Habits to Avoid When Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility
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Financial responsibility is one virtue that you can teach your kids so that they grow up as skilled financial managers. Being responsible with money is something that they can learn at a young age, and there is no excuse not to expose them to a very “grown up” thing. However, there are habits that you need to avoid so that your children will not misunderstand you. The primary step is to set a good example of being financially responsible. This is further specified into the following principles:
- Avoid fighting about money. According to a study in 2012, children who heard their parents fighting about money grew up to have financial issues and are more likely to be buried in huge piles of debt. Intense conversations about money will never make everyone in the family at ease. Instead, you can keep it low-key by conducting a “budget talk” where you and your husband or relative discuss expenditures in a positive light. Apply the problem-solution approach and avoid blaming one another.
- Avoid spoiling your kids when they want to buy stuff. Teach them to save for what they want, yet emphasize what they need to prioritize when buying. For instance, they may be able to save a few dollars to buy candy, but you can teach them to use it on a more important thing (i.e. books).
- The topic of money shouldn’t be a taboo. You can discuss this even with the children around, but avoid quarreling about finances. When your children ask about budget and expernditures, take time to explain to them these concerns.
- Avoid being dishonest. If you owe someone, don’t ask your children to lie on your behalf. Teach them to face the consequences of debts. Better yet, teach them not to get buried under a pile of debt.
- Don’t keep up with the Joneses. This is an attitude that could send any family to deep debts. Competing with other families will send a negative message to your kids – that it’s alright to spend beyond your means as long as you can address your caprices and unnecessary wants.
- Avoid being too comfortable with debt. Check how you spend on your items. Ideally, you should be spending from your own pocket and not relying on credit cards. Resort to the latter only if there is an emergency. Otherwise, teach your children to save for the puchase.
- Avoid tackling too much about money either. You can discuss money matters but be wary of making it the sole topic in the household. It may make your children think that money is too important. Also, teach your kids the value of money, but tell them it cannot equate happiness.
- Impulsive spending may influence your kids. Teaching them to think twice before buying anything will make them more responsible in handling money. Teach them to buy one at a time as well.
- Do not overspend. Show your kids that the right way of managing finances is to buy what’s important, and to buy what your family can afford. Buying at thrift stores and book sales is not a bad idea after all. Teach your kids to be a smart consumer.
Top 5 Money Savings Tips for Families
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With an unstable economy and the nonstop inflation of the prices of necessities, saving money is a task the entire family should do. However, money saving is no ordinary task. It is something that you must consciously do and it requires tremendous amounts of willpower.
Due to that, here are some simple tips that do not require a lot of conscious effort and willpower. And once you get the hang of doing all of these, it will come naturally. Consider these tips as to things you need to do and an investment in you and your family’s future.
1. Learn how to cook and learn how to enjoy it
This can never be emphasized enough: This simple life skill has been often ignored by people.
Cooking your own meal can help you save more than 50% of the money you spend on fast food and family restaurants. It will cost you an hour or two, but aside from money, cooking your own meals ensures that your family will be eating healthy food, which can prevent them from getting easily sick.
2. Become a smart shopper
You do not need to be a coupon hoarder or a “store discount specialist.”
All you need to do is shop in bulk and make it a one-time trip each month. It can save you time, money, and stress — not to mention that you will live comfortably until your stocks last.
You can also check out fashion outlets so you can grab your clothes there at a discount.
3. Spend your family time at home
You do not need to go out just to have fun. Save yourself from the hassle of driving, herding the kids around, and walking too much. Spending your time with your family at home is a relaxing way to lessen your expense and bond with your partner and kids.
Of course, it does not mean that you should not go out forever. Go out when it is convenient: when you have money and a lot of time (or if you are in vacation).
4. Teach your kids how to be frugal
Yes, frugality is a difficult trait to learn and adapt to when you grow up. Yet, the best time to learn that is during childhood. Teach them how to be thrifty. Teach them the life skills they need to become independent and wise when using money.
In return, aside from the long-term benefits, they will be the ones that will initiate and remind you of the things that can save you money. You earn the money; they think about how you can spend the money wisely.
