Personal Finance Tips While Traveling

Traveling around the world is my passion, hobby, pastime, or whatever you want to name it. I just love traveling and I take my family where ever I go. So even they love it, al least that’s what they say. Over a period of time, I have developed a habit of saving enormous amount while we are on a trip. This helps us to save some amount for the next trip. Let me get to the point and help you with few personal finance tips while traveling that can really save some money.

Food

If you are on a short vacation, say for a couple of days, remember to pack your snacks. When I am driving out for few days I carry string cheese, apples, and carrots.

A note on apples: To avoid sleep while driving, not is as effective as apples.

If you can manage to pack a lunch that can last a couple of days and lots of snacks, much of your money spent on eating in expensive restaurants can be reduced.

A day before you commence your trip, visit an eatery or a grocery store near your house and buy lots of snacks. Same foodstuffs at a tourist location or a crowded place or even a convenience store near gas pump will cost much more.

If you don’t like eating packed food, or carrying them, get some coupons. These discount coupons are quite inexpensive way to eat while traveling.

Carry lots of water with you. Something that’s freely available at home costs much outside. Lastly, be proactive and not reactive.

Gasoline

If your trip involves lots of driving, carry a cash-back credit card with you. I have also found that better quality of petrol provides better mileage. Probably, this is the only way to save money in this category. You cannot replace gas by anything else like water or beer.

Sometimes, my employer reimburses the amount spent on gas. So I get the whole amount back plus 3% cash back.

Hotels

Living in hotels is very expensive while on a vacation. For me, hotel was a major factor affecting our travel budget. Not any more. I reserve my rooms online well in advance. Several portals like MyPoints or Ebates offer a cash back scheme.

If you are a regular traveler, it’s wise to become a member of holiday clubs, or loyalty clubs that offer discounted stay.

Most of the time when we are traveling, we halt at any hotel on the way. However, since last year I have developed a new strategy that has helped me save a lot. Before going for a tour, I jot down the names and numbers of all the hotels in and around the place we had decided to halt at. I also jot down the details of hotels that are about one hour’s distance from our expected halt. This way, we have started to get the best deal.

Also, while selecting hotel, check weather it includes a free breakfast. When I travel with my family (5 members), it saves a great deal of money.

Additional suggestions

This is not a very frugal suggestion, but I am ready to pay $20 to $30 extra for cleanliness. I wouldn’t opt for a hotel that has creepy cockroaches and long hairs on the bed, just because it’s cheap.

If your family includes a kid or two, do make a note of malls on the way before starting your journey. The play area in a mall is the best refreshment you can offer your kids while traveling.

It’s good to save money while traveling but not at the cost of your life. If you are very sleepy while driving, get yourself a room to sleep, if not for whole night, at least for a couple of hours. Okay, if you want frugality here, get an energy drink and get going.

Personal Finance Tip – Pay Cash For All Non-Investment Expenditures

Most personal finance gurus continually stress the importance of budgeting for monitoring and modifying poor spending habits. However, I have noticed that most people who attempt to implement a family budget eventually give up on the activity, mainly because it takes the fun out of spending money. You know what, I agree! An impulse purchase here and there feels good! And as it turns out, an impulse purchase made on occasion won’t necessarily create a big problem for most us. The problems arise when we decide to make them on credit. Here’s an excellent personal finance tip for all you budget-haters out there – pay cash for all non-investment expenditures and eliminate your need to budget.

What is a Non-Investment Expenditure Anyway?

First off, let’s define investment expenditure. By my own definition, an investment expenditure is a transaction that involves the purchase of an asset that appreciates in value. On the flip side, a non-investment expenditure represents all other transactions. One quick check you can make before whipping out your credit card to buy something is to ask yourself, “Is there a high likelihood that I will be able to sell this item in the future for more than I am paying now?” If the answer is “no,” pay cash. If you don’t have the money, you can’t make the purchase. It’s that simple.

