Guides

  • What’s at the top of the buying list for college students?

    Posted in Guides by Brooke. on September 3, 2018
    Starting college is a big deal and making sure students have everything they need ahead of time is essential to make the transition frustration-free. There’s nothing worse than realizing that something essential has been left at home.
    Categorize your needs
    1. room and storage needs
    2.bedding and laundry supplies
    3. office/desk supplies
    4. electronics
    5. toiletries
    6. clothing and household (including kitchen items)
    It may make more sense for students to buy certain things when they get to college rather than having to tote them from home. Another idea is to focus on bringing clothing appropriate for the season and just swapping when at home for breaks. Storage space will be scarce, so that would be one way to decrease the amount of “stuff” that has to be crammed into the room!

    Here are some items at the top of a college student’s list:

    Mattress topper – dorm mattresses tend to be tough and mattress toppers give that extra bit of padding and comfort.
    Twin XL sheets – these sell out early so be sure to purchase them before the rush for supplies in August.
    Pillows – bed pillows are essential of course, but it’s nice to have an additional throw pillow too.
    Mattress protector – especially important for students with allergies.
    Surge Protector (including USB ports) – this is a must to protect electronics as well as providing additional outlets in the room. Don’t forget lots of extension cords too!
    Shower caddy (especially important if you have to walk to the showers)
    Towels - if you are buying new towels, getting them monogrammed is a way to prevent them from going astray! Don’t forget a couple of hand towels and wash cloths too.
    Laundry bag and detergent – the pod type are super easy to use and take up less space than liquid detergent bottles.
    Storage – anything that can increase the amount of storage space in the dorm room – under bed bins, over the door storage solutions (check the door thickness first) and flat hangers, to name just a few.
    First aid kit – great to have on hand for emergencies!
    Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, nail clippers, body wash, and hand sanitizer to name just a few!
    Cleaning supplies – antibacterial wipes, small hand-held vacuum, paper towels, dish detergent

    The key is to make a list and to pack as lightly as possible, bringing only what is absolutely essential.

  • The Best Cash Back Credit Cards

    Posted in Guides, Saving Tips by Brooke. on September 3, 2018
    Cash back credit cards are an easy way to earn money for everyday purchases. Choosing the best card for your lifestyle can get tricky, but with a little research, you can quickly maximize your earnings with no effort at all. The following cards are some of the highest rated rewards credit cards available.

    Chase Freedom

    Chase Freedom offers 0% APR for 15 months. You can earn $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of opening the account. You can also earn up to 5% rewards on up to $1,500 in bonus categories. There is no annual fee and Chase Freedom offers built-in protection for unauthorized purchases and has extended warranty protection.

    Citi Double Cashback Credit Card

    Citi Double Cashback offers 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. You are rewarded with 1% for purchases, and for each payment you make, you will also earn 1% back. There is no annual fee and there are no limits on how much you are able to earn. This card is beneficial for those who spend money across several spending categories since there are no restrictions.

    The Blue Cash Preferred Card American Express

    If you have a family of any size and you spend a good chuck of your paycheck at the grocery store, The Blue Cash Preferred Card is for you. You can earn 6% rewards on grocery store purchases, plus, 3% on gas and department store purchases. Although there is a $95 annual fee, you can easily make up for that within your first three months with a $200 bonus on $1,000 purchases. This money will be applied to your statement as credit.

    Discover It Cash Back Match

    Discover It offers 0% APR for the first 14 months and unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of the cashback you've earned in the first year. You can earn 5% in most major spending categories and 1% on all other purchases. Your rewards never expire. One of the perks of Discover It is that you can apply your rewards when making purchases at Amazon.com right at the checkout.

    Quicksilver One Capital One
    Even with an average credit score, you can still earn rewards with Quicksilver One. There is a $39 annual fee, but you can earn 1.5% rewards on all purchases. If you're getting back on track and able to consistently make your monthly payments, why not earn some rewards while you're at it?

    How do You Choose the Right Card?

    How will you determine which card is best for you? Analyze your spending habits and look at the short and long-term benefits of each card. There are thousands of rewards cards available and they all offer great benefits. Make sure you have a strong credit score and are able to meet the monthly minimum payment. It's also a good idea to speak to a customer service representative to weigh out the pros and cons of each card before making any commitments.

  • Which Retailers offer the fastest Delivery?

