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MoneyTips

The pandemic is far from over, but Americans aren’t letting it get in the way of celebrating that special someone this Valentine’s Day. In fact, the National Retail Federation released a new survey that found over half of all U.S. consumers are still planning to celebrate this year’s love day, with spending expected to reach $21.8 billion on gifts and activities.

Regardless of what you're planning to do or buy, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to spend a lot of money to show that special someone just how much you care for them. A little creativity can go a long way in planning the perfect date without blowing your budget.

Here are seven frugal date ideas that pack a lot of romance without the pricey bill even during a pandemic.

1. Take a cooking class.

You don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on an expensive restaurant meal to create a meaningful connection. Instead of going out, set up a table in your backyard and enjoy a home-...

More Blooms, Less Dough

What We Spend On Valentine's Day (Infographic)

6 Best Buys For Mother's Day

  • Updated

MoneyTips

The pandemic is far from over, but Americans aren’t letting it get in the way of celebrating that special someone this Valentine’s Day. In fact, the National Retail Federation released a new survey that found over half of all U.S. consumers are still planning to celebrate this year’s love day, with spending expected to reach $21.8 billion on gifts and activities.

Regardless of what you're planning to do or buy, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to spend a lot of money to show that special someone just how much you care for them. A little creativity can go a long way in planning the perfect date without blowing your budget.

Here are seven frugal date ideas that pack a lot of romance without the pricey bill even during a pandemic.

1. Take a cooking class.

You don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on an expensive restaurant meal to create a meaningful connection. Instead of going out, set up a table in your backyard and enjoy a home-...

More Blooms, Less Dough

What We Spend On Valentine's Day (Infographic)

6 Best Buys For Mother's Day

MoneyTips

Valentine's Day may be one of the few times per year that you go out and buy fresh flowers, but that is no excuse for rookie mistakes. The gift of flowers is a reminder that you are thinking of someone and February 14th is an excellent opportunity to send this message. Make that gesture count with these budget-friendly tips for delivering quality flowers that won't disappoint.

Opt out of the Valentine's Day up-sell - Almost all floral retailers will create Valentine's Day-specific offers to catch your eye. Those bouquets come with a hefty price tag, and often lack on the stem count you are looking for. Avoid the holiday-specific bundles.

Get to know your Farmer's Market - Get to know a Farmer's Market in your neighborhood before Valentine's Day. Pay attention to bouquet costs when it's not a floral holiday so that you have a baseline before prices increase. Ask a vendor to pre-order for Valentine's Da...

What We Spend On Valentine's Day (Infographic)

6 Best Buys For Mother's Day

Mother's Day Spending 2019 (Infographic)

  • Updated

MoneyTips

Valentine's Day may be one of the few times per year that you go out and buy fresh flowers, but that is no excuse for rookie mistakes. The gift of flowers is a reminder that you are thinking of someone and February 14th is an excellent opportunity to send this message. Make that gesture count with these budget-friendly tips for delivering quality flowers that won't disappoint.

Opt out of the Valentine's Day up-sell - Almost all floral retailers will create Valentine's Day-specific offers to catch your eye. Those bouquets come with a hefty price tag, and often lack on the stem count you are looking for. Avoid the holiday-specific bundles.

Get to know your Farmer's Market - Get to know a Farmer's Market in your neighborhood before Valentine's Day. Pay attention to bouquet costs when it's not a floral holiday so that you have a baseline before prices increase. Ask a vendor to pre-order for Valentine's Da...

What We Spend On Valentine's Day (Infographic)

6 Best Buys For Mother's Day

Mother's Day Spending 2019 (Infographic)

  • Updated

MoneyTips


By Andrea Woroch

Money is a top concern for most Americans these days and, with so much uncertainty still ahead, it's important to create financial security for yourself and your family as we enter into this new year.

Improving your finances may seem like a daunting process, but getting started is half the battle. Here are five money moves you can tackle now to get the momentum going.

1. Plug budget leaks.

Considering that 35% of Americans have less savings now than before the coronavirus took hold of our country, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.com, finding areas in your budget to rebuild savings should be a priority for the new year. Rebuilding an emergency fund may seem impossible now, but you may be surprised ho...

