travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12026/all en-US How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_s_road_trip.jpg" alt="Family&#039;s road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got your budget-friendly destination. You found the best hotel rate. You've got activities and meals in mind that won't eat up your savings. But what about the expense of the actual travel? From snacks to fuel to entertainment to handling the unexpected, these tips will help you keep costs low while you're on the road.</p> <h2>Be strategic with fuel</h2> <p>There's not much you can do to control the cost of fuel, but you can make sure your vehicle is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage?ref=internal" target="_blank">as fuel-efficient as possible</a>. The best way to do that is to keep your car well maintained. Keep up with regular oil changes and tire alignment, and your car will run cleaner, cooler, and have less drag.</p> <p>Also, don't wait until your tank is on empty and you're forced to use the nearest gas station. Instead, use a service like <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com" target="_blank">GasBuddy</a> to find nearby gas stations with the best fuel prices. Plan your stops accordingly; if you're traveling with young kids, chances are one of them will need to use the restroom, anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>Pack snacks and beverages</h2> <p>The most cost-efficient way to have plenty of snacks on a road trip is to bring your own. You can't be sure what fast food joint or gas station offers will be available. And how much beef jerky can you eat before you start to regret it? Buy or make your family's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-easy-to-make-grab-and-go-snacks?ref=internal" target="_blank">favorite snack foods</a> in bulk before you leave, then package into single servings. Choose snacks that make the least possible mess. It's much easier to vacuum up crumbs than it is to clean gummy, sticky stains from car upholstery.</p> <p>Water is the best beverage for road trips. Take a cooler with ice and a couple of one-gallon jugs filled with fresh water. Refill individual bottles as needed. Juice, tea, or soda will lead to endless needs for bathroom breaks. Coffee, of course, fuels many drivers, as well. I prefer to start the journey with my own home-brewed coffee in my travel mug. You can also pick up coffee to go from any restaurant or gas station for very little. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</a>)</p> <h2>Bring on-the-go entertainment</h2> <p>The biggest challenge for road trips with children is keeping them entertained. As with food, bringing your own entertainment options from home saves time and money.</p> <p>You don't need special items for road trip entertainment; you just need portable options. Mess-free art materials are great: colored pencils, washable markers, and sketchbooks. Download a selection of audiobooks before you go; <a href="https://librivox.org/" target="_blank">Librivox</a> offers hundreds for free. Update your music playlists, and download movies for them to watch on tablets you bring along. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <h2>Travel based on time of day</h2> <p>The best time of day to travel depends on time of the year, personal preference, destination, and the length of the trip. Many parents of young children find it easier to travel at night, when the kids will sleep for most of the way. That's a great option if the driver can stay awake.</p> <p>During the summer, driving at night can also keep the temperature lower, meaning less stress on the engine and better fuel efficiency. The calculable savings is minimal, so compare it to the increased coffee you'll require to drive all night before you make a decision.</p> <p>The other factor to consider is traffic. If your timing will have you entering a major city at rush hour, change it. Leave earlier, leave later, or plan an extended rest stop along the way. Sitting in traffic is uncomfortable and stressful, and the stop-and-go movement is hard on your car and fuel efficiency.</p> <h2>Prep for travel emergencies</h2> <p>Take <a href="http://amzn.to/2sdUPDD" target="_blank">baby wipes</a>. I cannot stress enough how handy, no, <em>how essential</em> a pack of baby wipes is in any car. Don't have a baby? Doesn't matter. Baby wipes will save the day in so many ways.</p> <p>Coffee spill? Baby wipe. Messy face? Baby wipe. No napkins from the takeout place? Baby wipes. Smelling a little less-than-fresh after eight hours on the road? Baby wipes.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits" target="_blank">first aid kit</a> is essential, too. Buy a pre-packed one, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit?ref=internal" target="_blank">make your own</a> and keep it in the car. You can include the essential items you know you'll use the most, as well as any specialized care items you might need.</p> <p>The other item that can save you from excess stress and cost is a car emergency kit. You should have the supplies to change a tire as well as a spare tire, flares, and jumper cables. It's helpful to have a <a href="http://amzn.to/2tj2cd0" target="_blank">flashlight</a> and basic tools on hand, as well. I've found it's also helpful to have someone who's adept at changing tires. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</a>)</p> <p>Regardless of your skill level, though, preparation can save you in many ways. When you're prepared with snacks, entertainment, and emergency supplies you'll spend less and be more relaxed. That makes for a much better road trip.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Have%2520a%2520Fun%2520Family%2520Road%2520Trip%2520Without%2520Breaking%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Have%20a%20Fun%20Family%20Road%20Trip%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Have%20a%20Fun%20Family%20Road%20Trip%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-this-summer">6 Cheap Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation">7 Ways Using Credit Can Help You Enjoy a Cheaper, Safer Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel family vacation frugal travel road trip saving money summer vacation travel vacation tips Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Annie Mueller 1974320 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Sure You're Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mid_adult_couple_shopping_using_laptop_and_credit_card.jpg" alt="Mid adult couple shopping using laptop and credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever explored different ways to save on travel, you've probably stumbled on <a href="http://tracking.groupon.com/r?tsToken=US_AFF_0_201409_1663122_0&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.groupon.com%2Foccasion%2Fhot-travel-deals%3Fz%3Dskip%26utm_medium%3Dafl%26utm_campaign%3D201409%26mediaId%3D1663122%26utm_source%3DGPN" target="_blank">Groupon Getaways</a>. Like traditional Groupon deals, Groupon Getaways promise huge discounts on hotels and hotel-and-airfare packages if purchased within a limited time frame.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a>)</p> <p>It's easy to see their allure. Groupon Travel recently advertised a one-week&nbsp;Italy vacation with airfare for $999&nbsp;per person. It featured round-trip flights to Naples from major cities like Chicago and New York, and six or seven nights at a hotel in the ancient town of Paestum, south of Naples.</p> <p>That sounds like a good deal, but is it? Let's explore this Groupon travel package and others to find out.</p> <h2>Deconstructing a Groupon&nbsp;Getaway</h2> <p>Before we can decide if this is a good deal, it helps to know what exactly was included. Here's what the Groupon travel website offered with the package.</p> <h3>Flights and transportation</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD)</p> </li> <li> <p>Manual shift economy car rental for duration of trip</p> </li> </ul> <h3>Hotel</h3> <ul> <li> <p>A stay of six or seven nights at&nbsp;Hotel Ariston in Paestum</p> </li> </ul> <p>For $99 extra per person, you could also score free breakfast at your hotel daily, along with a Bufala cheese tasting.</p> <p>Read further and you'd see this package came from a company called&nbsp;Great Value Vacations. And while your vacation isn't guided, the company went through the trouble of creating a sample itinerary with suggestions of cities and sights to see &mdash; stops in Rome to see Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain, for example, along with tips on seeing the buried city of Pompeii and the unparalleled beauty of Capri and Anacapri. Of course, you'd have to pay out of pocket to see all those sights, just as you would if you'd booked your airfare and hotel yourself.</p> <p>In the ad's fine print it said that the Groupon was limited to one per person, yet the price was based on two people sharing a room and there was a $500 fee to travel solo.</p> <p>Another detail to note: The fine print said that &quot;additional fees apply to select departure dates.&quot; And while there were a ton of departure dates available, they weren't flexible at all. Worse, only two of the departure dates and cities offered came with the advertised price tag of $999. To fly out of Chicago in July, for example, costs $1,724 per person instead of $999. Out of New York in September on select dates? That would set you back $1,249.</p> <p>So much for that.</p> <p>Out of curiosity, I checked for a similar trip on Expedia using random dates this summer and fall. While I didn't find any hotel packages that included a stay in Paestum, here's what I did find: Airfare, hotel, and rental car packages from Chicago to Naples started at $759 for a week in September. Similar packages from Boston to Rome in October started at about $525.</p> <p>Plugging in a bunch of different dates and cities, I found dozens of similar packages for less than $1,000 &mdash; and sometimes a lot less. Best of all, these packages allow you to pick your dates and your hotel instead of locking you in.</p> <p>So, while $999 per person for a week in Italy with a hotel and rental car seemed like a good deal, it may not be that great after all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-save-money-on-holiday-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Save Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>How to evaluate Groupon Getaways</h2> <p>The Italy package is just one example of a sour &quot;deal,&quot; but there are many, many more. There are also plenty of travel packages that <em>are</em> a good deal.</p> <p>For example, Groupon Getaways recently offered a $599 all-inclusive trip to Negril, Jamaica from certain cities. If you departed from Atlanta on June 1, you would have paid $599 for round-trip airfare and an all-inclusive stay at the Riu Negril.</p> <p>I checked outside of Groupon, and similar flights started at $570 per person on discount airline Spirit. That was for the flight alone. It would cost another $200 a night to stay at the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Negril. Obviously, this was an awesome deal if you lived near Atlanta or could get there cheaply. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</a>)</p> <p>So, how can you sort the good deals from the bad? Consider these tips.</p> <h3>1. Price out Groupon packages to see how much you'll save</h3> <p>The best way to save money with Groupon Getaways is to price out each trip and its components individually. With the Italy itinerary mentioned above, there were scads more affordable options with a lot more flexibility. But, you may not have known that if you didn't do some digging to see how much everything costs.</p> <p>The same can be true when you <em>are </em>getting a good deal. As with the Riu Negril package mentioned above, pricing the components out individually can accurately depict your savings. But you won't know how much you'll save if you never check.</p> <h3>2. Avoid packages with excessive fine print or blackout dates</h3> <p>The big problem with Groupon Getaways is all the fine print. Some only offer the packages on certain dates and from certain airports. Others have so many exclusions it's hard to keep track, or they add a surcharge if you travel alone. Make sure to read all the details so you know what you're getting into.</p> <h3>3. Factor in the costs of getting to a specific airport</h3> <p>If you're considering a Groupon Getaway that includes airfare, make sure to add in the costs of getting to a big city airport. Most of the packages only offer departures from major airline hubs like New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. If you live in Boise, Idaho, you'll need to get to one of those airports first. Unfortunately, that costs money, too.