Bad Credit Loans & Cash Advances

If you are looking for a cash advance locally, you have more options than you might think. You might wonder if there is a Paid Day Loans near me and the answer is yes and no. There is no brick and mortar location, but we are always here to help you get an online quote for the money that you need. Take a minute and get an offer now and see just how easy it is to get money in an emergency, even with bad credit.


A sign to find loan choices near me.

Loan Choices Near Me

When you need cash, it can be hard to see all of the options that you have in front of you. Usually, the sudden need for money means that there is some sort of emergency going on and that can cloud your mind.

If you find yourself in a rush to secure some finances, take a minute to breath. Calm down and first review your options and pick the one that works best for you and your situation. Here are some possibilities.

Cash Advances

At Paid Day Loans, we can help you get a quote for the money that you need. Even if you have bad credit, you may be able to get an offer with our help. We can do this because we are not cash advance lenders. Instead, we get you access to a very big group of online lenders.

When you have less than perfect credit, the more lenders the better. More lenders means a lot more sets of qualifications. It increases your odds of filling those requirements and getting the Yes that you need.

Scroll on up to the top of the page and get a fast and free loan offer, or keep reading to learn more about your other options.

Employer Loans

When people need money, they often forget about their own employer. This is a big untapped resource of short term loans near you.

Think about your paycheck for a second. The money that you get paid is delayed. You work for two weeks and then you get paid a week later. That means that at any given time, you probably have at least a weeks worth of unpaid wages.

Many employers will let you tap into this money to handle an emergency. For them, there is no risk because you have already earned this money. All it takes is a bit of extra paperwork and many are willing to do it in order to keep their employees happy.

Pawn Loans

If you just need a few bucks to get you by, a pawn shop near you may be able to help. Like all loans designed for bad credit, pawn loans do have potentially high fees and/or interest but they are very easy to get approved for.

Because a pawn loan is a secured loan, there is much less risk for the lender. If you have an item of value that they think they could sell, they will generally approve your loan. Keep in mind though that they will only give you a small portion of the value of the item being pawned, so you stand to lose a lot of money if you default.

In most cases, a pawn loan will be for just 100 to 200 dollars. Because they only lend you a portion of the value, a large loan would require  very valuable piece of property.

Loans From Friends

Most of us have friends who would be more than willing to spot them a few dollars. Sure, it can be hard to ask a friend for money, but it would be an interest free loan which would really help you get your finances back on track.

The key to making a loan with a friend work is to be respectful. Think about their feelings and how your actions could be interpreted. Make it a point to pay back the loan as soon as you can and do not make any extravagant purchases until you have done so.

Also, try to get everything in writing. This will help you out in case memories get fuzzy after time. You want a record of how much is borrowed and how much you have paid back.

Money from a bad credit cash advance.

About Bad Credit Loans

If you are getting a cash advance with bad credit, there are a number of things that you need to keep in mind. Here are some things to consider.

We At Paid Day Loans Are Not Direct Lenders

If you get a quote from us, keep in mind that we ourselves are not direct lenders. We feel that this is a GOOD thing because we instead get you in front of a larger group of lenders. That can improve your chances of getting a YES, even if you have bad credit.

What this also means is that we do not make credit decisions and we do not have access to your loan details, if approved. Your loan will be between you and the individual lender making you an offer.

Bad Credit Loans Have High Fees

If you are new to bad credit cash advances, you will soon see that they all have one thing in common, high fees and/or interest.

High risk loans come with high fees. It is the only way that lenders an take the risk of lending to a borrower that has bad or poor credit.

Before taking out one of these loans, you should be sure to fully understand the total cost of the loan and what your payment or payments should be. Do not just blindly agree to a loan simply because you need the money.

Cash Advances Should Not Be Used Often

If you find yourself in need of emergency loans, you should seek credit counseling.

Taking out emergency cash advances often is a sure path to financial trouble. You need to make a budget and learn how to balance it. Also, be sure to leave room for savings because that is the only way that you are going to get ahead and get stable.

Almost any budget can be balanced to leave room for savings. If it can not, some hard changes need to be made. This might be made. This could mean moving to cheaper housing, getting a cheaper vehicle or even taking on a part time job.

Save Money On Your Auto Loan

Car keys from a new auto.

We have to have a car to get by in our society and, for most of us, this means an auto loan. Getting a new car can be exciting and that unfortunately leads many people to make a lot of loan mistakes. They either allow themselves to be taken advantage of or they do not do the research and prep needed to get the best loan.