Examples of Non-Investment Expenditures

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our everyday spending is classified as non-investment expenditures. Groceries, fuel for the vehicles, dining out, your cell phone bill, a new pair of designer jeans – these are all non-investment expenditures. Some of these items may be extremely important, even life sustaining. But purchasing on credit, even for life sustaining expenditures, encourages excess. Let’s take food, for instance. To purchase enough food for the family to survive really does not cost much money. What costs us a pile of money are the rib-eye steaks, junk food, alcoholic beverages, and sodas we routinely buy. Moreover, these foods are bad for our health! Grocery shopping with cash forces us to reconsider the food choices we make, in terms of both health and money. And that’s a good thing.

What Else is There?

You may be asking yourself, “Would any of my spending be classified as investment expenditures?” For me, two things come to mind – your home and your education. A home is rather obvious because, over time, houses have always increased in value. A college education would also be considered an investment because it provides one the opportunity to earn more money than he would otherwise make. Because these two items are considered investments, taking out a loan to pay for them can be justified. In addition, home mortgages and college loans offer some of the lowest interest rates of any form of credit, making them even more attractive expenditures.

One Caveat to Consider

Although following the above advice can eliminate the need for a budget, one other choice must be made to assure financial success in the future. An automatic investment plan must be initiated to make certain your investment accounts are funded before all the money is spent. If you work for a company that offers a 401k plan, this is done automatically. If you have outside accounts, you will have to notify the firm to initiate automatic transfers from your checking account. With most firms, you can set up the automatic transfers yourself from your online account interface.

Summary

Although a budget is a fantastic tool for monitoring and modifying our spending habits, the cold hard truth is that many of us will never stick to one. Should these folks be doomed to financial hell for the rest of their lives for this so-called lack of discipline? Of course, not! Just follow our simple personal finance tip to pay cash for all non-investment expenditures and you, too, will reach financial success in the future.

Personal Finance Tips From One of Life’s Financial Victims

Good advice without strings is extremely hard to find nowadays, nevertheless, this is what I’m here to do. Yes, I’m offering personal finance tips that are both useful and practical, and what’s more, free of charge. Some of my personal finance tips you may have heard from others, and some you may not. However, even if you’ve heard them before, many of them are well worth repeating. After all, good advice always holds its value and none more so than personal finance tips from one of life’s financial victims. I’d even go as far as to say that not only do they represent sound advice, but these words are good enough to live by.

Always be Wary of Shoes

If you’re a man and married, here’s a peculiar and extremely useful personal finance tip I urge you to listen to. Strange as it may sound, please take note of the relationship between your wife and her shoes. Whenever you first marry, usually things start out quite innocently as simply just several nice pairs of shoes and, of course, some sneakers for wearing outdoor. But all of a sudden, it quickly turns out she’ll need a new pair of shoes for every new outfit for work, despite that she may already have two pairs of black shoes. “Ah”, she proclaims, “but none of my own shoes are like this new pair of black shoes”. Before you know it, you are up to your knees in a sea of shoes just to try and get out the door in the morning. And the problem grows steadily worse. This tip is as much for your personal sanity as it is one of my personal finance tips. Trust me on this one!

Replace your Light Bulbs

Recently I decided to change all of my current standard light bulbs to the energy-saving bulbs that only use a fraction of the power of the standard, yet emit greater light. So I ask you, what makes this one of my personal finance tips?

This is indeed one of my personal financial tips as the new energy-savers cost $35 for the entire house, which I have ascertained will save approximately $50 and $60 per month on my home energy bill. The point being, if you find ways to save money in your home, ultimately you’ll see a positive increase in the balance of your savings account.

Avoid High Interest Terms and Conditions

Credit is all very well, however, should you take the finance option to buy a $500 product, then with an interest rate of 25%, by the end of the finance period you’ll have paid out just short of $1,500 for the privilege. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that if you can save the $500 cash needed to pay for the product, you’ll save yourself almost $1000.

At all costs, try to avoid purchasing any item on a store credit card, as these tend to charge the greatest rates of interest. When it comes to personal finance tips, the best tip I can give you is to avoid high interest rates whenever you go on a spending spree.