How To Accomplish A Financial Resolution By Year's End

Baby Boomers Focused More on Weight than Wallets

5 Tips For Making Financial Resolutions For The New Year

  • Updated

MoneyTips


By Andrea Woroch

Money is a top concern for most Americans these days and, with so much uncertainty still ahead, it's important to create financial security for yourself and your family as we enter into this new year.

Improving your finances may seem like a daunting process, but getting started is half the battle. Here are five money moves you can tackle now to get the momentum going.

1. Plug budget leaks.

Considering that 35% of Americans have less savings now than before the coronavirus took hold of our country, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.com, finding areas in your budget to rebuild savings should be a priority for the new year. Rebuilding an emergency fund may seem impossible now, but you may be surprised ho...

How To Accomplish A Financial Resolution By Year's End

Baby Boomers Focused More on Weight than Wallets

The 5 Types Of Financial Resolutions

MoneyTips

    This is the first in a series of financial commentaries by our Editorial Roundtable. Check back to read alternative points of view expressed in this column.

James Cash Penney, who founded JC Penney in 1902, observed years later that, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” This holds as true for the broader US economy as it does for individual companies. For it is the combination of market forces, government policies and macroeconomic trends that shapes our long-term economic outlook and near-term prospects for growth.

As we peer beyond the horizon to boldly — or foolishly— predict economic developments in 2014, let’s stay mindful of this synergistic process. For only by assessing the interplay of multiple factors can we hope to divine the future.

Here, then, are the key forces and trends MoneyTips predicts will combine to make 2014 a very positive year for the US eco...

The Interest Rate Environment

Today’s Headlines: America Gets A Raise

Assets Flee Developing Economies

  • Updated

MoneyTips

    This is the first in a series of financial commentaries by our Editorial Roundtable. Check back to read alternative points of view expressed in this column.

James Cash Penney, who founded JC Penney in 1902, observed years later that, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” This holds as true for the broader US economy as it does for individual companies. For it is the combination of market forces, government policies and macroeconomic trends that shapes our long-term economic outlook and near-term prospects for growth.

As we peer beyond the horizon to boldly — or foolishly— predict economic developments in 2014, let’s stay mindful of this synergistic process. For only by assessing the interplay of multiple factors can we hope to divine the future.

Here, then, are the key forces and trends MoneyTips predicts will combine to make 2014 a very positive year for the US eco...

The Interest Rate Environment

Today’s Headlines: America Gets A Raise

Assets Flee Developing Economies

MoneyTips

What are your personal goals for 2021? How will your financial planning support you in achieving them? While you have your New Year's cap on, take this chance to make the personal financial resolutions that will get you closer to the life you want.

  1. Define your Objectives – The SMART model is an effective guide for defining objectives that are:
    • Specific - so that you know exactly what you are aiming for and how you are going to get there;

    • Measurable - enabling you to keep track of your progress and assess how closely you have really met your goal;

    • Achievable - so that you can take on the challenge with confidence and not become overwhelmed by a task that is too ambitious;

    • Relevant - it is easy to come up with an array of good, creative objectives in a free brainstorm, but all of them may not get you to your desired end g...

The 5 Types Of Financial Resolutions

Today’s Headlines: Consumer Credit Growth Slows

Poll: 40% of Millennials Overwhelmed by Debt

  • Updated

MoneyTips

What are your personal goals for 2021? How will your financial planning support you in achieving them? While you have your New Year's cap on, take this chance to make the personal financial resolutions that will get you closer to the life you want.

  1. Define your Objectives – The SMART model is an effective guide for defining objectives that are:
    • Specific - so that you know exactly what you are aiming for and how you are going to get there;

    • Measurable - enabling you to keep track of your progress and assess how closely you have really met your goal;

    • Achievable - so that you can take on the challenge with confidence and not become overwhelmed by a task that is too ambitious;

    • Relevant - it is easy to come up with an array of good, creative objectives in a free brainstorm, but all of them may not get you to your desired end g...

The 5 Types Of Financial Resolutions

Today’s Headlines: Consumer Credit Growth Slows

Poll: 40% of Millennials Overwhelmed by Debt

MoneyTips

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? We hope so, but you probably have at least one gift that you cannot use or do not want.

You can usually return unwanted gifts, but what can you do with a gift card that you will never use? We have a few suggestions for your consideration.

