9 Worthwhile Ways to Spend Your Money

Spend Your Money

It can be tempting to spend all your money on a fancy new something or a big night out. However, there are several smarter ways of spending the cash you have. You may want to consider the fact that the way you spend your money may affect the level of your happiness. You may think that buying that large screen TV or a bigger car is a worthwhile purchase, but it may not provide you the most smiles for your buck.

These are a few worthwhile ways of spending your money.

1. Pay off Your Debt

The best way to spend your money is often the easiest and something that will help you in the long run. You should pay off your student loans, credit card debt, and other bills which may have increased during the Covid-19 or Wuhan virus pandemic. Debt repayment often offers the best return on money. You need to know that the typical credit card may have a 15% interest in a year. This may not seem like the most exciting way of spending your money, but you would appreciate this in the long run. It is a win-win situation to not think about paying more interest while reducing your debt.

2. Spending on Hobbies

Passive forms of entertainment will only get you so far. You may want to relax in front of the TV (Bosch, 24, Ray Donovan) sometimes, but you shouldn’t be habitual of it. Try spending more on yourself and in developing hobbies. You can always buy board games, tools, or a musical instrument to get the creative juices flowing.

3. Spending on People You Love

Money can buy a lot of happiness as long as you know the people you want to spend it on. Satisfying relationships, happiness and gifts are strongly correlated. It can be expensive maintaining relationships with family and friends. For instance, if your family doesn’t live close to you, you could seriously drain your savings visiting them which is not good when energy and food prices are increasing because of current policy. Being invited to an offbeat wedding is another way of losing a lot of money.

4. Spend on Job Training or Education

You are the greatest asset you can invest on. Job training and education are often essential for getting the job you want. This may also help in seeking promotions at your current work. You may find this obvious, but if you are satisfied with your job, you would anyway tend to be happier.

5. Purchase Sporting Goods

Exercise and happiness go hand in hand with one another. It is scientifically proven that exercise releases endorphins and other chemicals in the brain that makes you feel good. Additionally, being physically fit is just going to make you feel better on top of regular prayer.

6. Taking a Vacation

Everybody requires a decent holiday at least once a year. This is to ensure that you break the monotony. However, you should know that holidays can get expensive really quickly. Your financial goals may get messed up if you don’t plan for the vacation. However, holidays are one of the best ways to spend your money on.

7. Eating Healthy

Healthier food is definitely more expensive than regular food. But, this is an expense that makes sense. You would feel better when you eat healthier making the additional payment worthwhile. Health is something you would miss only when you are not longer fit. It is better to be proactive and take care of yourself.

8. Saving for an Emergencies

Another way you can make use of extra cash is by creating an emergency fund. Life doesn’t always work out the way you hoped it would. By creating an emergency fund, you can have access to quick cash whenever you need it. The minimum amount you should put in your emergency fund should be at least $1,000. The average person needs this kind of money if they are without work.

9. House Remodeling

Investing in your home will bring you the same happiness that investing in yourself would. A house is one of the largest financial assets that a person may own. You could use any money you have saved up to beautify the outside of your home. You could also add energy efficient features to your house. Improving your home is a sound investment and will increase the quality of your life. This can improve your financial future by boosting the resale value of your house and perhaps even make a friend or relative a little envious along the way! Nothing wrong with that!

BPme App: Make Contactless Fuel Payments and Get Rewards

A woman at a gas station

Thanks to the BPme app launched by the fuel giant, BP, you can pay for your gas using your phone within seconds. From the comfort of your car, skip the lines and fill faster. This contactless payment option offers much-needed relief especially during these difficult times.

What’s more?     

You can also connect your Nectar account, locate the nearest BP service station, and view your transaction history right from the app. It allows secure payment using Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and PayPal.   

Pay for Gas in 3 Simple Steps

  1. Open the app, enter your pin, and select the ‘Pay in Car’ option
  2. Once the station is confirmed, select your pump number, and confirm the payment method
  3. Get your car’s tank filled
  4. Receive notification and an e-mail receipt of the completed transaction  

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4 Budgeting Tips You Need to Follow

Budgeting tips for beginners

Do you hate budgeting because you think it robs you of your freedom to spend your money?

Well, you are not alone. But this does not mean that you’re right.

