Dollabuzz Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals

Is Black Friday/Cyber Monday the best time to shop?

Hello, Dollabuzz readers and holiday shoppers! Zach here trying to help you save money this holiday season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are advertised as two of the biggest shopping days of the year. Sales are aplenty and everyone wants the “best deal”. That is great and all…but is it really the “best” day to finish, or possibly start your holiday shopping?

Are you going to join the crowds?!

The Dollabuzz Study

Over the past couple of days, we have been documenting the prices of a few different popular items.

  • Keurig K55 Brewer/Keurig K50 Brewer
  • Samsung 4K Ultra-High-Def TV
  • Fitbit Charge 2 HR
  • Yeti Rambler (30 oz)
  • North Face Men’s Resolve 2 Jacket
  • North Face Women’s Resolve 2 Jacket
  • Apple Watch S3 – 42 mm

We have been keeping track of these popular items on big retailers websites; Amazon, Target, and Walmart. All in an attempt to see what happens to prices as the prime holiday shopping season approaches. Interestingly enough, Amazon shows its dominance by being the only one to carry all the items we looked at. In those cases, we will only be to compare the price changes at Amazon day-to-day.

Amazon has been advertising their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales well in advance.

The Dollabuzz Prediction

Going into this study, we believe that the price of these items will be inflated in the days and weeks before Black Friday/ Cyber Monday. This would then allow retailers to offer a big price “reduction” for the shopping season. The idea is that prices on Black Friday/Cyber Monday are very similar to prices in mid-July, but as consumers, we don’t notice the price has been going up.

THE DATA

Download the data below!

DollabuzzHolidayDeals_2017

This data is recent as of November 27, 2017. I will continue to update in the few days we have before Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and a few days after to see what happens! If you would like, send an email to me at Zach.Dollabuzz@gmail.com to receive the newest one as soon as I have it updated!

You will also notice there are links included just in case the price is right for you!

Week 2 Update

I have been carefully monitoring the prices of the items listed above every couple days for two weeks now. I never thought about it in the original prediction, but I am curious what will happen to prices when the shopping days are over. Some items have acted as we expected, the price has slowly increased. But there are other items, particularly the TV’s that have had large reductions in the days leading up to Black Friday.

Side Note: If anyone was in the market for any of these items, Dollabuzz has done the price comparisons for you! You are welcome!

Post-Black Friday

Taking a look at the prices after Black Friday they did jump back up a little bit. So if you are looking for something, and didn’t get it on Black Friday do not but it on Saturday because chances are you are paying more then you have to. So far on Cyber Monday prices do seem to be coming back down so if you missed out now may be the best time!

How to Invest Through Robinhood: The Holy Grail for New Investors

Dollabuzz Shows You How to Invest Through Robinhood

Robinhood is Easy To Understand and Use

Welcome, Dollabuzzers! As many of you know Dollabuzz is all about investing in the market for the long-term. Historically, investing in the stock market has been a great way to Dollabuzz. Most people invest through their employer (401k), but you can also invest through sites like Betterment and Wealthfront. But today, Dollabuzz shows you how to invest through Robinhood.

I like Robinhood for three specific reasons. Robinhood is easy to understand and use, numerous investment options, and Robinhood is commission-free. Now let’s break down each one of these and take a closer look at what makes Robinhood so special.

How to Invest Through Robinhood: Reason #1: Easy to Understand and Use

Opening a Robinhood account is really simple, and unlike other brokerage accounts, there is no minimum account deposit. This is especially great for new investors who are ambitious to learn, but hesitant in putting up a lotta Benjamin’s.

Big Ben Would Approve of Investing Through Robinhood.

Anyone who has opened a brokerage account in the past knows that it takes awhile to learn all the different functions that your account is capable of. The advantage that I believe Robinhood has is its simplicity and user experience.

Investing Through Robinhood is Sooo Easy.

Visibly, their interface only uses a handful of colors which makes navigating the site easy. They also cleaned up the “home page” reducing the numbers that are displayed. Percent change, Last Price, and Equity are readily available which is all you need. A quick glance will show you how your investments are performing.

How to Invest Through Robinhood: Reason #2: Investment Options

Currently, stocks, bonds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are the main investment options on Robinhood which is all you need to D’Buzz hard. Some of the more complicated trading vehicles like options and futures are not yet available but I am sure they will be in the years to come. For the new investor that is A-OK and will help you Get.Your.Money.Right. As Robinhood continues to grow they expand their services so new investors can grow right alongside them.

