Negotiating for a lower price for food and other items takes some discipline, even if there is a no haggle price tag. But it turns out that you can — and should — haggle for pretty much anything that you buy.
Can you negotiate apartment rent or you can you bargain for a cheaper vacation? Yes, you can negotiate almost anything. Even when you see a price tag, just know that you can bargain with them.
Here are 9 things you should haggle over, including a no haggle price, which will save you money:
1. Cars And A No Haggle Price
This one goes without saying. Everyone knows that you can — and likely should — haggle a price for a car whenever you can. After all, the value of the car will rapidly decrease over time, so you might as well pay as low as you can. Yes, the haggle process for a car can sometimes be grueling and time-consuming, but it will be worth it in the end. You could end up with a lower cost, a lower interest rate, or other perks like a free extended warranty.
In addition, some car dealerships offer what is called a no haggle price. Essentially, customers received a guaranteed price for the car before negotiations begin. It makes the entire process easier.
2. A House
Buying a house can be frustrating and costly. Thankfully, you can negotiate the price down to a level that might be better for you. You can negotiate things like the down payment or you could use your credit score as a way to negotiate a slightly better price. One option in the home-buying process is to negotiate after the inspection so that you can ask for a better price if there are problems with the house. Do your homework before this process so that you can find out the prices for similar houses in the area.
3. Medical Procedures
With the cost of health insurance and medical procedures rising, it makes sense to get a Health Savings Account and to negotiate prices. If you have health insurance, your provider negotiates some prices for you. But either way, if you are forced to pay a lot for an expensive medical procedure, you should shop around and haggle. Use resources like Health Care Blue Book to negotiate fair prices. You can bargain with hospitals by promising to pay in cash if they dropped the price. You could also threaten to go to another hospital that offers a better rate.
4. Your Next Vacation
In theory, your dream vacation might cost an arm and a leg. But with a little negotiation, you might be able to pay for the entire thing with just your leg (so to speak).
Start the negotiation process by doing your research first. Instead of doing the haggling in person, it might be best to do it remotely over the phone. You can offer to pay in cash to get a discount. This could work for hotel rooms, airplane tickets and even cruises. And even if they won’t budge, you might be able to get some extra amenities.
5. Internet And Cable
Let’s face it — people are leaving behind their cable television subscriptions and joining alternative programming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. But if you stay with cable — or if you have an expensive internet bill from your provider — it makes perfect sense to haggle a bit.
Do you research and see if nearby providers are offering a more competitive price for a similar cable or television package. Then you can negotiate over the phone with your current provider. You might be able to get them to lower price or get a special bundle deal. You could also get them to throw in some perks like faster internet speed.
Many Americans still rent today. But with the price of rent skyrocketing in certain states, you might want to negotiate the price with your landlord. From your landlord’s prospective, they would hate to see a paying tenant move out, because having a vacancy can be costly for them. If they refuse to lower the rent, see if you can get special perks like one month rent free or have them pay for some utilities.
Whether you rent or own your home, you’re probably going to buy furniture. Although many retailers list a no-haggle price on their items, it turns out that they often negotiate whenever possible. In fact, many prices are inflated beyond reality. As a buyer, you can negoitate with a furniture retailer for a lower price by offering to pay cash or by getting extra furniture in return. If they refuse to negotiate, shop online for a better price or a no haggle price.
8. Gym Memberships
In general, you can avoid costly gym memberships with these workout alternatives. However, if you really needed to join a gym, you should negotiate the price. After all, gym owners need to maintain their membership quotas, so they will cut you a deal if it means you’ll join. You might be able to bargain for certain lower contractional fees or for extra amenities.
9. Credit Cards
While credit cards should also be avoided whenever possible, you can negotiate credit card fees. It might take a bit if haggling over the phone with many people, but it is worth it. Most people who request lower fees with credit card companies often get it. You can negotiate a lower APR or lower later fees.
Millennials are the one generation that bucks the investing trend. Only about a third of Millennials own stock (compared to half of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers) and they are more likely to consider cryptocurrency as an investment.
