travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12026/all en-US 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-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-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/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</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-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/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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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> 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-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/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/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</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-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</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-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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-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/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-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-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes">Don&#039;t Make These 6 Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Mistakes</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-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/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-things-your-financial-planner-isnt-telling-you-about-retirement">5 Things Your Financial Planner Isn&#039;t Telling You About 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-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/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/a-simple-guide-to-buying-the-best-travel-cameras">A Simple Guide to Buying The Best Travel Cameras</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> 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-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/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/beware-these-sneaky-fees-on-discount-airfare">Beware These Sneaky Fees on Discount Airfare</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-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</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-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-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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do">If You&#039;re Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</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/4-keys-to-an-early-retirement">4 Keys to an Early Retirement</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 7 Frugal Ways to Protect Your Home During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-137806346.jpg" alt="protect your home during holiday travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Headed out of town for the holidays? Don't get McCallistered! Keep the Harrys and Marvs at bay with these cheap ways to protect your home while you're away.</p> <h2>1. Ask a Friend or Neighbor to Watch the House</h2> <p>If you have the good fortune of having someone close to you who's sticking around for the holidays, it won't hurt to ask if they'd mind keeping an eye on your property &mdash; maybe even house sit. Your house sitter can collect the mail &mdash; as mail and newspaper buildup is a telltale sign that a house is unoccupied &mdash; and make sure trash and recycling is put out if you're departing on an off day.</p> <p>The sitter's coming and going will keep activity at your home consistent to deter would-be burglars. Make sure it's convenient for whomever you ask (if it's out of the way, you should expect to pay), and stock the fridge with the sitter's favorite foods and drinks to make the stay more comfortable and enjoyable.</p> <h2>2. Leave the Lights On</h2> <p>Even if I'm not leaving town for an extended period of time, I like to keep my dining room light or the TV in my living room on to create the illusion that someone is always home &mdash; and that's not a bad idea, according to Alyse Ainsworth, safety and security expert at ASecureLife.com.</p> <p>&quot;If your home looks like there are people in it, you'll be less likely to be robbed,&quot; she says. &quot;Consider installing motion light sensors or even a timer for your exterior and interior lights. You can also purchase timers that can be controlled with a mobile app. You can turn your lights on and off strategically, making it harder for burglars to keep track of patterns.&quot;</p> <p>Yes, I do realize that keeping the lights on nonstop for days on end will hike up that month's bill, but it's only one room, and it's cheaper than getting robbed.</p> <h2>3. Stop Announcing Your Plans on Social Media</h2> <p>I get it &mdash; you want to share your vacation plans with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but in doing so, you may be giving someone all the details they need to clean you out during your daiquiri fest on the beach. If you'd like to share your vacation photos, do it after the trip is over when you're safe at home. You'll enjoy more of your vacay when you're<em> present</em> anyway; two for one.</p> <h2>4. Lock Up Every Entrance</h2> <p>Before you leave your house for good, do one last check that all points of entry are locked and secure. &quot;Robbers will see an unlocked door as an invitation to come in and take whatever they want,&quot; Ainsworth says. But don't forget the garage or windows, either. Burglars aren't particularly picky about how they get into your house, and they'll exhaust all their options before they give up if you've got what they want inside.</p> <h2>5. Don't Leave a Paper Trail</h2> <p>Thieves don't just want your tangible things. These days, identity theft is perhaps more valuable than any material item burglars will lift from your home, and it's wise to keep that in mind when tossing receipts and other financial and identifying documents in the trash and recycling bins.</p> <p>&quot;With the growing concern of identity theft, residents should also be mindful of what they're throwing out, being sure to utilize a paper shredder for documents with sensitive, personal information,&quot; advises Lynn Edmonson, regional manager of a property management firm in Florida. &quot;Placing un-shredded items in the trash not only increases your odds of identity theft, but it is also a method for burglars to find out whether or not a home is worth the effort of being burglarized.