If you are about to take out a new auto loan, take a minute and learn what you need to do in order to get the best deal possible.

1) Get Your Credit In Order

The single biggest thing that you can do is get your credit in order. There are several things that you can do in just a few months that can get you some extra points on that credit rating and, believe me, every point counts.

First, you need to pull a copy of your credit report and check for errors. If you find an error, or anything that you do not believe is accurate, you will need to write the credit reporting agency and dispute it. They then have 30 days in order to investigate the matter. If they can not prove it, they must remove it.

Next, you should take a look at those credit card balances and try to pay them down as much as possible. Ideally, you want your card balances to be below 30 percent. This means that if you have 1000 dollars in credit, you should have a balance of no more than 300 dollars.

Use a credit monitoring service that has a simulator such as Credit Karma and see how much your score would increase if you paid down your balances. If you were planning on putting a down payment down, your money might be better spent on paying down your balances to get your score higher.

Finally, check out Experian Boost. You need to sign up for a free account with Experian but it may very well be worth your time. Experian Boost allows you to use your good bill payment history to increase your credit. You can add 20 points or more by showing that you pay your utilities on time every month.

2) Do Your Research

You should go into a vehicle search knowing which vehicle that you want. Do your research and choose one or maybe two different models that you would like.

Limiting your choices can allow you to thoroughly research the vehicles that you choose. You can know about features that you want, features to avoid and, most importantly, the current value of the vehicle. Get NADA values and also try to browse local classifieds as much as possible so that you know about the going rates.

One thing to also keep in mind is the historical resale value of a vehicle. This can have a big impact on the financing rate that you ultimately receive. Some vehicles just do not hold their value well. For a lender, that makes finanicng one of these vehicles much riskier. If you were to default, they would have a hard time getting their money back through repossession. Choose a vehicle that holds its value better like a Honda or Toyota and you will typically get a better rate.

3) Know Dealer Tricks

If you plan to shop at an auto dealership, there are several tricks that you need to know about. You know that you will need to haggle on the price of your vehicle, but there are a lot of other ways that a dealer makes a profit that you might not know about. Know them and you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

The main thing that you need to know is that the dealer makes money on every part of the auto purchase process. They make money on the front end which is the purchase price but they also make money on the lesser known back end. Here are some examples.

Financing: If you finance through a dealership, they get a cut. They might present you with an offer for 8 percent financing when the bank really offered you 6 percent. The extra interest oes int heir pocket. Always ask for a lower rate than the dealer first offers you, never be afraid to send it back.

Warranties: Your dealer might be getting 50 percent or more of the warranty that they are offering you. If you want a warranty, you can negotiate the price down because they make huge profits off of them. Before committing to that warranty though, know what warranty that your vehicle already has. That dealer would be more than happy to sell you a warranty even if you still have a valid factory warranty.

Gap Insurance: Yep, they make money on this too. If you are going to be behind on the value of your vehicle, a gap policy is a good idea but know that it is negotiable.

In general, keep in mind that dealers make money on everything and everything should be negotiated.

FUN FACT: Your dealer may say that they can get you a lower rate if you get an extended warranty. This is very common and an easy way to negotiate a cheaper rate. If you do not want the warranty, you have 30 days from the time of purchase to cancel it for a full refund. The refund will be applied to your auto loan balance.

Steps To Take After A Loan

Steps to improving your finances

Emergency loans are great for taking care of surprise expenses but you should not depend on them as a way of life.

If you have become dependent on them, there are ways that you can break the cycle. Here is what you need to do.

1) Get A Working Budget

Most of us have  a general idea of what we spend each month but not a detailed accounting of it. An accurate budget that works is crucial so that you know how much you can spend and on what. Without it, you simply wind up overspending and then run short a few days before you get paid.

Get started by simply writing down how much you spend each month. This should include things like rent, your car payment, electricity and allotments for things like gas, groceries and entertainment. Also add in a a set amount for savings, this is very important.

Once you have your totals, compare it to how much you are bringing in after taxes. If it is enough, great, just stick to the budget. If it is not enough, there is your problem, you need to make some cuts.

Cutting a budget is easier than you think, but it might involve some sacrifice.

The easiest place to cut is on your food budget. As far as groceries go, switch to cheap bases for your meals such as rice and pasta. Also, consider meal planning which is where you plan out all of your meals for a week and then shop. It allows you to buy just what you need with no waste.