“Increasing regulatory recognition of cryptocurrency exchanges, the entrance of institutional capital and major technology developments will contribute to the market’s rebound and push cryptocurrency prices to all new highs this year,” Thomas Glucksmann, head of APAC business development at cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin, told CNBC. “There is no reason why we couldn’t see bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December.”
Can you image if Bitcoin reached $50,000 in 2018?
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell during the beginning of February, it turns out that Bitcoin prices also fell as well. And while you don’t need a bitcoin calculator to determine how much you lost, the question looms: are the two slumps related to each other?
It turns out that there is might be a slight correlation between the stock market and crytocurrency.
One previous study examined a daily bitcoin price with the VIX, which is a measurement of stock market volatility. Based on the findings, there was a correlation. When the fear in the markets decreased, bitcoin prices increased. And when the fear in the markets increased, bitcoin prices decreased. Thus, it seems that two might be related.
Bitcoin Prices Decrease
Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged in early February, the Bitcoin market also experienced a drop. At one point, Bitcoin dropped to under $7,000 for the first time since November. And the overall cryptocurrency market cap dropped as well.
Despite this plunge, global stock markets have lost nearly 15 times the entire cryptocurrency market cap in February. That is why investors are still flocking to cryptocurrency, because they see the opportunity.
Then there are some people who view cryptocurrencies as a bubble that might pop and bring down the entire stock market. These experts fear that a bitcoin bubble might diminish overall investor confidence — especially if companies get on the cyrpcorrency bandwagon.
Using A Bitcoin Calculator
As an alternative investment like real estate, it might be wise to allocate into cryptocurrency on a small scale. If you are new to this, you an use a bitcoin calculator or you get use this FREE Cryptocurrency Starter Kit to help you.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $3.7 billion for an evening out on Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it — going out to eat on February 14th at a fancy restaurant might sound romantic, but it is too expensive.
Luckily, there are some options so that you can have a good date on February 14 while maintaining your budget. These options will work for first dates Valentines and they’re great examples of Valentine’s Day ideas 2018.
Here are 13 low cost and cute Valentines Day ideas for the perfect date:
Some bowling alleys offer special deals on February 14, so you might as well take advantage of them for a special kind of V-Day date.
2. Play At An Arcade
Arcades can bring out the fun in almost any situation. If both of you are gamers, this would be a perfect date. The cost is only what you pay for each game.
This is the perfect activity for this time of the year. And the price to roller skate is reasonably affordable.
4. Visit An Antique Store
If you’re both into history and culture, then you should visit a well-known antique store on Valentine’s Day. And unless you’re buying something, the entire experience won’t cost you a dime.
5. Board Games
Generally speaking, board games are what some people do on “boring” dates, but you could try to spice things up on Valentine’s Day. Twister, anyone?
6. Happy Hour
A Happy Hour date works well when Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday. You can check out a local bar that you both like, or you can visit a brand new bar. And because it is Happy Hour, you’re paying reduced drink prices.
During the week, there might be discounted movie tickets. And if there’s a romantic film playing, you’re all set.
Eating out can get expensive, but eating in can result in a more affordable date. Plus, there’s the experience of cooking food together that can also be romantic.
9. Comedy Night
Unless you’re seeing a big name act, comedy shows during the week are generally low-cost. And they also make for a fun date.
Yoga is a great way to relax and have some fun. Sign up for a yoga class together, and you’ll have a great date on Valentine’s Day.
11. Trivia Night
Whether you’re staying in and playing trivia or going to a bar during the week for trivia, you can make your special night one that goes beyond just trivial pursuits.
Planetariums provide both an exciting and an educational setting for your date. It will surely be a Valentine’s Day that you’ll never forget.
13. One Of The Cute Valentines Day Ideas — Netflix and Chill
Hey, it’s one of the most popular things to do when you’re dating someone. So you might as well include it as an option for February 14.
While the exact cause of the downturn hasn’t been specified, there are some likely culprits. Some traders are worried about inflation and rising interest rates from the Fed that could diminish corporate earnings.
Some investors will see this news as a bad omen, and a sign of a stock market crash coming. But many financial experts predicted that a stock market correction in 2018 would be normal. As a percentage, the Dow Jones only fell 4.6 percent.