Ten Ideas for Gift Cards You Won't Use

  1. Sell/Trade It – The marketplace always has an answer. GiftCardGranny.com allows you to sell your unwanted gift card for cash or trade it for cards that you will use. Keep in mind that you will not receive full face value – the marketplace also requires their cut.

  2. Re-Gift It – Others may be happy to receive the card you do not want. Are you uncomfortable cashing in your Victoria's Secret gift card? Do you consider a Chuck E. Cheese gift card pointless since you have no kids? Consider giving these cards to those with kids and … secrets.

  3. Give It Away – ...

7 Tips To Budget Holiday Spending

4 Steps You Need To Take NOW To Save On Holiday Gifts

How To Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

  • Updated

MoneyTips

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? We hope so, but you probably have at least one gift that you cannot use or do not want.

You can usually return unwanted gifts, but what can you do with a gift card that you will never use? We have a few suggestions for your consideration.

Ten Ideas for Gift Cards You Won't Use

  1. Sell/Trade It – The marketplace always has an answer. GiftCardGranny.com allows you to sell your unwanted gift card for cash or trade it for cards that you will use. Keep in mind that you will not receive full face value – the marketplace also requires their cut.

  2. Re-Gift It – Others may be happy to receive the card you do not want. Are you uncomfortable cashing in your Victoria's Secret gift card? Do you consider a Chuck E. Cheese gift card pointless since you have no kids? Consider giving these cards to those with kids and … secrets.

  3. Give It Away – ...

7 Tips To Budget Holiday Spending

4 Steps You Need To Take NOW To Save On Holiday Gifts

How To Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

MoneyTips

Many people are reconsidering their budget to prevent holiday overspending over the next few months. If you are one of these people, good for you – but why stop there? This is a great time to look further ahead and tackle your 2021 budget.

Lay out your calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever method you use and let’s get to work on next year's budget. Here are some helpful hints to consider as you dive in.

  1. Anticipate Changes – If you have any large changes that you can reasonably anticipate, like a college tuition bill or a new mortgage, incorporate it into your plans as early as possible – even if you do not know what the value will be. Waiting until you know the exact value may not leave you enough time to adjust other expenses.

    Don't forget to incorporate positive changes as well – for example, any anticipated raises or the effects of the new tax laws.

    What To Do When You Can't Pay Utility Bills

    Say "No" to Save Dough

    Things To Buy At The Dollar Store

  • Updated

MoneyTips

Many people are reconsidering their budget to prevent holiday overspending over the next few months. If you are one of these people, good for you – but why stop there? This is a great time to look further ahead and tackle your 2021 budget.

Lay out your calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever method you use and let’s get to work on next year's budget. Here are some helpful hints to consider as you dive in.

  1. Anticipate Changes – If you have any large changes that you can reasonably anticipate, like a college tuition bill or a new mortgage, incorporate it into your plans as early as possible – even if you do not know what the value will be. Waiting until you know the exact value may not leave you enough time to adjust other expenses.

    Don't forget to incorporate positive changes as well – for example, any anticipated raises or the effects of the new tax laws.

    What To Do When You Can't Pay Utility Bills

    Say "No" to Save Dough

    Things To Buy At The Dollar Store

MoneyTips

1. Recent research from the RAND Corporation estimates that the lack of sleep among workers costs the U.S. economy up to $411 billion per year (2.28% of GDP), due to individuals' lower productivity levels, higher mortality risk, and poorer health and wellbeing.

2. Americans spend roughly $14 billion on mattresses every year. For that kind of cash, you're allowed to rip off the tag!

3. In 2015, Americans spent roughly $41 billion on sleeping aids and remedies.

4. Over 2,800 sleep "labs" or clinics were active in the U.S. in 2015, earning roughly $7.1 billion in annual revenue, including more than $460 million spent by patients as out-of-pocket expenses.

5. Luxury pet beds are big business with entries from Martha Stewart and Swarovski. Fido may sleep better on a Swarovski Couture Bed, but the $10,400 price tag may keep you up at night!


Five Fun Financial Facts: Sleep - #1 of 5

Should Your Workplace Have A Nap Room?

