Making a smartphone pay for itself

You can save plenty of money using apps on your smartphone, so in effect the phone can pay for itself over time. Check out the video above for tips like:

– Using Google Shopper to compare prices
– Bank ATM finder app for free ATM machines
– Track spending with apps like Mint to create a budget and sticking to it
– The Field agent app will actually pay you to scan pricing info!

There are other suggestions in this video worth learning about. The key is there are plenty of ways to use a smartphone to save or make money. It’s more than just a texting machine for your friends and hookups!


Can you afford your used car?

2009 Pontiac G8 GT X09PN_G8008

Many people choose to purchase a used car for obvious reasons – it’s cheaper than buying a new car of course. Still, that doesn’t mean every used car purchase makes financial sense, particularly when you are borrowing to pay for it.

This article explains why many people can’t really afford the used cars they are buying.

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Should you borrow money to pay for your wedding?

ID-100177638 wedding couple
Free image courtesy of

The answer to this question is simple . . . No!

This was recently addressed recently in a newspaper advice column, and Teresa Dixon Murray gave a very logical answer. Starting off your marriage with debt is a terrible idea. Consider eloping, or instead a very frugal wedding.

Now, nobody is saying this will be easy. Grooms will have to deal with their bride’s fantasies about what their wedding should entail. But that also offers a perfect opportunity to discuss a budget. Many young couples don’t deal with this before marriage and that leads to a host of problems. Having these discussions now is critical and both of you will learn things about one another and how you might be able to manage money together.

Once you have a budget, you can do all sorts of research to find deals or creative ways to handle different aspects of the wedding.

These are big decisions, but taking the easy way out by getting a loan is the wrong way to handle it.


Economic optimism continues to rise

The political campaign is in full swing, and surprisingly the polling data is showing an increase in optimism among Americans with regard to the future prospects of the economy. This trend was emerging even before the recent job report that showed the unemployment rate dipping to 7.8%. Many analysts are crediting Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic convention where he explained that things are improving, even if it’s slower than many of us would hope.

Other factors probably have to do with the stock market, which affects millions of 401K accounts, while the rebound in housing in many markets along with very low interest rates has to be helping as well.

Families have responded over the past several years by reducing debt, and now we’re seeing some increases in consumer spending. Now we just need businesses to follow suit by hiring more people and making more investments. Big companies are still sitting on a ton of cash, but hopefully this improved sentiment will nudge entrepreneurs to make more investments, buy more supplies, use more printing services and bring on more workers. Frugality has been the key in businesses along with personal finance as people look to do more with less. Businesses with shop around for deals on brochures from UPrinting rather than just using the local printer, or use interns or independent contractors instead of bringing on permanent employees. Cars that use less gas are also very popular now with consumers and business owners. Money saved is money earned.

But hopefully the improved sentiment will lead to more risk-taking as well for entrepreneurs and other businesses, as we need this for the economy to grow.


Should you consider a biweekly mortgage?

This video does a pretty good job of explaining exactly how a biweekly mortgage works and the benefits. The benefits really go to making extra payments each year which can cut years off of your mortgage. It also aligns well with your biweekly paychecks, so it’s extremely convenient.

Just be careful in case you bank ties fees to this payment structure.


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