Preparing for the Holidays

Every household considers the holidays a busy time of year. For me, the hustle and bustle start at Thanksgiving and don’t end until the new year. Each year it seems as though the year flies quicker and quicker. Every year I try to come up with a game plan to make this time of year pass seamlessly. Things like decorating, presents, parties, kids entertainment can be hectic so here are a few pointers to help you prepare for the holidays.

Decorating

I always decorate my house the Sunday after Christmas and take them down the week after new years. This includes the tree. The tree is bought the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This allows time for you to make adjustments and be able to enjoy the holiday spirit in your home for longer. A good tip is to purchase decorations shortly after Christmas day to get a good deal. Need extra lights? Always wanted a blow up decoration for your front yard? The day after Christmas is when you can score the best discounts.

Presents

Everyone has presents to buy around Christmas. Family, Friends, Co-workers all deserve your thoughts during this time. Clearly the best thing to do is spread out the spending through the year so it doesn’t hit you at once. Find the gifts you want and then look for sales. You can also find great sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Buying things online has made present shopping more convenient. A lot of families complain about the amount of toys in their homes. A good option for presents are experiences instead of toys. An example of this would be a season pass/membership to a local attraction or tickets to an event. Even plan a little vacation or gift card for an experience. Buy credit to an online casino. There are plenty of nektan casino sites offer free spins to make it even a larger gift.

Parties and Events

The holidays also call for a lot of parties and events. It seems as though every weekend is jam packed with activities for the family. There could be family parties, work parties and friends gatherings that fill up the calendar. Family events such as santa photos, light displays, cookie decorating and gingerbread house making are all a part of the magic of Christmas. Make sure your calendar system for your family is solid so everyone involved knows what is going on and what is required. These events may require prepping (make food, buy wine, organize outfits, pack, ect.) so it is very important to be organized during the holidays.

The most important tip of all is so cliche, but remember the reason for the season. Don’t let yourself get caught up in expectations and the holiday crazies otherwise time will just pass you by.

Get a $150 Referral Bonus When You Become an Uber Driver

If you’re considering becoming an Uber driver, NOW is the time!

The referral bonus for new Uber drivers has traditionally be lower, at $50 in most cities, but Uber has increased the new driver referral bonus to $150 in many cities! The bonuses vary by city, so it may be more or less in certain cities. For example, right now it’s $300 in Washington, DC, $400 in Boston, and $500 in Los Angeles!Become an Uber Driver

It’s very easy to get started, and there are only a few steps you need to take to get paid your bonus:

  • Sign up here
  • Upload all required documents to their partner dashboard
  • Get vehicle inspected
  • Complete 20 trips (this number varies by city, but should take about 3 hours of Uber driving)

When I signed up, I got paid a $50 Uber referral driver bonus after just the first Saturday night of driving for Uber. It couldn’t be easier to earn the bonus, so sign up now!

The whole process is pretty quick, and if you have any questions about the approval process, leave them below. I’m happy to answer them for you!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to become an Uber driver here and get your $150 bonus now!

Uber Sign Up Bonus

Managing Personal Finances Online

Gone are the days of receiving bank statements in the mail, having to drive to the ATM to check your balance and writing checks at the grocery store checkout. Today’s consumers have access to anything and everything related to their money right at their fingertips.

Using Banking Websites

Any respectable banking institution has a website and a mobile app where one can login and view account information, make payments and transfers, even deposit checks electronically. Of course, these modern conveniences do come with their set of issues and concerns and having to remember multiple user names and passwords for each of your online accounts is one of them. Plus, you still don’t get to see the full picture of your finances by simply checking each of your accounts individually. Thankfully, now there is an entirely new set of tools to help you see the true bottom line!

Free Money Management Apps

Mint, Personal Capital and Empower are just a few of the web-based personal financial management services available to consumers free of charge. They allow you to see all your accounts in one place, including checking, savings, credit cards, investments, mortgage, bank and car loans, even your Paypal balance. You can also add such items as real estate property and vehicles you own. Doing so will allow you to see your true net worth by subtracting all your debts from your assets.

Budgeting Made Easy

Another great feature offered by these money management tools is budgeting. The tools come with some preset budget amounts and categories such as groceries, restaurants, coffee shops, gas, clothing, and entertainment, but the feature is entirely customizable. You can create new categories and adjust the budget amounts allocated to each category. Easy-to-read graphs show you at a glance where you are spending-wise compared to the preset budget for the month. Other useful charts highlight your credit card vs. cash ratio, and overall income vs. spending for the month.

Other Benefits

The apps will also remind you of upcoming bill due dates, and allow you to set up other types of notifications that you may be interested in receiving. You may also see tailored offers sprinkled amongst your financial information, and even though they may become annoying at times, keep in mind that advertising is what feeds the developers of these money management services and allow them to offer the tools free of charge. Additionally, you may actually find some of these offers useful – for example I learned about Stash, which is a great investment tool, through an offer in my Mint app.

Setting Up Your Money Management Service

The initial set up of the tool would require a little bit of extra effort as you will need to add all your accounts by providing the name of the bank or financial institution, and the corresponding user name and password. These login details get saved however, so going forward you will only need to remember the password for the tool. This is one of the best aspects of utilizing a money management service.

While Mint offers both a web-based and a mobile app version, other tools such as Empower exist solely as apps for your smart phone. Keep this in mind when choosing the money management tool that would best fit your financial goals and lifestyle.

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