5. Learn more life skills along with your kids
Seriously. It does not mean that once you get the job you want and have the family you dreamed of, you will just do your responsibilities and let yourself stagnate. Aim for self-improvement. There are things in life you must learn.
Together with your kids, learn how to cook, clean the house, fix the plumbing, and do the laundry yourself (if you rely on laundromats).
It sure sounds like a hassle, but it is an investment that you need to make. Doing everything yourself (or almost everything) will prevent you from relying on expensive workers and service people.
And if things go wrong and you do not have money, you can just use the life hacks and skills you have learned.
Top 5 Ways To Save At The Grocery Store
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Shopping for groceries is a must for any household. When such times arise, there is also a need to review your budget and how much you’re allotting for your groceries. Buying groceries shouldn’t cut a great deal from your regular budget. There are certain ways to save when you’re shopping, and these tips could help you take home a portion of your budget.
Scan weekly advertisements in newspapers. Though they don’t have coupons for discounts, these print advertisements usually tell you which supermarkets will be holding a great sale. You can actually save up to 50 percent if you quickly head to grocery stores with such discounts. It would also help if you shop at night or nearly closing time. There are supermarkets that sell their products at great discounts during these periods. This is especially true for produce and bread, which are perishable goods.
Buy generic brands instead of name brands. Some supermarkets sell their own brands and these are cheaper than name brands. According to experts, you could save up to 25 percent just by buying store brands. You get the same product for the same size and quality, plus you keep a few pennies for yourself.
Use cash instead of your debit or credit card. You know how easy it is to spend using your card. You will also have to pay the interest in doing so. One trick is to plan ahead and determine how much you’d be paying for your groceries. Purchase them using cash so that it is easy for you to discard items which may seem unimportant and out of the budget. Paying by cash also keeps you from overspending. Stick to your list and avoid aisles that contain your “favorite items.” These favorite items may be items of luxury, and thus are not needed at the moment. If you are easily distracted by new products, avoid them, too, unless you can save more by buying them instead.
Use simple ingredients for your recipes. Unless you want each meal to be a model of the one served in a fine dining restaurant, keep your ingredients simple so you could buy them at a cheaper cost. You don’t have to buy wine for your steak if spices and other condiments would do. There is nothing wrong with buying these stuff for preparing delectable meals, but if you’re on a tight budget, you could save those meals for special occasions instead.
Take advantage of store coupons. Some stores stock up on coupons which you could use to buy your grocery items at a more budget-friendly price. Some coupons would award you with 25 to 50% off the original cost. If you have enough shopping coupons, you could save as much as half of the original budget you allotted. Another tip is to wait until an item is on sale and then buy it using the manufacturer’s coupon. However, some supermarkets may be strict about this. But if you’re lucky, you could try pairing items with a few coupons. Take note, though, that you may use only one coupon per product.
Most Common Mistakes Made by New Couponers
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With the possibility of huge savings to spur you on, it’s easy to get caught up in couponing. When you’re just starting out, however, it’s equally easy to commit errors that cost you money or cause you some embarrassment in the checkout line.
These are the mistakes most commonly made by new couponers, and how you can avoid them.
Not Doing the Math
A lot of new couponers don’t do their math before heading to the store, and end up having to pay hundreds of dollars more than they expected.
Always take the time to do the math so you know how much your total will be before and after the savings from coupons.
Failing to Read the Fine Print
Coupons come with a lot of fine print, and you ignore this at your peril. Make sure to read it carefully so that you know the exact specifications of the item a coupon is for.
That way, you won’t end up with the wrong product in your shopping cart. You should also pay attention to a coupon’s expiration date.
Buying Things Just Because They’re On Sale
Many new couponers fall into the trap of buying things they don’t like simply because they’re on sale. No matter how big the discount is, doing this will waste your money.
Don’t pick up items your family won’t use unless you intend to give them away as donations or gifts.
Refusing to Buy Products Without Coupons
Another extreme is refusing to buy the products you need unless you have coupons for them.
Don’t put your family through a shortage of shampoo, cereal, or other necessities just because you’re waiting for a good deal. It’s alright to buy something at regular price if you need it immediately.
Chasing Down Every Deal Available
Couponing is hard work, and you’ll burn yourself out if you chase down every deal available in your area.
