Java heads everywhere are raising their mugs in honor of National Coffee Day today. So whether you are toasting to a basic cup of joe, double espresso or fancy-whipped frappuccino, now is a good time to reflect on your caffeine consumption and associated costs.
Many personal finance experts talk about the “latte effect,” and advise cutting out the daily java binge in favor of turning $4 into a retirement fund. Ultimately, it’s my belief that coffee isn’t going to make you broke; it’s unemployment, medical bills and credit card interest that are far more catastrophic to your bottom line. If that latte makes you happy or breaks up an otherwise monotonous day, I say go for it. Just be aware of how much you’re spending and take advantage of these simple savings tricks to reduce the cost of your coffee addiction.
1. Sign up for rewards.
Who doesn’t like the sound of FREE drinks? Many coffee shops offer their loyal java heads rich reward programs that help you earn points toward free beverages. For example, My Starbucks Rewards spoils loyal customers with lots of perks like free drinks, free food, free refills, a complimentary birthday beverage and more; Peets Coffee offers five-percent bonus points for any auto-reload amount over $25 to their reward-payment card; and Coffee Bean provides one point for every $1 spent, resulting in a free drink after 40 points.
2. Use discount gift cards.
I don’t know why anyone would want to sell a Starbucks gift card, but there’s an entire online marketplace of unwanted coffee shop gift cards where you can snag them for less than face value. Check out such sites as GiftCardGranny.com to compare deals like 18-percent off Starbucks gift cards, or up to 24-percent off Coffee Bean gift cards. You can even save at McDonald’s (16-percent off) or Dunkin’ Donuts (10-percent off), if you prefer their coffees.
If you’re feeling green, you can save some green, too. Many national and local coffee shops have offer savings to customers who supply their own reusable cup or travel mug with each order. Caribou Coffee extends the biggest discount with 50-cents off; Starbucks offers a 10-cent discount; and Peet’s Coffee & Tea gives 10-cents off drinks and 25-cents off ground beans when you reuse a bag.
4. Join the mailing list.
Coffee brands and shops will email you coupons for simply signing up to their mailing list. For example, Starbucks will email you a 10-percent off coupon for subscribing to their e-newsletter. In addition to coupons, you’ll be privy to special promotions like seasonal offers, member-only benefits and discounts on specialty drinks. To prevent your inbox from overflowing with promotions, create a separate email account exclusively for retail offers.
5. Be social.
Follow your favorite coffee shops on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to receive updates about daily deals and upcoming promotions. Last summer, followers of Starbucks’ Facebook page were the first to find out about their “treat receipt” promo, which awarded customers that purchased a morning drink to a $2 Grande-sized cold beverage after 2 p.m. that same day.
6. Grab a coffee coupon.
You can find printable and mobile coupons for your favorite coffee houses with little effort. For coupons that actually work, head to CouponSherpa.com and type in your favorite coffee shop. If you don’t want to print the coupon, download the site’s free mobile coupon app to access deals like $1 off a handcrafted beverage from Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
7. Snag daily deals.
One of the most popular daily deals on Groupon last year was their $5 for $10 Starbucks offer, which sold more than 100,000 certificates in just a few hours and crashed the site. Since you can’t predict when similar offers will be released, check daily deal aggregator Dealery so you don’t miss out. If you’d prefer a local brew, select the Deals category on Yelp when searching for coffee in your neighborhood.
8. Keep your order simple.
A basic cup of coffee is still pretty cheap, but orders including extra shots, whipped cream and caramel drizzles will cost you well over $4 per drink. To keep daily and weekly spending at a minimum while fulfilling your java fix, opt for brewed coffee over an espresso beverage to kickstart your day. When I’m really in the mood for a latte or an Americano, I satisfy the craving for less by sticking to a small size. If you need extra flavor, add a few shakes of vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon or nutmeg powder for no added cost.
9. Go light on ice.
Iced coffees are just the ticket on warm summer days, but you often end up getting less latte than when you order the hot version. That’s because ice takes up more than half the cup without discounting the cost. While this isn’t a revolutionary finding, it’s often overlooked. Avoid paying for too little latte by requesting “light ice” when you order your chilled beverage.
10. Split it with a friend.
Meeting friends for coffee is a popular pastime, but costs can add up quick depending on how often you socialize at your favorite cafe. Consider splitting your favorite beverage with a friend who orders the same drink. While Venti beverages are twice the size of Tall ones from Starbucks (24 oz. versus 12 oz., respectively), they are not double the cost. In fact, you might pay just a $1 more for a Venti Caramel Frappuccino, which you can split with a friend by requesting an extra cup or bringing your own.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.
Here’s Why You Should Consider Leasing Your Next Vehicle
It’s easy to get sticker shock when shopping for a new car or truck, as they’ve gotten REALLY expensive in recent years. To combat this, lenders have started offering longer duration loans to keep people’s monthly payments down, with some as long as 84-months!
