Biggest jackpot and lottery winners in America

Biggest jackpot and lottery winners in AmericaThe Biggest jackpot and lottery winners in America – Many people strike it rich on the lottery every year and it can really turn your life around for good and sometimes bad. If you don’t put all your hopes on the lottery it can be a little fun and you never ever know, right? It could be you….

The Biggest jackpot and lottery winners in America

The mega millions draw this week is the second biggest pot of money ever standing so how much was the January 4, 2011 Mega Millions jackpot worth? It was a staggering $380 million! Two mega million winners will split $380 million prize money. I can’t ever imagine having anywhere near that amount of money! The Mega million tickets were sold in Ephrata, Washington and Post Falls, Idaho so as far as statistics go you should avoid buying your tickets from there!

Richest Lottery Prize in US History, $390M (Mega Millions 2007)

The $390 million lottery record was awarded to 2 winners with Ed Nabors being the most notable. Ed Nabors took home $116 million before taxes. He was a Georgia Trucker. He purchased his ticket from Favorite Market, Dalton, GA and he planned to fish, buy himself a boat, buy a home for his daughter and quit his job.

Largest single ticket Powerball winner, 2006 (Nebraska meat processing plant)

8 Nebraska meat processing plant workers won the Powerball in 2006. The co workers from ConAgra ham processing plant won $365 million. The winners took $15.5 million each. The odds of picking powerball winning numbers are 1 in 146 million, not easy!

“The Lucky Seven” California lottery winners (2005)

California’s “Lucky Seven” won $315 million jackpot in 2005. They took $25 million before taxes and purchased their ticket from Rainbow Water in Anaheim. A lawsuit by Jonathan De La Cruz another co-worker was put out against the 7 as he was after a share but they all said they had not pooled money with him for over a year.

The odds of winning any lotto jackpot are absolutely tiny so it’s essential to always treat it as something that is only fun. Right now I don’t play any lottery but I have in the past and the most I have ever won is about $35. A friend of mine won about $5000 so I know things are possible. A few people have actually managed to hit big jackpots more than once but I doubt that will ever happen to anyone I know!

Have you ever won anything on the lottery and do you play regular? Do you dream of winning the lottery and have you ever met met or known a big lottery winner?

Thanks for reading.

Vacations on a budget

Consider making all your vacations on a budget this year – I really think that this year may be the year I pull myself out of debt and get my financial self in great order. However I am also a strong believer that you need to enjoy each and every year, not be be morbid but we could depart from this world crossing the road tomorrow. I don’t do big budget anything since I became “frugal” with my life and this is especially the case with vacations. In face I just came back from a few days in Luxor Egypt (but I live in Cairo right now anyway) and I spent relatively nothing!

Here are some of my favorite tips for a budget concious vacation.

Vacations on a budget, my tips

1. Visit somewhere fairly local

Vermont Cheap Vacation Ideas

People often discount their local areas or even staying within country. I am lucky right now as I currently live in Egypt but when I lived in Quebec I would visit Vermont, in London I would visit the South East coast of England. Almost anywhere in the world you will have somewhere really cool that is local and you can avoid expensive flight or transport costs, you can be near home if anything happens and also you know the area enough o find great deals on accommodation and anything else.

2. Go and see friends or family

As my friends and family spread around more and more vacation spots are opening up. Staying with a friend eradicates what is sometimes the biggest part of a holiday, accommodation costs. Also being with someone who knows the area gives you access to local pricing and local treasures. Our friends who visit here in Egypt are always very thankful for inside knowledge. I have managed to stay with friends all over England, in Boston and even Quebec City in Canada.

3. Think frugal when eating and drinking

Cheap Vacation Ideas BBQ

I advise this always but especially on vacation. The temptation to visit a restaurant 3 times a day can be overwhelming but if you stay at a friends house or an aprtment with cooking facilities or even have access to a place where you can use a barbecue you can have your meals on budget. Sandwiches and lunch snacks are always easy to make and you can pick up cheaper ready made food in supermarkets rather than restaurants. Of course it’s nice to visit a cafe here and there for lunch. In France one year we did much of our cooking on a fire on the beach, it was very idyllic.