Learn to pick and choose the sales that will be most useful to you, and don’t get frustrated if you miss one. After all, sales always come around again.
Using Coupons Immediately
Another strategic error common among new couponers is using a coupon immediately after finding it.
Unless you need the product right away, you’ll save more if you wait for sales or mix and match coupons to get the best deals.
There’s nothing more frustrating than preparing your coupons, driving to the store, and finding out that somebody else has cleared the shelves of the products you wanted. Don’t be the person who does that! Leaving some items behind for other customers is basic couponing etiquette.
Losing Patience with the Cashier
Couponing can be tough work for cashiers as well, and you won’t be doing anyone any favors if you lose patience with the person who’s ringing up your shopping.
Don’t hold up lines by arguing with them about the store’s coupon policies. If you think the cashier has made a mistake, ask to be moved to customer service with the bare minimum of fuss.
Top Five Extreme Couponing Tips
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Stacking up on coupons is one of the ways to save when you are buying or shopping for groceries.
While coupons entail a lot of cutting (which means it’s a lot or work!), you can save a great deal if you have enough coupons to take with you as you shop.
Imagine saving up to 50 percent of your allotted budget for an item.
For newbies, here are top five extreme tips on using shopping coupons to get your started:
1. Spend your weekends cutting out coupons
This activity is not for the lazy. If you’re bent on saving a lot during your next trip to the supermarket, make time for cutting out coupons. One newspaper is not enough to search for coupons. Ask your colleagues, family, and friends for other issues of dailies and magazines and start your hunt for these coupons. You would find a lot in Sunday newspapers and you could even get unused copies. More copies would mean you could get more coupons. There are also online resources and raffle draws for promo codes.
2. Identify what kind of couponer you are: casual, skilled, or extreme.
If you’re an extreme couponer, you are ready to get hold of coupons and not just pair them with discounted items, but also to stockpile them. The extreme couponer keeps two kinds of coupons: the manufacturer’s coupons and the store coupons. If you want to save a lot on your next purchase, get as many coupons as you can and bring them with you during your next visit to the supermarket.
3. Use a spreadsheet for your coupons
This really does sound extreme, but nothing beats organizational skills in identifying the purpose of the coupon, when it’s going to be used, any terms and/or conditions, in which supermarket or product it is applicable, and other details relevant to the use of the coupon. This is a great practice for beginners, especially of you want to be careful with the spending of your coupons. It will also help you recall when the coupons would be expiring. Using a spreadsheet will help you save time.
4. Plan your purpose when shopping
To ensure that you won’t overspend your coupons on items that you don’t really need, have a clear purpose of what you want to buy. Stay away from marketing ploys and stick to your budget list. Get inside the supermarket, get the deals using your coupons, and get out of the establishment — FAST.
5. Identify your price points
These price points are the maximum price, which means it is the highest price that an item costs; the average price, which is normal price point for an item; the stock-up price, which is also known as the rock-bottom price; and the deal price, which means that the item is on sale. If you know your price points, you can easily organize your coupons and you would know which coupon to use for a certain price point. It’s called strategic shopping and being a wise consumer!
How Much Can You Save by Bringing Your Own Lunch Food to Work?
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Bringing your own lunch to the office is just one of the ways to save money. It is practical, economical, and could even be healthier, as compared to buying your lunch in the office cafeteria or i fast food joint.
Eating out sounds like a fantastic idea, considering the convenience of not bringing extra bags with you. Eating out with your officemates is also an enticing idea.
However, try listing down your expenses starting from breakfast to your snacks and you may be surprised at your monthly expenditures for food and drinks alone.
You can save a lot of money if you’d just pack your own breakfast or lunch to work. Imagine bringing your own mug to the office and simply brewing your own Arabica beans – you save a lot instead of ordering for a Starbucks venti every day!
To reduce your costs, you can try these tips:
- Prepare your own breakfast. Buy a bagel and a muffin at the local bakery instead of getting one from a restaurant. You can also cook your breakfast. Instant oatmeal does not cost a lot if you’d buy a pack from the supermarket, nor do a tray of eggs and a loaf of bread. You can save as much as $50 on breakfast if you make your own sandwiches at home.
