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Purchases That Should Be Practical

by Advance Financial | February 22nd, 2017

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Self control. It can be one of the hardest rules to abide by when it comes to your purchasing behavior, but also the key to saving money and being better off financially. At a time when a newer version of a product is introduced on a constant basis, this can definitely be a difficult task to undertake. Marketers are working their magic to make you feel like you need the best of the best and the newest version of everything. But really, you don’t. You don’t have to have the newest version, the best version, or the most enhanced version of anything. Practicality is key, and we have created a list of the top items where the most expensive and best version is not always necessary.

 

  1. Smart Phone

Face it. That thin, electric box we all carry around has become the one item that many of us can’t live without. This of course is going to make it harder to resist a flashy new version of what you already have. In a lot of cases, the new version isn’t really all that new. Take the IPhone 7 for example. The difference from the 6 and 7 really came down to a slightly better camera. Being practical in the case of a smart phone is being happy with what you have and resisting the urge to do an expensive upgrade every time a newer version comes out. If your current phone serves its purpose, then the practical thing to do would not be getting a new one. Stay happy with what you have and try to make it to the 2-year mark before upgrading to a newer version.

 

  1. Vehicle

There is one question that you need to ask yourself when purchasing a vehicle. What is going to be the purpose of this purchase? Do you run a handyman business and need to haul equipment to jobs? Is it to transport your kids to the many practices and school events they are involved in? Looking at a vehicle as a means of transportation is the practical way to buy one. Getting a brand new, expensive truck with all the bells and whistles yet never intending to actually use it to haul anything is probably not spending your money wisely. Of course, everyone has his or her personal preference when it comes to the size of a vehicle, but a vehicle is a major expense that can put you in a mound of debt. No matter which way you breakdown buying a vehicle, it is simply something to transport you from A to B. So save yourself a lot of money, and buy a vehicle, not a prized toy. It’s the practical thing to do.

 

  1. Appliances

Here is a little secret about most appliance brands. The exact same companies that manufacture the expensive brands usually manufacture the “off” brands as well. That means the warranties are usually just as good as well, so there really is nothing to fear with the cheaper options. You may not get the little extra add-ons that come with some of the more expensive fridges, stoves, and dishwashers, but remember the key word for this article – practical. Do you really need a fridge with an LCD screen that shows a slideshow of family pictures? The answer is no.

 

  1. TV Subscriptions

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, its pretty oblivious that streaming services like Netflix have been all the rage the last couple of years. So much so that a lot of people are ditching cable because of it. But if you really think about it, most of us don’t even watch the majority of the channels with cable or satellite. Instead of paying 100+ a month, switch over to a streaming service like Sling TV. The basic Sling TV package will allow you to stream roughly 20 channels, including ESPN, TBS and TNT, for a flat $20 a month. What’s even better is you get to choose the channels you want.

 

  1. Groceries

Let us preface this with saying that there are some brands you are going to be completely loyal to and can’t live without- JIF Peanut Butter for example. But for the majority of the groceries you buy, it’s a lot more practical and easier on your wallet to get the off brand products. Brands like Great Value from Wal-Mart, or Kroger Brand usually have all the same options, while tasting almost the same. And just like appliances, a lot of the “off” brands are actually manufactured by the exact same companies, so you’re not compromising on quality.

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Weird and Wacky Items You Need in Your Life

by Advance Financial | February 17th, 2017

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When it comes to online shopping, the sky is the limit for weird and wacky items available to purchase. Do you actually “need” any of these items? Probably not. They all would definitely add a little uniqueness to your life, though. Here is our list of some of the most interesting items available to order online.

 

USB Type Writer

UBS-Typewriter

 

uncommongoods.com


 

 

Monkey Nail Dryer

 

 

monkey

 

infmetry.com


 

Mini Donut Factory

donut

bedbathandbeyond.com


 

Singing Pasta Timer

sining

amazon.com


 

Webbed Swim gloves

Web-Hands

wish.com


 

Scary bottle squeezer

ketchup

 

blacklabproducts.com


 

Food USBs

food-usb

amazon.com


 

Chemist Spice Rack

spicerack

amazon.com


 

Bear Oven Mitts

bearmittens

amazon.com


 

Splash Bowls

Splash-Bowl

amazon.com

 

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9 Nifty Knick-Knacks You Never Knew You Needed

by Advance Financial | January 25th, 2017

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It’s a rough world out there. Between forgetting to charge your phone and losing your keys, it’s a wonder anyone survives the day-to-day hustle called life. Sometimes, however, there is that one gadget that makes the most tedious stressors become nonexistent. It’s those nifty little knick-knacks that make being human enjoyable again and we have found 9 great ones that you never even knew you needed. Enjoy!

