Top Seven Ways to Save on Halloween

Easy Ways to Carve Halloween Costs like a Pumpkin

save money on halloween, budget halloween, affordable halloween

To some of us, Halloween is an enjoyable time to dress up our children and/or ourselves, carve scary pumpkins, decorate our home with spooky effects, gorge on treats, and spend the next morning jogging off a candy binge. To others, it is a time to figure out how much candy they need to have on hand to avoid cleaning toilet paper out of their trees the next morning.

Regardless of what you do the morning after Halloween, with these simple steps you can wake up with a thicker wallet than usual, and not just from hiding Hershey’s Kisses in it.

  1. Buy Bulk Candy – You can save tremendous money by buying individually wrapped bulk candy instead of the overpriced brand name assortments at your grocery store or pharmacy. Do make sure that you buy individually wrapped candies; parents will (and should) shy away from letting their children try loose candies because of tampering concerns.
  2. Make Your Own Costumes – It takes a little more thought, but you can come up with creative ideas for your children’s costumes without having to go to the party store and purchase a pre-packaged costume. Get your kids involved in the creative process, and prepare to be amazed at their ideas.

As for you, what if you don’t like to dress up at all? Get some spare tax forms and go as a tax collector. How frightening is that?

The point is that you can come up with something clever without an elaborate costume. As a result, you will be more comfortable at the Halloween party, appropriately warm, and not burdened by the realization that your elaborate costume makes it impossible to use the bathroom.

  1. Make/Recycle Decorations – You can save significant money by making your own Halloween decorations out of inexpensive craft materials and leftover project materials you may have around the house. Old boxes, construction paper, leftover fabric or worn-out clothes… with a little glue, paint, and markers, they can be made into tombstones, spiders, ghosts, and other timeless classics.
  2. Use Thrift/Dollar Stores – Why pay more than you have to? Thrift shops are full of costumes and decorations for the creative-minded soul at rock-bottom prices. Dollar stores also stock seasonal bargains and are a great source for simple decorations or the materials you need to make them. Go early, or the selection will be picked over.
  3. Pool Your Resources – Find a group of friends with whom you can share decorations and costume pieces. It’s a great way to get more life out of materials without doing the same thing every year.
  4. Bring-Your-Own Parties – If you are hosting a party, try making it a bring-your-own buffet. Your guests may surprise you with tasty holiday treats, and if not… well, what could be more frightening than a mystery casserole? Turn it into your advantage with a creative ingredient list: Eye of Newt, and a dash of powdered toenails…
  5. Take Advantage of Post-Halloween Discounts – It won’t help you this year, but stores will be clearing out their costume and decorations shelves the day after Halloween to expand the Thanksgiving and Christmas displays. You can pick up great bargains to store for 10/31/2019.

You can also pick up Halloween candy at a discount, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that will last more than a week. Show up as soon as the store opens and be prepared for hand-to-hand combat in the candy aisle. The day after Halloween is Black Friday for candy addicts.

Get an extra level of Halloween enjoyment this year by having a great time and saving money in the process. You will enjoy the glow of a fatter bank account, and you probably will not feel nearly as guilty when you raid your children’s Halloween candy after they go to sleep.

This article was provided by our partners at MoneyTips.com.

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How to Lower a Mortgage Payment

Learning how to lower mortgage payment requirements can be a challenge. Yet, if you pay your mortgage payment every month, you may be wondering why it is so high. Is there anything you can do to reduce what you have to pay? In many situations, there is. You may be able to obtain a new loan to help reduce what you are paying on your existing loan. And, options are available for many people, even those who think they may not qualify.

What Does It Mean to Refinance a Loan?

If you want to learn how to lower mortgage payment requirements every month, you generally need to obtain a new loan. Refinancing your loan allows you to do this. You obtain a new loan with new terms to replace your existing one. The benefits vary based on the type of loan you obtain.

Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new loan, but if you have a goal to obtain a lower mortgage payment, there are a few key things to look for in any loan. There are a few key things to take into consideration.

Find a Lower Interest Rate Loan

The best way to get a lower mortgage payment is simply to obtain a new loan with lower interest rates than you have right now. Most often, you will want to consider rates that are at least one percent lower than what you are paying now – but you may also benefit in situations where there is less of a difference. Keep in mind, though, that a new loan may include closing costs. This can limit some of the benefits of refinancing in the long term.

A lower interest rate equates to a lower mortgage payment. There is less cost to you for obtaining the loan.

Secure a New Term Length

Another way to reduce your monthly payment is to obtain a new loan with a longer term. The term is the length of time you will pay on the loan. For example, if you obtained a 30-year loan, and you’ve been paying on it for the last 10 years, you could refinance it into another 30-year loan. When you do, this extends the amount of time you have to repay your debt. As a result, your monthly payment drops significantly.

It is also important to recognize this will increase the cost of the loan to you in the long term. A longer term means there’s more time for interest to build on the loan.

Worried You May Not Qualify?

Some people may not qualify for a traditional loan refinance. For example, some lenders require a specific credit score. However, the most common reason to be turned down for refinancing has to do with equity. If your home does not have enough equity, the lender may not approve the refinancing of the loan. Equity builds as you pay down your loan. It is the amount of value on your home without a mortgage applied to it.

What can you do here? To lower house payment requirements when you have little equity, consider a government-backed program. For example, the Home Affordable Refinance Program allows those with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-based loan to obtain a new loan with better terms even if they have little to no equity. This means you may qualify for a lower interest rate and better terms. This program is available until the end of 2018.

Just Getting Started?

