Top Freebies

Wow! You won't believe how many amazing places there are to get FREE things online. We've gathered together all the top links to 100% FREE Auctions, Adult Coloring Books, DVDs, Earn Free Money and MUCH more. You've got to see what all the excitement is about and get everything FREE!

Top Free Stuff Worldwide

This is a list of free stuff you can get from the internet.

Freebies Worldwide

Auctions for Free Stuff - Listia is an auction site like Ebay except they use a credit system instead of real money. You can earn credits by giving away your unwanted stuff, using their offers wall (surveys) and being an active member. You will receive 1,000 credits for signing up.

Best PTC Sites - Here are the best paying and most legit PTC sites evaluated by salary and other top factors. PTC means paid to click. It's very easy work but low pay.

Celestia - Here is a great tool for students that lets you Zoom through the solar system, and this gives you real-time views of planets, moons, comets, stars, and more.

Classical Music Library - Free download every week.

Coloring Books for Grown Ups - Free coloring books to download and print.

Cool Freebies - Freebies from the community of Reddit. Look for the items marked global.

Famous Restaurant Recipes: Copycat Versions of America's Favorite Restaurant Dishes - Free PDF copycat restaurant recipes e-book.

Free 3D Glasses - Request your free pair of either white or black 3D glasses.

Free Letter Opener - Get this free tool by mail. Not available in all countries. - Free tips to help anyone who needs it to quit smoking.

Teaching of the Ascended Masters - The Summit Lighthouse is giving away a free e-book chapter of their book, "Talk with Angels: How to Work with Angels of Light for Guidance, Comfort and Healing" and a free e-book copy of their book, "Violet Flame to Heal Body, Mind and Soul". They are also giving away more free e-books at their other site

Your Guide To Internet Freebies - This PDF e-book tells you all about internet freebies and the pitfalls to avoid. Read it online or download it to your device.

Freebies United States

Breathe Right Nasal Strips - Choose clear or lavender as your free sample.

Dove Beauty Samples and Coupons - Dove periodically offers free samples by mail. To see current offers search, "free Dove samples" in your favorite search engine. My link will take you to their offers page.

Free Cookbook by Mail - Sun-Maid 100th Anniversary Cook Book.

Bath Tablets for Kids - Request your free sample of Fizzy Wizzies. These tablets fizz up bath water and make bath time fun and educational.

DVDS for Teachers and Homeschoolers - gives you one free DVD a year by mail if you are a teacher or homeschooler.

DVD for Kids - Free 3-D animated Christian movie for kids by mail. The movie is called, "The Adventures of Donkey Ollie".

Free T-Shirt - T-Shirt outlet is giving away free t-shirts in the United States and Canada. These shirts have a typo or other printing imperfection. Check back with this site if they don't have a t-shirt you like in your size. They are getting new inventory all the time.

Jiffy Mix Recipe Book - Free recipe book offer by mail from Jiffy. Yummy cornbread recipes.

Nivea Sample - Request your free sample by mail of Nivea Nourishing In-Shower Body Lotion.

Saving Star - Join this website to get free grocery items throughout the month.

Truvia Natural Sweetener - Receive two sample sachets and a valuable coupon by mail. - lets you send text messages for free in the United States and Canada. You will need to enter your email address to get replies, your friend's mobile number and your message. TxtDrop will send your message instantly.

Yogi Tea - Send two samples of Yogi Tea to a friend to brighten their day.
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Budgeting 101: How to Take Full Command of Your Finances

Budgeting is at the core of financial stability and living a debt-free life. It doesn't matter if you are living paycheck to paycheck or making six figures per year without sound budgeting practices and a concrete plan of action, an individual or family cannot fully leverage their income to better their lifestyle and achieve their goals. Fortunately enough, budgeting isn't rocket science. You also don't need to be an accountant or financial analyst to cook up some financial models for effective budgeting. Given a short amount of time and patience, an effective budget can be adopted.


 KISS is an acronym for Keep it Simple, Stupid. As the phrase implies, keep your budget plan, or at least your first one, clear and concise. You don't need to include any fancy terminologies you recently looked up on Google. Instead, come up with a simple list of monthly income and expenses. Your monthly expenses can encompass staples, such as groceries, utilities, transportation, and insurance. Income, on the other hand, will include your main source of paychecks coming in month to month, any dividends being paid to you from your investment portfolio, and part-time income you're receiving elsewhere.

2. Identify Net Income 

 Monthly net income is different from gross income, and a good budgeting plan must account for this critical difference. After taxes, how much are you left with to spend? This can be tricky to compute since not everyone is paid on a monthly basis. Some are paid per week, others bi-weekly. If you are paid per week, simply multiply by 52 and then divide by 12. For a bi-weekly income structure, simply multiply by 26 and then divide by 12. If you are getting paid thrice a week, multiply by 17.34 and then divide by 12.

3. Identify Expenses

 There is no hard number for monthly expenses since you can't know for sure what you're going to spend your money on and how much the amount is. Categorize your expenses based on importance. Your monthly subscription to a fashion magazine isn't exactly as important as your monthly utility bills. Don't worry about coming up with the most accurate number. Try to get a feel of how wide a gap exists between your available income to spend and the expenses that consume it. If you arrive with a seemingly wide gap, then it's time to start pinpointing on some unnecessary expenses and removing them from your list.

4. Track With Tech 

 Precise tracking tools are now available, most of which are free to download. Tracking your actual expenses incurred per month through manual tallying or journaling can be laborious and hard to maintain. A relatively easier solution would be to automate the tracking process by signing up with a budgeting application that monitors your spending habits and records your purchases month after month. It will be easier to keep track of every bottle of water or soda you buy at a gas station or every ticket you buy from a movie theater. Of course, be wary of tools that claim they are completely safe and free, but are actually malware. Make sure your chosen budgeting application already has a large user base and good user reviews before you join in and enter personal information.