4. Go somewhere with free festivals

When I lived in Montreal the summers were awesome because of all the free festivals. Acts such as Stevie Wonder and the Stooges have been free to see and there are many many events. A lot of cities have a festival each year as do small towns and country areas. Visiting a place that has a festival atmosphere already built in for free can save a lot of expense as entertainment is on hand with no effort or cost. Just bring packed lunches as food and drink during festivals is outrageous!

5. Go on a budget road trip or use budget transport

If you check the internet for places like Luck Star or even Grey Hound you can find many offers on early booked transport and can do a public transport roadtrip with camp or B&B stops in between. Alternatively you can take to the road in your car. Gas is expensive but winding through small towns and staying at local spots is still cheaper than visiting a plush hotel. In our late teens we would road trip over the UK and even France and even as an adult I have enjoyed these holidays.

What do you think of these ideas for Vacations on a budget?

Finding Great Wines at Affordable Prices

Finding Great Wines at Affordable PricesThis is a guest post from Mara & Ford from www.winning-wines.com

How do you find wines that are the best bang for the buck? Do you listen to friends or ask the salesperson at the local wine store? Often, when evaluating wines, there’s a strong tendency to be greatly influenced by the bottle’s label or a vintner’s reputation. There is a way, however, that you can gain far more objective insights and raise your hit rates for excellent wines at bargain prices.

Each year, there are major wine competitions around the country involving hundreds of wine experts who judge wines in blind taste tests. Often, thousands of bottles are entered to compete for medals. Large panels of expert judges wait in the tasting arena, while scores of back room workers label the glasses, pour them, and serve. When sampling, the judge usually spits out the wine and will occasionally use bread or a cracker to clear out residual flavors from the palate. The wines are served in groups like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, etc. Often, it takes several days to finish the judging.

The sheer enormity of the project can introduce bias, however. Variables such as what time of the day a particular wine is served, the feelings of the various judges, the atmosphere of the tasting, as well as other factors can influence the results.

The best way to smooth out these biases is to analyze how specific wines fared in several competitions. When a particular wine wins medals in more than one competition, the odds increase that this one is a winner.

High marks in several competitions are still no guarantee that you’ll love a particular wine. Judges may value certain characteristics to score a wine higher than its rivals, but that subtlety may not be appreciated by many consumers. Trying wines that achieve solid scores, however, is still one of the most cost-effective methods to help build your personal list of best wines.

You could spend hundreds of hours finding and organizing all these scores, then developing a formula to create a master list. Or, you might find that it’s already completed in Winning Wines: Medal Winners for $12 or Less. This book is available in all e-book formats as well as in a printed and bound edition. See www.winning-wines.com.

Cost of Living in California

This article is part of the Cost of Living by State Series and is a guest post by Suba at Wealth Informatics which aims to provide financial freedom through information.

When I first moved to California from the East coast, I felt like I had moved to paradise… miles of beautiful coast line, mountains, national parks, scenic drives, excellent restaurants, a dream come true. Being a penny pincher, slowly the taxes and the cost of living begin to take a toll on me. Now I have a love and hate relationship with my state.

cost of living in californiaEveryone knows the advantages of living in California (which probably explains why CA accounts for 9.1% of the US population). We have year round good weather, tons of great national/state parks, miles of beautiful beaches, great night life, you can ski and surf on the same weekend, drown yourself in ultra modern cities on one day and get away from civilization the very next. These advantages are touted in every tourist magazine. There are some advantages that you can experience only by living here

  • Excellent farmers markets and Community Supported agriculture
  • Lot of world class restaurants (Warning : Our Chefs will fill your palate but drain your wallet)
  • Lowest cost for attending community colleges
  • Better job market if you are in the tech industry or entertainment industry
  • Large number of good Universities
  • Unprejudiced Culture

But there is a flip side to this paradise. We pay a huge price to live in the golden state. Note: California is huge and the cost of living is very different in different places, so I am giving a rough comparison between Southern (Los Angeles), Northern (San Francisco) & Central CA (Visalia) for most of the major statistics (where applicable) and including detailed personal opinion on Southern CA.

How much do we earn?

The median household income in CA is $61,017. Much higher than the national average but not high enough to keep up with the high cost of living.

CA Southern CA Northern CA Central CA
Median Household Income $61,017 $68,190 $73, 127 $44,383
Minimum Wage $8.0 $8.00 $9.79 $8.0

Here is a chart comparing the median income  and median house price in different parts of CA (south, north & central), average CA and average USA.

california income vs houseprice

How much do we pay back to the state?

