discounts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4405/all en-US 7 Beautiful Ski Resorts to Visit This Fall http://www.wisebread.com/7-beautiful-ski-resorts-to-visit-this-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-beautiful-ski-resorts-to-visit-this-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-524621933.jpg" alt="visit these ski resorts in the offseason" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ski resorts are notorious for large crowds, overpriced accommodations, and pricey lift tickets. But, did you know that you can get great deals in the offseason? You won't be skiing, but you can enjoy hiking, biking, and other fall adventures. Many ski resorts offer amusement park-like activities, discounted rates, and package deals to tempt vacationers in before the big crowds come in the winter.</p> <p>If you're looking for a peaceful, fun, and affordable place to take your family this fall, one of these seven ski resorts may be just the place for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-fun-fall-getaways?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Cheap, Fun Fall Getaways</a>)</p> <h2>1. Breckenridge, Colorado</h2> <p>Breckenridge has been a go-to town ever since gold was found here in 1859. Hike or bike your way through bright autumn foliage, stopping to take a look at some of the many old gold mine remnants that dot the area. Later, shop for handmade goods in downtown boutiques, and relax in tantalizing restaurants and historic dive bars, including the Gold Pan Saloon, which has been in continuous operation for more than 130 years.</p> <p>If you get here before mid-September, you may even be able to enjoy Epic Discovery, where you can coast down the mountain on 2,500 feet of track, test your skills on a climbing wall, check out the view from a 10-tower zip line course, or bounce off a bungee trampoline. There's something for every age.</p> <p>Save up to 20 percent by buying the Great Summer Break package, which, despite its name, is valid through October. It includes lodging and Epic Discovery.</p> <h2>2. Stowe, Vermont</h2> <p>Stowe Mountain Resort is a beautiful New England getaway, and it partners with local businesses to offer you even more in fall. You can book activity and lodging packages at discounts of up to 35 percent off normal rates. Choose from adventure activities like soaring in a glider, hiking, mountain biking, ziplining, or just going on a local craft brew tour. For accommodations with a twist, splurge at the historic Trapp Family Lodge, which is still owned and operated by the von Trapp family from <em>The Sound Of Music</em> fame.</p> <h2>3. Snowbird, Utah</h2> <p>You won't have to drive far from the airport to get to this playground resort, located just six miles from Salt Lake City. Choose from amusement-park style activities built right into the mountain, including a vertical drop, alpine slide, and roller coaster, all open until October 8. If you get hungry in between all of the adventures, dip into one of the resort's 16 different eateries, ranging from a simple deli, to French, Mexican, and steakhouse cuisine.</p> <p>Snowbird Resort offers several fall deals to choose from, including an Oktoberfest package and a romantic retreat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing for Now</a>)</p> <h2>4. Boyne Mountain, Michigan</h2> <p>Boyne Mountain was built for golf lovers and their families. The resort is home to two golf courses, and two different golfing vacation packages are offered until mid-October that include access to some of the eight other golf courses in Boyne. If your family isn't that into golf, don't worry &mdash; the resort is also home to Michigan's largest indoor water park, Avalanche Bay. Or you can play disc golf or tennis, go hiking or ziplining, or go on a hayride and make s'mores around a bonfire.</p> <h2>5. Mammoth Mountain, California</h2> <p>Mammoth Mountain offers several fall vacation packages and can serve as a home base for wider exploration among the Sierra Nevada. Mammoth itself is an outdoor lover's dream: A bike park with 80 miles of trails competes with a half-dozen hiking trails and superb fishing in the nearby Mammoth Lakes Basin.</p> <p>If you want something a little more tame, you can also take a relaxing gondola ride to the mountaintop Eleven53 cafe, or hit the links at the Sierra Star golf course.</p> <h2>6. Blue Mountain, Ontario</h2> <p>Ontario might sound like a flat place compared to the Rocky Mountains, but there are still plenty of ski resorts. Blue Mountain in particular offers a ton of value for a smoking price &mdash; and if you're an American headed up north, your dollar stretches even further.</p> <p>Choose from some of the more traditional autumn ski-lodge offerings, including mountain coasters, zip lines, gondola rides, and even a heart-pounding bag jump. Unlike most landlocked ski resorts, however, Blue Mountain maintains its own private beach right on the shores of Lake Huron.</p> <h2>7. Jackson Hole, Wyoming</h2> <p>If rustic civilization is more your thing, you'll want to check out the Jackson Hole Resort. It offers great packages that'll place you in local accommodations with a list of breathtaking adventures. You can explore the eclectic town of Jackson Hole, visit nearby Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park, go white-water rafting, scout for bison, wolves, bald eagles, and more on a wildlife safari, or go hiking in one of the most picturesque areas of the country.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-beautiful-ski-resorts-to-visit-this-fall&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Beautiful%2520Ski%2520Resorts%2520to%2520Visit%2520This%2520Fall.jpg&amp;description=7%20Beautiful%20Ski%20Resorts%20to%20Visit%20This%20Fall"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Beautiful%20Ski%20Resorts%20to%20Visit%20This%20Fall.jpg" alt="7 Beautiful Ski Resorts to Visit This Fall" 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/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-beautiful-ski-resorts-to-visit-this-fall">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/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise">10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money on Your Next Cruise</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-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</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-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train 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/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</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-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel autumn biking deals discounts fall foliage hiking offseason ski resorts vacation Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2024912 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_am_prepared_for_exam_very_well.jpg" alt="I am prepared for exam very well" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is expensive. Many students struggle to find the funds to attend college and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">avoid massive student debt</a>. And while student debt is an ongoing issue, there are many ways a student ID can provide big savings elsewhere. Savvy college students can utilize free or discounted activities and products to maximize their college experience and minimize their expenses. Here are eight college perks that you might be missing out on.</p> <h2>1. Reduced or free museum admission</h2> <p>Many museums and art galleries offer free or reduced admission to college students. New York University, for example, has a program called <a href="https://www.nyu.edu/life/arts-culture-and-entertainment/free-museum-access.html" target="_blank">Museum Gateway</a> that grants free admission to nearly a dozen museums and art galleries in New York City.</p> <p>Even if the college doesn't have a direct partnership with the museum to provide free admission to students, the museum might still have a student discount. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, for example, offers free admission with a valid student ID. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20+ Freebies for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>2. Student discounts on computers</h2> <p>Computers are a vital tool. While students can access computers at local and college libraries, it can be a tad inconvenient. Computer manufacturers have created student discount programs to lower the monetary burden of students who need a computer.</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://hp.force.com/external/hpacademy?AOID=51289" target="_blank">HP Academy</a> offers students 20 percent off HP products.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.dell.com/en-us/learn/purchaseprogram/university" target="_blank">Dell University</a> offers students 20 percent off Dell products.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/sale" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> offers students up to 10 percent off Microsoft computers.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/landingpage/students-and-teachers/" target="_blank">Lenovo</a> offers students 15 percent of Lenovo products.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you get really lucky, the university might also offer additional savings or a free computer or tablet upon enrollment.</p> <h2>3. Discounted or free software</h2> <p>Software can be essential for a successful college career. Spreadsheets, word processing, presentation programs, and graphics editing programs are expensive. Thankfully, as a student, you are spared the high cost of the programs.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Office 365 is free to all students with a valid student ID. You can either download the programs from your college's website or from <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office/default.aspx" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html" target="_blank">Adobe</a> offers students 60 percent off the price of their photography and design apps.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Free access to gyms and rec centers</h2> <p>Most on-campus colleges tend to have a gym and rec center that are free for students to utilize. The perks offered in the gyms are highly dependent on the school. Perks range from workout equipment, one-on-one personal training, online, or on-site workout classes, lap pools, lazy rivers, hot tubs, rock climbing centers, and indoor recreation rooms for various intramural sports. Gym and rec center memberships are expensive, so it's definitely worth taking advantage of this perk.</p> <p>If you're an online student without access to your university's gym, private gyms often offer a student discount you can cash in on.</p> <h2>5. Free entertainment</h2> <p>Colleges often offer free admission to movie screenings, plays, guest speakers, sporting events, and concerts. These college-funded events can be great ways to fill your free time without dipping into your bank account.</p> <h2>6. Free mental health counseling and services</h2> <p>College life can be stressful. Students who are mentally and emotionally healthy have a slightly higher chance of succeeding at school. In order to help students maintain a good mental health, many colleges offer free individual, group, or couples therapy. The sessions are meant to help students deal with issues, manage their personal problems, and develop coping strategies. This is a free service that can, in many cases, save your educational career.</p> <h2>7. Discounted airfare and hotels</h2> <p>Whether it's for summer break, visiting the family, or returning to school, plane tickets and hotels can be horrendously expensive. The good news is that there are travel sites that offer discounted prices to students.</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.studentuniverse.com/" target="_blank">Student Universe</a> lets students buy flights and hotels at a discounted rate. A student ID or class schedule will often be required to prove that you are a student.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.cheapoair.com/deals/student-travel" target="_blank">CheapOAir</a> has a student travel page that offers discounted rates.