More Than Finances

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A Complete Paribus Review – From How It Started To The App

A Complete Paribus Review From How It Started To THave you ever bought something and only a few days later found the same exact thing but for a lower price? Of course you would like that price difference refunded to you, who wouldn’t? With Paribus that’s completely possible and easier than ever. So here is More Than Finances Paribus Review.

What Is Paribus, And How Did It Start?

Paribus was created by Harvard Alumni Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh in 2014 on the belief that you shouldn’t always pay full price. Paribus reviews your recent purchases comparing the price you paid and the price it currently is. If the price has fallen within the products price match guarantee they get the refund and keep 25% of what they save you. If they don’t save you anything then they don’t make anything.

How Does Paribus Review Your Purchases And Save?

First, you have to give Paribus your information to tie into your accounts. With Amazon you simply provide your sign in information and it will automatically track everything you have purchased in the last 30 days. You can also have Paribus review your email account checking for other merchants such as Best Buy, Walmart, Overstock, Costco, Macy’s, and others.  Here is a screenshot from the Paribus website showing all the retailers they currently work with.

Completed paribus review

This is money you are technically already owed, they will give you a refund of the price difference if you ask. However, you have to do a lot of work in order to do so. Paribus does all the hard work for you and does so automatically. You never really need to check in with it, Paribus will let you know when they have done their job and email you.

How Much Will Paribus Really Save You?

Do you shop online often? Do you use major sites like Amazon or Walmart? Then Paribus can save you a ton of money. If you buy online from time to time it may not save much. The more shopping you do online the more money it could possibly save you.

For instance if you buy on average 100 things a month (go with me here) you could very well find 1 to 10 things a month that will save you money. However, if you only buy 1 to 10 things a month you may only see a few dollars a year in savings.

Personally though, I would have it activated anyway all the time. Even if you don’t buy things often when you do this is a nice backup to make sure you get the best price available.

How Good Is The Paribus App?

On top of having a great service that you can look at online anytime there is a Paribus App. Right now unfortunately the Paribus app is unavailable for android. As part of this Paribus Review, I reached out to customer service I discovered that at one time they did also offer a Paribus android app however it isn’t currently available. They are in the process of completely redoing it and should have it working in the near future.

The Apple Paribus app however, works great. What I love is that you can go through and see how much others have saved today. It also shows the “top payout” which on the day I looked was $102.84 for a mini bike. The majority of things on there though save anywhere from $1 to $15.

Another way the Paribus app saves you money is by allowing you to buy things others have saved money on. If you see something someone else has received a refund for and you would like to buy it then the option is available to you.

How Do I Sign Up For Paribus?

Sign-up is easy. There are four steps, taken directly from Paribus’ sign-up page. These should help you get started:
Paribus-review-sign-up

So, pretty much:

1. Get the app.
2. Give your email and credit info to Paribus.
3. Shop online
4. Sit back and get paid.

Finally, if you have a few spare moments, consider checking out this video on Paribus.

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3 Painless Money Challenges You Can Start Today

3-painless-money-challenges-you-can-start-today

Saving money is something people try everyday. Some have the discipline to follow the old adage to “pay yourself first”, but for most of us we need to find other ways.

We are a competitive people so when we make something a “challenge” or “contest” we are more likely to do it in hopes of winning. That is why a money challenge could be the best thing for you. But which one would work best?

The Tried And True 52 Week Money Challenge

Most people have heard of this money challenge. It’s popularity and ease make it the perfect first choice. How it works is that the first week of the year (or anytime you want to start it) you save $1. That’s it just a dollar, then the next week you add another dollar. Every week after you continue to add a dollar so on week 38 you would be saving $38.

This is a easy to follow saving challenge that will leave you with a total of $1,378 at the end of the 52 week challenge.

You can make this easier by automating the challenge. Transferring money from your checking to a savings account every week, or even every month to make it come out to the correct amount at the end. Averaging it throughout the year ($114.83 per month) having your bank automatically take that out.

The weekly cash method works great though, you don’t feel the burn as much at the beginning, and by the end you’re used to putting money aside. Not only that but you have all that cash you can then take to the bank, or just go on a nice night out.

52-money-week-challenge-morethanfinance

The Under Appreciated 365 Day Change Challenge

For some the weekly money challenge is too much, but who doesn’t have a few pennies to spare?

The 365 day change challenge is daily but requires much less money. On day one you put 1 penny in a jar, the following day 2 pennies, and so on and so on. On day 365 you are putting $3.65 in the jar (less then week 4 of the 52 week challenge).

At the end of the year you will have saved $667.95, less than half then the weekly challenge, but still a nice amount of money. With that you could go out to a very nice dinner, you could go on a long weekend getaway, or get new tires for your car.

The Unlimited Potential Dime Challenge

If you use cash to make purchases this may be the best money challenge for you. Every time you come across a dime in your daily life you set it aside. When you get home you put it in a empty 2-liter bottle, or a jar, or anything else available. Some days will be more profitable then others, but you may find yourself finding ways to get more dimes.

When getting change you may ask for it all in dimes, or you may buy an extra pack of gum so that you will get more dimes.