Do you really want to be stuck paying off your car for 7 years? Unless you plan on owning this car for the rest of your life and driving it into the ground, the answer is probably “No”.
So what’s the alternative if you absolutely must get a new car? Leasing.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t want to have a never-ending car payment..” Sure, that’s one way to look at it, but here’s another way to look at it. With leasing, you’re basically getting into a new vehicle every 2-3 years, you can afford to drive a nicer (higher-priced) car than you might otherwise be able to afford, and the car will be covered under warranty should anything go wrong. And at the end, you just drop off the car at the dealer.
Leasing often gets a bad rep, but depending on your situation, it might just be the best option for you. If you’re someone who drives less than 15,000 miles a year, typically holds onto a car for 3 years or less, wants the latest and greatest in technology, and doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of selling or trading in your old car, leasing makes total sense.
On the flip side, when you’re leasing a car, you’ve got some limitations that you have to keep in mind. Mileage is perhaps the most important. Most lease contracts allow for between 12K-15K miles per year. Go over that, and you will have to pay an excess mileage penalty, which could range from $0.10-$0.50 for every additional mile. As one of my friends learned the hard way, that can get real expensive in a hurry.
In addition, you need to bring back the car in “as it left the showroom” condition, minus usual wear and tear. So if you’re someone that plans on heavily modifying their vehicle (body kit, lowering springs, upgraded turbo, etc), you’re better off buying the car outright.
So there you have it. In the end, the buying vs leasing debate really comes down to your wants and needs. If you like getting into a new car every few years, wants a lower monthly payment, and don’t mind the mileage restrictions, leasing is a great option. But if you are someone who would much rather own a car outright, without any restrictions on what they can and can’t do, then buying is probably a better fit for you.
Either way, make sure that you do your proper due diligence before signing on the dotted line, as accepting the wrong deal can end up costing you big time. Click here for more information about your various contract hire and leasing options.
Dealing With Large Age Differences In The Workplace
Millennials get a lot of heat from other people in the workplace (they are lazy, entitled, won’t get off their phones, dress funny, etc), and there’s no question that it’s often difficult getting Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Zers to work together and get on the same page.
Aside from working with recruitment agencies to help you find the best candidates for the job, you can employ the strategies below to improve the relations among these diverse groups.
Look Past Age
Avoid making biased judgments based on an employee’s age. The fact is you are dealing with individuals, not generational stereotypes. When it comes to managing a multigenerational team, it’s best to deal with each member based on his or her unique strengths, abilities and goals. When you focus on individuality, age becomes less relevant.
Each generation is an asset to the company culture because these groups can learn from one another. For instance, Baby Boomers have years of career and life experience that can help Millennials excel professionally and personally. Likewise, tech-savvy Gen Zers can assist older workers with staying up to speed on the latest gadgets. This type of interaction helps to:
- Nurture teamwork
- Stimulate collaboration
- Develop mutual respect
One of the benefits of working with finance headhunters Los Angeles is their ability to recruit candidates who can fit easily into a multigenerational work setting.
Open The Lines Of Communication
There’s no question that generational differences are real. For example, Millennials are team-oriented while Generation Xers tend to question authority. This diverse workstyle can clash, causing stress, tension and conflict. Hold a brief staff meeting acknowledging and explaining these different characteristics.
Addressing problems quickly can prevent toxicity in the workplace. Also, encourage them to focus on their commonalities. Who knows? The 22-year old staffer may enjoy gardening as much as her 60-year old co-worker does.
Like it or not, multigenerational companies are the norm in today’s business world. While this form of diversity poses its own challenges in the workplace, these issues can be resolved with unbiased judgments, cross-generational mentorship and open dialogue. So don’t stress about it, and contact Beacon Resources at 1-844-500-8100 to match you with the top finance and accounting candidates from any generation.
Why Your Business Needs a Tax ID Number
Anyone who has ever filed taxes before knows that the amount of information needed to complete the forms can be staggering. This is especially true for small business owners, who will need to supply a variety of documents and figures in order to successfully file. One of the most important things that you will need to provide as an entrepreneur and business owner is a tax ID number. This helps the IRS identify you and follow your business. If you don’t have one yet, keep reading to find out how you can apply for a federal tax ID number and be ready when tax time rolls around.
Federal Tax ID Number Application
In order to obtain a federal tax ID number, you must complete a federal tax ID number application. This lets the IRS know that you are in need of a number in order to file your taxes correctly, and they will begin looking through your application as soon as they receive it. The process should be an overly long one, and before long you will have the federal tax ID number that you need in order to stay compliant with the IRS.
Get Tax ID Online
Are you wary about the time involved to complete the federal tax ID number application? It’s understandable to be concerned about how much time you might have to spend filling out paperwork. In reality, however, you can often fill out the application and get your tax ID online! That means that you can apply when the time is convenient for you and not have to worry about mailing or faxing in hard copies of your application. Complete the federal tax ID number application today and get your tax ID online!
Apply online for an IRS EIN/Tax ID Number at irs-ein-tax-id.com.