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.statravel.com/" target="_blank">STA Travel</a> offers an International Student Identity Card that provides discounts on flights and hotels.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>8. Clothing discounts</h2> <p>Students can receive special discounts at dozens of clothing retailers. This is especially true for students who need more formal clothing for internships or their first job after college.</p> <p>Once you have a little money to spend, go shopping for a few work-approved outfits before you graduate. Check out Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Club Monaco, Sam's Club for student discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-sites-where-the-right-email-address-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Sites Where the Right Email Address Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520College%2520Perks%2520You%2520Might%2520Be%2520Missing%2520Out%2520On.jpg&amp;description=8%20College%20Perks%20You%20Might%20Be%20Missing%20Out%20On"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20College%20Perks%20You%20Might%20Be%20Missing%20Out%20On.jpg" alt="8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On" 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/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on">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/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</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/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</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-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</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-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping college perks college student discounts saving money shopping tips student discounts Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2023006 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money on Your Next Cruise http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_relaxing_on_cruise_drinking_cocktail.jpg" alt="Girl relaxing on cruise drinking cocktail" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cruising has long been considered an affordable vacation option for couples, groups, and families. With cruise ports dotted across the country, if you live near a coastline, you could probably drive to your departure port and save money on airfare. And with your food and entertainment included in the cruise fare itself, the bulk of your vacation expenditures are paid for upfront.</p> <p>Once you pay for your cruise, plus applicable taxes and port fees, you'll have little else to cover other than transportation, tips, alcohol, and cruise stop excursions.</p> <p>Of course, creative cruisers have been saving in other ways for years. With some out-of-the-box thinking, there are numerous ways to save on common cruise &quot;extras&quot; or avoid them completely.</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; font-weight: normal;">1. Book when &quot;kids cruise free&quot;</span></p> <p>With onboard kids' clubs, pools, water parks, and endless family-friendly activities to choose from, most cruises are ideal for families with kids.</p> <p>Still, you may be able to save even more if you book a cruise where &quot;kids cruise free.&quot; Believe it or not, some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families" target="_blank">most affordable cruise lines for families</a> waive cruise fare for kids on at least some sailings. For example, MSC Cruises has the most enticing offer, which is year-round. On many of their Caribbean cruises, children ages 11 and under cruise free with paid adults.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that even &quot;free&quot; kid cruises require the payment of government-mandated taxes and port fees for your stowaways.</p> <h2>2. Save up to 82 percent on last-minute cruises</h2> <p>While many people plan their cruise vacations far ahead of time, you can save a bundle if you wait until the last minute. A website called VacationstoGo.com promises up to 82 percent off unsold cruises that depart within 90 days.</p> <p>At the moment, you can score a six-night Alaskan cruise on Norwegian for as little as $449, or a four-night Caribbean cruise on Carnival for as little as $224 per person. A seven-night French Polynesia cruise on Paul Gauguin that retails for $7,000 per person can be had for $2,499 per head on certain dates.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that the lowest discount fares usually apply to interior rooms and may not include taxes and port fees.</p> <h2>3. Save with cruise-friendly rewards credit cards</h2> <p>An array of rewards credit cards let you earn points redeemable for any cruise of your choosing. Most of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best travel credit cards</a> offer this option, especially flexible cards.</p> <p>Carnival and several other cruise lines offer their own co-branded credit card with a sign-up bonus and ongoing earning potential, as well. If you want to save money, it helps to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-cruises" target="_blank">best credit cards for cruises</a> ahead of time.</p> <h2>4. Bring your own booze</h2> <p>While cruises include food, snacks, entertainment, and some drinks, most don't include alcohol in their regular cruise fares. Unfortunately, onboard drinks are notoriously expensive, and they can really add up if you don't watch it.</p> <p>The good news is, you may be able to bring your own booze on board &mdash; specifically wine. Each cruise line has its own policy. For example, Carnival lets you bring up to one bottle of wine per person in your luggage on embarkation day.</p> <h2>5. Book your own excursions</h2> <p>Cruises are interesting because they let you visit multiple destinations with a diverse offering of activities. On the flip side, &quot;excursions&quot; are not generally included in cruise fare and can be expensive on their own. Sometimes excursions can cost as much as the cruise itself!</p> <p>Most of the time, you can avoid cruise ship markup by booking excursions yourself. Imagine your Carnival cruise stops in Aruba and you want to go snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. You could book Aruba's Dushi Sail &amp; Snorkel excursion with lunch through Carnival for $89.99 per adult, or you could book directly with the operator for $61 per adult.</p> <p>Websites like <a href="http://www.viator.com/" target="_blank">Viator.com</a> are especially helpful when it comes to booking shore excursions at a discount.</p> <h2>6. Skip the excursions</h2> <p>Most cruise stops offer free stuff to do in addition to paid shore excursions. If you're creative and flexible, you can enjoy each port without paying an arm and a leg.</p> <p>Most beach destinations have free public beaches, and other stops let you sightsee or visit parks for free. <a href="http://boards.cruisecritic.com/" target="_blank">Cruise critic forums</a> are a great place to get ideas for free stuff to do. You can also gain insights on local bus routes that will take you away from the port and off the beaten path for cheap.</p> <h2>7. Get your status matched</h2> <p>Cruise &quot;status&quot; works a lot like hotel or airline status. If you cruise with the same cruise line often enough, you can eventually earn status upgrades good for cruise discounts, room upgrades, early boarding, and additional perks.</p> <p>But, what if you're tired of cruising with the same company over and over? While it's not well known, cruise lines will occasionally &quot;match&quot; your status to earn your business. MSC Cruises does this all year long, and will match your cruise or even your hotel status to earn your business.</p> <h2>8. Book a repositioning cruise</h2> <p>When cruise lines need to move their ships from one place to another during seasonal changes, rather than sending an empty cruise ship, they will often offer a repositioning cruise at a steep discount. These one-way journeys &mdash; say, from Alaska to Hawaii &mdash; may offer a few stops in the early part of the trip, but otherwise, you are at sea for much of the time. You can still enjoy the sea views and take advantage of onboard activities.</p> <p>You can shop for repositioning cruises on any cruise website, and on discount travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity. You can also scoop even lower fares on repositioning cruises through <a href="http://vacationstogo.com/repositioning_cruises.cfm" target="_blank">VacationtoGo.com</a>.</p> <h2>9. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees</h2> <p>Cruising to multiple international destinations sounds like a lot of fun, and using your credit card is usually the best way to get around without exchanging currency. Unfortunately, many cards charge a foreign transaction fee that tacks an extra 3 percent onto everything you buy.</p> <p>You can get around these extra charges by signing up for a <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">credit card with no foreign transaction fees</a> before your cruise. Some cards that fall into this category have rewards programs that make them even more valuable, and/or come without annual fees, too.</p> <h2>10. Turn cruise gift cards into discounts</h2> <p>If you're into credit card rewards and have your heart set on a specific cruise, it can pay to combine both goals into one. By purchasing gift cards for your favorite cruise line with your rewards card, you can earn more rewards over time, even using them to offset the cost of your cruise if you want. Check your credit card rewards portal to see if it offers cruise gift cards as redemption options for your points. Otherwise, use your favorite rewards credit card to purchase them.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Little-Known%2520Secrets%2520to%2520Saving%2520Money%2520on%2520Your%2520Next%2520Cruise.jpg&amp;description=10%20Little-Known%20Secrets%20to%20Saving%20Money%20on%20Your%20Next%20Cruise"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Little-Known%20Secrets%20to%20Saving%20Money%20on%20Your%20Next%20Cruise.jpg" alt="10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money on Your Next Cruise" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise">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/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</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-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel booking cruise ships cruises deals discounts kids points ports rewards sailing saving money vacation Thu, 24 Aug 2017 08:09:50 +0000 Holly Johnson 2008286 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Big on Everything for Your Wedding http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newlyweds_with_guest_on_their_garden_party.jpg" alt="Newlyweds with guest on their garden party" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most people, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives. In many cases, it's also one of the most expensive. With a little planning, though, you can still have everything you want for your special day, affordably. Here are over 25 ways to save big for your big day.</p> <h2>The general stuff</h2> <p>Cutting costs starts with the basics.</p> <h3>1. Get the right credit card</h3> <p>One of the best tools to use for paying for and saving on your wedding is credit cards. No, not to borrow more than you can afford and end up paying thousands in interest charges. But to use them to save money and get rewards. There are three main strategies for using credit cards to pay for your wedding: Getting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">big bonuses</a> and earning <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards for cash</a> or travel, getting a zero interest loan in the form of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR on purchases</a> for a limited time, and paying off purchases with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% interest balance transfer</a> card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <p>In order for any of these strategies to work, you must commit to paying off your balance each month (for the rewards to actually be worthwhile), or make a plan to pay off the balance within the intro period to save on interest. Otherwise, you'll end up paying much more for your wedding than you anticipated due to the high interest charges.