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4 Steps To Find Really Cheap Flights To Europe

4 Steps To Find Really Cheap Flights To Europe

Do you often hear of various ‘travel hacks’? Or friends claiming they know ‘when to buy’ and ‘when to fly’ helping them get the best flight deals? Well, the rumors are true. There are definitely better days to purchase your airfare, times to fly, and ways of booking to save you money. After all, the ‘getting there’ is usually the most anxiety-ridden part of your trip, so why pay more than the person next to you? Save that money! And bring home something nice for your mom instead.

While there are many places to find flight deals, one of the most searched terms in the U.S. is “cheap flights to Europe.” It seems that many living on this side of the pond just want to get away. Well, good for you, because not only is traveling good for the soul, but it can also be easy on the pocketbook, if you follow these four simple rules:

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1. Set a fare alert

What is this you ask? It’s as simple as heading to an airfare comparison search site and inputting your desired itinerary and email address. Then let the magic of data crunching happen. The result is an alert sent directly to your inbox the moment the fare you want drops. It is imperative you jump on purchasing the deal though, as other travelers are probably doing the same. Sale seats are always limited. Supply meet demand.

Note: This step is of utmost importance for international travelers as rates can fluctuate at non-regular times as opposed to domestic fares, which usually hit the interwebs each week on Tuesdays.

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2. Don’t delay shopping

Start shopping no sooner than five months ahead of time. Plan to purchase your international destination airfare right around 90 days out from your desired departure.

Bonus: For domestic flights, start shopping no earlier than three and a half months before departure and purchase around 30 days before, unless you happen upon an airfare sale. However, airfare sales usually require a 21-day advance purchase for travel.

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3. Do connecting flights

Okay, so you are lucky enough to live near a big hub with non-stops to Europe. Great! However, if you don’t mind a few extra hours, you may find a much better deal if you purchase a flight with one or more connections. Just don’t be hesitant to compare the non-stops to connections–a few hours could save you upwards of 50% off. Also, if you do not live near a hub, and take a flight from a small airport to a larger one, it might be worth to make the longer drive instead of paying for a short flight.

Example: Say you live in Twin Falls, Idaho. While there is a small airport with connections only to Salt Lake City, it might be cheaper to spend the money on gas to Boise or Salt Lake to get a great deal from the larger SLC hub.

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4. Don’t fly on expensive days

Midweek days are the cheapest to fly for international destinations, as opposed to the weekends.

Bonus: For domestic flights, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly!

Here’s an analogy to wrap it all up: I have a bus with 10 seats. My competitor has a bus with 10 seats. I start selling my seats for the highest price and so does my competitor. I sell two, but my deadline is getting closer. Therefore, about 90 days before my deadline, I have a sale to amp up the competition and sell more seats. Unbeknownst to the consumer, I only have five seats set at this price. I sell five with my sale price, and this leaves me with three seats. My competitor sells all of theirs, but now we’ve created demand for my seats. I have my three seats that are really close to the deadline to sell and, because of the demand generated, I am now able to sell them for the highest price!

You don’t need to crack some code on getting cheap flights, you just need a little insight (and maybe an analogy) to guide you. Check out this article with more travel tips for the ultimate guide on smaller travel hacks you may not know about. Enjoy your travels!

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Last Updated on August 21, 2018

How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Whether it’s consumer debt on credit cards, student loans or a mortgage, most people find themselves weighed down by debt at some point in their lives. This can keep us working jobs we hate just to pay the bills and keep our heads above water. By learning how to pay off debt fast you can release this burden and remove some of the stress from your life.

Today I’m going to show you how to pay off your debt fast using the Stack Method:

Step 1: Stop creating new debt

Most people do not receive training in handling money and how to live within their means. If you’re in debt then you’re probably one of these people and it’s time to bite the reality bullet.

It’s going to be impossible to get out of debt unless you retrain your financial habits right now.

You must make a stand against all the marketers trying to take your hard earned money or offering easy finance. You don’t need more stuff to make you happy. What you need is financial peace of mind.

So cut up your credit cards or freeze them. I mean this literally. Put them in a container of water and stash them in your freezer. T

hen when there’s an opportunity to spend, you have time to thaw out (you and the credit cards) and really decide if you need that purchase.

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Step 2: Rank your debt by interest rate

Make a list of all your debt with amounts and the interest rate. The highest interest rate should be at the top as this is what you’ll pay off first.

Paying off your high interest debt is the key to the Stack Method and paying off debt as fast as possible.

Interest is a powerful weapon and right now the bank or other financial institutions are using it against you. Interest significantly increases the amount you need to pay back and often we’re completely unaware of how much that is.

For example, if you have a $10,000 credit card debt at 20% interest where you pay a minimum payment of $200 a month, you will end up taking 9 years and 8 months to pay off the actual amount of $21,680 including $11,680 in interest!

Step 3: Lower your interest rates

You can often lower your credit card interest rates by doing a balance transfer. This means moving your credit card to another bank and they will lower the interest rate to get your business.

Shop around and try to get the lowest interest rate for the longest duration (preferably until it’s paid off completely). Just make sure you’re reading the terms and conditions carefully so you don’t get stung by the new bank in other ways.

Once you’ve done this you can order your list of debt again if things have changed.

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Step 4: Create a strategic spending plan

This is where we improve your financial control from Step 1. Take a piece of paper and write down your income after tax and all the expenses that you have. This will include the minimum payments on all your debt.

Look at your expenses and then rank them in order of importance to you. Look at the items on the bottom of your list and decide whether you’d rather have them or be financially stable. The objective is to create a Strategic Spending Plan where your expenses are lower than your income.

You also decide how much you are willing to spend on each area of your life. You can allocate amounts for rent, groceries, eating out, buying clothes and other activities however realize that once you’ve spent your allocated money there’s no dipping into other areas.

It also helps to have a Fun Account that you can spend on what you like and an Emergencies Account in case your car breaks down etc.

You also want to include in your Strategic Spending Plan as extra amount you’re going to use to pay off debt.

Can you afford $20 a week? $50? $100? $200 or more? It’s important that you get a realistic number that you can commit to each week without fail and this is your Stack Repayment.

Step 5: Create a repayment schedule

The first part of the Stack Method is to cover the minimum payment on every single debt you have. Any time you miss a payment, you incur fees and these add up quickly. This also includes making the minimum payment on the debt with the highest interest rate.

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Then for the debt with the highest interest rate (your Target Debt) you’re going to add the Stack Repayment from your Strategic Spending Plan. You apply this Stack Repayment and the minimum payment until that debt is paid off in full.

As your official minimum payment decreases, you add that extra amount to your Stack Repayment. So as your minimum repayment drops, your Stack Repayment increases equally. This will compound how fast you pay off the Target Debt by adding even more to the repayments you’re making.

Step 6: Reward your progress

You want to track your Target Debt so you can see your progress along the way. You can also decide on milestones that you’re going to celebrate and reward yourself on.

A reward doesn’t have to cost money but if it does then it comes from your previously allocated Strategic Spending Plan.

This is an important step as it will keep your motivation going when you feel your willpower fading.

Just like you’ve trained yourself to brush your teeth and shower, you can train yourself to manage your money. Feel great that you’re now entering the 10-,20% of people who are actually responsible with money.

Step 7: Compound your results

Once you pay off your Target Debt, you have a huge celebration and congratulate yourself. Then you move the Stack Repayment (which includes the previous minimum payment as well now) to the next debt with the highest interest rate.

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This becomes the new Target Debt and you are using your Stack Repayment amount plus the minimum payment for the new debt.

This is why the Stack Method is so powerful. As you decrease a debt you actually increase your Stack Repayment amount. This means the second debt will get paid off even faster, the third even faster than that, and so on and so on until you are completely debt free.

Step 8: Be kind to yourself

During this process, your resolve is going to be tested multiple times. Maybe you’ll have an emergency like your car breaking down or the need to travel for a sick relative. The important thing is to not throw up your hands in despair while going back to your old habits.

Life will test your commitment to your new responsible money attitude and it’s up to you how you respond. When things go wrong (and I guarantee they will) you need to shrug it off and get back on track.

Show compassion when you accidentally go over your Strategic Spending Plan and decide to do better next week.

The bottom line

The Stack Method is a powerful tool but it’s up to you whether you use it.

If you really want results, then bookmark this article immediately and start working through the steps.

It’s only by the decision you make right now that you will enjoy a debt free future and live a financially responsible life.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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