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Budgeting 101: How can you make the most of it?

Your Debt-Free Life Starts Today!

9/22/2018 09.57 am ET | Updated October 25, 2018

Budgeting. One of the most important money-saving techniques, but one that so many of us get wrong and fail to fully utilize. In today’s money wise newsletter from American Debt Relief, we present you with 3 ways to ensure you make the most of budgeting (saving $$$ and ending the month with a little leftover).

Step #1: Understand your current financial situation

Getting a clear picture of where your money comes in from and goes out to, when, and how frequently, is essential when budgeting.

Include monthly expenses outside of your general bills. This might include student loans or car payments.

There are free, helpful spreadsheet templates such as this for Microsoft Excel.

Step #2: Identify problem spending areas

Many of us love having coffee in the morning, but spending $6–10 a day on your that cup of morning joe really adds up. Spending an average of $7, five days a week means you’ll spend north of $130 a month! :coffee:

Making coffee for your commute at home and taking a lunch with you to work will result in big bucks over time. Cut down during the week and use a percentage of those savings and reward yourself on the weekend with a tasty treat.

Save money every month by experimenting with homemade recipes of carpet cleaner or other cleaning products.

Step #3: Set a goal & build your financial vision

It’s important for your hard work to go towards something. When setting financial goals, make sure they are clear, explicit, and actionable.

An example of short-term goals include saving $5,000 to an emergency savings fund, saving $2,500 for a dream vacation :airplane:, or paying off a credit card balance.

It’s important to reward your hard work, even if your reward is only $30 a month. Make sure you spend it on something you love. (edited)

Dealing With Your Expenses During The Festive Season

10/08/2018 06:22 am ET | 

The team at American Debt Relief focus on connecting Americans with high debt loads with companies that can successfully help them (and we’ve connected thousands of people this way!).

Now that we’re entering the festive season, we thought we’d remind you of some important money-saving tips this year.

Make Your Shopping Plan!

Create a detailed, itemized list with budgets for gifts as well as any holiday parties you may be hosting.

Building an itemized list ensures that you have a rough idea of the types of gifts to keep an eye out for, should you ever see them on sale. It also helps you budget for the next few weeks, which are typically the most expensive of the year.

Learn from Christmas 2017!

Take a look at your expenses from last year and tally up how much you spent. Now, compare your income and expenses so far. Do they match up? Higher or lower? What lessons can you learn from last years Christmas that you can apply to this year?

Be wary of your credit card!

While credit cards are relied on by many of us, it might be a good idea to put it away when paying for Christmas, but you’ll thank yourself when the bill comes in January.

One helpful way of managing this is to take out the amount of cash you absolutely NEED (based on your budgets) and leave the card at home.

Another trick is to freeze your credit card in water (in a plastic tupperware). If you want to use it, you’ll have to defrost it, which reduces the chance of you impulse shopping.

Get Crafty! is BIG business — and that’s thanks to a huge amount of people that love handmade goods. Do you have friends and family that might love something handmade? Get crafty and create something thoughtful full of meaning and heart.

Start Early!

Ever heard the phrase “a year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today”?

It’s TRUE! You can typically find amazing deals on tons of items right after Christmas and all the way into January. Grab a few rolls of wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, and gifts ahead of time for next year. You’ll thank yourself!

 10 Tools to Use When Shopping Online!

05/01/2017 08:57 am ET | Updated July 13, 2018

Welcome to the Financial Education Blog Series by American Debt Relief

The tips and tricks to saving money online.

Many online frequent shoppers can attest to how overwhelming it can be to keep up with all the online deals, coupons, and promotions available on the Web. It is even more challenging when you have to compare prices with a batch of other online retailers. You, however, don’t have to go through all that, thanks to the many tools available to take your web browsing and shopping experience to the next level.

Here are some of the best online shopping tools that will not only make you a smarter shopper but also save you a lot of money and time.

1. Ebates

Ebates is a cash-back website available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge. It allows its members to activate cash back directly at store sites and automatically apply relevant coupon codes at checkout. It enables its users to compare exactly how much they will get back depending on where one shops as it offers various cash-back percentages from a wide selection of retailers.

2. Honey

Honey is one of the most popular online shopping tools focused on saving consumers money. Whenever you check-out online, Honey will automatically apply coupon codes to your shopping cart. If shopping on a supported online store such as Target, eBay, Walmart or Macy’s, clicking on the Honey button enables you to instantly see all the coupons and sales available for the store.

3. Amazon Assistant for Chrome

Amazon shoppers are set to love this extension as it allows you to add products from any website (not just to your Amazon wish list. It enhances your shopping experience by making it easier to track items that you eventually want to buy from anywhere on the Web from a single site. It also highlights the deal of the day, offers product and price comparisons.

