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How I Cut My Cell Phone Bill In Half

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The bliss of saving $1,288 on my cell phone bill! Via Shutterstock

We paid on average $160 per month for cell phone service through Verizon until we realized we could cut our bill in half if we switched to an unlimited family plan on AT&T. We are now sharing a plan with another couple in another household – which is totally legit! AT&T rocks! How much is your cell phone bill? Are there ways you could cut it down?

How we cut our cell phone bill in half

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911

Bargain Babe Remembers Sept. 11 – Years Later

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I remember. Via Shutterstock

Has it really been 13 years since 9/11? Gosh, it has. Who remembers that day? Every year the tributes and news coverage shrinks. Fewer friends and family seem to recognize that this day is different. A day to remember and mourn. Perhaps they are moving on.

I am, too. My heartache is softer, fainter. I call up the images in my head – the plumes of smoke out my kitchen window, the impossible crumbling building, the sirens and sirens and sirens – and they bring tears, not sobs.

But still.

I want to take this day to remember. I want to take this day to give blood – and encourage you to do the same. Find a place near you to give blood now.

Instead of bargains, I am sharing a post I wrote in 2009 that originally appeared on my Bargain Hunter blog at the LA Daily News.

Forgive me for not posting any bargains today, the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Trying to save $3 on a sandwich or find a shoe sale seems silly and out of place today. Instead, I’m going to try to give blood, something I wasn’t able to do that day in New York.

So many people tried to donate on September 11 — we expected waves of injured people to flood the hospitals — that the blood bank was full. They turned us away.

Walking to and from the hospital everyone we passed was talking about the twin towers, you could see it on their faces and hear snips of the awful truth in their conversations.

I was stunned, like so many other people. Was it really possible those two massive buildings that stood almost twice as tall as any other building on Manhattan could collapse? But they did. I saw it from my kitchen window.

We lived on the third floor of a brick building adjacent to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. One of the things we loved about the apartment was its three large windows that looked onto lower Manhattan.

We had a picture perfect view. On days when the air was crisp and the sun bright under a brilliant sky — almost impossible to imagine in hazy LA — I ate my breakfast cereal in front of the window, just staring at the buildings. My own New York postcard.

September 11, 2001 was one of those gorgeous fall days. I had just started grad school at Rutgers in New Jersey and had planned to go into campus that morning. But as it turned out, the CDs I needed to listen to had arrived the day before in the mail. Otherwise I would have taken the subway into Manhattan, transferring to the NJ PATH train at the World Trade Center. With the CDs at home, I slept in.

The sirens finally woke me up. I got out of bed at about 9 a.m. and I remember thinking there were more sirens than usual that morning. You get used to a lot of noise living in New York City. Then I saw a trail of smoke from the first tower. I went back into the bedroom and woke up my boyfriend.

“There’s something going on,” I told him, nudging him awake.

I turned on the TV and one of the people being interviewed on the BBC was declaring this was an act of war. That seemed drastic. Maybe this was just an accident?

When the second plane hit, my gut told me it wasn’t. From my window I saw the terrible gash the second plane created on the side of the building. There was a lot of smoke. You could see flames.

We tried to guess how many people might work in the two buildings. Tens of thousands, we decided.

Then the buildings collapsed. Dark, smokey clouds billowed.

I bristle when people ask me what it was like to watch. What do you think it’s like seeing thousands of people die in a few minutes? It is terrible.

But there was one part that was beautiful. After the towers collapsed — but before the wind blew a blanket of smoke and debris over Brooklyn — the brilliant sky glittered.

A sparkling arc reached like a hand over the bay from Manhattan to Brooklyn. It was incredible and I watched it for a few minutes before closing the windows so the dark air would not foul our apartment. Later I found out it was reams of freed office paper catching the sunlight.

The air cleared and we went to the hospital. We wanted to give blood, to do our part, but we couldn’t. Today I am going to try again.

Join me in giving blood today. You can find a donation center through the Red Cross by clicking here.

I made an appointment to donate blood today. Join me in honoring the victims of Sept. 11 by giving blood.

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Investing at the Right Place

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A country’s response to its economic turbulence is transparent and state prepares its citizens for the financial uncertainty that may come in future. There are industries and businesses that have a strong state backing but still there is financial turmoil to be faced by big companies and industries into bankruptcy. These financial crises are faced at some point or the other by each and every individual in their life. There are mortgages, credit card bills, auto loans and unsecured debts which are to be taken care of without any security and involve threat to all their life savings. The unpredictable market has made the investor every bit cautious and sensible in terms of investment.