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Call Your Local Authorities For a Safety Check</h2> <p>Identity theft expert Robert Siciliano offers a great tip most people probably don't think of: Call the police <em>before</em> your house is robbed. Local law enforcement can provide basic tips on how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-home-defense-10-ways-to-protect-your-home-from-burglars" target="_blank">secure your home</a> before a trip, and they also can tell you what's trending in neighborhood crime &mdash; like bike or tool theft from a shed, for instance, or if home break-ins are on the rise and what the burglars are typically looking for. He also suggests looking for community programs in your area where law enforcement specialists are available to inspect properties and provide an assessment on how to fortify your home better.</p> <h2>7. Get a Dog &mdash; Or At Least a &quot;Beware of Dog&quot; Sign</h2> <p>Dogs are great protectors of your property &mdash; even those little guys whose barks are worse than their bites, because sometimes all it takes to deter a burglar is fear of having his limbs gnawed off. If you don't like the idea of pet parenthood, however, at least take a trip to Home Depot to pick up a &quot;Beware of Dog&quot; sign to make thieves think you've got a snarling canine on the premises. Siciliano details how to make the setup look even more authentic.</p> <p>&quot;Buy the biggest dog food bowl possible &mdash; one bowl for the front porch and one for the back,&quot; he says. &quot;Writing &quot;Killer&quot; on the bowl will give a burglar the impression that you have a big and vicious dog. You can even buy a barking dog alarm.&quot;</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-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Frugal%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Home%20During%20the%20Holidays.jpg&amp;description=7%20Frugal%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Home%20During%20the%20Holidays" 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%20Frugal%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Home%20During%20the%20Holidays.jpg" alt="7 Frugal Ways to Protect Your Home During the Holidays" 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays">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/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays">The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-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> Home Travel Christmas holiday travel home protection home security surveillance travel Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1858110 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Travel Destinations for People Who Hate Crowds http://www.wisebread.com/10-travel-destinations-for-people-who-hate-crowds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-travel-destinations-for-people-who-hate-crowds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beach_guam_50324852.jpg" alt="Finding travel destinations for people who hate crowds" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For those looking to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">get away from it all</a>, the last thing some people want to do is go to a place packed with people and fast-paced activity. Even a beach holiday, which sounds relaxing, can become a nightmare when you're surrounded on all sides with sunbathers, loungers, towels, coolers, and volleyball games. So if you're no fan of crowds, but desperately want to escape, here are 10 destinations worth checking out.</p> <h2>1. Negril, Jamaica</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/beach_jamaica_29967128.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With a population of just under 7,000, Negril is a widely dispersed beach resort in Jamaica. And despite travel magazines consistently naming it one of the top 10 beaches in the world, it's still very far from a crowded destination. The beach itself is over four miles long, and that alone makes it a tough one to fill with crowds. There are also a variety of activities to keep you busy over your vacation, if the beautiful beach gets to be too much for you. Snorkeling, diving, and cliff jumping offer the more adventurous holidaymakers a chance to live a little. There's also an all-inclusive resort on the beach, plus other boutique places to stay that cater to those who want a more exclusive experience.</p> <h2>2. Amelia Island, Florida</h2> <p>Mention a Florida vacation to anyone, and they'll usually chime in with Miami beaches, or Orlando (and Disney). But there is a place in Florida, hiding away, that is far from the overcrowding of those typical spots. Amelia Island is enchanting, with <a href="http://www.ameliaisland.com/Tour-Amelia-Island/Beaches">over 13 miles of beaches</a>, plus incredible scenery, wildlife, dining, fishing, boating, and so much more. Tour the website and one thing you'll instantly notice is how quiet and peaceful everything looks. Not a lot of hustle and bustle. The beaches are almost deserted. Even the festivals are way less crowded than the average event, should you decide to venture to one. Overall, you'd have to go out of your way to hit a large crowd on Amelia Island. Hopefully, this hidden gem stays that way.</p> <h2>3. Folly Beach, South Carolina</h2> <p>Located on Folly Island, there are many words that come to mind when describing Folly Beach. Charming, open, remote, tranquil, peaceful, refreshing, and comfortable, are just a few that barely scratch the surface of the place locals call &quot;the Edge of America.&quot; The beaches are wide open, there a long piers to walk along, local shops to peruse, and plenty of hotels and inns to accommodate your needs. <a href="http://www.follybeach.com/activities/">Activities</a> include surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, picnicking, camping, and bicycling. It's not exactly the city that never sleeps, but that's kind of the point.</p> <h2>4. Upolo, Samoa</h2> <p>There are few places that live up to that idyllic Hollywood vision of a tropical beach paradise; <a href="http://www.samoa.travel/page/explore-upolu-the-gateway-to-samoa">Upolo, Samoa,</a> is one of them. Immaculate white beaches, crystal blue water, tall palm trees, beach huts, and waterfalls, make Upolo a feast for your eyes. And fortunately, not too many eyes, as this blissful destination is rarely in anyone's top 20 places to go and visit. You can take advantage of that, and get away for some peace and quiet that will be the envy of others&hellip; once they see your photos on Facebook. You'll find incredible fresh food in the market on Fugalei Street, you can take up diving, and even venture into the rain forests.</p> <h2>5. County Donegal, Ireland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/beach_ireland_63638197.