More Than Two-Thirds of US Employees Suffer From Work Overload

  • Updated

MoneyTips

1. Recent research from the RAND Corporation estimates that the lack of sleep among workers costs the U.S. economy up to $411 billion per year (2.28% of GDP), due to individuals' lower productivity levels, higher mortality risk, and poorer health and wellbeing.

2. Americans spend roughly $14 billion on mattresses every year. For that kind of cash, you're allowed to rip off the tag!

3. In 2015, Americans spent roughly $41 billion on sleeping aids and remedies.

4. Over 2,800 sleep "labs" or clinics were active in the U.S. in 2015, earning roughly $7.1 billion in annual revenue, including more than $460 million spent by patients as out-of-pocket expenses.

5. Luxury pet beds are big business with entries from Martha Stewart and Swarovski. Fido may sleep better on a Swarovski Couture Bed, but the $10,400 price tag may keep you up at night!


Five Fun Financial Facts: Sleep - #1 of 5

Should Your Workplace Have A Nap Room?

More Than Two-Thirds of US Employees Suffer From Work Overload

  • Updated

MoneyTips

Does your Christmas season usually lead to the January blues due to excessive holiday spending? It doesn't have to be that way. With a combination of planning and willpower, you can enjoy a festive holiday without starting the New Year in a big financial hole. Consider these nine ways to celebrate while staying fiscally responsible.

1. Limit Gift Spending – Start by establishing a shopping list and a budget for all of your items. Track special holiday online offers. Consider using price comparison apps and websites. Take advantage of any coupons. Large families can save by drawing names for a gift exchange instead of trying to buy multiple smaller gifts for every family member. If you want more credit, check out our list of credit card offers.

2. Reject Impulse Buying – Retailers expect you to impulse buy...

11 Tips To Avoid A New Year's Credit Hangover

9 Holiday Shopping Tips

7 Tips To Avoid A New Year's Credit Hangover

  • Updated

MoneyTips

Does your Christmas season usually lead to the January blues due to excessive holiday spending? It doesn't have to be that way. With a combination of planning and willpower, you can enjoy a festive holiday without starting the New Year in a big financial hole. Consider these nine ways to celebrate while staying fiscally responsible.

1. Limit Gift Spending – Start by establishing a shopping list and a budget for all of your items. Track special holiday online offers. Consider using price comparison apps and websites. Take advantage of any coupons. Large families can save by drawing names for a gift exchange instead of trying to buy multiple smaller gifts for every family member. If you want more credit, check out our list of credit card offers.

2. Reject Impulse Buying – Retailers expect you to impulse buy...

11 Tips To Avoid A New Year's Credit Hangover

9 Holiday Shopping Tips

7 Tips To Avoid A New Year's Credit Hangover

  • Updated

MoneyTips

Spending during the holiday season goes into overdrive and controlling your budget is harder than usual given the endless sales and impulse purchase temptations. In fact, a new survey found that 46 percent of millennials, 46 percent of parents with children under 18, and nearly half of those who are already in credit card debt are willing to take on more debt this holiday season.

In addition to managing your gift shopping budget, there are other seasonal purchases you need to be mindful of that can send your spending soaring.

Here’s a look at six hidden holiday costs and how to save on each.

1. Impulse purchases

The holidays are synonymous with sales and this year is no exception with stores like Target and Walmart rolling out Black Friday doorbusters the first week of November. Though there are plenty of saving opportunities to help you stretch your gi...

7 Tips To Budget Holiday Spending

How To Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

7 Ways To Holiday Savings Using Credit Cards

  • Updated

MoneyTips

For many people, the end of the year represents a hectic time, and the last thing anyone wants to do is add to an already full plate. However, building the following financial moves into your fourth-quarter routine can really pay off over the long run and give you greater peace of mind for the coming year.

1. Get A Head Start On Organizing Your Financial Records

This could involve downloading your online account statements and gathering all your personal income records into one place. I like to stash stubs, receipts for any tax-deductible payments, and IRS forms I receive during the year in a separate folder. Then, when tax time comes, I do not have to go searching for all this information. If I have a refund coming, I want to file early so I can use the money. December is also a great time to get a general idea of your income taxes. Maybe you can make an extra deductible contribution, such as into your

Say "No" to Save Dough

Life Without A Safety Net

Americans Still Not Saving... But Don't Care!

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