    Posted in Guides by Brooke. on July 20, 2018

    In an era of instant gratification and social media, waiting for products is a thing of the past. For a price, you can get your groceries and other products on the same day. Same day deliveries are great for last-minute purchases. If you have a busy schedule, it is essential that you find time for shopping. That is not always possible. Now all you have to do is, use your phone or computer and order a couple of stuff. You will have them delivered to you in a couple of hours. Even if you do not have time to buy groceries for dinner, order online and you will have them delivered to you before dinner time.

    Whole foods

    Now owned by Amazon, this company will deliver orders that are above $35 in 2 hours. However, it is only available in 14 cities although it is expanding quickly.

    Amazon

    Amazon is a mega-retailer, and they offer prime members "today" deliveries to over 8000 cities and towns. All you have to do is choose the same-day option at checkout and ensure that you place all your orders before 9 p.m.

    Prime members get free deliveries for orders above $35. These items need to be labeled "free same day deliveries." If they are not labeled free, you can get them delivered on the same day for only $5.99.

    If you are not a prime member, you will pay $8.99 for each item and an additional $0.99 for all other items.

    All items ordered at noon will be delivered by 9 p.m. the annual prime membership is $99 for regular and $49 for students.

    Walmart

    If you do not have time to go shopping, log on to Walmart's website and order groceries. The retailers will have someone make fastest deliveries to you the same day. With the help of crowd-sourced services like post mates Walmart will expand its services to metro areas in the country.

    For this store, the delivery fees will vary depending on location, order value and time slot. They are looking towards expanding their services so by the end of the year there will be more than 40% of all US household items.

    Target

    This company gives you home essential and groceries in 34 states. You can either order from the website of their app. For this service, you will have to pay a membership fee

    Instacart

    An instacart gives you services similar to those provided by Wholefoods. However, you will have to pay more for 1-hour deliveries than 2- hour deliveries. Orders must be a minimum of $10. Instacart express is only for orders above $35. If you are a non-member, you will pay $5.99 for delivery.

    Deliv:

    this service works with dozens of retailers in over 35 markets. For what other companies charge for five-day deliveries, you can have your items at your doorstep. They also have an app that makes this so much easier for you.

     

    Barnes and nobles:

    members can order and have fastest deliveries for free. Nonmembers have to pay $25 minimum, and the orders need to be placed before noon. This service does not work on weekends.

    Other services include:

    - Verizon: If you are in Manhattan, this is the company for you. They are currently not available everywhere.

    - Postmates: primarily known for takeout deliveries, this company serves most of your Thai cravings. Their fee for deliveries is $5.99 although from time to time it can go as low as $3.99. There is also a service fee which is always a percentage of your purchase price.

    - Staples

    - Best buy this company started in 2015 and had expanded quickly and is covering over 40 markets. For your order to be delivered in the same day you must make your order before 3 p.m. orders made around 3 p.m will be given by 9 p.m. the cost will depend on your state and the products ordered.

    With same-day delivering, you have the opportunity to buy time critical goods and be sure that they will reach you on time. You also get to track your shipping through your phone. These services are convenient when you need groceries for dinner and do not have the time to go shopping.

  • The Top 7 Road Trip Essentials

    Posted in Guides by Brooke. on June 30, 2018

    Without a doubt, road trips are a sure way of creating some fun memories with family and friends. Most people would agree that when it comes to road trips, it is the journey that matters. Therefore, you will need to make sure that the journey is as smooth as possible. This is especially when you are traveling far away from home. Consider having the following essentials before your next trip.

    • A Reliable GPS 

    The advent of technology has made it easy for people to access technology blogs offered online. However, people can still access GPS systems instead of mapping programs on their phones. This will not only help you save your phone battery but also keep you away from distractions. Also, there are sophisticated GPS systems that incorporate weather alongside helping you to plan stops on your way.

    • A Spare Tire 

    Although having a small tire is always better than having none, it is crucial for you to have a full-size tire because you can get a flat tire on your trip. Also, you need to make upgrade before you plan for your trip.

    • A Road Map 

    Life is pretty unpredictable. Therefore, your GPS system and the phone can lose signal on your trip. This should not worry you if you have a roadmap. Depending on your final destination, you can get a bigger spiral bound map for your guidance.

    • Energy Drinks and Snacks 

    To avoid stopping from time to time, other essentials you can pack up on your way include some snacks and energy drinks. Some of these snacks include apples, corn, nuts, and peanuts. These are good options to boost your energy. As for energy drinks, you can try Red Bull. Not only will it revive your energy but also prepare you for the long ride ahead. Many gas stations provide the mentioned snacks and drink.