- A regular serving of pasta costs between $12 and $15, depending on the ingredients, the chef who prepared it, and the restaurant that served it. You can buy the ingredients and prepare a sizeable serving good for five people for only $10.
- Why buy coffee, soda, and snacks at the snack bar or vending machine when you can get them at the nearest store? Buy a big pack of granola bars or cupcakes in the grocery store and just bring them to work.
- As long as your office has a clean water supply and a purification system, you don’t have to buy bottles of water every day. What you need is a tumbler, which you can refill when necessary.
- Buy the following and vary your lunches: fruits such as apples and bananas, yogurt, water, carrot sticks, cereal and granola bars, pasta, oatmeal.
- Pick a plastic bag or a Tupperware container where you can put your food in.
- Create a food plan so you can avoid buying on impulse.
- Learn a lot of recipes and set aside time for enjoyable yet straightforward recipes.
- Record these experiences and compare the changes in your lifestyle and finances. You can calculate the total number of savings since you started bringing your lunch to work. From an average lunch cost of $12, your expenses will soon drop to $3 at the most. Your annual savings from food and beverage could be more significant.
- As much as possible, bring food that is easy to carry or put in lunchboxes.
Bringing your lunch to work is an effective way of saving up. Instead of feeling dismayed at not eating out often, just think at the number of pennies you can save from preparing your meals.
Tricks Extreme Couponers Use to Save on Groceries
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These days, every little bit counts when it comes to saving money. However, it can be difficult to cut back on one of the most essential household needs – your groceries.
Fortunately, extreme couponers have some tricks you can use to save big in the supermarket.
Make Time to Clip Coupons
The first step is to acquire coupons. Scan the inserts of Sunday papers, search online for printable coupons, and look for coupons before throwing out your junk mail.
You’ll have to make time to go through all of these and clip out or print the ones you can use, but your effort will be rewarded.
When you know what coupons you have to work with, start planning your grocery list.
Create a meal plan for the coming week based on the ingredients you can get at a discount, and decide what other household items you’ll be getting.
You should always know exactly what you’re buying and how much you’re going to spend before you leave the house.
Organize Your Shopping Trip
Good organization is the key to any successful couponing venture, so be sure to have all your coupons sorted and ready for use on your shopping trip.
Putting them in an envelope or organizer that you can easily whip out at the cash register will save you a lot of time.
If you’re planning to hit several stores at once, keep the coupons for each one in separate, labeled compartments.
Sign Up for Rewards Cards
Many stores offer rewards cards for loyal customers. These are usually free, and they’ll give you access to limited discounts, freebies, and other advantages. Using coupons on top of these benefits will definitely boost your savings.
Wait for Sales and Combine Coupons
To get the most out of your coupons, learn to wait for sales and combine coupons.
For example, you’ll save a lot more money if you wait for a buy-one-get-one-free sale on a certain type of cereal, then use a store coupon to get a discount on top of that. You can also use a different brand-related coupon on the same purchase so you end up paying even less.
With this strategy, it’s actually possible for the discounts to exceed purchase price, and the store may end up paying you for taking items off their shelves. Just make sure that your grocery store’s coupon policy allows you to pull this off before trying it out.
Use Your Common Sense
The best extreme couponers make use of common sense.
For instance, they know that huge discounts are great, but that they won’t do you much good if you never use the stuff you buy. Another sensible tip is to take the size of your storage space into account.
Buying in bulk to get more savings is all well and good, but when you have to start storing boxes of laundry detergent in your hallway, you’re going too far.
Couponing can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be stressful. Don’t fret about missing out on good deals. Set realistic goals for yourself, and count every dollar saved as a triumph.
With such a mindset, you’ll look forward to every trip to the grocery store, and find that you’re saving more each time.
5 Ways to Cut Down on Transportation Costs
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Transportation costs are unpredictable. Gas prices often fluctuate. In addition, you will find yourself going on unexpected trips from time to time, especially if you have your own family already.
As a wise and practical individual, you shouldn’t let your weekly transportation expenses affect other basic necessities negatively. Here are five money-saving tips that will surely cut down your transportation expenses.