5. Don't Accrue Debt

 Budgeting is as much about saving money as it is about avoiding debt. Having multiple credit cards and mortgages at the same time can be financially crippling. The interest paid, usually on a monthly schedule, will restrict your spending and disable any opportunity of saving up cash. Only take on debt if you can pay for the principal amount plus interest fees in a timely manner. Do calculations in advance before you approach a bank or private lender. If what you are financing is not immediately needed, such as a second car or a 60-inch flat screen, then consider postponing it until you've saved enough money to pay cash in full.

6. Update Your Budget Plan 

 An effective budget plan must be updated to stay relevant with your current and future expenses, income sources, and goals. Remember, your initial budget plan was built to improve your finances and work towards increasing the gap between monthly income and expenses, with the latter being significantly lower than the former. Failure to update it at least once per quarter of the year will prevent you from seeing what you are doing right and what you should be correcting.

7. Stay Positive and Motivated

 Your mindset will play a vital role in your ability to create and execute a budget effectively. Without a positive attitude, you are likely to revert back into your old spending habits and destroy any progress you've worked so hard to achieve. Staying motivated ensures you follow through with your budget plan by minimizing the impact of cutting costs and saving money. People will have different motivators, and thus your goal should be to identify what drives you. Is it a night out with friends after achieving your first financial milestone? Perhaps buying an addition to your wine or card collection to commemorate the day you wiped your credit slate clean? Irrespective of what it is that motivates you, make sure you find the time and the money to enjoy what you love in life.

8. Involve Everyone

 These budgeting tips will be simpler to follow if you minimize temptations in the form of friends calling you on a Friday night to eat out at a fancy restaurant or your relatives inviting you on a cruise ship for the weekend. While it's not necessarily a bad thing if you get such invitations, moderate these instances by involving everyone in your family and group of friends. Inform them of your plans to budget and be ready to say NO a lot more often. When your children, spouse, relatives, and friends are fully aware of your financial goals, they are more likely to respect your decisions and may even help you out by referring you to more cost-affordable service or product alternatives.

9. Invest Wisely

 Investing is not for everyone, and should be done with the right set of criteria for picking assets. Do not confuse investing with speculation as the latter is riskier and is therefore bound to more potential losses in the future. Smart investing is a long-term pursuit for capital appreciation through low-risk, high-yield assets. Ideally, you'd want to pick stocks that have solid underlying companies behind them. A steady growth rate, good management, and dividend yield increase are all key parameters to look for when investing your hard-earned money. Budgeting will only get your finances so far. It is up to you and your investing practices to grow the funds further.

10. Seek Professional Consultation 

 It costs money to get advice from a financial adviser or accountant, yet the trade-off is invaluable knowledge and specific actionable steps for improving your budget and financial status. Even a onetime consultation can open your eyes to things you may have missed before and to new opportunities for saving and growing cash. The cost of financial consultation can range from $100 to as much as $300, depending on the service or the account being managed by the professional. Aside from a financial adviser, you can also seek professional advice from well-known books about budgeting and other financial topics, such as credit consolidation.

11. Keep Your Money Safe

 Not only from your poor spending habits and lackluster discipline, but from malware and con artists that exist in this not-so-perfect world. Keep your cash safe by leaving behind money you don't need when going out with family or friends. In addition, refrain from using debit cards as they can easily be used by unauthorized people. Instead, go for credit cards that have more robust layers of security and insurance. When going to the grocery store or shopping mall, loose change and bills should be sorted and organized from your pockets, so they don't fall off accidentally. Many people opt for paperless management of their bank accounts, which helps deter con artists from stealing data through physical mail.

12. Look For Cheaper Alternatives

 You don't always have to leave behind expensive hobbies or cut off expensive items completely. There are ways in which you can enjoy the same experience but for much smaller costs. Instead of spending $400 on a futuristic-looking vacuum cleaner, purchase one that costs $160 but does the same thing. Brand names may indeed boast better quality in some cases, but most generic alternatives are designed and manufactured well enough to perform the tasks needed of them.

13. Consider Insurance

 From property owner insurance to the warranty on your new laptop, some form of insurance can protect your investments for the long run. An insurance policy guarantees compensation in the event of damages that befall the product or property. Although not as vital as most of the budgeting tips aforementioned in this article, insurance can definitely help protect you during those rainy days when your car or work computer gets broken and needs immediate repairs or replacement. For instance, if you just bought an expensive laptop, a $200 warranty that covers the product for two years is a smart investment. After all, $200 is far cheaper than the amount you'll need to pay when the laptop needs repairs or parts replacement.

14. Evaluate Your Current Budgeting Plan 

 Part of what makes a good plan is continuous tweaking and improvement. A budgeting plan that does not adjust to changing conditions will fail to produce the desired results of smarter budget allocation and better savings accumulated over time. Make time to evaluate your budgeting plan and make revisions if necessary. Gather all financial statements you can from your bank's dedicated website. Download and open the PDF to see where most of your income went to, what new fixed and variable expenses have been added to your account, etc.

15. Keep Yourself Healthy 

 You're probably proud of yourself because of all the money you've saved working sixty hours per week or eating nothing but instant noodles and Chinese food. While these methods do save money, the damage to one's health cannot be ignored. If you don't take care of yourself, you'll end up paying more for medical services and prescription meds. Make healthier choices whenever possible. Allotting $25 per month for gym membership, for instance, is a small investment but can yield great health benefits. Buying and eating salmon once a week can cost you around $18 but the heart-friendly omega-3 oils and protein can make you physically and mentally stronger.

16. Use Coupons 

 Using coupon codes at the checkout counter will save you a measly $1 per trip, but over time can actually add up to a significant amount. You can also copy and paste coupon codes for purchases done online. This is an easy way to save anywhere between fifteen percent to forty percent on your purchases. It's a nifty tool not just for shopping but also for food deliveries from sites that aggregate menus and restaurants. You can get free deliveries or free sides or desserts with certain coupon codes that are totally free of charge. In addition, time your purchases during off-peak seasons, where there are tons of discount deals to capitalize on. For instance, buying winter apparel and gear during summertime might seem too early, but price tags on these items are actually lower than when Ber months start.


