Archives for December 2015

How to Save Money at Disney World

How to Save Money at Disney World

Experiencing Disney World really is a magical experience. It’s hard to put a price tag on the memories you and your family will make there. But when you come down to it, it’s one of the most expensive vacations you can take.

 

Luckily, there are few simple ways to stick to your budget while you’re at Disney World. Here are the three biggest money-sucks of the Disney experience, and here’s how to avoid them:

 

 

  • Pricey Peak Hours: Go in the Off-Season

 

 

You’ve heard this a hundred times, but it’s easily the biggest Disney-related money-saving tip out there. Don’t go during peak times. This includes during the summer while everyone’s on vacation, spring break, or Christmas.

 

Some of the best (and cheapest) months to visit Disney World are in January, February, September, or November. Plus, taking a vacation to Disney World in those glum, colder months will give you a nice warm break in the Florida climate, and break up the tedium with something fun and exciting.

 

Not only will the park itself be cheaper in the off-season, it’ll be less crowded. Other money-saving off-season benefits include cheaper travel and airfare, cheaper hotel rates, cheaper car rentals, etc.

 

Steer clear of the busy peak months, even if it’s more convenient; ask off of work for a week if you want to save some serious money on your Disney World vacation.

 

  1. Costly Resorts: Book a Hotel Outside of the Park

 

The Disney resort packages can seem incredibly appealing, but unless you get some truly significant discount (for example; AAA members get a sizable discount at the All-Star Resort) then you should just book a cheaper hotel offsite.

 

There are hundreds of hotels orbiting the perimeter of Disney World’s gates, so you’ll have no trouble finding cheap and nearby accommodations. Sure, you’ll lose the novelty of staying in a Disney-affiliated hotel, and you won’t get all the cool resort stuff. But you’re rarely actually saving money when you book the Disney resort package.

 

Besides; you probably won’t be in your hotel room much. You’ll be too busy exploring the parks! Even if you’re traveling with a baby there are several nursery areas at Disney World where you can put baby down for a nap without having to trek all the way back to a resort or hotel, so closest proximity is less of a concern.

 

Most hotels near the park offer complimentary shuttle services that’ll take you straight to Disney World, so there’s no real reason to mess with the resorts unless you’re into spending more money.

 

  1. Sneakily Expensive Meals: Watch What You Eat

 

The biggest expense that Disney World visitors forget about is the high cost of meals within the parks. Packing snacks is a must, but of course it’ll only get you so far.

 

You’re sort of trapped in the parks, so Disney can safely ramp up the meal-time prices to $5 for a child-sized soda. Even the cheapest eats will cost about $12 per person. The good news is: most of the meal portions are massive. You can usually split meals between two hungry people and opt for water instead of sodas (you’ll want to stay hydrated anyway).

 

Stay away from the fancy snacks-on-a-stick and ice creams… they’re even pricier than the meals. Combo meals may also seem like a money-saver, but you actually wind up spending more, so go for the individual options, instead.

 

Pre-packed snacks and water bottles will be your new best friend, and if you loathe the idea of carrying it around with you, you can always splurge on renting a locker to stash it away for later. It’s still cheaper than spending a chunk of your budget on each meal!

Extreme Coupon Shopping Ideas

Extreme Coupon Shopping Ideas

 

American families on average spend between up to $1,000 on a combination of items each month, which could include entertainment, groceries, beauty care products, cleaning products and clothes, just to name a few. However, this does not have to be the case. Sacrifices can be made to lower this high monthly expense. In some cases, items can be eliminated or instead, purchase generic brands.

 

Enjoy Savings

There are ways around shopping and the opportunity to enjoy savings. Couponing could the answer for many Americans. There are four coupon levels, starting from the casual shopper to the extreme. Most people indulge in both level 1 and level 2. However, level 3 and level 4 are trending in many American homes. This is where couponing becomes the extreme strategy to shop. Let’s explore all four levels.

 

Level 1

This level is for the person that uses coupons casually, filling up an entire shopping cart and only using a few coupons (less than ten). Of course, the person will save a few dollars, but not as much as the extreme coupon shopper. This person is probably busy or too lazy to sit and cut out coupons.

 

Level 2

This level consists of a person who prefers to buy generic brands. This is where they think most of the savings are, shopping for generic brands only – without having to clip coupons. In level 2, this person believes that they can enjoy up to $300 savings on generic brand purchases. This could be true in certain situations and for specific products.

 

Level 3

Level 3 consists of the person that looks for the best shopping deal in sales and discounts, capitalizing on the opportunity each time sale items are advertised. In most cases, a person in level 3 will not buy anything that is not on sale and will likely combine sale items with available manufacturer coupons. You have to make an effort to save at this level by being patient and spending up to three hours a week in organizing the manufacturer’s coupons. You could save up to 95% for your efforts at drug stores and grocery stores.

 

Level 4

Level 4 is where it gets extreme and really requires your time and patience. You probably were not aware that you could use a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon to buy the same item in a store. If you did not know, now you know. Did you also know that if you were interested in a buy one, get one deal, two coupons can be used on the one sale item? If you did not know, now you know. Extreme coupon deals are usually combined deals where you can get double the savings and access to multiple deals.

 

Conclusion

It is not odd to have an extreme coupon shopper to have more than one Sunday paper delivered to their house. Now you are aware of the different levels of coupon shopping, what level do you fall in? Is it really worth the time? For many coupon shoppers, it is.