This challenge doesn’t have to be dimes either, you could choose pennies, nickels, quarters, dollar bills, or five dollar bills. The basic part is to pick something that you put aside and never spend and save it.

 Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Lose Weight, Save Money

If you feel as though you have exhausted every possible way to save money each month and are still struggling to get by, you may want to consider your pant size. With obesity becoming a wide spread health concern across the U.S., many Americans are trying to trim calories out of their diets and maintain regular exercise regimens. However, losing weight and healthy living have more than just physical benefits. There are financial benefits to properly managing your weight as well. Areas in which a healthy weight will save you money include:

Health Care

Obesity can lead to a variety of high-risk health factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and joint erosion. Those suffering from obesity are also more likely to suffer from heart attack and stroke, and be more prone to other forms of heart disease. To reduce the likelihood of high health care premiums and high medical bills in the future, stay within the healthy weight range for your sex, height, and age.

Food

Many who are overweight eat out at least once everyday, and eating out just once a day can quickly add up. “If you are someone who chooses to go out for lunch every work day to escape the office, you could easily be spending $50-$60 a week, or $200 to $240 a month, on lunches alone which is more than enough to cover the cost of groceries for personal breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for a month,” says Charles Bulger from Currencies.com. Instead of eating out, cook for yourself or bring your lunch to work. Your waist will shrink while your wallet will remain fat.

Clothing

Larger clothing costs more because more fabric must be used. Clothing for larger individuals also requires special tailoring and unique designs which also make it more expensive. If you have excess weight, shedding those extra pounds to fit the your body type’s healthy weight will not only make it easier to find clothes, but will also make them cheaper.

Losing weight has numerous short and long term financial benefits, and if you want to start saving additional money each month and are overweight, you should consider starting a healthy diet and exercise program. Doing so will not only help you add years to your life, but it will also help you keep money in your wallet which can be invested to enjoy the extra years you will have added to your retirement.

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Should You Rent Or Buy Your Home?

One thing we all have in common is the need for a roof over our heads. Yet many people debate whether they should rent or buy that roof. How do you know which is right for you?

On one hand, home ownership is a big commitment that can be very expensive. On the other hand, ownership is also an investment that can be less expensive than renting over the long term. So how do you decide?
Read more…

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529 Plans – A Powerful College Savings Tool And More

In the previous post, we talked about using Coverdell ESA’s as a method of saving for college. While this is a useful tool, there’s another tool that may be better – the 529 Plan. What are some of the similarities and differences between the two?

Tax Treatment

As with ESAs, contributions to a 529 Plan are not deductible for federal tax purposes. However, earnings are tax-deferred. And if used for qualified education expenses, accumulated funds can be withdrawn tax free. And as a custodial account, UTMA accounts let you save in a child’s name, tax free!

One feature that some 529 Plans have which all ESAs don’t are state tax benefits. Some state plans offer an upfront deduction on contributions, while others make withdrawals exempt from state taxes in addition to the federal tax exemption.

Contribution Limits And Requirements

Each state has their own 529 Plan, but investment in a state’s plan doesn’t restrict you to using the funds for a school in that state. You can live in Texas, invest in a California plan, and send your beneficiary to college in New York.

With the inflation rate for college rising faster than the normal inflation rate, some people want to save more than the $2,000 annual limit for ESA’s. The 529 Plan has a much larger limit. You can contribute up to the limit set by the state offering the plan, which is usually over $300,000 per beneficiary.

And unlike ESA’s, there are no income limitations for those who want to contribute to a 529 Plan.

Qualified Withdrawals

Unlike ESAs, in which beneficiaries must use the assets by the time they reach age 30, there is no age limit on the use of 529 Plan assets.

But although ESA funds can be used for elementary, secondary, and post secondary school expenses, funds in a 529 Plan can only be used at a post secondary school.

And like the ESA, earnings in a 529 Plan that aren’t used for qualified expenses will be subject to income tax and a 10% penalty.

Available Investments

While ESAs are more flexible with the type of investments you can choose, 529 Plans are more restrictive. Funds can only be invested in portfolios established by the plan.

Each portfolio will have different investment objectives, but there will usually be an option for a portfolio whose asset allocation becomes more conservative as the beneficiary reaches college age. In addition to this, you’re allowed to change the investment strategy once a year.

Additional Benefits

Not only is the 529 Plan a great savings tool for college – another benefit is that it can be used to reduce the size of your estate. Contributions of up to $13,000 per year can be made to the 529 Plan without paying a gift tax. Once completed, this money is removed from your estate.

And since you can treat a contribution as being made over a five-year period for gift tax purposes, you can contribute a lump sum of $65,000 in the first year and still avoid gift tax. With this method, the money and its future appreciation will be removed from your estate faster.

Closing Thoughts

So because of the larger contribution limits, state tax benefits, and ability to remove assets from your estate, I think the 529 Plan has the advantage over the Coverdell ESA.

What do you think? Do you have a 529 Plan? Do you like them better than Coverdell ESA’s?

This post was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance during the week of July 6, 2010. Check out My Journey To Millions’ for a variety of great articles!