Tips for a Cheap Dental Insurance Plan

buy dental insuranceMost people value the importance of health insurance. Unfortunately, not as many people believe that dental insurance is essential to their well being. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking care of your teeth, or you’ll really regret it when you’re older. The good news it that if you need dental insurance, buying a policy is easier than ever before.

Below are five details to keep in mind if you need dental insurance:

1. Check with your employer first. If you get health insurance through your employer, there is a very good chance that you can also get dental coverage. Even better, you can probably get the dental insurance for just a few dollars a month. Simply put, dental insurance is not nearly as expensive as health insurance.

So, before you shop around, ask your benefits department if they offer dental insurance. You may be surprised to find that not only do they offer this coverage, but that they have a couple of plans to choose from. If they don’t, check out the next option.

2. Buy your own dental insurance. If your employer does not offer coverage or you are self-employed, buying a plan on your own is a great idea. There are many online service sites that make this simple. A few to check out include: eHealthInsurance, DentalPlans, and DeltaDentalIns.

3. Discount plan or full-fledged insurance? Many people get confused when shopping for dental insurance because of the number of products on the market. On the one hand, there are dental discount plans. This is not dental insurance. Instead, you will pay a discounted rate for everything from regular checkups to advanced procedures. This type of plan will save you approximately 50 to 60 percent on covered care.

Dental insurance, on the other hand, works like a health insurance plan. You will pay a higher premium for this type of coverage, but it will save you a significant percentage on your dental care and procedures.

4. Consider the details of the policy. Will you pay a co-pay with every office visit? Is there a deductible? Are you covered at 100 percent for all procedures? These are the questions that you need to answer as you shop for a dental insurance policy. For example, some policies have no co-pay but procedures are only covered at 70-75 percent. With this, you need to consider how much you would pay should you need any work done and if you can afford that.

5. What do you get for free? My policy, for example, gives me two free cleanings per year. At the very least, I know that I can go to the dentist for a cleaning, every six months, and not pay a dime. This is quite common, so I urge you to find a dental insurance policy that offers this benefit.

If you follow the above advice and compare at least three policies, you should be able to purchase high-quality coverage at an affordable price.

With many different ways to buy, as well as a variety of policies to choose from, there is no excuse for not keeping your teeth healthy! Do you have any additional tips on shopping for a cheap dental insurance plan?

(photo credit: Sam Pullara)

Three Ways To Find Items To Sell On eBay

eBay items to sellSelling on eBay is a great way to earn extra money. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of people earning a full-time income selling on eBay. What are you waiting for? One thing that holds back many people is the inability to find items to sell. While this is a common concern, it is not one that has to stop you from earning a regular income.

Here are three ways to find items to sell on eBay:

1. Volunteer to help others clean out junk from their home – as long as you get to take some things with you. Most people are more than willing to let you have what you want, if you help in the grueling labor. After all, they are just going to throw most of the items in the trash anyway.

To get started with this idea, ask friends and family first. This way you can perfect your system, and get a better idea of what you are looking for and what the process entails. From there, do what you can to advertise your service and spread the word. Don’t overlook the benefits of taking out a small ad in a local newspaper. Although it may sound silly, there are many people that will take you up on your offer.

2. Become a garbage picker. Get this: every Wednesday night when people in my neighborhood put out their trash, the same person comes by, with his van, to see if he can find any valuable “trash.” Last week, while putting my garbage on the curb, he stopped and asked if I was throwing out anything that could be resold. Although I wasn’t, we struck up a nice conversation. He later told me that he makes $200 to $400 per week reselling items on eBay that he finds in other people’s trash.

Imagine if you did the same? This may not be the most glamorous work in the world, but when the money begins to roll in, you will have a huge smile on your face. Remember this: somebody else’s trash can be your treasure.

3. Buy at thrift stores for cheap, and then list the items on eBay. This is a strategy that I have used time and time again to make a few extra bucks here and there. The great thing about this strategy is that you can visit several thrift stores in a short period of time after you map out an effective route. Additionally, these stores are always getting new items. If you visit enough, you are sure to find a few things here and there that can make you a pretty penny on eBay.

For example, a few months ago I purchased two men’s sports jackets for $10 each. Two days later I resold both of them on eBay for $30 each, which represented a 200% return. For a few minutes of work, I made a profit of just around $40.

