Cryptocurrency Fees – How Much Does It Cost to Buy and Sell Crypto?

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Cryptocurrency has started to change how the world handles financial transactions. From the first Bitcoin purchase in 2009 to the release of over 10,000 cryptocurrencies globally, millions of people are using crypto daily.

Although crypto promises lightning fast transactions and low fees, how much does it actually cost to trade and use cryptocurrency?

We’ve reviewed a wide range of different cryptocurrency fees, how much you can expect to pay, what factors to consider when paying fees, and how to save money on crypto transaction fees.

How Much Are Cryptocurrency Fees?

Cryptocurrency fees depend on the type of transaction you’re executing, which platform you’re on, and which cryptocurrency you’re using. In general, cryptocurrency fees are a percentage of the overall transaction, and may include additional costs if you’re processing a transaction directly on the blockchain network.

Since 2017, Masterworks has successfully sold three paintings, each realizing a net anualized gain of +30% per work. (This is not an indication of Masterworks’ overall performance and past performance is not indicative of future results.)
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When you are trading cryptocurrency on an exchange, fees range anywhere from 0.00% up to 5% or more, depending on the size of the transaction.

When trading on a decentralized exchange (DEX), fees usually range from 0.05% to 1.0% for the transaction, but there are network fees paid for processing transactions as well. When the network is experiencing high volume, these network fees can end up being $100 or more, depending on the network being used.

Overall, cryptocurrency fees range from fairly reasonable to outrageously expensive, depending on a variety of factors. 

Types of Cryptocurrency Fees

Cryptocurrencies were originally designed as a peer-to-peer payment system, with the fees being paid going to those that operate the payment network. Fast-forward over a decade later, and there are many types of cryptocurrency fees, including exchange fees, network fees, and wallet fees. 

We’ll cover the details of the different types of crypto fees below, and how to avoid overpaying.

Exchange Fees

Cryptocurrency exchanges have become the most popular way to buy, sell, and trade crypto. While fees can vary by exchange, most follow a fee schedule based on the Maker-Taker model. 

Market makers place an order into the order book, and takers purchase the orders from the order book. Makers typically pay a smaller fee than takers, and most fee schedules offer discounts to users who trade a higher monthly volume.

Here’s an example of the Coinbase Advanced fee schedule:

30-Day Volume (USD) Maker fee Taker fee
<$10K 0.40% 0.60%
$10K to $50K 0.25% 0.40%
$50K to $100K 0.15% 0.25%
$100K to $1M 0.10% 0.20%
$1M to $20M 0.08% 0.18%
$20M to $100M 0.05% 0.15%
$100M to $300M 0.02% 0.10%
$300M to $500M 0.00% 0.08%
$500M+ 0.00% 0.05%

In this example, traders who execute less than $10,000 in monthly trading volume pay the highest fees, and there are discounted fees for traders with higher volumes. Market makers are encouraged to trade by paying lower fees, as they increase the liquidity of the exchange.

Here’s another example from crypto exchange Kraken, which offers lower trading fees to users of its “Pro” platform:

30-Day Volume (USD) Maker fee Taker fee
$0 to $50,000 0.16% 0.26%
$50,001 to $100,000 0.14% 0.24%
$100,001 to $250,000 0.12% 0.22%
$250,001 to $500,000 0.10% 0.20%
$500,001 to $1,000,000 0.08% 0.18%
$1,000,001 to $2,500,000 0.06% 0.16%
$2,500,001 to $5,000,000 0.04% 0.14%
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000 0.02% 0.12%
$10,000,000+ 0.00% 0.10%

In addition to Maker-Taker trade fees, crypto exchanges may offer a simple order form to buy cryptocurrency directly, but charge higher fees for this service. Coinbase, for example, allows users to buy or sell crypto with fiat currency (such as U.S. dollars), and charges an average 1.49% fee for transactions. 

In addition to transaction fees, exchanges may add a surcharge to transactions that use a debit or credit card to purchase crypto. This can be up to 3.99% or more, depending on the exchange. This surcharge is added to cover the processing fees from the credit card companies, and can cause overall transaction fees to cost 5% or more.

Finally, some crypto exchanges charge deposit and withdrawal fees. These fees are paid in the cryptocurrency you’re depositing or withdrawing, and typically have a minimum transaction requirement. Exchanges typically waive deposit fees because they want to encourage users to transfer funds onto the platform. But many exchanges charge withdrawal fees to move crypto off the platform.

Network Fees

Although most of the trading volume for cryptocurrency happens on centralized exchanges (such as Coinbase), many transactions happen directly on the blockchain network. These transactions may be direct payments, interactions with a crypto-based application, or simply trading on a decentralized exchange.

Users of the network pay network fees — also known as “gas fees” — to the network operators. Because most blockchain networks consist of independent nodes (servers) that run the blockchain software, these node operators are paid a fee to process transactions on the network. 

Network fees are paid in the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain being used, such as solana (SOL), ethereum (ETH), or avalanche (AVAX).

Fees can vary by network, as some blockchains charge much less than others. For example, Ethereum fees are typically more than $10 per transaction, while fees on the Solana network currently are less than $0.01 per transaction. 

When there is a significant amount of traffic on the network, processing transactions requires more resources, increasing the fee price. This is especially true on the Ethereum network, which hosts a large volume of transactions compared to other blockchains, and fees have been known to eclipse $100 per transaction.

Overall, network fees vary wildly, and are dependent on the network you are using to transact. Most blockchain networks list the fees before processing your transaction, so you can evaluate whether you are willing to pay the network fee.

Wallet Fees

Cryptocurrency wallets are used to store crypto, transact on crypto networks, and interact with decentralized applications. Although most of the fees associated with trading crypto happen on exchanges or via network fees, there are some wallet fees to be aware of.

When depositing funds into a cryptocurrency exchange from your digital wallet, you may incur a 

fee from the exchange you are depositing to. There may also be a fee for withdrawing cryptocurrency from an exchange directly to your digital wallet. These fees vary by exchange, but are typically paid in the cryptocurrency being transferred.

