How to Use Personal Finance to Make Friends

After leaving my umbrella on the metro on the way home from work, I needed a change of clothes and a new umbrella. I changed when I got home, but I don’t enjoy shelling out $20 for new umbrellas every few months.

Two days later, I saw an awesome deal going on at Gap: 30% off plus they donate 5% of the purchase to one of a few charities that you can choose from. Score! I could get that umbrella for $14 (It’s a sweet umbrella. Automatic open AND automatic close).

I headed to the store during my lunch break and picked out my umbrella. After the cashiers laughed at me for buying an umbrella on a beautiful day was silly, I headed out. But since the coupons aren’t unique and therefore reusable, I knew I could either walk out the door and throw away the coupon or I could hand it off to someone else who would save a nice chunk of money without doing any work.

I turned around and found the closest person to me. There were two girls standing pretty close, so I offered the coupon. They were really grateful, but they were actually on their way out, so I had to find a new target.

Maximize Your Generosity

I tried a new tactic. I found the person carrying the most items, thinking that I could save them the most amount of money. I explained the situation, and happily handed off the coupon.

You should have seen this woman’s face. She was ecstatic. How often are you in the middle of shopping and get an offer to save $30 or more?

Now I know how to get people to like me: offer them a way to save money with nothing to lose. They’ll be amazed at your generosity, you’ll don’t really do any work to help them, and everyone will feel great about themselves.

Readers, how do you use personal finance to get people to like you? Should I try my newfound tactic to try and get girls too?

The 5 Worst Ways to Save Money

The 5 Worst Ways to Save MoneyThere are many ways that people save money. From clipping coupons to not eating out, the possibilities are endless. However, there are some good ways to save money and there are some bad ways to save money. We’ve all seen people go too far in their quest to save and it ends up making them look cheap.

Here are 5 ways people try to save money that just are not worth it. They either are ineffective or have negative consequences that outweigh the savings.

Staying In and Watching TV

When presented with the option to go out, some people decline with the idea in mind that they’ll save more if they sit on their couch. It’s true, they won’t be temped to spend money on drinks or food, but what they don’t realize is that they’re also missing out on experiences which brighten their day and interactions that lift their spirits. It’s hard to put a price on human interaction and the value of going out with friends, but in my opinion, it’s a no-brainer.

Skimping Out on a Bill

When you do go out with friends and buy a sandwich and drink, don’t just pay for the actual price of your food, but throw in extra for tax and tip. Sure, it’s very likely that someone else will pick up the extra two dollars, but if you cheat people out of money, it will come back to bite you. It may seem like you’re being smart at the time, but is your friends harboring ill will towards you worth it? And trust me, everyone knows who was short.

Passively Looking for Great Deals

When there’s something you need and you find a coupon, your action is rewarded in a lower price. But when you constantly check sites for great deals, and when the items you see are for things you don’t really need, you could get yourself into trouble. You’ll very often see such great deals that you’ll be more prone to make purchases. If it’s not something you’re already looking for, no matter how great of a deal it is, you’ll spend more if you buy it. While you may think you’re saving, you’re actually spending more.

Eating Fast Food

That burger may only cost you a dollar and those fries and soda may fill you up for cheap, but you may be costing yourself in the long run. Eating unhealthy food may have future consequences that include higher medical costs. It may cost an extra dollar now, but making food for yourself at home could benefit you in several ways.

Consumer Traps

When buying bulk means you have extra you won’t use, it’s not really such a great deal. When “get one free when you buy 4” means you’re buying 4 when you only wanted 2, it means you’re wasting money, not saving it! Think really hard before you get that “great” deal that’s making you think you’re such a genius.

What other saving tactics are effective but simply not worth it?

5 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

For such a simple number, your credit score can have a large impact on your life. It can determine whether or not you can purchase a car, rent an apartment, buy a home, get a credit card or even get a job. Unfortunately, many of us do not consider our credit scores until we need them, and by then it is a little too late to do anything about them. Instead, it is better to routinely check in on your credit score, and if you find that it is lower than you would like, begin to take steps to change it. To do this, here are 5 things that you can try.

Reduce Your Debt

One of the first things that you should look at is your overall debt. If you owe a lot of money, it will have a negative impact on your credit score. Things like credit card debt, a mortgage, student loans, or unpaid medical expenses can all have an impact on your score. If you find that you are dealing with a lot of debt, you should start taking steps to reduce it. It is almost impossible to completely wipe out your debt over night unless you win the lottery, so you will need to plan ahead. By making debt reduction a priority, you can slowly lower your debt, and increase your credit score over time.

Make Payments On Time

Missed payments are one of the biggest factors when it comes to a low credit score. Missing even a single payment can follow you around for a long time, making it essential that you pay for things on time. Cell phone bills, credit card bills, insurance, and loan payments are just some of the things that you need to pay on time. If you have trouble making your payments on time, there are tools that will help you budget your money so that you can more easily afford them. The longer you can go without missing payments, the better your score will be.

Credit Account Variety

If the only thing in your credit history is a couple of credit cards, you will likely find that your score is not very high. Credit reporting agencies like to see that you can manage different kinds of credit, so it would be a good idea to diversify a bit. Get your own mobile phone contract, or get a car insurance plan under your name. The more bills that are tied to your account – and the better you are at keeping up with the payments – the more your credit score will improve.

Be Patient

The fourth thing you can do to improve your credit score is simply be patient. More than likely you will not improve your score overnight, and will have to wait a while in order to notice an increase. The best thing you can do is be patient, and keep up good credit habits for a long period of time. If you can do this, you will eventually start to see an improve credit score.

Get Expert Advice

Lastly, if none of the above methods are working for you, you may need to talk to a professional. There may be something that is impacting your particular credit score that you may not have noticed. BY talking to an expert, you can come up with a detailed plan to improve your credit score, and ensure you are going about it the right way. Check out this list of credit score experts, and see if one of them can be of assistance.

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