By creating a spending plan for each month, you can actually ensure that you’ll always have enough money to spend on things you want. It is the best way to stay out of debt or pay off what’s due on you.    

Here are some practical budgeting tips to help you get started:

1. Start from Zero

If you want to stay on top of your personal finances, creating a zero-based budget is the way to go. This means you should get a big fat zero when you subtract your expenses from your income. Simply put, you must assign each dollar to something before the month even starts.

Start by calculating your monthly expenses and subtract the amount from your income. If you get a negative value, bring your costs down. You can start a side hustle or sell some items if you need extra money. In case you have a few dollars left, they can go into savings.

2. Set Your Priorities Straight!

No month is the same as the last, which means you will have to figure out a spending plan for each month. Some months you’ll be spending more on home and car maintenance and other routine expenses, and other months, you may be saving for special occasions or vacations.

When you set priorities for a month, giving and saving should always come first. Then come food, shelter, utilities, clothing, and transportation. Once these categories are sorted, move on to others.   

3. Pay Your Debt

One of the most important budgeting tips is to set aside your debt amount first. Pay off what’s due as fast as you can so that you can have complete control over your money.   

4. Create a Plan and Stick to It

To eliminate stress from the equation, pick specific dates for your expenses. Follow the plan religiously and track your progress. If you’re afraid of overspending, try the envelope technique and use cash for each category.

Budgeting doesn’t mean you can’t spend as you will. With these budgeting tips, get ready to manage your money in a smarter, more efficient manner!  

How Long Does It Take To Close On a House?

Home Closing

It is important for homebuyers to know how long it may take to close on a house once their purchase offer is accepted. Except where the deal is all-cash, the buyer’s lender will take some time to process the loan and close.

If you are well-prepared with all the necessary information and documents your lender may require, the closing process could be hastened.

However, chances are that you may still face situations where you have to discuss or negotiate with the other party. Indecisiveness or inaction will only make the closing process longer in these situations.

Average Time Taken for Home Closing

For a new home purchase, according to Fannie Mae, the average closing time is 46 days, while for mortgage finance it is 49 days. A similar time period for closing is also involved in FHA loans.

The closing process is often expedited if the loan has been pre-approved (rather than pre-qualified). If the buyer’s bank statements, employment record, and credit report have already been verified, closing on the property will usually take place within one to two weeks.   

Estimated Timeline for Closing

  • Completing the official loan application – 1 day
  • Official loan disclosures (and loan estimate) – up to 3 days
  • Additional document requests and review – 4 to 7 days
  • Appraisal process – 7 to 14 days
  • Underwriting – 1 to 3 days
  • Conditional loan approval – 7 to 14 days
  • Cleared to close – 3 days
  • Closing and loan disbursement – 1 day

Factors that can Delay Home Closing

In many cases, delays in closing on a house occur at a stage when the file has been submitted to the underwriters. While an experienced loan officer would be well-versed with underwriting guidelines, it is difficult to predict how an underwriter would respond.

Delays are more frequent with institutional lenders than with mortgage brokers because their procedures may be longer and slower. Here are some of the key issues that could delay or even prevent closing on a home.

Credit Report Issues

If your credit report reveals questionable items, such as a sudden decline in credit score, new debts, errors, or a major late payment reported recently, it could cause a delay in closing.

Lower Appraisal

Lenders usually ask for an appraisal of the home before they finance it. If the property appraisal turns out to be lower than the asking price of the seller, your loan may be refused. You may either have to pay the difference from your pocket or renegotiate your terms with the seller for the loan to be cleared.

Home Inspection Raises Concerns

The home inspection may result in adverse findings, such as faulty wiring or leakage in the bathroom. Repairs will have to be undertaken before the home closing can be done.

Need for Additional Documents

In some cases, the lender may ask for additional documents to explain some doubtful aspects related to your finances. For instance, a document may have a discrepancy about your marital status, or a bank statement may show your maiden name, or some insurance information may be missing. 

Problems with the Title

The home sale may be delayed if there are problems with the title, such as lien. Clearing the title may take time and cause a delay in home closing.

Unforeseen Changes with Financial Impact

Right before the closing, any unforeseen life changes with substantive financial impact, such as a divorce or loss or job may also result in a delay.

Inexperienced Loan Professionals

In some cases, both the buyer and the seller may be diligent in accomplishing their role in the process, but the professionals handling your loan may be inefficient.

