Why I Am An Amazon Prime Advocate

Amazon Prime
Amazon has practically monopolized everything that is the internet. Online shopping? Most people hit Amazon. E-reading? Video streaming? Millions of people use Amazon for those too. No matter what you’re searching for, chances are, Amazon has it and that is only a small part of the reasons why I am a huge Amazon Prime advocate.

About Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a service you can acquire through the company that offers customers a wide variety of perks, including free shipping, Amazon Video, Amazon Music and some access to free Amazon Kindle books. Since becoming a Prime member I’ve not stopped looking to Amazon for just about everything.

With Amazon Prime you can enjoy ad-free music, movies, television shows, audio series, Kindle ebooks and unlimited photo storage. You’ll also get free two-day shipping on eligible purchases (most of them). And, in my experience, your package usually arrives early.

Why I Love Amazon Prime

That isn’t why I love Amazon Prime though. I love it for the simplicity it adds to my life. I can go to Amazon for basically anything I’d want/need for entertainment. We have all of our shows on Amazon Prime as well as endless movies (you can rent digital copies straight from Prime). You can get Prime on just about any device you have too. They’ve even created an Amazon Fire Stick that plugs directly into your TV.

The best part of it all is that it is lumped into one bill, making it easier for me to budget our entertainment costs. I’ll even go as far to say that Amazon Prime has saved me money. Even though I pay for it monthly, I’m spending less going out because I have everything here.

How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost?

You can get a free week trial of Amazon Prime to see if you love it as much as I do. If you do there are two payment options. You can pay $10 per month for Prime services or you can pay $99 for the entire year (this makes a great gift).

There are also a number of other perks to look out for as a Prime customer as well. For example, right now with Amazon Prime users can get Amazon Unlimited Music for just an additional $7.99. Prime customers also get lower prices on some items so, although you spend money on the membership, it may be worth the savings in the long run (especially if you like shopping online and streaming).

Obviously I am an Amazon Prime advocate. What about you? Will you give it a try?

Photo: Tom’s Guide

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How to Pay for Plastic Surgery With Bad Credit

pay for plastic surgery with bad credit

The number of plastic surgeries being performed each year is climbing. Approximately 15 million people receive some kind of cosmetic surgery each year in the Untied States. People like Kim Kardashian have made plastic surgery commonplace, which has led to us non-celebrities wondering how we can look like that.

Well, there’s no looking like Kim K without going under the knife but not everyone has the cash (or credit) to get that type of work done. This leads people to wonder if they can pay for plastic surgery with bad credit.

Can You Pay for Plastic Surgery With Bad Credit?

Yes. You can pay for plastic surgery with bad credit. There are many different types of loans and payment options available for people with bad credit. You may, however, want to consider working on your credit before paying for plastic surgery. Here’s how to raise your credit score 200 points.

How to Pay for Plastic Surgery With Bad Credit

If you’re not interested in raising your credit score before attempting to pay for your procedure, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to pay for plastic surgery with bad credit. Below are just a few of the financing options available.

  • Ask for financing through the doctor’s office. Some doctor’s offices will allow you to set up a payment plan for larger, more expensive procedures. Ask if this is an option at the cosmetic surgeon you plan to visit.
  • Apply for a beauty loan. You can get a loan to get plastic surgery with bad credit but it isn’t likely. If your credit is that bad, you won’t likely be approved. Those who decide to pull out a loan for plastic surgery have two types to choose from:
    • Secured: A secured beauty loan requires the borrower to provide some sort of collateral. This usually ends up being the person’s home or car. It is important to remember that if you do not make your payments on this kind of loan that you could lose your collateral (in some cases your home).
    • Unsecured: Unsecured loans are similar to credit cards. In fact, I would suggest applying for an unsecured credit card to cover the cost of your plastic surgery rather than taking out a loan (there will be less interest on your card).
  • Get a Flexible Spending Account. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are set up through your place of work. You put cash into the account and use it to pay health expenses (which can include plastic surgery). The money isn’t taxed and you won’t have to pass a credit check if you decide to pay this way.
  • Just save the money. Lastly, if you really want plastic surgery you could simply just save the money. Although it will take some time you will still get the same end result without going into debt doing it.

Paying for cosmetic surgery can be difficult, especially if you have bad credit. Luckily enough there are these suggestions (and more) to help you pay for plastic surgery with bad credit.


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Should You Pay For Channel Subscriptions Instead of Cable?

Channel Subscriptions
If you’re one of the few people out there still paying for cable and not just watching Netflix, you probably only watch a few of the hundreds and thousands of channels you have. Most of the time you have something you like to watch and you watch that, you don’t look for something new. So, what if you simply paid for the channel subscription instead of full-on cable? Will it save you money?

What is a Channel Subscription?

Channel subscriptions are a fairly new concept. You could always pay extra money on your cable bill for TV stations like Home Box Office (HBO), STARZ or Showtime but now, with more people turning to streaming services, more channels are offering a subscription option where you can pay for content from that network or channel exclusively.

For example, right now I pay for Amazon Prime, HBO, Funimation, Netflix and Hulu. Literally everything I could ever want to watch is on one of those subscription services and, if it isn’t, there is a good chance I can find it somewhere on the web. These five services cost me about $50 per month, which isn’t bad considering some of the steep cable prices and I can cancel any of the services without penalty whenever I’d like. So, if I want to cut back one month I can cut some subscriptions and just start them back up down the road. Many people are switching to this kind of home entertainment but are channel subscriptions cheaper and do they provide the same quality?

