Frugal

How to Prepare For a Last Minute Vacation

How to Prepare For a Last Minute Vacation

Travel

Most people spend a good portion of the working year dreaming of a vacation. This is why when the opportunity arises you simply have to grab it. So, if you suddenly find yourself with a few free days at your disposal you have to promptly move into holiday planning mode. Of course, when you don’t have as much time to plan or prepare, things can get a little hectic for you. The good news, though, is that this doesn’t have to ruin your vacation experience. To make sure that you are handling everything properly, follow these tips here:

Figure Out Your Budget

Now, one of the downsides of a spontaneous vacation is that you don’t have enough time to save up money. Nevertheless, you are going to need to figure out just how much it is that you can afford to spend. This will give you some idea of the holiday budget that you have to worth it. In case you feel like this budget is much too tight, you are going to need to supplement it with a quick loan. You can easily cut down on all of the fuss and the red tape with services such as 24Cash.ca. Here, you can get a cash loan approved within one day, ensuring that you can stretch your budget out a little more.

Do Your Research on Possible Locations

Your next step is to figure out where you can go. For the most part, your budget will be able to outline which destinations are actually possible for you. Still, there are other factors to consider. For instance, what time of the year are you traveling? If it is in a peak season like summer, you should look for alternatives to popular, crowded spots. This way, you will be able to enjoy better prices while also staying clear of hoards of people. With this in mind, also carefully research what the best places to visit are, given the time of year.

Book Your Tickets Wisely

You don’t need to be told that the best way to keep air travel to a minimum is to book your tickets ahead of time. Since you are headed out on a last-minute vacation, though, this might not be a possibility for you. This doesn’t mean, though, that all hope is lost. Instead, you simply need to be a bit more flexible with your travel plans. For example, traveling on a Saturday or a Sunday may be ideal. Unfortunately, prices can skyrocket on these days. Nevertheless, if you can arrange it so that you can fly out on a Monday or Tuesday, you will be able to get away with paying a lot less.

Get Some Help

The last piece of advice that you should follow is to consult a travel agent. This is something that people tend to take for granted when planning a spontaneous holiday but they can be quite invaluable. Understand, travel agents have a number of contacts, insider information, and more. As such, they will be able to quickly sort out your plans for you with minimum fuss. Thus, this is an avenue that you should consider.

These are the top tips to keep in mind when preparing for a last minute vacation. This way, you are sure to have a great deal more fun.


Tricks to choose the best travel credit card – Opportunities galore

 

Credit card folded into paper airplane in atmosphere

Image source huffpost

Credit cards are almost a ubiquitous part of the modern day society and people swipe them to pay for everything starting from groceries to card to gum sticks! America is a country that loves to use credit cards and probably that is the reason behind all those ads and bonuses which you have to sign up with. As there are plethora of options regarding credit cards, how would you know which one would be a good choice for traveling?

Travel credit cards offer wide array of opportunities to earn free points which you can redeem for hotels, airfares or cold hard cash. In the rat race to grab customers, credit card issuing companies are joining hands with different travel brands which entice consumers with loyalty points, bonuses, special rebates and so on. But how are you supposed to choose the best travel credit card? What are the tricks to watch out for?

1. Sign-up bonus should be huge enough

If the sign-up bonuses after you meet the card’s requirement for spending is huge, this gets your mileage account going and you get closer to a free flight. Don’t ever make the mistake of signing up with a card which doesn’t offer you high sign-up bonus. Are you wondering how bonuses work? Well, if you want to get a large bonus, you should either make a single purchase or meet a minimum expense limit within a certain time period. After that, depending on your credit card, you may earn 1-4X points per dollar that you spend.

2. Extra category spending bonus

Most credit cards offer a single point for each and every dollar that you spend but good travel credit cards will give you added points when you shop at some particular retailers. You can hereby add points much quickly. You should not want one dollar to be equivalent to one point and hence look forward to the ability to get 2-3 points each time you spend a dollar. Use those cards in your day-to-day spending and earn more than a dollar per mile.

3. The minimum spending amount should be low

It is sad enough to note that in order to grab bonuses which are offered by such cards, there is a required minimum spending amount. Although there are ways in which you can fake your spending, it is best when you’re able to snag the bonus using your regular expenses. You should typically sign up with those cards which have a minimum spending requirement of about $1000-3000 in a period of 3-6 months. Having a goal and starting with travel credit cards is good when you start small.