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Lonely Planet has described County Donegal as&quot;a county of extremes: at times desolate and battered by brutal weather, yet in turn a land of unspoiled splendor where stark peaks and sweeping beaches bask in glorious sunshine.&quot;</p> <p>Anyone who has ever traveled to this part of Europe knows that the bad weather will always play a part in the vacation at some point. But for those wanting to avoid crowds, and take in a beautiful slice of Irish charm, County Donegal is perfect. Some of the sights worth taking in include Donegal Castle, Banba's Crown, Magheraroarty Beach, and Fort Dunree. Kick back in one of the local, uncrowded pubs, and indulge in a real pint of Guinness as you take in the peace and quiet.</p> <h2>6. Most Areas of Guam</h2> <p>I can speak from personal experience, as I visited my wife's family in Guam several years ago. My reaction was simply, &quot;How is a place this beautiful not packed with tourists?&quot; If you don't know it, Guam is a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, and it's a tropical paradise filled with the whitest beaches, palm trees, and crystal clear water. Visit places like Asan, Talofofo, and Ritidian Point, and you can find yourself on a clear stretch of beach that feels like Hawaii, but looks like a scene from <em>Robinson Crusoe</em>.</p> <p>The weather is hot and humid, but you will soon get used to that. And once you've paid for the flight, the accommodations and food are very affordable. Traditional Chamorro food is delicious, and there are influences of Japanese, Filipino, and even Jamaican flavors. This is an incredible place for people who want the island paradise without the crowds and tourists. You will also find some of the most welcoming and friendly people anywhere in the world. If you want to avoid the crowds, avoid Tuman Bay &mdash; that's the center of Guam's tourism industry.</p> <h2>7. New Braunfels, Texas</h2> <p>Imagine a place where Texan and German cultures coexist in perfect harmony. That's New Braunfels, a town in Texas that was founded in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Germany. For the locals, it's nothing special to see German billboards and street names, but for those tourists who come to stay, it can be something of a surprise. There are a variety of activities for vacationers here, including tubing down the river, paddle boating, the Wurstfest, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark. There's also plenty of wildlife, the largest caverns in Texas, and <a href="http://www.nbghosttours.com/">spooky ghost tours.</a> Some will call it quaint, or even unremarkable, but if you want a relaxing, uncrowded vacation, give it a try.</p> <h2>8. Mindanao, Philippines</h2> <p>The second largest island in the Philippines (Luzon holds the top spot), Mindanao has some of the most stunning scenery and natural wonders that you will ever see on vacation. Take <a href="http://www.pinasmuna.com/2012/02/maria-cristina-falls-is-in-mindanoa.html">Maria Cristina Falls</a>, a waterfall that powers a hydroelectric plant, giving Mindanao most of its electricity. It's sometimes known as the &quot;twin falls,&quot; and at over 320 feet high, surrounded by lush trees and vegetation, it could be at home in a <em>King Kong</em> movie. Aside from the tropical rain forests and jungle adventures, you can also indulge in Bangus Fry fishing, snorkeling, mountain climbing, and swimming with whales. And once you arrive, your money will stretch far. For example, one liter of high quality Tanduay Rum costs just 45 pesos; at the current exchange rate, that's around 96 cents.</p> <h2>9. Rotorua, New Zealand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/beach_new_zealand_39724148.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Nicknamed &quot;New Zealand's Coolest Hot Spot,&quot; the big draw for people who've done their research are the hot springs of Rotorua. The volcanic activity has created natural hot-water attractions such as <a href="http://www.rotoruanz.com/visit/see-and-do/geothermal-wonders/lake-tarawera-water-taxi-ecotours">Te Rata Bay (Hot Water Beach)</a> and <a href="http://www.rotoruanz.com/visit/see-and-do/geothermal-wonders/hells-gate-geothermal-mud-bath-spa">Hells Gate Mud Bath</a>, which has been used for generations by Maori to ease joint and muscle pain. Aside from the geothermal delights, you can also partake in cycling adventures, lake and river activities, fishing, hunting, golf, hikes, and scenic flights.</p> <h2>10. Huacachina, Peru</h2> <p>It's got sand. Lots of sand. And, it's got water. But this is no beach vacation. <a href="http://huacachina.smugmug.com/Huacachina/">Huacachina</a> is a desert oasis located in Southern Peru, and offers dune buggy rides and sand boarding for those who like adventure far from the masses. Located five hours south of Lima, you will stay in a paradise surrounded by ancient mountains of sand in every direction. Private tour packages are available, and you can also be taken outside of the oasis to other parts of Peru. But chances are, once you're here, away from everything, you'll want to stay.</p> <p><em>What are some other perfect destinations for people who hate crowds? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? 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%2F10-travel-destinations-for-people-who-hate-crowds&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Travel%20Destinations%20for%20People%20Who%20Hate%20Crowds.jpg&amp;description=10%20Travel%20Destinations%20for%20People%20Who%20Hate%20Crowds" 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/u5180/10%20Travel%20Destinations%20for%20People%20Who%20Hate%20Crowds.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-travel-destinations-for-people-who-hate-crowds">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/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-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/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</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/6-unexpected-benefits-of-solo-travel">6 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Travel</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-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budgeting hate crowds introvert travel travel destinations travel plans vacation Tue, 13 Sep 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Paul Michael 1791533 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ireland_castle_76621825.jpg" alt="Finding frugal fall getaways you can start packing for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel is always wonderful, but it can be a struggle when you're on a budget. It's important to look for places where the dollar is doing well, or maybe somewhere you can get a package deal that includes your flight and hotel. If you're looking for a cheap &mdash; but still awesome &mdash; getaway for the fall, here are some places you should look into. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a>)</p> <h2>1. Greece</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/athens_greece_66332307.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Though it can still cost a lot to stay on one of the more famous islands like Santorini, Greece's economic issues make it one of the cheaper places to stay. Ferries run between islands &mdash; if you want to check all of them out &mdash; but there are <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/athens/travel-tips-and-articles/the-best-free-things-to-do-in-athens">tons of cheap things to do in Athens</a>, too. And that's probably what you're going to want to see when you're traveling to Greece.</p> <h2>2. Cambodia</h2> <p>Cambodia is <a href="http://www.priceoftravel.com/46/cambodia/phnom-penh-prices">one of the cheapest places</a> to visit, and it's filled with amazing things to see. Angkor Wat alone has so many temples and so much ground to cover, you might need more than just a day pass to do it. And that's only one of the sites this country has to offer. With its low prices and attractions, you'll get your money's worth here.</p> <h2>3. Camping Somewhere Stateside</h2> <p>If you feel like staying in the states, there's bound to be an awesome camping destination within a few hours of you. Hiking, fishing, and just being in the middle of all nature has to offer is an amazing thing. If you really want to rough it, tent sites are usually cheaper. But if you want something a little bit sturdier, log cabins are the way to go.</p> <h2>4. Dominican Republic</h2> <p>If you want a Caribbean vacation that doesn't hurt your wallet, the Dominican Republic is your perfect spot. It's a great place for an all-inclusive vacation. Some hotels have multiple pools, bars, and gourmet restaurants that are included with the price of your stay. Activities like golfing, scuba diving, and parasailing come with additional fees &mdash; and the resorts can book those adventures for you.</p> <h2>5. Puerto Rico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/puerto_rico_85980345.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Another decently priced tropical destination, Puerto Rico is great because the flights are cheap and they use the US dollar for currency. Avoid the touristy areas if you want to get your money's worth. Hit up the <a href="http://www.seepuertorico.com/en/destinations/west/">west coast of the island for amazing beaches</a> and smaller crowds.</p> <h2>6. Vietnam</h2> <p>Though it's becoming more popular, Vietnam is still cheap and beautiful. If you go while budgeting, you can get by on less than $40 a day. Since most of the country is pretty underdeveloped, it's a great place to backpack and go on a true adventure. If you're not into that, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the more popular tourist destinations.</p> <h2>7. Bolivia</h2> <p>One of only two landlocked countries in South America, Bolivia is often overlooked. The city of La Paz is a unique place that blends modern life with indigenous traditions, and it's full of activities that aren't to be missed. And if you venture away from the city, you can see more of the indigenous and religious culture you can't experience anywhere else.</p> <h2>8. San Diego</h2> <p>Unlike Los Angeles and San Francisco, it's a lot easier to get a bargain here. Beaches are your best bet, with miles of boardwalk and coastline to be explored. The Coronado Ferry is pretty cheap to ride, and it lets you see the sites from a different perspective. If you have a bit more money to spend, take in one of the famous destinations here, like the San Diego Zoo.</p> <h2>9. Bulgaria</h2> <p>Another frequently overlooked destination, Bulgaria has some of the most deserted beaches in Europe. It also boasts old towns to explore and mountain ranges to trek. It's been influenced by multiple cultures, so you'll see a unique blend of things here that make it a must-see destination. There are a ton of gorgeous monasteries and churches if you get tired of being on the beach all day.</p> <h2>10. Ireland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ireland_scenic_83019115.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Travel to Ireland has gotten cheaper in recent years, and it's a deal worth jumping on. With Dublin being a big city, it can be more on the expensive side for things like food, but there are still plenty of free things to do to fill your time. Journey out to the countryside for some amazing views and cheaper places to stay &mdash; though you might want to rent a car to fully experience everything this country has to offer.</p> <p>You can still travel to some of the most amazing places in the world while on a budget. Go to places less-traveled, plan ahead to find cheap flights and hostels, and make the most of the spending limit you have. There's nothing wrong with going off the beaten path to see something awesome!</p> <p><em>What are some other cheap fall destinations? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? 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%2F10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Frugal%20Fall%20Getaways%20You%20Can%20Start%20Packing%20For%20Now.jpg&amp;description=10%20Frugal%20Fall%20Getaways%20You%20Can%20Start%20Packing%20For%20Now" 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/u5180/10%20Frugal%20Fall%20Getaways%20You%20Can%20Start%20Packing%20For%20Now.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">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/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</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-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Travel budget travel budgeting fall getaways frugal travel saving money travel vacation Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Anum Yoon 1787549 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/505640207.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frequent travelers know a thing or two about scoring the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=internal">best deals on hotel rooms</a>, but you don't have to be a road warrior to snag a great room on the cheap. We've found some of the best tools to help you get terrific prices on hotel rooms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels?ref=seealso">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>1. Roomer</h2> <p><a href="https://www.roomertravel.com/">Roomer</a> brings the sharing economy to hotel rooms. It's a bit like Airbnb, but strictly for hotels. Customers can buy unused hotel rooms from other people who don't want theirs, often at deep discounts. Roomer's easy interface makes it simple to buy or sell unused hotel rooms quickly and efficiently.