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Check Into Cash Blog

From tax tips to money-saving tricks, the Check Into Cash blog is your one stop for money talk. Here you’ll find ideas that you can use to save money, time, and energy. Check back for new content every week. If you like a post, be sure to share it with a friend! After all, everyone could use a little extra cash in their pocket.

Win cash and help babies One Dime at a Time

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  Check Into Cash’s May giveaway awards $500 to the winner and $500 to the March of Dimes.

With this May’s One Dime at a Time Giveaway, Check Into Cash will match the $500 Facebook giveaway prize with a $500 donation to the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes works to end premature birth and other health threats to babies.

“Check Into Cash is eager to help the March of Dimes this month,” said Check Into Cash President Steve Scoggins. “We’re thrilled to stand behind an organization that takes action to prevent pain and suffering for mothers, babies, and families.”

Check Into Cash’s $500 donation to the March of Dimes will help fund community programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, as well as supporting research on common threats to the health of babies.  And how will the $500 One Dime at a Time Giveaway prize be used? Well, that will be up to the lucky winner!

“Giving back to the community and aiding nonprofit programs are priorities for Check Into Cash,” explained Scoggins. “With the opportunity to give to the March of Dimes and our Facebook prizewinner, May will be a rewarding month for everyone.”

For anyone who wants to enter for a chance to win $500, visit Facebook.com/CheckIntoCash before midnight May 31 and select the One Dime at a Time Giveaway tab. To learn more about Check Into Cash stores and services, check out CheckIntoCash.com.

Learn more or get involved with the March of Dimes at MarchOfDimes.org.

Brand new design makes LoanByPhone.com your premiere mobile direct lender

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Loan By Phone is rolling out a new and improved website designed for ultimate mobility. LoanByPhone.com 3.0 will feature an easy to use, mobile-friendly design with a responsive layout, making Loan By Phone services more accessible to customers on the go.

“Many of our online lending customers are busy and constantly moving,” said Loan By Phone President of E-Commerce Jimmy Whatley. “The new version of the website is designed to help solve our customers’ cash emergencies with as little stress and inconvenience as possible.”

LoanByPhone.com 3.0 provides customers with all the same capabilities as the original site: apply for a loan, manage an account, learn how online loans work, and more. The difference with the new version is the layout, crafted specifically for mobile users to transition seamlessly from computer to cell phone to tablet while, of course, maintaining full security and confidentiality throughout all platforms.

“We are always thrilled to make our services even more convenient,” explained Whatley. “The new, improved website is highly convenient and establishes LoanByPhone.com as your premiere mobile direct lender.”

Check out the new Loan By Phone design on any device at LoanByPhone.com.

Loan By Phone is powered by Check Into Cash.

 

 

52 Small Things You Can Do To Help The Planet

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Happy Earth Day! When it comes to going green, the smallest steps can make a huge difference. Here are 52 small things you can do to help the planet.

Economical ways to save the environment and save money on your home

1. Don’t heat an empty house! During the winter, turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees F when you’re home and 55 degrees F at night and while you’re away. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat if you can.

2. Your computer may go to sleep, but it’s still sucking up energy. Turn your computer and monitor off at the end of the day. In addition, take steps to create an eco-friendly workplace.

3. Clean your refrigerator coils — vacuum out the dust and wipe with a damp cloth. You’ll be surprised at how much nasty stuff accumulates down there!

4. Look into carpooling. Need convincing? Read why your green commute will save you money.

5. Taking a road trip? Rent a hybrid car. Here are a few more eco-friendly travel tips.

6. Start a compost pile in your backyard. Here is your guide to compost gardening. Did you know you can even add your fireplace ashes to your compost pile?

7. Support green businesses.

8. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online instead. (We’ll bet you’re already doing this one!)

9. Buy rechargeable batteries. Learn to dispose of old batteries properly.

10. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins at dinner.