 

How To Recover Your Credit After The Holidays

We all know what it’s like to get carried away with holiday shopping, and if getting that January credit card statement is getting you nervous, you’re not alone. The good news is that provided you didn’t buy something truly major, like a sports car or a whole new house, your credit won’t have to suffer under the weight of your statement for long. Here are three easy ways to help you perk up your credit when the holidays have it looking a bit down.

Start Paying

This might seem obvious, but there’s a trick here. If for financial or personal reasons you want to pay everything off right away then go ahead. But if you’re looking for a credit boost, don’t pay everything down all at once. Instead, start making payments, but do it above your monthly minimum required payment. If you’re able, break the balance up into a few manageable blocks and pay those out monthly. The reason for this is a simple not-too-secret secret when it comes to credit cards and how they impact your score.

A lower balance improves your debt to income ratio, and a lower debt to income ratio raises your credit score. For that reason, the sooner you can pay down your debt, the better. Breaking it down into a couple blocks gives you a tiny boost in another area of your credit score, though – payment history. A large portion of your credit score is based on whether you’ve paid bills on time and in full. It won’t be an automatic raise in score on its own, but building a few reliable payments into your budget helps better your score in the long run, too.

Look For Suspicious Information

Check your credit score with a free, reliable resource like CreditKarma.com – and be sure to really research a site before you give it any personal or financial information. Take a look at your credit score and see if things look right. If something doesn’t add up and you’ve got questions, pull your actual credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

Go over them with a close eye and look for anything suspicious – anything questionable. Some fraud is more subtle than trying to drain your accounts or rack up charges on all your cards, so make sure to look carefully. If you see anything suspicious, dispute it right away. Don’t wait for the matter to get worse. Get in contact with both the credit bureau and any other companies involved to get the matter straightened out right away.

The holidays are a time ripe with fraud, and the best way to ensure you’re not subject to it is to look closely for any indicators before real harm can be done.

Start Saving

Once you’ve got this year’s debt all squared away, it’s time to turn attention to warding off a repeat performance next year. Start saving well in advance for next year’s holiday shopping spree, and you’ll be one step ahead and far less likely to reach for your credit card at the register next year, helping to keep that shiny new credit score as immaculate as possible.

How to Save Money on a Tight Budget

Saving money is quite a challenge that most people fail to accomplish in their daily lives. Not because many of them are just blowing excess cash flow on nonsense, but because they simply do not make enough money to pay themselves every paycheck. Before their paycheck is printed up, the money is spent on bills. There are some habits that need to be exercised by those people who cannot afford to save money. In today’s economical climate, employers are taking advantage of employees by hiring those willing to work for half the pay rate and demand twice the work from them. Let’s take a quick look at how saving little by little can result ultimately in a healthy savings account.

 

How to cut spending painlessly:

 

– A tight record of your savings should be evaluated by the end of every month. This activity will give you an idea of how much extra money you just spend on your trips to restaurants over fancy foods. These little saving budgets can make a huge change in the figures of your saving account, if you develop an efficient Budget Worksheet.

– Always look for necessary purchase only. It would be better to take a list of required items, whenever you visit grocery stores. This will help you to not to buy unnecessary items. Spending money on important things such as, restaurant, food and insurance should be your first priority.

– Usually, people carelessly spend lot money on the occasions such as, Christmas, birthdays, and holidays etc. for gift exchange purposes. It would be wise to only purchase few well-chosen gifts falling in your budget scheme, rather than going for costly pile gifts without second thoughts.

– Looking for online sales and coupons information in your local newspapers is also an efficient idea. Purchase of low-price products benefits you in every way.

– Always stay strict to the pre-fixed figure, for your savings account on weekly/monthly basis.

 

Reduce high cost debts:

 

– Payday loans and high-interest credit cards must be avoided if you want to increase your savings account. A credit card charges you with an interest rate of 25%, whereas payday loans charges 500% of interest rate. Avoiding these two can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars, surprisingly.

 

Save for Emergence:

– Always ask your credit union or bank to directly transfer money in your account. This little saving of 10 to 15 dollars results in 120 to 180 dollars, yearly.

– Generally, people don’t value loose change. However, adding loose change in your savings account could give you up to $100 over a year.

– Always pre-plan your emergency fund to be occupied in critical situation, rather than going for bigger loans. Although, such funds are being kept in sharing accounts, but on the other hand they pay you enough when in needy situations.

Take free money and save it:

 

– Participation in Investment Development Account (IDA) programs could be advantageous for you. Attending such financial activity programs and contributing in saving a home, education or business could save you approximately $900 yearly. Just receiving a $2 for every $1 makes your savings account happy.

– There are few employers who tend to match up to 100% of your contributions. If you come across such employers and they perfectly match your retirement savings, then let yourself to endure 100% advantage of such opportunity.

 

Being on a tight budget sucks big time! But there are new habits that have to be worked into your way of life in order to survive being financially challenged. There is nothing attractive about poverty. Though many hate that they fall into the poverty category, the truth is most of the country now falls in this dismal status. Before Reaganomics, many Americans got over with a $35K salary, purchasing their first home, car, and putting money away for a rainy day. When President Reagan took office, job security no longer existed and the country has never recovered. Many across the country do not have a savings account. They are working to keep their checking account from overdraft fees. Learning new spending habits and sacrificing can make all the difference.