your computer and print it out!
Download Valuepass "Net Bargain Hunting" Software
ValuePass.com is giving away a free program that helps you find money-saving offers on the Internet that match your interests. It presents a window that lets you pick the items you're interested in -- clothing, music, books etc. -- then displays a list of what's available coupons, discounts and special offers. By using ValuePass.com you'll receive only the coupons you're interested in. It will also alert you when offers that match your
interests appear in Web stores.
The program requires an Internet connection, and works with Macintosh or Windows 95/98/NT computers.
Explore A Tax Directory
The Tax and Accounting Sites Directory is a well-organized guide to tax and accounting sites, including articles, forms and software.
Find A Fair Price For A Used Car
What's a fair price for a used car? At Kelley Blue Book, you can find out. There's also information on new car prices.
Find A Great Card With A "Credit Card Calculator"
There are some great deals for credit cards on the Internet. "Smart Money" Magazine has an excellent guide to getting credit cards online, from an independent authority on personal finance. They will point you to all the best sources on credit cards. When you find some that you like, you can use their Credit Card Calculator to pick the best one.
Find Hostels For Cheap Lodging
The "Hostels.com Worldwide Hostel Guide" is the world's most complete directory of hostels, with thousands of hostels in locations all over the world, from Europe to the South Pacific Islands. There's also Hostel News, Guidebooks, Transportation Links and a "Virtual Bulletin Board".
Find The Right Price For Any Product
The Center for the Study of Services maintains a free consumer reference guide to features, buying advice, and real world "target prices" on over 8,000 big-ticket consumer products. Their "BARGAINS Plus" subscriber-only area lists over 2,000 "best" prices from BARGAINS retailers who are competing for your business and willing to ship products direct to you. "Unlike the other online sites, where retailers pay a fee
to appear, BARGAINS Plus retailers can't buy their way into our listings--the only way their prices get listed is if they offer some of the best prices around." Prices are based on weekly research of the lowest prices from newspaper advertisements in seven major cities around the country, as well as mail-order catalogs and brochures.
Get Free Tax Preparation At Quicken.com
Starting January 1 1999, Quicken's Tax Freedom Project will offer free access to their WebTurboTax program, a Web-based version of their tax-prep software. OK, so maybe you make more than 20 grand... you can still get excellent free
tax advice from their Quicken Tax Page.
Get Money Just For Surfing, At Beenz.com
A phenomenon called "Beenz" is sweeping the Internet. You earn Beenz by surfing Web sites that have signed up for Beenz, which actually pay you to visit their pages. You can "spend" earned Beenz at those sites and
many others, for real products (anything you have enough Beenz to buy.) It's free to join and easy to use.
Learn How A Family Can Live On 1 Income
Are you looking for more time to enjoy your family? The Dollar Stretcher site has an article entitled "Twelve Secrets to a Single Income Success".
Learn How To Be Your Own Lawyer
Nolo Press publishes the legal secrets for taxes, patents and other legal specialties. Their self-help law store helps you find the legal products you need in a flash. All products are backed by their No-Hassle Guarantee. Create a will, make a living trust, jumpstart your small business, register your own patents and trademarks, download legal forms, read electronic legal guides online, and more.
Learn How To Be Your Own Tax Attorney
Nolo Press publishes the legal secrets for taxes, patents and other legal specialties. Learn how to survive an audit, file late without penalties and much more. If you ever have a problem with the Taxman, turn to this website. Understand how your adversary (the IRS) is organized and how best to legally outmaneuver them.
Learn How To Fix Your Own Car
Excite's "Fix It Yourself" page gives clear step-by-step instructions on most car-repair issues, including mundane tasks like changing the oil.
The Motorist Assurance Program has a page labeled "How to Find Your Way Under the Hood & Around the Car". It uses cool graphics showing little men going under the hood of your car to show various parts and repair methods. It also has a good section on preventative maintenance techniques.
Another good site: Motorist Assurance Program
Learn How To Reverse A Financial Slide
The National Foundation For Consumer Credit asks, "Are you always late with bill payments? If you lost your job, would you be able to pay for your basic living expenses? Do you put off medical or dental visits because you can't afford them? If so, it's time to evaluate your spending habits and financial status." They can help with credit counseling and restoring your good credit.
Learn How To Save $$$ On Vacations
Money.com, the online site for Money Magazine, has an article suggesting ways to save on travel. They say "advance booking was once a surefire way to play the game, but these days the rules have changed; a last-minute traveler is just as likely to get a discount." Another good site is The Dollar Stretcher, which has posts new
resources weekly to help you save on your summer vacation.