4. Cards with special perks and benefits

All the travel credit cards offer huge benefits and perks for the credit card holders. There are many credit card companies which will offer you special elite loyalty reward programs and other added perks. You should look out for cards with foreign transaction fees, free checked luggage, free nights, priority boarding and much more options. Remember that it is not just about achieving some miles; it is all about what else comes with the travel card that could make life easier and smart.

5. Foreign transaction fees

Majority of the credit cards usually charge a 3% fee when you use them abroad. Credit cards are great offers as you can grab a good exchange rate from them but if you pay a fee each time you use the card, then the result is not as good. The best card for averting foreign fees is the Capital One Venture Card. Though there is no yearly fee, yet there is no such reward structure as well.
Hence, if you’re eager to take a travel credit card, ensure taking into account the above mentioned factors so that you may choose the best card in the market. The better is the card you choose, the better will be the benefits that you reap.


Kick your bad spending habits and stop using plastics – Tips and tricks to follow

Everyone of us has come across the advice: credit cards should be used wisely. But knowing what is smart and doing what is smart are two different things altogether. With the increasing number of US young adults purchasing things with their plastics, the advice is worth repeating. 64% of 18-34 years olds say they randomly use their credit cards, versus 43% in 2013, as per reports of survey done by Mercator Advisory Group. Do you ever feel guilty about any of the bad financial habits that you regularly keep repeating?

shp

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/shopping-spending-till-slip-879498/

We all know that bad spending habits can break our budget on a monthly basis and it is a big concern to deal with. Bad financial habits may include impulsive shopping for shoes, dining out every weekend or going for parties every other day. If you’ve maintained an income statement, you will probably see the dollar figures associated with overspending. Here are some tips and tricks that you may follow in order to bid goodbye to your bad financial habits.

• Tip #1: Put an end to mindless charging

There are credit card users who nurture a mindset which prompts them to pay with plastics rather than cash as the former ‘doesn’t count’. This is an entirely wrong notion that they harbor in their mind. Though you don’t have to shell off cash from your pocket, you will later on have to pay outrageously high interest rates for buying things on credit. Don’t you think that the money you pay on interest rate is a sheer wastage? So, as long as you can afford something with cash, buy it with cash.

• Tip #2: Head out only with the cash that you may need

Are you about to visit the mall for shopping? If yes, take only the cash which you may need. If you’ve set a budget of $100 for clothing, go to the ATM and get exactly $100 out and not a penny more than that. Take that money in your wallet and keep all your credit and debit cards at home. It is only this way that you will be forced to work with the cash that you have on hand.

• Tip #3: Paying ONLY the minimum amount on your cards is not the right way

It is sometimes understood that when your financial condition is tight, you may not feel like parting with your hard-earned dollars to pay off your credit card debt. But that will just make you hurt yourself in the long run. People who simply pay the minimum amount on the credit cards are actually extending the time period on every single item that they buy. Hence, it is always wiser to pay more than just the minimum monthly payments.

• Tip #4: Stop spending more than what you make in a month

Do you think yourself to be the US government? America is also in a tough state where its fiscal deficit is shrinking and how do you see your personal deficit? As per the National Financial Capability Study, about 36% of individuals, 1 among 5 Americans spend more than what they make in a month. Your personal goal should be to flock around among the 41% Americans who spend much less than what they earn in a month.

• Tip #5: Stop thinking that you’re not financially smart enough

Money matters can definitely be confusing but we presently live in an age where consumers are almost forced to exercise control over their personal financial lives, whether it involves investment decisions of retirement savings. You must have thought earlier that investing is hard or it is for the rich. But this is a wrong notion. You’ve got to take control over your own finances and make sure you’re making smart financial decisions.

The serenity and peace of being debt free has its own kind of glee and satisfaction. If you don’t stop your bad financial habits, it is almost impossible to walk along the path of debt free life. Follow the above mentioned tips and tricks to get rid of your bad financial habits and embrace monetary wisdom.