</p> <h3>4. Just because&nbsp;it's &quot;on sale&quot; doesn't mean it's a good deal</h3> <p>While this last tip is broader, it's probably the most important. Just because something says it's a deal doesn't mean it will save you money. The Italy vacation referenced above said it had a $1,599 retail value and saved you 38 percent, but it likely wouldn't have. At the end of the day, it's important to do your research and decide for yourself. A little bit of digging can ensure any decision you make is an informed one.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Make%2520Sure%2520Youre%2520Getting%2520a%2520Deal%2520With%2520Groupon%2520Getaway.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Youre%20Getting%20a%20Deal%20With%20Groupon%20Getaway"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Youre%20Getting%20a%20Deal%20With%20Groupon%20Getaway.jpg" alt="How to Make Sure You're Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel flight deals groupon groupon getaway hotels travel travel tips vacation vacation tips Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Holly Johnson 1971632 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Using Credit Can Help You Enjoy a Cheaper, Safer Summer Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_summer_vacation_496796385.jpg" alt="Family using credit for a cheaper, safer summer vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer travel season has arrived! Whether you&rsquo;re going to the beach, the lake, the mountains, or &ldquo;The Happiest Place on Earth&rdquo; (at least from the kids&rsquo; perspective), summer vacation can be expensive. It also can put you at risk for theft &mdash; both of your personal belongings and your identity.</p> <p>According to Experian, the average per-person cost of a vacation is $2,275, and half of this expense is put on a credit card. Planning ahead, setting a budget, and saving money in advance are essential for a debt-free vacation. Even after putting in the time and effort to start a vacation fund at the bank, using credit can be a smart financial choice. Here are seven ways using credit as a financial tool during your summer travel can help you have a safer, less-expensive vacation without taking on debt.</p> <h2>1. Convenience</h2> <p>Figuring out foreign currency can be like Harry Potter counting Muggle money. Using a credit card can eliminate uncomfortable stares from the locals, who you know are thinking, <em>Yup, they&rsquo;re tourists,</em> while you and yours hold up the line deciding whether the gold coin with the lady on it or the silver coin with the man is the right change. A credit card can also automate the calculation of exchange rates. Look for cards that don&rsquo;t charge a foreign transaction fee. Finally, credit cards hold up much better than cash when you drop your wallet in the pool.</p> <h2>2. Travel insurance</h2> <p>Some credit card agreements provide travel insurance when you book flights or hotels. You&rsquo;ll be glad you didn&rsquo;t reserve those nonrefundable tickets with cash when the hurricane blows through two weeks before departure and takes your hotel with it.</p> <h2>3. Purchase discounts</h2> <p>Branded credit cards may offer discounts for purchases on the resort property or in stores and restaurants in the area. The right logo or cute cartoon character on the card can leave you with a little extra cash in the bank back home.</p> <h2>4. Rewards and incentives</h2> <p>Airline miles, hotel points, and cash back can add up quickly on a cross-country road trip or overseas vacation. Using a credit card could put a bit of money back in your savings account, get you a free room for a night, or earn a seat upgrade on a long overnight flight.</p> <h2>5. Identity theft protection</h2> <p>Your identity may be your most valuable possession. Using a credit card for vacation purchases will protect you when your identity is compromised. Because losses due to fraud are limited to $50, if your identity is stolen while on the road, you won&rsquo;t lose any cash. In most cases, even the $50 is waived by the credit card company.</p> <h2>6. Theft deterrence</h2> <p>Want to put a bullseye on your back? Pull out a big wad of cash in a crowded vacation spot. Flashing loads of lucre can make you a prime target for thieves and pickpockets. Eliminate bulging pockets and use a credit card instead of cash. If you do have your pocket picked, simply call the credit card company to have the account blocked and a replacement card delivered to you.</p> <h2>7. Expense tracking</h2> <p>Using a single credit card for all your vacation purchases can be a good financial management tool. Designating a single card will give you a complete record of your expenses when you get home &mdash; in the form of your monthly statement.</p> <p>You might also consider applying for a new card expressly for your summer vacation. That makes expense tracking even easier &mdash; any spending on the card is automatically &quot;vacation spending.&quot; If you choose your vacation card carefully, you may be able to boost your rewards and savings, too. Before applying, check your Experian credit report and <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/score-basics/" target="_blank">score</a>. Knowing what&rsquo;s in the report will ensure there aren&rsquo;t any surprises when you apply.</p> <p>Of course, you can&rsquo;t just charge it and forget it. You still have to monitor your spending along the way, stick to your budget, and use your vacation savings to pay the balance in full when you get home. But if you use credit wisely, you may be able to leave a bit in the account to use next year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520Using%2520Credit%2520Can%2520Help%2520You%2520Enjoy%2520a%2520Cheaper%252C%2520Safer%2520Summer%2520Vacation.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20Using%20Credit%20Can%20Help%20You%20Enjoy%20a%20Cheaper%2C%20Safer%20Summer%20Vacation"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20Using%20Credit%20Can%20Help%20You%20Enjoy%20a%20Cheaper%2C%20Safer%20Summer%20Vacation.jpg" alt="7 Ways Using Credit Can Help You Enjoy a Cheaper, Safer Summer Vacation" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rod-griffin">Rod Griffin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-exciting-ways-to-see-the-country-this-summer">8 Exciting Ways to See the Country This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget travel cheap travel saving money summer travel summer vacation travel Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Rod Griffin 1969124 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_laughing_on_the_trolltunga.jpg" alt="Girl laughing on the Trolltunga" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love the great outdoors, you don't want to look back on this brief, beautiful summer as a time spent inside crowded movie theaters or waiting in long lines at amusement parks. But maybe this isn't the year that you can afford to take that naturalist-guided Galapagos Islands excursion, either.</p> <p>No worries! There are many affordable places stateside where you can get off the grid without spending extravagantly. Some of these destinations have cushy lodging available, if that's your jam, but you also have the option to rough-it on a more modest budget.</p> <h2>1. California's Sierra country, other than Tahoe</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/kings_river_in_sequoia_national_park_california.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you visit Lake Tahoe in the summer, you'll love the crystalline waters, but hate the traffic and the brunch prices. Smart Californians know that you can enjoy the Sierra's fresh, piney breezes more affordably (and peacefully) from the shores of any number of less famous alpine lakes.</p> <p>Stay at the <a href="https://www.mslodge.com/" target="_blank">Montecito Sequoia Lodge &amp; Family Camp</a>, where a room that sleeps four or more is under $300 a night including meals and activities such as guided hikes through giant sequoias, bouldering, and stand-up paddleboarding in their private lake.</p> <h2>2. Kodachrome State Park, Utah</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/kodachrome_storm.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></h2> <p>Many a dreamed-of National Park vacation has been spoiled by the reality that lodging books up really, really early. A great workaround &mdash; and often a money saver &mdash; is checking out state and county parks in the same region.</p> <p>Located just outside Bryce Canyon National Park (one of Utah's Big Five) much-smaller Kodachrome gets its name from its 67 flashily-pigmented stone spires. You can <a href="https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/kodachrome-basin/park-campground/" target="_blank">camp in the park ($17-$30 per night)</a> and take a trail ride through the red canyon past the gaudy spires, then take day trips into neighboring Bryce, famous for its hoodoo rock formations, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, known for the series of colorful plateaus, and the Wave, an undulating expanse of pulled-taffy-like sandstone that you have to win a daily lottery to hike.</p> <h2>3. Anchorage, Alaska</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/anchorage.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></h2> <p>The largest city in the state for a nature lover's getaway? Well, yes, when the state is Alaska and that largest metropolis has just over 300,000 people. Right in town, 1,400-acre Kincaid Park is home to moose, porcupines, lynx, and eagles. Chugach State Park, one of the largest in the United States, begins just seven miles from downtown, and contains mountains, ferns, wildflowers, forests, ptarmigan, and brown and black bears.</p> <p>Modestly-priced hotels in Anchorage include the $140-a-night <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g31000-d10662666-Reviews-Ski_Inn-Girdwood_Anchorage_Alaska.html" target="_blank">Ski Inn</a>. Anchorage is pretty far from the rest of the United States, but getting there need not be a bank-breaker. Alaska Airlines offers flights from San Francisco and other lower-48 cities for under $400 round-trip, depending on dates.</p> <h2>4. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/dry_tortugas_island.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></h2> <p>Would you like to camp under a palm tree on a white sand beach, under a star-studded sky 70 miles from the mainland? What if I told you it only <a href="https://www.nps.gov/drto/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm" target="_blank">costs $15 a night</a>? It really does, at one of the most isolated national parks in the lower 48.</p> <p>Activities include snorkeling coral reefs among young barracuda, lobsters, and tropical fish; birding; and watching for the adorable sea turtles that give the park its name.</p> <p>The campground fee isn't the only expense of a Dry Tortuga getaway. The ferry from the mainland will set you back <a href="https://www.drytortugas.com/rates-reservations/" target="_blank">$195 round-trip</a> &mdash; but it includes breakfast, lunch, and the use of snorkeling equipment.</p> <h2>5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sleeping_bear_dunes_national_lakeshore.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Including sand dunes 400 feet above Lake Michigan and offshore islands, this lovely area is home to pine forests, abandoned farms reverting back to meadowland, the occasional bobcat, and wildflowers such as cowslips and St. John's Wort.</p> <p>Stay at a rural inn like the <a href="http://www.duneswood.com/rooms.html" target="_blank">Duneswood Resort</a> for $100-$200 a night, or in one of the many hotels in Traverse City, where you can stroll the charming downtown. In early July, the city holds its <a href="http://www.cherryfestival.org/our-events/2017-tickets" target="_blank">Cherry Festival</a>, with an air show, concerts, and foodie events.</p> <h2>6. Cannon Beach, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/indian_beach_in_ecola_state_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>From a single platform at Ecola State Park on this Oregon Coast spot, you can view gray whales, bald eagles, and brown pelicans. At dusk, moose emerge to graze in the park. On the beach, tide pools teem with life that the ocean left behind, including sea stars, hermit crabs, and sometimes even spiny little sea urchins. The best pools are around <a href="http://friendsofhaystackrock.org/haystack-rock-awareness-program/marine-garden-refuge/" target="_blank">Haystack Rock</a>, a 235-foot-tall arrowhead-shaped rock sticking out of the ocean that you can walk to at low tide.</p> <p>Nearby hotels range from $100-$200 or so per night.</p> <h2>7. Joshua Tree National Park, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/joshua_tree_national_park_at_sunset_usa.