For investors — including those saving for retirement — here are four things that you shouldn’t do during this next stock market correction:
1. Don’t Sell
It might be human nature to get out of something when the going gets rough, but you shouldn’t abandon your investment strategy. Specifically, it would be foolish to sell your stocks during the first sign of a stock market correction.
Selling stocks during this time would be a massive mistake. Historically speaking, the stock market can weather any storm — even when the stock prices dip. Over the long haul, the stock market goes up and you need to be invested when that happens. That is why you need to resist the urge to sell.
2. Don’t Stop Saving For Retirement
It might be a scary time to look at your 401(k) or your IRA balance, but you shouldn’t let the recent dip prevent you from investing in your future. That it why you should continue with your retirement strategy by contributing to your accounts.
As Warren Buffett once said, “Widespread fear is your friend as an investor, because it serves up bargain purchases.”
While it is apporpriate to invest in some alternatives like real estate, you should largely avoid buying gold. It is tempting to buy gold when the price of stocks decline, but it won’t be worth it. Over the long haul, the stock market outperforms gold.
Instead of the foolish gold buy, you should maintain a well-balanced portfolio of stocks, bonds and alternatives. The right asset allocation can make a big difference.
4. Don’t Panic With The Stock Market Crash Coming
Financial stress is very real, and you don’t want to induce it by panicking during a correction. You can do a lot of harm to yourself if you panic during a financial situation.
Just stay the course, and your investment portfolio will flourish as time goes on.
Having a Health Savings Account makes it easier to pay for medical bills, but there are a few facts that you should know about HSA contribution limits.
The 2018 HSA contribution limits are $3,450 for single people and $6,900 for families. You can add an extra $1,000 if you are over the age of 50.
However, before you open an account and put your money in it, you need to read the fine print. Here are 3 lesser-known details about HSAs:
1. Your HSA Contribution Limit Is Prorated
This might be one of the drawbacks of an HSA. Unlike an IRA, which you can contribute the max amount of $5,500 if you are eligible, an HSA has its limits. Specifically, your contribution limit is based on the number of months that you are enrolled in an HSA eligible plan.
For example, if you are a single person enrolled in an HSA eligible plan for only six months, then your contribution limit would be $1,725 instead of the normal $3,450. Likewise, if you’re only enrolled in an HSA eligible plan for 11 months, then your contribution limit would be $3,162.50. In addition, families who are enrolled in an HSA eligible plan for part of the year would also face prorated contribution limits.
2. Not All High Deductible Health Plans Are HSA Eligible
Although it is common knowledge that you have to be in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) in order to contribute to an HSA, not every plan is eligible.
Technically, an HDHP has deductibles greater than $1,350 for an individual and $2,700 for a family. But there are other requirements too. That means even if you have a $5,000 deductible, your health plan might allow you to contribute to an HSA.
In fact, there are even some high deductible policies on the public exchange that are not HSA eligible. In 2016, only 1 in 5 plans on the public exchange allowed for health savings accounts.
Make sure you only contribute to an HSA if your plan allows you to.
3. You Can Invest In Alternatives
Most people realize that their HSA contribution can be used for traditional investments like stocks, bonds and funds. However, there are also self-directed HSA investment opportunities. Investors who open an HSA can put their money in alternatives. This includes real estate, gold and other commodities.
There might even be a day when you can use HSA funds to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
And for some investors, an HSA is viewed as an additional retirement account. When you turn 65, HSA funds can be distributed for non-medical purposes without additional fees.
As with other major holidays throughout the year, February 14 offers a great opportunity to find unique Valentines Day gifts for your special someone. But it’s never easy to find quality presents on a budget.
If you’re truly looking to find unique Valentines Day gifts without breaking the bank, you are in luck. Here are 9 V-Day presents that cost less than $30 each:
1. A Dozen Roses
A dozen roses for just $27.99? Yep — Amazon has you covered with these 12 fresh cut white roses. And to top things off, they include a vase with them as well. It is a traditional Valentine’s Day present with a great price tag.
2. Valentine’s Truffles Box
February 14 and gourmet chocolates go together perfectly. They are the perfect gift for your special someone. And if you are single, you can enjoy them too. You can get a Lindt Lindor Valentine Truffles Gift Box for just $7.79 in 2018. That’s good chocolate at a good price.