Taxes in California are one of the highest in the country.

Income Tax: The lowest tax bracket is 1.25% and the highest 9.55% (for income > $93,532 for married filing jointly).

Property Tax: Property tax is assessed at 100% of full cash value.  The maximum amount of tax on real estate is limited to 1% of the full cash value.  Under the homestead program, the first $7,000 of the full value of a homeowner’s dwelling is exempt. Property tax increases are capped at 2% per year.

Sales Tax: The average sales tax rate is 8.75% Tax varies according to locality. Can be as high as 10.25%, Los Angeles county tax rate is 9.75% and San Francisco is 9.5%.

We need to get money somehow; after all we have the nation’s most expensive public school ever.

How much do we pay to have a roof over our head?

Think your rent is high? Try renting in Los Angeles, Santa Clara or Sunnyvale. The median rent in California is $1200 according to the census bureau. If you will be buying your own home, the house prices have come down significantly (or so they say), but it is still expensive in CA, the median house price in California is $211,500.

Southern CA Northern CA Central CA
Median House price $248,700 $396,400 $97,800
Rent 2bd Apartment $1794 $1876
Rent 2Bd Single Family Home $1864 $2069

Here is a heat map from Trulia showing the cost of buying a home in various states. We are “red” hot. But with this map I think you can also appreciate how different the home prices can be within the state based on where you want to live. You can get a place for $150,000 or if you have a little extra you can go for this $150 million mansion.

Trulia USA House Prices Heatmap

The median house price in Southern CA according to the census bureau is ~$250,00 but from my personal experience with looking for houses, a decent 3 bedroom/2 bath room house in a respectable neighborhood, in the suburbs of Los Angeles is around $500,000. We rent a 1 bed/1 bath apartment for $1,200 not including any utilities.

Do you have anything left over to buy food and gas?

Even though the milk price averages (see the table below) $2.91 per gallon, it is usually on sale for $2.69. Regarding groceries we are at an advantage. California’s produce season lasts almost through the entire year. So farmers markets and Community supported agriculture thrive here. It is much cheaper to buy directly from the farmers and the produce quality is excellent. On average, we spend around $200 per month for 2 people on groceries. We buy mostly veggies, fruits, dairy and staples. No meat. Our average power bill for the month runs around $40 for a 1 bedroom apartment. Even if the gas price goes down a lot we are always above the national average.

Southern CA Northern CA
Gallon of Milk $2.91 $3.07
Loaf of Bread $0.99
Dozen eggs $1.99
Electricity (cents per KWH) 11 18
Natural Gas (per 1000 cubic feet) $10.21
Car Insurance $1313
Home Insurance $717
Gas $2.93 $3.05
University Of California Tuition $11,330
California State University Tuition $4,230

Here is a heat map of the gas prices in California. Even here we are red, red, red!

California Gas Prices Heat Map

The following chart shows the change in gas price over the last 2 yrs. The blue line shows the national average gas price, red line – Los Angeles and green, San Francisco. We consistently beat the national average. Do I sound proud? Hmm… weird.

California Gas Prices Over 24 Months

We do have some other minor inconveniences like traffic and smog. Looking at the silver lining though, you will get a lot of time while sitting in traffic to think about your future ;) and if you get bored with that there are always a lot of interesting audio books! Nice weather, many job choices (silicon and silicone related ;)), more things to do, breathtaking sceneries, wineries, restaurants, thinner wallet… Is it worth moving to California? What do you think?

Note from Forest: California is a high demand State to live in and I expected the costs to be high but it’s great to have such a fantastic breakdown. Thanks to Suba for a most excellent post. Remember to visit the article Cost of Living by State to link to posts on other States.

is your relationship solid?

is your relationship solid?It helps to know is your relationship solid?….

One of the biggest and most important parts of my life is my relationship. My relationship is a rock that helps me through hard times, helps me keep my spirits up and keeps me on my targets. My frugal nature is at danger of being broke at times but my partner reminds me I have debt and to stay on target. My relationship is solid but that in itself obviously takes work, the work is worth it’s weight a million times over though.

Is your relationship solid?