11. Recycle — all the cool kids are doing it these days! Not sure what is recyclable? Check out this recycle chart.

12. Buy your dog a hemp or canvas leash instead of nylon.

13. Stop using your toxin-loaded dryer sheets and try these alternatives instead.

14. Share your magazines — read them then pass them on. Goodwill, the Kidney Foundation and other used goods collection agencies will usually accept them. You can also pass them along to a doctor’s office for the waiting room.

15. Take a break from screen time and take a hike. Take advantage of this eco-friendly fitness gear.

16. File your taxes electronically to cut back on paper usage. Look into having your tax forms emailed to you instead of mailed as well.

17. Donate old newspapers to animal shelters and take your plastic shopping bags back to participating grocery stores. Better yet, purchase cloth or canvas grocery bags and skip that part altogether.

18. Shop for eco-friendly beauty products. Also consider eco-friendly fashion lines and eco-friendly home decor.

19. Take your own mug to the coffee shop — some shops will even give you a discount for bringing your own cup. Find out if your coffee is triple certified.

20. Get e-tickets for the movies through apps like Fandango or get e-tickets and boarding passes when traveling. (For more vacation tips, read How to take an eco-friendly vacation.)

21. Buy a new houseplant. For a greener home, read 10 Eco-friendly ways to green your home and family.

22. Schedule your errands back-to-back to consolidate your trip and save gas or ride your bike or walk when possible.

23. Repair your leaky faucet (especially if you live in a drought-prone area), install water-saving toilets and shower heads, and only run the clothes washer or dishwasher with full loads.

24. Pack your lunch in an insulated lunch bag instead of paper or plastic bags. While you’re at it, choose organic food when you can — it’s more affordable than you think.

25. Put a cover on your pool when you’re not using it. Not only will it keep the water cleaner, but it will keep it from evaporating, saving you refills.

26. Ask your power company about purchasing green power like solar, geothermal, biomass and wind turbine.

Next: More cheap ways to go green

Brandon Jones – NASCAR RaceHub Interview

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NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brandon Jones stopped by NASCAR RaceHub on Fox Sports 1 for an interview on April 13, 2016. See Jones, Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet driver, discuss the upcoming Bristol race and Dash4Cash. Tune in to Fox Sports 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 16 to watch Jones race fast with partner Check Into Cash!

12 Ways To Save Money by “Going Green”

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We’ve all heard the saying “a penny saved is a penny earned,” but saving pennies while being green isn’t easy. Check out these 12 environmental ways to save:go green and save money

Plant trees. Strategic planting of trees can reduce an unshaded home’s air conditioning costs 15% to 50%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, which has tips on landscaping for shade. Utility companies offer customers free trees throughout the year to help reduce energy use through strategic planting, so check with yours to see if it offers such a program. Some local governments give away trees as part of Arbor Day celebrations. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but many states observe it on different days. Check your local government’s Web site to find out if it is giving away trees as part of an Arbor Day celebration. For $10, you can join the Arbor Day Foundation and get ten free trees. Plus, your membership entitles you to a 33% discount on trees when you buy online from the foundation.

Bike to work. By leaving your car at home two days a week, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,000 pounds a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Plus, you’ll save money on gas and parking if you bike rather than drive to work. For example, you’ll save about $7 a day by biking rather than driving if you have a 15-mile round-trip commute. Use our How Much Can I Save Biking to Work? Tool to see what the financial benefits are for you. If biking isn’t an option, you still can drive less by organizing a carpool, using public transportation or walking.
Install a programmable thermostat. You can save an estimated 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by installing a programmable thermostat, according to the Energy Department. Save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat (which costs as little as $20) to 68 degrees while you’re awake and programming it for a lower temperature while you’re asleep or away from home. Set it for 78 degrees in the summer, and increase the temperature when you’re not home. You can shave 1% off your bill for each degree you decrease the temperature in the winter or increase it in the summer. And, no, you won’t have to use more energy to warm or cool your house off when you get home. That’s a common misconception, according to the Energy Department.

