Michael Stead's Money Blog

About my money blog

Hello, my name is Michael. I studied business – specifically finance – in my undergraduate years and have always had a major interest in all things money-related. Despite my finance degree, I like to keep things simple. I really believe that simplicity is the best way to go when handling finances. This goes for investing, personal finance, shopping, and just about everything else.

No, I won’t bore you with complex formulas or business jargon or any kind of financial mumbo jumbo. Everything I talk about is based on one thing – common sense.

Think along the lines of Dave Ramsey or Suzie Ormon and you’ll be on the right track in terms of my approach to money and finance.

As anyone with financial knowledge will tell you, there are only two ways to amass more money.

  1.  Make more money
    This can be from your job, investments, etc. It’s easier said than done, and there are too many variables, so I won’t be tackling this subject in this blot.
  2. Lower your expenses
    This is what the focus of my blog will be on. There are many ways to skin a cat, and saving money can be done in a myriad ways.

In the coming months, I will be adding posts to address how you can spend less on the items you buy. So stay tuned, and thanks for visiting.

Wonderful, free MMOS that everyone should be playing

swtor gaming interfaceMassively Multiplayer games, or MMOs, have really exploded in popularity subsequent to the release of World of Warcraft. Today, there are literally hundreds of great MMOs you can play, with several new ones coming out each quarter. It used to be that most MMOs required a monthly fee, but this is no longer the case. More and more, we are seeing a lot of online games being released, which are free to play.

If you are considering playing some of the free MMOs out there, you may not be sure where to start. One good site you can visit is MMORPG.com, which lists all the games that are currently available or scheduled to be released soon. What I like about the list is that you can order them based on player ratings, thereby quickly coming up with a shortlist of great games you can check out.

With that said, my two favorite free games are SWTOR and Fallen Earth. The first one, SWTOR, is a vast MMO that takes place in the Star Wars universe, roughly 4000 years before the movies. You can choose from 8 character classes, and there are two factions: the Republic and the Sith Empire. All NPCs in the game are voiced, and there are numerous planets you can visit. Star Wars fans will love the fact there are many famous Star Wars planets to explore, such as Hoth and Tatooine. The game is also unique in that it features an NPC companion system, similar to what was available in the RPG, Knight of the Old Republic.

I also like Fallen Earth, which is a rich MMO that takes place in a post apocalyptic world. The game has a raw feel, with great combat and a good crafting system. Both Fallen Earth and SWTOR are theme park style MMOs. I’m still looking for a good, free Sandbox MMO to play as well. When I find one, I will update this post, so players can check out both types of MMOs.

Find out the best way to power level in SWTOR here.

Great ways to use Gotomeeting

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the great web conferencing tool, Gotomeeting. For many years now, it’s been the most popular web conferencing software on the Internet. One of the things that makes Gotomeeting so appealing is the fact that it is easy to set up, and even easier to use. By signing up with Gotomeeting, you can be running a web meeting in a matter of minutes. You can download Gotomeeting by going to http://freetrialspot.com/gotomeeting.php

Gotomeeting Free TrialThe most common way to use Gotomeeting is for online business meetings and conferences. If you want to use Gotomeeting for this purpose, you will find that there are many tools available to ensure that your meeting is successful. I especially like the fact that I am able to record meetings, as this makes it possible to share the content of the meeting with many individuals who were not available to attend.

But an even better use for Gotomeeting in my opinion is for training. There are often cases where you need to demonstrate something on your computer with someone who may be at a different location. Using Gotomeeting is a great way to deal with such logistic issues. One great thing is that you can change presenters during a meeting. This feature can prove especially useful when you are running a training session, as it allows those who are being trained to try things they have learned while the trainer is watching.

There are also less obvious uses for Gotomeeting, such as using it for reunions between family and friends. Many times, we assume that a business tool should be used exclusively for business purposes. However, I have used Gotomeeting on a number of occasions to interact casually with friends and acquaintances, and have found that it is a great program to use for social meetings, not just business ones.

Click this link to check out gotomeeting for free. Or, if you want to check out other free trials, check out FreetrialSpot.com.


Why selecting a low-cost printer can be a mistake

current offers from inkjetsuperstoreWe are all trained to seek out the best deals possible. Therefore, when selecting an inkjet printer, many of us automatically gravitate toward the cheapest models. Inkjet printers have fallen dramatically in price over the last decade or so. If you go to office depot, you will find most models cost less than 100 dollars. Moreover, if you look online, you’ll find plenty of discount printers that boast a lot of great features and seem too good to be true.