1. Take the classic approach: Walk and Bike
In the Dutch culture, bikes are popular mode of transportation. People love to bike to work, to dates and to school. There are a lot of reasons why cycling is effective even in major highways.
You may not be able to impose priority bike lanes and bike parking in the meantime, but you can opt cycling overriding motorized vehicles. If you’re just taking short trips, cycle instead.
If the situation doesn’t permit you to bring your own bike, walk. Bring foldable doll shoes or slippers to work or school so you can walk comfortably in longer distances.
Also, don’t forget to bring an umbrella. If you worry about having a bulky suitcase, there are foldable umbrellas the size of your palm.
2. Use public transportation
Public transportation can be a headache during rush hour, but taking public transit will help you save a significant amount of money per month.
If you prefer driving to work, try commuting whenever you do something minor such as visiting a friend, Subways, trains and some buses run on a schedule so make sure to take note of it to arrive at your destination on time.
Connecting rail system that traverses different states may offer tickets that may be valid in different train stations.
3. Plan and group your tasks
It’s helpful to group tasks and chores and plan when and where you intend to buy them. Going back and forth to the same place will definitely cost you more. Start by listing the things you ought to buy and keep it with you always.
When going somewhere, take note if you’re going to pass by certain stores that carry what you need. Better yet, you can check it online and see if the shipping cost is free or cheaper than what you would have spent on transportation
4. Tune-up your car
Make sure your car’s air filter is clean and the tires are properly inflated. If it’s time to change oil, do it as soon as possible.
When driving, avoid the habit of slamming on the breaks and gas to avoid stressing your car’s engine. Tune-up your car to save on gas and be a cautious driver to save on repair costs.
5. Drive when there’s light traffic
There is a big difference in cost if you drive on constant acceleration and deceleration versus cruising on a longer distance at a constant speed.
Try to avoid driving during rush hour. If you want an alternative to this, choose a car with good mileage and overall performance.
In the long run, a good-looking high-maintenance car wouldn’t be so attractive if it regularly drains you of large amounts of money.
Top 5 Holiday Shopping Coupon Tips
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The holidays are near and people are once again feeling the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush. Shoppers would again barge into stores and get hold of items they need for their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and holiday feasts. On the other hand, prices might shoot up because of the extreme demand. Hence, such times need smart consumers who know the value of discount coupons.
1. Shop online and maximize your coupons
What’s good about online shopping is that you get to buy your stuff without the hassle of going to jam-packed stores and squeezing your way in. Online shopping provides you all the convenience of buying anything you need and want. Moreover, you also get coupons instantly. There are a number of coupons that crop up in your screens. These coupons can be used to ask for discounts in your order.
2. Compare prices in stores and see which ones you’d buy with your coupons
It is a wise practice to check out various shops and see where you could use your coupons. You might just find items at fantastic discounts and awesome freebies. Know store policies as well. You might just come across a store that allows you to pair your coupons with discounted products. Other stores, on the other hand, would ask you to choose a product with a higher discount and match it with another item with a lower discount. If you’re online, it wouldn’t take so much of your time to check out the sites and compare the shops. Aside from Amazon, there are also other local retailers that offer special discounts
3. Use holiday shopping apps to get more updates regarding sales and discounts at your favorite stores
These apps could also be used to track your target items and see how much was taken off the price for a certain period. You can use barcode apps, too, to find the best deals in the market. Simply scan the barcode and you would see the prices and reviews. This will help you decide before you purchase anything.
4. Start early
It is always better to be prepared than to wait for the holidays to kick in. Even before November and December roll around, try to find coupons in your newspapers and online so you could stock up on them before the rush. Awesome deals are launched as early as October and you could take advantage of social media as well to get updated with the latest promos from your local stores. It wouldn’t hurt to mark your calendars and check out patterns. Discounts are usually given three times a month and it would be a good idea to get ready for any coupons that stores would be giving away.
5. Check out other sites that offer coupons
There is more to cyberspace than Google, and the latter could only offer as much. You can check DealsR.com or Coupontz.com for the best deals online. The site also tells you where else you could find coupons, some of which are unknown to those who browse only Google.