Exchange Traded Funds Allow You To Dollabuzz

So Mr. Dollabuzz what Do I Invest In?

If you are under the age of 30, ideally you should be 100% in stocks. Straight up. Bonds won’t get you where you need to go. I know that sounds crazy but you have time on your side and a long-term time horizon for the stock market will help you Dollabuzz. Now, if are more conservative that is fine. Everybody is different. I would recommend keeping 10-20% in cash so you can capitalize on any buying opportunities.

How to Invest Through Robinhood: Reason #3: Commission-Free…Yay Yay!

My favorite part about Robinhood is there not being any commission costs. If that sounds too good to be true, I applaud your skepticism. You would be correct though. There are exchange fees that you will be charged, but the costs are insignificant; especially with a small account.

Commission Free = Mo Money For You.

If you are new to trading/investing Robinhood makes it is easy to take a small amount of money, $100, plan it out, and then execute your strategy. Imagine if you had to pay $10 for each trade. Commissions would eat you alive. CHOMP! If you aren’t trading with a large amount of money commissions will take a big chunk out of your investment returns and can have a significant impact on how soon you retire. Zoinks!

Dollabuzz Takeaway

Investing in the stock market for the long-term can be a great way to build wealth and is part of the money plan. Whether it be a 401k through work or an IRA/investment account through Betterment/Wealthfront the key is to invest and invest early. The sooner you begin, the longer your money will be able to work for you, so get started today! Oh, and as an added bonus, if you refer your friends to Robinhood you can each get a free stock! Cha-Ching!

How to Save $1,000 Before the Fall Semester Starts

Dollabuzz Shows You 3 Quick Ways To Save A $1,000 Before Fall Semester

Buenos Dias, Dollabuzz readers! It is mid August and two-a-days are well underway so unfortunately, it is time to prepare to go back to class. After workin’ and chillin’ by the pool all summer, going back to school can be tough and the money seems to just fly right out of your hand. But today, I want to help you save some of that hard-earned money. Let’s see how to Dollabuzz your fall semester and save $1000 before the fall semester starts.

Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: After a summer of workin’ and chillin’ at the pool, it’s time to get ready for school.

College: One Expense After Another

College. Where I have spent the past three years of my life has been the most expensive endeavor I have encountered so far. Tuition costs have skyrocketed and, with that, so has the cost of everything else associated with the college experience.

Somehow the school finds a way to charge you for everything. Of all those expenses you have, tuition, in most cases, is the largest. I wish that I had a magic wand to lower tuition but I don’t. However, I do have some easy ideas on how you can save some Benjamin’s elsewhere.

Dollabuzz has a plan to help you save a $1000 before Fall semester starts.

While we are on the topic of trying to pay for college, I would encourage you to check out another Dollabuzz article, the student loan lie. Student loans last long after the couch has stopped burning (Michigan State thing) and can drag on your finances in the future. But, Dollabuzz is here to help you out with three different ways that you can save money before classes start!

Couch burning in the middle of the street surrounded by people
Michigan State University frustration and celebration

Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: Plan Ahead and Get Your Supplies Early

Everybody wants to make sure they have that fresh-cut and stylish new shoes. But how do you pick up your school supplies? Waiting until the last-minute and buying them at the campus bookstore can be costly.

Picking up some of the essentials; pens, pencils, notebook, and folders can be purchased at significantly lower prices than what you will pay on campus. Campus bookstores will make you pay for the added convenience. So, save yourself some cash and do your school supply shopping ahead of time.

Dollabuzz Savings: $50. Ohhh wow 50 bucks. Well, $50 saved on supplies is a night at the bar and pizza on the way home. Keep reading for more Dollbuzz money tips. Dollawhuuut!? Dollabuuuzz!

Various school related objects
Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: Plan Ahead and Get Your Supplies Early

Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: Leave Your Whip At Home

Taking your whip (and nay nay) to campus and parking it might seem convenient, but is it really worth the cost? Sure, it is there when you need it, but dropping a couple hundred bucks to have your car sit in a parking lot all day is a waste of money. You might use it once, maybe twice, but there are other low-cost options that might be more effective.

Having your car on campus may be fun but it can be expensive. Check out cheaper modes of transportation.

Traveling to and from class becomes a hassle when you have to find a parking spot for your car, and chances are you will have to pay for that spot. Take a look at some of the simpler travel options. Bikes, mopeds, longboards, or public transportation are all less expensive choices.

