Tricks to Save Money in Your Daily Life

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When Americans feel a pinch in their financial situation, cost-saving tips becoming valuable to the average family. The MintLife Blog states that only 32 percent of American households currently draw up a detailed budget to control spending and track income.

While the typical budget-conscious individual may know to forgo that daily Starbucks treat at $5 a pop, he or she may be unaware of smartphone apps or negotiation advice that can save hundreds of dollars a month. You can benefit from the following tips of financial wisdom.

Understand your monthly expenses

According to The Savor Blog, tracking every cent of your expenses can help you develop better spending habits. Even though you may have cut a costly Starbucks habit, you could still be spending money on other habits that cost hundreds of dollars a month.

People who are addicted to cigarettes can easily spend $200 to $300 a month on them. By tracking every cent of your expenses in a smartphone app or Excel spreadsheet, you’ll become fully aware of your spending habits and make required changes.

Take advantage of circulars

Grocery shopping can a great area to reduce expenses. ABC News recently discussed a list of smartphone apps that provide circulars in electronic form.

If you feel like you don’t have time to sift through newspapers or clip coupons, you may want to use a smartphone app to glance through circulars in your spare moments. Whether you’re waiting to pick up the kids from school or stuck in a long line, you can use this time to your benefit by finding electronic circulars and coupons.

Negotiate your medical bills

Some people suffer the financial pinch when they owe thousands of dollars on a medical bill. Instead of struggling to pay the total amount, you could try to negotiate the amount down.

Only 31 percent of Americans ever attempt to negotiate over an amount owed on a medical bill, yet 93 percent of Americans who do are successful. If you plan on discussing a medical debt, make sure you deal with the ultimate decision-maker.

Those who are in charge of billing decisions can help you out by cutting the amount you owe for your medical care.

Negotiate in all contexts

In addition to negotiating your medical bills, you should also feel comfortable to do the same in just about any other context. Even if you’re at a farmers market or clothing store, it may be possible to haggle for a lower price on something you want.

Improve the security of your home

You can lower the rate for your home insurance policy by taking the trouble to improve security measures. Adding a free wireless security system may help you save as much as five to 20 percent on your home insurance policy. Also, selecting the e-policy or e-bill delivery option can result in some savings.

Following the above tips can add some wiggle room to your monthly budget. Take advantage of these strategies so you can free up extra cash and get more value for your dollar.

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How Tweens and Teens are Using Social Media

Teens and tweens are among the most active users of social media today. With their smart phones and tablets in tow wherever they go, these youngsters often hang out on their favorite social networking sites many times a day. They keep in touch with friends both inside and outside of their school.

Surveys have found that majority or 81 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 use social media. This figure is higher than the 72 percent of internet users overall.

Among tweens, statistics show that 48 percent of girls between 6 and 12 years old own a cell phone while 51 percent of them have a smart phone. Half of adolescents, on the other hand, log into a social media site more than once each day.
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Why Water Damage Needs to Be On Your Radar in a New Home

When someone makes a move into a new rental or consider purchasing a home, most don't think about water damage. However, pre-existing damage or potential threats can dramatically reduce the value of a property, lead to the damage of your belongings, and create health hazards. Getting the facts about current water damage and threats, and then being proactive about addressing these issues is key during your move-in process. Leaky pipes, malfunctioning appliances, and condensation are sources of water damage that can affect your quality of living and your water bill.

Water Bill Spikes

When you receive you water bill, does it fail to make sense? Your money might be dripping away in the form of leaks and spills. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a single faucet that drips once per minute wastes up to 34 gallons per year. This can really add up, especially if your toilet is not working efficiently, and if your home has other leaks.

Learn how to check your water meter at home. If you're not sure, contact your local utilities company to get more information. Keep a close eye on the meter. The folks at Water Damage Defense recommend a simple test in their recent Water Damage By the Numbers infographic: note the measurement, then avoid using water for two hours. If the measurement has changed, then you probably have a leak.

Mold Concerns

Unseen leaks won't only cause water damage to your belongings and home structure, but it can lead to dangerous mold growth. This is no laughing matter, since mycotoxins from mold can cause severe allergies, breathing problems, and chronic illnesses. Mold growth may or may not be visible, especially if it is taking place behind walls. If you live in a home that develops condensation on walls or windows, make sure that the space is properly ventilated and even wiped down, to prevent moisture accumulation.

