November 29th, 2016
Ready or not Christmas is almost here. Though it is a time of giving and spending time with loved ones, it also can add some major stress in your life, especially if your bank account isn’t ready to be hit with Christmas expenses. To aid you in your gift purchases this year we have comprised a list of easy tips to help you save some money and not completely drain your bank account.
And if you still run short of cash we offer a Flex loan that gives you a flexible line of credit up to $4,000. Click here to apply – http://bit.ly/2gDqckk
If you have a large list of people to buy for and a small amount of disposable income, then you might want to keep it simple when it comes to gifts. The season of giving doesn’t have stipulations on how lavish a gift you give should be. When it comes to co-workers, distant relatives, or that neighbor you feel obligated to give just a little something to, simple and cheap items like a coffee cup with a mixture of candy in it will work fine. It’s the thought that counts anyway.
With the influx of online sales during the holidays, many online retailers will offer free shipping for the holidays on specific dates. Research what retailers are offering free shipping for holiday orders and try to shop at only these places to save some extra cash.
There are multiple retail stores like Ross and TJ Maxx that offer substantially discounted designer items that are leftover inventory. You can get everything from designer handbags and perfumes to name brand electric razors for a lot less than what they were originally sold for.
Getting organized on who you are going to be buying for is a must in order to even attempt to save money this Christmas. Once you create your list, categorize the gift level. For example, Karen from accounting will be getting a coffee mug with candy, so she’s a level 3, your brother that usually gets a $25 gift card to Apple Bee’s is a level 2, and your spouse who you know wants an $80 FitBit is a level 1. This helps when making your budget on how much to spend per level of gift.
Once you have a list of people you know you are going to be buying gifts for and the gift levels they are, come up with an actual number you can afford to spend. Try your hardest to stay within budget even if that means some of the level 1s gets bumped down to a level 2.
That pajama set from your aunt last year that you never even opened looks like it would fit your sister’s new boyfriend perfectly, just make sure your aunt isn’t around when you give it to him as a gift. Its bound to happen that you’re going to receive gifts that you really don’t need or want, so hold on to them for next year. As long as the gift giver doesn’t find out, what’s that harm. When it comes to your budget that’s one less person to actually buy for.
There will be tons of sale advertisements for percentages off and buy one get one, but make sure you are still getting the best deal. When it comes to online shopping it may take an extra minute to price check an item on another retail site. Even if it’s just a dollar cheaper, getting the best deal for all the gifts you purchase will add up when it comes to saving money.
October 4th, 2016
Is the age-old tradition of coupon clipping still part of our weekly routine? Put down the scissors and walk away from the weekly store ads cause there is a better way to save. Stop the tedious searching for coupons and promo codes and download apps that find the deals for you. Not only will you save time but you will also find deals you might not have even realize existed. Here are some of the best apps to start using while shopping.
With the goal to build a better shopping experience for their customers, you can save tons by using the Jet app. With their real-time savings engine, the prices drop as you shop. You can get everything from toilet paper to bed sheets on Jet and the more items you add to your cart that have a tag symbol beside them, the lower the price will drop for each item. So buying in bulk for items like toilet paper, toothpaste and granola bars will save you more. The price per item also drops when you opt out for free returns, and pay with a debit card instead of a credit card.
2. Retail Me Not
Score deals at your favorite stores and restaurants with the award-winning app that makes it easy to save with thousands of deals from over 50,000 retailers. The app syncs with your map to notify you of the best deals near you. Whether you’re on vacation in a new city or just driving through your neighborhood, the app will alert you when a deal is near.
3. Shop Advisor
The Shop Advisor app does just what its name suggests, it advises you when the price is just right to purchase. You simply create a list of items you are interested in purchasing and the system watches that item and alerts you when the price drops the lowest online.
This app scans the prices on all sites that carry a specific item you’re shopping for and gives a full comparison report. The app gives you the bottom-line price, taking into consideration the shipping cost for an item. You can also simply scan a bar code of a product to get a quick, real-time view of where to purchase an item at the cheapest price.
If you take advantage of reward programs on credit cards, then you can double your rewards with the Wallaby app. When shopping for items online, the Wallaby system will scan your shopping cart and compare them with your credit card reward programs and tell you which card to use for what items, getting you the highest reward points possible. You can also set up notifications for when you’re getting close to your credit limit or when it’s time to pay a bill.
July 7th, 2016
So there is a myth about shopping at farmers markets that we would like to bust. Produce at your local farmers market has gained the title of “expensive “when compared to produce at a chain grocery store, and we definitely do not think this is always the case. Along with being good for the local economy, organic, fresher, and better tasting, local produce can also beat out the price of grocery store produce. You just have to know how to shop. To guide you on your next adventure to the local farmers market, here are some tips to follow to save some money.
