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.
If life is being rough and your budget is really tight, it is most of the time difficult to find ways to put some money into your savings account. There are simple and little ways though that you can do everyday to start small and have a considerable savings after some time. Here are some tips you can put into practice and they never fail to work:
Make good use of coupons
When you use coupons, make sure that it is saving you a good amount of money. There are grocery stores for example which double the value of their coupons on certain days. Knowing this you can schedule your trip to the supermarket on this day. If you have coupons for sales of regular items, keep the coupons and wait for the sale.
Get used cars
You deserve that new ride but a new car is not always the best decision you can make financially. Go to your trusted dealer and get a nice looking, decent, and road safe car.
Add up your weekly spending on sodas, coffees, or other drink and you might be surprised how much you are throwing away. Instead make it a good practice to drink tap water. It might be a hard habit to start but you will not regret all the efforts when you check your bank account after a few months.
Use generic detergents
Given that you not have very sensitive skin, you can go for generic detergents instead of branded laundry detergents. Consider how much laundry you do every month and consider how much you can save every month.
Make your snacks
Instead of buying the individually packed snacks, get the big bags and just fill and refill zip locked bags on a daily basis. You can also go for healthier options like mixed nuts or fruits. It is not that big a hassle to prepare and pack your own snack cause in the long run, you will have more money to spend on other things.