Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Insurance: No More, No Less

Free Pictures | acobox.comNow that I am a new car owner, I have been shopping around for car insurance. Truth be told, it is not a new car. It is just new to me. Also, I did have to get insurance right away to even put it on the road. However, now that I have it, I can shop around. My new policy expires in five months, and at that time I will decide whether to keep what I have or to go with a new carrier.

Of course, cheap car insurance is not all it is cracked up to be if it doesn't offer you the coverage you require. There are some policies that offer no great value when you analyze it. The money savings comes from eliminating services. The intent is not necessarily offering a great discount on similar policies to the competition, but paring down a policy to the minimum that you can legally have. It gets you in a car and on the road, and for that it serves its purpose.

There is a site at ifaauto.com that provides quote for PA, MD and NJ Car Insurance. You won't qualify if you are registering a car outside of those areas. However, looking at a more localized site has its benefits. You can be assured you are buying what your state requires, and sometimes have the option of purchasing no more than that, versus being required to buy a very comprehensive policy just by default, as there would be nothing else available.

Have you shopped for car insurance lately? If so, what was your experience like?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seo Company in England Offers Tips

A friend of mine has a website, and they wanted visitors to submit their questions so that he could answer them. The only trouble was that he never received even one email. He just expected everyone would find him, as the internet is a very big place.

What he didn't realize is that without search engine optimisation, the idea was dead in the water. Of course, he could give out cards to friends with the website address on it. He could even go to a couple forums and beg people to visit. Without visitors finding it organically, it would be very difficult.

There is an seo blog on the internet where you can pick up some information. Creating back links are very important. Also, creating keywords that convert is also key. If your keywords are not spot on, it is harder to find you. Of course, many search engines search strictly by content, but not all of them.

If you are looking for the best seo leeds, England, help, you may want to check out Seo Wizz. They operate in their own hometown. They serve customers far and wide, but if you are looking for a company that will communicate a little more personably than just with anonymous looking emails, it may be the one for you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Find the Hidden Gems Before You Go

It is fruitless sometimes to look for lists of vintage clothing stores on the internet prior to taking a trip. You really have two choices:

1) Looking them up on an internet phone directory
2) Scouring individual vintage clothing sites on the internet to see if any happen to be at your destination

Both are very inefficient. Most local yellowpages on the internet fall a little short. Often, they are cluttered with all sorts of sites that are completely irrelevant.

I was actually very successful at finding what I needed on Local.com for my local search. For example, I tried "vintage clothing" in New York city and think that the site managed to find every shop that exists. It must be intuitive, because it not only brought up the category, but related ones that would be helpful to me. For example, some shops might classify themselves as consignment, rather than vintage and antique, and may have things that interest me.

Yellow page services, yelp.com, and citysearch are all integrated here, preventing you from having to shop around for your info. Sure, there are some sponsored links in there like at other sites, but the physical locations are much more abundant.

As always, take time to call the shop if you going to be there on a certain day to verify hours. Seasonal hours or closures for renovation and very recent store closings are not something that may be updated on the internet. If not, you may find the list of local restaurants in proximity to the store very handy to wait out the time.

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Live it Up...On the Cheap

newstadium.jpgA lot of people I know are cutting back. However, they miss going out and seeing concerts and games with their friends. There are still games you can go to, just be frugal about it. In fact, I have gone to concerts and games and then put aside the money I saved on the outing. Over time, I would have money to toss in my savings account or go somewhere special.

There are Dallas Cowboys Tickets that you can obtain on Acheapseat.com that are significantly discounted if you play your cards right. In fact, they are already selling tickets for seats in their new stadium for 2010. How crazy is that?

I remember how, living in Detroit, anyone that purchased Los Angeles Lakers Tickets had to wear a wig and sunglasses so no one would recognize them. There was such a rivalry between the Pistons and the Lakers that it was so. Of course, some people wore Lakers gear just to be ironic or to dissent.

It was just as bad if you were in Boston buying Yankees tickets. You definitely would have to wear a disguise so as not to be seen in the stands if the television camera panned them.New York Knicks Tickets are not as taboo, as the Celtics haven't been very hot in years.

No matter what you do, make some memories and have a great time. Above all, remember that spontaneity is important, but taking a little extra time to save money makes the things you want to do achievable.

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Car Shopping

After an entire year without a car, I found one several weeks ago. Part of it had to do with where I was living. I didn't need one. There was also an equal dose of making fresh starts. In the position I was in, I had the ability to take a little time to consider what I really wanted. There was a strict budget, so I couldn't put my money into a 2010 audi.