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Don't be fooled into thinking there's nothing to see in the desert &mdash; or that all desert nature is the same. In fact, this <a href="https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/night-sky-festival.htm" target="_blank">Southern California national park</a> sits at the confluence of two distinct desert ecosystems, the low Colorado and the high Mojave. Admire the Seussian trees the park is named for; explore boulder piles, desert washes, and strange rock formations; and gaze at some of the most spectacular night skies you'll see anywhere.</p> <p>You can camp in the park, or stay at the <a href="http://www.campbellhouse29palms.com/" target="_blank">Campbell House</a> bed and breakfast outside the gate for about $150 a night, which gives you the ability to cool off in a swimming pool after hikes.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Affordable%2520Destinations%2520for%2520Nature%2520Lovers.jpg&amp;description=7%20Affordable%20Destinations%20for%20Nature%20Lovers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Affordable%20Destinations%20for%20Nature%20Lovers.jpg" alt="7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-travel-destinations-for-people-who-hate-crowds">10 Travel Destinations for People Who Hate Crowds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">How to Make Sure You&#039;re Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel frugal travel get outside nature nature lovers travel travel destinations travel tips Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1961112 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Things You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/enjoying_a_trip_together.jpg" alt="Enjoying a trip together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long day of traveling, being forced to listen to an upsell for extra insurance at the car rental counter can be frustrating.</p> <p>Some extra rental car insurance may be worthwhile, however. Your own personal car insurance policy may not cover rentals, for example, or maybe you don't have car insurance at all.</p> <p>On the other hand, you may not want to buy insurance from a rental company if it duplicates what your credit card offers, or if your auto insurer already provides rental car coverage through your regular policy.</p> <p>Here are some things to be aware of before a car rental agent tries to pressure you at the rental desk.</p> <h2>Know what is and isn't covered by rental car insurance</h2> <p>There are two types of damage waivers that are commonly sold by rental car companies: Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). They're often packaged together as CDW/LDW coverage.</p> <p>They serve the same basic function. These waivers aren't necessarily insurance so much as an optional service where the rental car company will cover you if an accident or some other event damages your rental car, or in the case of theft. The waiver only covers the rental car and waives the rental company's right to pursue you, the renter, for damage.</p> <p>What a rental damage waiver won't cover are hospitalization costs if you cause an accident and someone is injured &mdash; that falls under liability coverage. The rental damage waiver also won't cover risky behaviors such as drinking and driving or speeding. If <em>you're</em> hospitalized, your auto insurance policy will take effect.</p> <p>Another type of insurance that you may be offered at the rental counter is supplemental liability insurance. This covers damage to other people's property, such as their cars, and their medical costs if you caused the accident.</p> <p>This extra liability insurance may be worthwhile if your auto or homeowners insurance policies won't cover you. Another option is to buy umbrella liability insurance through the company that provides your auto or homeowners liability insurance, so that you have extra protection while driving a rental car.</p> <h2>When you should consider buying</h2> <p>If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal auto policy, it will typically cover damages to a rental car. However, you will still need to pay your deductible in the event of a claim &mdash; and of course, filing a claim can cause your personal auto insurance rates to spike. Rental damage waivers will typically cover all of the vehicle repair costs, including a deductible. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of paying a high deductible, or filing a claim, you can consider purchasing the CDW/LDW coverage.</p> <p>You may also be renting a vehicle with a far higher market value than the car you own. Your insurer will only pay the value of <em>your</em> car &mdash; not the value of the rental car that's damaged. So if your car isn't worth as much as the rental car, then you may want to consider additional coverage to account for the gap between the value of your personal car and the value of the rental car.</p> <p>If you have <em>no </em>auto insurance, or a personal auto policy with bare minimum liability coverage, you may also want to consider adding supplemental liability protection through the rental company. This will protect you in the event you damage someone else's vehicle or property, or cause injury.</p> <h2>Don't overlook your credit card benefits</h2> <p>When renting a car with a credit card, you're likely to get insurance protections that you may not even realize you have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Many credit cards provide free collision damage protection for rental cars, with some caveats. First, you must pay for the rental in full with the card, and then decline all optional coverage offered by the rental company.</p> <p>Coverage can vary, but typically a credit card's coverage will be secondary &mdash; meaning it only pays what you can't recover from other insurance. Sometimes cards do offer primary insurance, which would prevent you from having to file a claim with your personal auto policy. You may have to pay upfront for the full damage and get reimbursed later by the credit card company, and coverage is often limited to a two-week rental.</p> <p>Call your card issuer to find out the specifics of what your credit card offers. If you have multiple credit cards, it's worth comparing them to find out which one offers the best coverage on rentals.</p> <p>Credit card rental coverage typically excludes injuries, as well as damage or loss of personal items. Many cards also won't cover any of the rental car company's administrative fees, &quot;loss of use&quot; charges, or the difference between the rental car's actual value and its replacement value.</p> <h2>The bottom line</h2> <p>However you buy rental car insurance, know that you could be on the hook for the costs of an incident until your insurance provider or credit card company comes to an agreement on the cost of repairs with the rental car company.</p> <p>Before driving your rental car off the lot, check it carefully for existing damage and document anything you find with photos. Then, tell the clerk at the rental counter. You don't want to end up paying for damage you didn't cause or fighting with a rental car company. That certainly won't make for a pleasant vacation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-right-rv-and-vehicle-insurance-protects-your-summer-fun">Here&#039;s How the Right RV and Vehicle Insurance Protects Your Summer Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance accidents auto policies damage waivers deductibles liability protections rentals cars theft travel vacation vehicles Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1957905 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Affordable Countries Every Outdoor Explorer Can Afford to Visit http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-countries-every-outdoor-explorer-can-afford-to-visit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-affordable-countries-every-outdoor-explorer-can-afford-to-visit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hiking_alone_in_the_mountains.jpg" alt="Hiking alone in the mountains" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Exploring the great outdoors is a wonderful way to spend a vacation, yet it's not always cheap. Many countries have expensive national park fees, camp fees, and general high cost of travel.</p> <p>Check out these inexpensive destinations for your next outdoor adventure.</p> <h2>1. Canada</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/bull_elk_in_banff_in_the_canadian_rockies.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Canada is an incredible destination for nature lovers. With a population of 35 million people spread over a vast 3.85 million square miles spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and north to the Arctic Ocean, opportunities for outdoor recreation in untouched wilderness areas abound.</p> <p>Plus, as a part of the country's celebration of its 150th birthday, this year you can take advantage of the fact that <em>all </em>national parks in Canada are free with the <a href="https://www.commandesparcs-parksorders.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=22953&amp;categoryId=216870&amp;catalogId=53407" target="_blank">2017 Discovery Pass</a>. With more than 40 national parks throughout the country, there is plenty of outdoor exploration to be done in expansive forests, tundra, and mountainous regions.</p> <p>Canada's well-known highlights such as Vancouver Island, Banff National Park, and the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort are well worth a visit. But you should also consider some lesser-known gems, like going on a <a href="http://arctickingdom.com/trip/narwhal-watching-and-safari/" target="_blank">polar bear and narwhal safari</a> in the far northern province of Nunavut.</p> <p>Highlights in the east of the country include Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Highlands, where you can take in spectacular coastal views and may even glimpse minke or pilot whales breaking offshore. In the winter months, you can ski in Quebec, north of Montreal.</p> <p>Head to the Great Lakes region for an epic canoe or kayak trip in the warmer months. Some of the diverse wildlife you could see along the way may include moose, bears, and loons, just to name a few.</p> <p>As an added budget bonus, the U.S. dollar currently trades around 40 percent better than it did five years ago, so Americans can save some serious money on a trip to our great northern neighbor.</p> <h2>2. Kyrgyzstan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/kazakh_jurt.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Between its rugged mountain ranges, extensive pasture lands, and high-altitude lakes, this rural country has no shortage of outdoor activities. Seminomadic peoples still live in the mountains here, with yurts dotting many mountainsides.</p> <p>Landing in Bishkek, the country's capital, you can head to Issyk-Kul, the world's second largest alpine lake, which is located at the foot of the Tian Shan Mountains. The area is a great base for an outdoors-oriented vacation, with swimming, hiking, camping, and trekking all available.</p> <p>Other trekking destinations include Lake Song Kol and Lenin Peak on the border with Tajikistan. For those who aren't interested in walking the whole way, horse treks in Kyrgyzstan are a fun way to get around.</p> <p>Kyrgyzstan is an affordable destination overall. We calculate the cost of traveling there at <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/guide-backpacking-kyrgyzstan/" target="_blank">$63 per day for two people</a> sharing accommodations. Plus, you won't have to add visa fees to your travel budget, since no visa is required for Americans visiting for up to 60 days.</p> <p>Discover Kyrgyzstan, the government's official tourism arm, is currently planning new sustainable tourism options around Issyk-Kul and hiking opportunities in the Jyrgalan region, so it's likely that the country will soon be on the radar of all outdoor enthusiasts.</p> <h2>3. Nepal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/prayer_flags_and_mt._annapurna_i_background.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Nepal is an internationally renowned destination for adventurers, boasting the famous Everest and Annapurna peaks, and lesser-known areas for trekking, such as the Langtang region north of the capital city, Kathmandu. While summiting Everest is a highly technical and expensive undertaking, there are many other treks in the country that are accessible to hikers of nearly all levels.</p> <p>Planning a trek to a mountain base camp is one good option, enabling you to hike in the vicinity of the world's greatest peaks without spending tens of thousands of dollars to summit them. These are still challenging hikes that should not be underestimated, but with training and proper preparation, they are certainly manageable.