4. Wallaby

For anyone with several credit cards with different points and rewards system, a Wallaby extension helps you earn the most points from your purchase by suggesting which credit card to use for each transaction.

5. The Camelizer

The Camelizer lets you track the price history of items you want to buy as well as set price drop email alerts so you can buy only when the selected product hits your desired price. It is perfect for Amazon, Best Buy or New Egg shoppers.

6. SliceWatch

SliceWatch just like the Camelizer allows you to get the best deals by tracking product prices and alerting you when the product goes on sale or gets a discount so you can buy it for much less.

7. CouponCabin

CouponCabin, a browser extension for IE, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox offers cash-back offers at over 1800 retail web sites and gives coupon information directly to your Google search results. It comes in handy when looking for ideas on which stores to shop at.

8. InvisibleHand

InvisibleHand is one beneficial tool that finds you the best deals on anything including flights, hotels, rental cars and other items you wish to purchase. It notifies you if a product or service you’re browsing is offered at a lower price on another site.

9. PriceBlink

PriceBlink works like InvisibleHand by showing the lowest prices for the product you are currently viewing. The tool supports over 3,000 merchants and shows coupon and shipping codes you may be able to use for the retailer you choose.


The extension offers coupon codes, compares shops and alerts you on other types of sales, special deals, extra savings, free shipping and other types of perks that can save you money at supported sites.

Mortgage. Home ownership can be quite the rollercoaster. Once the honeymoon wears off, many people find themselves 'house poor', with all their hard earned money tied up. Find out how to take back control and start moving in a more positive direction today.

Medical. Medical bills are one the leading causes of debt trouble in America. There are often several options available for medical debt consolidation. If you own your home, or are using credit cards to shuffle around your medical debt, there is better solutions available. Talk to a debt counsellor today and start living a more stress-free, healthy life.

Consumer. Clothes, shoes, a new TV, entertainment. It all adds up, and so do the bills. The key to managing consumer debt is to get educated on debt, and to make sure it doesn't happen again. Many Americans have benefited from the support available and found a long term solution so that it doesn't happen again.

Auto. If you struggle with multiple car payments due at different times through the month, wonder whether you are getting the best interest rate, want to raise your credit score, or want to see if you are eligible for lower monthly payments, car loan consolidation might be just what you are looking for. Learn more now.

Tax. Nobody wants it. There are experts available to help so that you can move on with your life.

Payday. It always feels like an okay idea at the time, especially when you don't have any other choice. As long as you have made at least one success loan payment, there are options available. Get your free quote today and find a payback schedule that works for you. 

Student. You have probably heard the term "Student Loan Forgiveness" buzzing around. If you haven't, you should probably get familiar. Lots of options available to make payments more manageable, to suite your current situation and career path. Start finding the solution for you.

Other. Still feeling confused, or haven't found the debt solution to suite your individual needs? Contact us.

Debt Consolidation Made Easy

05/01/2017 08:57 am ET | Updated May 01, 2018

Credit Cards. We know this one can be overwhelming. Many people end up paying extra fees, high interest, and juggling multiple cards when it doesn't need to be that complicated. Simplicity is key. Get help now.

27 Sneaky Ways To Save $100s A Month

04/08/2016 06:22 am ET | Updated Apr 08, 2018

Think you can’t save? Think again! Sure, it seems like there’s not much wiggle room in your budget, due to the rising costs of basic necessities—but that’s all the more reason to have a slush fund. Fortunately, there are plenty of painless ways to siphon cash from even a fixed income.

Start slowly, but do start; those money seeds will blossom into an extra layer of financial security. That sure beats wondering if you can really afford to put a $20 bill in a grandchild’s birthday card.

Easy does it

Start small with these basic tips: read the rest of this article

What's changing in the Republican health care bill?

by Tami Luhby and Nicole Ridgway @CNNMoney

Hoping to appease concerns by both conservative and moderate lawmakers, House GOP leaders are making changes to their health care bill ahead of Thursday's critical vote.

The package of amendments was unveiled Monday night, with many of the new provisions aimed at toughening Medicaid rules for adults, but making some allowances for the disabled and elderly covered by the program. Read the rest of this article

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US households now have over $16,000 in credit-card debt

by Jessica Dickler | @jdickler

American families are taking on increasing amounts of debt as incomes fail to keep pace. Indebted households today have credit card balances averaging $16,061 — just shy of 2008's high, according to a new NerdWallet report, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Census Bureau.

And total household debt, including mortgages, has ballooned to $132,529, up from $88,063 in 2002, when NerdWallet started tracking the data. While household income has grown by 28 percent in the past 13 years, it lags the the cost of living, which increased 30 percent during the period. Read the rest of this article

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