A few people I know swear by their Saabs. I read a Saab 9-5 review and the reaction has been mixed. It seems the cars are lagging behind others in the category. That is almost a good thing, because it is beyond my price point anyhow.

Another friend of mine has a Mitsubishi. The issue with them is they are expensive to fix. If you like tinkering on your own car, it is not the car for you. Perhaps the very old ones are fine, but the parts are expensive.

If I had a choice of anything in the world, I might see what the hype about hybrids is about. I understand that some of them use less gasoline or oil, but are they really practical yet? Their high sticker price might make the financial savings on fuel nil. The still do use less gasoline, but some folks believe that they use none at all.

In the end, I bought a twenty year old car for the nostalgia factor. My dad had one just like it. However, I imagine in another ten years, I may be looking for a new car. Perhaps it will be a 2009 or 2010 model.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

School May Be Back In

There has been a bit of upheaval in my life. I never thought I would say this, but I am thinking about going back to school. While life moved at a frantic place before, things have changed so radically that I have somewhat of a clean slate.

I was afraid that things have changed so much since I was in college, but actually there are changes that are for the better. While I sort of meandered through classes not sure what I wanted to do back then, I could definitely settle into a career college now, where the focus was job training versus personal enrichment. Of course, learning to learn is wonderful, but at this point in my life I am a bit of a self starter in that department.

At one time I considered looking into trade schools, as I sometimes think I missed out on working with my hands. There could be a career in not just designing or planning a restoration, but actually being the one to do all the major work on it. Once, there was a trade school that just dealt with furniture making. At the time I found out about it, there was just no way I would have been able to follow through.

My cousin graduated with a degree in computer science. I was always very comfortable on the computer, but programming for life didn't interest me. The more I think about it, however, technical schools might not be a bad idea, either. I am self taught on many computer programs, but it is difficult to legitimize my skills to an employer. If I go to some computer training, I may have already learned many of the things I am being taught, but I will have a piece of paper to prove it.

I am not sure yet what I will do in the long run, but for now, the possibilities seem wide open.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Make Your List and Check It Twice

I always seem to forget something when I am at the store. I buy the most critical item, but once I get home there are secondary items that I needed and its a pain in the rear to have to make a special trip to get them, when I should have purchased them the first time out.

When I think of things, I am usually on the computer, and figure I'll just think about it later. I never do, as you could suspect. I found a great site called List2shop that lets you create a grocery list online. Typing up a list online is nothing new, but the site has other features that make it very worthwhile. The site has a very exhaustive list of items that you can add, and better yet, it has a list of stores.

You can divide your shopping list very easily to save you a lot of time. You can already determine which store you need to get what at, versus wandering around the aisles aimlessly. I find that when I look for everything I need at one store, I make due with an item that will sort of work but won't completely work. If I come out empty handed, I wasted previous time. Of course, you can print the list out. You don't have to relegate it to your Blackberry. Some may say that its a waste of paper, but printing something once, versus wasting paper with revisions, is key.

You can become one of List2Shop's Facebook Fans. The programmers of the site, or the custome service department, seems to run it and interact with fans. In fact, they are openly soliciting suggestions on making the site better. One fan recently suggested ordering the list by section of the store. I think this is an excellent suggestion. Although stores organize their floor differently, it is very likely that like is organized with like, such as produce, dairy, or bath products. Of course, some stores randomly include add on items in aisles where you wouldn't expect to see them, but they are always in their usual spot, too.

Have you tried List2Shop? If so, tell me what you think.

Give Yourself Some Credit

I have been on a mission for the past month to fix my credit. I had a few bumps along the way after being injured in an accident, and also having a relationship where my former spouse managed money poorly. Some of the bad credit is the result of joint accounts, but some are not. Some are credit cards and such where I had to bail them out and just wasn't thinking.

I thought it was very difficult to fix your credit. I have learned that this is not the case. You can request your credit report free once a year, or you can also get one when you are turned down for credit. That was easy enough, and I did make a dispute. However, when you want to repair credit, you want to keep looking at your report, and you cannot when you get a free one online. Transunion or Experian, I forgot which, wanted $11.00 each time.

The way around that is looking for a company, such as Repairyourbadcredit.com, which provides additional services, such as monitoring and credit repair. There is a fee, but they will help you dispute late payments and delinquencies. You can do this on your own, but it is much more costly having to continually requesting reports. With a company in charge, they handle everything for you at a cost savings in comparison

Friday, October 09, 2009

All The Deals Under One Roof...I Meant Site

I have a few friends that have recently moved or are doing some very major renovations and are in need of a few things for their home, particularly in the Kitchen and Dining category. While you can reupholster a sofa, and bed pillows are a more personal decision, small appliances like Toaster Ovens tend to wear out over time. They break and often cannot be fixed for a price that would make it worth fixing versus just replacing.

