3 Practical Gift Suggestions at 0 Cost

Image from dianegottsman

No cash gift? No Christmas bonus? No extra money this coming holiday in order to buy gifts for you and your loved ones? Fret not my friend. We have practical solutions for you.

December is the time to give gifts and more so exchange some. However, with the limited money that we have, it would be nearly impossible to buy gifts for everyone. Yet, our generous spirit can’t be crushed and we are always in the mood to give gifts regardless of our financial state.

How Cheap is a Website: Frugal Tips to Start Earning Online

Image from elementarydigital

It is common knowledge in the field of personal finance that having multiple sources of income can greatly aid you and your wallet. As much as possible, don’t settle for only one source. And a good opportunity you can leverage is having passive income.

Yes you heard that right. The keyword there is passive income. But what is passive income?
Investopedia defines passive income as “earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not actively involved.” Popular culture, however, defines it as “any money you earn while sitting on a beach sipping mojitos.”

Simply imagine, you are still generating money while actively not doing anything to earn. Some may refer to this one as a dream come true. However, you need not look far to have that passive income source. As a matter of fact, having your own website would be a good passive income start.

Let me share you a personal anecdote. I am earning passively with the aid of this blog. For one, I earn via Google ads and second when I write articles. Though I need to actively update this blog from time to time, yet in the long run, I am getting a specific amount straight from Google. It might not be that big but somehow I get to earn something right?

Many might be taken aback by the mere thought of creating their own website. Some might say this is expensive and more so something that they don’t know a thing or two. Many will exclaim that they are not IT graduates hence they have no idea how to get started. But trust me when I say, anybody can do it and it is not really that expensive.

Here’s a cheap breakdown.


Creating a website is as easy as getting an email. If you know how to sign up for one, you are good to go to sign up for a website. You need not pay for the platform. There are already free ones found online such as Blogger or Wordpress. When I started my website, since I have a Gmail account I opted for Blogger as my blog platform. I simply shift to the Blogger site and it redirects me immediately to its very similar Word application where I enter my blogs title and content.

The website look needs not coding at all too. There are already many free templates that you can choose in line with the platform. If you need a unique one, you can opt to buy premium templates online or hire a web designer to do the work for you. You need not HTML knowledge at all to change how your website looks.

Domain Name and Hosting 

The next thing to consider is domain. When you choose the free platform, it usually has an extension to the domain like blogspot for Blogger and wordpress for Wordpress. If you want to delete those extensions, you need to buy a domain or a domain and a host. This involves money but it is very minimal. Many have monthly payments or yearly dues. As for my case, I only pay 400Php per year when I started my domain three years ago. That is pretty cheap if we are to divide it monthly.

There’s also top5hosting.co.uk for other hosting related concerns at very cost-effective rates. If you will be hosting your site, expect a minimal monthly fee to pay for the web host. They also offer discounts if you opt to pay for a year or more in advance. There are hosting sites that asks for 500Php every month while there are also expensive rates too.

These are just the three of the things you need when creating your website. You can always opt for the free ones in the first few months or in the first year of your website. However, should you wish to make it more personal with your own domain and theme, you might need to shell out some amount. However, if your website is already earning, this can compensate the monthly or yearly expenses. Plus, you can transition your website to a business in the near future. So don’t be afraid to create one and start earning passive income from your website.

Understanding PPI Refunds and How It Works

Image from Express UK

This might be a little bit technical to some but don’t worry as I walk you through PPI and its jargons. Moreover, this post is applicable to my readers outside.

PPI Defined

PPI stands for Payment Protection Insurance. This has been very popular because of the scandal and the kind of financial product it was. You might be acquainted with the word because of the news and more so with the calls you received because it can aid you in saving money.

PPI is a kind of insurance that is sold by companies whenever they give you a loan. The loan may be in any form such as unsecured cash loan and even a credit card loan. The principle is but the same. PPI was quite enticing to add up since it can guarantee that you can keep paying the loan regardless of events. For instance, if you end up losing your job or a sudden illness struck, you still won’t be missing those payments. At least you won’t be worrying much on getting it paid. At least not yet.

This really sounds enticing and as a matter of fact reasonable. After all, this serves as a payment protection blanket should there be unfortunate events in the future. Yet, in spite of its advantage, this led to a mis-selling scandal and court rulings. And now many people are claiming their share that is running into millions.

You might already exclaim the “PPI check by have I got PPI UK”, read on.

PPI Mis-sold

The thing with PPI, this was sold to individuals who are not even eligible to claim it. There are even reports of other people in which they don’t have full knowledge of the product. Some even claimed they don’t know that it is being sold to them already. PPI was already bundled into the loan.

