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5 Ways To Avoid Travel Rip-Offs

5 Ways To Avoid Travel Rip-Offs

Holiday season is upon us and the excitement to get away can eclipse your careful budgeting. Often times, travellers will opt for convenience while they’re abroad or in transit and unfortunately, this convenience usually comes at a hefty price. Holidaymakers will be surprised on how much they can save with a little research and on top of helping yourself, you can be helping your friends and family in the process which can lead to them buying you a drink or two (we hope) with the money they save too.

Going on holiday should be fun and rewarding for all the hard work that has been done to save up for your holiday. The last thing you want to do with your holiday money is to squander it unnecessarily for an easy life, so we’ve compiled a list of 5 travel rip-offs to look out for and how to avoid them.

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1. Exchanging Money at The Airport

Airport currency vendors offer the worst exchange rate for travellers. They try to lure customers in by offering 0% commission but in turn give a terrible rate in order to make a profit. Moneywise.co.uk did a comparison and found that €1,000 at Travelex Heathrow would cost you £951.29, whereas using the same company’s online service would only cost you £890.95. Best advice is to compare rates and exchange money before you leave.

2. Organized Tours

Nearly every tourist destination will offer some sort of package that bundle in several sites to be seen for a fee. These tours are not always a bad deal but a lot of times, they are. The packages generally include 2-3 of the most popular sites along with several of the less popular, fringe sites that you may not care to visit. Many of these sites will have free entry but by paying for the ‘package deal’, you have now paid to get in. These organized tours may provide you with transport to several different tourist locations. However, a little research may indicate that transporting yourself is a cheaper option.

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3. Airport Parking

Waiting until the last minute can cost you dearly to park at the airport. Simply booking ahead can cut the cost in half. Even better rates can be found at private car parks that surround the airport, which offer a shuttle to and from your terminal. You can check sites like Airport Parking or Parking4less. You can also avoid airport parking completely by taking public transport or asking a friend or family member for a ride.

4. Buying Travel Insurance Through Your Airline or A Travel Agent

Airlines and travel agents will try to entice you to simply ‘add on’ travel insurance when you are purchasing your tickets or hotel. It seems convenient to simply buy everything at once. However, these travel insurance policies are typically more expensive and offer poor coverage. A simple search on Moneysupermarket will offer a family of four over £2 million in coverage (medical, personal liability, cancellation, baggage, etc.) for a mere £40.

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5. Mobile Roaming Charges

Even if you are travelling within Europe, South America, or Asia, roaming rates are fairly cheap now. Your roaming costs can be high if you use your phone frequently. Your cheapest option is to simply get a new sim card and pre-pay for usage. You will need to confirm that your phone is unlocked in order to use this feature. Also, turn off your data and use Wifi whenever possible.

You could also get a local sim card once you have reached your destination. What you will find is if you are with a group of friends or family and you all have a local sim, you will be subject to local charges calling each other within the country. Make sure before you buy a pre-paid sim card that you are aware of the charges to determine if you will save money during your holiday.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.studentuniverse.com/ via studentuniverse.com

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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