For example, when withdrawing bitcoin from the crypto exchange Kraken to your digital wallet, you are charged a 0.00002 BTC withdrawal fee. If the bitcoin price was $40,000 at that time, this equates to a $0.80 fee, or a 0.0002% fee.

Digital wallets are also used to pay for network fees when using your wallet on a crypto application, or when trading on a decentralized exchange. These network fees require using the native blockchain cryptocurrency to pay, such as ETH on the Ethereum network.

How to Avoid or Reduce Cryptocurrency Fees

Although paying cryptocurrency fees is required to trade or use your crypto, there are ways to lower your fees or avoid them altogether. Here are a few ways to save on crypto fees:

  • Pay Using the Native Exchange Token. When trading on a crypto exchange, you may be able to save on fees by owning a certain amount of the native exchange token. For example, when trading on Binance, using the Binance Coin (BNB) to pay for transaction fees will net you a discount.
  • Don’t Buy Crypto With a Credit Card. Many exchanges allow users to purchase crypto with a credit card or debit card, there is typically a massive surcharge on these transactions. Some charge up to 4% for buying crypto with a credit card!
  • Avoid Trading During Volatility. When there is high volatility in the cryptocurrency market, network fees increase substantially. To avoid paying higher fees, don’t trade when there is massive network congestion.
  • Buy and Hold. Crypto exchanges collect fees on every transaction, whether you are buying or selling. The most transactions you place, the more fees you will pay. To save on fees, you can simply buy and hold your cryptocurrency.
  • Choose a Low-Fee Exchange. Exchange fees vary by quite a margin, and finding a high-quality cryptocurrency exchange that offers low fees can save you a bundle. 

Although transaction fees cannot usually be avoided, these strategies can help you lower your overall costs when trading or using your cryptocurrency.

Final Word

Cryptocurrency was designed to create a direct payment network across the globe. Although paying fees helps incentivize crypto networks to grow, cryptocurrency has expanded into an entirely new asset class, and there are more fees than ever.

Exchange fees can cost a bundle, but there are several ways to lower your costs. Understanding what costs are involved in trading crypto can help you compare crypto exchanges to find one that fits your needs.

When trading crypto on a decentralized exchange or using a crypto application, network fees can quickly become expensive. Avoiding times of volatility and using blockchains that offer lower fees can help you save money.

Overall, fees are required to trade and use cryptocurrency, but you don’t have to overpay if you know where to look.

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Gas-Saving Tips That Actually Work

With gas prices reaching all time highs, plenty of people are feeling pain at the pump. 

Driving less, ride a bike, take public transportation – sure sure sure. Plenty of us HAVE to drive. So other than swearing a lot when filling up, what action can you take? When fuel prices spike, lots of tips and tricks to save on gas get trotted out. They’re not all worthy.

We’ve narrowed them down to seven that don’t violate the laws of physics, compromise safety, or insult your intelligence.

1 of 7

Get the Junk Out of the Trunk

photo of golf bag in trunkphoto of golf bag in trunk

Car engineers spend a lot of time and engineering pounds, ounces and grams out of today’s cars. Don’t undo their efforts (and the gas savings they represent) by leaving unnecessary items in the luggage compartment, on the back seat or in the bed. Golf clubs are a common violator, but so is random dead weight like those boxes of books you keep meaning to donate. Or, dear lord, a case of individual water bottles for after-workout hydration.

Every time you accelerate, you’re using gas to get that stuff up to speed with you. And frankly, every time you brake you’re turning that energy into heat. How much gas are you wasting? This depends on your car, but the EPA estimates a 1% in fuel mileage reduction per 100 pounds. On a per-gallon cost basis, that’s about $0.04, using the EPA baseline figures. Get your stuff in order and you’ll save money, too.

2 of 7

Get the Rack Off the Roof

photo of hitch-mounted bicycle rackphoto of hitch-mounted bicycle rack

 When they’re not worrying about the weight of their designs, auto engineers worry aboiut aerodynamics.

Improvements to how your car slips through the air matter most at high speeds — highway miles. The most common way drivers hurt their aerodynamics, and thus mileage, is by putting items on the roof.

Do you have activities (cycling, skiing, going down to the beach house) that mandate a lot of equipment? Consider whether you could use a hitch-mounted rack or box instead. Tucked in the slipstream of your car, these will save fuel.

If you must put items on the rooftop (perhaps you kayak), remove the rack when you can.

And, finally, if your vehicle came with a factory roof rack that you never use, see if you can remove the crossbars. You’ll save a few pounds this way, too.

3 of 7

Combine Your Trips

People getting into minivanPeople getting into minivan

Okay, this sounds like a nag, like being told not to use the trunk for storage. “If life weren’t so crazy, I’d be doing that already!” 

We know. Still, we will repeat the reasons why planning ahead can save gas:

  • If grouping trips means fewer miles driven, well, that’s obvious.
  • But even if you have to go in multiple directions, all non-electric cars use more fuel when the engine is cold. So the fewer times you to bring the engine up to temperature, the better. Cold starts aren’t good for your car (or the environment, for that matter).

4 of 7

Don’t Let Your Car Idle

photo of idling vehicle emitting condensationphoto of idling vehicle emitting condensation

Americans continue to wildly overestimate how much fuel it takes to start an engine versus to keep it running. The reality is, once you’re stopped, your car is wasting fuel after about 7-10 seconds of idling. That’s why newer gas cars (and virtually all hybrids) have a feature that shuts the internal combustion engine off during stops when the brake is applied. The car’s still on, but the engine isn’t. Push the pedal and the engine snaps back on and off you go.

The feature annoys some people (and in truth the smoothness of the systems varies among vehicles), but the gas savings is real. Watch this video from Engineering Explained to see the science behind these claims.