Eat less meat. The meat industry generates about one-fifth of the world’s man-made greenhouse gas emissions, according to estimates from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. So if your family skipped eating steak once a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months, according to the Earth Day Network. And you’d save money. For example, a sirloin steak costs twice as much per pound as chicken breasts and nearly five times as much as beans, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Switch your light bulbs. You can save $70 a year on your energy bill by replacing the light bulbs in five of your most frequently used fixtures with Energy Star qualified LED or CFL bulbs, according to the EPA. These bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last ten to 25 times longer.

Install water-efficient fixtures. You can save money on your water bill by installing water-efficient faucets, showerheads and toilets. Look for products with the WaterSense label, which means they are certified to be at least 20% more efficient without sacrificing performance. For example, WaterSense-labeled toilets can save a family of four more than $90 annually on their water bill and $2,000 over the toilet’s lifetime, according to the EPA. Considering you can get a toilet with the WaterSense label for as little as $98, it will pay for itself in about a year. Estimate your savings with this simple calculator.

Recycle electronics. Americans discard more than 2 million tons of obsolete electronic products annually, according to the EPA. Rather than fill the dump with your unwanted gadgets, fill your wallet by selling them for cash. Sites such as BuyMyTronics.com, Gazelle, NextWorth and uSell pay cash — and cover the cost of shipping — for electronics such as smart phones, tablets, computers and more. The type of electronics you can sell varies by site, as does the amount you can receive. If none of the sites will accept your unwanted electronics, you may be able to recycle or donate them. See the EPA’s eCycling list for responsible electronics recyclers.

Compost. Americans spend $5.25 billion on fertilizers for their lawns, according to the EPA. Yet, you can get fertilizer for free by composting leaves, grass clippings, vegetable scraps and other organic waste. Plus, composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste from the garbage can, according to Eartheasy. See the Eartheasy guide to composting to learn more.

Use rain barrels. You may be able to cut your water costs a little by installing rain barrels at downspouts to collect water. You can attach a hose to the barrels to water your lawn and garden. Some water departments offer free rain barrels, so check with yours to see if it does. If not, you can find rain barrels at home and garden centers and online (about $100 for a 50-gallon barrel). Or you can make your own using a large plastic trash can or metal drum for a fraction of the cost.

Opt for a reusable water bottle. You’re doing your health a favor by drinking water rather than soda. But if you’re buying bottled water, you’re not doing your wallet or the environment a favor. According to the most recent statistics from the International Bottle Water Association, Americans spent $11.8 billion on bottled water in 2012. Considering that the average cost per bottle is $1.45 and the average consumer buys 167 bottles a year, you’ll spend more than $240 a year on bottled water at that rate. For the cost of just a few disposable bottles of water you can buy a reusable bottle that you can fill and carry with you wherever you go.

Buy a power strip. Energy vampires – electronics that draw power even when they’re not in use – cost Americans almost $10 billion a year, and account for almost 11% of all U.S. energy use, according to the EPA. If you want to avoid unplugging all of your electronics when they’re not in use, you can buy an inexpensive power strip that several things can be plugged into and turned off with the flip of a switch. The Smart Strip Power Strip ($25 and up) will automatically shut off computer peripherals, such as printers and scanners, when not in use. And the Belkin Conserve Smart AV ($29.99) automatically shuts off components, such as a gaming console, receiver and speakers, when you turn off your TV.

Line dry clothes. Clothes dryers can be one of the most expensive home appliances to operate, accounting for approximately 6% of a home’s total electricity usage, according to the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center. Because all dryers use about the same amount of energy, the best way to save money — and benefit the environment — is to line dry your clothes whenever you can.

