3 Websites to Consider Before Buying Anything Online

So, you’re looking to make a purchase online. Sure, the manufacturer of the product you’re looking for probably sells it directly from their website, but I would bet my late grandma’s broccoli and rice casserole that you could find it cheaper elsewhere.

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Don’t Pay For Essential Computer Software (5 FREE Resources)

Recently, I had to purchase a new laptop PC. If you’ve ever done so, you’ll know that new computers these days come with tons of great, and FREE preloaded software such as anti-virus and word processing programs. The catch? Most of it is only FREE during a short trial period. After that, you have to purchase the software to continue to use it. Some of that software can be very expensive.

Whether you’ve purchased a new computer or you’re simply looking to tune up your existing PC, you should know that you don’t have to pay for essential software. No, I’m not going to teach you how to steal computer software. I’m simply going to show you where you can find effective, FREE PC software to handle all your essential computer functions.

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5 Steps to Landing a Job

This economy is tough. So many jobs have been lost, and finding a job is definitely not easy. With fewer jobs being available as a result of corporate cutbacks and layoffs, job seekers are forced to compete more fiercely to fill the empty positions.

If you’re currently searching for employment, you need to be at the top of your game to ensure you can beat the competition and land that job you so desperately need to support yourself and your family. By following the steps and utilizing the resources listed below, you’ll be back in the workforce and earning a paycheck in no time.

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3 Steps to Prosperity Using Passion and Creativity

I personally believe that creativity and passion are all you need to make a success out of yourself in some way, shape, or form. All other personality characteristics or skills are incidental. For example, you may think you are the greatest song writer of all time, but if you do not possess the passion and the drive to create unique and consistent content, no one will know or care who you are.

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Junk (not Spam) Email for Discounts and Savings

I’d like to make an important distinction up front. For the purpose of this post, junk mail and spam mail will have different definitions.

Spam mail: An unsolicited email advertisement. These emails usually come from people or companies who have purchased your email address from another person or company and often contain vulgar content or even computer viruses.

Junk mail: A solicited email advertisement from a company you are familiar with. Junk mail is received as a result of opting-in to a company’s email newsletter or other email distribution. I still refer to this type of email as junk mail because many of these emails contain information in which I am not interested. However, some messages contain other valuable content and savings.

Companies love to get a hold of your email address. They use it as a way to advertise their products or services. They also use it to extend valuable discounts and coupons to those willing to give up their email addresses. Sure, some companies do sell email addresses to make an extra buck (that’s where the spam mail usually comes from), but typically, opting-in to receive a company’s email distribution can be beneficial.

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10 Quirky Ways to Save Money

1. Go on a diet: Drinking water instead of soda and reducing calorie intake can cut inches off your waist and the length of your grocery receipt.

2. Cut the cable and hit up Hulu: Lots of people are canceling their cable and satellite TV subscriptions and using Hulu.com to watch their Hulu.comfavorite TV shows and movies for FREE. You just need to know how to hook up your computer to your television (unless you don’t mind watching from your computer screen). If Hulu’s free selection doesn’t suit you, for only $9.99 per month (still less than the average cable or satellite subscription) you can view even more of the shows you love.

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Using Store Credit Cards to Save Money

Store credit cards, such as those provided by Walmart, JCPenny, and many other retail establishments, are most commonly known for their high interest rates and low credit limits. Normally, this would not be a good combination when you’re looking to save money, however, I intend to inform you how that is not always the case.Portrait of a young woman standing in a clothing store and holding a credit card Horizontal

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Using Social Media to Save Money

So first of all, what the heck is social media? You may not be familiar with the term, but chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you know what social media is. According to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, “social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value.” You many more affectionately know social media as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, just to name a few examples.

Some of you may have even already figured out how social media can save you money without even knowing it. More and more these days, the common consumer is finding ways to tune out traditional outbound marketing such as television or magazine ads and is now using Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to learn more about the businesses in which they are interested. These business are becoming aware of this and are taking advantage of this trend by using social media to expand their reach. Some of their techniques include using social media as a way to pass on special savings that you may not find elsewhere.

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Organize Your Finances: 2 Resources and 2 Videos

It’s happened to all of us, and if it hasn’t, it will. That is, unless you read this blog post, of course. I’m talking about missing a credit card payment or being overdrawn on your checking account. These scenarios happen all too often and I believe it’s due to a lack of financial organization.

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Phone books are good for one thing: Coupons!

I came home the other day only to notice the newest phone book sitting at the foot of my front door. I have no idea why these companies are wasting their money printing and distributing these giant books when it is so much easier and faster to find a phone number on the internet.