If you want to maximize mileage, don’t disable the auto on-off feature. And everyone can stop leaving their car on while running back into the house, or whatever short errand you’re doing. You’re not an Ice Road Trucker. And it’s a prime way to get carjacked.

5 of 7

Drive Slowly. Errr, Wisely!

alert person driving vehiclealert person driving vehicle

No list of gas-saving tips would be complete without the admonition to slow down. There’s no getting around the fact that lower speeds require less fuel, most because aerodynamic resistance increases with the square of speed.

So, that’s the lecture. But driving to save fuel doesn’t have to be a dull crawl in the slow lane. Try thinking of it this way: brakes turn your money into heat, so can you avoid using them?

This isn’t meant to encourage dangerous behavior like not stopping for stop signs or the like. Rather, tune your anticipation skills. Look down the road farther, and coast down when you know that traffic signal’s going to change to red. You might actually find it rewarding. Bonus: You’ll be a safer driver, too.

While hybrid and electric vehicles are best equipped to take advantage of this style (through regenerative braking), many conventional gas cars now engage power-sapping accessories like the alternator during coast-down to maximize fuel efficiency.

As for accelerating, if you know you’re going to be holding a higher speed for a while, like when you’re merging onto a highway, go ahead and push the gas as hard as you need. Not only is slow acceleration in this situation potentially dangerous, it doesn’t actually save fuel.

6 of 7

Don’t Rely on the Tire Light

Photo of tire being inflatedPhoto of tire being inflated

All cars built since 2007 have what’s called Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). These do what the name says: monitor that your tires have air pressure.

The hitch is this: That light may not come on until a tire is more than 25% lower than the recommended pressure. And if you wait for that, you’re potentially endangering yourself (an underinflated tire can compromise your car’s handling or even lead to a tire blowout) and wasting money (underinflated tires reduce your gas mileage by roughly 0.2% per pound that they’re low). Doesn’t sound like much, but try this math: If your recommended inflation pressure is 40 psi, and you’re 25% low on air, that’s a 2% hit to your gas mileage. Plus, underinflated tires wear more quickly and unevenly, reducing your tire life.

There’s just no substitute for buying a decent-quality tire gauge (between $5 and $15) and using it at least once a month. Even if you can figure out how to get your vehicle’s TPMS to show each tire’s individual  pressure on your information screen, we’d still backstop this with a handheld gauge.

7 of 7

Embrace Fuel-Saving Apps (And Join the Club)

Photo of person checking fuel appPhoto of person checking fuel app

Finding the cheapest fuel can be sport for some. But phone apps like Gas Buddy and Gas Guru make it almost too easy to find the best gas deals. Since you can use them to screen for brands, you can also make sure you’re getting good quality fuel, which, in the long run, matters to the health of your car.

Joining a membership club like Costco or Sam’s Club could also pay off. Figuring how quickly you’ll recoup your membership cost with the per-gallon savings on their discounted fuel is pretty easy math.


How to Save Money on Flooring – 9 Steps to Get What You Want For Less

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Installing new flooring is one of the most difficult and costly home decorating projects. For a 500-square-foot-room, most homeowners pay $1,500 to $4,500 for materials and installation. If you need to remove and replace old floors, the cost is even higher.

But if you don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on new flooring, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your cruddy old floors for life. There are plenty of ways to get the floor you want for a lower price. It just requires a little ingenuity and effort.

How to Save Money on Flooring

Any flooring project has two primary costs: materials and installation. There are more ways to save money on materials since you have lots of options for what to buy and where to buy it. But there are strategies to save money on installation costs too.

1. Repair Minor Issues

First, consider whether you need to replace your flooring at all. In many cases, you can make your old floors look like new at a much lower cost. 

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Some options for sprucing up your existing flooring include:

  • Refinishing Hardwood Floors. Even if you have to hire a professional to do it, refinishing can be cheaper than replacing. You can have old floors sanded, stained, and finished with several coats of varnish for $2 to $8 per square foot.
  • Paint or Varnish Wood Floors. If you can’t afford to have hardwood floors fully refinished, you can refurbish them with a coat of paint, varnish, or whitewash. It costs as little as $1 to $4 per foot. And it won’t stop you from refinishing the floors later.
  • Painting or Staining Concrete Floors. You can make a bare concrete floor more presentable by painting or staining the concrete. You can give it a different color, a pattern, or a coat of sealer for shine. You can pay $2 to $4 per square foot to hire a pro or DIY for under $1 per foot.
  • Fixing Grout. Tile is very durable, but the grout that goes between tiles wears out faster. Sometimes, deep-cleaning the grout is enough to make old tile floors look like new. If that doesn’t do it, you can add a new layer of grout for $2 to $5 per square foot.
  • Adding a Rug. The quickest, easiest way to spruce up dingy floors is to throw a nice area rug on top of them. An 8-by-10-foot rug costs just a few hundred dollars — much less than a whole new floor.

2. Choose Less Expensive Materials

If your old floors are too far gone to save, that doesn’t mean your only option is to rip them out and install pricey exotic hardwood or high-end tile. You may be able to get the look you want for less with a different type of flooring. 

For instance, laminate flooring, luxury vinyl tile, or vinyl plank flooring can give you the look of wood floors for less than solid hardwood. Laminate and luxury vinyl can also mimic the look of other materials, such as tile, stone, or brick.

And even within the same flooring types, some materials are much cheaper than others. For instance, costs for hardwood flooring range from $3 to $14 per square foot. Carpeting can cost $1 to $7 per foot, and tile covers a huge range — anywhere from $1 to $25. 

However, when choosing flooring options, there’s often a trade-off between flooring cost and durability. For instance, low-cost olefin carpeting doesn’t hold up as well as wool. If you use it in a high-traffic area, you’ll need to replace it much sooner. That makes it a poor long-term value.

To get the best value, stick to flooring options suitable for your space. For instance, avoid laminate and wood floors in moist environments like bathrooms and basements. And hard, durable tile is good for bathrooms but uncomfortable for bedrooms. 