Channel Subscriptions vs. Cable

Personally, channel subscriptions are the way to go for me. I can pay my internet and “cable” bill for less than $100 per month and watch everything I would normally watch and more. Deciding whether or not relying on channel subscriptions would be a good fit for you, you’ll have a few things to consider:

  • How many channels do you watch? I never watched TV religiously so having a plethora of channels to mindlessly scroll through didn’t matter much. I only watched the news (which I can stream online) and a few TV shows (most of which are available on one of my streaming services). Most other times the TV was just background noise. If you watch a ton of your current channels, however, you may not want to son cider a channel subscription service. Additionally, some services won’t have your favorite channel or favorite show. For instance, Hulu doesn’t stream “The Daily Show” so I have to find it elsewhere.
  • Do you have to watch your shows on time? If watching your shows at the same time as everyone else matters to you, don’t switch to a subscription service. Even my HBO service takes a day to update and Hulu can takes days (or even a week sometimes). This means having to wait a while to see some of the shows you want to see but it can mean serious savings.  
  • What is your budget? Most people consider switching to channel subscriptions so that they can save money. Before establishing which subscription services you’d like you should have a budget in mind. Remember that in order to have channel subscriptions you will need internet and a device to watch your content on.
  • What are cable/internet prices in your area and how do they compare? In my area the average internet-cable package runs around $150 per month. Essentially, switching to channel subscriptions saved me about $50 per month. That won’t be the case for every city in every state though. Be sure to calculate your “stacked” channel subscriptions and internet price and then compare it with the price of cable in your area to be sure switching is a good idea.
  • Are you in a contract with your cable company? Lastly, find out whether or not you are contractually bound to stay with your current provider. If you’ve signed up for a year or more getting out of your contract early could be costly and, frankly, not worth switching over.

Before you make a decision be sure to keep keep each of the above in mind. Also, note that most channel subscriptions have at least a one week free trial (so you can try it out before you commit). Many people are turning to channel subscriptions like the ones mentioned in this article to replace their current television provider. For me, and many others, it is a great way to save some extra money.

Do you use a streaming service or channel subscription instead of traditional cable? How much do you save? 

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Not Getting a Tax Refund? Here Are More Ways to Save Money

More Ways to Save Money

Buzz around town would suggest that many people aren’t getting their regular tax refunds this year. Individuals have been complaining about not being able to purchase what they’d planned with their tax refund. Many people rely on a refund to make purchases they’ve been putting off like buying a new car or going on a family vacation. You don’t need to wait until tax season to have the cash for those thing though. You can be saving money all year round.

More Ways to Save Money

Saving money is extremely important but it can be redundant. If you are looking for more ways to save money, you’ve come to the right place. Below are 10 relatively unique ways to save money.

1. Host a For-Profit Party

Have you ever been to a rent party? It is something college students who rent apartment off campus do quite often. They provide a little cash to throw the party and then charge attendees an admission fee. If you can through a really great budget party, this may be for you! Once the party is over, you can bank the cash you made.

2. Get a Side Hustle

If throwing a for-profit party doesn’t sound like it’s for you then you can easily find a side hustle and bank the extra cash. Some great side hustles are freelance writing, lawn maintenance, childcare and even cleaning!

3. Try a Money Challenge

A few years ago the internet blew up with these money challenges. Essentially you challenge yourself to save a certain amount of money each day, week or month, reaching an annual goal. If you’ve tried these and they seem to be getting monotonous you can try some of these 52 Week Money Challenge Alternatives.

4. Start an IRA or 401K

It is never too early to save for retirement and the cash you put into a retirement account can oftentimes be written off on your taxes (making a refund more likely next year). Additionally, if you start a 401K through your employer they may match your contribution, multiplying your savings over time.

5. Make Savings Automatic

Everyone has heard of automatically drafting your savings from each paycheck but why not make it a bit more fun? Acorns is another great not only to save money but also to invest your money. The app will allow you to link a bank account and credit/debit card. When you make purchases, it rounds up and takes the difference and invests it for you.

6. Re-Budget and Cut Expenses

Another more traditional way to save is cutting expenses. However, you don’t have to cut out things you enjoy all the time. You can be a bit more creative and try a $25 per week food budget or attempt to ride a bike/walk more than you drive your car.

7. Stop Eating Out

Check out Pinterest and find something interesting to cook at home. Eating out is extremely expensive and, for the most part, you are getting half as much food (sometimes even less). You can eat a great meal at home for much less. If you get bored with your at-home menu easily, search the web and find something new to try. Here’s a good budget grocery list.

8. Try the $1 Bill or $5 Bill Challenge

Money challenges were mentioned above but, unlike the daily and weekly challenge, this challenge deals with physical cash. Many people perform the $5 Bill Challenge. This challenge dictates that every $5 bill you receive in change will go into savings. (I recently stated doing the same thing with ones.)

9. Choose to Be Cheap

Don’t be afraid to be known as the frugal person (these celebrities do it). Your finances will thank you later. You can turn people down for outings, buy used clothing and shop marked down meats without feeling a bit of shame because you will be securing your savings and your financial future.

10. Find Free (or Nearly Free) Hobbies

If you enjoy spending money on going out or hobbies, find some activities you enjoy that are cheaper or free. Discover free (or nearly free) hobbies by following this link.

Whatever you decide to do, saving money is extremely important. Whether you trim your budget or set up a 401K, planning ahead and saving will insure you won’t have to wait for a tax refund to buy that new car.

Photo: OTA Photos

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