Another area to cut on the food budget is meals out. Start taking your lunch to work and limit meals at restaurants. Doing so can save you hundreds of dollars a month.

Besides food, there are dozens of other ways to save money. Cancel the cable in favor of streaming services, shop for cheaper insurance, refinance your car, etc. Just take a good hard look at that budget and get to cutting.

2) Get An Emergency Savings

You probably noticed above that you should have some money in your budget for savings. This is incredibly important because an emergency savings account will prevent you from needing an emergency loan entirely. When you think about all of the money in fees you have paid with these loans, you could probably have a pretty killer emergency savings already.

The ideal amount of money to save is 10 percent of your gross savings. If you take home 4000 dollars, you should be saving 400 dollars of it. This might be a lot for you to swallow at first though, so start slow.

Take 50 dollars out of each check and put it into an emergency savings. Assuming that you get paid every two weeks, that would add up to 1300 dollars over the course of a year, plus interest.

Once you get the 50 dollars a month into your budget, add a few bucks a paycheck. Paycheck one you save $50, Paycheck two you save $55 and so on and so on. It is an easy way to get used to saving more and more money. Make the deposits automatic and deposit them into a remote, online savings account.

3) Work On Your Credit

Now that you have your budget and savings in line, you can turn to your credit. Having better credit will allow you to save money on everything from financing to car insurance. Should you find yourself in need of emergency money in the future, it will also allow you to get better terms.

Credit ratings seem confusing but it is simply a formula based on several factors.

The biggest factor is on time bill pay. Simply pay your bills on time and your credit will improve over time. If you have had late payments in the past, pay on time moving forward and you should start seeing some improvements at about the 6 month mark. It might take time, but it will improve.

The next biggest factor in the formula is how much credit you are using. Credit utilization is the amount of your credit that you are using. If you have 1000 dollars in credit and are using 500 dollars of it, your ratio is 50%. You want to get your ratio under 30 percent for a good rating and under 10 percent for a great one. Paying those credit cards down should be a priority and to do that, you need to pay more than the minimum and you need to stop using them.

Other factors that affect your credit score include things like credit diversity, where creditors like to see many different kinds of credit and credit age. These are things that just come with time. Focus on the top two factors and you can build a healthy credit score.

In Conclusion

There you have it, three steps that can help you start avoiding emergency loans.

Take care and get through your current money crisis, but then double back and take the steps needed to get yourself on track. Get a budget, start a savings and improve that credit rating.

 

3 Ways To Avoid An Emergency Loan

Selling something on ebay for cash.

A loan is a great way to quickly handle an emergency, but we will be the first to tell you that they come with fees and interest that can quickly add up. If you have less than perfect credit, it could add up to a lot.

Because of this, you owe it to yourself to explore other options for handling your money issues. We can help with that.

Take a look at a few other ways to handle your money problems.

1. Cut Your Bills

If you give it a shot, you might be surprised at just how many of your bills that you can cut. Every dollar that you save on your regular monthly bills is a dollar that you can use to handle your current money issue. Before you commit to a loan, give all of your bills a once over.

Utilities

You have got to keep paying the utilities. You, after all, need water, electricity and you need your phone. Having said that, you may be able to make some cuts.

If it is offered, you might be able to switch to an equal payment program with your utility. This would allow you to pay one average payment over the course of a year, eliminating those seasonal spikes.

In addition to payment plans, free grants may be available to help pay for your utility bills. Eligibility is usually dependent on income and availability will vary from area to area. Contact your utility or service providers directly to ask about available programs. You can also investigate the Help With Bills page from USA.GOV to see if there are other programs that you may be able to qualify for.

Loan Payments

If you have an installment loan and are in good standing, a deferment may be an option for you. These are  a fairly common thing, especially with auto finance companies.

With a deferment, your lender is essentially taking a payment and placing it at the end of your loan. If you defer one month of payments, you will be extending your loan a month. Keep in mind that deferring the payment doesn’t stop the interest, it will continue to accrue.

If you would like to ask your lender to defer a payment, visit your account online and see if there is an option to do so. If not, call them directly and ask. If you are in good standing, they will likely work with you.

Other Bills

Besides the bills above, there are probably other bills that you can cut. Things that are luxuries and you can do without.

