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The Sunday Amazon Habit PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

I learned a fantastic tip from one of my new clients yesterday. He’s a professor and purchases a lot of academic books for his own library.
 
If he hears about a book he’d like to add to his collection, he puts it in his Amazon shopping cart and leaves it there. He continues to do this throughought the week.  On Sunday, he sits down and reviews all the books in his shopping cart and then decides which ones he really wants to purchase. 
 
The habit has two big benefits:
  • He gets a few days to really think about the purchases he wants to make before pulling the trigger.
  • The second and more impactful benefit is that he gets to see the total cost of all the books he was thinking about buying that week. If he were to purchase them over a seven day time frame, it would be $30 here and $40 there. By looking at them all at once he’ll see a $200 total and that makes him really evaluate each book.  He'll then only buy the ones that will give him the most benefit.  The others, he borrows from the library.

This tip doesn't have to be limited to books.  You can do it with any purchase.  In fact, you can use it to save you even more money by implementing a once secret savings tip.  For many items Amazon sells, if you leave it in your shopping cart for a few days, you may receive a discount code via email.  It's a trick some retailers use to get you to pull the trigger.  It won't work on books, but it will work on many of the items you purchase through Amazon or other retailers.

 

 

 
Travel - Best Days To Buy PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

I've always thought of purchasing plane tickets like playing the stock market.  You never know when to pull the trigger.  The price could go up tomorrow or it could go down.  How do you know when is the best time to buy?

In truth, there's no perfect time, but there are a few rules of thumb that can make you feel better about your purchases.  In fact, Grant Martin recently contributed an article to Forbes.com on the very topic titled Best Days to Book Flights are Tuesdays 50 - 100 Days Before Travel, Expedia Study Conclude.

For quite awhile, it's been suggested that Tuesdays at 3:00 pm EST is the best time to purchase a ticket.  Expedia's study does show that purchasing your ticket on Tuesdays, prior to three weeks before your trip can save you.  However, if your trip is less than three weeks away, the study points to Sundays as being the best time to buy.
 
I'm also an advocate of the website AirFareWatchDog.com.   Just plug in where you want to fly to and when, as well as your departing airport and every day or two you'll receive an email listing the lowest fares.  After a few weeks you'll be able to make an educated decision on what's a good fare for your particular destination.  At any given time I receive emails from AirFareWatchDog for two or more upcoming trips. 
 
Check out Grant Martin's article for more tips to help you know when to pull the trigger on that next plane ticket.

 

 
Vacation Savings Account PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti 

There are many different ways to pull together or earmark money for vacations and other fun stuff. One of the most powerful tools is to create a savings account specifically for vacations.   Capital One 360 allows you to create multiple savings accounts so you can earmark your funds for a certain cause, i.e. vacations.  
 
One of the things I especially love about Capital One 360 is that they also offer a checking account with a debit card. When Paul and I are ready to go on vacation, we transfer the money from our vacation savings to our Capital One 360 checking account.   We then use that debit card throughout our vacation. The money stays separate from our day-to-day checking account and we are able to spend as we please because we know we are only spending our "vacation" money. There is something very freeing about this practice.
 
If vacations are a big part of your life, start automatically depositing money into your vacation savings account. Even small amounts will begin adding up and will keep you moving toward your goal.
 
One of my favorite habits for "finding" vacation money is to save the money you save. For example, our grocery store is Safeway and we have a Safeway Club Card that offers additional savings for being a member (membership is free). When I use my card, the amount of money I saved is at the bottom of the receipt. When I get home from the grocery store, I automatically go to my computer and transfer that amount from my day-to-day checking to my vacation account.
 
Through savvy grocery shopping, I save an average of $75 - $150 per month for our vacations. Also, the money saved by savvy shopping is used for a specific purpose instead of vanishing into thin air.
 
Other ideas to save include:
  • As you receive gift money, consider putting it into your vacation savings account. 
  • Do you get overtime? Instead of letting that money get absorbed into your checking account, immediately transfer it to your vacation savings account. 
  • Another option is to transfer any leftover money at the end of the pay period into your vacation fund. As you continue this process, you will be surprised at how quickly that money adds up.

 

 
Schedule It! PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
 
Christmas is nine days away and Hanukkah begins tomorrow!  It's likely you still have dozens of errands and tasks to do before the holidays officially arrive. 

Instead of trying to haphazardly squeeze your to-dos into your day - schedule them. Literally, write them into your calendar to ensure you give yourself the time you need to get the tasks done.  

One of the things I used to always get caught by is wrapping gifts.  Every Christmas Eve I'd scramble to get it done right before walking out the door to go to Paul's dad's for dinner.  A task that should be fun became a stressful chore.  After learning a time management tip from a friend - to block out travel time on your calendar for out of the office events such as lunch meetings, it dawned on me that I could apply the same technique for tasks such as wrapping gifts, holiday shopping and more. That simple habit has made all the difference in the world allowing me to enjoy the holidays so much more!   

For more ideas on how to thrive during the holidays, download a copy of Thriving During the Holidays.  The eBook is filled with easy-to-implement, time and money saving ideas to help you turn the holidays from something you survive, to a time to thrive. There’s no reason why kids should have all the fun during this time of year! The goal of the Thriving During the Holidays eBook is to help you turn the holidays into something you enjoy just as much as the children around you. 
 
Thriving During the Holidays shows you how to: 
  • Create a holiday budget.
  • Save your sanity and your cash when shopping.
  • Strategies for making holiday travel as smooth as possible.
You will also learn how to:
  • Plan your meals to save time and money.
  • Stay in control of your schedule.
  • Donate more than just cash to charity.
Find out how to save money on:
  • Holiday Cards
  • Gift Wrap
  • Decorations
We also share our favorite:
  • Holiday Websites
  • Shopping Spots
  • After Holiday Sales Strategies
There's also an entire chapter dedicated to tips on how to relax and enjoy the holiday season so much more. 
 
Thriving During the Holidays is available at the affordable price of just $4.95. To purchase and immediately download your copy, click here: 
 
 
 
 
10 Gift Ideas from Amazon PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
 
I love to give books as gifts.  I'm almost always able to find a title that's perfect for those on my list.  If you're struggling to come up with gift ideas, the list of books below may be able to help.  It includes everything from biographies to cookbooks, children's classics and soon to be classics. 
 
By Cary Elwes - $15.60
For anyone who has said: "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."  
 
 
By Sarah Goldschadt - $16.44
For your craft loving friends and family members.
 
 
By Tristan Stephenson - $16.73 
For your cocktail loving, loved ones.
 
 
By Mark Bittman
$21 on Amazon
For those who would love to cook, if they "had the time". 
 
 
By Hans Christian Andersen - $13.36
A book every home should have.
 
 
 
By Dr. Seuss - $11.33
A wonderful gift for adults as well as children.
 
 
By Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pamela Smith Hill - $24.68
For the fans of the book or television series.
 
 
By Potter Style - $6.49 
For the book lover.
 
 
By Elizabeth Foy Larsen - $14.50
For children who could use a break from technology based entertainment.
 
 
And finally, a book for the that friend or family member who loves to learn "stuff".
 
 
 
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