If you might need to sell your home soon, it’s also worth thinking about resale value. For example, hardwood floors cost more than carpet, but they pay off when you sell the home.

3. Shop Around

Once you know what general type of flooring you want, shop around for the best deal. Visit lots of different retailers and look at multiple choices before you decide. Consider all the options since minor differences in color or pattern can make a big difference in price.

As you compare prices, factor in costs for shipping or delivery. Two stores can offer the same tile for the same price, but the cost after shipping can be nearly twice as high at one store compared to the other.

Once you’ve narrowed down your flooring options, buy small samples of the ones you like best to take home with you. That lets you see them in your space, with your decor and lighting.

A given shade of carpet or tile can look very different in your home than it does in the showroom. Spending a few bucks ahead of time on a sample can save you from spending hundreds or thousands on a flooring project you won’t be happy with.

4. Reuse Materials

As you’re comparing flooring products, don’t overlook materials you already have in your home. Check your attic, basement, and storage shed for materials left over from other flooring projects. 

You might find wood planks from a renovation you did so long ago you’d forgotten all about it. There might even be tile left over from a bathroom remodel done by the previous owner. If there are enough of these remnants to fill your needs, you might not need to buy new flooring material at all.

You can also ask friends and family for their leftover flooring materials. Often, they’re happy to give them away just to get them out of the house.

If no one you know has flooring to spare, try reuse websites. People give away unwanted home improvement materials on sites like Freecycle and the Buy Nothing Project. You can also buy them cheaply on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Finally, check out local reuse centers like Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Stores like these often carry tile, wood, or sheet vinyl left over from building projects or salvaged from old buildings.

5. Shop at Discount and Overstock Retailers

Another place to look for the best prices on flooring is at discount and overstock retailers. Overstock retailers buy excess flooring materials from manufacturers and sell them to the public, often at costs lower than most retail stores.

Options include:

  • Overstock. This overstock site carries all kinds of flooring, including hardwood, laminate, carpet, vinyl, bamboo, and cork. Check the flooring sale section for extra discounts.
  • LL Flooring. Formerly known as Lumber Liquidators, this seller now carries many types of flooring. You can find laminates starting at $1 per square foot, luxury vinyl planks starting at around $2, and solid hardwood for as little as $3.
  • Floor & Decor. This online store is one of the best places to find cheap tile. Ceramic tiles start at around $1 per square foot. Along with its wide variety of tile, the site also carries laminate, vinyl, and hardwood.
  • BuildDirect. Through this site, professionals and homeowners can find bulk deals on all sorts of home improvement products, including flooring. Check the clearance section for the best prices. All orders on this site must meet a minimum order requirement, which varies by product.

6. Look for Discounted Materials

Special deal sites aren’t the only places to find bargains on flooring. Home improvement centers like Home Depot and Lowe’s often carry discounted flooring materials too, such as:

  • Overstocked Inventory. Sometimes, home centers buy more of a flooring product than customers want. They often sell the overstock by the box at clearance prices.
  • Discontinued Flooring. Home centers also offer deals on discontinued flooring products. They don’t want these products taking up room in their warehouses, so they unload them at low prices.
  • Canceled Orders. Sometimes, customers place an order for flooring and then cancel it. It’s often cheaper for the store to sell it at a discount than to return it to the warehouse.
  • Remnants. These are the pieces left over at the end of a large roll of carpet. Home centers and carpeting stores sell them at discounts of up to 90% — a fantastic deal if you don’t need much. However, these pieces usually sell as is, with no warranty.
  • Sales. Like any other product, flooring sometimes goes on sale. The best time to buy it is usually mid-winter, when fewer homeowners are doing home improvement projects. You can also find deals on and around Black Friday. 

With any kind of special deal, it’s crucial to read the fine print. Sometimes, there’s a minimum or maximum amount associated with the deal. Products may come without a warranty, or there may be restrictions on returns. 

7. Negotiate Material Costs

If you can’t find a deal on flooring, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck paying the price on the tag. Often, it’s possible to negotiate a better deal. 

One key to negotiating is to give the retailer a reason they should be willing to reduce the price. Some examples include:

  • Damaged Goods. Always check flooring materials carefully for minor flaws. If you find any that aren’t deal-breakers for your project, you can ask the seller to knock something off the price.
  • Helping a Local Business. One reason to shop local is that smaller businesses are often more willing to negotiate on price. They depend on word of mouth to attract new customers, so they’re eager to send you away happy.
  • Bulk Discounts. If you’re buying all your materials from one flooring company, ask if they can take a little something off the price. A discount of 5% to 10% is a reasonable request.
  • Paying in Cash. When you use a credit card, the retailer has to pay a merchant fee of up to 3.5%. If you pay in cash instead, that saves them money. So if you can afford to pay cash upfront, ask them for a discount. 
  • Group Member Discounts. Home improvement retailers offer various discounts for members of certain groups, such as first responders, military members, veterans, teachers, and students. Check to see if your store has any discounts that apply to you.

8. Do It Yourself

Installation can be one of the most expensive parts of a flooring project. For a 500-square-foot room, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $4,500. The price varies based on the type of flooring, the contractor installing it, and the size of the project.

In many cases, you can save money on flooring installation by doing the work yourself. Many types of flooring require only basic DIY skills to install. 

In general, floating floors are the easiest to install. This floor type has interlocking boards that sit on top of a foam or cork underlayer rather than being glued or nailed in place. Many modern floating floors have a click-and-lock system that makes installation even easier. 

Laminate floors, luxury vinyl tile, and vinyl plank flooring are all reasonable choices for a DIY project. By contrast, installing hardwood floors, ceramic tile, or sheet vinyl is probably a job for a professional. Wall-to-wall carpeting is tricky, but carpet tiles are much easier to handle.

Even if you can’t install your new floors on your own, you may be able to save money by doing part of the job yourself. For instance, you can prep the room by clearing out the furniture, pulling out old flooring, and cleaning the subfloor.

