Welcome to Dr. Frugal!
Hello and welcome to DrFrugal.com. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of trying to find information online that has anything to do with money, you know most sites are worthless because they're trying to pawn something. Not here--there's nothing to buy. I've tried my best to only include pragmatic, realistic informtion to help you lead a simpler life by taking care of your personal finances.
An automobile can be a costly commodity with expenses such as insurance, fuel and repairs. Frugal consumers will have to take steps to reduce their monthly vehicle-associated costs if they would like to survive in the declining economy. The following are some helpful tips for reducing the monthly expenses for vehicle operation:
Change Insurance Coverage
Changing one's insurance coverage is perhaps one of the easiest and quickest ways to cut vehicle expenses. First, a person who has full coverage can downgrade to liability-only coverage if he or she owns the vehicle. Next, the person can change the deductible amount for different benefits and receive huge discounts. For example, a person might receive a $50 a month discount by changing a $250 deductible to $1,000 for comp and collision. The vehicle owner can change the coverage again once his or her financial situation improves.
Carpool With Friends or Coworkers
Carpooling is an excellent way to save money on gas. Many coworkers will be willing to pick up other coworkers who are on the same shift. A carpooling arrangement usually only involves small contributions toward the driver's weekly fuel supply. The expense will be extremely low if the carpool includes several people.
Use the Public Transportation System
Buses and trains can save a worker a fair share of money. Workers who work close to their homes can try taking a bus back and forth to the job. Bus fare is usually under $2 for a ride that is within a five-mile radius. Driving a vehicle the same short distance could cost three times that amount, as gas burns faster on short trips. Buses and trains can give the person a chance to relax, as well.
Obtain a Gas Card or Cash Back Card
A consumer with good credit can obtain a gas card or a credit card. A gas card is a credit card that offers special discounts on pump transactions. A cash back card is a credit card that returns a small percentage of consumer's expenses on certain transactions. Some cash back cards award cardholders up to 6 percent cash back for fuel purchases.
Perform Solo Maintenance Tasks
Finally, performing maintenance tasks such as oil changes, filter changes and spark plug changes at home can save hundreds of dollars. Many shops charge $30-$50 for a simple oil change. A consumer can do it alone for $10 if the person buys the filter and oil from the right place.
Saving money on vehicle expenses is not difficult. A consumer can start taking frugal steps today.
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Non-necessities are the non-essential activities that people love to do. They involve activities such as going to the theater, dining out for lunch and dinner, stopping by Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts in the morning, bowling, playing pool, performing shopping sprees and the like.
A person who is on a budget will need to cut non-necessities to achieve the goal of saving money. Cutting non-necessities does not have to result in boredom or depression, however. The following are some tips on cutting non-necessities and replacing them with savings-friendly activities:
Walk or Bike to Work
Leaving the car parked during the workweek can save a person as much as $20 to $50 a week. A frugal person can use walking or bicycling as an alternative traveling method if the job is within two miles. Those two activities can give a person a chance to observe the surroundings and the beauty of nature in the morning. Walking and bicycling can do wonders for the person's cardiovascular system and muscle tone, as well.
Pack a Lunch
Many people throw away money by stopping at coffee shops and fast food restaurants before and during work. Packing a healthy lunch is a good way to save money. Purchasing a jumbo container of coffee and some delicious additives at the grocery store is another way a person can save on those Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts visits. A container of coffee costs less than $5, and it can last for a few weeks. The daily trips to the coffee shops can cost as much as $15-$20 a week. Fast food lunches can rack up quickly, as well. Therefore, the frugal consumer can fin quite a bit of money saving opportunities in replacing the non-necessities.
Engage in Creative Free Recreational Activities
A frugal family can find a myriad of alternative recreational activities that do not cost money. Walking through the park, going outside and taking pictures of nature, and visiting free musical concerts are examples of some activities. The members can also use their imaginations to create additional outdoor activities such as front-yard sports or gardening adventures.
Read a Book or Flip Through the Free Movies
A frugal person can have fun reading books instead of paying more than $10 per person for weekend theater expeditions. Books are available by the busload at most flea markets and thrift shops. Amazon.com offers a multitude of free books and cheap books, as well. Additionally, cable companies have free movies that customers can watch when they are bored. A frugal customer can find hundreds of movies that he or she has never before seen.
Saving money is all about creativity. A creative, frugal person can accumulate significant savings in no time.
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A multitude of loans is available for consumers of all credit classes, but not all of them will allow you to save money. The following are three types of loans that can save you money while you enjoy the benefit of bettering your life:
The Debt Consolidation Loan
A debt consolidation can be a lifesaver if you are experiencing debt difficulties, and you need help organizing your finances. A debt consolidation loan is a large loan that will provide you with enough money to merge your existing credit accounts. The way that a consolidation loan will help you to save money is by reducing your interest rate to a reasonable number. Instead of having scattered credit accounts with high interest rates, you will only have one loan with a low interest rate.