How to select the best travel insurance policy for you

We expect everything to go our way while planning a trip to another country or city. However, chances are there that we might be caught up in the midst of unforeseen losses caused by theft, health hazards or loss of baggage. All of us will need to determine the best travel insurance deal, but we have to analyze certain factors before we choose one.

6927414058_3f19271559_z

Image via Flickr

Travel Insurance cover must be considered, not its price

The policy pricing often proves to be the deal breaking factor in your attempt to pick the right travel insurance policy. The deal is certainly not right for you if it doesn’t cover the key scenarios that might arise during your trip.

Your travel insurance policy must cover the following scenarios:

Medical emergencies

A small dental emergency might cost you up to 80,000 INR. This seems critical as there’s a real possibility that you might undergo a medical emergency.

Loss of baggage

You may acquire protect against loss of baggage under your travel insurance in the event you’re carrying electronics, jewelry and other valuables. The loss of passport is also covered under some policies. Such insurers will provide you with the expenses that you incur with your duplicate passport.

Interruption and cancellation of trips

Certain emergencies might compel us to opt for last minute trip cancellations. Airline tickets might not be refunded or might levy a cancellation charge. Travel insurance plays a crucial role over here. Claiming a reimbursement is possible as per the policy clauses.

Check for What is Not Covered in Travel Insurance

Insurance Claims are meant to be covered under a few listed events. Being a policyholder you’ll need to go through the exclusions and inclusions mentioned in the policy papers very carefully. You’ll also need to consider all situations under which the policy remains active. There are instances wherein you might decide on travelling against the advice of your physician. For such instances, your policy may not cover medical expenses that you incur (directly or indirectly) while travelling.

Get acquainted with the claim settlement process

You must prepare yourself for filing a claim in the event of an emergency. It’s in your best interest to acquire more knowledge on the claims settlement process. While applying for reimbursements, you’ll need to make sure that you adhere to all necessary documentation and meet the deadlines.

Check the refund policy of Travel Insurance

You might need to cut your trip short if your travel plans change. Under such circumstances, you might obtain a refund that’s calculated on the basis of pro rata or any partial refund. All you need to be sure of is that your policy is still valid and that you hadn’t filed for any claim earlier. Also make sure that the contact information of the insurer is still there with you.

You must pick the best travel insurance plan for your needs. Be it your international or domestic trip, you’ll have a plethora of options available to you. A yearly overseas coverage might just seem more economical for those that travel more frequently. Prior to signing the dotted area of your policy paper, you must check the duration of your policy. Enjoy a safe and pleasant trip by investing in the right travel insurance.


Couponing A Better Way to Save in 2014

Couponing For RealMaybe you know, were raised by, or are a coupon lady. We all know the type. In years past, hardcore couponers curated hefty binders to house their precious double and triple savings paper coupons. Couponing was a calling, a preoccupation, a lifestyle. For these committed shoppers, the payoffs could often be unpredictable. Coupon clippers would frequently stagger home under the weight of 256 rolls of double-soft toilet paper. “I got it for buy 1 get 2 free!” they would rhapsodize as justification. I remember those days fondly. But I am happy to say that today, there is a better way.

These days you don’t need a printer or the old plastic binder that was de rigeur for coupon kings and queens of yore. Today, you can get by with just your smart phone. Modern apps do a lot of the work for you, presenting a simple image to be scanned by many retailers. Sage-One online accounting products can help you find out just how much you’re saving, but for now I’ll describe how various coupon apps saved my wife and I on our weekly grocery bill.

As budget shoppers, we try to eat well on $100 a week or less. We both downloaded several coupon apps to see the difference they could make. Yowza worked well and was easy to use. Within seconds of firing up this app, we found coupons from several grocers in our area (as well as lots of other kinds of stores as well). We saved the coupons that were relevant to the stuff we eat (peanut butter from Whole Foods, Vegetable Oil from Safeway, Tomatoes from Giant, etc). We weren’t about to drive to every grocery store in our area, but there were enough coupons related to stuff we regularly eat at our nearest grocer, so we headed there to shop.

On the drive, I was scanning the local paper for printed coupons. Using SnipSnap I was able to take pictures of these coupons on my phone. Once at the store, I didn’t have to drag along the paper coupons, or one of the aforementioned plastic binders. I was worried at first that the cashier wouldn’t be able to scan the coupons off my phone, but she had seen this before, and the discounts went smoothly.