Likewise, once the new flooring is in place, you can take care of the final stages, such as cleaning up or applying sealants. Ask your contractor what parts of the job you can take on yourself to lower your costs.

9. Negotiate With Contractors

If you can’t do the work yourself, you can still negotiate with your contractor to keep the cost down. Ways to get the best price from a flooring contractor include: 

  • Do Your Flooring Project in Winter. Wintertime is a slow season for home improvement professionals. That means contractors are more willing to offer a good deal.  
  • Get Multiple Quotes. Always get quotes from at least three contractors, and let them know you’re doing so. That gives them an incentive to offer a lower price to get your business. 
  • Get the Details. As you get each quote, read it carefully. Make sure you know what’s included, such as moving the furniture out and back and what it adds to the cost. The lowest price may not be the best offer if it covers less work. 
  • Don’t Name Your Price. When getting bids, don’t tell contractors what your budget is. If you tell them you can pay $3,000 for a job that would typically cost $2,000, that just encourages them to bid higher. Make them name their own price.
  • Ask for a Sign Discount. Sometimes, contractors ask to display a yard sign on your property to advertise their services. Tell them you’ll allow this only if it gets you a discount on the price.
  • Get a Separate Quote on Materials. Contractors can often get better prices on materials, but they may inflate the cost. So ask for separate quotes on materials and labor. If their materials quote is more than you found, insist on buying them yourself. But if it’s lower, go for it.

Also ask contractors for their credentials: license, insurance, and references from other customers. And take the time to call the references and ensure the contractor did a good job. You can check reviews online too.

That won’t get you a lower price on your flooring project. But it can help you avoid a shoddy job that costs more money to redo.

Final Word

After you install your new floors, you can save money by maintaining them. The longer you can keep them looking great, the more time it will be before you have to do a flooring project again. 

So, check with the contractor or the manufacturer information that came with the flooring. Learn how to clean the floors properly and how often you need to do other maintenance, such as shampooing carpets or sealing hard floors.

Additionally, take some common-sense precautions to protect your new floors. Put down mats at every entrance for wiping dirt and grit from your shoes so they don’t track across the floor. Clean up all spills promptly. And put pads on the legs of furniture pieces so they don’t scratch the floor when moved.

By taking good care of your floors, you can enjoy the rewards of a beautiful new floor as long as possible — and avoid the cost and hassle of replacing them.

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Amy Livingston is a freelance writer who can actually answer yes to the question, “And from that you make a living?” She has written about personal finance and shopping strategies for a variety of publications, including,, and the Dollar Stretcher newsletter. She also maintains a personal blog, Ecofrugal Living, on ways to save money and live green at the same time.


How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest – 21 Tips for Friends and Family

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When a save-the-date arrives in your mailbox, you want to feel thrilled for your engaged friends. Instead, you feel a heavy knot forming at the bottom of your stomach. How much is this wedding going to set you back?

We all know weddings aren’t the most budget-friendly affair — for couples or guests. With the gift, travel, and your outfit, you can easily drop a few hundred dollars on someone else’s wedding. Some factors, like long travel distances and being a close friend of the betrothed, push the cost up. 

Whether you’re going to a family member’s lavish nuptials, a destination wedding, or the casual ceremony of a friend, you don’t have to go into debt to do it.

How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest

Whether it’s a one-off wedding during the year or wedding season, don’t get caught unprepared. As the invitations start coming in, make a plan and budget. Know what you can spend, whose weddings you can attend, and how you can cut costs all-around.

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How to Save Money Before the Wedding

Start making a plan to save money the minute you get the save-the-date. Decide what you want to spend money on and where it’s OK to cut back. 

Careful planning makes you less likely to overspend. 

1. Get the Details Upfront

The good news first: It’s a lot easier to attend someone else’s wedding than to plan your own. But you still have a lot to do as a wedding guest. Last-minute realizations can dash all your careful plans, especially if there’s more than one wedding to attend. 

Make a game plan by finding out:

  • Where (city and state and specific venue)
  • When (date and time)
  • The theme, style, and expectations of guests
  • Your role in the wedding (being in the wedding party may be more expensive)
  • If applicable, how many weddings you’re invited to

Getting as much information as soon as possible helps you set your budget and determine whether you can attend every wedding. It can also help you figure out ways to cut your expenses. 

For example, perhaps your cousin and high school bestie are getting married in your hometown on two consecutive weekends. You may be able to make one trip, saving on transportation, instead of having to travel home twice.

Or perhaps a co-worker and your college roommate are planning their weddings for the same weekend. You can only attend one, which can help you save money. 

2. Learn to Say No

Some weddings are modest affairs, while others turn into multiday, if not multi-month, programs with events ranging from engagement and pre-wedding parties to showers and post-wedding brunches. 

As a wedding guest, you’re free to choose what events you attend as long as you’re invited. Your relationship with the person getting married might influence your decision, but don’t feel obligated to attend every gathering celebrating their big day, especially if they require a lot of travel and planning on your part.

You can also freely say no if someone asks you to be a bridesmaid or groomsman. If you’re going to say no to the wedding party, let the person know ASAP so they can move on to the next person on their list. 

Go with your gut here — it’s fine to say no right away if you know bridesmaid or groomsman duty isn’t for you. You can also ask for a day or two to think about it, but don’t leave it longer than that.

Be honest when saying no and give the person a reason: 

  • You’ve got too much going on with work, school, or the kids.
  • You’re planning your own wedding.
  • You’re expecting a child.
  • You’re on a tight budget.
  • You’ll be traveling.

Be prepared for some pushback from your friend. For example, if you say you can’t afford bridesmaid duty, they might offer to pay. If that happens, ask what they’ll pay for. You need to be clear about expectations upfront to make an informed decision.

3. Make a Budget

You need to know how much you can afford to spend before shopping for things like gifts and outfits, especially if you have to travel to get there. 