I’m not here to tell you to get rid of your partner or anything like that but I do want to talk about your own self worth and doing the right thing for yourself. A relationship can be a mentally draining endeavour if it isn’t right or actually doesn’t make you feel good, love is an odd emotion and some say people in love display symptoms normally associated with mental illness.

Relationships are about give and take, compromise and so on but overall it’s about companionship and finding the best friend you will ever have. To me that is what a solid relationship is. Of course other attributes such as support and making you feel great about yourself are important to.

You have to get on top of your own self worth and make sure that your partner is making you feel worthy of yourself. If you are putting in all the effort and getting nothing back and feel any negatives about the whole thing then you may not have the solid foundations that are so important. In these cases it pays to work them out and strengthen those foundations or seriously consider getting out, to put it blunt.

Solid foundations are built on love and trust with trust being the part that makes up the bulk of the foundation. Trust in each others abilities, each others opinion, each others choices to do the right thing and belief in shared core values. Strength can come from experience too and you need to be willing to take the rough with the smooth and be there 100% for each other.

If my partner genuinely needs me I will drop whatever I am doing and do anything to get to her. I know she would do the same for me.

Ask yourself if your relationship is solid and if not sit down together and really try and work out where you stand with each other. You may just be too young in the relationship, have kinks and trust issues to iron out from previous relationships or just not both considered going serious with each other.

Once you have that solid relationship guard it with your life, it’s a beautiful thing!

Your opinions on judging and making a solid relationship?

This post was a bit of a ramble, I just wanted to share some thoughts and I would love it if you shared yours too. As you can see I am very happy to be going into this year of busting debt and making it one of the best years ever with love and support from my partner.

Thanks for reading.

How to make your resume stand out

How to make your resume stand outKnowing how to make your resume stand out could land you that job – In a time when unemployment is heading on 10% and companies are running at bare minimum staff more and more people are looking for work. This means resume stacks are twice as high and you need to stand out.

How to make your resume stand out, some ideas

Your resume is the first impression about you and your professional profile. It includes your qualifications and sometimes aspirations and is supposed to be you in a page or so! To summarize anyone professionally or personally in one page is virtually impossible but we have to try our hardest!

Getting your resume to stand out in the pile may need a little creativity so I thought it would be good to share some ideas to help that happen.

Tailor you resume closely to every job - It’s easy to just send the same resume to every job and just fashion an individual cover letter but take the time to adjust the resume too maybe mentioning the company name somewhere in the first few lines of the page or using words directly asked for in the job description

Find a senior resume and use it as a template – With things like LinkedIn and other online profiles existing you may be able to actually find the resume of the person who is interviewing you or other seniors at the company. This will give you an idea of what they think is important and give you a template and idea of how to reformat yours for that particular job.

Get it professionally designed - Most resume’s look exactly the same. It could pay to make yours look a little different and if you find a good (not tacky) professional designer to add small graphical accents, a cool font with nice headers and even color to really make it jump off the page. If you decide to try this yourself do not send it off without consulting other professional friends to see that it does not look tacky.

Deliver it in a nice envelope - Letters received at home in really nice envelopes always feel special, maybe sending it in a high grade professional envelope will show you are thinking about quality and presentation, something that is valued in every job.

Hand write the cover letter - A really well handwritten letter will show that you spent time and thought about contacting the company on a personal level. As long as they can see your CV laid out using a computer it will show you have both skills. Receiving a nicely written hand written letter always feels great so why wouldn’t it when writing to a potential employer.

These are new ideas that I have not really tried myself but I am trying to think of creative things that would have made me look twice when I was in the employer seat. Times are tough and innovation and optimism will get you through this much stronger than before. Keep it up and you will get yourself a good job and a better future.

I would love to hear any more ideas you have or any proven techniques.

Thanks for reading.

Most fuel-efficient AWD vehicles

Most fuel-efficient AWD vehiclesWhat are some of the most fuel-efficient AWD vehicles? – All Wheel Drive or 4 Wheel Drive is usually associated with large vehicles and for that reason is often not the most efficient class of vehicle. Obviously the engine needs to work harder to drive 4 wheels but then again in some cases it could mean less fuel is used per wheel as they are working together.

If you live in an off road or extremely hilly area (ie anywhere in the boonies!) then an AWD may be a good buy but not always the best for general city driving. Still let’s take a look at some of the most efficient AWD vehicles.