</p> <h2>2. Hotel Tonight</h2> <p>Traveling last-minute? Don't despair. Some of the best deals on hotel rooms can actually be had when you book on the same day. That's because hotels are eager to offload excess inventory before it's too late &mdash; and that's where <a href="https://www.hoteltonight.com/">Hotel Tonight</a> comes in. They show you all the very last-minute deals available in the city of your choice. I've snagged rooms that typically go for over $500 for $100 or less using this app.</p> <h2>3. Hotel Loyalty Cards</h2> <p>I just scored two weeks of free hotels in Europe for zilch. The secret was my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal">hotel rewards credit cards</a>. Credit cards offered by major hotel chains often come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal">big bonus point hauls for new customers</a>, plus you earn points with every purchase. Finally, these credit cards can come with perks like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal">hotel status upgrades</a>, which will get you free Wi-Fi, room upgrades, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-using-hotel-reward-points-to-get-the-most-value?ref=seealso">Tips for Using Hotel Rewards Points to Get the Most Value</a>)</p> <h2>4. Coupon Sherpa</h2> <p>Couponing isn't just for groceries or other household items. Coupon aggregator sites, such as <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/">Coupon Sherpa</a>, can also help you locate coupons for use on booking sites like Hotels.com. So, don't forget to quickly search for coupon codes before booking a room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Trvel Websites That Can Sve You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>5. Your Phone's Calendar or Clock</h2> <p>As they say, timing is everything, and that couldn't be more true when booking hotels. Often, rooms at resort or vacation destinations are cheapest mid-week, when most tourists can't travel, so consider booking your trip on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays to score the best hotel deals. But hotel rooms at business destinations are the opposite: They're cheapest on the weekends, when business travelers are home with families.</p> <p>Another timing trick? Check in late in the day to maximize the success of haggling for room upgrades, free WiFi, or other perks.</p> <p><em>Any other frugal hotel booking tips we should know about? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? 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%2F5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Hotel%20Room%20Booking%20Tools%20Every%20Frugal%20Traveler%20Should%20Know.jpg&amp;description=5%20Hotel%20Room%20Booking%20Tools%20Every%20Frugal%20Traveler%20Should%20Know" 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/u5180/5%20Hotel%20Room%20Booking%20Tools%20Every%20Frugal%20Traveler%20Should%20Know.jpg" alt="" 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/janet-alvarez">Janet Alvarez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">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-10"> <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/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</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-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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> Frugal Living Travel cheap travel hotel travel travel apps travel tools Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:30:20 +0000 Janet Alvarez 1775078 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_text_94856801.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to improve finances using social media " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Social media is about more than just looking at friends' baby photos, posting what you ate for dinner last night, and watching the most recent viral videos. It can actually help you improve your finances, land a new job, and reach your savings goals more efficiently. That's why we've found some of the best ways to improve your finances by getting the most out of social media. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>&quot;Friend&quot; Your Credit Cards and Bank</h2> <p>Add your credit card issuers and bank to your social media accounts by &quot;friending&quot; or following them. Large institutions usually offer deals to followers, so you can enjoy a lower APR, higher savings interest rate, or other money-saving promos. In fact, according to U.S. News, social media is often the first outlet that banks choose to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/06/03/why-the-financial-services-industry-started-tweeting">share news about upcoming deals</a>.</p> <p>Social media is also possibly the best way to get in touch with customer service quickly, as it will allow you to get their attention more easily. Just make sure to keep your account information, address, and any other private information off the message boards and social media pages.</p> <h2>Enjoy Travel and Shopping Deals</h2> <p>There are endless travel and shopping deals available through social media. Retailers often choose social media as the first outlet to announce upcoming sales, so their friends and followers are able to take advantage of the biggest discounts first. Followers are frequently offered early deals, as well.</p> <p>You can find Twitter-specific deals that can save you on everything from rental cars and vacations to eating out and even buying gifts. Before going out to make any purchases, check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to make sure there aren't any deals that you're missing. You can even check social media hashtags, such as #deal, to find the best deals in your area.</p> <h2>Share Goals</h2> <p>Many financial experts recommend sharing your financial goals online. By setting your goals early and sharing them with the people you love, it can help you articulate what you really want and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. In fact, research has shown that making <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3047432/work-smart/why-sharing-your-progress-makes-you-more-likely-to-accomplish-your-goals">public statements about goals</a> can help you achieve them more efficiently. However, you never want to reveal anything too personal, such as private information that fraudsters can use against you.