Check Into Cash partners with Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet and Driver Brandon Jones in Bristol race

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CLEVELAND, TN, April 12, 2016: Check Into Cash has partnered with Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR’s) No. 33 Chevrolet and driver Brandon Jones in this Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race. The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time with coverage on FOX Sports 1.

“Check Into Cash is thrilled to support young and promising driver, Brandon Jones,” said Check Into Cash President Steve Scoggins. “We can’t wait to root for No. 33 this Saturday at the XFINITY Series race.”

At only 19 years old, recent high school graduate Brandon Jones has already paved the way for a highly successful competitive racing career. Jones made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut in May, 2015 and went on to earn one top-five and two top-10 finishes during his first season, with a total of 16 laps led in five starts. His impressive performance in 2015 earned Jones an offer from RCR to be the full-time driver for the No. 33 Chevrolet for the 2016 season.

“We wish Jones the best of luck in Bristol, ‘the World’s Fastest Half Mile’,” said Scoggins. “And we encourage everyone to tune in and see Check Into Cash go extra fast!”

To learn more or get tickets to the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 on April 16, go to BristolMotorSpeedway.com. For information about Check Into Cash stores and services, check out CheckIntoCash.com.

 

About Check Into Cash

Founded in Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1993 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Allan Jones, the Check Into Cash brand is state regulated and offers customers a wide variety of financial solutions. Check Into Cash stores offer consumer micro-loans, check cashing, Western Union® money transfers, prepaid U.S. Money Cards, and other convenient services as a complete one stop money shop.

Check Into Cash is a founding member of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), the trade association representing the nation’s payday lenders. The CFSA advocates for best practices and helps enact legislation that balances the needs of the consumer with the interests of the industry.

As a national leader and industry standard-bearer, Check Into Cash firmly believes in truthful advertising and full disclosure of its services.

©2016 Check Into Cash, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sylvia Cintron

423-473-4484

SCintron@CheckIntoCash.com

 

10 Tips To Celebrate Earth Month

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April is Earth Month! It can be tough to find time to celebrate outside, but there are ways to get involved no matter where you are. Here are 10 ways to celebrate Earth Month!

There are times when the problems that plague our planet and its environment seem incredibly overwhelming. Where do we begin? What can be done? It’s all about the little changes that can make a huge difference in the fight for our future. This Earth Month, it’s time to get the word out and fight against one of the biggest problems our world faces: “environmental apathy.”

There are still too many people in the world who do not realize the urgency of issues such as energy and water supply, biodiversity, habitat and environment damage. Without this knowledge or sense of urgency, there is no motivation to change anything. What better time to do something about this “environmental apathy” and inspire a change than Earth Month? The strategy from Earth Month Network to overcome this apathy is a simple, but a good one, and definitely worth sharing: provide the very much needed “Awareness, Knowledge, Education, Stewardship and Activism towards global environmental issues.”

Let’s celebrate Earth Month and learn more about the little things we can all do in our own homes that, collectively, can make a huge difference. Here are ten easy tips…

  • Calculate your carbon footprint for both your home and your business!
  • Save energy and money on your heating bill by calculating your average water consumption.
  • It’s not as chilly as it used to be even a month ago! When you find yourself feeling cold, grab a sweater and make some tea instead of turning up the heat! In fact, try lowering your furnace a few degrees at night and get cozy under the comforters!
  • Whenever you leave your home, turn off the computers and unplug them.
  • Turn off the lights, TV’s and any other appliances when you aren’t using them.
  • When doing the laundry, switch to cold water. Did you know that almost 90% of the energy used in the washing cycle goes to heating up the water?!
  • If you are thinking of replacing an old laundry machine, go for a front loading, high efficiency machine. These can save on water and use up to 50% less energy than the regular washing machines.
  • Folding may not be a chore people rush to do but try and fold your laundry while it is still warm from the dryer. This will help you avoid wrinkles without using up electricity from an iron.
  • Switch to low energy light bulbs and install dimmer switches to control the intensity of the bulb and how much energy you use.
  • If you live in a hotter climate, try planting a tree or shrub that shades your central air conditioner. This will help improve its efficiency by up to 10%!