 Although a noble thing to do, avoid trying to perform all sixteen of these budgeting tips in a short span of time, like in a week or month. It will take several months to a year to affect these changes to your current routine. Furthermore, note that not all of these tips will immediately result in more dollars saved month after month. Some tips will help develop good spending habits while others will pave new opportunities for savings growth. The main thing is to proactively follow your budgeting plan and be flexible when unforeseen variables emerge.

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19 Underlying Causes of Overspending

When it comes to overspending, men and women are both guilty of doing it. According to many different conducted research studies, more than fifteen million Americans are guilty of compulsive spending and shopping. Financial matters are the primary cause of stress and breakups within a relationship. Many American individuals have accrued more than $10,000 in debt due to overspending. Read on for more information regarding impulse buying and overspending.

1. Buying Happiness

 A lot of people find themselves in debt or overspending when they are trying to buy happiness. Sometimes people use money to keep their mate happy or they use money to make themselves happy. This form of retail therapy works for a little while, but soon ends, and the money that is spent adds up.

2. Access to Credit

 Many people have easy access to credit, such as credit cards. Your credit does not have to be perfect in order to have a line of credit given to you. Many credit card companies can't wait to send you a credit card with a line of credit for overspending purposes. When you use their line of credit, you not only have to repay the amount you spend, you have to pay interest which means more money for the company. One missed payment can mean a lot of debt in the future.

3. Instant Gratification

 Some people overspend for instant gratification purposes. You may know exactly how much money you have and how much money you can afford to spend, but something may catch your eye. Instead of waiting, until you can afford the item, you purchase it and possibly put yourself in debt because of overspending. Instant gratification is a common cause of overspending. A lot of people do not have the patience to wait until their next paycheck or the next time they get paid to purchase an item they want.

4. Guilt

 Guilt is another reason people overspend. Instead of apologizing to a person for something they have done wrong, some people believe that everything can be corrected by shopping and spending money. A lot of people believe expensive gifts are a way to cover up their mistakes or wrong doings which is certainly one of the best ways to overspend quickly.

5. Access to Cash

 Most people have easy access to cash whether it be a steady and stable job or another source of income. When you have money available to you, sometimes you can't help but spend it. A lot of people do this. Having cash in your hand is very different from swiping a card. When you have cash in hand, you may feel invincible, like the world is in your hands, but this is far from the truth, especially when the money runs out.

6. Temptation

 Temptation is another cause of overspending. Most retail stores have many different strategies to get you to give in to your temptations. For example, the candy, drinks and chips that are located at the front of the store in the check-out line. Those items are placed specifically to get you to spend a few more dollars before you leave the store. Stores also place toys and other things children may like in the check-out line to entice children to ask their parents for more things from the store on their way out. This is where a lot of parents give in to their child's temptation and purchase the item their child wants and in turn, overspends.

7. Avoidance/Secrecy 

 Some people do not want to overspend, but they choose to because they don't want to tell their friends and family they don't have enough money to go out or pay for their meals. No one wants to be the odd-ball or the person who cannot afford to have fun. Instead of declining the invitation, a person may decide to attend the events to fit in. Having a sense of belonging is a stronger feeling than many people realize, and they often give in to it. No one wants to be viewed as the poor person or failure of the family or group.

8. Buying Love

 Some people believe they can buy love. This action is commonly seen in relationships when one party of the relationship is materialistic. You may want to be with someone and feel the only way you can keep them is by spending money on them. Not only will you find yourself in debt quickly, you will realize that a relationship is not one that should be based on money. Valentine's Day is the famous holiday for overspending when relationships are involved.

9. Sense of Power

 For a lot of people, money means power. As long as you have money, you are in complete control or so many people think. With having money comes spending money. A sense of power is stronger than many people realize. This sense of power can cause you to spend ample amounts of money in a short amount of time which will lead to overspending and debt in the future.

10. Lifestyle Maintenance

 Sometimes people's lifestyle changes for various reasons. In this situation, some people may not be able to live up to their previous means or live above their means the way they want or were able to, and this is the perfect recipe for overspending. People do not realize how expensive it is to maintain a particular lifestyle. Living lavishly is more than purchasing expensive items from time to time. This type of lifestyle must be maintained. Expensive clothes, houses, vehicles and other items cost more to maintain than it costs to purchase them.

11. Keeping Up Appearances

 A lot of people choose to overspend because they are trying to keep up appearances or keep up with others who live an expensive lifestyle. Even though you may not have enough money to keep up with the latest trend in technology, fashion and other categories, you will decide to overspend just to say you own a particular item. This is one of the easiest ways to overspend.

12. Poor Upbringing

 If you have had a childhood where you grew up poor or less fortunate than many others, this causes you to come a prime target for overspending when you become of age and begin to make your own money. Individuals who have had a poor upbringing have an intense sense of not only instant gratification, but the feeling as if someone will take your money from you or it will somehow disappear if you don't spend it all at once or spend as much of the money as you can at one time.

13. Impulse Buying 

 Impulsive buying is the primary reason for overspending. Before you go to the store, you take your time and make a list to make sure you do not give in to impulse buying, but a lot of the time, you end up giving in and spending more money than you planned. Impulse buying happens to the best of us. When something catches our eye, we go into "buy mode". This mode makes us believe that we cannot wait until a later time to purchase an item and it has to be purchased immediately.

14. No Budget

 Budgeting is more important than a lot of people would like to believe. When you have a set budget, a lot of things will fall into place, and many financial issues, such as overspending will not be a problem. When you create a budget, it needs to be as reasonable as possible. It is best to create a budget using your bills, including household and other expenses, such as gas for your vehicle and other things you may need during the week or month. Without a reasonable budget, there is a good chance you don't keep track of the money you spend on a daily basis. You may think $10 or $20 every day or every other day is not a lot, but when you add everything up, you could easily spend $30 to $60 every week which is $120 to $240 extra each month. When you budget correctly, you can decrease the amount of money you spend and stay within your budget to avoid financial mishaps.