What can you do to Minimize Delays in Home Closing?

In order to close on your house in a smooth and timely manner, be prepared to respond actively to the requests made by your real estate agent and your lender. While you have no control over how other parties in the value chain perform their role, you can make sure that no delay occurs because of you.

Any time you receive a request for information or documents from the lender, you should be ready to produce it as soon as possible.

Anticipate the requirements and keep ahead of the curve to ensure your home closing process does not drag on like an episode of that 90s show Mad About You.

Don’t move out of your current place of residence until you can actually move into the home you are buying. You don’t want to be sleeping in your car for a few nights or have to get a hotel.

It is important for homebuyers to know how long it may take to close on a house once their purchase offer is accepted. Except where the deal is all-cash, the buyer’s lender will take some time to process the loan and close.

If you are well-prepared with all the necessary information and documents your lender may require, the closing process could be hastened.

However, chances are that you may still face situations where you have to discuss or negotiate with the other party. Indecisiveness or inaction will only make the closing process longer in these situations.

Average Time Taken for Home Closing

For a new home purchase, according to Fannie Mae, the average closing time is 46 days, while for mortgage finance it is 49 days. A similar time period for closing is also involved in FHA loans.

The closing process is often expedited if the loan has been pre-approved (rather than pre-qualified). If the buyer’s bank statements, employment record, and credit report have already been verified, closing on the property will usually take place within one to two weeks.   

Estimated Timeline for Closing

  • Completing the official loan application – 1 day
  • Official loan disclosures (and loan estimate) – up to 3 days
  • Additional document requests and review – 4 to 7 days
  • Appraisal process – 7 to 14 days
  • Underwriting – 1 to 3 days
  • Conditional loan approval – 7 to 14 days
  • Cleared to close – 3 days
  • Closing and loan disbursement – 1 day

Factors that can Delay Home Closing

In many cases, delays in closing on a house occur at a stage when the file has been submitted to the underwriters. While an experienced loan officer would be well-versed with underwriting guidelines, it is difficult to predict how an underwriter would respond.

Delays are more frequent with institutional lenders than with mortgage brokers because their procedures may be longer and slower. Here are some of the key issues that could delay or even prevent closing on a home.

Credit Report Issues

If your credit report reveals questionable items, such as a sudden decline in credit score, new debts, errors, or a major late payment reported recently, it could cause a delay in closing.

Lower Appraisal

Lenders usually ask for an appraisal of the home before they finance it. If the property appraisal turns out to be lower than the asking price of the seller, your loan may be refused. You may either have to pay the difference from your pocket or renegotiate your terms with the seller for the loan to be cleared.

Home Inspection Raises Concerns

The home inspection may result in adverse findings, such as faulty wiring or leakage in the bathroom. Repairs will have to be undertaken before the home closing can be done.

Need for Additional Documents

In some cases, the lender may ask for additional documents to explain some doubtful aspects related to your finances. For instance, a document may have a discrepancy about your marital status, or a bank statement may show your maiden name, or some insurance information may be missing. 

Problems with the Title

The home sale may be delayed if there are problems with the title, such as lien. Clearing the title may take time and cause a delay in home closing.

Unforeseen Changes with Financial Impact

Right before the closing, any unforeseen life changes with substantive financial impact, such as a divorce or loss or job may also result in a delay.

Inexperienced Loan Professionals

In some cases, both the buyer and the seller may be diligent in accomplishing their role in the process, but the professionals handling your loan may be inefficient.

What can you do to Minimize Delays in Home Closing?

In order to close on your house in a smooth and timely manner, be prepared to respond actively to the requests made by your real estate agent and your lender. While you have no control over how other parties in the value chain perform their role, you can make sure that no delay occurs because of you.

Any time you receive a request for information or documents from the lender, you should be ready to produce it as soon as possible.

Anticipate the requirements and keep ahead of the curve to ensure your home closing process does not drag on like an episode of that 90s show Mad About You.

Don’t move out of your current place of residence until you can actually move into the home you are buying. You don’t want to be sleeping in your car for a few nights or have to get a hotel.

Is an AARP Membership Worth It?

