Prior to a trip abroad, most likely you will research for the best deals for your hotels and flights. Now, the last thing you want to do is blow all your savings because you misused your phone and credit card while on a holiday.
Here are some tips to make sure you do things right:
Contact your bank
You need to let your bank know that you are going out of the country and you will be using your card. Your bank monitors unusual charges because of the prevalence of fraudulent activities. Call your bank so your account will not be barred or frozen. It will be a big hassle when you cannot pay for your dinner, right?
Withdraw form an ATM
As much as you do not want to use cash, you cannot just avoid it when abroad. Instead of throwing away your hard earned cash on money changers, you might as well get what you need from an ATM. You will shoulder some for fees but they can still be a lot cheaper, allowing you to stretch your budget a bit more.
Use your card as much as possible but make sure you get a fee free credit card first. Foreign transaction fees can be shocking so get a card from banks that do not charge for such transactions.
Use free Wi-Fi
Another shocker for most travelers is the monstrous phone bill when coming home from a trip abroad. This is primarily due to roaming fees and data charges. As much as possible use free WiFi at the hotel or cafes. Or if you do not have access to such, make sure you do not transmit big files like images, those can wait until you get back to the hotel.
A lot of people are searching for ways to somehow ease the effects of their annual taxes. You can actually go around some provisions of the IRS without committing anything that will incur its wrath. Here are some creative and meaningful wasy to cut your taxes:
Deposit to your 401K
The amount of tax you need to pay the government is based on your AGI or adjusted gross income. You need to look at the word “to taxes”. The more you push funds to your 401K the more you can manipulate your AGI.
Buy a home
If you are planning to purchase a home and your finances allow it. Do it. Buying a house can actually save you a lot of money on taxes since the home loan interest can be deducted. For the first few years of your mortgage, most of your monthly amortization will be going to the interest of the loan, so it is quite a huge sum if you will apply these to your taxes.
The property taxes that you pay annually can also be deducted. If you paid for points, you can also less that from your taxes.
Pay student loans last
By all means, pay off your credit cards if you can and if you want. You should settle last your student loan so you can wring every deduction possible off your taxes. Again, portion of the interest you pay will be deducted from the taxes you need to settle. You need to check with your financial advisor on how you can use this to your advantage.
When you exchange vows with the one that you love most, you promised that you will be with your spouse for richer or for poorer. Sadly, a lot of couples do not survive thru this promise because of bad money management. If you are also struggling, here are some money tips you can put into use as a young couple:
Talk about it
Even before getting married, couples should talk about their finances. Couples must go over the accounts that they have and determine how much debt they have to settle.
Couples must set their long-term goals. You must know how you want to pay off your debt or how much you want to save so you can retire comfortably.
You can combine your bank accounts so you can jointly manage your money or you can also keep your individual bank accounts. Having a joint account though can make things simpler and also help build trust in your married life.
Coming up with an emergency fund should be among your top priorities. This fund should cover for any unexpected expenses that may pop up like illness, home repair, natural disaster, or death in the family. About six months of your expenses is a good foundation to start with.
Couples should work together so they can stay within their monthly budget. This way you are sure that you will not go overboard and pile up your debt. Review joint expenses and also set limits for food, entertainment, and other expenses.