</p> <h2>Get Money-Saving Tips</h2> <p>By following your favorite finance site on social media, you can find endless free money-saving tips and updates. You can also find forums and group discussions with unique money-saving ideas and encouragement from others. You can even find good financial and investment advice online.</p> <p>Seeing these tips on a daily basis on your social media pages can also be a good reminder each and every day to protect your hard-earned income. After all, we all need a reminder once in a while that we don't really need that new top or expensive latte in the morning.</p> <h2>Find a New Job</h2> <p>LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool when you're searching for a new job. You can apply for jobs directly through LinkedIn, perfect your resume, and even reach out to potential employers and former colleagues. Contacting them through Facebook or Twitter won't be as effective or as professional as contacting them through LinkedIn.</p> <p>With LinkedIn, once you have created a professional profile, employers and recruiters can even reach out to you with potential job offers. You can also join LinkedIn groups within your field so you are the first to know about potential opportunities. You can even add examples of your work, recommendations from current or previous coworkers, and any honors you've received to better build your online portfolio.</p> <h2>Make Connections</h2> <p>Networking through social media can result in better face-to-face communication, potential job offers, and endless contacts in your field. Simply following someone or sharing their social media posts can be a great first step in networking and making connections.</p> <h2>Build Your Brand</h2> <p>Whether you're promoting your personal business or services, or just want to build your reputation as the best in your field, posting on social media can be a great start. Just make sure to stay consistent so that you can reach as many followers as possible.</p> <h2>Research More Efficiently</h2> <p>Gone are the days of asking for financial suggestions from friends and coworkers. Whether you're looking for a new financial planner or would like information on which investments to make, you can find more information quickly through social media. With a simple social media search, you can find detailed research on the investment product or financial adviser you're interested in.</p> <p>You can also find suggestions for dentists and other service providers in your area through social media. This will ensure you get what you're looking for and don't waste money.</p> <h2>Sell Your Items</h2> <p>If you create and sell items privately, such as through Etsy, social media can be a great free platform for you to advertise your products or services. This can help you bring in more revenue, reach new customers, and show off your work to a limitless audience.</p> <h2>Make Some Extra Income</h2> <p>There are even ways to make some extra income using social media. If you have a large following, you can publish sponsored tweets or sign up for affiliate accounts, where you will receive your own unique link to earn some extra income when followers make purchases using that link. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-extra-money-using-social-media?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Make Extra Money Using Social Media</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you followed Wise Bread on social media yet? What are your best tips for improving your finances through social media? </em><em>Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">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-13"> <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-only-money-advice-youll-actually-listen-to">The Only Money Advice You&#039;ll Actually Listen To</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/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</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-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</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/how-to-think-like-a-billionaire-when-you-re-broke">How to Think Like a Billionaire When You’re Broke</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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology advice blogs deals extra money Internet job hunting promotions saving money selling shopping social media travel Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1753337 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Millennials Should Embrace Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/why-millennials-should-embrace-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-millennials-should-embrace-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/women_credit_card_92044311.jpg" alt="Learning why millennials should embrace credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millennials are avoiding credit cards more than any other generation. Perhaps this is because they have witnessed their own parents <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">struggling with debt</a>, or they are already feeling overwhelmed by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">student loan repayments</a>. While debt is a good thing to avoid, especially if you don't want to live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life, credit cards aren&rsquo;t always the enemy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn&rsquo;t Know About</a>)</p> <p>In fact, credit cards can actually be beneficial toward your financial goals. Here are just a few reasons why you should embrace credit cards, after all.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card</a></p> <h2>Better Protection</h2> <p>If your credit card account information is stolen, and someone goes on a spending spree, you have some time to resolve it. Card charges you flag as fraudulent will be placed on hold while investigated, and you won&rsquo;t be responsible for their payment or even interest accrual. While fraudulent charges are a royal pain, the silver lining is that none of your actual money has been stolen from your bank account.</p> <p>This is not true if your debit card, PayPal, or Venmo account has been hacked, and funds are used without your permission. You would report the fraud to your bank, but those funds have already left your account. You&rsquo;d have to wait for the bank to resolve this. In the meantime, if you have bills to pay, you&rsquo;ll be left asking for an extension while your bank investigates.