Try Dollar Stretcher's travel articles archive.
Learn How To Save Big On The Web
An excellent article at ComputerShopper explains how to save big while shopping the Web. Many online stores offer hefty coupons and deep discounts to new customers, hoping you'll keep buying from their site. The article also explains that this won't last forever, and some online stores may get eaten by bigger fish.
If you're going to need service and support for a product you buy online, find a reliable site that will stay in business to provide support, and make sure that its products carry a warranty from the original manufacturer.
Learn To Make Your Home Improvement Pay For Itself
An article at CBS Marketwatch explains how to add home improvements that pay off in increased home valuation. Think of it as getting a free home improvement! The goal is to add a popular home improvement in a non-extravagant way, to make your home a better resale value. "An extravagant addition can make your home harder to sell," says author Marshall Loeb. "Not every prospective buyer, for example, will love a $15,000 pleasure center with a custom-made whirlpool, steam
bath and built-in stereo system. It could even be a turnoff." You could get a home-equity loan for the improvement, and wind up with a higher equity value... but then, there's always the property tax to think about.
Protect Yourself From Audits
The Internal Revenue Service is fishing for your tax return, hoping to cash in on a nasty audit... learn how to get off the hook! Visit this page to see advice on how to avoid getting hooked by an IRS audit.
Quote: Worst Tax
"Taxes could be worse... Suppose we had to pay what we think we are worth?"
--- Anonymous ---
Read Tips From Smart Money Magazine
This magazine's online site has the best list of tips we've ever seen to help you manage your money the smart way. There's over 50 tips, including sections on investing, mutual funds, bonds, taxes, consumers, education, online shopping, travel, communications, work, retirement, auto, home and business.
Read Two Smart Shopper's Sites
Here's two sites to help you become a smarter shopper:
- eSmarts: This site helps you find the lowest possible prices on the Web. They compare prices at different Internet stores, provide free coupons, discuss sales and share great shopping tips. A must see!
- Smarter Living Shopping: A great resource for anyone shopping on the internet, including sales, freebies and exclusive discounts. An entire section of their site is dedicated to finding great travel deals and passing them on to you.
Also visit: Smarter Living Shopping
Receive Tax Help From The IRS
Believe it or not, this is one of the better places to get tax help online. You can even ask questions without giving your name. You can also download forms directly from the IRS, which can save you a trip to the Post Office. There are sections on Tax Stats, Tax Info For You, Tax Info For Business, Tax Regulations In Plain English, IRS Newsstand, and Downloading Forms & Publications.
For the educational materials, click: IRS Tax Education
Receive The "Fare Wars" Mailing List And Save Big
Traveler's Net "Fare Wars" Mailing List sends you E-mail notices of "fare wars" the same day that the airlines make their announcements. These "fare wars" typically offer airfares 25% to 40% below the regular coach fare! If you can travel on short
notice, this is a great newsletter.
Save $$$ At Online "Factory Outlets"
An article at SmartMoney.com mentions a great way to save 10% to 20% (and sometimes much more) while shopping online: Online Factory Outlets. Some of us are "willing to endure crammed parking lots, disorganized merchandise and overworked sales assistants all for the satisfaction of finding a brand-name product at a bargain price." But when you shop factory outlets online, those problems disappear like magic!
Save 4%-25% With Ebates Rebates
A new site called Ebates.com is offering substantial discounts for shoppers at major online stores. Discounts range from 4% to 20% for many categories: books, music, computers, kids, gifts, home, food, fashion, sports and video. There are a few restrictions: you must pay by credit card, you need to fill out a form that tells them about your consumer preferences, and auctions are not covered. When you use ebates with your online shopping, you must also jump
through a couple of extra hoops: you must enter the online store through the ebates.com home page, then enter a special "email@example.com" email address when buying anything.
If you're curious about how they make money, it's mostly by selling advertising which appears in the banners at the top of ebates.com pages. You can also refer friends to this program, and get a little extra money for yourself (10% of your friends' rebates.)
Save Money By Printing Coupons At Home
Now you can print real coupons from your computer! CoolSavings is the place for big savings from your favorite stores, online merchants, restaurants, and travel companies. You can present the printed coupons to local merchants when you buy merchandise. The site also lists special online deals daily, including free stuff and free trial offers.