Students that commute from home to school might be too far to bike or take a bus, but if your university offers cheaper parking for commuter students take advantage of that. The fewer times you park your car on campus, the less your odds of getting a parking ticket and the more you save on gas. Another option is to organize a car pool before the start of class. Post a message on social media and you can probably find students to carpool with. Dollabuzz savings: $300-$400

Yellow moped parked on a curb
Imagine cruisin’ around campus on this bad boy. DollaBuzz!
Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: Rent Your Textbooks From Amazon

Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite money saving method, Amazon. I am sure you know that Amazon is a great place to buy your textbooks. But did you also know they offer textbook rentals as well? We have all been in the situation where a professor tells you the textbook is required, and then you go through the entire semester without ever opening it. What a waste!

Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: Rent Your Textbooks From Amazon

Textbooks are expensive and they make a new edition the next year anyway. The most expensive I have had to purchase was more than $250! I could buy a whole season worth of football tickets and still have some money left over. But for $20 you can rent that same textbook on Amazon for the entire semester, and send it back without having to pay for shipping costs. Multiply those savings over four or five classes and you may never buy another textbook again. Dollabuzz Savings: $700-$1000 per semester.

Saving a $1000 Before Fall Semester Starts: Dollabuzz Takeaway

A college degree might be a requirement for your future career, but that does not mean you have to pay full price for the tools you need to graduate. At Dollabuzz, we are all about getting your finances on track so anything that helps save money is A-OK in our textbook.

Dollabuzz helps you save money

Be prepared and buy your supplies ahead of time, find less expensive modes of transportation, and take advantage of Amazon’s book rentals. If you know of any other cost-saving methods and would like to share, send us a message! We would love to hear from you.

“The Richest Man in Babylon” Book Review for Dollabuzz Readers

“The Richest Man In Babylon”

Image result for richest man in babylon book
Be the Richest Man in Your Babylon and Dollabuzz

Hellloooooo Dollabuzz readers or people Google searching for a rich man in Babylon and came to this post. Glad you found us! A story told through lessons, The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, provides readers with a Dollabuzz code to live by. At Dollabuzz we are always on the lookout for entertaining and insightful personal finance books. Ordinary personal finance “textbooks” can be poor motivators and awful to read. Not this book. This book provides insight into getting your money right. Aight?!

Clason creates a story that details the early lives of Babylonian’s. More specifically, their financial habits and how they have learned to better manage their wealth. My favorite lessons include, “A Part of All You Earn is Yours to Keep”, the “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse”, and the “Five Laws of Gold”.

“A Part of All You Earn is Yours to Keep”

Sure, we might have all heard this, but do you really know what it means? Everyone works hard for the money they earn, but most of it goes to other people. This is a real Dollabuzz-kill! We know, you have stuff that you have to pay for. Living expenses, groceries, beer, and some might even say a Netflix subscription. But, at the end of the week, what do you have to show for your hard work? Remember the saying “a part of all you earn is yours to keep” and get your Dollabuzz on!

Say it to yourself: “A part of all you earn is yours to keep”. So keep some! Pay yourself first. In the book, one-tenth is for yourself. If you can do that, great! If you can afford to pay yourself more, even better! But ALWAYS put away something for yourself. Looking for a place to put that money? Dollabuzz has you covered. Check our post on investing.

“Seven Cures for a Lean Purse”

Image result for 7

For anyone who knows the feeling of having an empty purse (or wallet), it can be a difficult hole to dig yourself out of. The “Seven Cures” are a step-by-step guide of how to fatten your purse. I have already given you the first cure, saving money for yourself is one of the most important and difficult goals to accomplish.

But what do you next? “Control thy expenditures”, that might seem easy, but deciding what is necessary and what is a desire will take time to master. Clason has simplified the process so that everyone is able to follow along. Being told what to do is one thing, but when you actually take charge and do it, you can build a strong financial foundation for your future.

“Five Laws of Gold”

Just like the “Seven Cures”, the “Five Laws of Gold” give the reader an idea of how gold is accumulated and maintained: special emphasis on “maintained”.  Gaining wealth from a high-paying job, saving money, or winning the lottery does not mean you are prepared to maintain that wealth. The “Five Laws of Gold” is the next step for someone who is able to save a part of all that they earn. Only through carefully managing wealth will it continue to grow and provide for you and your family’s future.