15. Misinformed about Debt

 You may not know as much about overspending and debt as you think you do. If you have a credit card, it should only be used for emergency purposes. Maxing out your credit card on shopping sprees and fast food, especially when you do not have the means to repay the money you spent with interest is not a smart financial decision. Many people view credit cards as a form of financial freedom to purchase everything they ever wanted, but this is where a lot of confusion occurs.

16. Laziness

 Surprisingly, being lazy can lead to overspending. Instead of cooking, you may get fast food on the way home from work or have a pizza delivered. When you are tired, you may not feel like doing much which causes you to take short cuts, such as ordering fast food or purchasing a new outfit instead of washing the clothes you have.

17. Credit vs Money

 Credit and money are two very different means of financial stability. Credit can be worse than having cash because of technology. When you only have cash, you are forced to travel to stores and purchase items, whereas with a credit card, you can purchase just about anything you desire from the comfort of your home. A lot fewer people are willing to go to the store to spend the cash they have. With a credit card, all you need is the credit card number, expiration date and the security code on the back, and you can purchase just about anything you desire.

18. Self-Worth

 A lot of people base their self-worth on the amount of money they have. Having a lot of money does not determine who or what you are, but for some people, money is their entire world. Without money, you may feel worthless and useless. Self-worth can be based on many different things, but for some, money is the only thing a person can focus on. In the long run, trying to prove your self-worth to yourself or others can cause you to become a victim of overspending and can lead to a large amount of debt.

19. Entitlement

 You, like many people, may fail to realize that credit is a privilege and not a right. A decent credit score will get you a line of credit. Not everyone qualifies for a credit card. Sometimes people base what they think they deserve on the things that other people have. A relative or friend may be wealthy or able to live comfortably, so you may think you are entitled to the same lifestyle. If you do not have the means to imitate the lifestyle you want, overspending will quickly become an issue.

 Here are many different ways that overspending can easily become a problem. Overspending is more common than many people think and easier to achieve. The good news is overspending is something that can be corrected. Two things you can do to control your overspending is to create a flexible, reasonable budget and stick to it, and limit the amount of money you spend. Learn to distinguish between your necessities and your wants. In your budget, you can set money aside to purchase random items. You can control your overspending and live comfortably without feeling like you have to live from paycheck to paycheck or that you can never have any fun or adventure. Being financially responsible seems like a drag, but once you become accustomed to budgeting and understanding your spending habits, you will be able to adjust accordingly.

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Social Indifference: The Key to Wealth Building

You set a budget for the month and every dollar is carefully planned. You want to save a certain amount for your emergency fund and allocate funds to help pay off a debt that’s weighing on your mind.

 A few days later you see on social media that a former roommate just remodeled her kitchen and has the latest appliances. It looks like a magazine. You look around your plain rental kitchen and think about how nice a new refrigerator would be.

 That afternoon you’re scrolling through your feed and you see your cousin’s 108 pictures of her recent vacation to the Caribbean. You haven’t had a decent vacation in months, maybe years.

 A coworker tweets about her expensive yoga membership, complete with a picture of her perfectly coordinated work out gear.

 You buy an expensive coffee because you deserve it.

 You go out to eat more than you should and don’t pay attention to what you are spending each time.

 You see a sale at the mall and buy a new pair of shoes that you don’t need and may not even wear, but they look like an ad you saw. You imagine how impressed your boss will be when you wear them to the company party.

 At the end of the month, you’ve pulled out whatever you managed to save to cover unpaid living expenses, and your debt continues with only the minimum payment.

 What happened?

Social Media: The Modern "Keeping up with the Joneses"

 Temptation is one of the biggest factors sabotaging well laid financial plans. Resisting temptation, whether it's that four dollar coffee when you have a coffee maker at home or the shiny new car when your ten year old car runs just fine, is one of the best indicators that you will be able to reach your financial goals.

 We are heavily influenced by the people in our social circles, by close friends or acquaintances, and the world of social media has increased the range of those circles. While the various social media sites can help us stay in touch with people we might have drifted apart from, it also gives us a stylized look into their lives that isn’t always realistic.

 You interact closely with only a few people from day to day, and those people’s lives are “averaged” for you pretty well. You see their highs and lows and get a more realistic picture of their current status.

 On social media, people share only what’s considered impressive for their status. You see the new house, the vacation, the perfect portrait of children playing together, but this isn’t the whole picture. No one posts a picture of a fight. No one posts pictures of bills laying on the table.

 We perceive that other people’s lives are more put together, and more successful, than ours and our envy erodes our ability to control our own temptations when it comes to purchases. When your acquaintance posts a picture of her expensive coffee every morning, it’s harder for you to stick to your coffee maker.

So what does this mean?

 Time and time again, research shows that the biggest indicator of future wealth is believing that patient, disciplined money management is more important than outward displays of status. Someone’s ability to resist the material temptations of their neighbors, or friends on Social Media, is part of this disciplined approach to money.

 And that’s getting harder to do when we are bombarded with images of real people getting the things we think we want.

 To some extent, we can remove ourselves from the slick world of advertising. We see that these things are unrealistic and can make better choices about that vacation.

 When it’s our cousin, we see a real person getting what we want and our resistance to temptation erodes. And we then take our cues on the timelines of our own lives by what we are seeing on our friend’s timelines.

 Anxiety about success, and about hitting those successful marks at the right time in life, is no joke. We see only the peaks of other’s lives and we want those too. It’s easy to see how spending money becomes the answer. We spend the money. We hit that peak. We are happy.

Except we aren’t.

 Long term happiness requires security and discipline. Buying a new phone because an acquaintance did doesn’t necessarily equal happiness for you. Really, few purchases we make can sustain our happiness for very long.

 What was the last purchase you made? Do you even remember? How long did your feelings of happiness last? How long before you went searching for another new thing?

 The truth is the happiness we see on social media is curated and selective. Measuring success against what you see on social media causes you to make very poor decisions about what your day-to-day life should look like and translates to a lot of extra expenses.

So how do we fix it?

 Few purchases bring lasting joy. Although spending money causes an initial burst of happiness, that feeling is fleeting. If we repeat it over and over, we are left with a blown budget and poor control over our finances.

