More Money Saving Tips Part 3

-Shop around for medications. Some pharmacies offer commonly prescribed antibiotics for free, or at least a steep discount. You can save huge by using a generic version of major medications. They are just as effective and cost much less on average. Also, buying some over-the-counter medicine online can save you a great deal. I purchased a year’s supply of generic Zyrtec, my allergy medicine, for about $18 on Amazon with free shipping (as described above). The same medicine from the local drugstore, in the same supply, would cost me anywhere from $35 to $50 depending on which drugstore I purchased it at. It required me to order in advance to adjust for shipping in order to not run out, but the savings were worth the extra effort.

-Use the ATM from your bank only to avoid paying fees. When you use your bank’s ATMs, they do not charge fees, but other banks or institutions can charge up to three bucks for the privilege of using their machine.

-When travelling, use sites like Priceline.com or Kayak.com in order to book your accomodations. Paying full price at a hotel or on a flight can result in lots of lost money. On a recent trip out of town, I booked a hotel on Priceline that would run around $100 a night normally for $29 per night. When you can save $70 per night, why would you pass it up?

-If you need training, unless a specific certification is required, check into free alternatives to gain the knowledge you seek. There are tons of offerings for free, college-level courses online. Also, we have shown where you can get free subject textbooks as well. There are also tons of books available at libraries or on the free ebook selection on services like Google Play or Amazon Kindle that could help you gain the skills you need. Even if you have to buy a book to learn the skill, most books cost less than even community-college-level coursework.

More Money Saving Tips Part 2

-Using LED light bulbs can save you money on lighting your home. Getting Energy Star qualified LED light bulbs will save you plenty. They use a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs. They also last at least 35 times longer than incandescents and at least twice as long as fluorescents. This means you will need to buy far fewer of them and they will lead to cheaper electric bills. With power bills on the rise in most places, this can be a large boon for consumers. Source: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=ssl.pr_why_es_com

-Also keeping your home warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter, reducing the work-load on your thermostat, can mean large savings on your electric bill. Many people do not realize that, in many places, heating and cooling can constitute the majority of their electric bills. By not forcing the thermostat to work so hard, you might not be as comfortable, but your wallet and bank account will be.

-Taking a lunch to work as opposed to having to go out and buy something on your lunch hour at a restaurant or cafe can result in huge savings. This can result in hundreds of dollars saved per year if you eat out every work day now.

-If you are a student, take advantage of student discounts search online for “student discounts (your school).” Many places offer discounts on things ranging from movie tickets to food. There are bigger ones, too. Amazon offers shipping discounts to students if you sign up. Also, check with the school itself. They often have deals for discounted software for students. Back when I was working on my Master’s Degree, I purchased Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection for $500. This software package, which was new at the time I bought it, had a price tag of $2000 dollars! I saved 75% or $150 on a software package including Photoshop, Flash, Acrobat, Premiere, Dreamweaver and a whole lot more professional grade software. The schools negotiate these deals with the software providers, which allows them to sell cheaper student licenses for the software as they can sell in bulk to a highly valuable demographic.

More Money Saving Tips

We recently covered numerous money saving tips that you could use to save lots of money on things you buy frequently. There are always more ways to save money popping up all the time. As such, we will continue to provide tips to help you out. Here are several more tips that you could use to save even more money.

-If you buy a lot of items online, the website Retail Me Not provides you with tons of coupon codes and discounts at all sorts of major online retailers. Stores ranging from Payless Shoes to Gamestop and nearly anywhere in between are represented here. The site provides codes and links for things like discounts, free shipping, and similar deals. If you do a lot of shopping online, this site can save you plenty.

-However, if you do most of your online shopping via Amazon, consider signing up for Amazon Prime. For $99 per year, you can get free, two-day shipping on any order you make directly from Amazon. There are also discounts for other shipping options. There are restrictions, and you will need to check if your order is eligible. One such restriction is items from independent sellers on Amazon Marketplace. So be aware of any restrictions on what you buy. However, if you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, you could save a great deal on shipping, while saving money over brick-and-mortar store prices. You also get music and movie streaming as well as a huge collection of ebooks you can read for free from the Kindle Lending Library.

-Being aware of your driving habits can help you save money on gas. There are many things that can negatively affect your gas mileage. Knowing these things and making adjustments to avoid practices that lower your gas mileage can save you a bundle, especially on long trips. The U.S. government has a website specifically devoted to improving your fuel economy. Go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp and make adjustments based on their tips in order to help you get better gas mileage and get more trip for your buck.