So you just turned 50, and all of a sudden you start seeing online ads for AARP, seeing the magazines everywhere you go, and getting the pamphlets in the mail. I know, you’re just trying to come to terms with the fact that you are now 50 years old, all you need is another reminder that your mid life crisis is sure to start any minute now. Well I’m here to tell you it’s time to embrace your new age with a new attitude. You now get to take advantage of senior citizen discounts all over town, so why not also take a peek at those AARP benefits? Is it worth it? I’ll lay everything out for you now.

How Much Does it Cost? 

An AARP membership costs $16 a year. But the more years you pay for in advance, the cheaper it is. See below for the discounted breakdown.

$63 for 5 years — $12.60 per year, with a 21 percent discount
$43 for 3 years — $14.34 per year, with a 10 percent discount
$12 for the first year if you choose to auto-renew — 25 percent discount

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What Discounts are Included?

Members get a variety of discounts at the following popular stores and restaurants.

Retail: Tanger Outlets, 1-800-Flowers.com, Harry & David
Restaurants: McCormick & Schmick’s, Saltgrass, Outback, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Denny’s and Rainforest Cafe
Entertainment: Ticketmaster, Regal Cinemas, Cirque du Soleil
Home & Technology: AT&T, UPS Store, Consumer Cellular

What are the Travel Deals? 

Rental cars: Members get a discount with several popular rental car companies, as well as a 30 percent discount on Zipcar memberships.
Hotels: Members get up to 20 percent off at several hotel chains, such as Days Inn and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, as well as up to 35 percent off from Endless Vacation Rentals.
Flights: You’ll get access to the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia, which has members-only flight deals, plus you’re entitled to a discount at Park Ride Fly USA for off-airport parking.
Cruises: Members can get discounts on select cruises by Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar and Grand European Travel.

What are the Health & Wellness Deals? 

Exams: Members get a free hearing test once a year, as well as special rates on eye exams and eyeglasses at participating eye doctors.
Insurance: Members get access to exclusive insurance plans through the AARP® Auto & Home Insurance Program from The Hartford.
Medication: Members have access to the AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by OptumRx program and save an average of 61 percent on all FDA-approved medications
Family: Add a spouse or partner to your plan for free so you can both enjoy the benefits
Dating: Members can sign up for the AARP dating site and meet other 50+ singles who are ready to mingle.

This is only a small portion of the discounts and benefits you can get from an AARP membership. You can read the full list of discounts by checking out the AARP Member Benefits Guide.

As you’re nearing retirement, I understand you want to be intentional with how you spend your money. I’ll let you do the math, but if dine out frequently, travel, and want access to health and financial resources to assist in your retirement transition, it might be worth trying AARP for one year to see if you like it. That $16 you spent on the membership will be saved in no time. 

How to Choose a Travel Credit Card That Delivers The Best Value to You?

Travel Credit Card

The right credit card can make or break your travel budget and costs, regardless of whether you are planning an annual family trip or are a regular business traveler.

Your credit card should not give you a nagging worry of losing out a significant amount on foreign transaction fees and currency conversions while paying for hotels, flight tickets, and other things.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the key elements that need to be considered when you are comparing various credit card options for your next travel.

Annual Fee

You should be aware that most travel cards come with an annual fee. This can range anywhere from $90 to $100 for regular travel cards and even in a strong economy with stellar tax cuts these fees should not be ignored.

But the fees can go up to $450 or more for premium cards that come with a host of perks and rewards. You need to weigh these perks against the annual fee to make sure that it evens out.

If you are wondering whether there are any good travel credit cards without the unnecessary annual fee, then you are in luck. There are many no-fee travel cards, but then they have a few drawbacks, like rewards of lower value, reduced perks, and a smaller sign-up bonus.

Rewards Rates

Rewards can be primarily segregated into the following two categories:

Burn rate

Burn rate is the value you receive for the miles or points when you go in to redeem them. The standard industry burn rate is 1 cent for every mile or point. However, some cards, especially hotel cards offer a lower value on the ‘burn’ end, but make up for it by offering more points for every dollar spent on the earning side.

Earn rate 

Earn rate signifies the number of miles or points you receive on every dollar spent. There are some standard travel credit cards that only offer rewards on a flat-rate. This means that you get the same type of rewards on all kinds of purchases, such as 3 miles per dollar or 2.5 points per dollar.