 The solution to this is social indifference.

 Social indifference is used to describe a person’s disregard for the actions of fellow humans. This can be taken to an extreme. For example, in a study last year by Columbia University, researchers found that although social indifference is difficult to prove, veterans are likely subject to this phenomena. People prefer token support such as saying thank you, or liking a certain cause on social media, but when presented with a real way to help with veteran issues, most walk away due to apathy.

 Taken to that extreme, social indifference is a negative thing. But if you pull back a little, you realize that there’s a happy medium between caring to the point of wanting what someone has, and caring so little that you have no empathy for those around you.

 The trick is to care about people themselves, but not about their measures of success or their material possessions. When you hit this mark, you’ve discovered the way social indifference can be a wealth builder.

 Think of it this way: if you hadn’t seen a bunch of pictures on social media of vacations, cars, and other material goods, would you be focused on those things?

 Probably not.

 Fighting the urge to keep up with perceived success presented on social media feeds requires a certain level of social indifference, or just not caring what other people are doing. This doesn’t mean that you stop caring about your friends' lives. It simply means that you recognize that these material things do not represent them or you. What brings your friend joy won’t necessarily bring you joy.

 In fact, it may not even bring your friend joy either.

 It’s difficult to make that change in your thinking, but the key is to ask yourself why you suddenly want an impulse purchase that you haven’t budgeted for or aren’t saving for. Is it because you genuinely need it or is it because you’ve seen something like it floating around in your social media feed?

 Asking this question reminds you of what your own needs and wants are separate from other people. You retrain your brain to consider your situation separately.

 While you don’t want your social indifference to be so high that you stop caring about your friends altogether, it’s important for you to maintain a certain level of indifference towards their purchases, or their measures of success. You want to be happy for you friends for their good fortune, but able to understand your own joy and your own situation.

 That means sticking to your financial goals and letting the Joneses go their way. It’ll save you so much money.

 An example of this on a bigger scale was the stock market downturn in August and September 2015. Investors who listened to panicked predictions followed scores of others in dumping low performing stocks. Those investors didn’t have the ability to listen to their own intuition, and instead followed what others were doing. They lost a lot of money in the subsequent recovery. Others did not listen to those predictions of doom. Investors who were able to make their own decisions despite the actions of others avoided that loss.

 In fact, some of the best investors of all time are great examples of the power of social indifference. They frequently make moves in the stock market that run contrary to what everyone else is currently doing. They will buy during a downturn, and sell when the market seems to be booming. They tune out what people around them are doing, and it frequently works in their favor.

Millionaire Principles

 Many of the most famous modern finance books, outline these principles as well. Having clearly outlined goals, along with self control to follow through, is one of the biggest indicators of wealth building.

 People who under perform in terms of wealth building versus personal income and people who manage to build wealth regardless of income both have particular characteristics important to your finance journey.

 Two big factors in the profiles of wealth-builders were the ability to spend less than they earn, and avoidance of status objects or status lifestyles. Under-accumulators frequently spent more than they earned, or at the very least, broke even at the end of the month.

 They also participated in shows of status under the premise of spending what they make today. This is the leading cause of debt and lack of wealth building. Most under-performers are possessed by their possessions, and any new income only leads to more accumulation of possessions rather than long term wealth.

 Measuring success using neighbors, or in the modern world our social media feeds, is a guaranteed formula for lack of wealth. Understanding that what other people have and do has no bearing on your own life is fundamental to finally breaking free of the paycheck-to-paycheck, personal debt cycle.

Retrain your Brain

 - Ask yourself the right questions.

 Why do I suddenly want this new thing? Why haven’t I wanted it before?

 - Think of your possessions in terms of million dollar choices.

 Think about long term choices that can cost you millions. Under-performers frequently trade inexpensive spending choices today for long term wealth. In simple terms, if the choice hadn’t been made, the under-performer would have a million dollars. For example, buying a four dollar coffee every morning may seem like an insignificant expense, but over the course of a year is just over $1400. If invested every year at a reasonable rate of return, that equals a portfolio of close to $1 million at retirement age.

 - Rethink your “better off” idea

 Many under-performers have the idea that they will be better off than their parents or the neighborhood where they grew up. If their parents lived in a small house, an under-performer wants a big house. If their parents drove an old car, the under-performer wants a new car. Instead of the understanding that lack of wealth is what caused their parents to make the choices that they did, it is only the material objects that measure success.

 Instead, understand that secure financial status is what makes someone “better off.” You are not better off if you have the right possessions, but not the long term financial security.

 Building a certain level of social indifference is key to finding your sweet spot in long term financial planning. Retraining your brain to find joy on your own terms outside of Social Media will help you finally break free of the cycle of financial insecurity.

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25 Grocery Saving Tips

1. Never Shop Hungry
 It's been proven time and again that you will spend more when you're hungry. Whenever possible, include in your grocery saving tips to eat a lite meal before going shopping and it will help you save money. By shopping after you've eaten, you will find that you'll be more likely to pass up the junk food and items that you don't need.

2. Plan Ahead
 Always plan out your meals and your shopping list before going to the store. You will end up spending two to three times more if you go shopping without a plan. Creating a shopping list from planned meals will also help you to be more organized about daily meals and help you see where you can combine some items to use on a variety of meals. It also helps to create a standards list of items that you use regularly.

3. Know the Sales Days
 Know what days particular stores have their sales. Most stores will post weekly sales on Wednesdays. Look over the ads before going to the store and base your shopping on the sales items. As an example: If you see that chicken is on sale one week, plan a chicken dinner for that week or purchase multiple packages of chicken and freeze them for future meals.

4. In-Season Produce
 It's always a good thing to include fruits and vegetables in your meal planning, but if you only want certain items, you will find yourself paying much more for those items when they're out of season. By purchasing in-season fruits and vegetables, not only do you save money, but you will also get used to eating a wide variety of items so you're not getting burned out on a particular fruit or vegetable.

5. Know the Store Policy
 Many stores will accept competitors' coupons, but not all of them do. You don't want to get to the checkout stand with all your shopping items and find out that your coupons are not going to be accepted. Know ahead of time whether the store accepts competitors coupons and it will help save you a lot of frustration.