To figure that out, set a wedding budget. First, look at your personal budget to see where you can afford to cut back. Adjust your discretionary spending, such as eating out less or skipping your weekly movie, to make room for the wedding.

Next, decide what you’re going to spend and on what. Some categories to account for in your budget include:

  • The gift
  • Wedding clothes (including shoes and accessories)
  • Travel (airfare, train tickets, gas)
  • Food and snacks (on the road and during wedding downtime)
  • Hair, makeup, and grooming

Review your finances to figure out what you can afford in each category. As you prep for the wedding, refer to your budget to stay on track and avoid spending too much. 

4. Look for Deals

Armed with all the information you’ve collected about the wedding, you can start hunting for deals. 

First, create a separate email account for wedding-related sales alerts to keep your regular inbox from getting inundated. You can close the account after the wedding.

Then, choose three to five places where you’re likely to shop for wedding apparel or gifts. Don’t forget beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora if you plan to wear makeup or need fragrance or hair care products. 

Check the newsletter they send you frequently for sales and deals that apply to the outfit you plan to wear or a gift you’re considering. For example, if Macy’s runs a sale on the dress boots you want (or a similar pair), you know to snag it soon.

And sign up for all the stores’ loyalty programs. You’re unlikely to earn enough rewards points to get a discount before your wedding unless you were already a member. But many retailers, such as Nordstrom and William Sonoma, offer members-only discounts. And you might earn enough rewards buying the outfit to get yourself something nice later.

You can also buy discounted gift cards for retailers and services you anticipate using for the wedding. For example, snag a reduced-price gift card to the store where the couple is registered, then use it to buy their gift. You can find discounted gift cards on sites like Raise, Gift Card Granny, and CardCash. 

For online shopping, install and use a browser extension like Honey or Rakuten. Shopping extensions work by either scouring the Internet for the best deals on any product you’re looking for or automatically applying coupon codes at checkout (or both). 

None of these methods is likely to score you a huge discount. But together, they could easily pay for an Uber or Lyft home from the reception.

5. Sign Up for a Cash-Back Credit Card

As long as you don’t go over budget and charge more than you can pay back, you can use a rewards or cash-back credit card to pay for wedding expenses. That way, you earn a percentage of every purchase back. 

Look for cards with attractive sign-up bonuses. For example, as of this writing, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Quicksilver card give you a $200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months. 

That’s the cost of a new outfit or a cheap plane ticket sorted. You also get at least 1.5% cash back, which you can redeem as a statement credit, through the rewards portal, or as a gift card.

Redeem your cash back for gift cards or use it to cover a purchase you made with the card.

If you get the card early enough, you can rack up enough points to buy the wedding gift or cover the cost of your trip.

How to Save Money on Wedding Clothes and Accessories

You’re going to want to dress up, even for a relatively relaxed wedding. Fortunately, you can clean up nicely without breaking your wedding budget.

6. Wear Something You Already Own

Before you even look for clothes, shop your closet. There’s no need to spend on a new outfit when you have something that fits and looks good. 

Even if you don’t have a complete outfit, you may have pieces you can use, like those killer shoes you love but have never worn or classic work bottoms that just need a little dressing up.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Repeat Outfits

In “Crazy Rich Asians,” Astrid is known for being fashionable and always having the best outfits. But she wears the same simple dress to each wedding. Doing so allows the attention to stay focused on the happy couple and saves time and money. 

If a fashion plate like Astrid can repeat outfits, so can you. You can easily wear the same gray suit or little black dress to every wedding you go to. That’s especially true if the weddings are among different friend or family groups. 

Add some variety to your wedding outfit by mixing up your accessories if you can afford it (another argument in favor of neutral colors). For example, wear a gold necklace to one wedding and silver hoops and a bracelet to the next. Or pick a blue tie for Wedding A and a green tie for Wedding B.

Adjust your accessories to make the same outfit appropriate for a daytime or evening affair. Flats can work for an afternoon wedding, while an evening reception calls for heels. Or wear an open collar in the daytime and a tie at night.

8. Rent Your Outfit

A basic suit or classic dress will serve you well for many weddings. But you might have that one friend who won’t settle for anything less than black- or white-tie. 

In those cases, your best money-saving bet is to rent your wedding outfit. Rent the Runway lets you borrow designer gowns for a fraction of the retail price. Most rentals are for four days and include shipping and return mailing as well as dry cleaning. 

9. DIY Grooming, Hair, and Makeup

Getting your hair done for a friend’s wedding is a treat until you see the price tag. Remember, everyone’s going to be looking at the couple anyway, so it makes sense to save money by styling your hair yourself. 

If you’re going to remove hair pre-wedding (such as your beard or eyebrows), skip the pricey barbershop or waxing spa and do it yourself. Now’s not the time to go to extremes, though. Focus on a little cleanup, not a makeover.

The same is true for makeup if you wear it. And keep it simple. Your friend’s wedding isn’t the time to try a complicated YouTube beauty tutorial.

If you’re absolutely hopeless when it comes to hair and cosmetics, enlist the help of a talented friend or relative. 

10. Hold a Pre-Wedding Swap With Friends

You’ve got weddings to go to, and so do your friends. One money-saving option for everyone is to exchange outfits and accessories before each event. 

Try trading accessories like ties, jewelry, and shoes. You’ll expand the size of your wedding guest wardrobe without spending a cent.

How to Save Money on the Wedding Gift

You don’t want your gift to look cheap or thoughtless, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money. Even if the couple’s registry gifts are a little outside your price range, there are still ways to save.

11. Buy the Wedding Gift ASAP

When it comes to the wedding registry, you have to get while the getting is good. That means picking a gift before all that’s left are a random salt-and-pepper shaker set and Dyson vacuum cleaner. The sooner you buy, the easier it is to find a gift that works with your budget.

12. Remember It’s the Thought That Counts

If you can’t afford anything from the registry, skip it. It really is the thought that counts when you give a gift. Think about what the couple needs or would really enjoy when choosing a gift.