</p> <p>Most hikes can be easily planned out of Kathmandu, the country's vibrant and busy urban center. Here you can acquire the required permits for your trek, which usually cost around 2,000 Nepali rupees, or about $20. Farther west, the charming tourist town of Pokhara is a common base for travelers preparing to do the popular Annapurna circuit trek.</p> <p>Not only does Nepal boast stunning landscapes, but it's also a very affordable place to travel, with cheap transportation and meals costing as little as $1. Lonely Planet estimates you can travel for as little as $30 a day, including budget accommodations, two meals, and a trekking porter/guide. A midrange organized trek costs $60&ndash;$80 per day.</p> <h2>4. Chile</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/graceful_silhouette_guanaco_on_the_lake_pehoe.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Chile is a country of abundant natural beauty, from its extensive coastline to the impressive mountains of Patagonia &mdash; a breathtaking trekking region at the southern end of Chile and Argentina.</p> <p>Torres del Paine National Park, in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, is replete with glaciers and crystal clear mountain lakes. You'll want to plan a trip between mid-September and early May, which are the southern hemisphere's warmer months.</p> <p>Overall, Patagonia is not a budget destination, but it is quite possible to do one of the famous treks in Torres del Paine without breaking the bank. The entrance fee is around $30, but if you plan to do the W Trek (four days) or the O Trek (around eight days), this fee is minimal given the amount of time you'll be spending in the park.</p> <p>There are also numerous free campsites in the park that can help you save money as well. Pack your own food, stay in as many free campsites as you can, and you can end the entire O Trek in Patagonia spending very little. Even if you do have to pay for campsites, they're only around $15 per person, so it's pretty affordable accommodations!</p> <p>Unless you have a lot of time for a road trip, you'll want to fly into the Patagonian towns of Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. Be sure to reserve your flight far ahead &mdash; Travel and Leisure recommends booking six months in advance &mdash; to ensure you get a seat on one of these in-demand flights.</p> <p>Other impressive sites in Chile include the Atacama Desert, which is one of the best places on earth for stargazing, given its high altitude and the near absence of humidity in the air. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things That Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</a>)</p> <h2>5. Thailand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sunset_thai_countryside_in_thailand.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Long known as a budget traveler's paradise, Thailand was recently rated as one of the world's 20 cheapest countries to visit by The Telegraph newspaper. Lonely Planet estimates travelers here can get by on as little as $29 a day, with delicious street meals costing less than $2 in many cases.</p> <p>Known for its beautiful beaches, Thailand is actually a fairly diverse outdoor destination. There are many jungle treks in the north of the country where you can explore the country's rich cultural heritage and visit some of the many impressive temples. Most of these treks depart from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.</p> <p>For shorter hikes off the beaten path, check out Sri Phang Nga National Park in southern Thailand, which features spectacular waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and huge parasitic rafflesia flowers.</p> <p>Interested in water activities? Head to islands like Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, where you can complete your scuba diving certification without breaking the bank. An open water certification costs 9,800 baht (or around $285). There is no need to book ahead, since the island is full of dive shops that offer certifications, and you can comfortably shop around for the best price once you arrive.</p> <p>If you're not a diver, you can explore the islands by scooter or foot, stopping to snorkel and swim along the way.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-affordable-countries-every-outdoor-explorer-can-afford-to-visit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Affordable%2520Countries%2520Every%2520Outdoor%2520Explorer%2520Can%2520Afford%2520to%2520Visit.jpg&amp;description=5%20Affordable%20Countries%20Every%20Outdoor%20Explorer%20Can%20Afford%20to%20Visit"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Affordable%20Countries%20Every%20Outdoor%20Explorer%20Can%20Afford%20to%20Visit.jpg" alt="5 Affordable Countries Every Outdoor Explorer Can Afford to Visit" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-countries-every-outdoor-explorer-can-afford-to-visit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel camping cheap travel credit cards hiking nature outdoors travel Mon, 05 Jun 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1957907 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/falling_in_love_is_so_much_fun.jpg" alt="Falling in love is so much fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us dream about being able give up the day job and settle into a life of freedom, flexibility, and financial security in retirement. But unfortunately for many Americans, this dream is getting further and further out of reach. The reality is that the average age at which U.S. citizens are able to retire is on the increase.</p> <p>Being financially prepared is rightly a large concern, particularly because people tend to make big plans for when they do finally retire. It also means that some people put off following their dreams with hopes that they will be better able to afford them later in life.</p> <p>But if you're sensible with your savings and clever with your planning, it's possible to find a balance between securing a comfortable retirement and still living life to its fullest.</p> <h2>Take more time off</h2> <p>Taking vacation is something that shoots fear into the hearts of millions of people. Reasons for this vary from being worried about the amount of work that we'll face when returning to the job, to fears of losing our job altogether as a result of taking too much time off. It's a sad fact that the majority of Americans don't take their full vacation allowance each year, with 55 percent reporting leaving days unused, according to Project: Time Off.</p> <p>If you're among the large number of Americans who don't use their vacation days, then the first step to getting more holidays is simply to take them. Booking your vacations far in advance will allow your employer to plan effectively for the time that you're not there. It also gives you time to help ensure that whoever is covering you knows what they are doing and is properly prepared.</p> <p>If you're already using your allotted time off, consider asking for more. Requesting extra vacation is understandably daunting for many people, but as the old saying goes, if you don't ask, you don't get. It helps if you can provide justification for your extra holiday time, like a dream trip to Europe, and it's even better if you can demonstrate it will have a positive effect on your productivity. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review directly linked having more vacation days to an ability to get work done quicker.</p> <p>Another option that many don't even consider is to take unpaid time off. Though this may seem counterproductive, it's basically like buying extra vacation days. If you value your time off then it can work out to be very cost effective.</p> <p>Ask your employer about &quot;banking time,&quot; which basically allows you to work overtime shifts for regular pay (instead of the regular time-and-a-half), and then use those banked days to extend your holidays or take a few extra days off throughout the year when you need a break from the grind.</p> <h2>Focus on discounted, cheap, and free experiences</h2> <p>A great way to enjoy the quality of life that you crave without breaking the bank is to take advantage of discounted and cheap experiences. You might have a list of things that you want to do, see, or accomplish in your lifetime that you're putting off because you think it's too expensive. Instead, try looking out for when it's possible to do these things on the cheap.</p> <p>Always wanted to visit a certain country? Research when high season is and make a plan that allows you to go in low season instead. This will save you money on flights, accommodations, and many activities to do while you're there.</p> <p>Create a bucket list with a twist. Rather than containing activities that cost money, focus on experiences which cost little but provide you with a high sense of personal achievement. Physical activities are good for this, like hiking a certain mountain route or running a marathon, as well as things that will tax your brain like writing a book or learning an instrument.</p> <h2>Move somewhere cheaper</h2> <p>Lots of people envision moving away to a rural area or a tropical place when they retire, but why put it off until then? Moving to a cheaper city, state, or even country could allow you to live out your dreams, save more, and work less all at the same time. If you're not tied to your home by your job, then it doesn't necessarily even have to be a permanent move. You could spend half your time in the cheaper place having fun while still saving money.</p> <p>Numbeo ranks the U.S. as one of the most expensive places to live in the world. This means there's a lot of choice if you are looking for somewhere cheaper to settle down abroad. With 8.7 million Americans living overseas, you won't be alone. There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in" target="_blank">attractive, cheap locations</a> that could be the perfect place to call your new home.</p> <p>If you don't know where to start, write a list of what's important to you in your everyday life and research which places can accommodate those aspects of your life. Lots of countries in South America, Asia, and Europe are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries" target="_blank">significantly less expensive</a> than the U.S. but still offer a great standard of living.</p> <p>Moving to a new country isn't a decision to be taken lightly, and definitely not one that should be made based purely on cost. You need to be sure that the move is right for you and is one that will have a positive impact on your life. But there's no need to hold off until you're 65 to move to an amazing location.</p> <h2>Work from home</h2> <p>If your career is getting in the way of living the life you want right now, then perhaps it's time to start thinking about changing to something that will allow you to do this. The office environment is rapidly transforming, and working from home is no longer a rare and prized entitlement for the lucky few. If you don't have to spend time commuting or dressing for an office environment, you can free up time to do more of what you want to do.</p> <p>Lots of employers are becoming more flexible when it comes to this idea and there is a wide range of opportunities that are well suited for remote work. Advancements in technology have made remote working progressively easier, with a Gallup survey showing that 43 percent of employed Americans spend some portion of time working from home.</p> <p>Some industries that have embraced remote working include finance, insurance, and information technology, so it's a bonus if you already have a background in one of these fields. But even if you don't, the trend of working from home is growing, and may hit your industry soon.</p> <p>Don't confuse working from home with doing less. It's not a way to ease into the retired life in that sense. What it does bring is flexibility around when you work, as well as potentially huge savings in the time wasted getting to and from the office. It's also common for it to lead to increased productivity thanks to having fewer distractions at home than in a typical office environment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement discounts experiences moving relocating remote retired life telecommuting time off travel vacation time work from home working Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1958436 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-623196850.jpg" alt="Man turning credit card rewards into real wealth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Using a rewards credit card is an easy way to pocket a few hundred dollars a year in cash back rewards, or earn free travel. And if you're willing to put in the effort, you'll find there are plenty of ways to parlay your points into something more meaningful and long-lasting.