Money saving on computers and software

Buying a computer can be a bit confusing, with so many models, performance numbers, it is sometimes difficult to determine which computer fits your needs. You wouldn’t want to buy a high end graphics computer if all you do is surf the web, compose documents, or manage your home business. Computers can cost anywhere between $400 up to $3000 or more. Most people fall into three categories: General Purpose, Graphics Designers, and Gamers. General Purpose ( home business,web surfing,music/watching videos)  an inexpensive basic computer would suffice, the drive size should be large to store music, processor speed doesn’t need to be extreme, 4GB of memory should be enough, a decent graphics cards or on board graphics card is needed to stream video without jitter. For a Graphics designer a higher performance computer is needed, a fast 10,000RPM and large drive, faster processor, and 8GB of memory are required, graphics files tend to be quite large, and loading them can be time consuming. Gamers require a high end computer is needed, fast 10,000 RPM and large drive, a high end multi-core processor, and 12GB of RAM or more.

Computer software licenses can be quite expensive, but don’t worry there are free alternatives, if you are a general purpose user you can download Open Office, a free open source software that is Microsoft Office compatible, it can read Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, and export to Microsoft Office file formats as well. Anti-virus software can also be expensive, but again, there are some that can be downloaded for free, AVAST, Bit Defender, Avira, are great examples of free and good anti-virus software. Free advanced graphics software are available for download, The Gimp is an excellent alternative to Photoshop, it provides many of the basic and advanced features that most other graphics software. Music editing software are also available for free, as are many other software, do some research, download and test, you will find that most software can be had free thereby saving you substantial amount of money.

How to buy electronics at a discount

Stop and think for a moment.. Two years ago, the latest and greatest electronic device just came out, everyone rushed to buy it, it was state of the art, it was the best, and people stood in line for hours, even days, to get their hands on one. Now fast forward to the present, the same electronic device is considered old and slow, the screen not state of the art, and the cool factor has dropped by about 90%. Why is that? Well for one, marketing is a huge contributor to the cool factor, two years later you no longer see your product being hyped or talked about between friends, in fact you see it sold by the hundreds, at prices that will make you feel you got ripped of in the first place, and we’re talking brand new units sealed in packages.

If you are buying electronics every year and can afford to rid of or sell you previous model at a great discount, this article is not for you, if you are like the rest of us, who don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, or simply cannot afford $600 for a device that will be considered obsolete in a couple of years, then this article is for you!

Electronic gadgets are wonderful, they are pretty, look cool, and are mostly useful, you can make phone calls, access your email, stay in touch with your friends, take selfies, buy concert tickets, find a nearby taxi cab, check the weather, and much much more.. So why do they cost so much, and why are people always looking to buy the latest version of that same device, even though their current one works just fine, and at one point was considered THE best?

Without getting too psychological about our consumer society let’s just say that people respond well to marketing, in fact they respond so well that the companies making these products are making insane profits that they themselves never dreamed of a few years go, and to step out of that circle of consumerism is very difficult, you must really be special to accept that the device you bought today will serve you for the next four years, and in fact why not? It is fast, it runs a huge number of software, it takes photos, and pretty much does the same exact thing the new one does, but it looks old, is worn out and scratched, the screen is cracked in the corner, and the battery no longer holds a charge.

Solution? Buy the same model but brand new, they are out there on auction sites for a fraction of what you paid for. Think about it, the same device you thought was so wonderful a couple of years ago, brand new, packaged, for half the price? Sounds tempting does it? Well it is, and guess what many people do this, they actually upgrade to a previous model, brand new in a package, that is the smart thing to do, that is the sensible thing to do, and you will save a ton of money and will be very happy with your product. So what if your friends own the latest? Will they have enough money left for entertainment? What about paying for subscriptions to their favorite online game? Going to the movies, concerts? They most likely won’t, they are likely to stay home, staring at their brand new device, scrolling between screens, you on the other hand are at a concert, sending them a selfie, and yes with the older model.

 

Auction sites tips and tricks

Ebay and auction sites in general are excellent for finding products at discount prices, you can buy virtually anything at a discount and often get free shipping, you would be surprised to find that buying soap in bulk can save you $100 per year if you have a family or three or more, that’s a $100 you can use to buy movie tickets for example (also at a discount), or simply deposit the saved money into your savings account. Sometimes these discounted items are limited in quantities, and with millions of users shopping at any time the trick is finding these discounts before everyone else does, and one way to do this is to search for a product with a Buy It Now option and sort results by listed most recently, this will allow you to see products as soon as they are listed, thereby giving you the advantage and allowing the opportunity to buy that product at a discounted price. You can also setup email alerts for products which you normally buy, such as soap, cleaning products, cereal, virtually anything that you normally use, and that can be shipped without the risk of damage.

When searching auctions most people look for ending auctions, for famous products you will see many bids and chances are the price will reflect the market price. Another method is to search for products using misspelled keywords, for example if you are looking for “automatic watch”, search for “automatic wacth” instead, some sellers inadvertently misspelled the title or description and many people only buy products by clicking through categories instead of searching by keyword, they will not find listings with the misspelled title, and if the price is right you will have the advantage and buy a product at a discount.

How to get a low APR car loan

More often than usual, car dealers finance your car at a high interest rate, this is because they get a kick back from the lender or providing the loan, it is up to you to shop around for a better rate by going to your bank or a credit union, the process is a little more time consuming but no complicated, and it will save money in the short and long term. Some car dealerships provide in house financing at low interest rates, again do your shopping to see which is best rate available. Your credit score will definitely be a factor, so if a dealer advertises 1% interest rate on new vehicles it is probably based on an excellent credit score, if you don’t have excellent credit try your credit union, you may get a loan that is a half percentage less than you would at a car dealership.

To help figure out payments, interests, and affordability, you should use online financial, loans, or payment calculators such as the ones found at BankRate or other websites, using those calculator you can better plan your loan payments and test different payment schedule scenarios.

Where to buy movie tickets at a discount

If you are a movie buff or take your family and friends to the movies, there are a couple of ways to save money on tickets. Long gone are the days when most people could afford taking their families to the movies, now it can easily cost you around $100 to take a family of four, this includes tickets and snacks. Here are a few ways to save money on movie tickets.

Membership Savings

Costco and other establishments sell tickets for about 20% savings when buying in quantities of 4 and in some cases even when buying a single ticket. If you are a AAA member you can save 35% on movie tickets, and an added plus is that you don’t have to wait in line. Another way to save money at the movies is to go to an early or matinee session, you can save you up to 20%, that’s enough to buy a snack at the concession stand,  and we all know how expensive those are, or you can simply pocket the savings and walk into the theater with a big smile. Taking your family suddenly costs $70 to $75 instead of $100, that’s $25 to $30 savings in a single day!

Double Features

Some theaters offers double or triple features at the price of a single admission, sometimes there are restriction on the day of the week, or if the feature is a hit movie, find out in advance what days the offer is valid for, plan your movies ahead and get there early so you won’t wait in line, these theaters generally do not sell tickets online.

No so new features

There are theaters that play a month old features, so if you missed a movie that is no longer playing in big theaters it could very well be playing in these smaller theaters, at a very very low price, and sometimes popcorn is included. These theaters may not be the latest and greatest with fancy lighting and modern decor, but when the lights are out and the movie begins it no longer matters.

Essentially, going to the movies doesn’t have to be an expensive experience, especially if you go often or have a large family, search online for deals in your area and you will find them.