Co-branded cards and others offer a base rate (say a point per dollar) and then raise the stakes for certain categories. For instance, you may be paid a higher reward rate for hotel stays, airline tickets, restaurant meals, and other general travel expenses.

Don’t just blindly look at the numbers while comparing reward rates. You need to take a closer look at the category those numbers apply to and find a travel card that best matches your spending pattern.

It may seem great to receive 5 points every dollar. But, if those 5 points only come with purchasing office supplies and you don’t intend to use your travel card in an office supply store, then you may just end up getting a lousy deal.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Foreign transaction fee is never charged by a good travel card. These fees refer to the surcharges on purchases that are made outside the United States. The industry standard where foreign transaction fee is concerned is 3%, which is just enough to wipe out all the rewards you may have earned during your travel.

This is not of much concern if you don’t travel outside the US much. But, anyone who leaves US frequently should invest in a travel card with no foreign transaction fee. There are many issuers, like Capital One and Discover that offer cards without foreign transaction fee.

Reputation of the Issuer

You need to make sure that your travel card is backed by a reliable international company, especially if you are a globe-trotter. All credit cards don’t make for dependable travel companions.

MasterCard and Visa are used pretty much worldwide. But you may encounter trouble with acceptance in some countries where American Express and Discover are concerned.

However, this is very destination specific and you should not dismiss Discover and Amex outright. Just make sure that you take a back-up card along when you intend to use these. In fact, having a back-up card for your travels within the U.S. is also a prudent thing to do.

Travel Protections

You should compare various cards on the basis of the travel protection they offer. You can pick from trip cancellation coverage, car rental insurance, and lost baggage protection, among others. No, there’s no card that can protect you from the Patriots cheating in the NFL!

Bottom Line

It can be difficult to find a travel card that offers everything you require. There will always be minor disappointments because no issuer offers high reward rates, top-notch perks, generous sign-up bonuses, and no annual fee in a single card.

However, by being smart about the features listed in this guide and carefully choosing the right combination, you can find the ideal credit card that suits your unique travel needs.

Legitimate Ways to Save Money if You’re Living Payslip to Payslip

According to a recent study, about 25 percent of British adults have no savings. No matter what your reason is, have hope that there are ways to get out of debt and give yourself access to extra cash. Every cent earned is one less cent worth of debt, and even the smallest measures can make a big difference if you live payslip to payslip.

Here are some examples of things people across the UK are doing to get more cash in their hands without ever leaving their flat.   

Step #1 – Switch banks to take advantage of significant bonuses.

Many banks try to attract new customers by offering switching bonuses for opening new accounts. They tend to even double those offers if you have your payslip direct deposited. With that bonus, consider opening a savings account that earns interest. An initial £150 deposit can double over time if you simply leave it alone.

Step #2 – Search the web using InboxPounds.

Next time you need to search for something online, skip Google and instead use InboxPounds. It’s powered by Yahoo, and you can earn up to £0.70 per day doing something you would normally do anyway. That’s £21 in one month, so it adds up quickly. All you have to do is use their search engine. Plus, you get a £1 bonus simply for trying InboxPounds.

Step #3 – High credit card balances? Shop around for lower interest rates.

If you’re only paying the minimum balance when your credit card payment is due, it can take quite a long time to get out of debt. Interest continues to build on the balance, making it difficult to put a dent in high balances. Try shopping around for a card with a lower interest rate, and transfer your balance to that card. Some cards even offer promotional rates where you pay no interest for a specific period. So if you have £10,000 in credit card debt and are paying a 16% annual percentage rate, you could save $133 per month during the promotional period.

Step #4 – Play games on InboxPounds.

Besides paying you to use them as a search engine, they also pay you to play games. If you pay for online games anyway, do it through  InboxPounds to get as much as a £15 credit. Examples include Gala Bingo, Ladbrokes games, Betfair Sports and LottoGo.  

Step #5 – Charged a late fee? Ask for a one-time courtesy refund.

Nobody is perfect, and late fees can easily happen. However, you may be surprised at how simple it is to get a fee reversed if you simply ask. Realize that your credit card company will probably only do this once or twice a year, so don’t assume you’ll get your fee reversed every time. Also, If you’re habitually late only because you forgot to pay, consider setting automatic payments so you it doesn’t happen again.

Step #6 – Take surveys on InboxPounds.