If you are interested in purchasing a home, but you want lower payments from the start, options exist to help you. To secure a lower monthly payment on a new loan, consider these tips:

  • Purchase points. Points are upfront payments you make on the loan to reduce your interest rate. Work with your lender to determine the value of paying points for your loan.
  • Make a larger down payment. Your interest rate will remain the same, but when you make a larger down payment, you reduce the amount of borrowed funds. This reduces how much principal can be impacted by interest.

When you want to lower house payment requirements prior to the loan starting, also consider ways to keep costs low. For example, make half of your monthly payment required every two weeks. This takes away some of the burden of making one large payment. But, it also reduces your principal owed faster – you will be making an extra payment a year. Overall, this saves you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the loan.

In most situations, refinancing through a government-backed program or through a traditional home loan refinance can be the best way to secure a lower monthly mortgage payment. And, it does not have to be hard to obtain this type of loan. However, you should work closely with your lender to find the best terms available to you.

Top 9 Tips To Avoid Make Money Online Traps

We do more things online than off it – be it connecting with others or making money. The internet of all things offers you dozens of opportunities for making some money. Nevertheless, with better opportunities come bigger troubles.

Humans are attuned to draw meaning from a person’s body language. Duping people becomes difficult in real life, because body language is hard to control and fake. On the internet, however, this hurdle is easily crossed by scammers, fraudsters or anyone else trying to manipulate you.

Without any real interaction, deceivingsomeone becomes very easy.  Cyber-scams have been on the rise in the recent years.  Surely the internet has opened the floodgates of money-making opportunities, but tricks and traps have become commonplace for online workers.

There are many easy ways to make money online. However, prudence should be practiced so as to not fall victim to scams and traps. Here are some online money making traps to avoid.

  1. Match Betting Sites

There are numerous sites that let you bet for or against the teams playing in real time. If the sites selected are genuine, you might be able to win some good money in betting. Caution should be practiced here – the sites for betting should be genuine and should not make you pay a registration fee. These should be verified and authenticated. Most countries have licensed betting sites, so you should try to gauge which ones are genuine before registering and loading your wallet.

  1. Paid Search On The Web

Many websites provide cash for searching on the web.  They have paid links, which allow them to pay out for searches. These could all be a sham. You should only search on the tried and tested sites which do not provide paid links.Such links might induce viruses in your devices. Very few paid searches are genuine and completely safe to use.

  1. Online Surveys

Online Surveys are a very popular method of generating side income for cash-strapped students, home-makers, senior citizens or anyone who has some time to spare in their day. Companies like to know how their product or service is faring in the market. They pay marketing research agencies to conduct market surveys.

Many websites invite you to participate in surveys that pay cash. It merely takes a few minutes to fill the form. Based on the survey complexity and duration, your pay will vary. The rewards can be in form of cash or coupons. Genuine websites don’t ask for a registration fee from you. You do not have to pay for something that you’re supposed to earn from.

  1. Job Emails

Many times you may have come across emails that promise you a good salary while working from home – the idea is obviously appealing. Unsolicited emails of such sort are mostly unscrupulous. However attractive the opportunity appears, be wary of it.

Do not respond to such emails.If you participate in such transactions you’ll become what’s known as a money mule, and guilty of money laundering or of aiding and abetting criminal activity. If you get caught, you could face a hefty fine and potentially, a criminal record.

  1. Online Shopping and Secondhand Selling Sites

There are legitimate buyers and sellers and then there are scammers that misuse the anonymity of internet to deceive unsuspecting shoppers. If you are selling on an ecommerce platform, ensure the website has positive reviews and a community where people share their experiences, and share warnings about possible suspicious sale and purchase activity. Otherwise you may lose money as well as your product.

Here’s the telltale sign of a scam. Buyers often a higher price than agreed and ask you to refund the amount later, or overseas buyers are willing to buy items which are commonly available (like chairs, couches etc.). Offers that sound too good to be true, are generally so, hence be diligent in how you deal with such miraculous deals.

  1. Online Market Trading

Many online trading platforms let you trade stocks online. Only the trusted and most used websites should only be used for online trading purpose. Generally, fake sites show schemes like “earn $1,000 in 5 minutes”, which are too good to be true.If done right, trading can make you a handsome side salary or even become your main income source.

  1. Investing in Bitcoins and Cryptocurrencies

2017 year saw a gigantic surge in cryptocurrency trading across the globe. Many websites offer to purchase the most profitable cryptocurrencies for you, and promise exponential returns – beware of such sites. Invitations to these websites might usually appear as pop-ups. Cryptocurrency trade is not easy; it requires understanding the currencies and the market sentiments.

  1. Geo-targeted Ads

Be wary of ads that give area specific rags to riches stories. They might be showcasing a legitimate heart-warming tale like “this man who was homeless in (your area) turned his life around in just 30 days, if he can, so can you”. Avoid clicking on such links; they are the definition of a scam.

  1. Automatic Membership Renewal

Membership websites and subscription products give out free trials mentioning to “just pay for the shipping”. The subscription of these websites is automatically renewed. It might be in your best interest to go through the website carefully, read the return, refund, cancellation policy and read customer testimonials on the website before subscribing and giving out confidential information about yourself.

  1. Refundable Dollar Subscriptions

Any websites which provides this kind of a subscription stating the $1 you invest will be refunded is basically checking for your willingness to pay. Personal information is what they are really after.

Concluding Remarks

Some other definite ways in which you can save yourself from money making traps are by registering only at renowned job exchange websites. Online scams may have bigger consequences than only the loss of your money. They could spoil your reputation, cause social embarrassment, and wreck your spirit for entrepreneurship forever.