Dollabuzz takeaway

We only recommend books that we have read and help you achieve your Dollabuzz. The Richest Man in Babylon is a personal finance book that does not feel like personal finance book. Follow the guidance offered and you will be rewarded. Dollabuzz readers will benefit from “A Part of All You Earn Is Yours to Keep”, the “Seven Cures For a Lean Purse”, and the “Five Laws of Gold.” These stories provide Dollabuzz lessons that will inspire you to get your money right.

If you would like to read the book click here or here for your kindle device

 

 

 

Why You Should Open a Betterment Account

Taking the First Step Toward Wealth with Betterment

Welcome to Dollabuzz! For those just off the bench and new to the game, investing in the stock market can be confusing and intimidating. But don’t worry—it’s actually pretty simple. Here at Dollabuzz, we believe that investing in the stock market for the LONG term is essential. We’re not about get-rich-quick scams here; we’re about building wealth over the long term, which is done by investing through Betterment.

one hundred dollar bills wrapped in a rubber band
Investing for the long haul will allow you to Get.Your.Money.Right

Opening a Betterment account is a great way to get started, no matter how much money you have. Betterment is a low-cost investing service that can get you on the path toward achieving your investing goals. Start your Betterment journey NOW and you’ll be feeling a strong Dollabuzz in no time.

Why I Recommend Betterment

I discovered Betterment when I was 19 years old. I started by putting $100/month into a Roth IRA account. The cost was low, the interface was easy to use, and it had the account types I was looking for. For the first year of my Betterment account, I paid less than a crumpled-up Lincoln in fees.

File:Lincoln on 5 USD bill.jpg
For the first year of my Betterment account, this is how much I paid in fees.

That’s a Dollabuzz right there. This is dirt cheap compared to many other accounts. Their website and mobile app are really simple and easy to use, especially for beginners. Betterment makes it painless to open the account type you want and check up on your investments.

Betterment’s Available Options

Betterment is a straightforward service, and you DO NOT have to hand over bags of cash. At Dollabuzz, we recommend opening an IRA or 401k as soon as you can. The Roth and traditional IRAs have different tax advantages, so you have to find which works best for you. Just remember, in the long-term, every dolla bill adds up!

How Does Betterment Work?

Betterment uses Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as their investments vehicle. This includes four bond ETFs and six ETFs that are made up of different stocks. This simplifies your investing portfolio, and you get to decide what percent you’re invested in each. If you’re not sure how aggressive or conservative you should be, Betterment will start you off with their best recommendation. Keepin’ it simple!

How to Join Betterment

Betterment.com is the website, and you’ll find a “Get Started” button right on the homepage. This will get you rolling with the sign-up process and you’ll be asked a few questions. These are designed to give them a better understanding of the kind of investor you are, as well as your risk tolerance.

sign that says investment

After Creating Your Betterment Account

Once you sign in, you’ll connect your checking account in order to transfer funds to your account. Next, you’ll select the type of account you’d like to open; this will vary for everyone depending on their individual situation.

Keep in mind that just because you’re invested in ETFs and not picking individual stocks/bonds, this is still the stock market. Whenever you invest in the stock market, there’s always a chance you could lose some or all of what you have invested. Check back in periodically and adjust your investing strategy as your life and the market changes.

Other Ways to Dollabuzz

I recommend Betterment because it’s an investing service that I use myself—and I have for a long time—but I understand that it’s not right for everyone. There are similar sites (like Wealthfront.com) which are also popular, but I don’t have any money invested there myself. It’s impossible to keep track of all the options out there, so if you know of any that should be mentioned, please send me an email and I’ll check it out!

wealthfront logo
Wealthfront is another investing platform.

Dollabuzz Takeaway

We believe that investing in the stock market for the long-term is essential to a strong Dollabuzz, and historically the stock market has provided a way to build wealth. Will there be bumps in the road? You bet—it’s always been this way, and it won’t stop anytime soon. Some years are better than others, but in the long term, the stock market is a smart way to make money.

Making smart money decisions and having a money plan are the keys to financial success. If you have any other questions about Betterment or any other topics I’ve discussed, I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

Dollabuzz Update: Good thing you stuck around until the end, because we have something new to share. Ever heard of the stock-trading app Robinhood?! As a special reward, check out the new post on Robinhood and find out why it is the HOLY GRAIL for new investors! Commission-free, of course!