Get something for nothing by taking a survey on  InboxPounds and simply sharing your opinion. It’s a simple three-step process:

  1. Select a survey from the list of available surveys to complete.
  2. Qualify for the survey by answering the screening questions honestly.
  3. Complete the survey, and earn cash.

Be sure to check back regularly to see if there are more surveys available.

None of these tips require too much work, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to see if you can make a few quid or even a couple hundred. Remember that when it comes to money, every little bit counts. A few extra pounds in your hand can help you stop living payslip to payslip and erase unnecessary financial stress in your life.

6 Reasons Why Living in New York, California, And Illinois Does Not Make Sense

Living in New York

Every year, thousands of people in the US pack up their bags and move from one state to another.

While some people move to attend school or start a new job, others move due to things like the high cost of living, bad weather, and lack of employment opportunities.

According to the Mises Institute, some of the states that saw a massive exodus of its residents between 2016 and 2017 include New York, California, and Illinois. Recently, the New York Business Journal reported that the state is the top in the US where people migrate from.

Between 2015 and 2016, the Big Apple’s population dropped from 19.5 million to 19.3 million. A report released by the US Census Bureau in December last year highlighted the same disturbing trend.

Between 2017 and 2018, New York was ranked the top state where people were moving out of with a population loss of about 48,510. Illinois followed closely in second place with about 45,116 people moving away. See ya! Just remember why you are moving – socialism does not work!

In this article, we’ll look at six reasons why people are moving away from New York, California, and Illinois.

  1. Difficulty Finding Jobs

One of the reasons why people are moving out of these states is due to difficulties finding jobs. It is not that jobs aren’t available, but since a lot of people have to compete for the few available positions, many people are left out.

In 2017, Illinois ranked 42nd in the country in terms of job growth. While the situation may be somewhat better today in Illinois as well as in New York and California, highly skilled workers are in a better position to take advantage of employment opportunities.

  1. High Taxes

Another reason why people are migrating from these states is taxes. New York, Illinois, and California are among the states with the highest tax burden in the country. California is even losing football teams and the A’s should have left at least 10 years ago.

We all know that taxes can be a headache for Californians – even wealthy people are moving away for this reason. Meanwhile, a study published in 2018 by WalletHub revealed that Illinoisans pay more taxes than people living in other states in the country.

The situation is no different in New York. Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that high taxes in the state is forcing people to migrate but he does nothing about it!

New York even kicks out corporations who are about to hire 25,000 citizens! Genius! Amazon – have you heard of Phoenix? Atlanta? Dallas? I have no idea why you are even in Virginia or even considered locating to another location in the northeast.

  1. High Cost of Living

The high cost of living in New York, California, and Illinois is also driving people away. Apart from taxes, people have to contend with the fact that it is hard to find affordable housing in these parts of the country.

The housing market is more affordable in Illinois than it is in New York and California, but even the median home price of $172,000 in the Prairie State is a lot to contend with.

  1. Weather

The unforgiving winter in cities like New York and Chicago is one more reason why people are opting out of these states. Many people from these states are moving to warmer states like Florida and Texas.

While California has temperate weather, the drought, earthquakes, and frequent wildfires can be a major put off on top of the crime, smell of urine in the cities, homelessness, and low quality of life.

  1. High Population

If you’ve ever experienced rush hour, then you’d understand why people would want to move away because of the high population density in some states in the country.

California, New York, and Illinois are among the top states in the country with the highest population with a headcount of 39.5 million, 19.8 million, and 12.8 million respectively (but many of these people don’t work). Most families with small children prefer to stay in places that are not densely populated.

  1. Crime Rate

If you want your family to live in a relatively safe part of the country, New York, California, and Illinois are unlikely to be part of your options. These are some of the states in the country with the highest crime rates. On the other hand, states like Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia have a much lower crime rate.

Texas, Arizona, and Georgia – Three Winners

New York, California, and Illinois continue to be decrepit places to live. Hey though, if you live in California you can hope for a high speed rail train that will pick you up when you don’t want to leave and take you somewhere you don’t want to be. Outstanding!

10 Legitimate Ways to Save Money Living Payslip to Payslip

Do you find yourself having to pass on happy hour with your mates because your wallet is empty? Are you short on cash and but don’t have time for a second job? Or are you trying to finally save up for a place of your own? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, about 25 per cent of British adults have no savings. If you find yourself low on cash and are wondering what you can do to get out of the debt hole, have hope.

