Sunday, November 13, 2011

Go Green with your bills

Have your bills e-delivered.
The same principal and advantages apply to your credit card, utility and other monthly bills as apply to financial statements. You get timely notification and access through a secured Web site.

With e-bills, you don't have to worry about lost mail. That means you can be sure you will know what you owe in plenty of time to make a payment. You'll avoid costly late charges on your credit accounts, while protecting even more trees from a needless death.

Pay your bills electronically.
Once you're online looking at those charges, it just takes a couple extra clicks to make the payment.

In addition to helping you become a prompt payer, which will help your credit score, and saving even more forests, e-payment can help you make a little money. Because you'll be able to make payments later in your billing cycle, your money will have more time to earn more interest for you.

You'll also save on stamps -- 15 stamps a month for a year equals almost $75 -- and last-minute trips to the post office that consume not only your precious time, but also fuel that adds to greenhouse emissions. An added bonus: You protect yourself from identity thieves who cruise streets, looking for curbside mailboxes full of bill payments and checks with all that personal information.

There is one thing to watch out for here. Even though it usually saves creditors money, too, a few still charge extra for e-payments.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Go Green with your investments account statements

Get your investment account statements electronically.
In most cases, the process is identical to the one used for your bank's monthly e-statement. E-mail notification directs you to a secured Web site to see how much your assets are earning.

Instant online access means you can quickly see if you need to rebalance your portfolio. Once you're at the secure Web page, it's usually just a few mouse clicks to shift to another, higher-yielding fund. And you'll feel good knowing that while you're saving money for your future, your dedication to electronic investing instead of by paper means you've saved even more future forests for your kids to enjoy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Go Green With savings

Automatically put pay in savings account.
Have part of your pay automatically put into a savings account. All this typically takes is one extra checkbox when you have your paycheck directly deposited.

The financial benefits are obvious. By sending the money directly to an account, you're not tempted to spend it frivolously. Also, it starts earning interest immediately. The system also saves you time and you won't waste gas by driving to the bank to make the transfer between accounts.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Go Green with your pay

Direct-deposit your pay.
Most employers and banks can handle your request. In fact, they probably prefer the method.

Your paycheck will always be in the bank, not in the mail, and there's no environmentally wasteful paper paycheck to worry about. So even when you're on vacation, your money is in your account, earning interest or making sure your upcoming bill e-payments can be made without any problem.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Go Green by donating

Donate clothing and household goods.
Donate clothing and household goods to the environmental nonprofit of your choice. Many charitable groups, including those dedicated to saving the planet, will take such gifts.

On the pro-environment side, the organization can sell the items in its thrift shop, producing needed income to keep operating. As for your finances, such donations are as tax-deductible as cash gifts to approved groups. Just make sure the donated items are in good or better shape or the IRS could disallow the deduction.

Donate your old vehicle to an environmental cause.
Yes, many of these groups will welcome that jalopy. Some will even come tow it away for you.

The advantages to the groups are many. It might use the auto to help transport volunteers to environmental projects. It could sell the vehicle and use the cash for other projects. Either way, if you itemize, you might be able to get a deduction for your vehicular gift on your tax return. Just be sure to find out how the auto donation is used, as that will determine just how large your write-off will be.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Go Green with a cash gift

Make a cash gift to an environmental group.
All these groups -- and there are thousands -- will happily take money via cash, check or credit card. Some even offer estate plan help so that you can leave a final bequest to the group.

Your gift obviously will help the environmental group continue its efforts. But it also could save you some tax dollars. If you itemize, you can deduct your donations to IRS-approved charities. Just make sure you get a receipt in case the IRS has follow-up questions. If your gift is one of your final ones, it also could help lower any potential taxes on your estate. See your attorney or financial planner on how to structure these types of estate gifts to you maximum tax benefit.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Go Green with paying your bills

Pay bills by credit card.
If you don't want to pay directly from your bank account, pay your bills by credit card. In fact, this might be easier. Not every business accepts e-payments yet, but almost all take plastic.

You get the same great environment-saving advantages of paying electronically while also earning yourself some financial perks. Set up an automatic credit card payment; that way you'll never face another late fee. Make sure the card is one with a low or no interest rate. If it's a rewards card, all the better. Your eco-friendly payment method will earn you extra points.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walmart Shopping trip

Just thought I would share some deals I got at the Dunkirk Walmart tonight. I go through my coupons every so often and pull out those that are $1.00 or more and then I head to Walmart to see what I can get for $1.00 or less.

Extra dessert gum $.96 less $1.00 coupon
Up2u gum $1.28 less $1.00 coupon
Satin Care shave gel $1.97 less $1.00 coupon
Tic Tacs $1.04 x 2 less $1.00 coupon
Kids crest toothpaste $2.72 less $2.00 coupon
Crest whitening toothpaste $1.00 less $1.00 coupon
Zest aloe 3 bar pack $1.98 less $1.00 coupon

Go Green with your canceled checks

Cancel the canceled checks.
If you still get paper bank statements that include canceled checks, at least cancel the canceled checks. You can reconcile your account just fine without all those extra slips of paper.

Savings are immediate for many account holders, because some banks charge extra to keep sending along canceled checks. Once you start getting a less-imposing statement, it also should make it easier for you to check it each month. Timely account reconciliation can help you spot any financial trouble spots. And no canceled check clutter means more forests for us all.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Letters to Santa - Free App

I just wanted to share with you all a great free app for your kids to enjoy. I downloaded this the other day and my daughter tried it today and was very happy with the results and so was I. She was able to send a letter to Santa telling him what she wanted for Christmas and then a few hours later he sent her a letter back. I was then able to send it, along with her letter to my email so we can print it out. There is no limit on how many can be sent or how many replies you can receive. The only downfall is that you have to wait for the reply before you can send another letter. Why not download it and let your child communicate with Santa.

Go Green with your bank statement

Get your bank statement electronically.

If you're worried about computer hackers, don't. Most banks send you an e-mail with a link to a secure Web site where you can check your balance.

Instant Internet access means you can quickly see if your bank account is dangerously low, which could end up costing you low-balance or insufficient funds charges. And by reducing your traditional statement collection, you save paper, which means you help save trees.

Another month gone....

Well it's almost been another month since my last post. I got the laptop up an running only to drop it a few days later and shatter the screen. Ugh!! I keep telling myself that I will pick back up when the laptop get fixed but all I am doing is procrastinating. Lol...So I am making a pact with myself to start writing again this weekend. I still have to introduce you to our new addition!