Personal Finances Update: Are You Being Smart With Your Money?

We’ve been writing for quite a while about tips to help you save money. There have been discussions on everything from using a household budget to buying a slab of beef to save on food bills. I thought it would be nice to check in and see how you’re doing with your personal finances. That can only mean one thing: Pop quiz! Sadly, this is not the kind of iPoll quiz where you get entered into a sweepstakes drawing. Instead, it’s just a little “gut check” about how you spend. Ready? Set? Answer!

  • Do you put off paying bills in favor of spending money on an impulse purchase?
  • Do you buy things for your family out of guilt even if you don’t have the money to pay for them?
  • Do you buy expensive name-brand products because they make you “feel” better?
  • Do you use credit cards to pay other bills and thereby rack up finance charges?
  • Do you avoid budgeting of any kind?
Money

That twenty-dollar bill looks lonely. Don't you want to give him friends? Image Source: flickr user: Daniel Borman

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Written by Rick B.

August 4th, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Mobile Army Monday: Follow The Reminders To Cash Rewards

What do you do to remind yourself of something? Some folks like to tie a string around their finger. I tried that once, but then needed another string to remind me to a) look at the first string and b) what that first string was all about. Other folks swear by unique visualization. For instance if you have to pick up milk and butter from the store, you visualize something outrageous like elephants in pink tutus swimming in a pool of milk while juggling butter sticks. I get so caught up in creating these amazing images that I spend too much time on Photoshop trying to make them come true, and completely forget to go to the store. In the end, the most effective way for me (and probably most people) to remember something is to get a reminder on your iPhone. That is the quickest path to remembering, and in the case of iPoll, the quickest path to cash rewards.

Animals

I often use elephants to remind me of things. It works. Image Source: flickr user: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Written by Rick B.

August 3rd, 2015 at 10:06 pm

iPoll Quiz Results: Selfies Wanted

Can you believe it has only (already?) been fifteen years since the first cell phone with a camera was sold? Back then, the phones were only available in Japan, but as soon as the rest of the world saw what was happening, everybody wanted to get in on the act. At first, the cellular phones’ cameras were great for capturing those instant moments when reaching for a regular camera took too long. Then something interested starting happening. Those cell phone users began to turn the cameras around on themselves–and thus, the selfie was born. And the world will never be the same. Naturally, iPoll wanted to get in on the selfie craze, and we asked you to send your best smile. For one snapshot, ten folks earned a $25 reward. Runner-ups got a $10 Amazon gift code. Even a selfie of a thumb earned $25!

Although you might have missed this quiz, chances are you’re still taking selfies. The question then becomes: are you taking them the right way? Thanks to iPoll, you can now find how to take the perfect selfie.

 

Taking Selfies

You're never too old to take a selfie! Image Source: flickr user: Robert Neff

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Written by Rick B.

July 31st, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Make Your Own: Save Money By Making These Common Household Items

If you’re embracing the DIY approach to home maintenance, then you know how much money you can save. Avoid calling in a plumber and you’ve got your cell phone bill paid. Do your own house painting and you can finance that camping vacation. It all adds up. And when it comes to DIY, it’s not just about fixing things. You can use that same approach with common household items. We’ve told you about bug repellents, but there is a lot more you can make. With a little effort and a little investment, you’ll be reaping the rewards with these money-saving projects.

Baby Food

This kid might like his food if you made it fresh at home. Image Source: flickr user: Abigail Batchelder

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Written by Rick B.

July 30th, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Safe Bug Repellents You Can Make At Home

The last thing you would want at your summer party would be uninvited guests. We’re not talking about the crazy cat lady that lives down the block, or the loud uncle who hogs all the S’mores. Instead, we’re talking about pests of the bug variety. You want your party to have the sounds of laughter and your music jams–not the slapping of mosquitoes or the screams of “Bees!” Back in the day, we thought nothing of spraying on the aerosol bug spray. Hey, if it kills bugs on crops, why not kill bugs on my skin! Although there are a variety of safe chemical bug sprays, they are still chemicals. If you want to avoid a list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry exam, then consider making your own safe bug repellents. You might be surprised at the ingredients you can pull from your own cabinets to keep the bugs away.