</p> <h3>2. Be flexible on timing</h3> <p>September, October, and June are the most popular months to get married, according to The Knot, so avoid those months for better prices. You can cut your costs further by staying away from Saturday night dates and evening weddings in general.</p> <h3>3. Pare the guest list</h3> <p>The easiest way to shave expenses across the board is to invite fewer people to your party. A smaller guest list means you'll be able to book a smaller venue, buy less food and alcohol, and hire less help. Start by eliminating anyone you haven't spoken to in more than six months, and be firm about not inviting &quot;plus-ones&quot; that you don't know.</p> <h3>4. Eliminate the bridal party</h3> <p>One of the latest wedding trends, according to Pinterest's 2017 Wedding Report, is doing without wedding attendants. Getting rid of (or shrinking) your bridal party means the focus is solely on you and your beloved. What's more, you don't have to pay for flowers, gifts, or other expenses for them.</p> <h3>5. Tap your network</h3> <p>Have a friend that does calligraphy or an uncle who's an amateur photographer? Ask them whether they'd offer their services for your wedding at cost or in lieu of a gift.</p> <h2>The venue</h2> <p>You don't have to break the bank to find a nice place to say &quot;I do.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Consider nontraditional locations</h3> <p>Choosing a venue other than a banquet hall or hotel can add personality to your party, and cut costs at the same time. Research low-key outdoor locations such as a state or national park or renting out your favorite restaurant for the night.</p> <h3>7. Combine the wedding and reception</h3> <p>Having both the ceremony and the party at the same place will cut out one of your rental fees as well as the cost of transportation from one place to the next. Plus, it's easier and less stressful for everyone.</p> <h3>8. Compare apples to apples</h3> <p>When shopping around for a venue, be sure to ask exactly what's included in the rental fee, and if there are any extra costs, such as extra fees for cake-cutting or corkage if you're bringing your own wine. Knowing what's covered will help you make an informed decision about which venue offers the best value.</p> <h3>9. Consider a destination</h3> <p>While destination weddings typically cost more for guests to attend, they can be fairly cost-effective for the couple. Many all-inclusive resorts offer relatively low-cost wedding packages in which most of the planning is already done for you. Given the cost and commitment of attending the wedding, fewer guests will attend, keeping your costs down even further.</p> <h2>The music</h2> <p>It's not a wedding without awkward dancing.</p> <h3>10. Get a smaller band</h3> <p>The cost of a live band varies depending on the type of music and where you live, but no matter what, you'll pay more for a bigger band. Cutting down the size of your band from 10 pieces to six or eight will significantly reduce the price, and your guests probably won't notice the difference.</p> <h3>11. Opt for a DJ</h3> <p>A good DJ will be just as great at getting people onto the dance floor as a band, and you'll only have to pay one person. They'll also likely be able to play every song on your list and take requests, no matter how obscure.</p> <h3>12. Go the playlist route</h3> <p>Creating your own playlist for the wedding lets you eliminate the cost of a DJ entirely, and gives you total control over the music that's played. Ask a guest to handle the emcee duties, such as introducing you and announcing the cake-cutting. Ask someone else to hit &quot;play&quot; and &quot;pause&quot; at the appropriate times, and let the playlist handle the tunes. Just makes sure to scope out the sound system ahead of time to make sure you're able to hook into the available speakers.</p> <h2>Food and drink</h2> <p>Your guests will expect something to eat &mdash; but they won't expect it to be Michelin star.</p> <h3>13. Skip the sit-down dinner</h3> <p>Serving food buffet-style reduces the cost of the meal, since you need to hire fewer servers. Plus, buffets give guests more menu options, as well as a chance to mingle at the food stations with people who aren't sitting at their table.</p> <h3>14. Count the kids</h3> <p>If you're having children at your wedding, ask the caterer whether they offer a kids' meal. Most will provide something like chicken or pizza at a per-plate cost that's significantly lower than what they're charging for adult food.</p> <h3>15. Truck it in</h3> <p>Hiring a few local food trucks can be a fun and easy way to feed guests at a more casual, outdoor wedding. You'll want to bring in a few trucks in order to offer variety and ensure that guests aren't spending too much time standing in line.</p> <h3>16. Serve a sheet cake</h3> <p>Rather than splurging on a fancy tiered cake, purchase a small, decorated round cake for you and your spouse to use for the cake-cutting ceremony. Keep a cheaper supermarket sheet cake in the kitchen to serve to the guests. The quality and taste will be the same, and most will never know the difference.</p> <h2>Photography</h2> <p>Memorialize the occasion with affordable photos &mdash; not big credit card balances.</p> <h3>17. Set time limits</h3> <p>Cut the costs of your videographer and photographer by limiting the time that they're actually on-site and shooting. Skip the pre-wedding formal photos, and let the photographer or videographer finish up after the cake cutting. You'll have candid photos that capture the essence of the ceremony and reception.</p> <h3>18. Forget the photo booth</h3> <p>Eight in 10 couples who got married last year installed a photo booth for guests to take keepsake photos. Go old school instead and put a few disposable cameras on your tables for guests to use for snapping pictures.</p> <h2>Decor</h2> <p>Bright, cheery, and cheap should be your strategy with wedding decor.</p> <h3>19. Go with large, seasonal flowers and lots of greens</h3> <p>Local, seasonal flowers will cost less since there will be no shipping charge for your florist. Using large flowers (like hydrangeas or peonies) accented with greens allows you to get a bigger look while purchasing fewer blooms.</p> <h3>20. Dry it out</h3> <p>Dried flowers cost considerably less (and last considerably longer) than their fresh cousins. They make great bouquets or centerpieces for a wedding with a vintage feel.</p> <h3>21. DIY</h3> <p>Avoid the florist altogether and make your own centerpieces (get inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram). The dollar store is a great, low-cost resource to stock up on vases, votive candles, and other accessories for your tables.</p> <h2>Clothing and accessories</h2> <p>Why spend a ton on something you'll only wear once?</p> <h3>22. Rent your dress (or accessories)</h3> <p>Grooms have been renting their tuxes for years. Now, thanks to websites such as <a href="https://www.renttherunway.com/" target="_blank">RentTheRunway</a>, brides can also avoid forking over a fortune for an outfit they're only going to wear one time. Renting your dress allows you pay a fraction of the garment's cost while wearing real designer clothes on your wedding day.</p> <h3>23. Look for a non-bridal dress</h3> <p>Hit up your favorite dress store to see whether there are any off-the-rack white dresses that could serve as a wedding dress without the monster price tag. Or forget about white altogether and simply look for a dress you love that you might be able to wear again.</p> <h3>24. Something old, something new-to-you</h3> <p>Most people only wear their wedding dress once, so it's possible to find secondhand gowns that are in great condition. In addition to Craigslist and eBay, check out <a href="https://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/" target="_blank">PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com</a>, where you can find designer dresses for up to 75 percent off. (It's also a good site to keep in mind after your wedding, since you may be able to sell your gown for some extra cash.)</p> <h2>Invitations</h2> <p>You'll need to send more than a bunch of text messages to invite your guests &mdash; but not much more.</p> <h3>25. Skip save-the-date cards</h3> <p>Your biggest VIP guests probably already have your wedding date committed to memory. Use a site like Evite to send online save-the-date notifications to everyone else, or simply send out an email blast. You'll avoid the expense of printing and shopping for an additional set of cards on top of your invitations.</p> <h3>26. Think minimal</h3> <p>The bells and whistles of formal wedding invitations (letterpress printing, envelope lining, response cards, tissue paper) add up quickly. Skip the extras and select a simple design that can fit on a single card. If there's additional information you want to convey, direct guests to your website.</p> <h3>27. Design them online</h3> <p>Use a site like TinyPrints to select from dozens of templates, rather than paying someone to design the invitation for you. Then, you can order hard copies of the invitations and mail them out, or cut your costs even further by sending them digitally to your guests.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beth-braverman">Beth Braverman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding">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/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy">5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy</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/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks">Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy Tricks</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living caterers discounts DJ Food getting married music photography renting save the dates saving money venues weddings Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Beth Braverman 1959962 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways a Professional Association Can Boost Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-professional-association-can-boost-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-a-professional-association-can-boost-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/group_of_business_people_in_the_office_building_lobby.jpg" alt="Group of business people in the office building lobby" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You got the degree and landed the job. Maybe, though, your career seems stalled. Are you looking for a way to move up the corporate ladder, or out of a rut? If so, maybe it's time you joined a professional association.</p> <p>What's the best thing about a professional association? <em>Networking.</em> And it's not stand-around-at-a-cocktail-party, trying-to-make-small-talk networking. Belonging to a professional association is like having an instant group of friends, with at least one similar interest: You all work in the same field.</p> <p>So, what some other reasons should you join a professional association?</p> <h2>1. It's easy to find one</h2> <p>Either Google it (i.e., &quot;pharmacist professional associations&quot;), or use this handy <a href="https://www.careeronestop.org/businesscenter/professionalassociations/find-professional-associations.aspx" target="_blank">professional association finder</a> developed by the U.S. Department of Labor. A quick search will bring you results for organizations in your career field.</p> <h2>2. You can give back to your community</h2> <p>Especially appealing to millennials, an age group that wants their work to have meaning, are opportunities for giving back. Many professional associations have subgroups that pride themselves on charitable and community-building efforts.</p> <p>You might find yourself speaking at an elementary school, helping with a trash pickup day, or fundraising for a good cause. My niece, an optometrist, participates in a professional association that raises funds for guide dogs for the blind. If your association doesn't already do good works, maybe you're the leader they need to start something.