Author Archives: Aaron

About Aaron

Aaron is the owner of Add-Vodka.com and other personal finance websites. He is a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance writing and editing. Find out more about his work at AaronCrowe.net or follow him on Twitter.

spend less drivingAs kids, we’ve always dreamed of growing up into the cool adult with the nice car. We soon discover that dream cars are a dream for a reason: they are expensive. Now, you’re all grown up and still dreaming of that vehicle. But a car lease may be your solution.

How to get a car

These days, it is so easy to get a new car. If you’re looking for a used one, there’s plenty of online sellers who can give you a good deal for one. But the risks is that you don’t know what they did to the car or if anything is wrong with it.

That’s why others opt to get a car loan, wherein a bank or a finance company pays for the car, and the buyer makes the monthly payments. And of course, the car lease.

The car lease is the most enticing of it all because it guarantees a working vehicle for a fraction of the cost compared to car loans. But is it for you? Here are a few pros and cons of leasing that can help you decide if you should take a loan or a lease. ...continue reading

parenting“Do what I say and not what I do” is something too many kids can hear when growing up. And if not in those words, then in their parents’ actions.

Speeding, swearing, not exercising and poor money habits are bad examples that parents can set without realizing it.

Some parenting “fails” teach children about money — but in bad way. Here are some parenting “fails” that parents can turn around to teach their children about money:

Bad parenting impulse buys

Some impulse purchases can be fun. An ice cream treat after a tough week at school or a movie out as a way to break up the monotony of staying home too many nights can be  worthwhile motivators for kids to do better in school or at least be a fun break.

But if you can’t afford them, or spend too much on an expensive impulse buy — such as the latest technological gadget that you’ve coveted for months — then it can show a lack of restraint in how you shop.

Even small impulse buys, if made often, can show your child that it’s OK to buy something without giving it much thought and that you get what you want. But small purchases add up, and a better lesson would be to give up such purchases and put that money aside in a vacation fund for the whole family to enjoy the benefits of giving up short-term joys for long-term planning of a family vacation.

Every parent has probably had their child ask for a candy bar or something while waiting at the grocery checkout line. Telling them no can be difficult, but it beats raising a child who thinks they’re entitled to everything they see. ...continue reading

As someone who doesn't carry a wallet, I'm always thankful when I find a retailer that accepts credit card payments through my phone.

Such businesses are difficult to find, so my iPhone is inside a small case that opens to hold only three cards: my driver's license, a debit card and a credit card. No, it's not a man purse. It's the size of my phone, but about twice as thick. For me, it beats carrying around both a phone and a wallet.

But even with just one credit card on me, it's tempting to leave it at home and only carry my phone with me.

When I go to a business with a mobile card reader, I'm looking for one that uses Bluetooth technology to connect my mobile phone to its credit card reader so that the credit card stored on my phone can be seamlessly and securely used.

I'm looking for Bluetooth for two reasons: So I don't have to carry a physical credit card with me, and so I don't have to use the chip in the card and spend an inordinate amount of time at the cashier.

There's also a third reason, which I really did't think about much until I went to Europe last summer for vacation: High merchant fees for using a credit card.

The mobile card reader from SumUp seems to solve all of these problems. Here's how: ...continue reading