Spend Smart

A Personal Finance Blogger's Guide to the 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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If Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, what comes next? In my book, it's the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. And before you roll your eyes, I do recognize the irony of a personal finance blogger spending money on (arguably) frivolous things. But just hear me out. I'm excited about the Nordstrom sale because it's the only one out there that discounts NEW merchandise, not old inventory. That means all the new fall and winter pieces are discounted right when they hit the shelves for the first time. Then they go back to full price for the rest of the season.

Since my everyday budget has a discretionary spending category, I have a...

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How to Get the Best Deal On A New Car

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Driving a new car is fun. Buying or leasing a new car...not so much. I think we can all agree that negotiating with a car salesperson is a downright nightmare. Why do they automatically assume that (1) you don't know how to negotiate a car, and (2) you can be manipulated?! Let's fix that. By asking the right questions and showing a baseline knowledge of car buying, you can turn the situation in your favor. This is exactly how to get the best deal on a new car.

Side note: I lease my car instead of buying because I like driving a new car every three years, I don't drive many miles, and I want my car to stay under warranty (because who has time for that?). These tips focus on how to negotiate a car lease, but most can be applied to buying as well.

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Get Paid To Shop Online With These Cashback Apps

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I am fully on board with the online shopping trend...to a fault. I buy everything online: household goods, dog treats, workout gear, birthday gifts, wardrobe staples, and much, much more. Our recycling bin is consistently bursting with cardboard boxes. But there's a good reason for it! With an ecosystem of info at your fingertips, it is so much easier to compare prices, find deals and save money online than it is in-store. If you're like me and saving money excites and energizes you, then you have to know about these cashback apps. Because who doesn't want to get paid to shop online?

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Wedding on a Budget

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Many of us grow up envisioning a lavish and dreamy wedding. But our budgets don’t always align to our childhood visions. According to a survey by The Knot, the average wedding costs over $35,000! If your personal finances don't align with that data point, you're not alone. You can still plan your dream wedding on a budget. I’ve taken lots of mental notes on the tips I learned to fit my wedding to my wallet, and I'm so excited to share them here.

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Uber Visa Local Offers

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It's no secret that Uber is a force to be reckoned with in the rideshare industry. While the company has faced backlash from traditional cab companies, riders just can't get enough of the streamlined app, friendly drivers, and effortless transport from Point A to Point B. Not to mention the playful banter that comes with friends comparing their Uber ratings. Between Uber's transportation and food delivery services, the company certainly deserves its own line item on my personal budget. If you can relate, then you don't want to miss this little life hack called Uber Visa Local Offers.

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Creating a Personal Budget

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Making a personal budget is one of those items that always falls to the bottom of our to-do list. I mean, the mere thought of planning a budget creates a bitter sense of restriction, right? The problem is that we’re going about this all wrong.

The right kind of budget should empower us rather than confine us. It should equip us to achieve our long-term goals rather than deprive us of enjoying the present. Simply said, we should be allowed to spend money on things that make us happy, without guilt. This is exactly how to make a personal budget that actually works for you.

Pro tip: Creating a personal budget just got simpler. At the bottom of the post, sign up to download the ModMoney Budget Template.

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Save Money When You Work Out

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January is a great month to be a health club. Gyms rake in membership fees as new clients set fitness resolutions with the greatest of intentions. January 1 starts a clean slate, and it feels good to start off with a new diet or fitness regimen.

There's no doubt that working out is a healthy habit, but it can also be an expensive one. Especially if you overpay for a gym membership you don't actually use! With many of you looking for ways to stay healthy and happy this year, I'm sharing 6 tips to help you work out without breaking the bank.

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Christmas Gifts Under $100

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Every year I plan to stay ahead of my holiday shopping. On Cyber Monday, I'm ready to knock out my whole gift list. But I never seem to make it all the way through! I either get distracted and move to another task, or I add to my list later on. As I sit here 4 days before Christmas, I still have a few last minute gifts to purchase. Please tell me I'm not alone! For those of you who are in the same boat, I thought it would be helpful to round up some of my favorite go-to gifts under $100 this week. And the best part? All of them are Amazon Prime eligible, meaning they come with free 2-day shipping!

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Best Apps for Traveling and Saving During the Holidays

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I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving week! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a plethora of holiday travel are fast approaching. The holiday season can be chaotic and expensive, so I love to find new ways to save myself stress, time, and money. There are a few apps and tools I rely on to help me do that, and I'm excited to share them with you today! The first three apps are travel-focused and are essential for savvy flying. These will provide you with a smooth, comfortable, and well-priced travel experience. The last two involve holiday shopping and will help you save money and maximize the dollars you spend on gifts.

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Maximize Your Online Shopping With These Cashback Apps

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How many of you are online shoppers? I have to admit, I will do anything to avoid fighting weekend traffic at the mall. My mother used to beg me to shop with her anytime I needed new clothes. In fact, shopping became a punishment for me. When my sisters misbehaved, they went to time-out. When I misbehaved, I went to the mall.

Not much has changed - I still much prefer to shop online. But now I have a nice collection of cashback sites and coupon code apps to maximize those purchases. Here's how you can join me in saving money and getting paid just for spending money online!

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Creative Ways to Decorate Your Home on a Budget | ModMoney

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For me, personal finance goes beyond understanding how to save and invest responsibly. It has everything to do with feeling good about managing my money, and that includes having fun spending it! A few weeks ago, Chris and I moved into a 2-bedroom apartment, which has been an exciting start for both of us. Of course, along with a new chapter should come new furniture and a fresh look, am I right?

In typical fashion, I must admit to spending hours planning furniture and decor purchases within our budget. While Chris is more impulsive, I research until I know exactly what I want and where to get the best price for it. This post shares some of my favorite purchases – planned and spontaneous – and the online...

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