</p> <h2>Build Up Credit</h2> <p>Your credit score affects everything from your interest rate for a new vehicle, to whether or not you qualify to rent, and even your job, if your career requires a specific clearance. Even having zero credit can be very harmful for your finances. You will end up having to cosign your loan with somebody, or you could be hit with a high interest rate.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t even have to use your credit card all the time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">build a healthy credit score</a>. Instead, start with one credit card, spend $100&ndash;$200 a month on it, and pay it off each month. Look for a card that comes with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">free credit score monitoring</a> so you can keep track of your score.</p> <h2>Get Free Money</h2> <p>Even if you aren&rsquo;t interested in the world of credit card rewards, it&rsquo;s simple to get cash back for your purchases. Some cards will offer a higher percentage of cash back for certain types of purchases, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">groceries</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">dining</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">gas</a>. Others have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">flat rate cash back percentage</a> on all purchases, so you don&rsquo;t have to worry about bonus categories. Either way, you&rsquo;re getting money back on purchases you&rsquo;re already planning on making. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Get Free Travel</h2> <p>Collecting credit card <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?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">rewards points for travel</a> doesn&rsquo;t have to be complicated. Get points or miles for the purchases you make on your card, redeem them for statement credits toward travel purchases, or use the points to purchase travel. The best part about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">travel rewards credit cards</a> is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">sign up bonuses</a> that you can collect when you get a new card. My husband and I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">earned a free trip</a> just by switching our regular spending to a new card for a few months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>Take advantage of these promotions and bonus points to travel your dream destinations more affordably. Once you get married and have kids, it is harder to see the world.</p> <h2>Purchase Protection</h2> <p>Credit cards have an amazing number of protections in place. Purchase protection protects against theft and damage. Price protection allows you to get a difference on an item&rsquo;s price if it goes down shortly after you&rsquo;ve bought it. Extended warranty automatically extends the warranty on your item up to an additional year. Some even have return protection, which allows you to get a refund even if you&rsquo;ve been denied a return from the vendor.</p> <h2>Interest Free Financing</h2> <p>Many cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">0% intro APR on purchases for 6-18 months</a>. This means that you can pay off a large purchase over a year and half, with no interest. The important thing to remember though, is that you have to be committed to paying it off during that time. It&rsquo;s never wise to accrue credit card debt, pay interest, and live beyond your means. But getting an interest-free loan for 18 months if you are certain you can pay it off, is a great deal.</p> <h2>Car Rental</h2> <p>Most car rental vendors will require a credit card. Even better is that many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit cards also come with rental car insurance</a>, which will save you money on your rental.</p> <h2>Avoid Fees While Traveling</h2> <p>Instead of paying an exchange rate for cash when traveling abroad, use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit card with no foreign transaction fees</a>. It has the benefit of being safer than carrying cash, and has built in fraud and purchase protections.</p> <h2>Benefiting From Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt</h2> <p>Even with all of the benefits a credit card can bring, &ldquo;25% of Millennials describe credit cards as something that worsens their financial standing,&rdquo; according to one study. It is true that credit cards can dig you deep into debt and financial problems if you aren&rsquo;t careful. Here are three ways to reap the benefits without falling into debt.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Balance Credit Cards Like Checkbooks: </strong>Past generations used to balance their checkbooks by writing down every expense, making sure they knew how much was in their checking account at all times. Modern technology has made this practice archaic, but it still can be useful. Every time you spend money on your credit card, subtract it from your checking account either with the help of an app or pen and paper.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Use Credit Cards to Pay for Usual Bills: </strong>You can earn points without spending more than you already do each month. Pay your bills online through a credit card or use one solely for gas or groceries. Take advantage of cards that offer extra points for spending in a certain category.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Don&rsquo;t Let Credit Cards Change Your Spending Mentality: </strong>Credit cards can give us the false illusion that we have more money than we actually have to spend. Don&rsquo;t fall victim to this. Still stick to a strict budget and only splurge what you have set aside specifically for spending.</li> </ul> <p>It is great that Millennials are trying to avoid debt more than the other generations. However, avoiding debt does not mean you have to avoid credit cards. Use credit cards to your advantage to make your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">everyday spending go a little further</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Save an Extra $1,000 a Year</a>)</p> <p><em>What is your favorite credit card to use? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-millennials-should-embrace-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-11"> <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/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</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-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score">10 Surprising Ways to Negatively Affect Your Credit Score</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/pre-approved-for-credit-card-offers-are-you-pre-qualified">Pre-Approved for Credit Card Offers: Are You Pre-Qualified?