Staying On Top Of HOA Dues

We have mentioned before several key things to keep in mind when dealing with Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs). Some people highly underestimate the importance of paying the dues for the association. Beyond being cut off from services that the association offers, there can be several damaging effects to missing HOA payments. Here are the issues you may run across, and an article on AOL Real Estate provides more information should you need it.

The dues for a HOA tend to go towards several services provided by the association. These can be all sorts of things, from road and lawn maintenance to even certain utilities. These services vary between associations, and it is extremely important to keep tabs on what your dues go towards.

Missing these payments can cut you off from these services. Things like lawn service and water can be cut off. Many HOAs can and will put liens on your home if you miss payments. This could result in you having to go to court and possibly may end with you losing your home. That is certainly a situation you would want to avoid. These liens also show up on your credit report, and can be severely damaging to your credit score. We have mentioned before how to monitor your credit score, and cannot recommend enough that you do so.

Knowing the damage that missing these payments can do to your finances, it is of the utmost importance that you stay on top of them and ensure that your HOA dues are paid and paid on time. Even being late on these dues can cause harm to your finances, as some associations can impose late fees.

There are numerous areas in which you need to stay informed in regards to finance. Keeping up with all of them can be a daunting task. Reminders such as these can be an important part of ensuring that you do not cost yourself money by making an easily avoidable mistake.

Keep An Eye On Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are on the rise again. According to Daily Finance, rates on several different types of mortgages rose within the past week. If the trend continues, you may see rates on  mortgages get too pricey for some buyers. Now may well be the time to buy if you have been on the fence for some time. Getting in the game now can save you thousands later.

Since the recovery from the Great Recession, mortgage rates have been very low for buyers looking for a new place. This has led to a situation where homes do not stay on the market since market values are still somewhat low, and mortgage rates have been very favorable to buyers. Investors, as well as people looking to get a deal on a move, have been snapping up these homes in record time.

Now, with the better foreclosure deals having come and gone, and investors seeing the rising prices as reason to hesitate, the market is starting to shift. This is contributing to the rise in mortgage rates. Should the rates continue to rise, fewer people are going to be looking to buy, and market value on homes shall rise. Thus, all ends of a transaction will get more expensive. As a result, now is the time to buy, as you can still get in while the prices are affordable. Holding off could mean having to pay a great deal more.

Sellers should consider getting into the market now as well. If prices start climbing more, buyers are going to leave the market. While you might be able to get more money then, as you have more leverage, your home will likely end up sitting on the market longer at a higher price.It is a delicate balancing act. Either way, getting in now could put you at the forefront as rates rise.

If you are looking to get into the real estate market, keep a close eye on these trends. Not being on top of these things could be a costly mistake.

Nina’s Cucina Review by Fred Moutran

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There are plenty of Italian restaurants in Spring Hill. To truly stand out takes a restaurant willing to go to greater lengths to please their customers. I have reviewed many of the Italian restaurant options in town and there are few that excel at providing a great customer experience like Nina’s Cucina.

Located on Kass Circle, Nina’s Cucina has long been one of the premier dining experiences in Spring Hill. If you plan on going during one of the busier nights, consider making a reservation, as seating is somewhat limited. Also keep in mind that they tend to be one of the pricier options in the area, although the cost is certainly worth it.

The menu covers many of the items you would expect out of an Italian restaurant, while managing to provide some impressive specialty dishes. When I went to try them out, I had the chicken fettuccine alfredo. Their sauce is about the best I have had in quite some time. Now, considering that I usually order some form of alfredo-based dish in pretty much every Italian restaurant I go to. So, for me to say that, really says a lot. The chicken was seasoned just right to really compliment the dish. All told, I was truly impressed with my meal.

As mentioned earlier, price may be an issue for some customers. Dishes can run a bit more than comparable dishes elsewhere. Even their usual specials run somewhat higher than similar deals in other Italian restaurants. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider other options. However, the quality warrants the price.

If you are looking for an Italian restaurant to check out, this is one of the top options in town. Ever since Mario’s closed, I have been looking for a new go-to Italian place. I believe I have found it.

Photo by elsie.hui

Nina’s Cucina Video


Comedian Vic Dibietto, who has made numerous television appearances and has worked some of stand-up comedy’s most renowned venues, released this video putting his stamp of approval on Nina’s Cucina in Spring Hill, Florida. Our marketing consultant, Fred Moutran, agrees with his assessment, and will provide his review of this establishment tomorrow.