Response to Uncertainty (more…)

Struggling to pay for college expenses? These jobs can help you Via Shutterstock.

Five Best Jobs for College Students

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Struggling to pay for college expenses? These flexible jobs can help! Via Shutterstock.

As college classes start I’ve begun to hear my little sister’s complaints: “I’m so poor.” The broke college student isn’t a joke, it’s a reality for many students, especially those who don’t work during the school year. While many people are still undecided about whether students should work during college, there are jobs that help boost your bank account without cutting into study time.

Throughout college, I worked many part-time jobs and internships.That’s part of the reason why I was able to graduate college debt-free. If you want to manage school and work, finding a job that works with your schedule is key. Here are five jobs that will help you pay your bills while keeping your grades high.

5 Flexible Jobs for College Students

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win

BB Finalist for Important Award!!!

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I feel like a winner. :)

I’m super psyched to announce that BargainBabe.com is a finalist for a really important award – the Best Deals and Bargains Blog in the Plutus Awards. Okay, so it’s not like I’m up for an Oscar, but for an everyday finance blogger like myself, this means being recognized by my peers for the hard work our team does everyday to save you money!!!

The nomination was announced Sept. 2 and the winner will be announced Sept. 20, 2014 at the FinCon conference in New Orleans. (I’m not able to go this year but I highly recommend it if you have a personal finance blog. You can also buy the Virtual Pass for $99 if you can’t make it.)

We were nominated along with some really awesome blogs – Bargain Briana, $5 Dinner Mom, Hip2Save, and Coupon Mom. Wow, those are HUGE blogs that do some really amazing work. I feel like a winner just being nominated. I’M SO CHEESY! This is the first award I’ve been nominated for so it’s a big deal to me.

Thanks for all your support all these years. You motivate me everyday to save!

Julia

aka Bargain Babe

Via Shutterstock

How I Got Rid of My Sinus Infections For Good

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A few years ago, I was having sinus infection after sinus infection. I went through 8 rounds of antibiotics in less than one year. I even had an MRI. The doctor said the next step was surgery. Then a mom from my daughter’s kindergarten class told me about an anti-inflammatory shake she drinks every day and how they improved her health.

An anti-inflammatory diet can help with a variety of chronic ailments including sinus infections, digestive disorders, arthritis…even the common cold. Her swamp-colored green shakes looked anything but appetizing, but I was desperate and sick of being sick! The next day, she brought me my very own mossy green thick shake. With a shudder, I drank it and it was delicious! I started making them myself. That was 4 years ago.

I have had zero sinus infections since drinking these shakes.

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Resurrect That Tired Looking Pond With These Simple Ideas

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Ponds are beautiful until bacteria and natural elements take effect. Ponds provide plenty of aesthetic value to a backyard or patio area yet buildup of carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide gases within the water influence color, quality, and opinions of onlookers. Prolong the life of your pond, rejuvenating the supply of fresh oxygen.  (more…)

Tips for getting a good deal at outlet malls.

6 Tricks Outlets Use to Sell More Stuff

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Outlets promise deals, but do they deliver? /via Shutterstock

In most cities, outlet stores are shining oases in the desert. Almost literally. They’re usually plunked down outside of major metropolitan areas (where rents are lower), clustered together in a mall with a plethora of food and drink options to create a day-long shopping trip. And while they lure you in with the promise of designer clothes at a discount price, are you really getting a good deal?

As with most things, the answer can be both yes and no. Many outlet stores bet on the fact that you’ll walk in assuming that everything is going to be a great deal, and skip your homework. The truth is, some deals are there, but you may need to check your expectations at the door, ask questions, and do some serious comparison shopping to make sure you’re not overspending.

 Here are 6 “catches” to watch out for when outlet shopping (and how to combat brands’ tactics and score a great deal!):

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Have you ever been shocked by your credit card bill? Via Shutterstock.

How Credit Card Interest Works

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Have you ever been shocked by your credit card bill? Via Shutterstock.

We’ve written a lot about the danger of overspending on credit cards. We’ve shared our struggles with credit card spending, tips to choose the best credit card, and even offered advice on how to know if your child is ready for a credit card. Overspending is a fast track to debt, especially when combined with high interest rates. While understanding interest is extremely important, we haven’t explained it completely…until now.

How credit card interest works

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