</p> <h2>1. Invest your cash back for the long haul</h2> <p>The simplest way to make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back rewards</a> even more rewarding is to put the money into a retirement account and let compound interest work its magic. For example, we've worked out how to save <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=internal" target="_blank">over a thousand dollars a year</a> using credit cards.</p> <p>Let's say you banked your $1,000 in rewards and savings and invested them in a Roth IRA each year for 20 years. If you earned an average return of 6 percent, you'd have almost $40,000 after 20 years, before fees.</p> <h2>2. Invest in experiences</h2> <p>Ask any dying person what they value most, and it won't be money they speak of. Most people look back on their lives and cherish the memories they've made &mdash; the sight of beautiful places, the laughter of their children, and the life-changing moments they've spent with the people they love.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel rewards cards</a> may not help anyone grow rich, but they can help them afford a wide range of experiences that may otherwise be out of reach. An Alaskan cruise may fit into even a modest budget with the smart use of credit card rewards. Meanwhile, a $1000+ economy flight to Europe can be had for as little as 45,000 American Airlines frequent flyer miles, which you can earn with an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">American Airlines credit card</a>.</p> <p>Used wisely, travel rewards can help families make memories they'll cherish for a lifetime. At the very least, they make it possible to travel farther, participate in more activities, and stay longer once you're there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Earn a Free Vacation in 9 Months With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>3. Donate rewards to a worthy cause</h2> <p>Even if you aren't remotely interested in spending rewards, you can make a difference. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards give rewards directly to charities</a>. Other credit card programs let you donate your points to charity, letting you turn your regular spending into a boon for someone else.</p> <p>While each credit card rewards program works differently, most make it possible to donate your rewards to causes you believe in. And if you don't want to donate through your issuer's official program, you can always simply give the cash back you earn to your favorite charity.</p> <h2>4. Use rewards to pay down debt and save money on interest</h2> <p>If you have credit card debt, you shouldn't be chasing credit card rewards. But if you have other debt that you'd like to pay off sooner, like a car loan, you can rack up cash rewards and make an extra payment each year. This will help you reduce interest on that debt as well as pay it off sooner.</p> <h2>5. Avoid a high-interest loan</h2> <p>If you have a huge expense coming up and need to take out a loan, you can avoid interest payments and earn rewards in one fell swoop. With a credit card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR on new purchases</a> you essentially get an interest-free loan for a limited time.</p> <p>For example, let's say you plan to finance a roomful of furniture to the tune of $5,000. You want to pay it off over a year or so, and hope to avoid huge interest payments. You can get a card that offers 0% APR for the first 15 months, allowing you to pay off that $5,000 interest free. Remember though that you have to stay committed to your plan to pay off that amount during that period. Rewards cards typically charge higher interest rates. If you don't think you'll be able to pay off your balance, you'll want instead to look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest credit cards</a> to keep a handle on your debt. Before you pursue rewards, make sure you're prepared to use credit responsibly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards cash back charity experiences interest loans miles rewards travel wealth building Mon, 22 May 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Holly Johnson 1946267 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tricks to Save on Summer Travel http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tricks-to-save-on-summer-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tricks-to-save-on-summer-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-518856442.jpg" alt="Couple saving money on travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on tricks to save on summer travel, top ways to save money, and retirement mistakes to avoid in your 20s and 30s.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.womansday.com/life/work-money/g2957/cheap-summer-travel/">12 Tricks to Save on Summer Travel</a>&nbsp;&mdash; Save on summer travel by using comparison sites and being flexible. [Women's Day]</p> <p><a href="https://christianpf.com/16-ways-to-save-money-by-not-being-normal/">25 Top Ways To Save Money (updated for 2017)</a> &mdash; Want to save money? Buy used gift cards and live in a smaller home. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/retirement-mistakes-avoid-20s-30s-141052794.html">Retirement mistakes to avoid in your 20s and 30s</a>&nbsp;&mdash; Don't make the retirement mistake of not having a Roth IRA in your 20s and 30s. [Yahoo! Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/how-to-get-the-best-deals-at-thrift-stores/">How to Get the Best Deals at Thrift Stores</a>&nbsp;&mdash; To get the best deals at thrift stores, shop the sales and think &quot;potential.&quot; [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2017/04/10-things-i-learned-while-working-for-the-rich.html">10 Things I Learned While Working For The Rich</a> &mdash; When working for wealthy people, you may learn that a high paying job doesn't always mean an easy financial life. [Free Money Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/5-steps-to-take-to-make-next-tax-season-easier/">5 Steps To Take To Make Next Tax Season Easier</a> &mdash; Make next tax season easier by keeping all your receipts for charitable donations. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Mother-Day-Card-Printables-43429629">11 Printable Mother's Day Cards You Can Download for Free</a> &mdash; In need of the perfect Mother's Day Card? These freebies may be just the solution you've been looking for! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-teach-your-kids-to-accept-losing">How to Teach Your Kids to Accept Losing</a>&nbsp;&mdash; When teaching your kids to accept losing, it's important to give them time and space. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2017/0407/Google-rolls-out-new-Fact-Check-tool-worldwide-to-combat-fake-news">Google rolls out new 'Fact Check' tool worldwide to combat fake news</a>&nbsp;&mdash; Do you think that Google's new 'Fact Check' tool will prevent the spread of fake news? [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bankrate.com/cashlorette/5-money-hacks-you-should-try-now-to-save-more/">5 money hacks you should try now to save more</a> &mdash; Did you know that grocery items may be marked down in the morning, making shopping early a great way to save money? [Bankrate]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tricks-to-save-on-summer-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos">8 Simple Ways to Take Stunning Travel Photos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips travel Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1930339 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-517076077.jpg" alt="Parent finding college expenses she didn&#039;t save for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried that tuition and room and board will bleed you dry when your kid goes off to college? Pfft. Wait till you get a load of all the expenses you didn't account for! You'll want to sit down for this.</p> <h2>1. College prep items</h2> <p>You'll want to send your kid off to college well prepared &mdash; with things. Things like study and work supplies, dorm room necessities, snack foods, toiletries, a new computer, maybe a new phone. It's amazing how easily items pile up when you're shopping for college.</p> <h2>2. Traveling home and back</h2> <p>No loving parent can go too long without seeing their kid &mdash; especially their freshman year in college. So, you'll need to account for travel costs to get your child back and forth to your home if they attend a school that requires more than a few hours' travel.</p> <p>&quot;Create a travel budget by researching typical costs for airfare, train, or bus, whichever mode of transportation is available to you, and estimate the number of times your child will head home throughout the year,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;If they have a car and are driving [a long] distance away from home, propose that they carpool to save on gas and tolls if applicable.&quot;</p> <p>They can also use a site like <a href="https://www.zimride.com/" target="_blank">Zimride</a>, which will connect them with other college students looking to share a ride.</p> <h2>3. Local transportation costs</h2> <p>If your child has a car on campus, you're looking at the cost of a parking pass plus insurance and gas. If they don't have a car, you'll need to consider a new bike and investigate the cost of public transportation passes. These costs can add up, as well. College students don't tend to be holed up in their tiny dorm rooms while not in class.</p> <h2>4. Food outside the meal plan</h2> <p>College meal plans are expensive enough by themselves, but don't count on those being your child's only source of food. Many campus dining halls close earlier than you probably think, and late night study sessions require energy. Plan on having to send them some extra dollars for groceries, snacks, and late-night diner runs.</p> <h2>5. Greek life</h2> <p>I was interested in joining a fraternity when I went to college. It signified the quintessential coming-of-age experience to me, and I liked the idea of having &quot;brothers,&quot; as I wasn't close with my own growing up.</p> <p>Nice sentiment, but it got expensive real quick.</p> <p>My dues were about $400 per semester, I wanted to buy new clothes every time we had a formal or theme party, and if something went wrong in the house &mdash; like the one time a drunk alumni brother smashed up our soda machine &mdash; we had to collectively cover the cost. By the end of four years, I had spent thousands of dollars to be part of this exclusive club &mdash; which, in hindsight, was worth every penny considering the memories I made. So, I guess what I'm saying here is &hellip; grab your checkbook.</p> <h2>6. Sports and extracurriculars</h2> <p>If you're the parent of a child whose athletic skills have earned them a college scholarship, congrats; consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, if your child is perfectly average but still wants to play sports or join extracurriculars, you'll need to cough up the cash.</p> <p>&quot;Sometimes participating in extracurricular activities on campus can cost extra money,&quot; says Johan Zhang, co-founder of CollegeVine. &quot;Whether it's paying for club dues, schoolwide participation fees, or even apparel, at many colleges there exists a hidden cost to joining and being an active member in extracurricular activities..&quot;</p> <p>Be sure to consider this and save up in advance.</p> <h2>7. Your trips to see your child</h2> <p>Bringing your kid home is going to cost you, and so is traveling to visit your child. You may also want to attend things like orientation weekend, parents' weekend, and other events hosted by the college. You'll need to factor in transportation, lodging, and food, so budget wisely.</p> <h2>8. Off-campus living</h2> <p>Eventually your kid will outgrow the dorm and want to live off-campus. This usually happens around junior year, but sometimes you can hold it off until senior year. With that comes the expense of monthly rent, renter's insurance, furniture, utility bills, and a security deposit that you're never going to see again. Make amends with that right now; it's already spent.</p> <h2>9. The extended plan</h2> <p>Listen, I'm rooting for you to get your kid in and out of college in four years, but, well... the odds aren't in your favor.</p> <p>&quot;At most public universities, over 80 percent of students will take more than four years to graduate due to overcrowded or unavailable classes,&quot; say Adrian Ridner, CEO and co-founder of Study.com. &quot;That means if you are planning on four years of college expenses, you could be under budgeting by 25 percent to 50 percent. Taking low cost college courses online can be a great way to stay on track and graduate on time. Another factor that can extend your child's time in school is lack of college readiness. This may mean completing remedial courses that do not count toward graduation.