What if the cost of food increased at the same rate as house prices?

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Hi guys,

Just wanted to share this interesting infographic with you courtesy of TotallyMoney.com. So basically they have applied the inflation being experienced in the housing sector to everyday household products in an infographic. Quite scary really, imagine paying £4.30 for a banana!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Frank.

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Mobile commerce – How can we make the most of it?

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Hi guys!

Firstly, apologies for the recent lack of updates on my blog. Due to family commitments I have unfortunately neglected my blogging lately, although I do still do keep a keep an active interest in everything frugal. I intend to carry on with the money saving and interesting financial related blog posts, so please check back soon.

To kick things off, in this first post I wanted to talk about mobile e-commerce and its increasing role in everyday retail transactions. With mobile commerce expanding so rapidly it’s hard for both consumers and businesses to now ignore it. Almost 40% of website visits are now coming from mobile and businesses are required to ensure that they harness mobile commerce and provide for it.

What this means for consumers is that we need to ensure we keep track of the money we spend online and make sure that we do it securely. Most major credit card companies and banks now all provide apps we can securely track what we have spent and make transactions online securely. Companies such as American Express allow you to access your account and credit card virtually anywhere in the world, seeing your latest card transactions pay your bills and more. Find out more here – www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/credit-cards.

The advantage for us thrifty consumers is we can make the most of all those great mobile shopping deals. A few apps I would recommend checking out include;

  • MySupermarket – This appallow you to shop for the cheapest goods around via your mobile device.
  • Zwallet – This mobile wallet allows you to keep multiple loyalty cards all on your mobile device.
  • WhatGas – This app looks for the cheapest petrol/diesel near you, potentially saving you loads in the long run.

So what are you waiting for? Get your mobile apps and start making the most of mobile online shopping when you can.

If you have any apps or a mobile shopping experience you would like to share please leave your comment below or contact me on mail@frugalfrank.co.uk and I will share them.

Thanks for reading,
Frank.

Top Ways To Save Money Using Technology

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The rate at which telecommunications technology is advancing can be overwhelming for the average individual. New digital devices and media software are being created everyday to improve how we perform our daily tasks. Typically, these devices are designed to help save time and make processes more efficient, but more recently, consumers have been using them to make long term financial savings.

Today, there are many small ways that low cost or free technology services can help save you lost of money in everyday expended such as text messaging and entertainment costs like movie theatre tickets. While you may not have an interest in the finer details of how the technology that drives your life works, it is important to know how it can help you save money.

With that in mind, here are a few ways you can save money with technology:

1. Choose VoIP services

Voice over Internet Protocol is a fancy term used for the type of online services that allow you to make voice calls using an Internet connection. Sometimes, you can even chat or make free domestic calls using these services. The most popular VoIP services are Skype, Rebtel, and Google hangouts. All the three services have an application that can be downloaded to PCS and mobile devices.

2. Use Texting Apps

Rather than paying for your text messaging, there are free services such as What’sApp which lets you text your friends and family absolutely free! All you need is a mobile phone that can connect to the internet. Of course, you will have to pay a data charge but if you have Wi-Fi then it won’t cost you anything extra.

3. Advertise on the Internet

Years ago, businesses placed hard copy advertisements in newspapers and hoped someone would notice. But from a budgetary point of view, this approach is far too cavalier to be taken now. Advertising on the Internet is not only cost effective but it also allows easy tracking of results to identify what works and what doesn’t. Adverts that simply aren’t pulling their own weight can be easily eliminated this way.

4. Make sure your technology is adequately protected.

With regards to telecommunications technology, the financial impact of hackers, spammers and other illegal intrusions on company and home networks is virtually incalculable. Apart from outright theft of information or finances, human resource is needed to fix the problem not to mention the cost of replacing or repairing lost or damaged files and data. Ensure that your anti-spyware, firewalls and other security measures are up to date and working. This way, you won’t have to waste pocketfuls of money fighting viruses.

With regards to appliances and other gadgetry, it may also stand you in good financial stead to invest in protective measures and devices aimed at averting loss. For example, home appliances such as TV, Hi-Fi, and others tend to continue sucking up power even when switched off. To save energy costs, you can employ smart strip surge protectors. Not only would they protect the gadgets from power surges, but they also help reduce your monthly power bill by killing standby power that most electronic consumer when turned off.

5. Use freeware whenever possible

People having using premium accounting packages to manage both business and personal finances, but the average user can safely ditch these software packages in favor of free online services. The free web based Apps and services are capable of doing virtually everything that the paid software does. There are many other free yet high functional (freemium) software products that can replace your current software at a lower cost (or for nothing). A fine example is opting for Google’s web based apps (Free) over MS office.

6. Daily deal apps and websites

Daily deals have become very popular as a way of saving money in the UK. A daily deals event dubbed “DD summit Europe 2012″ that brought together big names in the daily deals industry such as Living Social UK and Groupon was first organized in 2012. The daily deals market is huge, with over 80 active daily deal sites in the UK and 250 new sites having been launched in Europe in a span of 3 years.

Websites like Living social, kgbdeals, and Groupon offer their subscribers up to 90 percent off on a wide range of products and services from holiday trips to haircuts. Whilst other sites like YesCatalogues are more specific. They offer daily discounts from UK catalogues of up to 20%. These discounts can be used on anything from clothing to electricals and appliances!

As you look to keep a tight grip on your funds during these hard economic times downloading an app like Cellfire Coupons, Sherpa, or MobiQpons will make it easy to display the best daily deals and coupons in your area.

Hive – A new money saving app?

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Hi guys, as you all know I’m always trying to cut the costs on my bills. I recently came across something called Hive which is a product by British Gas. Hive allows you remotely control your heating via an app. This sounded like a brilliant idea to me so thought I would share my thoughts about it…

Last autumn energy prices began to soar and a BBC survey revealed that 63% of households had to cut energy use to meet the bills and worse still at least 25% of people had to put up with unacceptably cold living conditions. Switching to different suppliers can initially save money but eventually they all push up their prices and some of the smaller companies have hardly been heard of and have no backup services. Heating cost and reliability is very important.

Heating your home is one of the biggest expenditures we all have. We need heat and plenty of hot water, some of us needing it more than others e.g. the elderly and children, anyone who is unwell. Some of us may have cold outdoor employment and the only way to get through the day sometimes may be by looking forward to coming home to relaxing in a warm environment in the evening. It is after all what we work for – food and home comforts.

When a new product such as is Hive is marketed many people instantly assume it is just another gimmick to make profit for the company but this brilliant money saving device actually does ‘what it says on the packet’. So what is Hive??

Hive is an app that allows you to control your heating remotely via an app wherever you are or whatever you’re doing. It’s a one of payment and you don’t need to switch energy suppliers. It will allow you to easily schedule your heating around your lifestyle to avoid wasting energy and heating your home when you aren’t around. You can set and change events easily to fit your needs  and create a schedule that fits you and your family.

So you can get e mails on the move, order food, do all your shopping and search out the cheapest bargains as you shop down the high street just by using your mobile phone so why not save on energy costs too? Just the act of being able to do this will on its own make you think more clearly about how and where your heating is needed and when – another app which will save you money! I’m definitely tempted to give it a go, you can find out more info about the app here, so let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Frank.