The fact is, most printing manufacturers do not make a profit on inkjet printers they sell. Some of them even take a loss on the sale of printers. So how exactly do these manufacturers make any money? The answer is that they sell ink cartridges, and often times, such printer ink is marked up quite a bit.

Many printer buyers learn this the hard way. It happened to me as well. The first printer I bought was around $50, and I though I was getting a terrific deal. But when it came time to buy replacement printer ink cartridges, the cost was $30 a piece. To make matters worse, the cartridges did not last long at all, and I found myself having to buy a cartridge or two every couple of months. By the time the year was over, I had spend hundreds of dollars on ink alone.

So how can you avoid this situation? By doing research online, of course. Check the price of the inkjet cartridges for all the models you are considering. Cheap inkjet printer cartridges are not always a good thing if they do not last long. You must therefore also determine how many pages each cartridge will print out. One metric to use is something called cost per page. If a $30 cartridge is estimated to print 300 pages, the cost per page would therefore be 10 cents. Yes, it requires a bit of work to determine these things, but a little extra work at the outset can potentially save you a lot of money later.

For great deals on printer cartridges, I recommend taking advantage of these coupon codes from Inkjetprinterdiscounts.

Compatibility Matching – Does it work?

There’s an old saying – “Opposites attract.” Sites like eHarmony seem to go against this notion. So who’s right?

eharmony headquarters

eharmony headquarters

Cliches aside, it seems that the majority of time, people who have things in common are more likely to get along with each other. If what you’re after is a calm, harmonious relationships with a lot of accord and very few fights, then you might want to seriously consider compatibility matching systems provided by online dating sites like eHarmony.

Going through the eHarmony personality test (a requirement for joining), it becomes clear that the questions do in fact get to the root of what type of individual you are. In some cases, eHarmony does not allow people to join if, upon completing the test, the determination is made that your personality is not one that the eHarmony system can work with in terms of finding you compatible partners. I feel sorry for the people who fall into this category, but they can always go use Chemistry.com, which is similar to eHarmony in many ways, and does not reject anyone. It’s up to you to decide whether or not this is a good thing.

Taking the personality test is free, and so is receiving and reviewing matches. But if you want to start talking to your matches, be ready to pay up a hefty membership fee. Here are some ways to save on your eharmony subscription:

  • Use eharmony coupons or promo codes. They’re not hard to find if you use Google.
  • Don’t buy the month-to-month plan. It’s the most expensive and you can bring down the costs significantly by choosing a 3 month or 6 month plan.

Learn more about the eharmony free trial by going to http://onlinedatingtrials.com/.



The pros and cons of refilling printer ink

When you need to buy printer ink, you generally have three choices. First, you can buy a brand new cartridge, which is the easiest, most hassle-free way to get new ink. The downside is that the cost will be the highest if you take this road.

how to buy ink onlineAnother thing you can do is buy compatible or remanufactured cartridges. The only caveat when doing this is that your purchase your cartridge from a well-known vendor. I recommend online stores such as 4 inkjets and Supplies Outlet if you want to explore the possibility of getting reasonably priced remanufactured cartridges. On the whole you will discover that remanufactured cartridges cost a few dollars less than a brand new cartridge. They are, however, somewhat less reliable.

Last but not least, you can refill empty ink cartridges and re-use them. A lot of people consider this option, so let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of doing this:


  • You save money
    You need to purchase something called an Ink Refill Kit, which generally costs about the same price as 1 or 2 new cartridge. This will then allow you to refill cartridges multiple times. I haven’t bothered to make exact calculations, but I think in the end, you’ll find yourself paying less than half for each cartridge you use.


  • It is time consuming and messy
    Especially for your first time, expect the process to be messy and somewhat time-consuming. As you get used to refilling ink, you should get a lot better and faster.
  • Refilled cartridges may not work well
    There are many problems that can arise from refilled cartridges. Some may not work at all. Others may print out documents in the wrong color. Oftentimes, you printer will not recognize how much ink is left in your cartridge.

The ideal solution, as far as I’m concerned, is remanufactured cartridges. If you buy them using coupons or discount codes from Supplies Outlet, you can get them for a good price, while saving yourself the hassle of refilling cartridges on your own.