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-1000-a-month-or-more-as-an-online-tutor">How to Earn $1,000 a Month or More as an Online Tutor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-during-a-semester-abroad">7 Ways to Make Money During a Semester Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training college dining plans dorm rooms expenses food costs fraternities hidden costs kids sororities students transportation travel Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1923858 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-637964304.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting the most out of a travel rewards credit card isn't as easy as it might seem. Sure, the basic premise is simple: Rewards credit cards dole out points when you make a purchase with your card. Then you redeem them for free or discounted travel. But there are plenty of pitfalls to watch out for. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Started With Travel Rewards With These Simple Steps</a>)</p> <p>Before you put too much effort into earning travel rewards, it's crucial to know what you're getting into. If you don't, you could end up with expired or useless points, or worse, debt.</p> <p>If you're angling to use credit card rewards to your advantage &mdash; not the card issuer's &mdash; here are some mistakes to avoid along the way.</p> <h2>1. Missing the Minimum Spending Requirement for a Bonus</h2> <p>Most top travel rewards credit cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonus</a> for hitting a minimum spending requirement within a specific length of time when you first get the card. For example, you might earn 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first three months of card ownership. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>If you should happen to fall short, however, you'll never see that bonus hit your account. That's true whether you're $20 short or $200 short. Unless you meet the minimum spending requirement in its entirety, you're out of luck.</p> <p>If you get a new card for the bonus, make sure you're prepared to spend enough to hit the minimum with ease. You should also remember that the clock generally starts ticking on the day you're approved for the card &mdash; not the day you received it or activated it. So, if your card takes 10 days to show up in the mail, that's 10 days less you have to meet the spending requirement. If you're unsure of the exact date you were approved, call the number on the back of your card and ask. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. Earning Loyalty Points You Can't Use</h2> <p>Racking up Hyatt Gold Passport points for a trip to Denmark sounds like a genius plan until you realize there are no Hyatt properties in the entire country. And earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points sounds smart &mdash; that is, until you realize Southwest doesn't even fly out of your home airport.</p> <p>This might sound crazy, but it happens all the time. Believe it or not, some people get so excited about earning points or miles that they don't even check whether they can use them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card With This Guide</a>)</p> <p>Before you sign up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded card</a> that only works with a specific loyalty program, it's crucial to figure out if those points will leave you better off. If you're unsure or want more flexibility, steer clear of co-branded cards and instead choose a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible travel rewards card</a> that lets you use points for multiple airlines and hotel chains.</p> <h2>3. Carrying a Balance</h2> <p>Paying interest on your credit card charges is never a good idea, but that's especially true if you're using the card to earn rewards. Since rewards credit cards typically charge higher interest rates than non-rewards cards, your misguided pursuit of points and frequent flyer miles can leave you worse off than if you had a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low-interest credit card</a>.</p> <p>Before you chase credit card rewards, you should be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">debt-free</a>. Even better, you should track your spending to make sure you're on track with your goals.</p> <h2>4. Forgetting About Annual Fees</h2> <p>While many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back credit cards</a> don't come with annual fees, the same cannot be said about travel rewards cards. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">excellent premium cards</a> come with annual fees as steep as $450, while more basic cards cost anywhere from $59 to $95.</p> <p>Before you sign up for a rewards card, make sure you know about fees and when they come due. You should also make sure you're going to extract enough value from the card to make the experience worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-guide-to-evaluating-a-credit-card-with-an-annual-fee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Simple Guide to Evaluating Whether a Credit Card With an Annual Fee Is Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>5. Letting Your Points Expire</h2> <p>Some points expire if you let them sit idle for too long, while others never expire. Of course, the burden falls squarely on you to keep up with expiration policies and deadlines. If you fail to plan and don't ensure your points stay active, you could see thousands of points disappear overnight.</p> <p>Before you get too wrapped up in any rewards program, make sure you know what it takes to keep your points active. Some airline programs will wipe out your point haul after 12&ndash;24 months of inactivity, but you can keep your account active by using your co-branded credit card for a purchase or transferring points.</p> <p>Either way, make sure you know the rules and stay organized enough to follow them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Best Tools for Keeping Track of Your Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Not Using the Right Card for Your Goals</h2> <p>A friend of mine had been using her only rewards card &mdash; a cash back card &mdash; to save up points for an international flight that normally costs around $1,500. At the rate she was going (earning around 30,000 points per year), it would easily take her five years to earn that round-trip ticket &mdash; and that's only if the price didn't surge in the meantime.</p> <p>Once I realized this, I guided her toward the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; card</a> for its generous sign up bonus. Once she earned the bonus, she would have more than enough points to transfer to the United MileagePlus program to pay for the same international ticket right away. Overnight, her strategy morphed from one that would take up to five years to a plan that would culminate in just a few short months. (Keep in mind the card has an annual fee.)</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Card Rewards in Two Months</a>)</p> <p>The bottom line: If you have a specific goal in mind, you can save time and heartache by optimizing your rewards from the start. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation Quickly With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>7. Overspending to Earn More Rewards</h2> <p>Because rewards credit cards dole out points based on your spending, it can be tempting to spend more to earn more rewards. This is especially true when certain bonus categories come into play. If you can earn five times the points on a brand-new flat screen television, for example, you might feel inclined to buy one, even if you didn't need it.</p> <p>But if your rewards goal is truly getting ahead, you should think long and hard before buying anything out of the ordinary. After all, spending money you wouldn't spend otherwise won't help you save money in the long run.</p> <p>Remember, the best credit card rewards strategy is a simple one: When you use your cards for bills you were going to pay anyway, you'll truly be rewarded. But if you use credit card rewards to justify a spending spree, you're not really helping yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth">5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-credit-card-transactions-that-dont-earn-rewards">4 Credit Card Transactions That Don&#039;t Earn Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bonuses cash back fees miles Mistakes points rewards spending requirements travel Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:30:34 +0000 Holly Johnson 1898658 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Keys to an Early Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/4-keys-to-an-early-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-keys-to-an-early-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-623601680.jpg" alt="here&#039;s how to retire sooner" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does it seem like retirement can't come soon enough? Are you tired of feeling like you're wasting time at a job you no longer enjoy, daydreaming about the day you won't have to come in anymore?</p> <p>The good news is there are several steps that you can take if retiring early is your goal. Retiring early will mean setting clear priorities and goals that you can meet, but it doesn't have to be out of reach. Consider these four tips to get there faster. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-retire-early?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things People Who Retire Early Do</a>)</p> <h2>1. Slash Costs Now</h2> <p>It's easy to go on autopilot with monthly costs, but they can add up fast, especially if you're spending more than you should. By switching providers for home or car insurance, Internet, phone, and cable TV, you could save thousands a year. In fact, do you even need cable TV? What about that gym membership &mdash; are you using it enough to justify the cost?</p> <p>Could you trim expenses even further by downsizing your home or getting by with one car? Leave no monthly cost unexamined.</p> <p>While you're at it, look at the fees you're paying on your investments. Because of compounding, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sneaky-investment-fees-to-watch-for?ref=internal" target="_blank">investment fees</a> that seem small can eat a big chunk out of your retirement savings over time.</p> <p>All of these cost savings won't be enough on their own to ensure your early retirement, but over the course of a few years they can add up and enable you to retire comfortably earlier than you may have thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-retire-early?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Things to Do to Retire Early</a>)</p> <h2>2. Look for Tax Advantages</h2> <p>When planning for retirement, it's important to consider the taxes you will have to pay once you stop working. While you can contribute now to 401K or regular IRA accounts using pretax income, you'll have to pay taxes on the distributions once you start to draw down the accounts.</p> <p>On the other hand, you contribute to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-facts-about-roth-iras" target="_blank">Roth IRA</a> with money that's already been taxed, but then it grows tax-free and you'll pay no taxes when you withdraw the money. Often it's good to have a combination of both types of retirement accounts. A financial adviser can help you decide. But keep in mind that withdrawing from either of these accounts before you hit age 59-1/2 usually incurs a tax penalty.</p> <p>Taxes on Social Security are another expense to keep in mind for when you hit official retirement age. Social Security benefits may be taxed at the federal level, depending on what your total income is. But the IRS won't tax more than 85% of your benefits. Thirteen states tax Social Security benefits, while other states have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-states-with-the-lowest-taxes-for-retirees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">low or no taxes for retirees</a>.</p> <h2>3. Retire Abroad Full Time</h2> <p>Retiring early means figuring out a way to live on what you save during a shortened working career. You can lower your needs drastically by changing your country code.</p> <p>If you've been working and saving in U.S. dollars, you can make that money go much further in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in" target="_blank">country where the cost of living is lower</a> than in the United States. Many destinations in Central and South America, as well as many parts of Asia and even Europe, are much less expensive for Americans to retire to &mdash; and if you're looking for a warmer climate, you can find that too.