There was an experience I had when a friend got married, and I was looking around town for just the right wine glasses. They place that they registered at seemed to have stopped carrying them, and they picked an item that was also being discontinued by the maker. During that time, I discovered ShopWiki, where I can compare sites across the internet that have the same item. It tells me who has it, and who has the best price.

I can't tell you how helpful it is to use the site instead. I saved a little bit of money buying for housewarming gifts on the internet. Sometimes looking at all the sites is just as time consuming as going to the mall because you keep remembering the names of others you should look at two I would say it also saved me a couple hours of time, and time is money also.

Have you used Shopwiki? If so, what did you think?


What's Your (Furniture) Mood?

I've been in quite a few houses lately for not only parties, but because I was helping a friend house hunt. They wanted my second opinion. Of course, most homes for sale are decorated in neutral colors to not offend a potential buyer. What I did notice is that there are a number of people with fairly transitional furniture. In other words, it is sort of in between. It is not a traditional style, yet not modern either, but could go with either decor. Sometimes it is a great idea to have a versatile anchor piece and then you can change the decor around it frequently, but other times it is just too noncommittal.

arne.jpgIf you get something along the lines of the egg chair, no one can accuse you of being boring. It is fashioned after a chair that Arne Jacobson designed in 1958. In fact, when I recall fond memories of the homes of aunts and uncles and older relatives, it was never the basic sofa I remember, but the crazy clock or the upholstery fabric that Aunt Edna thought was daring and saved all her pennies for. It was always a chair like this. If you aren't sure about how bold you want to go, in leather, it tones it down to something sculptural.

Sometimes, I prefer looking at paper catalogs for my ideas because I can fold a page and see the items together. I know it wastes paper, but there is something about arranging things yourself. On MyDeco.com, you can create mood boards. You can bring a few different products together in a window on the site and see how you feel about it all. The site even gives you a total amount to see if you can afford your mood at the moment.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Discuss Amongst Yourselves

This week, I have had several door hangers and several mailbox stuffers advertising broadband internet. It would seem to me that there would only be one or two providers in my area. I probably would get to pick from the local phone company, or the local cable company, and that would be it. I was very amazed to find that it was not the case. Many internet providers provide broadband service, even though all the junk mail was just from one or two trying to upgrade me.

I have taken for granted that there is broadband abroad. In the UK, they have broadband internet service just like in the United States. America Online is over there. It is shocking to me that they wouldn't call it Britain Online. There is actually a provider called UK Online, though I don't think it is affiliated.

As a matter of fact, I have friends that are temporarily relocating to London to train new hires in their company. There is actually an online forum that provides an outlet for reviewing broadband companies. There are several different sites out there that have reviews, but they are mostly affiliate sites, meaning that the webmaster just put a cursory amount of info together in order to make money from sign ups. Ukbroadbandforum.co.uk seems to have some real meat to it. There are many threads and subforums where people are not holding back on their opinions, either to vent or give praise where its due.

Has the forum helped you find a provider? Let me know!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Frye Em Up

motorcycle.jpgThere is a tack store around the corner that has a good selection of boots for riding, whether it be for equestrian use or for motorcycling. I have always been impressed with the offerings that Frey Boots has as far as variety of design.  However, I still find I am running around town looking for just the right pair, as each store only carries a few styles.

I wanted to give you a heads up, as I found a website where they seem to have a very comprehensive selection of what Frye makes. I was very amazed to find that on Sterlingleather.com, there are hundreds of styles for men and ladies, nine pages in all.    It is definitely worth giving a browse.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Something Old, Something New

typing.gifThere are many sites that claim to teach you how to make money blogging. You can make money through adsense and google adwords. However, once you sign up, you are pretty much on your own. I didn't think it was worth it for me. For the pennies I would make at it, it would just make my blog look spammy.

There is a website out there now called Yousaytoo.com where you can start a blog and participate in revenue sharing. Apparently, you make residual money when you refer someone to start a blog or register a blog on the site. The residual is 15% on people you sign up, and 10% on people they sign up. It sounds a bit like multilevel marketing to me. The difference is that you and your cousin won't both be trying to knock each other out in selling the same product to Grandma and Aunt Violet.

I wonder if this style of Blogging for Money will go the same way of other tiered money. The people that started out first are making the money, and everyone else makes a much smaller amount. I guess time will truly tell. If you have tried this, I would be curious to know what your thoughts are.