Get color contact lenses cheaply

color contact lenses from lens.comThere are many reasons people may choose to try color contact lenses. For some people, it can just be part of a halloween costume. For others, it is a way to change their eye color for cosmetic reasons. Whatever the reason may be, this article will show you how you can get color contact lenses cheaply.

There are two types of color contact lenses. If you currently do not require corrected vision “plano lenses” are contacts that are worn for the sheer purpose of changing your eye color. On the other hand, if you already wear contact lenses or glasses to correct your vision, it’s easy to get a pair of contacts that correct your vision while simultaneously changing the color of your eyes in a subtle or dramatic way.

Be aware that even if you want plano lenses, you will still need to obtain a prescription for them. This means that wearing contact lenses can be rather expensive. A visit to an optometrist to obtain a prescription can easily run you anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars.

This means it’s important for you to find ways to get the contact lenses at a good price. I recommend using online vendors since they seem to offer the lowest prices. Some good stores to consider are Vision Direct, Contact Lens King, and Lens.com. If you search on the web, you should find that a lot of these stores offer coupons you can use. I myself used some lens.com discount codes from visualdiscounts.com. In many cases, you can get free shipping if you place an order that is large enough.

As for which color you should get – you will need to decide that for yourself. Check out the site, http://visualdiscount.com for more information on contact lens deals online.


Some great coupon sites for saving money

savings couponIf you buy anything on the Internet, you should be using online coupons to get the best deal. But what exactly are online coupons and how do they work? Quite simply, they are usually links you click on to get special discounts on something you are purchasing. On some occasions, you also need to copy down a coupon code that you will need to paste into a box at the checkout screen. By using online coupons, you can expect to save 10% or more on something you buy online.

Retailmenot is probably the largest and most well known coupon site. It is even listed on Nasdaq, and they offer coupons for just about every store that does business online. One issue I have with Retailmenot, however, is that their coupons are sometimes out-0f-date or invalid.

Couponleaf.com on the other hand is a much smaller site, but they have many great deals, especially for online dating sites and printing services. I like this site because it also has some helpful articles and step-by-step guidelines on how to save money when you shop online.

Top Tips And Techniques For Multi-level Marketing Success

What you do think of when you think of success? Would you like to be free of your boss? Do you want to write your schedule yourself? Is it taking the day off when you wish? Is is making profits as you sleep? If you would like all of these great benefits, then MLM is the job opportunity for you.

Try not to overwhelm your personal relationships with your MLM business. It is okay to share your products with family and friends when you first start. However, do not depend on them to become your customers. This can have a negative impact on your relationships.

Don’t constantly bombard those you know with marketing content. You may be enthusiastic about what you are doing, but you need to tone that down around loved ones. You do not want to harm your personal relationships. It’s essential that you inform them of your opportunities. Balance is necessary here.

Test your products before marketing any of them. This can prevent you from selling a low quality product. Look for a different product to sell if you find yourself in this position. It is not worth it to sell low-quality products even if you’re making money doing it.

Recognize what customer are loyal to you. Do your best to reward exceptional team members who do a great job. Reward customers for referring friends and placing large orders. There are many different ways to do this. Don’t give out meaningless items like ridiculous certificates or the like.

Watch out for pyramid schemes. There are many that are quite reputable though. Pyramid schemes fall into this category. It might look enticing, but it can be a big loss in the end.

Teach yourself every day. It is your job to learn how you can be creative with your marketing pitch. While most MLM businesses do offer some training, you will need to do some extra work on your own if you want to succeed over everyone else. Commit yourself to learning new things each and every day.

You can draw in new clients by blogging regarding your MLM success. Folks striving to succeed want to associate with like-minded people. If you’re interested in MLM, you would do well to find insider information. Construct a blog and talk about everything you have learned. Your readers will get valuable information and you will get recruits.

You may consider having a party that allows you to present your pitch to many different people at once. If you can assemble a group of enthusiastic folks, you can save lots of money and time. Inviting people over for a cocktail party or coffee meeting on a weekly basis is a great way to gather people to talk about your opportunity.

Before you get into multi-level marketing, do your research and look at the different types of compensation programs. These can be quite different depending on which types of programs are chosen. By determining how much you will likely earn, you can decide if the opportunity makes sense for you.

Multi-level marketing helps you to become your own boss. You are now capable of forever changing your life and your financial future. Now you can take the steps necessary for success.