6. Monthly Shopping
 You can save money by purchasing staples like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc by the bulk on a monthly or even a three month basis. Bulk supply stores are great for saving money on items that can be stored without spoiling. Check the ads for these stores to find even more savings on bulk items that you can store away.

7. Consider Dollar Stores
 Many people are helping to stretch their budgets by including dollar stores in their shopping routine. Several dollar stores includes items like kitchen utensils and school supplies that could cost you two to three times more at a regular grocery or department store. Check dollar store ads for items that you might need. Many also carry canned foods and sandwich items.

8. Time Your Shopping
 Frustration and crowds can cause you to end up spending more at the store. Time your shopping to avoid the crowds. By shopping between 8am and 10am, you can avoid most crowds that typically shop in the afternoon, especially after work. Many store bakeries also put out discounted items like bread and pastries in the morning, providing another way of saving money.

9. Consider Generic Brands
 Brand names do not always mean its the best. You can save a lot of money by purchasing generic items. Buying generic doesn't mean that you have to give up on quality. If you prefer a name brand food item, you might be able to save on other items like prescription medications or paper goods and household items.

10. Save More by Buying More
 Sometimes buying an item like paper towels or toilet paper can save you money if you buy in larger packages. If you're able to afford it, buying a package of twenty-four can sometimes save you more money than buying a package of eight. Check the current prices and see if you will not save more money by buying larger quantities that can be stored.

11. Expiration Dates Don't Necessarily Mean The Product is Bad
 Check items that are close to the expiration date. Stores will often greatly reduce items like meat and dairy that are set to expire the next day, in order to get the item sold. By checking expiration dates you can save a lot of money. Obviously, don't buy items that are past their date by weeks unless its dry goods that you know wont spoil.

12. Watch Your Items During Scanning
 It happens a lot. Usually by mistake or computer error, but it does happen. Watch your items as they are being scanned to verify that the right price is being rung up and it is only for the number of items you have purchased. This will save you money from any accidental or computer error charges. Also watch for items that are marked on sale or have special sticker prices to verify they;re rung up properly.

13. Use Cash
 Set aside a budget and stick to it. If you only want to spend $100 on shopping, put aside $100 and don't make it possible to spend more. It's easy to spend more than you intended unless you stick by your budget. Grocery saving tips can help you to save money, but only if you stick to your budget. If you're someone who has to have some impulse money, include a certain amount in your budget for those purchases and stick to the amount.

14. Shop Without Kids if Possible
 If possible, go shopping without the kids. Anyone who has ever shopped with their children knows that they want everything they see and will keep asking until you give in. If you're able to go shopping without them, it will help you to save money and stick to your budget. As a way of compromise, work a special item or gift into your budget if you can. It takes a great deal of discipline to stick with a budget, but it will be worth it in the long run.

15. Look Above and Below Eye Level
 Grocery and department stores will use a variety of marketing methods to get customers to purchase the higher ticket items. One of those methods is to place the higher priced items at eye level so it is easier to see. In order to save money, check out the items on the upper and lower shelves. These are often the more budget-friendly and inexpensive items. Take a little extra time to look over all the items in order to save money.

16. Use Coupons
 Using store coupons is a great way to save money. Coupons can save you a lot of money when used the right way. Before using a coupon, make sure the store you are using them in accepts the coupon and check with the store to see if they accept double coupons. Extreme couponing has been known to allow some customers to get hundreds of dollars of merchandise for pennies if not for free.

17. Know the Store Layout
 Most stores are laid out so that you end up in the back of the store if you go up and down each aisle. This means you have to walk back up the aisle to get to the checkout stands, requiring you to walk by more items that can tempt you to buy more. Know where to start and where you need to finish to save the most money.

18. Check with Store Employees for Special Deals
 It never hurts to ask employees if there are any special deals available or any deals coming up. Employees are often aware of special deals that can help you save some money when you're shopping.

19. Rethink End-cap Deals
 Items that are placed on end-caps are made to look as if they are special deals. While many of the items on end-caps may be lower priced than they normally are, checking other items on the shelves will show you that you might be able to find a better deal for the same item. Other brands or different amounts could be a better deal than what is advertised on the end-caps.

20. Get Larger Meat Cuts and Ask the Butcher for Help
 Rather than buying pre-sliced or cut meat, you can save a lot of money by buying a larger piece of meat, like a roast and asking the butcher to cut it up for you. A roast can be ground into hamburgers or cut into smaller pieces to be used for things like a pot roast.

21. Avoid Inner Aisles if Possible
 Not only are there ways to save money by practicing grocery saving tips, but you can also eat healthier by knowing how the store is arranged. The healthy items such as fruits and vegetables along with dairy items and meats are all arranged along the outer walls. Canned foods and many unnecessary items are in the center aisles where shoppers spend most of their time. Canned foods and snack items are typically marked up higher than healthier foods, causing you to spend more on items that aren't always healthy for you.

22. Use Rain Checks
 When stores advertise deals in the paper, it can attract a lot of attention especially if its a really good deal. It is not uncommon for you to get to the store and find out that they're sold out of the item you want. They offer you a rain check, but you want the item or a similar item now. By accepting or asking for a rain check, you can still save money on the item, just at a later date. Always be careful of spending more money on an item just because you want it today rather than waiting.

23. Make Items from Scratch
 You can save a lot of money by learning to make items from scratch rather than buying pre-made packaging. It might be easier to make baked goods and breads from pre-packaged items that only require adding water or a few ingredients, but you pay more for the convenience of doing that. By learning how to make items from basic ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, etc, you can save yourself a lot of money and end up eating healthier since there aren't any preservatives in the natural ingredients you use.

24. Make Your Own Spice Mixes
 Most pre-packaged spice mixes, while convenient, are also filled with preservatives and other items to keep them available on the store shelves. By learning to combine natural flavors you can make your own spice mixes that taste much better and add to the flavor of your food. There are a number of recipes available that can help you make spice mixes from basic ingredients like chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground pepper and more. You can find many of these basic ingredients at local dollar stores, saving you a lot of money.