</p> <p>Of course, there are some logistics that you should take into consideration when retiring abroad.</p> <h3>Taxes</h3> <p>The U.S. taxes citizens or resident aliens living abroad on worldwide income, including Social Security, other retirement income and any earnings you may get from working in your new country. However, you may be eligible for the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion" target="_blank">Foreign Earned Income Exclusion</a>, which allows you to exclude foreign earnings &mdash; up to a certain amount &mdash; from your taxable income. The exclusion is adjusted annually for inflation. For 2017 it is $102,100.</p> <p>You may also be subject to income taxes in the country where you retire, though many countries have treaties with the U.S. that make sure you are not double taxed. You'll need to research local tax laws to make sure you're in compliance.</p> <h3>Logistics</h3> <p>There are a lot of logistics involved in moving to a foreign country. You'll need to research the appropriate visa for the country you'll be living in. Many desirable locations for Americans have special visas for retirees. Generally, you'll need to show you have a certain amount of retirement income and you will not be allowed to work for a local employer on these visas.</p> <p>Think too about whether you want to sell your home in the U.S. You may want to get rid of furniture and other belongings as well, though retirement havens such as Panama and Nicaragua allow you to import a certain amount of household goods duty-free.</p> <p>Banking is another consideration. Many expats continue to hold a U.S. bank account and to transfer money between it and an account in the country where they live. If you've got a U.S. account it's also a good idea to have a U.S. travel credit card that charges <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">no foreign transaction fees</a>. A U.S. card can help you purchase from U.S. websites more easily and comes in handy during trips back home.</p> <h3>Health</h3> <p>In some countries, quality health care is so cheap that expats choose to pay out of pocket for treatment and medications. In other cases, you will need to research local health insurance options or make sure your U.S. insurance covers care abroad. Medicare is not available for health care outside of the U.S.</p> <p>Other expats can be a great resource as you try to find doctors that speak English and have a good reputation.</p> <p>The U.S. State Department has more <a href="https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/abroad/events-and-records/retirement-abroad.html" target="_blank">resources for planning to retire abroad</a>.</p> <h2>4. Move Abroad Part Time</h2> <p>You can also considerably lower your retirement expenses just by spending a portion of the year abroad, without the commitment of leaving the U.S. entirely.</p> <p>Different people choose to set up this arrangement differently. Some will return to the same place every year, while others may prefer to try out somewhere new.</p> <h3>Taxes</h3> <p>As with moving abroad full time, you will still be responsible for paying U.S. income taxes on worldwide income, and you may be subject to local taxes as well. Many tax breaks in the U.S. and abroad are dependent on how many days per year you spend in the foreign country, so you'll need to research those requirements.</p> <h3>Logistics</h3> <p>The most important consideration when you'll be spending your time in multiple locations is your accommodations. Will you rent your home while you're away? Will you hire a property manager to make sure that everything is running smoothly in your absence?</p> <p>Consider home or apartment exchanges if you are going to be overseas for a shorter period of time.</p> <h3>Health</h3> <p>For health insurance, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance for the part of the year that you'll be out of the country to supplement your plan back home.</p> <p>Early retirement doesn't have to be an unattainable goal. Focus on setting your priorities and using creative thinking to be able to retire when you want.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-keys-to-an-early-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%20Keys%20to%20an%20Early%20Retirement.jpg&amp;description=4%20Keys%20to%20an%20Early%20Retirement" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Keys%20to%20an%20Early%20Retirement.jpg" alt="4 Keys to an Early Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-keys-to-an-early-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-people-dont-retire-early-and-how-you-can">4 Reasons People Don&#039;t Retire Early — and How You Can</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in">4 Exciting World Cities You Can Afford to Retire In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-handle-a-forced-early-retirement">5 Ways to Handle a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Retirement 401k early retirement expat living abroad retirement planning travel Fri, 03 Feb 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Nick Wharton 1884232 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Simple Ways to Take Stunning Travel Photos http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_nature_photographer_508941068.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways to improve her travel photography" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having beautiful photos of your trip is one of the best mementos you can bring back with you, to share with friends and family, and to look back on fondly. Whether you're an experienced photographer or you're just trying to get a nice shot on your vacation, here are some tips for capturing the best images possible on your trip.</p> <h2>1. Consider Your Subject</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/geishas_walking_594485142.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The first step is to think about what it is that you want to capture. This could be anything, including a person, a building or landmark, or a landscape.</p> <p>Instead of just snapping shots randomly and hoping that one will come out the way you like, take a moment to assess what it is you hope to communicate with your picture. A shot of a lone tree on a dry prairie communicates something very different from a candid photo of locals laughing while they play mahjong in the park.</p> <p>When someone looks at your picture they should be able to identify what it was you were trying to portray.</p> <h2>2. Lighting Is Everything</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_nature_photographer_524381338.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When you're taking a picture, you are always working with light, since that is how your camera is able to capture an image. Different lighting can dramatically alter the mood and clarity of your subject.</p> <p>Many photographers recommend you to take pictures an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset &mdash; the so-called golden hours &mdash; because the light at these times is soft, diffused, and flattering to most subjects.</p> <p>However, you can still take pictures during the rest of the day. Especially if you are working with a camera in automatic mode, utilizing the ample light during the day can help you to get a great shot.</p> <p>Be cautious about taking pictures that are backlit. A backlit photo is any shot where the sun is behind the subject that you're shooting. Used intentionally, backlighting can produce gorgeous silhouette images. To do that, you'll need to expose for the background, making the subject dark enough that most detail is lost.</p> <p>You can also use backlighting to create an effect where the subject is exposed correctly, but the background is overexposed, giving it a dreamy, faded look, sometimes purposely accented by sun flares. You might want to use a &quot;fill flash&quot; to fill in shadows on the subject as well.</p> <p>If those backlit effects are not what you're aiming for, position yourself so that the sun is behind <em>you</em>, the photographer, which will ensure that your subject is properly exposed. Sometimes positioning the subject at an angle to the sun helps ward off the harshest shadows.</p> <h2>3. Sometimes Less Is More</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/photography_statue_626501632.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>At times it can be tempting to try to capture everything in one shot, but the usual outcome is a cluttered photo that ends up not really portraying much of anything.</p> <p>One thing you can try is to identify one poignant detail and highlight that detail by framing it tightly. That's how our vision naturally works, and you can replicate that in your photography for eye-catching shots.</p> <p>In addition to taking a wide shot of a baroque cathedral, why not snap a few close-ups of detailed carvings, scenes from stained glass windows, or parishioners leaving or entering the building? At a market, rather than trying to capture the whole chaotic scene, focus on one vendor, or even one pile of brightly colored vegetables.</p> <p>By capturing little quirky details from your trip you are also expressing something about yourself and your interaction with those details, which can be helpful when trying to weave together a story from these visual cues.</p> <h2>4. Pay Attention to Patterns</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/building_sunset_155440607.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you are going to take a busier photo, think about the natural patterns that may be appearing. Repetition &mdash; of fence posts, or trees in a row, for example &mdash; can often create a rhythm that's visually appealing in photography and this can help to guide the composition of your photo.</p> <h2>5. Follow the Rule of Thirds</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/rule_of_thirds.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The rule of thirds is another guideline that can help when you're thinking about how you want to compose your photo. Imagine your photo with a grid of two lines horizontally and two lines vertically traced over the image that you are taking.</p> <p>A viewer's eye is naturally drawn to the intersections on this grid, so instead of putting your subject right in the middle of the photo, you can play around with a more visually interesting layout by lining your subject up on these crossing points. Many digital cameras can overlay a grid on the viewfinder to help you.</p> <h2>6. Experiment With Different Points of View</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/travel_glacier_frozen_528073320.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>A straight-on shot in which the subject is facing you at a 180 degree angle can be fine, but also try shooting from above, below, or at a different angle to the subject. Experiment with wide, medium, and close-up shots, too. The results are often more dramatic and dynamic than a straight-on point of view.</p> <h2>7. Start Looking at Photos With a Photographer's Eye</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/sunset_city_view_488714494.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>A great way to improve your pictures without even using your camera is by examining photographs that you like. The next time you open your Instagram feed, instead of mindlessly scrolling through the shots, take a few extra minutes with the ones that really catch your eye.</p> <p>Identify three to five elements of the picture that make it special to you. This could be the color, the composition, a certain detail that pops or the repetition of certain elements. Whatever it is, once you've seen a successful example in a photograph, it will be easier for you to recreate the effect when you're out taking your own pictures.</p> <h2>8. Take Plenty of Shots</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_camera_travel_531402746.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When you are out experimenting with your camera, take a variety of shots so that you can choose from them once you get home. Don't just take the same shot over and over. Change it up so that when you see the pictures later, you can figure out which way worked the best.</p> <p>Remember to enjoy the process and take a playful attitude! You will be surprised at the beautiful results you can get just by taking a more lighthearted approach to your pictures.