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Sally Aquire
Sally is a UK-based freelance writer. As well as personal finance, she also writes on health & beauty and lifestyle topics. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, shopping, hanging out with friends and generally making the most of her downtime!

Personal Finance Round-up: 5 Secrets to Getting a Better Price on Anything

By Money Crashers

getting a dealAre you a born negotiator, or do you shy away from trying to haggle prices down? If it’s the latter, take a look at this article from The Dollar Stretcher, which gives some great tips on how to use the art of negotiation to get a better deal for yourself. There are some examples that I didn’t previously think would be open to negotiation. For example, who knew that tuition costs could be negotiated in the right context? Take the plunge, and you might just get what you’re asking for!

Here are some great posts from the personal finance blogging community that you might have not have seen:

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What to Do If You Can’t Even Meet The Minimum Payments on Your Credit Cards

By Sally Aquire

credit card stackIn an ideal world, you’d be far exceeding the minimum payments on your credit cards, but what do you do if money is so tight that even the minimum payments are out of reach? Many of you have faced a temporary situation like this at some point in your life, and it can take a toll on the other areas of your life when you know that you’re falling behind on monthly bills. As dire as the situation looks, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a few ways to get out of the mess without having to resort to the dreaded bankruptcy.

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Negotiating With Your Creditors: How to Pay Your Debts When Money Is Tight

By Sally Aquire

payingdowndebtRealizing that you can’t pay your debts is a terrifying prospect, and it’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and hope that the situation somehow resolves itself. As scary as it sounds, you need to get in touch with your creditors and inform them of your situation so that they can be more receptive to the prospect of negotiating your debt repayments. Here are some tips for negotiating with your creditors:

Work out your budget

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You Need A Budget 3 Review (YNAB) – Ultimate Personal Budgeting Software

By Sally Aquire

Creating a budget is essential for keeping on top of your finances, but drawing up your own often creates too much headache and not enough results.  We all know that budgeting is important, but actually sitting down and taking the time to write one is another story.  Fortunately, you don’t have to if you sign up for You Need a Budget (YNAB), because this budgeting software does the hard work for you.

What Is It?

YNAB uses what it calls the “Four Rules of Cash Flow” to help you manage your cash. These are fully explained in the introduction to the software, but here is some brief information on the four rules.

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Spending Money Abroad: Should You Use Credit Cards, Cash or Travelers Checks?

By Sally Aquire

cashIf you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to make some decisions about how you’ll actually spend some cash. Usually, the choice will be between credit cards and debit cards, cash and travelers checks. And everyone seems to have a different opinion as to whether you should take money out as you go with a debit card, bring cash with you, or take traveler’s checks.

Credit and debit cards

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Top Cheap Spring Break Destinations to Visit

By Sally Aquire

exotic beachGetting away from it all is the perfect way to spend Spring Break, but how do you choose a suitably exotic destination without spending a fortune? You don’t have to spend a lot of money during Spring Break to go somewhere nice. You just need to be smart, pick a spot that makes sense, and make a few compromises. Here are our top picks for where to go for your Spring Break on a budget.

The Caribbean

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How to Travel Cheap On Bus and Train

By Sally Aquire

transportI don’t use public transportation all that often, but when I do need to take the bus or train, I can’t help but notice how expensive itls become. Using public transportation may be unavoidable if you don’t have any alternative means of getting from one specific place to another, but there are some ways that you can make it more affordable. Here are a few ideas to save money when using buses and trains.

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Making Your Own Green Skincare Products

By Sally Aquire

an avocado Are you tired of spending a ton of money on skincare products? Making your own beauty products is a great way to save money, and it has the added bonus of being greener than most shop-bought offerings. Most of the ingredients that you’ll need are probably already in your cupboards, but they are inexpensive if you don’t already have them.

Cleansers/Toners/Spot Treatments

There’s no need to buy expensive skincare products to take care of your skin. Natural cleansers, toners and facial scrubs can work very well and don’t contain harsh chemicals.

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How to Go on Dates for Less

By Sally Aquire

romantic dinnerDating can be costly, but don’t let this put you off, because it’s more than possible to have great dates without breaking the bank. We often fall into the trap that we can’t have fun with our significant other without spending a bunch of money, but that’s simply not true. Whether you’re on the hunt for your perfect partner or are looking to inject some romance into an existing relationship, here are some ideas for dating on a budget.

Dinner Dates

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How to Get Cheaper Entertainment Without a Cable Subscription

By Sally Aquire

DVDsFollowing my post about getting music downloads for less, I’ve been thinking about how to cut entertainment costs in general. If you’ve had to tighten your belt recently, luxuries like a cable subscription were probably one of the first things to be dropped. Entertainment costs can quickly become excessive, but you don’t need to spend lots of money to have a good time. Here are some ways that you can get cheaper entertainment without having to sign up for cable again.

Books/DVDs

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How to Spend Less on Music Downloads

By Sally Aquire

an ipodIf you regularly download music to your iPod or MP3 player, you will find that the costs quickly mount up. While some people turn to illegal downloading to save money, there are legal ways to get cheaper music downloads without having to resort to illegal methods. Here are some tips for spending less on legal music downloads.

1. Shop around

Most of my friends and family stick rigidly to iTunes for music downloads, especially if they’ve got an iPod. When I asked them why, only a few of them knew that you can buy music from elsewhere and still download the tracks to your iPod or MP3 player quickly and easily.

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Tax Preparation Tips for the Self-Employed

By Sally Aquire

income taxIf you are self-employed, your tax situation will be different than that of someone who is an employee. Preparing self-employed taxes can be a bit of a minefield, but you can reduce your tax bill by taking advantage of deductions. Here are some tips for preparing for your self-employment taxes.

1. Keep on top of your paperwork

If you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for keeping your own records, especially your income and expenses.  To take advantage of tax deductions, you’ll need to keep hold of all relevant receipts in case you’re selected for an IRS audit.

2. Decide how you’ll pay

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Personal Finance Roundup: Using Twitter to Find Deals

By Money Crashers


It’s time for another look at what your personal finance friends have been discussing recently. If you want great financial information on a daily basis, we encourage you to seek out all of the other great personal finance blogs out there, because we have tight relationships with many of them, and we trust their judgment and information as much as if it were our own. Here are some great posts from some of our favorite money blogs.

Personal Finance Blog Round-Up

Find and Track Deals on Twitter: The Ultimate Guide. You may already use price comparison websites to find good deals, but have you ever thought about using Twitter too? [Wisebread.com]

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How to Build an Emergency Fund on an Irregular Income

By Sally Aquire

moneysavingYou know the importance of building a solid emergency fund as a financial cushion if things go wrong, but this can be even more important if you’re self-employed, because you can’t rely on a fixed paycheck every month and may need to fall back on savings to make ends meet on bad months. Because of this, it can be very challenging to build a decent emergency fund if you don’t earn a regular income. For example, your clients may not pay their invoices on time or you may struggle to find enough work just to meet your monthly bills, leaving nothing left over for boosting the emergency fund. Here are some tips for creating an emergency fund if you can’t rely on a fixed income every month.

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Tips for Cheaper Household Cleaning

By Sally Aquire

bathroomIf you’re making an effort to clean the house on a regular basis, you may be finding that you’re having to frequently replace your cleaning products, especially if you’re using different products across the various rooms. These kind of costs can quickly make a sizeable dent in your budget, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to keep your home clean. Here are some tips for cleaning your home on a budget.

Kitchen and bathroom cleaners

You can easily make household cleaners for these areas of the home from ingredients that are already in your kitchen cupboards. In particular, white vinegar has a range of uses:

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