25. Grate Your Own Cheese
 Convenience ends up costing you a lot of money. In order to have convenience, the cheese industry has created pre-packaged grated cheese, but it costs you more for the convenience. By purchasing a block of cheese and grating it yourself you can save a lot of money. You can also buy a block of cheese and have the deli clerk cut it up into slices for you to use in sandwiches,etc. By taking the time to perform small jobs like grating cheese yourself, you can save a lot of money throughout the year.

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Cooking Tips to Save You Money

Cooking a delicious meal shouldn’t gobble up your entire grocery budget for the week. With a little planning and preparation, you can make amazing meals for less than you think. There are also plenty of little tips and tricks you can use to save money that you can use to splurge on fancy cuts of meat for a special meal or treat yourself to a fabulous vacation. Make your money and your food work for you by stretching your budget. Here’s how!

Plan your meals at the beginning of each week

Decide what you’ll be making for the week and go through your pantry and refrigerator to see what you will need. Add those items to your grocery list and stick to your plan. But another crucial aspect of this is to look at what is going on sale at your local supermarket. You don’t want to revolve your meals around expensive ingredients or they will literally eat up your entire budget. By doing this, you’ll avoid buying things you don’t really need or making multiple trips to the store which can be a waste of your time and money.

Don’t buy pre-packaged vegetables and salad mixes

You might think that having a bagged salad ready to go is a great idea, but the reality is that in most cases, it will turn bad faster than you can eat all of it. They are also much more expensive than if you were to just buy a head of lettuce and make your own salad. The same goes for pre-washed and pre-cut bags of fresh vegetables. You are much better off buying them unpackaged. Broccoli costs twice as much cut up in those pre-packaged bags. Buy it intact and you’ll be saving big. The same goes for fruit incidentally. Never buy those packages of sliced fruits. You’ll get fresher fruit at a better value if you cut it up yourself.

Try out your green thumb

You can save a lot of money growing vegetables and herbs of your own. Not everyone has room for an entire garden, but some things really don’t need much space and they grow quite quickly. Instead of buying a pre-packaged bag of salad, buy the seeds and grow it yourself. Fresh herbs are great for adding flavor to your dishes but they can be really expensive. Some of them can be grown in little pots right in your kitchen. Others can be grown outside. Rosemary is one that can grow outdoors any time of the year. Visit your local gardening department and see how easy it is to grow your own herbs. It’s so much cheaper and nothing is more satisfying than plucking your herbs fresh off the plant and tossing them into your culinary creations!

Bulk up

Buying in bulk will always save you money if you use things wisely. When it comes to meats, take the time to portion your cuts out and wrap them in butcher paper. Label them and then tuck them into freezer bags. By doing this, you avoid wasting quality food and saving yourself precious time when you need to make a meal. You’ll be able to find things very quickly this way and thaw out only what you’ll need. While buying from the wholesale stores can help you save big on meat, don’t forget to check out the meats at your supermarket for sales and stock up on those too. Big bulk containers of spices like garlic powder are also a great way to save money particularly if you use it in most things you cook. But if you’re going to buy things that you won’t use as often like paprika, remember that spices have a shelf life in your cupboard and they won’t be as flavorful the longer they sit there.

Stock up on staple items

When your local supermarket has a BOGO (buy one, get one) take advantage. Most will also accept coupons on top of that so keep a vigilant eye out for the things you keep in your pantry like olive oil, pasta, and beans for example. These items will keep for a while without spoiling.

Keep a stash of frozen vegetables

It’s never a bad idea to keep frozen vegetables on hand. For starters, they are often cheaper than fresh and they are also higher in nutrients thanks to being frozen at the peak of freshness. Avoid those pricey flavored varieties and buy them plain. Vegetables frozen without sauce have no added sodium, unlike canned vegetables. But the frozen vegetables in cheesy, spicy or Asian sauces tend to have a high sodium count so beware. You can make your own fresh and delicious sauces instead or use these frozen vegetables in soups and stews. Another bonus is that no one will be able to tell they were once frozen.

Use the entire whole-roasted chicken

If you want to buy one of those rotisserie chickens from your supermarket, go for it only if you make use of it in its entirety. If you’re just eating it and tossing the bones, you aren’t getting the most for your money. You can pull all the meat off the bones and use it to shred into soups, sandwiches, salads, and other recipes. Then take those bones and boil them up with water, chopped onions, garlic and seasonings. Allow it to simmer for an hour and guess what you’ve got…homemade chicken broth. You can use this to make soups and to work into other recipes plus it will taste better and have much less sodium than the shelf-stable versions. It freezes well too so make sure to portion it out to get the full benefit of it. By doing this, you make the purchase of the rotisserie chicken a very wise investment.

Go for dried beans

Canned beans are great in a pinch and are an inexpensive way to make your meal heartier. But they also pack a lot of sodium. Dried beans don’t come with all the sodium and are loads cheaper. It takes a little extra prep work to soak them and get them ready but once you do, you can portion them out in containers in your freezer and grab them as needed for your soups, garnish for salads, or to make homemade hummus.

Big batches are the way to go

Whether you have a big family or not, making a big batch of soup, lasagna, or some multi-purpose food like a versatile meat you can use as the base for many different meals will save you lots of money and time in the long run. Plus, everyone has those busy days where everything goes crazy and by the time you get home, there’s no time to make anything good. Instead of blowing your weekly budget on pizza or takeout, you can heat up one of your prepared portions to save the day. Besides, nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal, even if it was cooked fast.

Always sign up for store incentives and memberships

Every supermarket has some sort of rewards program. Plus there’s literally an app for everything now. Use these tools to help you save money on the things you buy every week and take advantages of special incentives and coupons. For example, Walmart has an app called the Savings Catcher. Scan in your receipt and it will scour the advertisements of all competitors in the area. If it finds a price difference, it gives you the money you would have saved if you’d bought it elsewhere. It might only be a few dollars per receipt but that money adds up, and that’s more money in your pocket!