These 10 tips can help you gradually put some more cash in your wallet and start saving today, without the need to get a second job or even leave your flat.

Step #1 — Dating? Stop trying to impress with your wallet.

If you date regularly and are too old-fashioned or chivalrous to make your date pay her way, you could be spending hundreds of pounds per month on someone who isn’t worth your time. Try going out for coffee first to see if you click before committing to a dinner date. If you do find someone you like after a few dates, let her pay once in a while if she pulls out her purse and offers.

Step #2 — Take online surveys.

If you’re sitting in front of the telly mindlessly watching something, why not pull out your smartphone or laptop and take some short surveys? Whether in the form of cash, gift vouchers or free products to test, it pays to get something for nothing by simply sharing your opinion.

My favourite survey site is InboxPounds. They pay you £8 for every 30 minutes of watching videos and taking surveys, and they’ve paid out roughly £40,000,000

to date worldwide, so they know what they’re doing. And, the surveys are actually interesting!

Step #3 — Sell your smartphone pics.

You’ve likely got your smartphone on you most of the time anyway, so why not start making extra money by simply taking notice of what’s going on in the world around you. An app called Foap wants your quality photos and will split the profits with you for any picture sold. So, if someone buys your pic for £10, you’ll get £5 each time it sells.

Step #4 — Have credit card balances? Shop around for lower interest rates.

If you’re only paying the minimum balance when your credit card payment is due, it’s difficult to get out of debt as the interest continues to build. Try shopping around for a card with a lower interest rate, and transfer your balance to that card. Some cards even offer promotional rates where you pay no interest for a specific period. So if you have £10,000 in credit card debt and are paying a 16% annual percentage rate, you could save £133 per month during the promotional period.

Step #5 — Switch car insurance companies.

Car insurance is one of those expenses that most people dread paying, simply because unless you get in a crash and really need it, there’s an intangible reward for having it. And wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a salon visit or new pair of shoes? What’s worse is that car insurance companies make most of their money by taking advantage of their loyal clients. If you don’t shop around when renewal time rolls around, they’ll likely raise your rates. The good thing is that it’s easy to compare prices online. A quick 10 minutes saved me £552 per year. 

Step #6 – Be smart about happy hour.

After a long workday, a couple of pints at the pub with your mates can really take the stress of the day away. But when a couple of pints turns into a couple dozen, and you can’t remember where your money went in the morning, it’s time to get smarter about happy hour. Give yourself a limit and be disciplined about it. Head home before that one mate who never pays for a round shows up.

Step #7—Charged a late fee? Ask for a one-time courtesy refund.

You would be surprised as to how easy it can be to get a fee waived once you muster up the courage to simply ask. Realize that they’ll probably only do this once a year, but it’s better than losing you as a client. If you’re habitually late only because you forgot to pay, consider setting automatic payments so you don’t get charged late fees again.

Step #8—Get paid for searching online.

Next time you need to search for something online, skip Google and instead use InboxPounds. Yes, on top of getting paid for surveys, you can also get paid for searching on InboxPounds. And you’ll get a £1 bonus just for trying it.

Step #9—Get cash back for shopping.

It may seem counterintuitive to shop when you’re trying to save money, but for items you really need to buy, why not get cash back for buying them? Topcashback.co.uk offers money back for shopping both online and in-store. It’s free to join and offered worldwide. Just search for your desired retailer through their website and shop like you normally would. The retailer pays TopCashback a commission for your purchase, and then forwards part of it to you in the form of cash that you can withdraw however you like.

Step #10 – Take advantage of new checking account offers.

Lots of banks try to get new customers in the door by offering bonuses for opening new accounts, and even more for having your payslip direct deposited. Consider keeping your old account open as strictly a savings account, as long the bank doesn’t charge any fees, and watch the money grow.

Before saying no to any of the above tips, simply give them a try. Stressing about money can really take a toll on you, so put an end to debt for good and reward yourself once in a while as you make progress. After all, that new flat screen you’ve had your eye on for months will look so much better if you know you’ve earned it.