A consolidation loan can save you from paying late fees, as well. With only one account to pay each month, you will never forget to make a payment. Various companies offer debt consolidation loans to consumers. If your credit is still in good shape, and you have a stable source of income, then you may qualify for such a loan.
The Home Refinance Loan
If you currently have a mortgage, then chances are high that you have a hefty interest rate. You may feel that someone rushed you into a deal with a high rate, and you may be wondering how you can save money. Applying for a refinance loan can help you to save money. Refinance companies can get your interest rate down to 2.75 percent. The lower your interest rate is, the more money that you spend toward your mortgage principal. Additionally, you could use the savings to make repairs on the home, or you can deposit them into your savings account.
The Federal Student Loan
Another type of loan that can save you money is the federal student loan. The government offers some debtor-friendly loans to people who want to further their educations. The interest rates for such federal loans have an average of approximately 6 percent. Private organizations and corporate banking institutions have much higher interest rates than federal student loans have. Furthermore, you can defer your federal loan payments while you are in school. You can also arrange to repay your loans based on your income.
You can still save money even when you are borrowing money. You just have to keep an eye out for friendly advice and debtor-friendly institutions.
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By now, the majority of smokers has heard about the way electronic cigarettes are sweeping the nation. You may be curious about vaping, and you might want to shop for your first e-cigarette online. Hundreds of online vendors sell electronic cigarettes. Therefore, knowing where to shop can be confusing. The following is a brief guideline on finding a reliable electronic cigarette provider:
Ask Your Fellow Smokers
The population of e-cigarette smokers is growing larger by the minute. You might know a friend, family member or co-worker who has converted to smoking e-cigarettes. Before you go on a blind search for your provider, you will want to ask the people you know where they purchase their products. You can use those companies to start your search.
If you do not know anyone who can point you in the direction of a good e-cig vendor, then you can conduct a traditional Google search for "buy electronic cigarettes online." The most popular companies will show up first in your search results. Visit the page of at least three providers and review their product offerings, prices, accreditations, and any current promotions that they may have in place.
Read Consumer Reviews
Once you narrow your choices down to two or three providers, you will then want to read customer reviews. People who have used the products can give you the most insight on them. Consumers will provide information on the taste quality, benefits, prices, customer service, shipping time and more. If you are stuck deciding between two providers, then you can choose the provider that has the highest consumer rating.
Start With a Free Trial Offer
Even if you think you have found the perfect electronic cigarette vendor, you still want to protect your assets and start small. Many e-cigarette vendors offer free trials of their products. You might be able to grab an amazing deal in which you only pay for the shipping of a free sample of the product. You will most likely receive a disposable item that you can test for approximately three days. If you like the disposable electronic cigarette, then you can graduate to ordering a starter kit.
Starter kits contain the core electronic cigarette and e-liquid cartridge along with a charging device and other accessories. The average starter kit can last you several weeks depending on how much you smoke. Once you try electronic cigarettes, you may never want to use tobacco products again..... Keep Reading
Positive child rearing includes taking time with your children to conduct activities that stimulate and challenge them physically and mentally. Although that feat is becoming increasingly difficult with constantly increasing price changes, you can still take part in some smart and frugal parent-child activities. The following are several activities that will not cost you a penny:
If you already own a basketball, then it will cost you nothing to take your children to shoot hoops. Basketball provides an excellent amount of cardiovascular exercise as well as hand-eye coordination practice. Local parks are likely to have free basketball courts that you can take your children to during those restless times. Schools often have basketball courts in the back that residents can use all times of the year.
Reading for Fun
Reading is the oldest parent-child activity in the book, but many parents do not know how they can make it fun. Taking your children into their room and reading with them by nightlight is a great way to grab some extra bonding time. For a more adventurous reading expedition, you can drive to the beach or a campground and read with your children during a family picnic.
Window-shopping can be tricky, but it is one of the most fascinating and healthy exercises you can do with your child. Walking around in the local mall will provide you with the perfect opportunity to exercise your legs and back. You can tell your children that you are searching for cool items to put on Santa's list for the next Christmas. Explaining the adventure in such a way will cut down on your child's desire to obtain gifts immediately.
Drawing is a favorite activity for many children. It is something that you can do with them at any time of the day or night, and it only costs you time. You do not have to buy new materials, as you can always find something around the home with which you can draw. Every home has at least a few pencils and pens. Of course, purchasing a new easel or some pastel-colored pencils is not prohibited in the least.
Free Zoos and Parks
Finally, you can take your children on an animal adventure at a local park that has various animal species. You can take
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