Go to the supermarket in the evening

In the evening, you can score some pretty great deals on perishable foods. That rotisserie chicken will be half off in the evening because the store needs to sell it. The same goes for breads, pastries and anything else that they make fresh. The shelf life of those items is extremely limited and even though they were made in-store that morning, your store needs to move them in order to be profitable, even if it means selling it at half the price. Even on sale though, it’s a waste of money if you don’t use what you buy. Make sure you store your discounted breads in the refrigerator or freezer so that they don’t go to waste.

Buy the store brands instead of national brands

You can save gobs of money just by purchasing your store’s generic brands. When you buy the big name brands, you are often paying for the label and the identity associated with that name. The big name brand of rice is a good dollar more than the store’s generic brand and there is no difference in taste. Try the store brands and you’ll see it’s the same ingredients and that they are most often produced in the same factories as those big name brands.

Reuse as much of your leftovers and scraps as possible

Remember that extra bread you got on sale? You can use it to make bread crumbs or a side of stuffing for your chicken dinner. Crumbs at the bottom of your bag of chips can be saved for making breading on fried foods too. And it doesn’t stop there. Think about all the bits of vegetables you wind up with leftover like the ends of carrots or celery. Save these to toss in with those chicken bones from your rotisserie chicken to make that chicken stock. Get creative with those leftovers too. You can turn leftover mashed potatoes into potato pancakes or stuff them into wonton wrappers for a quick perogie.

When it comes to cooking, you’re only limited by your own imagination and budget if you allow it. Some of the best meals you will make will be from the most simple and wholesome ingredients that will literally cost you only a few dollars to feed your whole family per meal. Start off making one or two changes in your supermarket shopping and cooking habits and then gradually add more. As time goes on, you’ll be an expert chef as well as an expert on savings.

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Birthday Freebies

Birthdays are one of the most expensive yearly celebrations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find birthday freebies – everything from free food to gift cards. While these won’t work as a replacement gift, it’s a nice way to treat yourself or someone you know on their birthday free of charge.

We’ve broken down these birthday freebies into 10 categories so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Free Gift Cards & Coupons

The great thing about gift cards and coupons is that you can spend them any way you like. Benihana restaurant offers the most popular birthday gift card promotion - a $30 birthday certificate when you register for Chef’s Table. Meanwhile, Don Pablo’s offers a $10 gift card on your birthday, while Ace Hardware will give you a free $5 coupon when you sign up for their Rewards program.

Dessert Freebies

Who doesn’t love cake on their birthday? And what about ice cream and other desserts? Lots of places offer free dessert on your birthday, but here are some of the more popular ones:

Dairy Queen – free birthday ice cream when you join their fan club

Baskin Robbins – ice cream on your birthday when you sign up

Big Boy – free dessert when you join their email club

Buffalo Wild Wings – birthday dessert when you join their e-club

Fast Food Freebies

Many fast food places run birthday themed promotions that usually involve signing up for their online club. Better yet, these promotions often include immediate sign-up bonuses to go along with the birthday promotion. Check out some popular options below:

Del Taco – sign up for their raving club for 2 free chicken tacos, as well as a free premium shake on your birthday

Firehouse Subs – get a free sub on your birthday with valid I.D. (no sign-up)

Genghis Grill – get a free birthday stir-fry bowl by signing up for their club

Taco Cabana – sign up to get a free flauta plate on your birthday

Schlotzsky's – sign up with their eclub for a free birthday sandwich

Great American Cookies – sign up for free birthday surprises

Restaurant Freebies

Aside from fast food places, you can also find birthday freebies at standard restaurants. Here are some popular locations that offer free food or dessert on your birthday:

Applebee's - dessert shooter on your birthday when you sign up

Black Angus Steakhouse - get a free steak dinner when you purchase a second entree on your first birthday as a member

Denny's - no signup required, just show up on your birthday with your I.D. to get a free Grand Slam

IHOP – free meal on your birthday when you sign up

Free Stuff

Free food and coupons are pretty nice, but what about free merchandise? While these freebies are more difficult to come by, there are several places where you can sign up to receive a free gift for your birthday.

Aveda – receive a birthday gift with a $20 value when you sign up

Bare Minerals – free gift on your birthday when you sign up

Old Navy – sign up for their emails and you will receive a free birthday surprise

Sephora – sign up for a free complementary gift during your birthday month

Freebies for Kids

Nobody loves birthdays more than kids. Promoters have caught onto this, so there are tons of freebies that are specifically meant for children. Check out some of the best ones below:

Barnes & Noble – free cupcake for your kid’s birthday and 30% off any children’s book or toy

Chuck E. Cheese – sign up for E-Club for free tokens on your kid’s birthday

Ryan’s – sign up for birthday club for a free kid’s meal on their birthday

Bashas' – receive free birthday cake every year through age 10

Toys R Us – join their rewards program and your child will get a free card and gift every year until 10

Movie Freebies

Movies freebies are quite rare, but we did find a few. Harkins Movie theaters offer free popcorn on your birthday. Meanwhile, if you become a member of Disney’s Movie Rewards program, you receive 100 points for free on your birthday.

Entertainment Freebies

Outside of movies, there are several other entertainment freebies you can get. One awesome offer is free admission to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – a medieval theme dinner theatre which includes jousting and sword fighting tournaments. Another neat offer is free bowling at AMF Bowling and other birthday promotions.

Free Birthday Songs

This is certainly one of the more unusual freebies – birthday songs. Unlike commercial music, these songs are completely free to use, download and share. For example, allows you to create personalized birthday songs that will actually use the name you’ve chosen. You can listen to the song, download it, or send it to a friend. Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood for birthday music, check out this totally free album with 140 birthday tracks.

Local Freebies

The freebies we’ve discussed above are either online promotions, or span across multiple states and countries. But what about freebies that are specific to your local area and aren’t found anywhere else? Thankfully, there is a website that helps with just that.

On you can enter your city and find birthday freebies that are specific to that one place. Better yet, the website is not limited to the United States and also lists freebies for Great Britain and parts of Canada.

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