The biggest example is a cable bill. If you are still paying for cable or satellite, now might be the time to cut it out. That 100 to 200 dollars a month can be put to a better use and it can be easily replaced by a cheap or even a free streaming service.

Other examples of bills that you can eliminate include things like gym memberships, digital subscriptions and your food bill. Your food bill will yield particularly high savings.

If you eat lunch out every day, switch to bringing your lunch. If you have food delivered for dinner or buy expensive pre-made meals, learn to cook. You cn save hundreds of dollars a month by spending wisely on food.

2. Sell Something

You might have more to sell than you might think. Take a walk around your home and see what is cluttering it up. Look for things that you have not used for 6 months or more and consider letting them go to solve your money problems.

Once you have your items, you have many venues that you can use to sell them. Take a look.

Garage Sale

The classic garage sale never fails to attract attention if you have enough to sell. It can easily generate several hundred dollars in a matter of hours.

If planning a garage sale, your first step should be checking with your city and/or HOA. Restrictions might be in place that limit or prevent garage sales. You also may need to get a permit.

On the day of the sale, be sure to do one thing, provide plenty of signage. People need to find you in order to give you their money. Put signs at the entrance of your neighborhood and along the route to your home. Every turn along the way should have a sign.

Another tip is to put the larger items in the back. That forces people to have to walk through all of the small stuff and hopefully find something hey like along the way.

Local Online Markets

If you do not have as many items to sell or just do not want to deal with people coming to your home, an online marketplace like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is the thing for you. Facebook is my personal preference, but both will get the job done.

When selling on a website such as the ones above, caution must be used. Be careful to only accept cash, only deal in persona and always choose a very public location to meet. Try to avoid meeting at your home and try to avoid meeting at night.

There are a lot of online scammers out there on these websites, so be careful.

National Online Markets

This means one thing to most and that is eBay. This is a great way to sell property for top dollar and you do not even have to wait the full time for an auction. Buy It Now listings work very well if you are willing to accept a little less than what an auction would have produced.

I use the term National Market because I would recommend that if you are selling in the US, you only accept buyers from the US. It will make the shipping and sales process much easier. If someone from outside the states wants to buy your item, they can always go through a third party service to get it.

The good thing about eBay to sell is that you reach a huge audience. If you price things well, this will allow you to make the sale quick. Then you can specify that payment must be made immediately to Paypal. Paypal in turn works well because they have an instant deposit feature that will allow you to get your money immediately. Hard to beat.

3. Friends & Family

Last, but certainly not least, you have loans from a friend or family member.

This can be tricky, but if you pull it off, you will have  loan without fees or interest and that is something that you should always consider.

To successfully pull off a loan from a friend or family member, the key is documentation.It might seem impersonal but it is a must.

Think about how many times you remembered something wrong. It has probably happened a lot and you were probably so sure that you were right. Now, imagine what happens when that friend remembers loaning you more money than they actually did. It could be an honest mistake but it would cause big problems.

When taking out a loan, get a signed loan statement made. Nothing fancy is needed, just list the amount borrowed, the amount to be repaid and when you will pay it back. Both parties should sign it and get a copy.

When it is time to pay back the loan, cash is a big no no. Write a check, get a money order or send it electronically. That way you will have proof that the money was paid back.

Ways To Make Extra Money

A woman looking for work

We could all use a little extra money, especially if you are considering a cash loan. Before you take out that loan, why not consider some of your money making options. Here are some ways that you can start making a little extra side income.