The last app we tried was Grocery Smarts. It worked very much like Yowza, but for some reason brought in a pile of different coupons. We were able to pick up some popcorn and kombucha at steeply cut prices, all in the time it takes to fill a grocery cart.

Finally at checkout, we saved $19.84. Our total price would have been $118.16, but through app-couponing, we were able to keep it under our goal of $100. I wasn’t sure we would have been able to do it, but we were keeping track of our total mentally, as we shopped. We nailed it. Saving fifteen or twenty dollars once a week for a year is going to add up quickly. I was amazed at how little time it took to save this much. Couponing is never going to be the same, and neither will my grocery bill.


Useful Tips to find the Best Online Shopping Deals

online shopping dealsWith the widespread usage of Internet, online shopping has become very much in vogue. In fact, it has been redefined the term ‘convenience’ to millions of Internet-savvy shopper across the globe. With the ease of online shopping, now you can say goodbye to the snobby salespersons, crowds of shopping malls and department stores, searching for parking space and carrying weighty purchases. These days online shopping has become more prevalent and you must know about the best and inexpensive online deals prior to putting things into your shopping cart.

Here are some of the steps that could help you find the best e-deal and avoid paying hefty amount for the luxury of e-shopping.

  • Sign up for newsletter – At the outset, you need to sign up for a number of email newsletters. In fact, this is the best possible way to get notified about exclusive online deals and discounts.
  • Look for coupons – When it comes to best and less expensive deals, you should look for coupon codes and coupons using popular search engines like Google, Bing, AAfter Search, Yahoo etc.
  • Search for the products – Now search for the product you’re looking for. You may find the item selling at a cheaper price by another merchant. For example, if you’re in search of a Guess shirt, you may find it at a cheaper rate at Macy’s than online store of Guess. Amazon can be considered as a good option for getting the best online shopping deals.
  • Visit deal websites – There are many websites that specialize in coupon codes and deals on different products. You may try for slickdeals, Save1, fatwallet, sppfee, bensbargains etc.
  • Use cash back sites – There are a number of websites that offer cash back on every product purchased from a webstore linked to them.  You can use your favorite search engine to get informed about different cash back sites.
  • Use credit cards – Some creditors also provide cash back for purchasing anything using credit card. Sometimes you may get cash back by linking to an online store through a credit card company’s site. Check all the credit cards you have to see if any offers any discount or a particular percentage as cash back for using it in any particular store.
  • Combine purchase with family or friends – By combining your purchase with your family or friends would let you pay less for shipping. Some online merchants offer free of cost shipping for spending over a specific amount of money. By combining transaction and getting everything shipped to the same address will always let you share shipping cost with your friend and thus save on shipping.
  • Opt for used ones – If you have no prejudice with using pre-owned items, you may try using auction sites like Ebay or Craigslist. You may also try online classifieds. On classifieds, you may find pre-owned used items at a good condition but at a much cheaper rate. However, you must read the item description before you opt for any.

Discussed above are some effective tips on finding the best online deals that save you good amount of money on every purchase.

Author’s Bio – Jonny Pean is a renowned blogger. From shopping to finance – his pen writes for a wide variety of topics.


5 Tips for Saving Money When Buying

children summer clothesThe coming of summer means that it’s time for another round of clothes shopping. However, this can be an expensive venture, especially if you have multiple kids, and chances are good that they’ll outgrow their new duds by next year. Therefore, it’s important to find any way possible to cut costs. Here are five ways to save money when buying your children summer clothes.

Take Advantage of Sales

Sales are a parent’s best friend. Whether they’re clearance sales, end of season sales or back to school sales, you’re sure to find deals that will save you a bundle. If you restrict your shopping to stores that are running sales, you shouldn’t have to spend too much on summer clothes. Furthermore, it’s also a good idea to check the ads that come with your paper. You may be able to find coupons for additional money off. Do your research, so you know when the best sales are happening and the best deals are available.

You can also take advantage of sales by shopping and getting together with friends. Get together with those people you know who like to shop sales, and share shopping tidbits and secrets. Then head out on a shopping spree that is sure to save you big bucks and provide entertainment with your friends or family.