Most fuel-efficient AWD vehicles

AWD’s are available in more than just truck or SUV format but of course that is the most common. Finding out the ones that are most fuel efficient wasn’t that hard as luckily FuelEconomy.gov came to my rescue again, it’s an extremely useful and informative website. According to them here are some of the most efficient AWD/4WD vehicles.

  1. 2011 Lexus RX 450h AWD 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Auto(AV-S6), Premium – 30 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
  2. 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular – 30 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
  3. 2011 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular – 30 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
  4. 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular – 28 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
  5. 2011 Nissan Juke AWD 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Auto(AV-S6), Premium – 25 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
  6. 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 4WD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Auto(AV-S6), Regular – 24 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
  7. 2011 Subaru Legacy AWD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular – 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
  8. 2011 Audi TT Coupe Quattro 4 cyl, 2.0 L, Automatic (S6), Premium – 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
  9. 2011 Audi TT Roadster Quattro 4 cyl, 2.0 L, Automatic (S6), Premium – 22 mpg city 26, 31 mpg highway
  10. 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon AWD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular – 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway

The fuel efficiency isn’t so bad but of course the Hybrids are giving better overall efficiency these days and I think we are still waiting for some decent AWD hybrids and it will be great to see the first AWD All Electric sometime sone (I bet a few are in the works).

Do you drive any of these cars or plan to? How do the mpg estomates stack up to extra use and have you found better mpg with any other AWD vehicles?

As always thanks for taking the time to read this post and please add any comments or thoughts below.

Superstitions about money

Superstitions about moneySuperstitions about money – Money is something that impacts our lives as much as anything else I can think of. We carry it around all day in one form or another. We use it to fund our lifestyles from survival to thrival (did I make that work up!!!). Anyway the fact that it has such an impact means that it is no surprise that many superstitions both in the form of wives tales and personal have evolved around the subject of money!

Superstitions about money

Lucky quarter – This is one of the widest used superstitions and although people don’t say they directly believe it many people do carry a lucky quarter on their person.

Wooden nickel - A wooden nickel is seen as a bad thing but my partners mother carries one around, not sure if anyone else does this but it made me laugh.

Kissing money - Kissing is seen as a nice gesture so why not kiss money! Well asides from the fact that it carries tons of germs, you don’t know where it has been are good reasons but hey it may have traces of cocaine on it so maybe that’s why people do such things!

A purse (or any other money holder) as a gift requires a little money inside. Given empty it causes bad financial luck - According to Wikipedia this is a Russian superstition, I guess it’s just a nice gesture anyway!

If your palm itches then you are coming into money – I think this is more likely eczema or chemical burn but you can turn it into something positive if you believe in superstition! I believe I have heard an itchy nose variation on this one too.

Money picked up from the road could contain evil spirits – Apparently this one is from Trindad and Tobago, doesn’t all money contain evil anyway?

A brown spider in your house will bring you money – Another one from Trinidad and Tobago. I wonder if this is where the money spider name came from?

At the end of a rainbow you will find a pot of gold – Typical Irish humor at play here I suspect! Even those old wives knew a rainbow could not be tracked to it’s end!

A bird pooping on your head means you are lucky and could come into money! - C’mon this just turned up to make the unfortunate victim feel better but they will feel worse when they don’t get any cash!

Do you have know or have any superstitions about money?

What superstitions about money do you carry? Do you have a ucky dime, have to run around a paving slab 12 times after spending $100 or do you know of any funny, crazy superstitions?

Thanks for reading.

Host a clothing swap party

host a clothing swap partyHost a clothing swap party, it’s a lot of fun - Hosting get togethers and parties is a great way to entertain on a budget and from my experience they are not as much hard work as you think they may be if you spread the work amongst a few friends. Hosting a party with a purpose (such as a clothing swap party!) is even better!

My partner has loads of clothes that she never wears. Some were given to her, some she purchased and then subsequently decided she didn’t like them. Anyway I get a little frustrated with them sitting there doing nothing and I think I am going to suggest we host a clothing swap party. Yes I said WE…. I have no clothes to exchange (some to donate though) but am happy to help.

How to host a clothing swap party

This isn’t exactly rocket science here but general hosting rules apply. I always make my parties pot luck or similar. If people bring food and drinks to share it seriously lowers the financial burden on you as the host. If you don’t do this then parties can work out more expensive than going out to a bar or restaurant for the evening so it defeats half of the purpose!

