By Bruce Watson
Forget eating at home or forgoing your daily Starbucks run: According to a recent survey, the biggest money saver in your life is in your pocket. In April, market research firm Harris Interactive, working with ClickSoftware, a mobile management firm, concluded that smartphone owners saved an average of $12,000 per year by using the handy little machines.
The key to these savings lies in apps: By enabling users to perform tasks like checking email and browsing the web from any location, smartphones can save people a fair bit of time. In fact, according to the survey, people who use their smartphone to check email save an average of 35 minutes per day. Those who use it for web browsing saves an average of 33 minutes, those who use weather apps save 17 minutes, those who use map programs save 24 minutes, and those who use calendar apps save 23 minutes.
The "Marshmallow Theory," based on a landmark Stanford University experiment, has been used countless times to demonstrate the power of self-control in your financial and personal life.
The experiment followed children who were left alone with a marshmallow and told that if they didn't eat it they would get a second one 15 minutes later.
Some of the kids waited the full 15 minutes, some ate the marshmallow immediately, and others waited for a short period of time before eating it.
Years later, researchers tracked down the children and found that those with the willpower to wait to eat the marshmallow -- 1 in 3 of the test subjects -- grew up to become more successful adults than those who ate the marshmallow immediately.
By Dan Caplinger
My mom passed away 10 years ago. She never had the chance to meet her granddaughter, but she did leave a valuable inheritance for my daughter and our entire family for generations to come.
Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, Mom wasn't rich. Like many people her age, she had a decent-sized nest egg that she fussed and worried over in her retirement years, especially when after her 70th birthday her battle with cancer forced her to stay at home. As it turned out, her savings proved sufficient to cover her own expenses with something left over for my brother and me.
The most valuable thing Mom passed along was not the money, but the lessons she taught us about money and its importance in living a well-balanced life. These are lessons we'll pass along to our children and hopefully they'll do the same.
These are just 15 examples - there are bound to be more. Please share your ideas for more products and services you've gotten for free in the comments, and we'll feature them on WalletPop.
Here are some tips on affording a room renovation you'll actually finish:
By Rich Smith
Vices. We've all got them, or at least been tempted by them from time to time.
Whether your poison is a pack of smokes, a six-pack of Bud, a cup of coffee, or an ice-cold Coca-Cola, succumbing to your vices -- or succumbing to the temptation to start one -- can cost you.
How much? That's the question that a new micro-site that recently popped up on the eBay (EBAY) Deals Blog proposes to answer.
There's gold in them hills of clutter you're keeping in the basement. (Or garage. Or in the kid's rooms.) Ok, it might not be gold, but there is money to be made from a lot of the unused stuff you have taking up space at home.
There are two different kinds of garage sales though: Those where everyone leaves happy, where your house gets a good cleanout, and where you finish the day with an extra $500 in your pocket. Then there are the other garage sales that are just a lame waste of time for all involved.
Making yours one of the good ones takes work, but the task isn't complex. It boils down to three or four steps: Purge, process, piggyback if you can, and price things correctly.
Most apartments will never come with the same perks as hotels. No room service. No wake-up calls. No daily housekeeping. No fancy soap in the bathroom or mint on your pillow. But while your typical apartment lacks these instant-gratification niceties, many come with at least one or two alluring perks of their own. A yard, rooftop deck or other outdoor space for hanging out. A pool or fitness room. On-site laundry (or even that elusive, magnificent find: free on-site laundry). Most of these amenities are well-advertised as part of the landlord's sales pitch. Other perks, for various reasons, aren't offered, and you have to ask for them. There's no guarantee your landlord will say yes to any of these extras, but it's worth making the inquiry.
It's time to plan your summer vacation, but check the fine print before you book a flight: That big, exciting trip across the country or overseas could carry surprising costs and added fees imposed by the airline.