Bugs

Yeah, they look nasty up close. Image Source: flickr user: Faris Alogsaibi

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Written by Rick B.

July 29th, 2015 at 9:29 pm

DIY Skills Everyone Should Know

“You need to call somebody.” How many times have you heard that statement around your home? It is usually preceded by some sort of major (though in many cases minor) breakdown. There are a lot of reasons to bring in a professional. Maybe you don’t have the time to tackle a repair job. Maybe the scope of the job is way out of bounds, like roof repair. Or maybe you are a bit fearful of messing around with something that you could make worse (I’ve heard electricity can be a real doozy). I’m totally guilty of that last one. However, I’ve discovered over the years that with a combination of YouTube, Interwebs, and hardware store personnel (if you can find them), you can solve the vast majority of problems on your own.

Yes, we’re talking about the wonderful world of DIY–and it’s not a scary place at all. No matter your gender or experience with power tools, there are some DIY projects that you should absolutely do on your own–if for no other reason than the mere fact it is going to save you a lot of money. Here are the DIY tasks you can most certainly do.

 

Flat

Has this happened to you? Can you change it? Image Source: flickr user: Mike Mozart

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Written by Rick B.

July 28th, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Mobile Army Monday: DIY Money Making With Online Surveys

Do you consider yourself handy around the house? I have to admit that when it comes to wielding a screwdriver or hammer, I do okay. I wouldn’t be going for a contractor’s license anytime soon, but in my time I’ve built many IKEA pieces, swapped out the locks on the front door, hung paintings, and even accomplished a little toilet repair (my proudest achievement). That is probably the extent of my DIY abilities. When it comes to auto repairs or plumbing, I would prefer to avoid the “do it yourself” idea, and turn it over to the professionals. However, when it comes to making money with iPoll online surveys, I’m a master at DIY. In fact, iPoll Mobile Missions are all about DIY making money. Yes, you can share the mission, but the money will be all yours! Consider these recent Mobile Missions I took on as a DIY challenge–and won:

Tools

The less tools you have, the greater you can avoid fixing things. Image Source: flickr user: el cajon yacht club

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Written by Rick B.

July 27th, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Kick Up Your Next Blast With These Summer Party Hacks

Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter in your home and organized your closets, it’s time to throw a party. You deserve it! Yes, the end of summer is closer than the beginning and if that’s not a perfect excuse for a backyard party I don’t know what is. Naturally, grilling something should be part of your fiesta. However, there are plenty more summer party hacks you should embrace before the big shindig.

Summer Party

The fun is just starting. Your summer party will be a blast if you use a few of these tips. Image Source: flickr user: Andrew Malone

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Written by Rick B.

July 24th, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Clearing Out The Clutter Will Change Your Life

Doesn’t everyone love the feeling of getting rid of junk? Although nobody likes moving, it is one of the few times most of us ever really clear any clutter out of the house. But even if you’re not in the process of moving, why not try to take on some of that clutter now? One messy drawer isn’t the end of the world, but when that clutter begins to spread through your home, it can have a direct impact on your quality of life. Clutter takes up space you could be using to showcase things you care about. It can be distracting and even cause stress. Before the summer is up, make it a goal to get rid of some of the clutter in your life. Try renting a small dumpster. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can fill that bin up with all the unwanted stuff you’re hanging on to. Want more reasons for clearing out the clutter? Consider these benefits:

Messy Garage

If your house looks like this, you could benefit from some decluttering. Image Source: flickr user: Unnar Ymir Bjornsson

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Written by Rick B.

July 23rd, 2015 at 4:34 pm

6 Tips To Take The Stress Out Of Moving

If you’ve moved a few times, you probably hope you never have to move again. Between packing and unpacking, you could find yourself on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I have boxes I still haven’t unpacked from my last move and that was 12 years ago. Clearly, these are things I can live without. I look forward to someday getting to those boxes. Who knows what treasure I might find… But I digress. If you’ve got a move coming up on the horizon, then we’ve got some tips to take the stress out of moving.

Moving

If a scene like this is in your future, don't stress! It will all be over shortly. Image Source: flickr user: cambodia4kids.org

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Written by Rick B.

July 22nd, 2015 at 3:14 pm