</p> <h2>3. It'll help beef up your resume</h2> <p>The more you can show a recruiter or interviewer that you're connected to your career, the better. Listing a professional association demonstrates your passion and drive, as well as your involvement in the field. Recruiters love data, and seeing something like, &quot;Co-chaired auction that raised $5,000 for guide dog program&quot; will definitely stand out. Similarly, you can use leadership roles in a professional association (&quot;Treasurer, 2017&ndash;2018: Converted organization's record-keeping to QuickBooks&quot;) to illustrate your skills.</p> <p>If your resume and cover letter skills need work, many associations also have a &quot;career resources&quot; page on their website for tips on formatting resumes and writing effective cover letters.</p> <h2>4. You'll boost your own technology skills</h2> <p>I was overwhelmed by social media until I began attending meetings of my local social media professional association. It helped me learn about the different platforms and what works best for me.</p> <p>Millennials are the generation that has most embraced technology. If that's your age group, you may find that a professional association is a place to use those technology skills and keep learning new ones.</p> <h2>5. You'll make friends</h2> <p>Remember, you already have one thing in common with people who belong to your profession's association: You work in the same field. There may be others with whom you have common interests, and you may be able to build a social support group within your new circle. I found I enjoyed a walking group with members of my professional association, and am currently interested in another group that does healthy cooking potlucks. It's a great way to bring a fun, personal element into your professional life.</p> <h2>6. They can help you find a new, or better, job</h2> <p>I work in human resources, and regularly receive emails from the Society for Human Resource Management listing job opportunities. That is the same case with most other professional associations. Many of them have job boards or announcements where companies seeking new hires can list openings. You might even come across some positions that aren't being listed elsewhere.</p> <h2>7. Educational opportunities</h2> <p>Need continuing education credits, or just need to learn how to do something new? Check with your association. If they don't offer it themselves, they may able to direct you to a source that does. Discounts may also be available, which brings us to the next point.</p> <h2>8. Discounts</h2> <p>Looking for travel, health care, or educational discounts? Your association may have some available. In addition, you'll often find discounts on websites or tools pertinent to your career field. For example, the Society of Professional Journalists offers members a 20 percent discount on a subscription to the AP Stylebook.</p> <h2>9. You'll find great material for work</h2> <p>Yes, you'll be inundated with material to read, but don't just ignore those newsletters and notices. I squirrel away the daily emails and read them in batches; the magazines I take home and peruse in my leisure. That stuff can come in handy.</p> <p>For instance, when my CEO recently said he thought our hiring process took too long, I could quote HR Magazine (April, 2017) in saying 28 days is the typical period of time between someone applying for a job and being hired ... but also that I'd look into ways we could shorten our process. In a competitive workplace, your association's reading and events will keep you ahead of the pack. Plus, let's face it &mdash; you'll sound more knowledgeable.</p> <h2>10. You can find, or be, a mentor</h2> <p>I found having a mentor to be extremely helpful in my career. Someone with vast experience in your field can give sound advice and help you stay motivated. Alternatively,<em> you</em> may be that experienced person for someone else, and it might be very rewarding for you to help a newbie. It can be a great thing to have a source outside of your own office to ask for advice.</p> <h2>11. Be active in your association</h2> <p>Sure, you can pay for the membership and do nothing, but that won't help your career much. Even if you're shy, taking on a small, manageable role in the association will help your career.</p> <p>Still on the fence? Explore your professional association's website, talk to someone who belongs about benefits, or attend a class or meeting. Once you actually get your feet wet, you may be much more eager to dive in.</p> <h2>A few things to consider</h2> <p>While professional associations can be a great boon to your career, they also have a few downsides. The first being cost: Joining a professional association often comes with a membership fee, and these can be pricey. However, if you are required to join by your employer, or pitch the idea of joining to them, they may foot the bill for you. Another potential expense to consider are meetings, which are often held at restaurants or cafes.</p> <p>Professional associations can also feel a little overwhelming at times, between the social media feeds, the association's newsletter, their calendar of events, and all the LinkedIn connections. For some organizations, there can be a deluge of information to read.</p> <p>Career-wise, however, the pros of joining a professional association outweigh the cons. If you can find and afford to join one, it can be a wonderful way to advance your professional standing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-professional-association-can-boost-your-career">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/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</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-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed">7 Networking Tips for the Recently Unemployed</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/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</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/dont-go-to-college-to-learn">Don&#039;t Go to College to Learn</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-get-someone-to-accept-your-linkedin-invitation">How to Get Someone to Accept Your LinkedIn Invitation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building clubs connections discounts events learning making friends networking organizations professional associations skills Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Marla Walters 1959134 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/falling_in_love_is_so_much_fun.jpg" alt="Falling in love is so much fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us dream about being able give up the day job and settle into a life of freedom, flexibility, and financial security in retirement. But unfortunately for many Americans, this dream is getting further and further out of reach. The reality is that the average age at which U.S. citizens are able to retire is on the increase.</p> <p>Being financially prepared is rightly a large concern, particularly because people tend to make big plans for when they do finally retire. It also means that some people put off following their dreams with hopes that they will be better able to afford them later in life.</p> <p>But if you're sensible with your savings and clever with your planning, it's possible to find a balance between securing a comfortable retirement and still living life to its fullest.</p> <h2>Take more time off</h2> <p>Taking vacation is something that shoots fear into the hearts of millions of people. Reasons for this vary from being worried about the amount of work that we'll face when returning to the job, to fears of losing our job altogether as a result of taking too much time off. It's a sad fact that the majority of Americans don't take their full vacation allowance each year, with 55 percent reporting leaving days unused, according to Project: Time Off.</p> <p>If you're among the large number of Americans who don't use their vacation days, then the first step to getting more holidays is simply to take them. Booking your vacations far in advance will allow your employer to plan effectively for the time that you're not there. It also gives you time to help ensure that whoever is covering you knows what they are doing and is properly prepared.</p> <p>If you're already using your allotted time off, consider asking for more. Requesting extra vacation is understandably daunting for many people, but as the old saying goes, if you don't ask, you don't get. It helps if you can provide justification for your extra holiday time, like a dream trip to Europe, and it's even better if you can demonstrate it will have a positive effect on your productivity. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review directly linked having more vacation days to an ability to get work done quicker.</p> <p>Another option that many don't even consider is to take unpaid time off. Though this may seem counterproductive, it's basically like buying extra vacation days. If you value your time off then it can work out to be very cost effective.</p> <p>Ask your employer about &quot;banking time,&quot; which basically allows you to work overtime shifts for regular pay (instead of the regular time-and-a-half), and then use those banked days to extend your holidays or take a few extra days off throughout the year when you need a break from the grind.</p> <h2>Focus on discounted, cheap, and free experiences</h2> <p>A great way to enjoy the quality of life that you crave without breaking the bank is to take advantage of discounted and cheap experiences. You might have a list of things that you want to do, see, or accomplish in your lifetime that you're putting off because you think it's too expensive. Instead, try looking out for when it's possible to do these things on the cheap.</p> <p>Always wanted to visit a certain country? Research when high season is and make a plan that allows you to go in low season instead. This will save you money on flights, accommodations, and many activities to do while you're there.</p> <p>Create a bucket list with a twist. Rather than containing activities that cost money, focus on experiences which cost little but provide you with a high sense of personal achievement. Physical activities are good for this, like hiking a certain mountain route or running a marathon, as well as things that will tax your brain like writing a book or learning an instrument.</p> <h2>Move somewhere cheaper</h2> <p>Lots of people envision moving away to a rural area or a tropical place when they retire, but why put it off until then? Moving to a cheaper city, state, or even country could allow you to live out your dreams, save more, and work less all at the same time. If you're not tied to your home by your job, then it doesn't necessarily even have to be a permanent move. You could spend half your time in the cheaper place having fun while still saving money.</p> <p>Numbeo ranks the U.S. as one of the most expensive places to live in the world. This means there's a lot of choice if you are looking for somewhere cheaper to settle down abroad. With 8.7 million Americans living overseas, you won't be alone. There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in" target="_blank">attractive, cheap locations</a> that could be the perfect place to call your new home.</p> <p>If you don't know where to start, write a list of what's important to you in your everyday life and research which places can accommodate those aspects of your life. Lots of countries in South America, Asia, and Europe are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries" target="_blank">significantly less expensive</a> than the U.S. but still offer a great standard of living.</p> <p>Moving to a new country isn't a decision to be taken lightly, and definitely not one that should be made based purely on cost. You need to be sure that the move is right for you and is one that will have a positive impact on your life. But there's no need to hold off until you're 65 to move to an amazing location.</p> <h2>Work from home</h2> <p>If your career is getting in the way of living the life you want right now, then perhaps it's time to start thinking about changing to something that will allow you to do this. The office environment is rapidly transforming, and working from home is no longer a rare and prized entitlement for the lucky few. If you don't have to spend time commuting or dressing for an office environment, you can free up time to do more of what you want to do.