Anyone can buy a card for their special someone on February 14, but you need to stand out. Hallmark has you covered with a special Valentine’s Day Card that includes a Vinyl 45 Record inside with two Bruno Mars songs. And this hip gift is only $11.64 this year.
6. For Children
February 14 is also a special occasion to teach children about love. There are many children’s products on the market today, but this one with Disney’s Minnie Mouse is excellent. Get these Hallmark Kids‘ Valentines With Stickers for just $8.68. Your child could use this set of 32 Valentines in school.
7. For Pets And Owners
And February 14 is also for your favorite four-legged friends and you. Get this Dog Paw prints Valentine Heart throw pillow for just $27.71. It is a reminder about the love you have for your pet.
8. Wine Bottle Gift Bag
Whether you are buying wine for a romantic night together — or you are home by yourself and you are ready to drink — you need to check out this red V-Day bottle gift bag. It is only $10.85 and perfect for transporting wine.
9. Unique Valentines Day Gifts Online
Nothing says “I love you” more than a present that stands out from the rest. Luckily, Amazon offers some special gifts that fit this category. A great example would be a 16GB flash drive that is only $14.95 this February. And it has a heart on it.
Whether you’re searching for a new career or you just lack a 4-year collegiate education, you can still find good paying jobs without college degree requirements.
It sure seems like every job — certainly the ones that pay well — require a college education. But it turns out that there are some fields where a bachelor’s degree is not needed. In fact, some of these jobs provide six figure annual incomes.
Here are 9 good paying jobs without college degree requirements:
1. Financial Services Salesperson
With an average salary of over $102,000, being a financial services salesperson might be the perfect option for people who lack a four-year college degree. You’ll be selling financial services, including debt and investment products, to all types of consumers.
2. Dental Hygienist
The average dental hygienist has a salary of about $72,000. Although these professionals usually have a two-year degree or other training, they often don’t need a BA or a BS.
3. Funeral Director
Hey, it’s a living, right? Being a funeral director may not be your idea of fun, but it sure can be lucrative. The average funeral director brings home $53,000 every year. Although a few of them have Associates Degrees, going to a 4-year school is typically not required.
4. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
It turns out that having uneducated Homer Simpson work in a nuclear power plant makes perfect sense. A nuclear power reactor operator adjusts all of the controls to ensure safety. No college degree is required, and the salary could easily surpass $80,000.
5. Elevator Installer Or Repairer
In many big cities, elevators are a way of life. Therefore, elevator installers and repair professionals are in high-demand. The job requires some training, but no formal college education is needed. The salary is around $80,000 a year.
6. Air Traffic Controller — An Example Of Good Paying Jobs Without College Degree
Being an air traffic controller means that you are an integral part of our nation’s air travel. Although some formal training is required, you don’t need any college degree in the traditional sense. A GED will work just fine. The average salary is over $130,000.
7. Respiratory Therapist
In this position, you’ll help patients with their breathing. Training is required to fulfill the position, but you don’t need to go to college. Their average annual salary is $58,000 and this position is very popular.
8. Ship Pilots And Navigators
The global shipping industry is growing, and it is essential to have responsible ship pilots work with vessels and in harbors. The average salary is over $80,000 and these ship pilots don’t need to go to college.
9. Police And Detective Supervisor
The people who supervise police officers and detectives are crucial to law enforcement. That is why the average salary is $81,000 a year. Training is required, but you don’t need any college degree.
Saving money for the golden years of your life begins at a young age and often with a retirement calculator 401k. After all, you’ll always wonder when to start saving for retirement, or perhaps: Am I saving enough for retirement?
But what if you do not have a full-time job or access to a 401(k) at work?
Only about 14 percent of employers today offer a 401(k) plan to their workers. That is a huge obstacle for many Americans who dream of saving for retirement.
Fortunately, there are many ways to save for retirement that don’t involve a 401(k). Here are some examples:
1. Individual Retirement Account
A Individual Retirement Account is one option that almost every saver should consider. Also known as an IRA, this retirement account comes in both a contribution tax benefit (Traditional IRA) or a distribution tax benefit (Roth IRA). You contribute up to $5,500 a year ($6,500 if you are over the age of 50).
