Savings Samurai – Nickel Ninja

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Brian and Bo give you the tips and tools you need to make your dollars stretch further than the rest. The guys share sites to help save you money shopping online, booking travel arrangements, negotiating utilities, and grabbing a cab.

Brian’s Triple Threat Shopping Action Plan:

Threat 1: Online shopping – Make sure that you navigate through Ebates (click to sign up if you haven’t already) or Upromise.com to make your online purchases. Most stores are registered with both sites and offer cash back rewards for making purchases through their service.

Threat 2: Have a rewards credit card – Brian and Bo both use the Fidelity card that gives you 2% cash back on everything. Once you build up $50.00 Fidelity will automatically deposit that cash into your savings or brokerage account. Capital One has a QuickSilver card that gives you 1.5% cash back on everything. It does not offer as much cash back, but if you prefer to stay away from Fidelity it may be the way to go.

Threat 3: Bargain shopping and travel - Retailmenot has a ton of coupons for almost every website out there. Priceline is the best site that we found for booking hotels. Outside of shopping blind, you can really get a great bargain on a nice room. However, you do have the option to select the quality of the hotel. The downside is that you do not get reward points when you use priceline, if you are trying to build Marriott, Hilton, etc. points. Another great resource is www.PriceGrabber.com which is an aggregation site that pulls prices from across the web to help you find the lowest price possible. We run most purchases through PriceGrabber so that we know where to go look during our initial research.

Bo’s tightwad tip of the week is AirBnB, which is a source to find housing while traveling where locals list extra rooms or entire houses that they are willing to rent out. It is often cheaper than a hotel, but there’s a good chance that the individual or family will be in the home during your stay.

Uber and Lyft are on demand taxi services that are leveraging technology to their advantage. With Uber the entire transaction can be completed via their app which is very powerful. The app is easy to use and the prices are set, which means no tipping. You can also find ratings for your assigned driver with the touch of a button. UberPool is coming soon and is another tightwad tool that utilizes cost-splitting by picking up others that share the same route.

The guys also give www.WhiteFence.com a shout-out once again, because the resource is just that good. It is a sight that allows you to compare prices in your area for all of your utility’s needs. Keep in mind that most utilities are negotiable, especially phone and cable service, which offers you the chance to drive the price down further. Also, keep your insurance premiums in check by shopping them every 2-3 years. Insurance companies seem to give new customers deals they are unwilling to allow to current customers. Sometimes it makes sense to actually switch your coverage to take advantage of the lower premiums.

Banks – What is there to say? Most brick and mortar banks are slowly replacing tellers with ATM’s and online banks have had a huge upswing in business the past few years. Online banks like Ally and FNBO Direct offer interest bearing checking and savings account.