Nevertheless, I will continue to welcome the arrival of each and every new phone book forced upon me. Why? Phone books are packed with tons of coupons!

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Sales, coupons, and discounts are evil!

I was recently faced with a conundrum. My parents came in town for a short weekend visit not too long ago. Anticipating their arrival, I went to the grocery store to stock up on a couple food items I knew they would enjoy. My mother, in particular, is partial to Diet Dr. Pepper (which I will refer to as DDP for the remainder of this post).

There were many packaging options available as always. Knowing that my mom enjoys drinking from the can, I naturally directed my eyes to the location of canned DDP. Here’s where the conundrum begins.

Displayed before me were cans packed in cases of 12 and cases of 24. If I were to buy a case of 12 cans, it would cost me $3.00, however if I were to buy a case of 24 cans it would cost me $4.00 (actual prices may vary; I don’t remember the exact prices). Doing simple math, I realized that the case of 24 cans was a much better deal from a quantity standpoint considering that if I bought two 12-packs, I would be spending $6.00, when instead I could just spend $4.00 for a 24-pack and get the same amount of product.

The problem is that no one in my household drinks DDP. Even though my mom loves her some DDP, there was no way she was going to drink 24 cans of it over a 3-day span. In purchasing the 24-pack, my mom may drink 5 or 6 cans over the weekend leaving the rest to age over time and eventually get tossed out. Therefore, it would make no sense for me to pay the extra $1.00 to purchase the 24 cans even though it is a better deal (if you are a DDP drinker).

Granted, this is obviously a small scale example of where sales, coupons, and discounts can mislead you. However, many small decisions like this can add up to a lot of wasted money over time. This scenario can also be true of larger purchases as well. For example, if you’ve ever purchased a new car, you’ll know that the salesperson always tries to upsell and trick you into buying something you know you don’t need.

The lesson: It’s worth the time to put some thought into every single purchase you make; big or small. Just because you found a 50% off coupon for your favorite clothing line, it doesn’t mean you have to use that coupon when you already have a closet full of clothes. Buying the jumbo bucket of pretzels doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better value if you only intent to consume the size of a smaller, cheaper container. If you listen to talk radio, then there would be no reason for you to pay an extra $500 for an upgraded stereo system when buying a new car even if that same stereo would cost you $1,000 to have it installed later on.

The solution: Make a list and stick to it. It’s all about discipline. Don’t base your list of the various coupons and sales you’ve come across. Base the list on items that you need. If it so happens that you manage to find some sales, coupons, or discounts related to something on your list… Great!

Do you have any additional feedback? Please comment below with any thoughts.

Podcast – #2 – Sales, Coupons, and Discounts are Evil!

(To download, right click and select “Save Link As…” (Firefox) or “Save Target As…” (Explorer))

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Welcome to the cheapest blog you can find!

This post is merely an introduction to what you can expect from this site going forward. At the time of this post, you won’t find much more on the site other than a little information about yours truly. Should you feel the desire, you can also click on the link titled “Who is Cheap Chucky?” to find out who this mysterious character is. The answer may surprise you!

Anyway, this blog has been designed as a way for me to share with you the knowledge of personal finance I’ve gained over time as a result of being raised under the care of money-conscious parents. I’ve also come up with my own tricks and tips which I’ve successfully utilized in the real world which have kept me from going financially under water.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional money manager or finance expert. I simply consider myself a reliable source of information as a result of learning and successfully utilizing various money management techniques over time. If you are an average person looking for average (but not necessarily common) advice as to how to keep more money in your wallet, then you are in a safe place.

This is a brand new site, so at this point, content is lacking. I don’t want to leave you empty-handed, so while you wait patiently for the first REAL blog post, head on over to the website for the Network of Money Makers podcast (you can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and Zune). This was a ‘money-saving knowledge transmission’ project of mine from over a year ago. The podcast has been inactive as of April 10, 2009 as a result of my second child being born. Even still, the content in the nine podcasts currently available (there are actually ten podcasts, but the first is only an introduction) is relevant and worth a listen.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the podcast, however my heightened familial responsibilities hindered my podcast progress. With this blog, you can expect the same great (and more up-to-date) content, and I will have more time for my family and job as well.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment on this or future posts. If you have a specific question for me, feel free to contact me at any time. I WILL reply to your emails.

I look forward to progressing this blog and receiving feedback from you, the reader.

Podcast – #1 – An Introduction

(To download, right click and select “Save Link As…” (Firefox) or “Save Target As…” (Explorer))

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