    • Gas Extender 

    There are projects like Magic Tank that will extend almost an empty gas tank. This is an inflammable liquid that can be stored in the car. Also, it can be sued in a gas powered engine as it helps you get any gas that is reserved in the tank.

    • First Aid Kit and Safety Gear

    This is a must, when setting out on a long journey.

    • Versatile Clothing 

    A poncho is versatile clothing that you will need on your trip. Not only will it cover you from the windy weather but also fromthe hot sun rays penetrating through your car window on your road trip.

    The Conclusion

    With the mentioned tips, you should not be caught up in a bind before taking your trip. When you have the listed necessities, you will be good to go.

  • Everything you need to know about entering a sweepstakes web contest

    Posted in Guides by Brooke. on June 25, 2018
    Have you been participating in online sweepstakes but haven’t had much success at it? Maybe you have a dream that one day, the delivery truck will pull up at your front door and deliver prizes like they do with all the other successful participants? Well, while there is no foolproof formula to enter and win a sweepstakes, it is possible to use a few tricks to tip the odds in your favor. Here are guidelines which will help you participate in the contests like a pro, and win like a pro.

    Get a dedicated email to enter the competition

    Open an email that is specifically meant for the sweepstake competition. The primary benefit which comes from getting this email address is that you will avoid spam email messages and it will be easier to track all your activity. In addition to this, make sure you set aside sometime every day to enter the competition. This will help you refine your searches for the right contests and avoid scams. If you are going to use software to fill sweepstake forms, make sure the site approves to avoid disqualification. Ensure that in case of a win, you can be easily contacted and stay connected on your chosen mode of contact throughout the web contest.

    Maximize your time online

    It is likely that you will not have the entire day to spend online entering different contests. Therefore, you need to really maximize on the time that you will have to do this. How you focus your time will depend on a lot. For instance, it would be wiser to use a short period of time to enter those that only allow you to enter once, as opposed to those which allow you to enter many times. The rationale behind this is that you are more likely to win the ones with a single entry than those with multiple entries.

    Read and understand the rules before engaging

    Before you engage in any of the contests, you need to read the rules and regulations of the giveaways and ensure that you do not contravene them when making your entries. When you read the terms, you will avoid unwanted emails. Also, you might get a few tips on how to actually win the competition.

    Avoid cheating at all costs

    There are people who fall into the trap of thinking that if they manipulate the rules, even a little, they may gain undue advantage over other people. While it may be tempting not to play by the rules, avoid cheating at all costs. Read through each entry and ensure you play by the rules because even if you cheat accidentally, you will still be penalized.

    Readers, have you ever won a sweepstakes? Were you surprised? What was the prize? Share your comments below.
  • A Guide: Top 6 Different ways to use a Drone

    Posted in Guides by Michael. on January 24, 2018

    With giants like Amazon, UPS and NASA all investing in drone fleets and with drone sales set to soar even more this year, let's discuss below the endless possibilities of your drone.

    For private use

    Racing Groups

    First consider joining a Drone Racing Leagues groups that have sprung up around the U.S.. With The Drone Racing Leagues as a professional outfit. Professional pilots are competing for a $75,000 contract to fly for the DRL in the 2018 season.

    Drone Selfies

    Your drone comes equipped with a high resolution camera, use that to get an aerial view of your next event! With the ability to navigate your drone anywhere, even you will be surprised at the endless possibilities.

    Check if your home needs repairs

    Why call down a handyman to do a maintenance check, if your drone can? Send your drone hovering around your home to check on roof tiles, chimney, trees possibly drooping on your roof, or just to take a general video of your property.

    Make 3D Models

    Drones can take pictures from all angles, use that to create a 3D model of your home, or anything else. You can use programs such as https://pix4d.com/ to create it.

    Start a Drone Business

    Drones are being used in businesses like aerial surveying, crop management, commercial aerial videography, and small package delivery. You’ll need a remote pilot airman certificate, (check out https://www.aopa.org on how to get it) and then the sky is the limit!

    Drones in business

    When Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines in Dec 2014, Aeryon Labs offered a drone to Global Medic-a disaster response charity. Global Medic was able to capture series of detailed images and create maps to target victims in the affected areas with relief.

    Researchers in Zurich came up with idea to use drones to build suspension bridges, strong enough for someone to walk across. The Team equipped the drones with ropes, and working in harmony, they weaved the bridge.

    Amazon is working on Amazon Prime Air to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones. They are testing it in Chiba City, Japan.

    Drones are fast changing delivery, photography and other industries. Readers how have your lives been changed by your drone? Share with us below.

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