  1. Selling Metal To Recyclers
    You probably know that aluminum cans are worth some money but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also make money by selling steel, copper and so much more. Find this scrap metal on the side of the street or advertised for free in your local Craigslist. Pick it up and take it to a recycler and earn as much as 25 to 35 cents a pound.
  2. Finding Free Stuff
    Speaking of Craigslist, there is another way to make some money from this site, selling free stuff. Check out the free section and you might be surprised at what is listed. Some people just want things gone and do not want to be bothered. That can allow you to profit by picking the stuff up and then selling it for a profit. Relist it or pick up a bunch of stuff and have a garage sale.
  3. Shipping Off Your Cell Phones
    Gazelle would be happy to take that phone off of your hands and they will even pay for the shipping. Head over to their website and get a free offer. If you like it, mail it in and get your money as soon as it arrives. You might think that it is a good idea to keep a spare cell phone around, but you should realize that it is a depreciating asset. Cash in on it now while it is worth the most.
  4. Donate Your Blood
    Well your whole blood usually isn’t worth much, but your plasma is. Plasma is used for a number of medical procedures and “for profit” donation centers are willing to pay you for it. Get up to 50 bucks for a donation. Even better, you can donate twice a week so you can make up to 400 dollars a month.
  5. Drive For A Rideshare Service
    If you have a car in good condition, consider driving for Uber or Lyft. You can do the work any time of day you like and make up to 25 dollars an hour.
  6. Work Some Retail
    Even in the worst of times, retailers like Walmart, Target and Amazon are hiring. These services are also open 24 hours a day or nearly that much. This means that just about anybody can pick up a shift because they will work with any schedule. Work just one shift a week and add 100 dollars a week to your bottom line.
  7. Clean Up Your Closet
    If you have any designer clothing or handbags in your closet, you could be hanging on to a fortune. If it is in good condition, used clothing retailers will pay top dollar for it. WHy let this stuff collect dust when it could help you get out of your money jam.
  8. Walk Some Dogs
    Sign up at Rover to walk some dogs and earn money in your spare time doing something that you probably love. They even do all of the heavy lifting by getting you the customers. All that you need to do is get good reviews to increase your demand.

There you have it, 8 easy ways to make some extra side cash. Maybe it will be enough to prevent you from having to take out a loan. If not, hopefully it will let you make that loan payment or payments much easier.

Is It Time For An Auto Loan Refinance?

an auto that needs a refi

Refinancing a vehicle loan can serve a lot of different purposes. Luckily, it is also one of the simplest things to do. Simply apply with a bank or credit union and they handle most of the details of transferring the title into their name. Simple is great, but how do you know if refinancing is worth the effort? Here are some cases where you might want to consider doing a refi.

Your Credit Rating Has Increased

If your credit score has gone up by more than 20 points since you received your vehicle financing, a refinance might be worth it for you. In most cases, a refinance will not cost you any money and it could save you in a few ways.

First, it could lower the amount of interest that you pay. Even if you only receive a 1 percent rate cut, this could add up in a big way. On a 30,000 dollar loan, it would give you a savings of almost 1,000 dollars over the course of a year.

Second, it can save you money on your car payment. The amount that you pay on principal will remain the same, but your interest payment will be reduced. Lowering your monthly bills is always a good thing and could free up more money for paying off other debt or for savings.

You Financed At A Dealership

When you finance at a dealership, with their finance department, you never really know what you are getting. They give you a rate, but you never know if it is the best rate.

The reason for this is that dealers make money on every part of the sales transaction. They take a cut of everything, including the interest rate. A lender might have offered you a 5 percent rate, but the dealer will quote you 7 percent. The extra money goes into their pockets.

So, if you financed from a dealer, unless you got one of those incredible zero percent finance deals, you should consider a refi. It is free to get a quote, so you might as well do it.

You Need A Lower Payment

If your finances have changed, a vehicle refi could open up some room in your budget. Interest rate reduction aside, simply stretching out the term can accomplish this.

Here is an example. If you had a 30,000 dollar loan for five years at 5% interest, your payment would be just over 560 dollars.If you have been paying on that loan for  a year, you have paid down the principal by around 5000 dollars. Refinance that loan for a new term of five years and cut your payment by 100 dollars a month.

You Need Someone Off The Loan

Situations change and you might need someone off of the loan. This might be because you had a cosigner and want to relieve them of their obligation or it could be due to a situation such as a divorce.

Refinancing your auto loan is a fast and easy way to get someone off of the loan. You might need to obtain a release from the person being removed, but it is well worth the trouble. In the case of divorce, it would be a good idea to handle this as soon as possible before too much equity is obtained in the vehicle.

You Want To Skip A Payment

If you are experiencing a minor financial hiccup, a refi could give you the time needed to get over it.

Perhaps you are starting a new job or need money to pay an unexpected bill. Whatever the case, if you need to free up some room this month, a refi may be able to help.

Most lenders will allow you to push your first payment off for up to 45 days. This time can be very beneficial, depending on your situation.

You Hate Your Lender

Sometimes, you might want to refi a vehicle simply because you are not getting along with your lender. Maybe their payment process is a hassle, they are charging fees that you did not expect or you just had a bad experience with customer service.

Moving your loan to a new lender could make your life easier or could allow you to just get away from a bad experience. If this is the reason for your refi, be sure to thoroughly investigate your new lender. You wouldn’t want to move from a bad situation to a worse one.