Save Money By Using Credit Cards Wisely
Three articles at BankRate.com teach you how to save money when using credit cards:
Save Money With Auctions, Classifieds And Agents
This page gives you the low-down on how to get the best bargains available online. Find out about the Internet's fast-developing auction sites, and how to get the most benefit out of them.
Save Money With Debt Consolidation
EDebtConsolidation.com is a non-profit site that has a great way to help people reduce their debt. They'll put you in touch with a trained professional who will negotiate with your creditors to:
They also give you access to a free downloadable do-it-yourself kit, and help you decide whether bankruptcy may be the best alternative for you.
- Consolidate your bills into one low monthly payment. Lower your monthly debt payments by 40-60%.
- Save thousands of dollars in interest and late charges.
- Improve your credit rating and end creditor harassment.
Save Money With Group Discounts At Mercata.com
A new web store called Accompany.com can get great discounts from manufacturers, using the power of teamwork. They offer a different product every 12 hours. The more people who buy the product during that 12-hour buy cycle, the higher the discount.
Check out this site for their schedule of upcoming sales, and you just might save big!
Another site using group purchasing: PowerBuys.
Save Money With Online Insurance
Online insurance sites have databases of hundreds of companies that sell low-load insurance policies, from life to health to auto insurance. You can get instant quotes and even apply for a policy online, or call the insurance company's 1-800 number for more information. The InsureMarket site has an Insurance Planner that can help you get a logical assessment of your insurance needs, along with a Life Events Advisor to learn how your changing life affects your insurance needs.
Also see: To read more, click: QuoteSmith Life Insurance Listing
Save On Bank Charges With A Credit Union
If you're tired of high bank fees, there's a good article at The Dollar Stretcher site that lists some effective tips for finding a better place to put your money. The odds are that you can lower your fees and get better interest rates by joining a good Credit Union or Savings & Loan.
Save On Lodging By Printing Your Own Hotel Coupons
Roomsaver.com has a selection of thousands of hotel discount coupons. Save up to 50% on your next hotel stay, by using coupons that you can print at this site. You can also search the site for the nearest highway location where you can pick up a free printed guide, with hundreds more coupons.
Save On Office And Business Supplies
PC Computing magazine recommends OfficeMax.com as one of the "100 best deals on the Web." They recommend their "max rebate section to get even more money off their already rock-bottom prices." MaxRebate customers fill out only one form and receive a single rebate check covering all qualified purchases, which is sent directly to you. There are "Express Order Templates" which means that you can fill
out a form once for regularly-ordered products, and never have to do that work again.
Save On Taxes Now!
Quicken.com has some good ideas for saving on your taxes right now. It's especially helpful if you're a homeowner or live in a high tax area.
Tax planning now can save you later on. Midyear can be a great time to explore new tactics and make up for previously missed opportunities.
For more links to tax-saving sites, see: InvestorGuide Tax Page.
Save With 6.9 Cents/Minute Long Distance
Now you can get low-cost long distance with great service from Qwest, a major TelCo, with up to 6.9 free hours. They also provide toll-free (800) service, and International service to the UK & Canada at the same low 6.9 cent rate with no monthly fee and 1 second billing. Qwest was Fortune Magazine's top rated telco and the fourth largest long distance provider.
In-state rates are also low, about 5 or 10 cents per minute. "One Second Billing" means you pay only for the actual time of the call, instead of rounding up to the next minute (like most phone companies do.) QWest has the largest network capacity, and is the 4th largest long-distance phone company.
Save With These Amazing Government Sell-Offs
Every day, the government auctions off valuable goods at amazingly low prices. Some people are even able to make a good living by buying and reselling government surplus. At the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, some of the categories available are: Agricultural Supplies, Aircraft & Accessories, Chemical & Crude Materials, Communications Equipment, Computer & Related Equipment, Construction & Building Materials, Electrical/Electronic Components,
Electrical Lighting & Signal Systems, Engines & Accessories, Fire Fighting, Rescue Equipment, Ground Transportation Equipment, Household Items, Furniture, Machinery General, Machinery Industrial,Marine Vessels & Supplies, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Misc. Hardware & Tools, Office Equipment & Supplies, Painting, Packaging Supplies, Photographic Equipment, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Textiles & Clothing, and Weapons & Accessories.
The Consumer Information Center has information on how you can find more government sales. When you arrive at the site, you can try the following tricks:
- Click on "Federal Programs" and then "How You Can Buy Used Federal Personal Property".
- Click on "Search CIC" and search for "National Sellers".
- Again, click on "Search CIC" and search for "GSA Guide to Federal Government Sales".