Ask everyone to bring as many clothes as they have to exchange as you want to make sure the party ends in successful swaps. It’s important you try and get a gauge of just how many people are coming so you can arrange a space for each person.

Clear your party space (living room, dining room are often the best spaces) of all clutter, people will be opening up big bags of clothes so it helps to remove chairs. tables, ornaments and anything that can get broken.

I would personally keep all food away from the clothes and in the kitchen. Self serve is best at these kind of hosted parties and reusable plastic plates and cutlery are always good to have on hand. I don’t like using disposable stuff but your best china plates may end up broken and in the bin!

I also suggest you start early and actually get the clothing exchange done early. That way the party can take a natural course and move into more social ground as the evening goes on. if alcohol is involved it’s good to get the swaps done early too to avoid your friends making bad decisions or any arguments ensuing!

Generally it will be women doing the swapping, I am not one to genderize things but I have to accept that is just the way it is! A party is more fun if all your friends are invited so it’s a good idea to work out alternate entertainment while the swapping is happening. Maybe fixing the party while there is a football game on may be a good idea. Or set up a movie for any non swappers to watch. Hopefully by the end of the eve everyone will be mingling anyway.

Your clothing swap party ideas?

I’m not an expert in any sense, and I am a guy! I would love to hear your ideas and if you have hosted a clothing exchange party, any more tips you have. Often these posts are made in the comments by input from you.

Consignment shopping tips

Consignment shopping tipsOur consignment shopping tips – Buying new just seems wasteful at times when so many used goods find their way to landfills and spend their lives gathering dust in the corner of charity stores. Almost anything you can think of can be found at consignment stores. With the evolution of the internet you are no longer limited to your local good will either.

Our consignment shopping tips, it’s eco-friendly and saves money…

Consignment shopping is by no means a new concept but people are (hopefully) becoming more aware and adjusted to the idea of it as a growing trend of re-use spreads across the land! It used to be an occupation of the “poor” but it doesn’t matter what income level you sit at re-use is generally a good thing and waste is something we should all be looking to reduce.

If you don’t like digging through piles and piles of what seems like unsorted junk then there are alternatives for you. More and more consignment stores such as Goodwill are setting up smaller more high end orientated stores for designer goods and high quality items that they pick up. They may carry a premium in consignment terms but they will still save an arm and leg. Chains like Plato’s Closet offer great quality clothing and then of course there is the internet. Ebay and Craigslist are still excellent places to pick up used goods and Amazon sells used books at discounted prices.

Like any form of shopping it does cost money even at a consignment store. Before you head out know what you need and list it if you are very bad at buying everything in sight! If you go on a goodwill spending spree you can still rack up $100′s for things you will likely never use. Knowing exactly what you need is very important.

I don’t like accumulating stuff even if it is reused and the money goes to a good place (like when shopping at Goodwill and The Salvation Army) so it’s a good idea to see what you have that you do not need anymore. Many places will offer you some cash and give you a receipt to claim back taxes on your charitable donation. Selling through Ebay or Craigslist also gives you access to a wide network of people and you can often sell your goods for more than you would in the local paper or by putting a classified in the supermarket. In fact some people earn a living buying local consignment items and selling nationally (do your research before you embark on such a business).

Don’t disregard any item as not being available used. Designer dresses, suits that can easy tailored to be a perfect fit, even diamond rings, watches and more. In many ways a used item is more touching than new clean shiny fresh item and antique items always carry a story, you may not be able to find that story but it’s a romantic thought!

It’s January as I write and it’s the perfect time to go consignment shopping. After Christmas people get rid of a lot of stuff. If people get a new toaster they often donate the old one and we know how much stuff people accumulate so this works in our favor.

When buying items related to safety you have to be extra careful. Things like baby seats and bicycle helmets need to be seriously checked out and always make sure they are not on any recall lists. In fact I would never buy a safety helmet of any sort from a consignment store but I would trust a friend or a friend of a friend if they was selling the item. With regards to these kinds of items it pays to be careful and not just think of the savings.

Know what you need, don’t go overboard and be patient and you will save a bundle with consignment shopping.

I would love to hear your consignment shopping ideas and thoughts as well as any comments on this article.

Thanks for reading.