If you suspect a leak, contact your landlord or hire a contractor to address the plumbing issue first. If mold is discovered, hire a professional to clean it – they will have the appropriate filter masks and cleaners to deal with the issue safely. If you're a renter, check your local department of health to see what your tenant responsibilities are regarding mold assessment and cleanup.

Preventative Measures

Whether your home is affected by water damage concerns or not, it's a good practice to be prepared for any upcoming incidents. One of the easiest ways to monitor water levels is to equip your home with water sensors, emergency shut off systems, and backup pump systems. For example, if your washing machine or icemaker suddenly springs a leak, then the system will detect a rising water level and switch off the flow of water. This can save you thousands of dollars in damage.

Before you move into a new home or rental, it is very important to examine a property for current water damage and threats. Not only will this awareness help you save money on your water bill, but it will also increase the safety of your household. Equipping your house with preventative devices can also save your home investments in the long run.

 

How to Buy the Right Used Car

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Buying used items is accepted in today's society and people don't mind it at all. Buying used cars is even more common these days as a brand new vehicle may not be within easy reach for those wanting to own one.

Many have noted an increase in the sales of used cars which is why www.carshop.co.uk have come up with this infographic that highlights what to look out for when buying your used car.
The process of buying a second hand car, however, can be more challenging compared to getting a brand new one. You need to be meticulous about checking the different parts of the vehicle inside and out to ensure it's in good running condition and won't fail you moving forward.

On the exterior, some of the important parts that need to be properly inspected are the tires, overspray, brakes and welds in sills. The doors and locks should not be forgotten as well.

Inside the vehicle, things to check are the car seats, carpets, air conditioning and the odometer. The odometer records the mileage or the age of the car and a normal driver would have driven between 10,000 and 15,000 miles per year.

Finally, a must for every car buyer is to test drive the vehicle. This will help you determine the real condition of the car while you're maneuvering it. Certain things to check during a test drive are the aircon, lights and other electrical works, clutch and brake, suspension, exhaust and the balancing part.

More tips here in our infographic below.

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Top 10 Most Successful Kickstarter Projects

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Projects on Kickstarter come in different types and sizes and if your early guess on the most successful ones are the games, you are definitely right. Games including video games dominate the list of the 10 most successful projects on Kickstarter.

This is no surprise at all as a great number of people today particularly those who own mobile devices have a penchant for gaming and technology. Men and women young and old alike today keep themselves occupied with games when they're out in the malls or while waiting at and riding on public transport stations.

Surveys on mobile gaming have shown that playing games is a popular activity among people who own smart phones these days.

Statistics also show that mobile games are the most popular app category.

In the Top 10 list of successful Kickstarter projects, five are video games. One gaming console and gaming figures are also in the list.

Among the Kickstarter indie games that received much pledges are Project Eternity on the third spot, Double Fine Adventure on fifth place, Wasteland 2 (7th place), Elite: Dangerous (8th place) and Homestuck Adventure Game (9th place).

Project Eternity which received nearly $4 million in pledges is a video RPG featuring a new fantasy world as its main setting.

Double Fine Adventure is a graphic adventure game in a downloable point and click format. It gained a total of more than $3.3 million in pledges which will be used to support production, promotion and distribution.

Wasteland 2 by InXile Entertainment is a sequel to the 1988 original RPG Wasteland and attracted nearly $3 million in pledges.

On the other hand, the Ouya video game console for TV which gained a total of more than $8.5 million in pledges occupied the second spot. Ouya is known for its top quality controller, console and interface. The console features a touchpad for any games with the convenience of using the television.

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Comic Book Reading Habits Revealed

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Since time immemorial, comics have been a source of entertainment for many people, young and old alike. It's a reading material that gives comic relief and even lessons sometimes. It's something where kids can get inspiration and ideas particularly for those who have an inclination towards drawing and sketching.

Despite the introduction of the digital form of comic books in recent years, studies have found that comic lovers still prefer to read the print version. And although women tend to lose their interest on comics are they reach adulthood, research findings reveal that adult men continue to love it.

Reading comics has many benefits as well. It goes beyond just being able to provide entertainment to the reader. Studies have found that it enhances the reading abilities of children, improves their vocabulary and helps relieve stress for adult lovers. View Infographic ›

5 Things to Think About When You’re Having Plumbing Problems

Clogged drains, burst pipes, leaky faucets. It seems like no matter what precautions you take, plumbing breaks down one way or another.