Shop Online

Oftentimes, buying your kids’ summer clothes from online retailers results in big savings. These sellers don’t have the same expenses associated with local stores, and that money saved is passed on to you as the customer. This also opens up the ability to take advantage of coupon codes. These can give you bargains like a discount, free shipping, or even a free purchase.

When shopping online, ensure that you are getting the best deals by comparing several different sites and several different brands. The ease of online shopping allows you as the consumer to pick and choose only the best deals and compare prices of clothes. Take a few minutes to find the best deal, and your wallet will be thanking you.

Get Social

Many retailers today have a presence on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. If you follow them or become a fan, you can be privy to exclusive sales, discounts, coupons and codes. If you focus on stores that already tend to have low prices, you could end up saving even more. Some stores will even have giveaways or free products on their social media accounts. Get in contact with these accounts and stay updated to get the best deals possible.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores and second-hand shops have become extremely popular ever since the economic downturn. When you’re looking to buy kids’ clothes, don’t be so quick to pass these places up. You can find a wide range of stylish clothing brands at a fraction of the cost of buying them from regular stores. Sometimes, you can even find brand-new clothes with the tags still on them. These shops are a particularly good place to search for jeans, which are very expensive new. However, some searching may be necessary as they often mix the kids’ pants into the women’s and men’s jeans.

Hand Me Downs

If you have more than one child, you can save a ton of money by handing older kids’ clothes down to the younger ones. This way, it’s possible to cut your clothes shopping bill by half or more. Often times these clothes will still be in great condition. This is a great option to use when kids are growing out of things so fast that they barely get to use them. Furthermore, younger kids will love to have clothes that once belonged to a sibling they look up to.

Author Bio

This article was written by Dixie Somers. If you’re looking for great deals on fashionable clothes,  Reem Basics – mens jeans is a great place to start.


25 Wonderful Ways to Stay Frugal and Beat Debt

get rid of itBeing frugal is always a challenge. However, the positive outcomes help you lead a better life. Therefore, we should all the time maintain frugality in our life whether it is our day-to-day essentials or entertainment activities. Given below are 25 wonderful techniques to remain frugal and overcome the curse of being indebted:

1) Use coupons prudently – Clipping couponsfor the commodities you use on a daily basis is a good idea.

2) Go for a balance transfer credit card – When you have a number of credit cards with high balances and interest rates, transfer them to one single card with an affordable rate.

3) Make your lunch at home – When you’re going to the office, prepare your lunch and brown bag it to work.

4) Raise your insurance deductible – This will help you reduce your annual insurance costs.

5) Take the bus to office – Don’t drive too often if it’s not needed. Take a bus en route to your workplace. Cycling or walking to office is not bad either.

6) Wash your clothes on your own: Don’t send your clothes to a laundry. Instead, use your home washing machine and natural detergents to clean them.

7) Stop impulse buying: Your impulse buying behavior might make you fall in debt very soon. So, get rid of it immediately.

8) Hire books and DVDs from the library: Thisalso controls your needless spending on leisure and entertainment.

9) Share your meal with others: When you are eating outside with your friends or known people, request them to contribute for the meal. In this way, you can cut down your dining costs outside.

10) Buy your gadgets online: Be it an iPhone or an android phone, buy it online to save a lot of money. Online buying always involves a lot of discounts and offers and is a more preferred option than offline buying.

11) If needed, buy used items: Craigslist is a good resource of useditems in good condition.

12) Quit smoking and drinking: This is difficult but essential to be frugal in life.

13) Learn minor house repairs: This is quiteimportant. Doing small house repairs without anybody’s help also brings a sense of satisfaction in you.

14) Stop borrowing without need: Some of us have the habit of applying for new credit cards, home loans, auto loans, and other varietiesof creditevenwhen we don’t need them. This should be stopped at any cost.

15) Don’t buy insurance cover which you don’t need: Unnecessarycoverwill onlyraise your financialdifficulties.

16) Create a sensible budget and follow it: See the areas of your income and expenditure. Set a rational budget and follow it sincerely. Try to save some money every month.

17) Plan your trips in off season: Traveling in off season is a realistic way of saving money.

18) Drive slowly and cautiously: Driving fast will cost you more in terms of fuel. You can also be booked for a speeding ticket.