Golfing in Hernando County

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Hernando County is a great place for golfers. There are plenty of places for golfers to play to their hearts’ content. If you want to hit the links, there are several entire communities built around golf courses here in Hernando County. Here are some of the best places to play in the area.

Silverthorn Country Club: This semi-private country club is renowned for their championship-caliber course. They also have their own academy to teach you how to play if you want to up your game. You can pay for play on a daily pass or through membership in the country club. For rates and information, you can check their website at: http://silverthornclub.net/index.php

High Point: This course, within a 55+ community, is one of the more popular in town. With driving ranges, practice greens, and more, High Point offers plenty of options for golfers of all talent levels. They offer tournaments, leagues, and other such events for the more competitive players. You can get more information about High Point Golf Course and the surrounding community at: http://retireflorida.org/community/content/view/14/48/

Brookridge: Also in a 55+ community, Brookridge has a private golf course, open to members. Members have to be property owners in the community. However, this exclusivity makes their community one of the most sought after community memberships in town. For more information, check their website at: http://www.brookridgegolf.com/index.html

World Woods: The World Woods Golf Club has two of the most critically acclaimed courses in Florida. It is a little further out there, compared to some of the others on the list. Being on the outskirts of the county, it may be a bit too much of a drive for some people. However, for those willing to make the trip it is well worth it. This course has such a far reaching reputation, it has apparently a hit among Japanese tourists, as evidenced by their website. For more information, check: http://www.worldwoods.com/

These are among the best golf courses in Hernando County. There are others, like The Dunes, but we will cover them at another time. We hope you find this information useful.

Photo by chispita_666

2014 Bucs Predictions Part 3

(This article contains the opinions of Marketing Consultant Fred Moutran and may not reflect those of the Bonnie Barbieri Team as a whole)

A Promising Schedule- The Bucs have a schedule that, on paper, should be a boon to them. They sit in a questionable division. They have games against weak teams in Cleveland and Washington, and St. Louis. They play against the NFC North, where the Vikings and Bears could have a tough year ahead of them. Games against teams such as the Saints, Ravens, Steelers, and Packers will likely be extremely tough games the Bucs would have an exceedingly difficult time walking away with a win from. Sneaking away with a winning record with a couple of upsets putting them in playoff contention is not out of the realm of possibility.

Predictions- The chances for the Bucs to come out of 2014 with a winning record hinge mostly on the team’s ability to adapt to a new system and the success of their passing game. The schedule helps more than hinders their chances. There is likely little chance of the team breaking into the upper tier of the league this season, but winning enough for a wild card playoff berth is not an impossible scenario. A stretch, but not impossible. With the conference being top-heavy, featuring one really strong team in each division with a supporting cast of mediocre squads, the wild card race come the end of the season should be wide open.

That said, there really are too many uncertain aspects of the team’s make-up this year to say that can make into the post-season with any real confidence. There are plenty of middle-of-the road teams that they could go either way against on that schedule. I doubt they will be bad enough to fall below six wins with a schedule with so many stinkers on it, but they will probably be hard-pressed to come up with enough luck to break .500. If I had to place a definitive number on it, I would split the difference and say they will hit 7-9 this year.

2014 Bucs Predictions Part 2

(This article contains the opinions of Marketing Consultant Fred Moutran and may not reflect those of the Bonnie Barbieri Team as a whole)

A lot of pressure is going to be placed on receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin to be the big-play guys for the team. Both are solid players, but whether they can be the cornerstone of an offense remains to be seen. Vincent Jackson has been going strong for a decade and may be on the tail-end of his career. Doug Martin is still young, but has not really stood out compared to other starting rushers around the league. With an offense that will emphasize the ground game, he may get more of an opportunity than he has previously to stand out and make his mark.

A Young Defense- Many of the starting defensive players for the Bucs have about five years experience. They are not quite tried-and-tested veterans, but they are not rookies either. Most of them are at a point in their career where they have to step up and make a name for themselves in order to keep their value high for their next contracts. There really are not any proven commodities on this defense. However, now is their chance to shine under a new coach that excels at managing defenses.

A Division in Flux- The NFC South, the division the Bucs call home is in a rebuilding phase. The New Orleans Saints are still a strong team, but the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers join the Bucs as being teams looking to re-define themselves. The Panthers struggled considerably last year, but they could very well have the talent to bounce back. The Falcons a bit harder to predict this year. They struggled last year, stayed fairly quiet in the offseason, yet many still consider them a potential number two team in the division. That could be a testament to the weakness of the division as a whole, or some people may be thinking that this will be a comeback year for Matt Ryan.