Plumbing problems can be a huge headache, but if you're smart about making repairs and replacing equipment you can save yourself a lot of time and money.

Making smart repairs

When you're having plumbing problems, you obviously want to get things back in working condition as quickly as possible and save as much money as you can. But depending on the situation, it might make more sense to replace the broken equipment completely rather than just fix the problem temporarily.


 

Here are a few things that you should consider when deciding whether to repair or replace:

  1. Cost of repairs

  2. How often your plumbing needs to be repaired

  3. How long the broken equipment has been in use

  4. Energy efficiency of the current system

  5. The safety of the set-up you have now

Some plumbing problems, like a clogged drain or a leaking faucet, are easy to repair on your own, and your plumbing will be as good as new. Other problems, however, are the result of old, leaky pipes, recurring clogs, broken equipment, and harmful lead pipes. These items should be replaced, since repairing them isn't a long-term solution.

If you do choose to repair rather than replace, there are plenty of local and online retailers for inexpensive replacement parts and tutorials to help you along the way.

As long as you feel confident making repairs and replacements yourself, you can save a lot of money by doing the work yourself. Otherwise, it may be worth it to call in a professional, whether to assess the situation or do the actual repairs.

It's better to be stuck with repair bills than make the problem worse by leaving it untreated or risk making it worse.

Instagram Vital Facts You Need to Know

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Among the photo sharing sites available today, Instagram is one of the most widely used by people all over the world. Being a platform used mainly on mobile devices, the site has gained millions of followers through the years.

As of September this year, Instagram reached the 150 million mark of monthly active users. It was a jump by 20 million from the June 2013 figure of 130 million users.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and added video sharing features to the original photo sharing app. Today, it is used by people of varied ages, celebrities even and popular company brands. In fact, Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber was the first user to earn one million likes on a video post.

To learn more about Instagram's initial success, read our infographic here. Active users fond of creating beautiful images may also want to join the Instagram photo challenges. The idea is to post your most best photo in line with a particular for the day.

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The History of Role-playing Games

An infographic made by the Forevergeek Kickstarter Store on the history of role playing games, from their early and humble beginnings using only dice, paper and pencils to the million dollar console and computer games of today



The History of Role-playing Games


Making Economical Decisions to Build a Website

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All small businesses should have a website, according to Small Business Chronicle. Unfortunately, many small businesses feel they do not have the money necessary to build the website they need. They feel they should be investing their money into endeavors that will bring in money immediately. What these businesses may not understand is the fact that a website brings in business both directly and indirectly. No business can afford to lose the attention having a good website brings in. Best of all, creating a website does not have to cost a lot of money. You can have a site with great design with a template, a host for your site and possibly a freelance web designer. These can help you to create the kind of site you will be proud to show off.

Use a Template for Your New Site

One of the most expensive parts of creating a website is the initial design process. This is a cost you can eliminate altogether with a website template. The template allows you to simply plug in the different elements you want to have on your site. The process of setting up a new site becomes very easy, even for those with no knowledge of computers or coding for websites. Simply go to a site with multiple templates to choose from, pick out the one you like and implement the template to create your site. There are a large variety of templates available, and many are customizable for specific types of businesses. In many cases, you can go to a web design company and use their online tools to completely build your site online.

Using a Host for Your Website

Once you know what your website looks like, you want to make sure it is accessible and secure. This ensures the visitors to your site can actually see and use the site. Using a web hosting company ensures that all of the information is available to be viewed at any time. These generally charge you based on the amount of space you need for the site rather than on the number of visitors you expect to have. They provide all the bandwidth, so you do not have to worry about the site crashing from too many simultaneous views.

Employing a Freelance Web Designer

If you are concerned about having a website with all the right elements, you can always spend a little more to hire a freelance web designer. The Internet is filled with web designers willing to work for rates far more competitive than you can find in a business. You can look through sites like Elance and oDesk to a wide variety of freelancers willing to work on your site for you. In the end, you will have a professional looking website you did not have to spend very much money on. It is an effective way to get a professional site without a major expense. You may even hire a freelancer to go over your site after you have put it together and make some minor alterations or improvements.

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