To Sum It All Up

There you have it, several reasons to refi a vehicle. If you identify with one of these six reasons, you should probably investigate a refi. With a minimum of effort, you could be able to solve a big problem or save a lot of money.

Top Money Wasters

Throwing Away Money

Most people waste far more money than they think. Little expenses that seem harmless at first glance but that can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Take a look and see how many of these money wasters you are buying.

Subscription Television

People all over the country are realizing just how costly subscription television is. If you have a cable or satellite TV subscription, now might be the time to get rid of it.

The average bill for cable in this country is 100 dollars and, if you subscribe to higher packages, this bill can easily top 200 dollars. At the low end, 100 dollars a month is 1200 dollars a year. Invest that money and in 10 years, you could have over 16000 dollars in the bank after just 10 years.

You of course need entertainment though, so what can you replace it with. If you want to save the most money, look into free apps like Crackle or IMDB. If that doesn’t do it for you, spend just a coupl of dollars on apps like Hulu or Netflix.

Streaming will change the way you watch TV, but it is well worth it for the savings. Besides, you might like being able to watch your entertainment on demand instead of waiting for it to air.

Fast Food

The fast food industry thrives on our laziness. If you eat fast food at lunch every day, you are probably spending at least 8 dollars a day for a brown bag full of grease.

Over the course of a week, that is 40 dollars or 2000 dollars over the course of a 50 week work year. Invest that money and you would have over 26000 dollars in 10 years. That is a nice addition to your retirement savings.

Replace that fast food meal with a healthy meal from home. The most economical way to do this is to re purpose leftovers from the night before. A piece of chicken gets shredded for a chicken taco and a leftover hamburger patty becomes the meat in your spaghetti sauce.

Coffee

If you brew your coffee at home, good for you, keep on brewing. If you buy gourmet coffee from a chain, you should stop and start making your own.

At up to 5 dollars a pop. store bought cups of coffee really add up. Treat yourself 5 days during a week and you are looking at 100 dollars a month. That is over one thousand dollars a year just for coffee.

Over the length of a few decades, that is tens of thousands of dollars plus interest.

Product Warranties

It never fails that you are checking out with even the most minor piece of electronic equipment and you will get offered a warranty. You have to remember one thing, they would not sell them if they did not make money on them.

Sure, a few people will luck out and be able to cash in on a warranty but for most, it is a waste of money. When considering an extended warranty, consider the value before you commit.

Take a television for example. That 500 dollar flat screen comes with a manufacturers warranty of one year. Is a 2nd year of warranty for 100 dollars worth it? Probably not if you consider the fact that this TV will only be worth about 200 dollars by year two.

In most cases, a warranty is wasted money.

Name Brand Products

With one notable exception, diapers, name brands are overpriced and you will do better with the generic.

This is true with everything from clothing to groceries. When you consider that most generics are made by big brand names, you can see that they are the better value.

Give generics a shot and you might be surprised at just how equivalent they are to the major brands.

Slash Your Cell Phone Expenses

An expensive cell phone being used.

A cell phone bill is something that you can easily let get away from you. It starts out manageable but then the cell phone service provider gradually increases rates, Then you add on seemingly small services and the next thing you know, boom you have a 200 dollar plus phone bill.

It can happen to anyone, but you can take control and slash your cell phone expenses. Here is how.

Your Phone Is Still Good, Keep It

It used to be that cell phone companies gave you huge discounts to get new phones. You extend your contract and they give you a practically free brand new phone. Everyone was happy with this arrangement, but things have changed.

Cell phone companies have gotten tighter and phones have gotten pricier. Now, when you want a new phone, you have to pay most of the money.

Cell phone providers have become trickier, allowing you to finance these new phones for no interest. Sounds great, but this can still add up to 30 dollars a month to your bill, per phone.

Keep your bill low by sticking with your old phone. Think about what you are getting with that new phone. Maybe a camera that has a little more resolution and a faster processor. Can you really tell the difference in photo quality though and are you tapping your fingers because your phone can’t keep up with your Scrabble app? Probably not.

Keep the old phone and save big money every month. Phones are better these days and can easily go 3 years or more before you start noticing any performance issues.

Pay At The Beginning Of The Month

You know those pre-paid phone services? They have come a long way and are no longer sub par. The only real difference is that you pay at the beginning of the month instead of the end.

A single person can get an unlimited plan with cricket for $50 a month with auto bill pay. That includes taxes and fees. Quite a savings over the three major carriers and the service uses the same lines.