2. Health Savings Account
Some people might argue that a Health Savings Account (HSA) is a better option than an IRA. After all, an HSA offers three tax benefits. To contribute to one, you need to be enrolled in a high deductible health care plan. Single people can contribute up to $3,450 per year and families can contribute $6,900 per year.
3. Solo 401(k) — Check With A Retirement Calculator 401k
No job? Then you can can still contribute to a solo 401(k) if you are self-employed. Even if you have a full time job, you might still be able to be eligible for a solo 401(k) if you do self-employed work on the side. There are two types of accounts here, and you can contribute anywhere from $18,000 to $54,000 a year depending on your age or plan. So get out a retirement calculator 401k to see how much you can save.
The Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement, or SEP-IRA, is a fantastic way to save for retirement for those who are working full time or own a business. These accounts are treated like a profit-sharing plan. There are also requirements, such as working for the employer for at least three of the last five years. The 2018 contribution limit is the lesser of either 25 percent of compensation, or $55,000.
5. Taxable Account
Whether you’re investing in stocks, bonds or alternatives, a taxable account is a fantastic way to go if you have extra money, a fully funded emergency savings account, and you’ve already exhausted your other retirement savings options. Although you will have to pay taxes on your profit, it will be worth it because your wealth will grow at a faster rate than inflation.
It seems that health care costs are always increasing. But the repeal of the Obamacare mandate by President Trump means that fewer people will buy health insurance. This was essentially a pricing mechanism for the market that is now eliminated. The result will likely be higher rates for health insurance by the end of the year.
3. Credit Cards And Loans
You should always stay away from debt and avoid using a credit card — especially in 2018. As a result of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in December, interest rates for credit cards and loans could tick up this year. It will make you think twice before swiping that credit card.
While many food prices might decrease in 2018, eggs will likely not be one of them. Eggs prices are projected to increase by 35 percent when compared to prices last year. Increased global egg consumption is one factor behind the increase. Another contributing factor is slower production because of bird flu.
Fruit might be good for your health, but not so much for your wallet. Following rising citrus prices last year, it seems that fresh fruit prices will see another increase in 2018.
There will likely be an increase in energy prices in 2018. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that increased consumption of electricity will result in higher energy prices for homes. In addition, prices for solar panels might increase because of President Trump’s increased tariffs.
What To Do
Plan now before the prices of goods and services increase. If you can stock up on these items, you should do so. Either way, account for the price increase in your household budget.
Another study from Spectrum Group found that one in four investors under the age of 45 have allocated 25 percent of their investments in companies that followed social or environmental protocols. Both Millennials with and without high net worths strongly target these companies for their portfolios. And with more Millennials becoming investors, that means SRI is sure to grow in the coming year.
The truth is that investors don’t have to sacrifice their morals just to make a buck. This is used to be the notion in investing, but now that is no longer the case.
A 2017 CNBC review of Morningstar data found that funds from ethical investing stocks performed roughly the same as their traditional investing counterparts. Over the long haul, you can still make money and do good with your investments.
In recent years, some investors are beginning to allocate resources with the goal of creating a better world for future generations. As a result, these investors have relied upon research that indicated which companies were doing their due diligence to create a better world. It seems that this thorough research has resulted in portfolios that performed better over time.
Basically, increased research has allowed SRI stocks to flourish.
Best Socially Responsible Investing Options In 2018
If you want to invest in this space, there are many options. Some of the top actively-managed funds include Parnassus Endeavor, Parnassus Mid-Cap and TIAA-CREF Social Choice Bond Fund. For index funds in the socially responsible investing space, keep an eye on the Vanguard FTSE Social Index.
Not to be outdone, there are also a few ETFs that are perfect for the socially responsible investor. ETFs provide great tax efficiency and have become a popular investing vehicle in recent years. Some of the tops ETFs for SRI 2018 investors are the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF, the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund, the Inspire Global Hope ETF, and Workplace Equality Portfolio.
Finally, if you like dividend investing, there are some good SRI stocks in 2018. Verizon, Amgen Inc, Cisco Systems and, Prudential Financial are among the best socially responsible dividend stocks for investors.