Consumerism and holiday travel this time of year brings money savings to the minds of most. The pressure to buy gifts for friends and family can be crippling, not to mention having to travel long distances for some, and scattered schedules and paychecks for others. I have become a bit cynical about the increasing financial pressure this time of year. Thats why I put together some grinch-worthy holiday savings tips.
This time of year evokes warm winter feelings that draw people indoors, under blankets and next to the fire. What’s great about getting cozy and cuddling up to your home is that you save money!
The more you make use of your home entertainment, the less money you’ll spend out on the town. I know it is the holidays and it is your time off, but there is always a lot to accomplish in your home whether you rent or own your dwelling. Think about organizing your closets, insulating windows or maybe just spending quality time with friends and family. Best of all you’ll return to work in the new year well rested.
Learn to Cook!
Preparing home cooked meals has never been easier than over the holidays. There is no excuse since hopefully you have some time off to shop and cook decent meals. You can even get ahead and freeze some soups, lasagnas and of course cookies!
Ordering out every night or going to restaurants is, on the low end, $15 per meal, per person. That adds up really quickly! Besides, home cooked meals like the ones featured above are not only cheaper, but they tend to be healthier for you. So resist the delivery man and get your elbows dirty in the kitchen – your wallet will thank you.
Rent Why Don’t You!
If you’re planning to spend time in another city over the holidays for the purpose of seeing family, think about choosing an AirBnB rental to stay in instead of a hotel. It will save you money and sometimes gives you a more authentic visit in a new city. If you look for the right deal you could even rent for a month if you had to stay longer. This apartment featured on renterspages.com goes for just $310 a month!
With most hotels going for an average of $100 per night, you can guarantee savings from looking at local rental listings and short-term accommodations.
It’s Cold, Deal With It!
Its winter but that doesn’t mean we should waste precious dollars overheating our homes. 20 degrees is plenty and turning the thermostat down will add up when you get your heating or electricity bills. The thermostat can be turned down when you leave the home and when you go to bed. Optimize your energy-efficiency cost savings with the use of thick curtains or plastic window insulation film to trap heat in your home.
Cost Savings that Come Together
When January arrives you’ll be pleased to see that you don’t have large theatre costs and expensive meals adding up. You’ll see that you don’t have an unreasonable hotel bill and your energy bills are low also. Together these areas create significant cost saving. So get comfy at home, get cooking and start saving!
Choosing a bank is not a decision that should be taken lightly. The bank that you choose will be responsible for the safeguarding of your money for many years and the bank’s business practices can cost or save you a significant amount of money over that time. There are a number of things that you should keep in mind when searching for a new bank to hold your accounts. Here are some of the things that you should think about.
Before choosing a bank, you should review the different accounts that the bank has available and the features of each of those accounts. Most banks have a variety of different account options to choose from and each of those options will have different features that make it suitable or unsuitable for your needs. Once you have found a type of account that suits your needs, compare that type of account at several different banks to see which bank has the best terms for the account that you want. You may find that one bank has lower fees or lower minimum amounts than its competitors.
Many bank accounts have fees associated with the account that are triggered by specific actions or failure to take actions as detailed in the terms and conditions of the account information. For example, I have a checking account that will charge me a monthly fee of $6 if I fail to have at least $500 in direct deposits for the month or I do not use the debit card associated with the account for at least five transactions each month. I would not have chosen this type of account if I weren’t sure that I would be able to avoid the fee each month with my normal banking activities. If your normal banking activities will trigger considerable fees throughout the year, then that particular type of account is not the best type of account for your needs.
When choosing a bank account, it is important for you to be able to access the bank account easily when you need to. You should check to see where branches of the bank are located and how far away they are from your home or office. You should also review the locations of ATMs you can use without being charged a fee. ATM fees can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars each year at nearly $5 per occurrence and having to go far out of your way to access an ATM branded for your bank increases the chances that you will be paying ATM fees frequently.
Making mistakes with your money can be very costly accident. You can ruin your credit score and damage your financial stability quite easily without even realizing it. Avoiding these mistakes often involves changing the habits that lead to these mistakes.
Reducing the number of mistakes you are making is one of the best things that you can do to improve your financial stability because you will no longer be paying the costs of these mistakes. Having that additional money in your bank account is the first step in building wealth for the future. Here are some of the money mistakes that people make most often and how you can avoid them.
One of the biggest money mistakes often made is buying items impulsively while shopping at stores. Items purchased impulsively are often not needed, but you don’t realize that because you do not really spend any time thinking about the purchase. Purchasing items that you do not need could be wasting a lot of money that could be put to better use paying your bills or being saved for the future.
The best way to avoid this money mistake is to always shop with a list. Before heading out to the store, make a list of the items that you need to buy and the quantity of each item that should be purchased. If you stick to the list, you will only buy the items that you intended to, negating the effects of the advertisements and displays in the store to entice you into buying more.
Making Minimum Payments
Only making the minimum payments on your credit cards is a sure way to stay in debt forever. High credit card balances can be financially devastating and paying only the minimum ensures that the principal amount barely moves with each payment made. You should really make an effort to pay off credit card balances as quickly as possible to minimize the amount that you pay in fees and interest charges.
If you are unable to pay off the balance of your credit card in the month that the charges are made, you should make a plan to pay as much as you can from your monthly income until the debt is repaid. Paying off the debt quickly will keep your credit score high and ensures you will have credit available for any unexpected expenses that occur in the future.
Getting the best financial product for a borrower’s needs can help them improve their financial standing and solve many of their financial issues. There are many financial products available today from numerous banks and lenders, so it is important to review the features of each financial product to determine which one provides the borrower with the most benefit. Here are some indications that will show a borrower that they are getting the best financial product they qualify for.
Low Interest Rate
The interest rate that a borrower pays for the financial product is one of the most important indicators of the suitability of a financial product. The interest rate is determined the lender and often depends on the borrower’s credit score at the time of the application. Some financial products have a fixed interest rate for the entire term, while some others have an adjustable interest rate that can fluctuate both higher and lower. Depending on the value of the underlying financial product, a difference of a few percentage points could end up saving the person hundreds of dollars over the entire repayment term.
The repayment terms of the financial product must also be considered before making a decision on which one to choose. Some financial products are written for a period of several months while some others are repaid over several years. Financial products with longer terms generally have lower monthly payments but cost more when interest charges are factored in. Shorter terms translate into less paid in interest, but higher payments are required to pay down the principal within the time frame allowed.
Having a low interest rate and reasonable terms are great, but to ensure that everything about the financial product and the repayment terms are on the level, the borrower should choose a reputable lender to obtain their financial products from. Using the internet, a borrower can quickly find important information about the lenders they are considering, including news articles and customer reviews about their business practices. If much of the information found on a particular lender were negative, it would be best for the borrower to save themselves the potential headache and choose another lender with a better reputation.