If selling on eBay sounds exciting to you, follow the tips above. These tips will help you make significant sales and profits steady from an income source you had never considered before.

Do you have any other tips for finding items to sell on eBay? Or any tips on the sale process itself to maximize your profit?

(photo credit: NatalieMaynor)

5 Tips on Buying Carpet for Your Home

carpet buying tipsThere are many ways to upgrade the look and feel of your home. One of the best is to rip out that old carpet and replace it with something fresh. Of course, this is easier said than done. Last month, I found out for myself that buying new carpet was not an easy task.

Here are several tips to follow as you shop for carpeting:

1. Shop around. While this can make things more confusing, in the end you will be glad that you did. Before I made a purchase, I received quotes from three comparable providers. And guess what I found? The first company quoted me at $2,900. The second was more expensive at $3,500. Finally, the last company offered to do the job for $1,950. Since all three offered the same product and service, I decided to go with the cheapest option.

2. Learn as much as you can about the different types of carpeting. Do you know the difference between plush and berber? Not only are there different materials to choose from, but the quality within each material can greatly differ.

Once I chose my material, I had to choose between three “quality levels.” The product at the bottom was priced at $1.50/square foot. The middle option, which is the one I selected, came at a price of $2.90/square foot. Finally, the most expensive, and the one with the highest quality, was priced at $4.00/square foot. Once you’ve chosen the material, you have to consider all your options in terms of quality, and then determine how much you are willing to spend.

3. Don’t forget about the pad. Many people get so caught up on the actual carpet that they overlook the importance of a good pad. Make sure you request an explanation on your padding options including the different types, weight, and life expectancy. Keep in mind that when your pad begins to wear out, you will need to think about getting new carpet.

Tip: Don’t opt for the cheapest pad just to save money. You will regret it if you want to keep your carpet for an extended period of time.

4. Miscellaneous services. Will the company you hire move any furniture that is in the way? If so, do they charge for this? Also, don’t overlook the fact that some companies will charge for the removal and “haul away” of your old carpeting.

One company that I considered charged extra for removal and haul away. While at first this may seem like a downer to some, I saw it as an opportunity to save money. By choosing that particular provider, the option to remove the carpet myself and save hundreds of dollars was available. The other companies instead included these services as mandatory, but had much higher prices.

5. Does the company employ their own installers, or do they outsource to contractors? This is a very big detail, and one that you don’t want to overlook. You can buy the nicest looking carpet in the world, but if it is installed incorrectly, you are going to be angry in the end. Make sure you get clarification on who will be installing your carpet, as well as what experience they have. Don’t be shy about asking for referrals as well.

Also, don’t forget to inspect the job before your installers leave. This way, any problems can be discussed and solved on the spot.

Don’t let all these tips scare you away from buying carpet for your home. Even though I put in a lot of work, I was very happy in the end. New carpet is a great upgrade, and one that you should consider if you are in need. Just remember to follow the advice above to ensure the best chance of 100% satisfaction.

(photo credit: Abby Lanes)

How to Save Money on Pet Care

save money on pet careBuying a pet is a great idea for many reasons. In addition to the joy that they bring, many studies have shown that pet owners live longer. But before you make the decision to buy, you should first consider the financial implications. Whether or not you own a cat, dog, or some other sort of pet, expenses are going to come up from time to time.

I have owned at least one dog for more than 15 years. Over this time, I have learned a lot about pet care, including how to save money. Here are several tips to keep in mind:

1. Search for pet food coupons. At first, I believed this to be a waste of time. But soon enough I began searching online and realized that coupons were available for pretty much every type of pet food and treat.

Sometimes I save a couple of bucks on a bag of dog food. Other times I find a really great “buy one get one free” coupon. If you search online and through local periodicals, you will eventually find coupons that can help you save money. When added up over the course of a year, it is easy to look back and realize that I have saved hundreds of dollars.

To get a better idea of what is out there, check out these sites: Coupon Cat, Fancy Feast Coupons, Purina, and Pedigree.

2. Buy pet insurance. When you take your pet to the vet, regardless of the reason, you can expect to pay a lot of money. On the low end, a basic checkup will set you back around $75. If something is wrong with your pet, though, the sky is the limit for how high your bill can soar.

