Save Money When You Travel as a Family

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It is almost the summer holidays for the kids; have you made any summer travel plans yet? It can be tricky to get some good deals last minute, but if you are looking for a last-minute getaway, then there are some things that you can do to definitely get a better price. So there is no need to panic! Have a look at these simple and easy tips to help you to save money, so that you can have some great family time altogether. It could be just the thing to start off your summer with.

  • Setting up price alerts can be a good way to get some good prices on flights. There are so many airlines to choose from, but there are some combinations of flights that are going to cost less than others. So using a site like Kayak, you can set up alerts, so that when the route that you want is at its lowest price, you will get a notification, so then you can go ahead and book.
  • Using the car can be a good way to save money, as even after costs of petrol and insurance, then it can be cheaper than flying. So if you want to stay in the UK, or want to drive into Europe, then making it a road trip is something that can be fun for a family, as well as help to save money.
  • Hotels can be pretty pricey, even last minute when looking for deals. And if you have a family, you may need more than one room, which really hikes up the price. It can be so much cheaper to look for somewhere to stay, using sites like Airbnb. Plus, you could even look for an Airbnb agent to list your home when you are away. Then the costs can be pretty much covered, which is a really good way of doing things when travelling.

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  • If you want a good price, then being flexible with your travel dates is really important. Little things like flying midweek can cost less than going away for a weekend away, like a Friday to Monday, for example. So although there will be a school summer holiday premium, there are still cheaper days to go, as well as times. Airlines like Ryainair usually have flights that cost less if they are the flights that arrive late at night.
  • Choosing your destination wisely is something that can really influence the price that you pay. Popular destinations do tend to be pretty expensive, so think about some less popular options. For instance, cities like Philadelphia and Chicago are great cities to visit, but they are considerably cheaper than New York. You could also think about choosing somewhere that involves a little more travel once you get there. 
  • Eating out for each meal when you travel is something that is going to end up costing a lot. So look to self-cater as much as possible. You will be paying for groceries if you were at home, but you wouldn’t be paying out for a meal out every day if you were at home.

5 Simple & Overlooked Ways to Save More Money

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Wish you had more money in your pocket at the end of each month?

You’re not alone. These days, more people are dedicating increasing amounts of time to ensuring that they’re getting the best deal on all of their expenses. Comparison websites have begun to pop up for everything from insurance to loans. You can check whether you’re getting the lowest interest rate on your personal loans in seconds or use brokerage websites like HappyPenguin Loans in order to get you the best deal!

If you’re one of the many people searching for budgeting assistance today, there’s a good chance that you may have overlooked the following ideas.

Try the 1p Saving Challenge

Over the years, there have been plenty of “challenges” on the internet intended to help people save more cash. For instance, there’s been the £1 per week saving challenge, which asks you to save an extra pound every week. That means you start by saving £1 one week, then £2 the next and so on.

If that seems like too much for you to manage right now, consider the 1p saving challenge instead. This involves saving one penny more each day, every day of the week. By the end of week one, you’ll have saved 7 pence, and by the end of the year, you could have saved £667.95. This is a great idea for people who want big savings without making a huge change.

Dust off your Piggy Bank

With so many apps and digital savings services to choose from today, it can be easy to forget the classic savings options. For instance, if you had a piggy bank when you were a youngster, then there’s nothing to stop you from using that same saving strategy again now. Dust off your old piggy bank, or just find a jar that you’re comfortable saving cash in.

Every time you get a pound coin in change put it in your jar, and you’ll see your cash start to rise pretty quickly. You can do the same thing with ten pence pieces, or five pound notes too – whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Katie Harp – Pinterest Manager

Round Down the Numbers in your Bank Account

Another great way to save some extra money is to round numbers down in your bank account when you’re figuring out how much money you have to spend. Instead of telling yourself you have £200 for entertainment and other expenses this month when you have just over £200, tell yourself you only have £190 and work on that instead.

Even cutting down your “available cash” by that small amount can change the way you deal with your money and make a massive difference to your future. The extra pennies and pounds that you save will add up over time. Even if you’re just rounding down to £10.00 from £10.50, you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in the long-term.

Switch to Cash Only

One of the biggest problems that people have when it comes to managing their budget is avoiding the temptation to spend on plastic. It’s so easy to flash a card these days and make a purchase – particularly when contactless payments are an option. However, this means that you can quickly overspend without realising how much cash you’re using.

Switching to cash only will make you more aware of the little purchases you’re making that you may forget about. For instance, if you know that you only have £100 to last you all month, then every extra pound spent on chocolate will weigh on you more heavily than if you were spending it on your card. Sometimes, changing the relationship that you have with your money is the toughest part of getting used to a budget.