These ten tips may seem very small but if we all tried even one or two of them, we’d would save incredible amounts of energy! There is something to be said of strength in numbers. One person can do a lot, but many people together will be able to do even more. Let’s make every month, Earth Month and show the world some love!

3 Ways to Recover From a Blown Budget After the Holidays

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Did the holidays demolish your budget? Here are some creative ways to quickly recover from over-spending:

1. Sell, Sell, Sell

I know I probably sound like a broken record by continually recommending that you de-clutter your house and sell like crazy. But it’s one of the best ways to get rid of extra stuff you won’t use, and make a dent in the amount you overspent during the holidays.

It’s also my favorite way to help boost any financial situation in a quick pinch. I always do this process in a couple of different steps.

  • First, find out which big items you can sell and then list those on Craigslist.
  • Next, look through every closet for brand-name clothing that can be sold on eBay. Right before Christmas, I sold some Baby Gap pants, Puma toddler shoes, and other outgrown baby items. Many people may have overlooked selling these things because with shipping, a pair of 2T pants and toddler shoes earns about $5-7. This may not seem worth the effort, but it really adds up. As you go through the family’s closets, snap pictures of the item on your smartphone. It takes 5-10 minutes to list something on eBay with a phone, and if it doesn’t sell in three weeks, then you can save it to sell at your yearly yard sale or donation.
  • Lastly, request a bag from Thredup.com or Kindermint.com and pack them with clothes that your family doesn’t need. Most of the items that don’t sell in steps 1 and 2, will be hand-me downs or 50-cent finds, so I don’t mind if these sites only give me a dollar or two for them.

2. Commit to a No Spend January

Have you ever done a no-spend month? It may be hard but it’s totally worth it. Basically, the idea is that you cut frivolous spending (no fast food, home décor buys, clothes, etc), and eat out of your pantry, fridge, and freezer for the entire month.

You can give yourself $20-40 a week to spend on milk, eggs, bread, and other fresh necessities at the grocery store. I will be doing this in January because my pantry and freezer are nicely stocked from the holiday meals.

This is a perfect time to use up the food items that may have forgotten about (and I plan to use this as a food declutter before our new baby arrives in February). Also, an extra $300-400 would be nice to put towards any credit card debt, or replenish savings accounts, since you won’t be buying groceries.

3. Earn Income on the Side

My husband and I are both blessed to have open-ended jobs. He’s welcomed to do overtime anytime he wants, and I can always increase my freelance load whenever I want.

I can also always fall back on my methods of reselling kid clothes, from yard sales and thrift stores, if I really want to. Do you have other ways to earn side income? There are so many ideas out there, so if you need extra money, I encourage you to be creative.

Perhaps you can ask your employer for overtime opportunities, or take on a small babysitting position. Everyone still has their Christmas lights up, perhaps you can offer to take them down. Even something like renting out your home, or car, can produce a good amount of extra income.

Recovering from a high spending month like the holiday season can be tough, but with these steps you can overcome a blown budget in a short period of time.

What’s another idea you use to recover from the holiday season? How are you planning to get back on track this month?

Cut Your Grocery Bill by $30 Per Week

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Happy Good Friday! Go from good to GREAT this Friday with these money-saving ideas at the grocery store!

 

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for payday loans varies in each state and depends on the advance amount, fees, and terms of the transaction. The APR for a $100 single-payment payday loan may range from 260.71% to 782.14% on 14 day terms. As a member of CFSA, Check Into Cash abides by the spirit of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as applicable to collect past due accounts. Delinquent accounts may be turned over to a third party collection agency which may adversely affect your credit score. Non-sufficient funds and late fees may apply. Automatic renewals are not available. Renewing a loan will result in additional finance charges and fees.