</p> <p>Lots of employers are becoming more flexible when it comes to this idea and there is a wide range of opportunities that are well suited for remote work. Advancements in technology have made remote working progressively easier, with a Gallup survey showing that 43 percent of employed Americans spend some portion of time working from home.</p> <p>Some industries that have embraced remote working include finance, insurance, and information technology, so it's a bonus if you already have a background in one of these fields. But even if you don't, the trend of working from home is growing, and may hit your industry soon.</p> <p>Don't confuse working from home with doing less. It's not a way to ease into the retired life in that sense. What it does bring is flexibility around when you work, as well as potentially huge savings in the time wasted getting to and from the office. It's also common for it to lead to increased productivity thanks to having fewer distractions at home than in a typical office environment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-retirement-hotspots-that-are-cheaper-now-than-ever-before">9 Retirement Hotspots That Are Cheaper Now Than Ever Before</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-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement">5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement</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/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</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-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement discounts experiences moving relocating remote retired life telecommuting time off travel vacation time work from home working Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1958436 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tricks to Score Discounts on Everything You Buy in Stores http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tricks-to-score-discounts-on-everything-you-buy-in-stores <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-score-discounts-on-everything-you-buy-in-stores" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_smile_532392166.jpg" alt="Woman scoring discounts on everything in stores" 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 get discounts on everything you buy in stores, tips for flying with pets, and how to move to a big city on a small budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.moneytalksnews.com/5-ways-get-discounts-and-save-big-bucks-stores/">5 Tricks to Get Discounts on Everything You Buy in Stores</a> &mdash; Use discounted gift cards that you bought online &mdash; just beware of scams. Only buy from reputable websites. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Tips-Flying-Pets-42824196">12 Tips For Flying With Pets</a> &mdash; Book your ticket early so you can reserve your pet's place on the plane before the limited spots fill up. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/tips-for-moving-to-city-16503/">How to Move to a Big City on a Small Budget: 21 Tips</a> &mdash; Consider selling your car if your new city has a well-established public transit system. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.mint.com/travel-tips/how-to-save-for-an-epic-backpacking-trip-042717/">How to Save for An Epic Backpacking Trip</a> &mdash; Be open to working on the road to fund your backpacking trip. [MintLife]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2017/0426/Volunteering-together-how-families-can-plan-a-vacation-that-gives-back">Volunteering together: how families can plan a vacation that gives back</a> &mdash; Vet all the volunteer possibilities that your family is interested in. Make sure the organization has been checked out and verified. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.officialcouponcode.com/online-shopping-safety-tips/">4 Tips to Stay Safe When Shopping Online</a> &mdash; Take time to check out an online retailer's contact info and purchase policies. It's a definite red flag if the contact information is missing or the policies don't make sense. [Official Coupon Code]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-easy-ways-dads-can-make-friends-with-other-dads">7 Easy Ways Dads Can Make Friends With Other Dads</a> &mdash; It can be difficult to meet new friends who are in the same stage of life that you are in. If you want to make friends with other dads, try volunteering at your child's school and being involved in their activities. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/5-travel-discounts-you-may-be-missing-out-on/">5 Travel Discounts You May Be Missing Out On</a> &mdash; You can get a lower rate on car rentals even after booking. Learn how! [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackthechips.com/8-ways-protect-assets-online-offline/">8 Ways To Protect Your Assets Both Online and Offline</a>&mdash; If you're a small-business owner or an entrepreneur, you need to know how to protect your assets both online and offline. [Stack The Chips]</p> <p><a href="https://lifehacks.io/how-to-take-back-your-life/">How to Take Back Your Life When You&rsquo;re Feeling Too Busy</a> &mdash; Don&rsquo;t try to pack your day with tasks and activities. Sure, you'll miss out on a few things, but that's okay. [Life Hacks]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tricks-to-score-discounts-on-everything-you-buy-in-stores">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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</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/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips">Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy, How to Store, and Money Saving Tips</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-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips discounts Mon, 01 May 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1936651 at http://www.wisebread.com 2017 Tax Day Freebies and Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/2014-tax-day-freebies-and-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/2014-tax-day-freebies-and-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-162329350.jpg" alt="woman holding burger" title="woman holding burger" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tax Day this year is Tuesday, April 18, and you know what? It's going to be a good day. Did you know you can get free stuff from a variety of restaurants and other businesses?</p> <p>Being a Wise Bread reader, you'll probably already have filed your return and pocketed that sweet refund months ago anyway. If not, let a free cup of shave ice or massage ease your last-minute, form-filling frenzy.</p> <h2>2017 Tax Day freebies</h2> <p>These companies are treating taxpayers to something gratis on or around Tax Day.</p> <h3>1. California Tortilla</h3> <p>Free chips and queso with any purchase when customers say the password "<a href="http://californiatortilla.com/2016/04/taxdayfreequeso2016/">tax man</a>."</p> <h3>2. Great American Cookies</h3> <p>The chain will continue its tradition of offering a free treat on Tax Day. This year it will be a <a href="http://www.greatamericancookies.com/press/great-american-cookies-gears-up-for-a-doozie-of-a-40th-birthday-celebration-with-great-deals-this-spring/">Birthday Cake cookie</a>.</p> <h3>3. HydroMassage</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hydromassage.com/taxday.cfm">Free massages all week</a>, from April 15 through April 22, with printable coupon.</p> <h3>4. Kona Ice</h3> <p>For what Kona Ice calls National Chill Out Day, the company's trucks will be parked at post offices, tax preparation centers, and businesses nationwide to hand out free cups of tropical shaved ice &mdash; and Hawaiian leis to boot.</p> <h3>5. Office Depot</h3> <p>Shred up to five pounds of documents for free until April 29 with <a href="http://www.officedepot.com/cm/print-and-copy/shredding">printable coupon</a>.</p> <h3>6. Schlotzsky's</h3> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1883774011903199/">Free small Original sandwich</a> with purchase of medium drink and chips.</p> <h3>7. Tony Roma's</h3> <p>Tony Roma's will be "writing off" a signature dessert for guests from April 15 through April 17. Any guest who orders an entr&eacute;e at a participating Tony Roma's will receive a coupon for a free dessert.</p> <h2>Tax Day deals</h2> <p>In addition to the free offers listed above, a number of businesses are offering special discounts for Tax Day.</p> <h3>1. Chuck E. Cheese's</h3> <p>This kids' utopia promises a tax day deal this year but hasn't disclosed the details yet.</p> <h3>2. Boston Market</h3> <p>Boston Market is offering a $10.40 Tax Day meal special: Half chicken individual meal with two sides, cornbread, a regular fountain beverage, and a cookie. In-restaurant only, no online orders.</p> <h3>3. Sonic</h3> <p>Half-price cheeseburgers on Tax Day.</p> <h3>4. White Castle</h3> <p>Between April 14 and April 18, Harold and Kumar's favorite restaurant will give customers 15 percent off all in-store orders.</p> <h3>5. Noodles &amp; Co.</h3> <p>If you filed your taxes digitally, you can get $4 off any $10 <a href="http://order.noodles.com">order placed online</a> using the code <a href="http://www.noodles.com/taxday/">TAXDAY17</a> at checkout. The promotion runs from April 12 through April 18.</p> <h3>6. Bruegger's Bagels</h3> <p>From April 12 through April 19, Bruegger's will be offering a Big Bagel Bundle (baker's dozen of bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) for $10.40. Stay tuned to <a href="https://www.brueggers.com/">their website</a> for a printable coupon</p> <h3>7. Chili's</h3> <p>Participating Chili's will be offering $6 blueberry and pineapple margaritas all day on April 18.</p> <h2>Past offers we may see this year</h2> <p>These companies have offered tax day deals before, but haven't yet announced what they'll do this year. Keep an eye on their websites and social media feeds!</p> <h3>1. Hard Rock Cafe</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hardrock.com/promo/sing/">The Sing for Your Supper promo</a> offered a free burger to anyone with the courage to sing on stage.</p> <h3>2. Staples</h3> <p>Like Office Depot, this chain usually shreds up to five pounds of documents free this time of year.</p> <h3>3. Arby's</h3> <p>The fast food chain has previously offered free curly fries on Tax Day.</p> <h3>4. AMC Theaters</h3> <p>Sometimes these guys give you a free small popcorn on Tax Day.</p> <h3>5. Cinnabon</h3> <p>Cinnabon has previously offered two free Classic Bites on Tax Day.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2014-tax-day-freebies-and-discounts">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/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A</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-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</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-times-you-should-demand-a-discount">8 Times You Should Demand a Discount</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/7-secrets-to-scoring-the-best-price-when-buying-on-ebay">7 Secrets to Scoring the Best Price When Buying on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs discounts freebies tax day Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:21:34 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1135644 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Students Can Travel Abroad for Less http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-497154266.jpg" alt="Students traveling abroad for less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The years you spend in college are arguably the only time you'll drink quite so much coffee, live with all of your best friends, and learn so much in such a short, intense period. They're also unique for most people in that you're given the flexibility to spend time traveling during long breaks from class or during a year spent studying abroad.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it's not a time when you're likely to be earning a lot of income that you can throw toward travel. But there are several ways students can save money and travel for less.