Recall conversations you’ve had with them. Maybe they mentioned that they want to have dinner parties once they’re married. If so, a table linen set makes a thoughtful gift. 

Or perhaps they’ve mentioned that doors in their new home stick or squeak. A can of WD-40, a door repair kit, and a note shows you listened to their concerns (especially if your note offers to repair the door yourself). 

Fortunately, many couples register for multiple smaller gifts that cost $5 to $10 or less. And it’s not uncommon for them to find that none of those gifts are in their wedding gift boxes. Understandably, many guests want to opt for something flashier or more expensive. But you can use it to your advantage.

Buy several less expensive gifts and put them into a gift basket. That lets you spend up to your limit and ensures the happy couple gets all the little things they need to start their life together.

If possible, buy complete sets and opt for a theme. For example, you could buy all the tea towels, the spoon rest, and all the serving spoons to help outfit their kitchen. Amp up the thoughtfulness by adding a personal touch, such as a few easy recipes.

13. Shop Around

Just because a couple has put something on their registry at one store doesn’t mean you have to buy the gift from that particular retailer. You might find it cheaper somewhere else. 

It pays to shop around for gifts. A tool like Capital One Shopping does the work for you, automatically finding lower prices or applying coupons.

But if you find a registered gift at another store, update the couple’s registry to prevent duplicates. Most registries let you mark a gift as purchased even if you didn’t buy directly from the retailer.

14. Go Halfsies With a Friend

You can also split the cost of a pricey wedding gift with your friends. Dividing the cost makes particular sense when the people getting married only want big-ticket items, like a high-end vacuum or stand mixer. 

But it’s also perfect for couples who aren’t expecting most guests to spend much, especially if it’s something they’ll use every day. For example, if you split a $100 cookware set three ways, each of you only pays just over $30, and they get a fantastic wedding gift.

How to Save Money on Wedding Travel and Accommodations 

Whether you get there by plane, train, or automobile, you have to shell out to transport yourself to the wedding. The costs also add up if you need to stay a few days for wedding-related events. Fortunately, there are ways to save on your travel and accommodations too. 

15. Carpool 

If the wedding is within driving distance, carpooling with others can help you all save on gas and tolls. Carpooling is also a good option for open-bar weddings since it allows you to designate a driver.

Carpooling is especially cost-saving if you’re renting a car. If you split the cost with three or four friends, it doesn’t eat into your budgets as much. 

16. Weigh Your Options

It’s not always obvious which method is cheapest. Depending on how far you’re going and the available travel options, costs can vary. And when it comes to events, price isn’t the only factor you have to consider. You also have to get there on time. 

But you can use travel search engines like Rome2Rio to get all the info you need. It shows you the cost and travel time of various modes of transportation to help you make the best decision. It can also show you different combinations of travel options, such as taking a flight to a city on the way and finishing the journey by bus or train.

And you might be surprised when it comes to which travel methods are most affordable. For example, flying from Dallas to Nashville can actually be almost $20 cheaper and much faster than taking the bus. It’s even slightly cheaper than driving, depending on your gas mileage. 

But it doesn’t end there. When it comes to airfare, the airports you choose to fly from or to can have a significant impact on your bottom line. 

So Rome2Rio also shows you which airports are the cheapest. For instance, you can only get that inexpensive Dallas-to-Nashville fare if you fly out of Love Field instead of the considerably larger (and more convenient for many) Dallas-Fort Worth International. 

17. Find Your Own Hotel

Even if the couple has blocked off some rooms at a local hotel, it can be worthwhile to search around for hotel deals to get a better rate. If you don’t mind staying at a different hotel than the other guests, you could save considerable money.

18. Share Accommodations

Splitting the cost of a hotel room with another guest can save you a bundle even if you decide to stay at the same hotel the couple booked. Or you can use the savings to stay in a nicer room than you typically would.

Even better, get a peer-to-peer rental, such as Vrbo or Airbnb, for several people. You can rent an entire house, which helps you save on food costs since you have access to a kitchen.

Depending on how much you want to save, you might have to sacrifice a bit of comfort. Share beds with friends or have someone sleep on a couch or air mattress.

If you’re traveling solo, you can still save money by booking a private room in a shared Airbnb residence. 

But a peer-to-peer rental isn’t always cheaper than a hotel room, especially if you’re willing to double up and share rooms and beds. Always compare prices before booking to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

There are also free accommodation options. 

Sites like Couchsurfing and TrustedHousesitters let you search for people in your destination area willing to put you up for the night or let you stay in their place while they’re gone in exchange for taking care of pets or just keeping an eye on things.

19. Book Travel in Advance

You typically get the best rate on transportation if you book as far in advance as possible. For example, Amtrak offers reduced prices on train tickets if you book at least 14 days before the trip. Airfare also tends to be cheaper the earlier you book. 

When you buy tickets ahead, you also get the best selection in terms of schedule. Trains, buses, and planes can and do sell out. 

If you’re going to fly to the wedding, use Google Flights to keep tabs on airfare for your preferred dates and locations. You can use the flight tracker to see the lowest prices for a window of dates, which can help you decide when to leave or come back from the trip.

But the book-in-advance rule doesn’t usually apply to hotels. You might get a deal if you wait until the last minute, especially if the hotel has a generous cancellation policy and lots of travelers cancel their bookings. But that can be risky if you don’t have a backup plan, and you may not save enough to make it worth it.

20. Combine Wedding Travel With Your Vacation

You’ve got vacation days in the bank, and your friend is getting married in a dream location. If you were going to take time off anyway, it can be cost-effective to extend your stay for a few days and combine attending a wedding with your vacation. 

You can also stop at the wedding on the way to your vacation. For example, if you’re a New Yorker whose friend is getting married in Nebraska, you can make a pit stop in the Midwest on your way to your planned West Coast vacation. 

21. Bring Your Own Food

Food is part of most wedding events, including the reception, rehearsal dinner, and any related parties. But if you’re traveling for the big to-do, you’re going to have to fend for yourself for a few meals.

