How to Negotiate Your Bills

Negotiation isn’t only useful when buying a car from a dealership or discussing your salary at a new job. Many of your monthly expenses are actually negotiable if you spend some time doing a bit of legwork.

And although spending 20 minutes to an hour on a phone call can feel like a lifetime, the hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars you’ll save by negotiating your bills is time well spent.

Here’s how to save money by negotiating your monthly expenses.

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Jennifer Calonia
7 Useful Services That Are Worth Your Time 

You’ve probably heard the saying, “time is money”, but according to a recent survey, time is also happiness. In its international survey, scientific journal PNAS, found that “spending money on time-saving services is linked to greater life satisfaction.” 

If you find that everyday tasks are keeping you from prioritizing personal goals, buying back your time might be worth your coin. Here are just a few ways to reclaim your time so you can focus on the things that bring you joy.

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Jennifer Calonia
5 Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance — Is It Worth It?

Pet insurance might seem like a win-win — after all, it meant to cover your pet’s health care costs and protect your wallet from expensive vet bills. And like other types of human insurance policies, like heath insurance or life insurance, it can be a lifesaver in the event of an unexpected emergency.

Here’s what you should know about pet insurance, including the pros and cons of purchasing a policy for your beloved furbaby.

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Jennifer Calonia
5 Money Mistakes to Avoid

Feeling financially successful doesn’t come easy to everyone. According to Experian’s latest Personal Finance Survey, only 17% of respondents said they felt “very secure” about their finances. What’s even more troubling is 26% felt less financially secure compared to the previous year.  

With so many factors playing into your financial health, feeling some unease about money is understandable. To help you stay on track with healthy financial planning habits, try to steer clear of these common money mistakes.

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Jennifer Calonia
5 Goals to Save Towards Your Financial Plan

When it comes to managing your money, you have a lot of different priorities. You need to pay your bills, focus on paying down your debt and think about the future. But there are also some goals you should be saving for consistently. Here are the top five goals you should focus on for your financial plan. 

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The Value of a Quarterly Review

Prior to joining The Financial Gym, my husband and I handled our money in a very basic way.  We’d receive our income, check our calendar of bill due dates to what needed to be paid before the next pay period, pay those bills, and the rest went to whatever we needed.  Simple, right? We’d plan on saving some of those remaining funds, but then one of our cars would need a repair, one of our pets would need an immediate vet visit, and just like that our savings would be wiped out. So much for our $1000 emergency fund! 

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How to Save Your First $1,000 in Emergency Savings

Are you stuck living in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle? It’s time to build your emergency fund. An emergency fund is money you have set aside for the emergencies that inevitably come up. Your car breaks down, you lose your job, etc. But if you have no savings getting to that first four-figures is tough. It can seem daunting even. If you’re just starting your savings journey, here’s how to save your first $1,000 for your emergency fund. 

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7 Last-Minute Weekend Summer Getaways

Whether you’re satiating your wanderlust solo or traveling with the entire family, planning an elaborate summer vacation can take time. And since summer is officially upon us, you might feel like it’s too late to get a trip on the books.

But according to the latest data from Skyscanner, the best time to book a domestic flight is 30 days in advance, meaning you still have time to enjoy the best weekend getaways in the U.S. Here’s a list of last-minute travel ideas that’ll help you enjoy the summer sun this season.      

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Jennifer Calonia
Message from the CEO: Summertime

Until last year, we closed the Gym for one week in the summertime which was easier when we just had 400 clients and 8 full-time employees. This summer, we’re fast approaching 2,500 clients with 22 full-time employees so closing the Gym is no longer an option.

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Shannon McLay
5 Items You Should Automate ASAP

There are countless money management tips online that may or may not work for you. Some are super hands-on with spreadsheets to help you manually track money going in and out of your checking account, while others are much more simpler.

If you find yourself too busy to get a handle on your budget, a “set it and forget it” approach might be a fit for you. One of the best ways to save money and reach your financial goals is by automating your finances. 

Here are the five basic money areas to automate starting today.

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Jennifer Calonia
5 Fave Cash Back Apps for Savings On-The-Go

Although the act of clipping Sunday mailer coupons has a therapeutic quality to it, it’s no longer the most efficient way to cut costs at the register. And as more shoppers rely on their smartphone to help make life easier, consumers are leveraging cash back apps as a way to fast-track savings on everyday purchases.

The key to making this savings strategy work is ensuring you’re not buying more than you intended just to get cash back — in this scenario, you’re actually taking your savings in the opposite direction.

If you can use these apps wisely and already plan on making certain purchases, earning cash back on those transactions is a no-brainer. Here are today’s best cash back apps for busy, but frugal, shoppers.

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Jennifer Calonia
How to enjoy the summer on a budget

As the summer season is in full effect, it’s time to enjoy and have some fun. Summer seems to pass by so fast, so you want to get the most out of it and live and love life. All of that fun can come at a cost, though. Luckily, there are ways you can enjoy the summer on a budget. Here are eight ways to have fun in the summer without breaking the bank.

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7 Graduation Gifts for the New Grad In Your Life

Every May and June, graduates across the country leave their old college life behind to begin a new chapter of adulthood. It’s an exciting time full of lots of transitions. To congratulate the graduate in your life for all of their hard work, you want to get them something to commemorate the beginning of their new life. Here are seven graduation gifts to consider for the new grad in your life.

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Financial Literacy: Paying it Forward

All of us have a financial story that is influenced by our childhood. That story can lead to overspending and mismanaging money — and if we're honest, it's tough to break. Financial Gym client, Rebecca, is working with us to ditch her spending habits after a childhood in poverty and learning how to keep the money she makes. Not only that, she's now paying it forward to others in her community. Read on to learn more. 

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4 Ways to Change Your Money Mindset from Scarcity to Abundance

Have you ever felt like you’ll always be broke? Do you always feel like there’s never enough money? If that’s the case, we hate to break it to you: you have a scarcity mindset. You focus on lack, rather than growth. Here’s the good news. You can switch up your money mindset! Is it easy? No. But it’s possible to make progress, so you can better your relationship with money. Here are four ways to shift your money mindset.

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