Go for less than perfect
Let’s get real. Do your apples really need to be the exact shade of red and shaped to perfection? Well for a lot of people, yes they do, but you’re a savvy shopper and your spending habits aren’t affected by fruit vanity. Because the not so pretty items don’t sell as well, a lot of times they are actually discounted in price. And even if the seller isn’t advertising the items are discounted, just ask. Give a concerned look at that deformed peach and simple say, “Is this one full price?”
Don’t make a list
Yes, in most cases making a list when grocery shopping is a must if you’re trying to save, and especially if you’re on a tight budget until the next payday. If you make a list when going to the farmers market, however, then you might not be as cognizant of the lesser expensive items. Instead of going in with a list of specific items, try showing up open minded without any ideas of what fruits and vegetables you need. Plan out meals based on cheaper produce once you are there and can see your options.
Timing is everything
So it’s pouring the rain outside. Pull up your rain boots, grab an umbrella, and head out to the market to score some deals. Supply and demand drive prices in the sense that if there are less people in attendance, then there is less likely of a chance that farmers will be able to sell all items easily. Going to a market when the crowds are low will give you more options with more say so on prices. Going 30 minutes before the market closes is also a good time to get leftovers that vendors will be trying to get rid of by selling cheaper.
Buy in season
A bowl of cherries in the dead of winter may be exactly what you want, but when it comes to budget friendly eating, it’s probably not the best idea. The beauty of a farmers market is that cherries will not even be an option in the middle of January. Shopping locally will in-fact force you to buy what is in season, and those fruits and vegetables dramatically decrease in price.
It’s a market, not a grocery store. Don’t hesitate to do a little haggling. Remember that produce has an expiration date and these farmers want to get rid of their crops. Try to build a relationship with the regular farmers and show you’re a loyal customer. Chances are they just might cut you a deal on items if you get in good enough.
May 24th, 2016
Think of the word community. What comes to mind? Is it your church group, the neighbors on your street, or the members of the PTO? A community can be described as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. We at Advance Financial are part of our customers’ communities; therefore we also share many common goals and interests with those that use our service, which is shown through our charity and volunteer work.
Because giving back to the communities we serve is so important to us, we allot 40 paid volunteer hours a year to each of our employees. Whether it be one of our many scheduled volunteer events, or a specific organization that is important to an employee, we make sure the opportunity to make a difference and give back to our neighborhoods is always available.
278 Volunteer Hours for April
April was a big month for our volunteer efforts, with 278 logged hours. Below are some of the charity events that our team participated in. Great job to everyone who volunteered!
Our Knoxville volunteers taught some kids at Anderson County about financial literacy. We were happy to partner with Junior Achievement for the day to educate the students from a real world perspective.
McMinnville Kids Funfest & Safety Day
Volunteers from our Gallatin store helped out for the McMinnville Kids Funfest & Safety Day by passing out first-aid kits to the kids.
JDRF One Walk
One Saturday afternoon our Chattanooga team banned together to volunteer for the JDRF One Walk fundraiser. JDRF One Walk is the largest type 1 diabetes fundraiser event in the world. The team helped register runners and pass out shirts.
Clean and Green
Some of our AF ladies joined the Clean and Green organization to pick up trash around the downtown area of Nashville in an effort to keep the city of Nashville beautiful.
If you feel strongly about our volunteering efforts and think you would be a good fit for the environment we try to create at Advance Financial, click here to find out how to join our team.
May 12th, 2016
Online shopping is becoming the norm for most of us. Let’s face it, the convenience and ease of shopping while sitting on the couch can be a lot more appealing than fighting crowds and finding a parking spot at a jam-packed mall. But just like most things in life, there is always a catch. In the case of online shopping, it’s having your bank account swiped clean from online hackers. There are some third-party payment services like PayPal that allow for a more secure transaction, but not every online store has this option, and even if they do, services like PayPal are still susceptible to being hacked.
Safe and Secure
So what’s an easy solution to combat online hackers? An Advance Financial NetSpend card! The card is used just like a debit card, but it’s pre-paid so you can choose the amount you want on the card and don’t have to worry about your whole bank account being exposed online. Say you’re buying a new digital camera on Amazon for $134. Simply load that amount or a little more on the card and use it when purchasing the camera. Your bank account is safe because you used a NetSpend card and not your debit card, which is connected to your bank account. Many users take advantage of a NetSpend card for also paying bills, connecting automatic payment to there NetSpend account instead of their bank account. This is just an extra way to protect yourself from being overcharged on a service or utility bill.
Even More Benefits
Not only does the card help keep your bank account private, it’s also a great tool to help with budgeting your finances. With a pre-paid card you can ensure you only spend an allocated amount on certain items or services like lunch for the week or clothes when shopping. And just like reward points for credit cards, The Advance Financial NetSpend card gives you cash rewards on many everyday purchases.
So if you’re an avid online shopper or just an occasional one, making sure your payments go through securely without having your account information stolen is easy when using an Advance Financial NetSpend card. Come into one of our 70+ stores open 24/7 and get your card today.