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Split, pit, slice and scoop! This gadget will make avocado preparation a breeze.

Main-Avocado

Bed Bath & Beyond


 

wallet_text

This credit card sized warrior has 18 tools ranging from a bottle opener to a fruit peeler. It’s extremely convenient to have for multiple situations and is super easy to carry.

wallet-ninja4

Fire Box


 

tidy_text  

Keep your laundry room tidy with these attachable cups that catch excess drips from your detergent or fabric softener dispensers. The Tidy Cups fit most economy sized detergents.

tidycups

Amazon


 

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Made with heavy-duty aluminum, you can comfortably haul up to 110 pounds of groceries or other bagged items with the bag holder.

grocery-bags

Amazon


 

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This is a must have for those runners or music listeners who are constantly battling tangled headphone cords. The Curvyman allows you to easily tame the mess.

curvy

 Amazon


 

TIle_text titl

Extremely thin and discrete, the Tile Slim can be placed in any pocket book or wallet and can be placed on a laptop or tablet using an adhesive. The Tile is connected to an app on your phone that will locate whatever item it’s attached to.

Amazon


 

tape_text

1868 meet 2017; the new and improved tape measure. This gadget is rugged, durable, and weather resistant with a digital screen that tells you the exact measurement.

tapefinal

Amazon


 

clip_texts

This is a 12-Inch clip-able, twistable gear tie that you can neatly bundle and attach things of every shape and size to almost anything.

gearf

Amazon


 

spoon_text spoonf

No more searching of the correct measuring spoon. The Adjust-A-Spoon system replaces the outdated measuring spoons with one adjustable spoon.

Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Great items like the Tile Slim Item Finder, Digital Tape Measure, Clip-able Gear Tie, Adjust-A-Spoon Tablespoon Measuring, Curvyman Headphone Wrap, Grocery Bag Holder Handle,Tidy Cups, Wallet Ninja, and Avocado Slicer.

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$33 a Night Gatlinburg Mountain Lodge

by Advance Financial | January 23rd, 2017

Gatlinburg

How does a quick get away to the Great Smokey Mountains and staying in a mountain lodge for $33 a night sound? Right now Groupon.com is offering rooms at a Gatlinburg Mountain Lodge starting at only $33.

CLICK HERE to get this deal!

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How to Save Money When Going to the Fair

by Advance Financial | September 1st, 2016

FairCover

Funnel cakes, rides that make you puke, and a whole lot of beauty pageants. Yep, It’s fair time in Tennessee, and if you’re like a lot of parents, a trip to the county fair with your kids can really set you back, especially if payday is weeks away. Between ride tickets, buying food, and playing carnival games, your pocket book will soon start to feel weightless. But have no fear; Advance Financial and our money saving tips are here. Below you will find some creative ways to save money while still having fun at the fair with your kids.

Snacks

If you have an oversized purse, then use it. Just like the trickery used at the movies, pick up some candy apples, cotton candy, and other goodies at the local grocery store or Wal-Mart and shove it in that purse. When your kids start begging for the overpriced sweets, just pull out the good stuff. You’ll save a substantial amount of money by not purchasing the over-priced food at the food trucks and vendors. Try to also fill up their bellies before you go that way they won’t have as much of an appetite.

FreeStuff

It may seem your children have enough energy to keep them going forever, but sooner or later they are bound to tucker out. Now of course you will have to give in and eventually let them ride some rides and play some games, but first do all the free stuff. Try to spend half or a quarter of the day looking at the exhibits, seeing the livestock, and joining in on any field games or free shows your Fair may be hosting. Spending more time and energy on the free stuff will wear them out and possibly have them ready to go home before you completely empty your wallet.

Tickets

There are usually many companies that pay to be sponsors for the county fair. If you or your spouse work for a company sponsoring the fair, you could get discounted admission tickets. Check your local Fair’s website to see if they have special discounted days for specific groups and their families, like military, educators, or employees’ of companies who are sponsors. Most fairs in Tennessee also have a student discount day where admission is either free or significantly reduced for students.

 

Advance Financial operates over 70 neighborhood financial service centers and employees nearly 700 representatives in Tennessee offering short-term loans, check cashing, free money orders and free bill pay services 24 hours a day.

 

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