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Take%20Stunning%20Travel%20Photos.jpg&amp;description=8%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Take%20Stunning%20Travel%20Photos" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Take%20Stunning%20Travel%20Photos.jpg" alt="8 Simple Ways to Take Stunning Travel Photos" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel hacks photography travel Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:30:33 +0000 Nick Wharton 1876829 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-598248080.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're getting ready for a big trip in the near future, you're probably discovering that buying travel gear can add up pretty fast. Maybe you're looking into investing in a good pair of hiking boots, a tent, and a sleeping bag. Maybe you just need new luggage or a backpack.</p> <p>Having the right supplies is a good way to ensure that the trip goes well, and some expenses just can't be avoided no matter what. The good news is your gear doesn't have to break the bank.</p> <h2>1. Shop Around for the Best Sales</h2> <p>Depending on where you're planning to go shopping, you'll always want to try to buy your items when they are on sale. This might mean buying last year's model, but if it's an investment piece such as sturdy luggage, you'll want to pick something that is timeless anyway.</p> <p>Some stores will have semiannual or annual sales, so ask a sales representative when their next sale will be. You can also subscribe to a store's email list to be notified of upcoming sales.</p> <p>When you're looking for the best deals on gear, start shopping earlier rather than later. Give yourself ample time before you leave on your trip and avoid paying full retail price at the last minute.</p> <h2>2. Check the Chain Discount Stores</h2> <p>Discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great places to look for steeply discounted travel gear. Find cheap travel gadgets like portable scales to weigh your bags (so you can avoid airline overweight baggage fees) and space-saver bags, which vacuum seal to store your clothing flat.</p> <p>These little items can add up faster than you'd imagine, but buying them at a discounter will ensure that your budget for gear goes much further.</p> <h2>3. Use Rewards Points</h2> <p>Some retailers offer rewards programs to encourage you to shop at their store more frequently. Eastern Mountain Sports, for example, offers a good rewards program that gives you a certain percentage back on your purchases in the form of a coupon that they mail out every so often. Especially when you're planning big purchases, make sure that you are getting reward points that can help defray the cost of future purchases.</p> <p>Other stores may further reward you for opening a credit card with them. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=internal" target="_blank">Store credit cards</a> can help you earn points faster and entitle you to special sales and discounts. If you're not familiar with their program, ask a sales representative before making your purchases. Just be sure you pay off your balance every month, because interest rates tend to be high on store cards.</p> <h2>4. Shop at the Right Time of the Year</h2> <p>To return to the example of Eastern Mountain Sports, this can be a great place to shop around the holidays. Often if you spend a certain amount, you will receive a gift card (usually for December, before Christmas).</p> <p>Even better are end-of-season sales (which often take place before the season is really over). Winter gear may go on sale as early as January; summer gear as early as July. Again, by planning ahead you can strategically purchase your travel gear when there are the best offers.</p> <h2>5. Consider Buying Secondhand</h2> <p>You don't always need your gear to be completely new and buying secondhand can be a great value if you're looking to significantly cut your costs. You can count on saving of at least 50% compared to buying new gear.</p> <p>There are some stores that specialize in secondhand gear and clothes, so check listings in your area to find out what your options are. You can also check online resources, like Craigslist and eBay, that will connect you directly with a seller.</p> <h2>6. Buy It When You Get There</h2> <p>Depending on where you're planning to travel, it may make more financial sense to hold off on your travel gear purchases until you arrive.</p> <p>For example, Nepal is a very common trekking destination and in the capital, Kathmandu, you can find entire streets filled with people selling sleeping bags, tents, and other trekking gear at steeply discounted rates from what you'd find in the United States.</p> <p>You can get quality, discounted gear in other places, too. In France, the store Decathlon offers good technical gear that is much more affordable than in the United States. Chamonix Alpine Equipment in Hong Kong has great prices on rock climbing shoes and other gear.</p> <p>Research your destination and find out how prices compare. Sometimes just waiting until you set off on your trip can save you a lot of money, plus the cost of transporting your gear there.</p> <h2>7. Does It Make Sense to Rent?</h2> <p>This is something every traveler needs to carefully consider. Sometimes rental costs can be exorbitant. Consider, for instance, renting a canoe at $45 a day. If you have the canoe for a week, you&rsquo;d have paid for the cost of the entire canoe.</p> <p>On the flip side, while you may not own the canoe, you do not have to haul it to your destination and back, store and maintain it, or find a buyer for it. All of that takes time &mdash; and money.</p> <p>Rentals often offer great convenience, especially if it's a one-time experience and not likely to be something that you will use again in the future.</p> <p>Whether you're buying new or used gear, or renting, there are many options to get a great value on travel gear. Decide what your priorities are and consider your budget before you get to the store. By doing a bit of research ahead of time, you can save a lot of money once you're ready to buy.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Travel%20Gear.jpg&amp;description=7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Travel%20Gear" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Travel%20Gear.jpg" alt="7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-sneaky-fees-on-discount-airfare">Beware These Sneaky Fees on Discount Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel deals discounts gear luggage rewards points travel Wed, 25 Jan 2017 10:30:25 +0000 Nick Wharton 1877970 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Your Financial Planner Isn't Telling You About Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-financial-planner-isnt-telling-you-about-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-your-financial-planner-isnt-telling-you-about-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_financial_planner_485026010.jpg" alt="Couple learning what their financial planner isn&#039;t telling them about retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Personal finances can get complicated fast, which is why many people seek the assistance of a financial adviser. Especially when considering your retirement, it can give you extra confidence to know that a professional is helping ensure you make the best decisions for your future.</p> <p>It may therefore come as a surprise to know that historically, financial advisers haven't been required to put your best interests first. But in April 2016, the Labor Department finalized a new rule that requires financial advisers who deal with retirement accounts to respect what's known as the fiduciary standard, meaning they <em>have</em> to put the client's interests first.</p> <p>Before, financial advisers just had to follow the suitability standard, which meant they were only required by law to provide clients a &quot;suitable&quot; plan, which might satisfy your basic requirements but isn't necessarily the best plan for you.</p> <p>When they're doing their job well, a financial adviser can help you invest your money wisely and plan for retirement. But it's always important to do your own research and stay informed. When it comes to retirement, here are some things your financial planner may not have brought to the table.</p> <h2>1. Fees May Grow With Your Assets</h2> <p>Financial advisers often charge based on a percentage of the assets they are managing for you. Unfortunately, the fees compound over time, just as your returns do. By the time you're ready to retire, that could mean you're paying thousands of dollars a year in fees.</p> <p>As your nest egg grows, keep an eye on your fees and renegotiate your rates, so you don't end up paying too much for their services.</p> <h2>2. Retiring Abroad Can Halve Living Costs</h2> <p>If you're feeling tight on funds for retirement and you're not sure how to make your money go further, there's an important alternative that you should be considering. Retiring abroad can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries?ref=internal">cut your retirement costs in half</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Exciting World Cities You Can Afford to Retire In</a>)</p> <p>However, many U.S.-based financial advisers are entirely focused on domestic retirement and that's what they'll help you plan for. Plus, it may be in their interest to keep you close so you don't decide to move your funds elsewhere.</p> <p>If retiring abroad is something you want to truly consider, seek an expert who brings that specialty expertise to the table. You should also do your own research, including finding online forums for expatriates to answer your questions about retiring abroad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible Places to Retire</a>)</p> <h2>3. Travel and Retirement Go Hand in Hand</h2> <p>If you've written off the idea of traveling as being too expensive, and these views are being reaffirmed by a conservative financial planner, it's time to re-evaluate. Retirement affords you great flexibility and the price of travel may be within closer reach than you realize.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-woman-retired-at-60-and-traveled-the-world?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How One Woman Retired at 60 and Traveled the World</a></p> <p>Costs in many countries are often much lower than at home, and if you plan carefully &mdash; especially if you're able to start socking away money early in your career &mdash; your monthly budget may be able to absorb the extra expense of plane tickets, accommodations abroad, food, and entertainment. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Rewards credit cards</a> can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips" target="_blank">earn free travel</a>, too.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></p> <h2>4. An HSA Could Lower Your Health Care Costs</h2> <p>If you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may be eligible for a Health Savings Account. As with an IRA, HSA contributions are tax-free and they grow tax-free. You can leave money in the account for years and if you withdraw the funds to pay for qualified health care costs, you will still not pay taxes on the money. If you have a balance at age 65 and want to use it for nonmedical expenses, you can, but the withdrawals will be taxable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Saves You Money</a>.)</p> <p>Keep in mind that only people enrolled in qualifying high-deductible health care plans are eligible. But if you're one of them, an HSA could be an important part in reducing your health expenses during retirement.</p> <h2>5. You May Be Able to Ditch Your Life Insurance</h2> <p>Having a life insurance policy is useful if someone else will be financially hurt when you die. However, depending on your particular situation, you may no longer have dependents after you retire. Or you may have investments and pensions that pay 100% to the surviving spouse. In that case, your spouse won't suffer financially from your death and you probably don't need life insurance.</p> <p>There are a lot of variables to consider when planning for retirement, and a financial planner can clarify your options. But while a financial planner can be a helpful resource, they aren't the ultimate authority on what's best for you. Stay informed and choose what's best for you and your family.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-financial-planner-isnt-telling-you-about-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-you-dont-run-out-of-money-in-retirement">How to Make Sure You Don&#039;t Run Out of Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-keys-to-an-early-retirement">4 Keys to an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement expats fees fiduciary financial advisers financial planners health care life insurance living abroad retiring overseas travel Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870053 at http://www.wisebread.com