Try No Spend Days

Finally, if you’re struggling to see a big difference in your budget, and you want to make progress quickly, one thing you can try doing is running a no-spend day once a week. These days are when you don’t spend any money on all. That means that you don’t spend cash on anything, even petrol, lunch at work, or a newspaper.

These no-spend days can be difficult to get used to at first, but they’ll show you how much you spend without realising you’re using your money. Additionally, your no-spend days will help you to make up for the other days when you’re constantly using money on little and big purchases alike. No spend days can make a huge difference to your routine with money.

9 Best Reasons To Start Saving Money Right Now

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Read any financial guide online, and there’ll be one tip that stands out every single time; save money! Everyone always tells us to save money, but do you even know why you should do this? Saving money can bring you so many benefits, and here are ten powerful reasons that’ll convince you to start saving right away:

To limit your spending

Stop wasting money by spending it on everything you see. We’re all guilty of it, and we all spend way too much on just about everything. But, if you start saving money, then you instantly limit how much you can spend. Set up a savings account with a standing order every week. Here, a set amount goes into that account, so you can’t use it to pay for things. If you’re a compulsive spender, then saving will help you calm your recklessness.

To help you buy a house

Renting a house shouldn’t be a full-time thing. We all need to rent at some point, but there comes a time where you have to look at buying a home. With your money tied up in property, it provides you with a safe investment. Plus, you no longer have to pay rent every month. I know, you’ll need a mortgage, so you’ll have to pay that back. But, it’s better to pay your mortgage off than to pay rent – which is basically paying for someone else’s mortgage! The only way you’ll ever be able to buy a house is if you save money. You need to save for the downpayment, which helps you secure your mortgage. So, if you have dreams of owning a home; you better start saving.

To help in emergencies

Sometimes, things happen when we don’t plan them. You were out driving your car, and you suddenly got in an accident. The insurance covered some of the costs, but you still have a lot to pay. Thankfully, if you saved money, then you have some spare cash to help in this emergency. If you didn’t have any savings to call upon, then you’d be in a tricky situation and would probably have to turn to a loan. As such, this brings me nicely onto my next point…

To avoid loans and the debt that comes with them

Some loans can be useful – mainly a mortgage – but most of them are best avoided. It’s not a good idea to get in the habit of taking out loans whenever you need money. Why do you even need a loan, to begin with? It’s probably because your spending habits have gotten out of control, and you need some cash to pay your bills. Well, if you start saving money, then this isn’t a problem. Not only do you calm your spending, but you also have money to help pay for things when your bank balance gets too low. So, you avoid loans and avoid ending up in debt.

For a better future

By putting aside some money now, you can plan for a better tomorrow. What will you do when you retire from work if you have no money saved up? A pension from your work will help, but you need your savings to feel more secure. You won’t have to worry about money issues in the future if you’ve already got some cash stockpiled and waiting for you.

Katie Harp – Pinterest Manager

For your children’s future

If you won’t save for your future, then what about your children? When you save money, you build up finances that your children can call upon when they’re ready. You start them off with their own savings accounts, so they’re not always struggling for money during their teenage years. Even your own savings will help your kids as well. If you plan on making a will, then you can set terms that allow your children to have access to all the money you saved. So, you help them have a brighter future even when you’re no longer around.

Avoid missing bills payments

If you’ve got some savings stored away, then it helps you avoid instances where you miss bill payments. This often happens when you don’t have enough money in your current account, so you miss the payment date. Now, thanks to your lovely savings account, you can dip into it to cover yourself. As such, you’ll never have to worry about missing a bill payment ever again.

For financial freedom

Being financially free is this idea that you can do whatever you want with your money. You aren’t forced into making decisions; you can do what you want when you want. If you save money, you gain this financial freedom because you start generating a nice fund of cash. Now, you can choose whether or not you want to go travel the world, invest in some stocks, buy a new car, etc. If you aren’t saving, you don’t get this freedom. You don’t have money built up to fall back on, which means you’re restricted in what you can do.

So you can quit your job

Are you sick and tired of working for a terrible boss that pays you even worse than they treat you? Sadly, a lot of people are stuck in a situation like this. They’re too scared of quitting their job because they need the income. The job market is a very competitive place; it can be months before you get another role! Well, if you’ve been saving money, then you should have a nice fund to help you while you look for work. As such, you can quit your terrible job and work on finding a new one. It can free you from your horrible 9-5 and let you experience a new career that inspires you.

The moral of the story is that you need to start saving money. It provides you with this added layer of protection, while also giving you the freedom to afford nice things. Saving money sets you and your family up for a better future – start doing it right now!

Are You Saving Enough For Your Child’s Future?