What Every Skincare Enthusiast Needs to Know About Skinception
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Skincare is something that a lot of people do not hesitate to spend their hard-earned money on. Sometimes, people spend money on stuff that doesn’t work or deliver only half of what is promised. Unfortunately, there are only a few options for these people since the products may no longer be returned unless they expressly signed a money-back guarantee agreement with the seller. This is something the Skinception skincare line promises its customers.
Customers can try the product for up to 90 days. If they don’t like what they purchased or if they feel that it hasn’t delivered according to promise, then they can return it for a full refund. Unlike the refund process for other brands, Skinception does not make it difficult for customers to get their money back. They don’t ask any questions. What’s more: they also provide a full refund for the shipping fees.
This alone puts Skinception ahead of the competition. The only problem is that the company is web-based, which means that it only sells its products online.
Skinception classifies its products into three main categories. Each of these three categories contains a range of products that perform different functions for the skin.
1. Anti-aging. This category includes products that promise to make the user look at least 10 years younger than her actual age. This is done only through natural means and without the help of any cosmetic procedures. Some of the effects of the serums include wrinkle reduction, as well as erasing the puffiness and dark circles around the eyes.
2. Restoration. The products under this category are meant to bring out the inner glow of the skin. They also promise to reduce blemishes, as well as erase any trace of skin damage. These damages include stretch marks that may have been obtained through weight loss/gain and/or pregnancy. There are also a few restorative products that are designed to erase scars or to lighten its appearance so that it won’t be too noticeable.
3. Special care. The primary goal for the products that fall under this category is to even out the skin tone. This is done by treating the various skin conditions that cause discoloration, such as rosacea, blotches, and freckles.
The price for each serum depends mostly on what the product is designed to achieve, as well as the rarity of the natural ingredients that were used for creating it.
Naturally, there are skin types that may be sensitive to the ingredients used in various skincare products. These are the skin types that often suffer from terrible breakouts or rashes whenever they use untested skincare products. This is true for almost every other skincare product out there, regardless of the brand. This is why Skinception’s experts recommend testing the products first on the skin at the back of the hand prior to applying it on the face and neck.
Another compatibility issue that may arise is for pregnant women who want to start using the stretch mark serums even before they give birth. This way, the stretch marks do not worsen even as their bodies continue to grow with the pregnancy. In this case, it is always best to check with your physician first.
It is important to follow these recommendations even if Skinception’s product lines are all made of high-quality ingredients. It should be noted, though, that the company has not received any complaints about rashes and/or breakouts from any of its loyal customers so far.
Placing an order at the Skinception website is quite easy. All you need to do is to browse through the list of products under each category. Upon finding the desired product, simply click on the order button and this will redirect you to the product packages page. This page contains several options for product packages that customers can choose from.
These packages contain products to last for 30, 60, or 90 days. The packages also include various attractive bonuses that would go along perfectly well with the chosen product. In some cases, it is better to order a 5-month supply because the bonus on this package does not only include special items. It also includes a free 2-month supply. This gives customers a savings of up to $200 in terms of the free supply and the bonuses.
However, the 5-month supply is recommended only for customers who have already tested their skin’s compatibility with Skinception’s products. Those who are still on the testing phase can simply order the 2-month supply. They don’t have to worry though because the 2-month supply also contains the same bonuses that can be found on the bigger packages. After choosing the preferred package, customers could then proceed to the order placement form.
The form requires them to enter both their billing and shipping address. It also has a separate field for the payment details. In the past, there have been a few disgruntled customers who claimed that they never authorized their cards to be billed. But customers have to understand that by entering the 3- or 4-digit CVV that is unique for each credit card, they have given the authorization for the bill. They don’t have to worry about this because Skinception does provide a full refund guarantee to all of its customers.
There are many ways in which web-based companies can provide the necessary support for their customers. The most common among these is the presence of a live support system that can assist customer queries faster than phone or email. Unfortunately, Skinception does not have this live chat option as of yet. This is probably because the company is still relatively new and is still on the process of establishing itself.
The best way for customers to contact the support team is by calling the toll-free number that is provided on every page of the Skinception website. The hotline is open 24/7 and is manned by real-life customer service agents. The company also provides a link for their customer support’s email address and fax contact information. These two options can be found on the page where the customer is completing the order form.