Even better is the fact that you do not have to sign a contract with these services. That means that if you are unhappy, just move to another carrier without the fear of having to pay penalties.

Start A Family (Plan)

If you live with many people on different plans, consolidate them into a family plan and save.

Discounts increase dramatically as you add users, even on pre-paid services. One person might cost 50 dollars a month, while a family of four can get service for 100 dollars. That brings the cost down to just 25 dollars a line.

The only real hassle with a family plan is putting one person in charge of billing. They get to collect from everyone which can be a pain, but it is worth it to cut your bill in half.

Cut Down On Services

The phone companies like to kill you with the add ons. Getting all of the bells and whistles can take a lot of money out of your pocket each month.

Before committing to a service, ask yourself if it really adds value. Will you really use that hotspot? Do you need unlimited data or would a couple of gigs get you by?

Even insurance is something that you might not want. They would not sell it if they did not make money on it.

Stop Buying Apps

Apps cost as little as 99 cents but they can add up big over the course of a month if you let them get away from you.

Make it a point to stop purchasing apps. For every paid app, there are going to be several free ones that do the exact same thing. You might have to put up with a little advertising but it will save you money.

Even the free ones can come with costs though. Be wary of in app purchase, especially with games. Lots of games like to trick you by making it easy to win and advance. The further that you get in the game though, the harder it will be to advance without purchasing something.

Brown Bag It To A Balanced Budget

A typical lunch meal.

If you are constantly taking out emergency loans, it means that your budget is not in check. You need to do something to get things straight and we have just the thing.

One of the biggest money wasters is a lunch budget. Depending on where you eat, you could be spending 10 to 15 dollars a day on lunch. When you compare that to the 1 -2 dollars that it costs to bring your lunch, you can see the potential for savings.

Take your lunch to work and you could potentially save up to 14 dollars a day. That is nearly 300 dollars over the course of a month. 300 dollars each month would do wonders for your emergency savings.

Taking Your Lunch To Work

You might have bologna sandwiches in your head, but, when you take your lunch, it does not have to be that way. With a little creativity and some prep, you can have meals that are much healthier and even much tastier than anything you can get at a restaurant. Here is what you need to do.

Food Storage

First, you are going to need a way to get this food to work in a fresh state. There are a lot of food storage options these days that will keep your food tasty for hours.

Invest a few dollars in some good containers and your odds of sticking to bringing your lunch to work are much higher. Look for items that offer insulation and seal well against the air. There is nothing worse than wilted lettuce or dry rice.

Plan A Menu

Go beyond the sandwich. Sure, you can buy a loaf of bread and a packet of lunch meat and eat all week for a few dollars, but it will come back to bite you. You might do well for a few days but you will quickly become bored and go back to your old ways.

Here are a few ideas.

Pesto

If you have never tried pesto, you need to give it a shot. You can even make it yourself and it is much easier than you think.

Pesto can be used in a number of dishes. Use it with pasta or put it on a grilled chicken breast. It can take a boring meal and kick it up to the next level.

Even better is the fact that it stores well. Make up a batch and freeze small portions. Then, pull it out the night before and cut doown on your lunch meal prep. Get a flavorful meal that takes just monutes to prep. Hard to beat.

Soup

Soups are another great meal idea. Buy a can for a buck or even make your own chicken soup.

Soups are easy to heat up and when paired with a nice roll or slice of artisan bread, they can be very filling.

The sheer variety of soups also make them something that is hard to get tired of. Cream of mushroom, tomato basil, chicken noodle, minestrone…. The list goes on and on.

Creative Sides

Even if you do chose to do the simple sandwich, you can take things up another level by adding a fancier side.

Make a simple fruit salad, a side of chili or even bake your own chips. Be creative, because the more choices that you have, the less likely you are to get bored.

Benefits To Taking Your Lunch

The benefits to taking your lunch go far beyond saving money. Even though that is the ultimate goal and 300 dollars a month is nothing to sneer at, there are a few other benefits.

Saving Time

Think about how much time you spend simply going to get your meal. You might have an hour for lunch, but it takes you 30 minutes or more to drive back and forth to get it. Most of your time is spent going to get your food.

Compare that to taking your lunch where you can eat at your work space or simply walk across the street to a park. Eat your lunch in 15 minutes and then have 45 minutes to do what you like. Get some extra work done or take some time for yourself.