If you buy pet insurance, you are able to offset some or all of these expenses. If you don’t understand how pet insurance works, think about it like this: it is the same as health insurance for humans. There are things that will be covered, things you will have to pay for on your own, deductibles, and out of pocket limits.

To learn more about pet insurance or to purchase a policy, visit:, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, and Pets Best.

3. Shop at the dollar store. This may sound completely crazy, but it is something that saves me a lot of money on a regular basis. I just started shopping at the dollar store for dog-related items last year. I wish I would have thought of this idea sooner. The dog treats are the same as those that you would find at a well known retail or grocery store. Along with this, all of the dog toys cost a dollar. To make this option even more appealing, it seems as if my dog actually enjoys treats and toys from the dollar store more than those that I paid twice as much for.

Don’t feel bad if you have overlooked these three tips. To be honest, I never thought much about them for the first few years of owning a dog. Even if you only consider one of the methods above, it is safe to say that you are going to save a lot of money.

Do you have any other tips on saving money on pet care?

(photo credit: chrissie_un)

Tips for Applying for a Business Credit Card

apply for a business credit cardIf you own a business, big or small, you know one thing to be true: there are expenses that come up from time to time. This is true no matter what industry you are involved in. Although cash is king, there will be times when using a business credit card makes the most sense. Of course, you cannot do this until you have the plastic in your wallet.

Last month, I applied for my first business credit card. While the process was simple, for the most part, I learned quite a bit along the way. Below are five tips that will help you when applying for a business credit card:

1. Start with the financial institution with which you have your business checking account. Since you already have a relationship with them, applying for a credit card is a much easier task. Not only do they know you and your business, but they are more likely to accept your application and give you a great deal because you have been a reliable customer.

Tip: You will have to get in touch with the “business development manager” or another person in the business department. Speaking with a bank teller about business credit cards is not going to get you very far.

2. There are many options, so do not sell yourself short. It makes sense to first contact the bank that you are most familiar with. But of course, they are not the end-all. There are hundreds upon hundreds of banks that are willing to work with you no matter what type of financial product you are looking for. An established relationship can help in many ways, but it is far from necessary.

Although I ended up with a business credit card from my primary bank, I spoke with at least three others about what they could do for me. At the very least, consider all your options. This way, you can be 100 percent confident in your decision.

3. What are you going to purchase with your business credit card? The answer to this question will greatly determine what type of card you end up with. For instance, some business owners only need a credit card to purchase office supplies and other miscellaneous items. On the other hand, there are companies that will put tens of thousands of dollars on their card month after month thanks for equipment purchases, travel, and much more. If you don’t plan on using your business credit card often, you can afford to be more flexible with the terms. The answer to this question will also determine what kind of perks you should go for in your credit card. For example, get an airline credit card if you’ll be spending a bunch on travel.

4. What is the APR? Obviously, this is one of the first details that you want to consider when searching and applying for a business credit card. As the process unfolded, I learned a lot about this detail. For one, it seemed as if every bank had a different way of approaching the APR. Some offered a fixed rate, while others pushed cards with a variable rate. This may not be the only detail to consider, but a lower rate is almost always better than a higher one.

One thing that I found interesting was that most banks offered two types of business credit cards: one with a rewards program and one without. With the majority of them, the APR was higher on reward cards. You have to weigh the pros and cons of a lower rate against having access to a reward program. On this same note, you also need to decide if you will be paying your credit card off in full every month or if the card’s interest rate will play a big role in your payments. Really though, I strongly suggest not getting a credit card unless you know you can pay it off in full. Don’t use it as a means to rack up debt.

5. Credit limit. A business credit card is only helpful if it offers enough available credit. How much you qualify for depends on many details, including your businesses credit score as well as your revenue. Most banks requested a copy of my last two business tax returns to verify income. Make sure you have these ready before you ever start looking for a credit card.

On the surface, all business credit cards may appear to be the same. But once you get into the review and selection process you will find that this is far from the truth. Be diligent during the process of choosing your credit card and you’ll reap the benefits over the long term.

Do you have any additional tips on choosing and applying for a business credit card?

(photo credit: Andres Rueda)