19) Get sample medicines from doctors: You can always getsample medications from your physician when they get them for free.

20) Look after yourself: You should build up a consciousness of healthy living. Eat the right food, exercise daily, and maintain your dental hygiene.

21) Increase your water intake: Rather than sipping on artificial beverages, drinking water is a much better and hygienic way of quenching thirst.  

22) Be a wise shopper: Only buy things that you can’t live without.

23) Cook at home: Rather than buying expensive and junk food from outside,try to cook healthy and delicious food in your home.

24) Drink coffee at home: Your coffeemaker is your best friendhere.

25) Save on telephone costs: If you have a mobile phone, just do away with your land line phone.

Follow these tips and soon you will notice a drastic improvement in your lifestyle which will make you a better personal finance manager altogether.

Staying out of debt is becoming more popular with young people today. Many college students are choosing to take online courses in order to have time to work during the day, as many top universities, for example Lubbock Christian Online, are offering their online versions of their best courses.


What About The 12 Costs of Christmas?

Costs of Christmas

This infographic is produced by Webrevolve for the debt recovery and debt collection service CBC International.


Holiday tips for Tipping – Who, When and How Much

Holiday tipsAwhh, the month of December is upon us. The crisp cold air tickles your nose and makes your cheeks rosy, just like jolly ol’ Saint Nick. Beautiful lights and decorations span the world this time of year as we get into the holiday spirit. Before you are wrapped in the hustle and bustle of this busy season, it is time to plan your giving list to show the people around you just how much they mean to you. If you are wondering about how to show the many people who deliver you wonderful services throughout the year that you appreciate them, we have an excellent list to help guide you in determining what to give and, or, how much to tip for these individuals.

Paper Delivery Boy – TIP: $5-$25
He makes sure you know what is going on locally and internationally with the delivery of your daily paper. Rain or shine, he wakes up early to make sure you have a newspaper on your doorstep each morning. Depending on your budget and how good your delivery boy is, you should plan on tipping them between five and twenty-five dollars, along with a smile of appreciation.

Hair Stylist – GIFT or TIP: $15-$100
If you have a regular stylist who seeps you looking beautiful all year long, it is nice to show your appreciation with a Christmas gift or tip. If you plan on buying a gift, make sure you know your stylist’s interest and what she may appreciate, something that will allow her, or him, to indulge on themselves. Whether you plan on giving cash or a gift, you should plan on spending at least fifty-percent of the cost of your regular service.

Apartment Doorman – TIP: $20-$100
If you live in an apartment or townhome in a big city you probably enjoy the friendly return to a doorman. These important people not only open the door and keep watch on visitors, they also are wonders at hailing cabs, not to mention ensure those that enter belong in your building. Budget for their holiday tip ranges from twenty dollars to one-hundred dollars, depending on the type of the building you live in, and the bigger tips should go to those who serve you most.

Dog Walker – TIP: One Week’s Pay
This is the person who tends to your beloved four-legged child, giving your pup a change of scenery and much needed daily exercise. Plan on spending up around one week’s pay on this person for a holiday tip or gift. Remember, do not choose to give a gift unless you know the person well enough to know what they would appreciate.

Housekeeper – TIP: One Week’s Pay
She knows all of your dirty secrets, well at least where all the dirt is in your house. If you have a regular housekeeper who keeps your house clean and in order, giver her a big thanks with a nice holiday tip, as much as one week’s pay. If you enlist the help of a cleaning service and no not know your housekeeper or it changes often, a tip is not necessary.

Assistant – TIP or GIFT: $20 – $250
If you have an amazing assistant at work show them just how much they mean to you by giving them a nice tip for the holidays – at a minimum give them twenty-five dollars, but if they have been with you for a while and you have a nice position with the company do not hesitate to be more giving.

Teacher/Day Care Staff/Sports Instructor – TIP or GIFT: $20-50
These are the incredible people helping mold your child into the adult they will become. They not only teach your child, they treat them as one of their own. Show them your appreciation with a nice tip of holiday gift valued between twenty-five dollars and fifty dollars, depending on their job and your child’s love for them.

Apart from being a licensed veterinarian, Susan Wright is also a freelance writer. Susan enjoys sharing gift giving ideas for friends, family and pets.


%d bloggers like this: