Top Ways to Save Money on Family Vacation

If times are tight, but you do not want your family to miss out on some quality vacation time, do not worry.  There are plenty of good ways to save money on family vacation, and still have a great time together.

Staycation can be the best vacation

In times of economic crisis, the “staycation” has a tendency to become very popular.  Take some time off, or schedule some time around when your kids are not in school and go on a staycation.  Sure you are not going anywhere, but  a staycation can be a great time to explore your hometown and surrounding areas, visit a museum or park that you always want to go to, but can never find the time during the rest of the year, or even just play fun games at home and relax the rules a bit for the kids.  Sure, you are not going anywhere, but with a little creativity you can have just as much fun at home as you would on the road.  Plus, since you are saving money on travel and accommodations, you can splurge a little bit on the family.  

Plan ahead

If you do decide to travel away from home, the best advice is to plan ahead.  This can be hard to do when it seems like plans and schedules change every five minutes, but if you do want any chance of a reasonable airfare or hotel rate, you should start making plans months in advance.  This will allow you the widest range of options and prices.  If you want to travel, you need to commit to it early on, and find prices that work for your budget.  If you wait until the last minute, prices for places you do want to go will either be extremely high or unavailable, leaving you to either fish deeper into your wallet than you want in order to afford a vacation, or not taking one at all. An other great option is to rent an apartment in less expensive countries like Nigeria from their local free-classifieds website! 

Care to make a trade?

Another great way to save on accommodations is by looking into house swaps.  Nigerians use free classifieds website and other sites to find a person or family in another city that is looking to come to their area, and in this way they spend less in accommodation. How does this work? You arrange to swap homes with them for a certain period of time, and you have a free accommodation in a new place! There are some things to keep in mind if you decide to give this option a try. You want to be sure that the people staying in your home are trustworthy, but that is an easy enough process, particularly when it will yield a clean, comfortable place to stay in an exciting new area.  You will, of course, have to pay for transportation to get there, but once arrived, you will be able to live like a local.

There are many ways to plan a low-budget family vacation, but the most important thing to do is be creative.  Think outside the box a little bit for fun things to do that do not cost as much as plane tickets and passes to Disneyland.

Money Saving Tips For Students

Student’s life is the most amazing phase in one’s lifetime. Obviously, ‘I hate studies’ attitude is not uncommon but majority are quite busy with preparing lessons, planning for future, participating in game or quiz shows and obviously socializing with friends on weekends.

So where is the time to manage finances and plan for money saving? Won’t it be an extra burden on them? May be, but they will soon get used to it. And by planning how to save at an early stage, they will certainly learn the fundamentals of finance management which will benefit them in future. In this article, we have just outlined four major money saving tips for the students. These are easy to follow and do not require the students to make difficult adjustment in their lifestyle.

Set up a Student Bank Account: These accounts are most ordinary type and require less charge. However, the interest aspect will not be as lucrative as it is in regular policies. But as you have to incur fewer expenses on service charges and other fees, student’s bank account is a good idea for decent money saving.

Save on Transport: This is a ‘GO GREEN’ means of money saving. If you own a car and drive it regularly to reach college, just have a look at your monthly fuel bills. In coming days, the amount will be a bigger size as the fuel charge is likely to shoot through the roof. Use public transport to save money on transport cost. Car pooling is also a good idea if you get some college friends with same class schedule.

Avoid Junk Food: Students get addictive to junk food. Most of them keep up at night for studies and easily get into a habit of gorging on junk food. Not only they gain weight but spend a lot for such an unhealthy habit. Those who stay on campus have easier access to junk food. Have home-made food in front of you. It will be healthy as well as cost-saver for you.

Live with Your Family: There is no denying that campus life is full of fun and frolicking. But life-at-home is not dull either. Think about how much you can save by staying at home. Those home-made healthy and yummy dishes! Also, you can avoid hostel charge that won’t be an easy sum on pocket. However, if your college is far away from home, it is wise to put up in hostel to save transportation cost.

Some of these money-saving tips retain their importance even for the service men or self-employed professionals. So, it means that you can continue saving a lot by following those tips. Saving is the next big thing to earning a paycheque. Till date, you depend on your family for money, why not earn it yourself? There are several part-time and online jobs that can earn you a goodly sum. And then, you will be able to bear a part of scholastic expenses on your own and the rest will make a way to your saving account.

Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Budget in Half

Let’s face it, none of us are made of money, and these are hard times, with the unemployment rate still way up. Most of us would love to slash our monthly budgets, but it’s hard to know how to go about it. Here are some ideas that will help you not just reduce your household budget but cut it in half.

You have to be willing to make some sacrifices, but it really is possible to lower your monthly bills by that much, as long as you don’t have any unanticipated costs coming up, like surgery or stays at alcohol rehab treatment centers.

Cut the Cords

A fast way to save money is to eliminate your cable and high-speed internet subscriptions. This may sound like an extreme measure – after all, who doesn’t like kicking back by watching the latest episode of Scandal on TV with your laptop open to Facebook? But the truth is that you don’t really need either anymore.

You can watch virtually any show, sometimes on a short or long delay, via network web sites or streaming services. Or catch up on a full season on DVD. And these days, smartphones have made desktop computers obsolete. If you need internet service for your laptop, pop down to the local coffee shop or grocery store; it’s available for free just about everywhere these days.

Slash Your Grocery Bills

First, ask yourself if you’re actually following a budget. In most cases the answer is no, and that can be a real problem. If you’re not planning out exactly what you’re going to spend at the store each week, you’re wasting money. You need a list that you don’t deviate from.

Cut coupons for everything on your list. Hit up the internet to find store deals and coupons for the brands you shop for most frequently. Don’t buy anything at full price, and don’t buy anything that you don’t absolutely need.

Eat more meatless meals; it’s cheaper to cook with beans and rice than it is with meat and potatoes. And don’t be afraid to buy off-brand. It’s almost always cheaper, and you’ll never notice the difference in taste.

Examine Your Insurance Policies

Have you ever considered raising your deductible to get a lower rate? You’ll pay less out of pocket, though you’re gambling that you won’t need to call that insurance policy into action, which can be nerve-wracking.

Be honest with your agent and say you’re checking out prices elsewhere. That could lead her to offer you a discounted rate to keep your business. And try to wring out every money-saving possibility, such as lower auto insurance because you work at home without a daily commute.

Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

When a Personal Loan Should Not Be Availed to Pay off the Debts

Taking personal loans to eliminate other debts can be a tricky situation. However, this is a major decision and one should know all about the personal loans, the advantages and the disadvantages associated with these loans before deciding whether to use them for dissolving other loans or not.

Whether you should take loans for bad credit or not purely depends on the situation, you are facing. In a real bad situation, when you do not have money to carry out your normal day to day transactions and neither have assets which you can put as collaterals, you may be left with very few options to get the necessary cash and to take care of your needs as well as debt repayments.

If you are considering paying your debts using credit cards, consider the fact that you will actually be paying debts, which are carrying less interest rate and replacing them with new debts with higher interest rate. Thus using credit cards could be suicidal in such case. However, if you take a personal loan the interest rates on these are much lower and one can still compare the other loans against the personal loans and see if using them for the debt payoffs looks to be a profitable decision.

Why people choose these personal loans?

Personal loans are meant for the situations where you have an acute financial crunch, do not have assets to pledge for loans, have numerous small and large debt repayments and are left with very little time to meet them.

Obtaining personal loans is an easy process, as borrowers need to complete a simple application form. No need for collaterals for these loans and one can get them directly wired to their active bank accounts or get the checks mailed to their residential address within a day or two at the max.

Why you should not use personal loans to pay off debts?

The personal loans offer lots of benefits like:

  • Flexibility to use the funds for any activity you desire
  • Easy availability ; within 24 hours in case of online loans
  • Less documentation and less processing time
  • No collaterals

Nevertheless, they remain another kind of unsecured loans, which attract interest and hence require repayments within a fixed time, which means taking another obligation when your situation is already bad owing to the other debts you are running.

Some of the situations where you should really avoid taking personal loans to repay other debts may be:

  • You need to compare the interest loans of the existing loans with the personal loans you intend to take. There has to be a substantial difference in the interest on the loans and take the loans only when your calculations show a good amount of savings in the long run.
  • One should remember that most of the personal loans come with no prepayment options and hence one needs to consider the age of the current loan. If an individual has already repaid the loan for some time, has no prepayment charges on closing the current loans and are in a situation where they expect an amount of money coming to them in the near future which can be sufficient to prepay the existing loans, it is better to wait and clear off the loans later than to go in for personal loans.
  • The next important thing to be considered is the tenure of the existing loans. If you have made repayments of more than 50% on the current loans and do have the capacity to repay them provided you get some time-off from the lender, it is advisable to talk to your lenders for the loan restructuring rather than closing these loans by taking personal loans . The new loans will have a different amortization schedule and hence you will restart on the interest payments that will result in losses to you.

So carefully assess your situation before committing to any new loans to pay off your existing debts.

Things to Keep In Mind If You Are Planning To Apply For SBA Loans

In the current economic crisis, credit has become a bigger issue for most businesses. However, the smaller ones are the most impacted as the large business houses enjoy a long term relationship with the major creditors and hence are able to get their funds as needed. However, the smaller businesses and the startups struggle to meet the stringent requirements of the banks and often fail due to lack of the necessary funds.

In such a credit crunch situation, U.S Small Business Administration’s initiatives to assist the small business owners through various programs, proves very beneficial. These bad credit personal loan help in setting up or sustaining many small businesses across the country. They are more popular because of their easy norms and quick processing which helps the business owners get the required funds at the earliest.

So let us understand what these loans are and how can you avail them to make your business a success?

It is important to understand that the Small Business Administration, a federal agency does not directly provide any unsecured personal loans to the borrowers but only guarantees a certain portion of the dues in case the borrower is unable to pay back the borrowed funds.  So they provide guarantees on the borrowed funds which reduces the risks for the lender, hence the lender is able to offer the loans at better terms.

Since the U.S. Government noticed that the commercial credit industry was not very committed towards the development of the small scale businesses, hence it formed the Small Business Administration to promote the set up and sustenance of these businesses. The SBA, since its inception in 1953, has helped millions of the small scale businesses avail easy credit with the help of its guarantees, which otherwise would have been quite impossible for these businesses.  By diminishing the risk of funding to small businesses, which often fail more than the larger ones, the SBA-backed loans give a ray of hope to many deserving organizations to sustain their growth.
There are certain conditions these businesses need to fulfill, in order to qualify for the SBA-backed loans. In fact any business can apply for these loans, as long as they fulfill some of the basic criteria:

  • Private Funding Rejection: One of the basic conditions is that you should have been turned down by a bank or financial institution as the SBA cannot guarantee for loans that can be availed on their own.
  • Size of Business to meet the SBA standards: Before applying for a small business loan, it is important that you check if your business falls under the definition on a “small business” in that particular industry, under the SBA guidelines. It is normally defined on the basis of the annual revenue or the number of employees, depending on the industry.
  • Specific Loan Criteria: Your business may need to fulfill other conditions if you are applying for specific loan programs like the 7 a or a host of others. You should look at the particular eligibility criteria in detail before applying.
  • Understand the Lender’s requirement: In addition to the SBA’s qualifying criteria, your business needs to conform to the lender’s requirements too, therefore choose the lender with care. There are some “preferred vendors” too who are authorized to approve the loans, and hence your approval can be much faster.

What To Look For In A Payday Loan?

Payday loans should always be reserved for true financial emergencies. If you have any other way of raising the funds that you need, you should use that option instead. However, if your only option is a payday loan to pay an emergency bill, what should you be looking for from a payday lender?

Compare Payday Loans Online First

The first thing that you should do is comparison shop to ensure that you find the best terms on the market. While you can expect to pay an interest rate of up to 60 percent or more, there are differences in the amount of time that you have to repay the loan and the penalties for failure to do so. Look for a lender that offers up to 30 days to pay the loan off while not charging excessive fees if you are late with a payment.

Don’t Borrow More Than You Need

When you compare payday loans, the amount that you can borrow should never determine whether or not you use one lender versus another lender. You should only borrow the amount that you need and not a penny more. This will make it easier to repay your debt while leaving you with nothing extra to spend in a frivolous manner.

Local Lenders Offer Better Service In Many Cases

Borrowers typically can find local payday lenders working from a physical location or decide to work with online lenders. Although you can get a loan decision faster when you use an online lender, a lender based in your community may give you more repayment options as well as better terms if you are late on or miss a payment.

Another benefit to working with a lender based in your town is that you don’t have your information ready to go when you apply for another loan like you do when you apply online. That time spent driving or walking to the lender could be just enough time to convince yourself that you really don’t need another loan to begin with.

Those who need a payday loan should borrow carefully. It is critical to find a lender that will offer reasonable terms and charge reasonable late fees. Otherwise, you could be making your financial situation worse than it already is.