As a form of example, say for instance you went to the bank to avail of a loan. The PPI then is often included in the loan. Sales staffs don’t even explain well the inclusion of the PPI and what is it for. This is what mis-sold is.

PPI On Loan

If you happen to take a loan in your bank in the past, be wary. You might not know you got PPI too. To make sure, trace back the conversation with the bank staff. If they happen to mention cover or ensuring loan payments, those are usually the trigger words that you have PPI as well. If you also took out a loan over or before 2012, PPI then was selling.

If you can’t remember the conversation, you need not worry. You can always check the original paperwork given to you. If you happen not to have the paperwork at all, you can always request your credit provider for the copy. You can even talk to them directly if they added PPI on it. Some of the paperwork might not spell out directly PPI but you can always catch similar phrases like protection cover or cover.

PPI Refund

You can follow this procedure in order to reclaim PPI. The first step would be to get the documents. You need to make sure you also take copies of the original loan agreement and other statements you might have. If there were correspondence as well, you can have those as added documents.

Second step would be to get in touch with the financial service company who sold you the PPI. You can then go there to begin the refund request.

To make the claim easier, there are already letter templates circulating online that you can use for reference. You need not draft another one. The important details are the following that must be included in those letters: reference number of the case, credit reference number, PPI number, when the policy was taken out, the financial product this was bundled and your name and contact details.

It is imperative you get to talk this one out with your bank. Not everyone however is entitled to a refund. Bear in mind that PPI is also useful. The ones who are eligible for refunds are the people who where mis-sold with PPI. You need not worry as claiming it now easier.

How Do You Save On Small Household Stuff

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Household stuff and items are essential but it can cost a lot of buck. Moreover these are consumable items that one tends to buy over and over again. While there is nothing wrong with buying these items as these are considered essential, for frugal individuals like me, we can always be creative in order to save some.

Household stuff like toothpaste and toiletries may cost little but these can easily cost a household hundreds of dollars every month. For one, these are essentials and we can’t practically live without these. Second, we tend to shop these items every week. Finally, these items can are consumables and oftentimes they don’t last that long. According to research a typical household spends 15% to 20%. If you are finding to scrimp even a single dollar just to save on these items, here are tips you can do.

Tip #1: Identify the Needs.

Saving money on household items starts from identifying the needs of the family. It is important to rank the household items accordingly. First thing the family needs to do would be to identify the essentials. Know the items you get to use regularly. Better review the past groceries the family have in order to know which ones were bought frequently. Then analyze the supplies. Know also the lifespan of each item. For example, how long does a tissue roll last? How long will the family use a toothpaste and so on? If possible, list down these items in accordance to the priorities. List item number 1 as the most important and how long it will last. You can identify the usage on a weekly or monthly basis.

Tip #2: Find Alternatives.

After identifying the necessities and ranking them accordingly, identify the brand of choice of the family. Include also the price so you will know how much the item costs. The next thing to do would be to find alternatives to these items. You might want to tour your local grocery store in order to list down the possible alternatives and the prices. For instance, if you have been using this toothpaste brand identify if there is another toothpaste in the market that can deliver the same results yet cheaper by a few bucks. Do the rest of the list until it is done. Again, find cheaper alternatives and look for other brands.

Tip #3: Use Coupons.

Coupons are there for a reason. Might as well look for those items be it in magazines or in stores. Sign up for store deals so they can email you coupons and related discount codes. There are already many avenues for you to get a coupon or two. First, you can scour the Internet for electronic coupon sites. There are even websites like Coupons.com and other Coupon Network where you can click and print the coupons. There are also coupons that you can get from newspapers and magazines. Simply cut those coupons out and you can present those at the counter. There are also in-mail rebates and credit card rewards.

Tip #4: Shop on Sales 

Stores are very fond on giving sales. Make sure to time when to shop so you can be able to seize on this price cut backs. You might want to shop during holidays where discounts are plenty. You can also get those about to expired household items as these are priced relatively low because of the due dates. There are a lot of sales and discounts around. Just keep yourself updated as to when. You can start signing up from these stores, stalk their social media profiles or visit their stores every now and then to know when they will be having those sales. Don't forget to check for reviews too like reviews on keranique for hair care sales and discounts.

Tip #5: Purchase in Bulk

As they say, the more you buy the lower would be the unit price. Which is why, it is always suggested to buy in bulk rather than buy in lesser units. There are even stores that reward such purchases. The only downside is you are going to buy more product than you actually need. But at least it will still take a while before you head to the grocery to buy that item again. Apart from saving the unit price you can also save a trip or two.

These are just five of the many tips you can do in order to save small household stuff. Start implementing a tip or two and you are on your way to maximize your money. What are your other tips to save money on household items?
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