Since eating at restaurants for every meal will do a number on your wallet, bring your own food or stop at a local supermarket to get ingredients to make simple, healthy meals.

Consider your accommodations when shopping. If you have a full kitchen, a few salad kits, cartons of ready-made soup, and yogurt can tide you over but don’t require extensive prep. 

Final Word

Going to a wedding shouldn’t cause you financial stress. So firm up your budget and crunch the numbers to ensure you know exactly what you have to work with.

Then, get ready to accept or politely decline the invitations that come your way. Knowing in advance what you can afford to spend on clothes, the gift, travel expenses, and any bridal party costs can help you avoid busting your budget.

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Amy Freeman is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia, PA. Her interest in personal finance and budgeting began when she was earning an MFA in theater, living in one of the most expensive cities in the country (Brooklyn, NY) on a student’s budget. You can read more of her work on her website, Amy E. Freeman.


How to Save Money on Home Entertainment This Year

Although the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 have loosened up, many of us have found our new normal still includes spending a lot of time at home.

With the novelty of Zoom happy hours and virtual events fading, we’ve reverted back to some classic ways to unwind at the end of the day — vegging out in front of the TV and curling up with a good book. 

And we found ways to save money while doing so!

6 Ways to Save Money on Home Entertainment

Whether you’re a big bookworm, love to watch live sports or can’t get enough of your reality TV shows, there are ways for everyone to cut costs.

1. Download Free TV Apps

With the plethora of streaming options available now, there’s no reason to be stuck paying a pricey cable bill. While many streaming services do charge their own subscription fees, there are some TV apps that are completely free.

Download these free TV apps if you want to keep your costs at $0. You may not get access to the latest shows airing, but there are offerings for movie lovers, kids, gamers, anime fans and those who enjoy classic TV shows.

2. Ditch Cable for Streaming Services

Cutting the cord is a great way to cut down on monthly expenses, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the perks of viewing live shows and programs.

These streaming options allow you to watch live TV starting at about $35 a month. Many also offer DVR capabilities, just like cable companies do, so you can record episodes if you aren’t able to watch them when they air.

3. Watch NFL Games Without Cable

If you’re a sports fan, you might be holding onto cable so that you’re able to catch all the games of the season. However, there are many ways to watch NFL games without an expensive cable package.

You can stream games from the NFL Network or purchase the NFL Game Pass or NFL Sunday Ticket — plus there are several streaming services starting at $5 a month that’ll let you catch football games

4. The Great Debate: Fire Stick vs. Roku

For those switching from cable to streaming for the first time, one of the questions you’ll have is which platform you should use to stream content.

Amazon Fire Stick and Roku are two very popular options. In this article, we break down the highlights of both platforms so you can choose what’s best for you.

5. Score Cheap Audiobooks

Reading an interesting book is a great way to pass the time. Audiobooks are even better because you can essentially have the book read to you while you’re driving, out for a jog, doing chores around the house or whatever.

These nine options for finding affordable audiobooks let you build out your private (virtual) library without having to drop $25 for each hardcover book.

6. Discover Free Library Apps

Public libraries offer a wealth of resources, but you don’t have to get in your car and drive to your nearest branch to benefit from it all.

Free library apps like Hoopla, OverDrive and more let you access books, movies, music and online training programs at no cost. And there’ll be no one to tell you “shhhh” if you talk too loudly while deciding what to check out first.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.




Lessons We’ve Learned to Save on Home Improvements

We’ve been seeing our homes in a new light since the pandemic started.

We may not always be cooped up inside our four walls, but we continue to find projects to work on around the house. They can range from minor redecorating to major repairs that have been put on hold.

Here are our top eight stories on how to save money on home improvement projects.

8 Ways to Save Money on Home Improvements

1. Organize Your Home Without Overspending

Keeping your home tidy doesn’t require a trip to the Container Store to spend hundreds on various organizational tools.

Browse this list of cheap home organizing solutions for ideas on how to neaten up your pantry, linen closet, junk drawer and more. Some include upcycling items you already have at home.

2. Know Which Home Repairs You Need to Address Immediately

It may be financially convenient to put off certain repairs around the house, but ignoring some issues can cause major problems and increase the costs.

These eight home repairs are ones you shouldn’t ignore. Get on them ASAP to avoid extensive damage, safety hazards or health issues.

3. Keep Up With Routine Home Maintenance

One way to avoid expensive home repairs is to adhere to a schedule of regular maintenance projects. Letting little issues go untreated can lead to a much more serious — and more costly — problem to address later.

This article outlines four types of home maintenance priorities, including how frequently maintenance jobs should be done and an estimation of costs. Just putting aside $200 a month can help cover home expenses that come up.

4. Know When to Hire a Pro

Taking on home projects on your own doesn’t always save you money. If you take on something you can’t handle, you could wind up making a costly mistake that’s more expensive than hiring a professional from the start.

This article breaks down what types of home projects are safe to DIY and which you should leave to the experts.

5. Learn How to Hire the Best Contractor

Hiring a professional contractor for a home improvement project can be a significant financial investment. You want to know you’re hiring the right person for the job.

Here are six questions you should ask when hiring a home improvement contractor. Make sure everyone’s on the same page about the work before signing on the dotted line.

6. Remodel Your Bathroom on a Budget

Making your bathroom feel like a sanctuary is important — especially when you’re spending so much time at home. But bathroom remodels can be expensive.

These tips show you ways to improve your bathroom whether your budget is $100, $500, $750 or $1,000.

7. Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space for $100

Big landscaping projects can cost big bucks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to revamp your outdoor space for less.

This post shares six brilliant ideas for refreshing your yard or patio without spending over $100.

8. Spend Less at Restoration Hardware

Love the goods at Restoration Hardware but could do without the high prices?

This article shows six ways to save major bucks when shopping at this upscale home furnishing store. Never pay full price again.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.