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10 Legitimate Ways to Save Money Living Payslip to Payslip

If you struggle to make ends meet, living payslip to payslip, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, about 25 per cent of British adults have no savings. If you find yourself low on cash and are wondering what you can do to stop living payslip to payslip, have hope. A few lifestyle changes combined with savvy shopping skills can help you gradually put some more cash in your purse.

These 10 tips can help you start saving today, without the need to get a second job or even leave your flat.

Step #1 — Sell your stuff
This was the first step I took when I decided to take control of my finances. Decluttering not only made me feel better inside, but my flat was cleaner and it put a lot of extra cash in my pocket at the same time. Win-win! When was the last time you took a close look at everything in your flat – in your closets, shelves, and that dreaded drawer that you never open because it’s packed to the brim with junk? You’d be surprised at what’s hiding in there, and how much it’s all worth. I used Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and eBay to sell my things. They are all free and easy to use, and you can set your own prices!
Set a goal to make an extra $150 decluttering your flat this month, and immediately add it to your bank account — every little bit adds up!

Step #2 — Take online surveys.

If you’re sitting in front of the telly mindlessly watching something, why not pull out your smartphone or laptop and take some short surveys? Whether in the form of cash, gift vouchers or free products to test, it pays to get something for nothing by simply sharing your opinion.

My favourite survey site is InboxPounds. They pay you £8 for every 30 minutes of watching videos and taking surveys, and they’ve paid out roughly £40,000,000

to date worldwide, so they know what they’re doing. And, the surveys are actually interesting!

Step #3 — Sell your smartphone pics.
You’ve got your smartphone on you anyway, so why not start making extra money by simply noticing what’s going on in the world around you. An app called Foap wants your quality photos and will split the profits with you for any picture sold. So if someone buys your pic for £10, you’ll get £5 each time it sells.

Step #4 — Have credit card balances? Shop around for lower interest rates

If you’re only paying the minimum balance when your credit card payment is due, it’s difficult to get out of debt as the interest continues to build. Try shopping around for a card with a lower interest rate and transfer your balance to that card. Some cards even offer promotional rates where you pay no interest for a specific period. So if you have £10,000 in credit card debt and are paying a 16% annual percentage rate, you could save £133 per month during the promotional period.

Step #5 — Break up with the coffee shop.

When your barista starts recognizing you by name, but you can’t even afford your coffee, it might be time to start making your coffee at home. Doing so allows you to customize your drink exactly how you want it. You may need to invest in an espresso maker first, but doing so can save you money for years to come.

Step #6 — Charged a late fee? Ask for a one-time courtesy refund.

You would be surprised as to how easy it can be to get a fee waived once you muster up the courage to simply ask. Realize that they’ll probably only do this once a year, but it’s better than losing you as a client. If you’re habitually late only because you forgot to pay, consider setting automatic payments so you don’t get charged late fees again.

Step #7 —Get paid for searching online.

Next time you need to search for something online, skip Google and instead use InboxPounds. Yes, on top of getting paid to complete surveys and watch videos, you can also get paid for searching on InboxPounds. And you’ll get a £1 Bonus just for trying it!

Step #8 — Switch car insurance companies.

Car insurance is one of those expenses that most people dread paying, simply because unless you get in a crash and really need it, there’s an intangible reward for having it. And wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a salon visit or new pair of shoes? What’s worse is that car insurance companies make most of their money by taking advantage of their loyal clients. If you don’t shop around when renewal time rolls around, they’ll likely raise your rates. The good thing is that it’s easy to compare prices online. A quick 10 minutes saved me £552 per year.

Step #9 — Get cash back for shopping.

It may seem counterintuitive to shop when you’re trying to save money, but for items you really need to buy, why not get cash back for buying them? Topcashback.co.uk offers money back for shopping both online and in-store. It’s free to join and offered worldwide. Just search for your desired retailer through their website and shop like you normally would. The retailer pays TopCashback a commission for your purchase that you can withdraw when it is available.

Step #10 — Take advantage of new checking account offers.

Lots of banks try to get new customers in the door by offering bonuses for opening new accounts, and even more for having your payslip direct deposited. Consider keeping your old account open as strictly a savings account, as long the bank doesn’t charge any fees.

Stressing about money can really take a toll on you. So before saying no to any of the above tips, simply give them a try. Put an end to debt for good and reward yourself once in a while as you make progress. After all, a massage feels much better knowing you’ve earned it!

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