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6 Insider Tips to Find the Cheapest Flight Tickets

6 Insider Tips to Find the Cheapest Flight Tickets

The summer travel season is almost underway, with many individuals finalizing ideas for destinations they want to go to. By this time, many individuals are beginning to look into flights now that dates are becoming solidified and graduations are finalized. However, the trouble with booking flights isn’t finding the best times or destinations, but it lies in finding a flight for the best price. Flight costs fluctuate and the amazing deal you thought you scored on Monday could be nothing compared to Tuesday’s deal. Today, we will discuss six tips to finding amazing flight deals.

1. Timing is everything.

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    Timing is one of the biggest aspects of finding the cheapest airfare to what ever location you are intending on traveling to. There isn’t a special equation or formula to find out the best date; however, there is a combination of aspects that can lead to the best price. Preferably, you should look to book flights between 20 days and a month before your intended departure. If you are going abroad, three months is the optimal time to look for the best flight deals. When booking, Tuesdays are the key days to look into actually booking your flight and Wednesdays are key departure days. On Tuesdays, airlines refresh their prices and reductions are usually added.

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    2. Think outside of the engine.

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      Search engines are a great way to get a great idea of where your budget should be when purchasing plane tickets. However, they should not be your only option when looking for flight options. Many times, airline search engines connect with certain airlines to ensure that their flights are highlighted more than others. Additionally, in many cases, airlines like Southwest, an airline that is known to offer well discounted flights, aren’t included in the search engine. When you do check out search engines, look into websites like Skyscanner, Hipmunk, and Student Universe.

      3. Be flexible.

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        Flexibility is the key to getting the most optimal deals with air flights. As mentioned before, air flight prices fluctuate, and being able to have a variety of date choices will open you up to a cheaper ticket a day or two before what you were intending. In addition to flexibility with dates and times, you’ll open the possibilities to even greater deals through flexibility in the departure and arrival airports you’ll be flying through. If no adverse situations arise, flying in one airport and going home through enough works because it allows you to make a deal package, taking a bit of one airport or airline’s price and that of another.

        4. Is the deal worth It?

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          You might find that an airline is offering flights at ridiculously low rates. However, as the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, then chances are it possibly is. Most of the time, airlines that have super low ticket prices, make up for the low cost through high baggage fees and baggage policies with tons of loopholes. In the end, this traps the consumer into more money being spent that wasn’t outlined directly. It’s highly recommended to read the fine print when booking with airlines that are quite inexpensive. If you have a question about a certain fee or baggage specifications, ask but continue to be cautious. Inexpensive airlines with truthful rates and policies may still be unreliable with accurate takeoff times, putting you at risk or arriving to your destination late.

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          5. Discover pricing trends.

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            Despite the fact that airline plane prices can be unpredictable, you can make use of pricing calendars and other services that offer pricing trends as a way of getting a better idea of how pricing increases and decreases with certain airlines. Some services, including Bing and Kayak offer a feature that signals to you if it’s fine to wait to purchase the airline ticket or if you should purchase now before another significant increase to the flight cost. Use a mixture of services, discover a trend, and come up with your best prediction of whether or not to buy and when. Making use of email notifications for airline prices, using services like Farecompare, can allow you to get great airline steals as well.

            6. Become a frequent flyer.

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              Lastly, a great way to get the cheapest flight tickets is to look into joining the frequent flyer program through some airlines. In addition, looking into credit card rewards that offer an array of options to transfer points to airfare costs, you might also find that some credit cards offer great deals when you book in their exclusive airplane booking portal for credit card owners. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well as special credit cards through each specific airline, like Southwest or Delta, are where you’ll find the biggest bang for your buck.

              Let us know in the comments below what inside scoop you have to finding the cheapest airline tickets.

              Featured photo credit: BHM Pics via bhmpics.com

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              Published on May 7, 2019

              How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

              How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

              When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

              Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

              Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

              You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

              Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

              1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

              Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

              But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

              • Will you spend more time with your family?
              • What does retirement mean to you?
              • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

              Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

              Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

              2. Figure out When to Invest

              “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

              It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

              The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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              A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

              Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

              3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

              Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

              Why?

              Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

              Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

              Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

              Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

              4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

              Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

              If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

              You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

              1. Vanguard
              2. TD Ameritrade
              3. Charles Schwab

              5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

              Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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              Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

              That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

              Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

              A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

              6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

              The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

              Robo Advisors

              Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

              Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

              Bonds

              Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

              Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

              Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

              1. Treasury bonds
              2. Government bonds
              3. Corporate bonds
              4. Foreign bonds
              5. Mortgage-backed bonds
              6. Municipal bonds

              Mutual Funds

              Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

              One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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              Real Estate

              Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

              Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

              This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

              But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

              Savings Accounts

              Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

              7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

              Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

              So how can you master delayed gratification?

              By building your discipline.

              Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

              Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

              8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

              I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

              It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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              More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

              But, how can you invest yourself?

              Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

              Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

              But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

              Retire Happy with Excess Money

              The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

              It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

              I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

              Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

              One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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              Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

              Reference

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