</p> <h2>1. Enjoy cheaper flights</h2> <p>Websites such as <a href="https://www.studentuniverse.com/" target="_blank">Student Universe</a> and <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11820477" target="_blank">STA Travel</a> offer special rates on flights for students and youth. Although booking through a third-party website always comes with caveats (changes and cancellations may be more difficult, for example, than if you book directly with the airline), it's worth checking these websites for deals.</p> <p>StudentUniverse specializes in discounted fares for students at degree-granting universities, though it does also offer some flights for anyone between the ages of 18 and 25. It has been around since 2000 and works with 75 airlines to negotiate cheaper rates, passing on the discounts to customers.</p> <p>STA offers discounted tickets for students, teachers, and anyone under 26, and has been in business since 1979. Student tickets are marked with a little blue circle with an &quot;S&quot; inside for &quot;student.&quot; Youth tickets are marked in green with a &quot;Y.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Moves Students Should Make for a Gap Year</a>)</p> <h2>2. Always travel with your student ID</h2> <p>Be sure to bring along your student ID wherever you travel, since it can represent serious savings while you're away from home. You may already know that at some museums and historical sites, a student ID will get you reduced or even free admission. But some people are surprised to find that even movie theaters will sometimes also give a discounted price for showing a student ID.</p> <p>If you have some shopping to do before you leave, or you need to pick up some new items during your trip, Madewell offers a 15 percent discount on in-store purchases for students and teachers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Students</a>)</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of other student cards</h2> <p>Beyond a student ID, there are other student discount cards that can help you to save money while traveling. The <a href="https://www.isic.org/" target="_blank">ISIC</a> (International Student Identity Card) costs $25, but may be worth it, since it gives you access to more than 150,000 discounts on concerts, accommodations, museums, and restaurants.</p> <p>The ISIC card has the added benefit of being an internationally recognized means of proving your status as a student, which is valuable in places where a foreign student ID may not be accepted. Plan to order your card at least four weeks before your departure so that it will have time to arrive in the mail. You may even find yourself using it for discounts while you're at home, too.</p> <h2>4. Incorporate travel with your studies</h2> <p>Travel can be a unique learning experience, so why not get credit for your time abroad? Some universities offer amazing opportunities to incorporate travel into your course of studies. Check with your department about what kinds of internships or summer experiences it may accept for credit.</p> <p>Another option is to find classes that include travel. For instance, at my university, there were certain (highly coveted) classes that delved deeply into Italian art history. At the end of the term, the class took a two-week trip to see the artwork that they had been learning about all semester.</p> <p>Depending on your university and the specific department, these trips may even receive funding from the university to defray the cost of the trip for students.</p> <h2>5. Leverage study-abroad programs</h2> <p>Studying abroad is another way to seamlessly incorporate extra traveling into your student life. Not only will you get to experience life in whatever country you choose, you'll also have the opportunity to travel to areas nearby. Having a home base abroad for a semester can be an excellent way to get to know a different region of the world and learn about a new culture and language. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-for-study-abroad-what-youll-need-and-how-to-access-your-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Budgeting for Study Abroad</a>)</p> <p>I studied abroad in the south of France, and during that time, I was able to travel extensively throughout Europe, visiting Prague, London, Budapest, and Istanbul, to name just a few destinations. While these trips would have been extremely expensive from the United States, since I was already in France, I could take advantage of cheap airfare on discount airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet. Plus, travel time was often only a few hours, so I could see these new cities over a long weekend.</p> <p>I reduced the cost of these trips further by staying with friends or acquaintances who were studying abroad in other European cities. That not only saved me the price of a hotel, it also gave me more of an insider's perspective on these destinations. When I didn't have a friend living in the place I was visiting, I'd use <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/" target="_blank">Couchsurfing</a> to find locals who would host me for free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-during-a-semester-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Make Money During a Semester Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>6. Apply for grants</h2> <p>It's worthwhile to spend some time researching what grants are available through your school. Some top universities have travel funds for undergraduates to use for internships, research projects, or other programs abroad. You can apply for a grant to cover some or all of the costs of your travel and housing while you're away.</p> <p>Some grants are offered directly through schools, but others are open to students across the country. Spend time preparing your proposal, since these grants can be competitive.</p> <h2>7. Travel offseason for better rates</h2> <p>Prices can vary a lot depending on whether you travel in peak season or not. Take advantage of the flexibility of being a student to book cheap flights at less popular times of the year. Being flexible with your travel dates can pay off, too. Use websites such as <a href="https://www.skyscanner.com/" target="_blank">Skyscanner</a> that allow you to filter your search by the cheapest date to fly. If you haven't decided on a destination yet, you can also search flexible departure and arrival airports. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">ITA Matrix Is the Best Kept Secret for Travelers</a>)</p> <p>When I was in college, I decided to take a semester off school to travel, and ended up being able to take advantage of an opportunity to travel to Chennai, India from Paris for just $200 &mdash; half the usual price. Once in India, I traveled for a month on only $200, so my cheap ticket was the equivalent of an extra month of travel.</p> <p>While you might think that traveling is outside of a meager student budget, hopefully this list will show you some of the unique advantages that students have for traveling cheaply.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520Students%2520Can%2520Travel%2520Abroad%2520for%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20Students%20Can%20Travel%20Abroad%20for%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20Students%20Can%20Travel%20Abroad%20for%20Less.jpg" alt="7 Ways Students Can Travel Abroad for Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less">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/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</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/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</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/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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/caribbean-island-vacations-anyone-can-afford">Caribbean Island Vacations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel Airfare discounts flights grants identity cards offseason students study abroad trips Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1925373 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn't Make Sense http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-486437284.jpg" alt="Learning when bundled insurance doesn&#039;t make sense" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Insurance companies offer a host of ways to reduce the premiums you pay for auto, life, home, and health insurance. If you have a clean driving record, you might qualify for a discount on your auto insurance rates. If you install a security system to protect your single-family home, you might have to pay less for your homeowners insurance. And if you don't smoke, you'll certainly pay a lot less for life insurance.</p> <p>One of the most popular ways to qualify for a discount is to bundle different insurance policies together &mdash; say, your homeowners and auto policies &mdash; from the same insurer. Insurers will give you a discount as a reward for buying more than one policy from them.</p> <p>Bundling is popular. A 2016 story by InsuranceQuotes.com cited a U.S. National Auto Insurance study by J.D. Power and Associates saying that 58% of policyholders bundle their homeowners and auto insurance policies. InsuranceQuotes.com also reported that bundling insurance can save policyholders about 10% off their annual rates, if they land the best bundling deals available.</p> <p>But, there is a catch here, and sometimes taking out life, auto, and homeowners policies with different companies makes the most sense. Even though bundling might sound like the obvious choice for consumers hoping to save money on insurance coverage, there are a few times when bundling actually doesn't result in the biggest financial savings.</p> <h2>You Didn't Shop Around</h2> <p>The best way to nab the lowest rates on insurance is to take the time to shop around with different companies. This is far easier today, with insurers providing online quotes to potential customers.</p> <p>It can be tempting to skip the shopping phase if, for example, your auto insurer offers to provide a bundling discount for your homeowners insurance, too. But resist the temptation to take your insurer's offer until you've shopped around. You might find another insurer that will provide you a policy with a premium low enough to outweigh your first insurer's bundling discount. Armed with a lower quote from a competing insurer, you might even be able to convince your current insurance company to provide you an even bigger discount.</p> <h2>You Have a History of Health Problems</h2> <p>You'll pay far less for life insurance coverage if you have a history of good health. If your past is dotted with serious health issues, you can unfortunately expect your life insurance premiums to be higher. This spotty health history might also make it less financially sound to bundle your life insurance coverage with auto or homeowners insurance. Again, it's especially important to shop around with life insurance providers, especially when you have a complicated health history &mdash; including if you smoke or have a chronic condition.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that you may not want something as important as your life insurance coverage bundled through a company that specializes in say, auto insurance. In that case, it may be worth having it be its own separate policy.</p> <h2>Your Driving Record Isn't Exactly Flawless</h2> <p>Claim an accident on your auto insurance, and you can expect your premiums to soar. Again, it makes sense to shop around with different insurers to find the lowest rates when you are stuck with a spotty driving record.</p> <p>If you instead simply bundle your auto policy with the company that provides your homeowners insurance, you might miss out on lower premiums that will outweigh the bundling discount. Do your homework &mdash; even if it takes time &mdash; to discover if there are other insurers out there willing to give you a bigger break for your past driving mistakes.</p> <h2>You Need Specialized Homeowners Coverage</h2> <p>What if you need your homeowners insurance policy to cover an expensive jewelry collection? What if you need to insure solar panels on your home's roof? This coverage can be complicated, and cost more. Again, when you have such specific needs, if often makes more sense to talk to different insurers than blindly accept your provider's bundling offer.