Get Healthier

Most restaurant and fast food options are not the healthiest. High in fat and overly high in calories they do your waist line no favors.

Take your lunch and you will soon see the benefits. You will feel better and probably start noticing that your clothes start fitting a bit better.

If you are having cholesterol or blood pressure problems, you will be doing your overall health a huge favor.

Stop Wasting Money On Food

A basket of groceries.

Are you struggling to make ends meet? Do you find yourself dependent on emergency loans just to make it until your next payday?

If so, you need to get your budget in order and one of the biggest budget killers is your food budget. You have got to eat, there is no disputing that, but you do not have to waste money on food.

Take a look at some of the biggest ways that people waste money on food. Look at how many you are guilty of and then see how you can save a lot of money by changing your ways.

1) Dining Out Too Often

Everyone loves to go to a restaurant but it is very costly. Even a simple dinner for a family of four at a casual restaurant can top 80 dollars with tip. Do that several times a week and you are wasting nearly 600 dollars a month.

If your budget is not in line and you are coming up short before your next paycheck, you just can not afford this kind of wasted spending.

Limit your outside dining to no more than once a month until you can get things in order. When you do go, avoid the things that unnecessarily inflate a meal like soft drinks and alcohol. Also, consider sharing dishes. Most restaurants serve meals that are way beyond the recommended calorie counts anyways, so splitting a meal will save your wallet and your waste line.

2) Not Making A Grocery List

Just showing up at a grocery store with no plan is a recipe for disaster. What happens is that you typically buy items that will just collect dust in the pantry or, worse yet, spoil and need to be thrown away.

Meal planning is your ticket to saving money at the grocery store. Make a list of all of the meals that you intend to make during the week. Be sure to include all meals and snacks as well.

Next, you make a list of all of the ingredients that you will need. Check the pantry and refrigerator and mark off items that you already have. Then, you can go to the store with a means of buying exactly what you need and nothing more.

Meal planning can save you hundreds of dollars a month by preventing you from buying things that you simply do not need.

3) Shopping In Person

Still do your shopping the old fashioned way? It is costing you big because from the moe=ment that you step into a store, you are being marketed to.

Everything that a grocer does is designed to make you spend more money. Notice how the name brand products are in easy reach while the generics are on the bottom shelf. Look how the end caps are filled with candy, treats and toys within easy rach of children.

If you shop in person, it is nearly impossible to not end up buying something that is not on your list. Luckily, these days, there is an easy solution. Do your shopping online with free curbside pickup.

Nearly every grocery store now allows you to shop online and pick it up without stepping into the store. This makes it much easier to stick with your list. It also saves you a lot of time since you can simply swing by and pick your items up, without even getting out of your vehicle. Hard to beat.

4) Buying Prepared  Meals

If you do not know how to cook, you can waste a fortune on prepared foods. An average meal can easily cost twice as much if all that it requires is for you to throw it in the oven.

Cooking is a challenge for some, but it really is a skill that anyone can learn. I myself used to struggle with simply baking a chicken breast and now I can make Chicken Parmigiana from scratch. You just have to take it one step at a time.

Fortunately, you have some of the best cooking instructors at your finger tips and all for free. The internet is a wealth of knowledge and if you can simply follow directions, you can cook. Make better, healthier meals and save a ton of money in the process.

5) Not Reading The Circulars

Every week, one or two days before they go into effect, grocery stores send out a circular. If you are not receiving them, check the grocery store website.

In these circulars you will always have a few items priced incredibly cheap, sometimes at a loss for the store. These items are priced like this to get you into the door. The stores know that if they can get you to come in, you will probably buy more, higher priced items.

Take the sales but skip the extras. When you see an item on sale that you use often, stock up on it. If hamburger is on sale, buy 10 pounds of it and freeze it. The same goes for other items like chicken, steak, canned goods, pasta, etc.

Do not make the mistake of buying something just because it is cheap though. Make sure that it is an item that you use often and will use completely over the next several months.

6) Buying Expensive Ingredients

Good food does not have to be expensive. You can make hundreds of tasty and healthy meals for pennies a serving by sticking to a few basic staples. Things like rice, potatoes and pasta. These items cost virtually nothing and are extremely versatile.

Take these staples and add some spices, some vegetables and some meat sparingly and you can make some great meals for almost nothing.

For ideas, simply tune to the internet. You might be amazed at what you find and at how simple the meals are to make.