</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/6-unexpected-benefits-of-secured-credit-cards">5 Unexpected Benefits of Secured Credit Cards</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-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth">5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards car rentals credit cards credit scores financing fraud protection millennials travel warranties Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753340 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_62926796_LARGE.jpg" alt="saving thousands from taking one vacation day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have a list of financial tasks we keep meaning to get to, but between work, family, everyday obligations, and the need for sleep, we just keep putting them off. Whether it's rolling over an old employer 401K or finding cheaper car insurance, you can end up costing yourself hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by procrastinating.</p> <p>However, there is a solution: Use a vacation or personal day as an annual &quot;Money Day&quot; to catch up on all those finance to-dos you keep putting off. You'll have the time to stay on the line with customer service, fill out forms, and get organized &mdash; setting yourself up for a more secure financial future. Here are all the financial boxes you can check off on your annual Money Day.</p> <h2>Negotiate Bills</h2> <p>Phone bills, cable subscriptions, and car insurance can be expensive, eating up a huge part of your budget. However, rather than just gritting your teeth and bearing it, you can negotiate your bill and bring down your cost. Make a list of all of the services and subscriptions you currently pay for, and contact each one. For the introverts who get nervous negotiating over the phone, most companies have an online chat option that will work just as well.</p> <h3>Tell Them You Want to Cancel</h3> <p>Whether you are on the phone or chatting online, be as polite and kind as possible, but firmly let them know you want to cancel because the cost is just too high.</p> <h3>Be Prepared to Deal With the Retention Department</h3> <p>Customer service is likely to transfer you to their sales department or retention department, whose sole goal is to keep you on board. Again, be as friendly as possible, but explain that the monthly bill is more than you can afford. You do not have to give a long script or even say you are looking at other competitors; just noting you cannot afford the price will trigger the next steps.</p> <h3>Continue to Negotiate</h3> <p>They will likely offer you a temporary adjustment, like a promotional three-month offer. Be firm, saying something like, &quot;I'm sorry, I just can't afford this rate. I would need something more permanent.&quot; More than likely, they will come back with a more generous offer, saying they are authorized to give it to you that day. That language indicates it's the best they can do. Ask them to send you an email confirmation with the new agreement and then repeat the process with each service provider you have.</p> <h3>Research Alternatives</h3> <p>In some cases, companies just won't budge, particularly if you have only been a customer for a year or two. If that's the case, use some time during your money day to look up alternatives and get quotes. For instance, services like <a href="https://www.thezebra.com/">The Zebra</a> help you compare rates from multiple car insurers so you can get the most competitive price.</p> <h2>Find and Rollover Retirement Funds</h2> <p>Nearly three million people <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm">quit their jobs each month</a>, with many of those individuals leaving old 401Ks behind, either intending to get to it later or thinking the amount is too small to matter. Then they end up forgetting about it, and the money disappears. Take the time to hunt down old plans and come up with a strategy for them:</p> <h3>Find Old 401Ks</h3> <p>You may have to call each of your former employers' human resources departments to determine where your old 401Ks are currently held. If that's not an option, you can also check with the <a href="https://www.unclaimedretirementbenefits.com/">National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefit</a>.</p> <h3>Take Action</h3> <p>Once you've found your old accounts, you can keep them where they are, but keep their log-in information in a safe place. However, it might also make more financial sense to roll them into one place, like in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">traditional IRA</a>. Vanguard and Fidelity offer IRA options that are cheaper regarding fees you will pay in most 401Ks, so rolling the account over can save you money and prevent any penalties.</p> <h2>Search for Unclaimed Money</h2> <p>There are millions of dollars in unclaimed money sitting around. Whether it's an old savings account, an insurance credit or, other windfall, state laws require that unclaimed funds be turned over to the state for safekeeping until the owner claims them. Most people don't even realize that hundreds of dollars belong to them, and it goes unclaimed for years.</p> <p>To find lost money, visit <a href="http://www.unclaimed.org">Unclaimed.org</a>. Check each state that you have lived in and enter your full name and any other names you may have gone by in the past. The site will list any money that belongs to you. You can file a claim, following the process outlined on the site, to get the money returned to you.</p> <h2>Automate Savings</h2> <p>If you have been putting off building up your emergency fund or retirement savings, your money day is a very good time to get them started. Set up automatic contributions for the start of each month to go into your savings and retirement accounts, so you do not even miss the money from your paycheck.</p> <p>Setting aside an annual vacation day to manage your finances can be an excellent way to stay on top of essential money tasks, trim your budget, maximize your dollars, and find you hundreds of dollars that may have gone missing. By dedicating a day to money management, you can end up savings thousands of dollars in just 24 hours.</p> <p><em>What else should be done on your annual Money Day? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">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-12"> <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-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</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-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Travel budgeting career frugal living personal finance saving money travel vacation day Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 1754845 at http://www.wisebread.com