</p> <p>The main point here is that often, bundling will save you the most money. But there are exceptions, and you won't know the savings you might enjoy if you don't first shop around with other providers &mdash; even if your current insurer is promising a bundling discount.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">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/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</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-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance bundling discounts homeowners insurance life insurance policies rates savings Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:30:18 +0000 Dan Rafter 1905172 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-510513339.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if she should sign up for a store credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shop at enough chain retailers and you'll eventually be offered a chance to apply for a store credit card. Often it comes with a tempting discount on your purchase, and maybe even a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/same-as-cash-store-offers-vs-0-intro-apr-credit-cards-which-is-right-for-you?ref=internal" target="_blank">promotional financing offer</a>. But how good are store credit cards, and should you get one?</p> <h2>Benefits of Store Credit Cards</h2> <p>Store credit cards do have some upside to consider.</p> <h3>Get Discounts<strong> </strong></h3> <p>Retailers usually offer a discount on your day's purchases when you apply for their credit card right at the register. If you are making major purchases, the savings could be significant. In addition, many store credit cards promise to send you coupons and advance sales notices throughout the year.</p> <h3>Earn Rewards</h3> <p>Another benefit that a store card may offer is a rewards program that lets you earn points every time you buy something from the store. Rewards are often in the form of credits toward future purchases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=internal" target="_blank">best store cards</a> offer rewards or discounts of up to 5% of the amount spent.</p> <h3>Build Credit</h3> <p>Retail credit cards typically have much lower qualifications for approval than other credit cards. If you have a poor credit score or a limited credit history, you might be able to qualify for a store credit card before you can be approved for other cards. In this way, retail credit cards can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-credit-and-how-to-build-it-from-scratch?ref=internal" target="_blank">build a credit history</a> from scratch, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">rebuild your credit</a> after financial setbacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards</h2> <p>Now, the downsides.</p> <h3>High APR</h3> <p>While it's easier to be approved for a store credit card, it will likely have less competitive interest rates than other cards. While the average credit card has a standard APR of about 15%, it's not uncommon to find store cards with rates in the high 20s or even the 30s.</p> <h3>Limited Use</h3> <p>A store credit card may not be part of a larger payment network such as Visa or MasterCard, either. If so, then you will only be able to use your card for purchases at that store and its website, not at other merchants.</p> <h3>Lower Rewards</h3> <p>Retail credit cards may not even offer very strong rewards programs. Some store cards offer rewards valued at just 3% or 4% of your spending, which is not much higher than you could expect from one of the most competitive reward credit cards. Also, a store card's rewards will usually be in the form of store credit, which is never as valuable as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back rewards</a>.</p> <h3>Opportunity Cost</h3> <p>You always have to consider the opportunity cost of applying for a retail credit card. Since you can't practically apply for <em>every </em>credit card you are offered (and even if you could, too many applications hurt your credit score), you have to consider if a store credit card is a better deal than the best offers available elsewhere.</p> <p>For example, another credit card could offer you a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonus</a> worth far more than a one-off discount on your day's purchases. And a store credit card rarely has a rewards program that's as good as the most competitive reward cards. Additionally, there are credit cards available directly from banks that feature <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% interest on new purchases</a>. That's superior to the promotional financing offers available from most store credit cards.</p> <h3>When It's Okay to Sign Up for a Store Card</h3> <p>If you find that you are consistently buying from one particular store, it may be worthwhile to consider whether rewards and discounts from its store credit card will put a dent in your regular spending there. But don't impulsively agree to signing up at the register for a one-time discount. Smart spenders don't just consider their purchases carefully; they also choose their payment options wisely.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using 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/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping bad deals credit deals department stores discounts offers saving money Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:31:23 +0000 Jason Steele 1893290 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/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-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/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise">10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money on Your Next Cruise</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 Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gift_46067724.jpg" alt="Woman saving on Christmas shopping with gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, the average American <a href="http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/">spent $882 on holiday gifts</a> &mdash; and that amount does not include money spent on d├ęcor, meals, or clothes. Many people rack up credit card debt, and with high interest rates, that can make payments on their Christmas purchases for months after the holiday.</p> <p>However, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. You can still celebrate Christmas with gifts and decorations without going into debt. Using discounted gift cards is an ingenious way to stretch your budget further and minimize debt.</p> <h2>Why So Many Gift Cards Are Available at a Discount</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason stores love selling gift cards. Each year, you likely receive gift certificates or cards for your birthday or other holidays. And while it&rsquo;s the thought that counts, you probably tucked one or two away in a drawer and forgot about them. The average person has <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/">$300 in gift cards</a> going unused, and over $41 billion in cards went unredeemed from 2011 to 2015.</p> <p>Most of the time, cards are stagnant because the gift recipient does not shop at the selected store, or items at the location are too expensive to be covered by the balance of the card. Rather than let the card just sit in a drawer gathering dust, many people opt to get money back in their pockets by selling them.</p> <p>Cheap cards are available through online sites that are 3% to 30% less than their value. From Sephora to Target, you can get a gift card at a significant discount, allowing you to buy more with your money.</p> <h2>Using a Discounted Gift Card</h2> <p>Purchasing a gift card at a reduced price is like giving yourself a huge coupon. For example, you can get a $250<a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/buy-gift-cards/h-and-m/">H&amp;M gift card</a> for just $169.62, saving you $80.38. That means you can buy $250 worth of merchandise at a 32% discount. With that savings, you can buy more items within your budget &mdash; or save it.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can gift loves ones a discounted gift card and let them go shopping themselves. Buying a gift card at a reduced price allows you to give a more generous holiday present without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Where to Buy Cards</h2> <p>There are many sites that sell a wide range of discounted cards. These are three of the most popular.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> offers discounted cards from hundreds of retailers, from large big box stores to niche chains. Discounts change each day, and you can find cards marked 50% under their actual value.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Cardpoo</a>l sells cards up to 35% under value. They offer gift cards to stores like Lowe&rsquo;s, Best Buy, Target, and more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://giftcardzen.com/buy">Gift card Zen</a> is part of coupon site RetailMeNot. You can find cards for hundreds of retailers, including AMC Theatres, American Girl, and Macy&rsquo;s.</li> </ul> <p>Purchasing gift cards and using them for your Christmas shopping is an easy way to get more from your money. You can get a significant discount on your purchases, letting you celebrate the holiday without going broke.</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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">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-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</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-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</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-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</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/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas discounts gift cards gifts Holidays online shopping saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1812050 at http://www.wisebread.com The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_christmas_50816262.jpg" alt="Following a simple holiday budget anyone can follow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Promised yourself that you'd finally make a solid budgeting plan this holiday season &mdash; and stick to it? We've got your covered with these simple steps anyone can follow to stay in the black when the red and green take over.</p> <h2>1. Set Aside Only the Amount You Can Afford</h2> <p>So many people start the New Year in debt solely because of overspending during the holidays. You don't want that burden on your back. Rather, when planning your budget, allot only an amount you can actually afford, preferably in cash already saved, to the gifts you'd like to buy.</p> <p>&quot;Do not go into debt with holiday spending,&quot; warns consumer expert Kevin Gallegos. &quot;Making that commitment means changing your mindset. It may be telling yourself that giving people what they think they deserve is a mistake. You'll also want to avoid the trap of feeling you must give a gift equal to what someone gave you last year, or creating a perfect ski slope of presents under the tree. Chances are that your family and friends really don't want you to suffer financially in order to give them bigger gifts.&quot;</p> <p>It also stands to reason that they may not have returned the gesture in kind, either. So there's that.</p> <h2>2. Set Limits for Total Holiday Spending</h2> <p>Before you ever leave the house &mdash; or turn on the computer to shop online &mdash; you should establish how much you plan to spend this season and perhaps even on each person on your list. Having a specific number in mind will not only provide a guide as to what your limit is, but it will also help you choose the perfect gift for everyone based on how much money you've assigned to them.</p> <p>Alexis Nido-Russo is the owner of Chicago-based online jewelry store Local Eclectic, and she offers a very specific way on how to break down your holiday budget.