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Saving money for my children has always been a big thing for me – and for other members of my family. Jack was very lucky when he was born to be gifted quite a bit of money from family and friends and always gets some across birthdays and Christmas. Olivia, being the second child, didn’t get gifted quite as much but still receives some each birthday and Christmas too – although she is of the age that people tend to buy her clothes and toys!

They both have their very own savings accounts where they are saving their money for whatever they want it for in the future. We chose the bank they are using specifically for the benefits they get and can’t wait to see their final figure when they reach 18. But what I wanted to ask today is are you saving enough for your child’s future?

This infographic from Shepherds Friendly reveals some data they’ve collated – what are your thoughts?

Are You Saving Enough?Are you saving enough?

Survey results from 2,000 parents showed that only 43% of parents said they would consider opening a savings plan for a child – something I found very shocking!, 65% said they would only pay in between £10-£50 a month (not shocked by this, everyone has different budgets) and 32.8% are saving towards a housing deposit for their child.

We aren’t saving for anything specifically with our two children – we put money into their accounts, they put birthday and Christmas money in if they wish to save it and other family members put money into their accounts too – but what they do with it when they are older is completely up to them. Of course, we will encourage them to use it on something sensible such as a house deposit or a car but at the end of the day, it will be their money to do what they want with.

We are currently happy with the level of savings they have and what we are contributing however we do take a regular look at it to see if we can add more. Once we are completely debt free and our own savings accounts are looking a little more healthy, we hope to be able to contribute more but we are currently satisfied with what both the children have.

Are you saving enough for your child’s future? Do you believe in saving for your children or letting them save? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How To Cut Costs on Mobile Data

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The means by which we can connect and keep in touch with our friends and family are increasing and developing every day. It seems like a new app is released every week, claiming to be the next big thing in the social media world – a way to comment and upload and like everything all the time. And on top of this, we travel more, and I for one know how difficult navigation can be at the best of times, never mind in a new and unfamiliar location. So out comes trusty Google Maps. 

Yet none of this is without cost. Everything you do online, even downloading a new app itself, requires an internet connection, and for that, you have to have the data allowance that makes that connection possible.

Chances are, no matter what kind of mobile phone contract or SIM you are using, the data you are allowed to use has some kind of cap. Any that don’t have a cap are classed as unlimited, and though this may sound attractive it does come at a price. If you exceed the cap in place, the excess charges are vast. In short, if you’re looking to cut your costs, data is definitely the place to start!  

Priscilla Du Preez

How You Can Cut Costs

So how can you ensure you use less data allowance and reduce the risk of overspending?

  • Keep an eye on anything you download. Downloading something means to pull it from the internet onto your phone – taking up precious data. Movie streaming, in particular, will drain your data allowance, so it is best to keep this at a minimum when you are not on Wi-Fi!
  • With all this focus on data (3G and 4G) on your mobile phone, we haven’t yet discussed WiFi. WiFi is the saving grace of internet usage, allowing you to go online without cutting into your data allowance, thus saving the data for a time when you really need it (for example, when you’re lost on that winding road in Switzerland with no map and no WiFi!) Free WiFi is becoming increasingly common in public areas from cafes to libraries and should be wholly taken advantage of whenever possible. But remember, public Wi-Fi isn’t always the most secure.
  • Switch off automatic updates, for example, mail refresh and news stories on push notifications. These are unnecessary when you’re not using them, and a complete waste of data.
  • App refresh is another unnecessary tool that you can definitely do without. Take Instagram for example, app refresh means that your Instagram feed is constantly updating itself even when you’re not directly using the app, resulting in data usage to make changes that you don’t even know are being made. Go into your phone settings and turn off the App Refresh option.
  • Data roaming is the one other area where people slip up all too often. If your contract or allowance doesn’t include free data roaming, the expenses for browsing online while abroad are eye-wateringly extravagant. To be on the safe side, unless you are 100% sure that data roaming is included in your existing fees (all EU countries should be free to roam), head into Settings and switch data roaming off. It’s highly likely that your holiday destination will have WiFi of some sort, so you won’t be offline for long…

Opting for the right contract or package will inform the amount of data you have at your fingertips. If data is the main call for your mobile phone usage, then it is probably best for you to steer away from Pay-As-You-Go. Though an excellent option for those hoping to watch what they spend and keep a tight lid on their allowance, this is not a cost-effective way to get a large data allowance as pay as you go is more suited for light usage and you will find you drain your PAYG top-up extremely quickly.

In this case, we recommend SIM-only or a traditional contract with a large existing network. The contract is where you will be best placed to find a deal that offers, if not unlimited, then at least a very high data package, though this does come with a price tag. If you do apply for a contract, don’t be afraid to try haggling and I recommend employing certain techniques in ensuring you get the best deal, including shopping around and bringing comparison costs up with your network. If data allowance is your priority, then ensuring that this is the focal point of your contract will be important to ensure you get the right deal.