</p> <p>&quot;Determine what your total budget for the holidays is, then map out who you have to buy for and assign percentages to each person or category,&quot; she says.</p> <p>For example, if there are six people on your list and your total budget is $1,000, perhaps your percentage breakdown looks something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Husband: 20% or $200</li> <li>Daughter: 30% or $300</li> <li>Mother: 15% or $150</li> <li>Sister: 15% or $150</li> <li>Mother-in-law: 10% or $100</li> <li>Best Friend: 10% or $100</li> </ul> <p>Of course, your specific budget and who appears on the list will vary. You also can shift numbers around if you find the right gift at a lower cost, or you can send that money back to your savings account where it'll better serve you. Also remember to factor in ancillary holiday expenses too, which can absolutely decimate your budget if you're not careful; things like holiday cards and postage, teacher gifts, travel costs, and food and drinks for entertaining.</p> <h2>3. Gather Your Coupons and Discounts</h2> <p>Go through your favorite circulars, emails, and apps to scrounge up all the deals and savings you can &mdash; then start to map out a plan of attack. For example, I'm on the email lists of many of my favorite retailers who send me a seemingly never-ending stream of promotional messages throughout the year, but especially around holiday time. (I recommend <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping">creating a dummy email account</a> for this to preserve your sanity, by the way.) Because I'm privy to insider information, I try to schedule my shopping around their biggest sales and pair them with additional saving that I may have from mailers, previous shopping trips, or in my text messages &mdash; all of which are excellent ways to receive additional discounts.</p> <h2>4. Make Cuts to Your Gift-Giving List</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we'd buy presents for everyone we know during the holidays &mdash; but that's just not feasible. So instead of trying to sneak everyone in because you feel obligated to purchase something, stick to those closest to you.</p> <p>&quot;If your shopping list includes more than five people outside of your immediate family, cut down on the number of people on your gift list,&quot; suggests Rachel Namoff, managing partner of Denver-based asset management firm Arapaho Asset Management. &quot;Then, make a homemade gift, like cookies, to give to all the people you snipped from your original gift list. Ensure you spread the holiday cheer without looking like a Scrooge while enjoying a fun activity with the family.&quot;</p> <p>If you still feel like you may be blindsided by a rogue gift for which you have a return gift, there are a few things you can do:</p> <ul> <li>Update your status on social media that details your holiday shopping plan and who's on the list. Remember, there's no shame in being on a budget, especially if money is already tight.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Contact people directly and let them know that you won't be able to exchange this year if gift giving to one another was established in the past.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Keep your unwanted gifts in storage to have at the ready so you can provide something in return if you feel so obligated.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Enlist the Help of Budgeting Apps</h2> <p>If you're not particularly financial or budget savvy, you can find help online. In fact, there are plenty of mobile apps that'll keep your holiday budget just a few taps of the finger away so you can access it while in real time while you're shopping. Gallegos recommends apps from Mint or Quicken to simplify the process, but there are plenty of others available &mdash; and we've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">detailed them in abundance here on Wise Bread</a> &mdash; that will track your spending down to the cent.</p> <h2>6. Thoughtful Homemade Gifts Are Cherished and Inexpensive</h2> <p>Namoff suggested baking cookies for those you're trimming from your main list this year, but there's no reason you can't extend this homemade concept to the more important people in your life. I'm admittedly materialistic &mdash; I love my stuff &mdash; but I'm not devoid of sentiment, thus I prefer thoughtful, handmade items over anything store-bought because I know what kind of time and effort goes into a gift like that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">You Can Make These 23 Delicious Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Another argument for going this route is that most people in your life rarely need anything that they don't already buy themselves. Personally, if I want something, I save for it and buy it; I don't wait to pawn it off on someone else at Christmas. Certainly I have provided a list of items to my family in the past, but those are merely suggestions and nothing that I need. What I need to know is that you care, and the best way to do that is to sit down and think about how to put a smile on my face at holiday time, and you'll get that reaction from me if you spent more time than money on my gift.</p> <h2>7. Stop Waiting Until the Last Minute to Do Your Shopping</h2> <p>They say the early bird gets the worm, and that's completely true at holiday time. While there are plenty of arguments on why Black Friday isn't necessarily the day you'll get the best deals &mdash; there are amazing offers all times of year and even between Thanksgiving and Christmas &mdash; but you will absolutely do yourself a disservice by waiting until Christmas Eve to buy presents.</p> <p>For starters, by then the pickins will be slim, and you're probably going to disappoint your loved ones with your laziness. Secondly, if you're an online shopper, you will often spend an incredible amount of money on shipping charges the last couple days before the big day, and even then you're not guaranteed that it'll arrive on time in some cases. Save yourself the headache, heartbreak, and surcharges by scheduling your shopping at least a couple weeks before the holiday.</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/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</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/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</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/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping apps Christmas coupons discounts gifts Holidays homemade gifts presents saving shopping lists Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:31:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1815065 at http://www.wisebread.com Calculate the "Stock Up Price" to Save on These Baby Essentials http://www.wisebread.com/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/90635409.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is no question about it, babies are expensive. Cute, but expensive. One way to minimize the cost of caring for your baby is to stock up on essentials when they are at a &quot;Stock Up Price.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Stock Up Price&quot; is the term given when a price point on an item is so low that you should buy several months' worth at one time. Of course, I am not suggesting you turn your garage or closets into a scene from <em>Extreme Couponing</em>. However, by buying extra baby essentials during great deals, you will save yourself money throughout the whole year. Also, it is always nice to avoid last minute runs to the store at closing time to buy baby items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h2>Diapers</h2> <p>The funny thing about diapers is that when your little one goes up a size, the diaper box comes with less &mdash; and yet, you still pay more. The smaller the diaper, the cheaper it is, but usually the more you will use.</p> <p>For example, newborn diapers cost around .27 cents per diaper without sales or coupons, and size 5 diapers cost .38 cents per diaper (based off Target's current prices). However, newborns can easily go through 10 to 12 diapers a day (costing $2.70 to $3.24 a day). My 19-month old wears a size 5, but she only requires about five or six diapers a day (costing $1.90 to $2.28 per day).</p> <p>Here is a good stock up price list:</p> <ul> <li>Newborn: Under .15 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 1: Under .15 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 2: Under .16 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 3: Under .19 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 4: Under .20 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 5: Under .20 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 6: Under .21 cents per diaper</li> </ul> <p>To save the most money on diapers, stock up when they are at or below the above price. The easiest way to do this is to stock up during a good sale. My favorite places for finding diaper deals are Amazon and Target.</p> <p>Many times Amazon will have coupons on their diapers, which can be combined with Subscribe &amp; Save. The only problem with Subscribe &amp; Save is that you have to wait for your shipment within three to four weeks. I just purchased a box of 160 size 5 Pampers for $30.81 (this price included tax), or about .19 cents a diaper.</p> <p>When you see a phenomenal deal, stock up on other sizes, too. For those who are pregnant or with newborns, I don't suggest stocking up on diapers past size 4. My first child was tiny and ended up being potty trained early, so she only wore a box of size 4 before she was out of diapers all together.</p> <h2>Formula</h2> <p>I don't suggest stocking up on formula until you know if your baby takes a certain brand. With my first baby, we went through about 10 different formulas before we found one that didn't upset her stomach.</p> <p>Once you find the formula your baby likes, then I would stock up on it anytime you could get it 50% off. Since baby formulas vary greatly by brand and unique baby need, I won't give a set stock up price.</p> <p>With my first, we used Similac Sensitive, and I would try to combine coupons with Similac's formula checks and store deals to get the $25 tubs below $12 to $13 and buy five or six at a time. With my second, we used Baby's Only Organic Lactorelief formula for almost her whole infancy. It was tricky to save money on this formula because it was an online-only item and it did not come with coupons or formula checks. Instead, I got the $13.29 can of formula down to $8 or $9 by buying in bulk from third-party companies or using Jet.com promotional codes and coupons.</p> <p>When you stock up, be sure to look at expiration dates.</p> <h2>Baby Food</h2> <p>For jarred baby food, stock up when you can get the price from .25 cents to .35 cents a jar. Squeezable food pouches are a great deal at .25 cents to .40 cents (expect to pay more for the organic varieties). You can find great deals on baby food by matching store coupons with manufacturer coupons. I advise only stocking up on flavors you know your baby loves. If you happen to score a bunch of cheap jars of pureed carrots or prunes, and your baby hates them, don't worry. You can hide the purees in smoothies, baked goods, or soups instead.</p> <h2>Wipes</h2> <p>Wipes are one baby essential that every parent needs. You might be able to breast-feed, cloth diaper, and even make your own baby food, but admit it &mdash; there will always be a time you need a disposable wipe. Stock up on wipes when they are about .01 cents to .015 cents per wipe, or less than a $1 per package of 72 or more.</p> <p>Sometimes you can get the price on the wipes down to the stock up price on Amazon, but it is easier to do in-store at CVS or Target when there are store coupons and manufacturer coupons that you can combine.</p> <p>The idea is to stock up on baby essentials at the lowest price possible so that you don't have to pay full price. If you regularly stock up on baby essentials at 50% off retail price, then you can easily save hundreds of dollars on your first year as a parent. If you have leftovers, just donate them to a local orphanage or pregnancy center and write it off on your taxes.</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/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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