5 Wise Ways to Save Money

ways to save moneyWe’d all like a few more dollars in our pocket every month. But making cutbacks in your budget doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think – and it could make all the difference to the shape of your finances.

Here are five wise ways you could save money:


Consider ‘couponing’â¦

Savvy shoppers know that getting their hands on the best cost-cutting coupons can knock more than a few dollars off their grocery bill. It’s even become something of a ‘craze’ for some dedicated bargain hunters!  Check out specialist online voucher websites, such as Groupon deals, and approach all newspapers and magazines with a pair of scissors at the ready: you could get your hands on discounts on everything from toiletries to restaurant meals!


Ditch the designer labels

Most of us really can’t justify paying hundreds of dollars on clothes just because something’s got a top designer’s name sewn inside – especially if we end up wearing it just a handful of times.  Try looking online or at the local mall for discounts on designer clothing, or for similar items at a fraction of the price. You might find the difference between ‘designer’ and ‘mall-bought’ is smaller than you thinkâ¦


Thinking of redecorating? DIY!

Redecorating can be costly – particularly if it’s a room with a lot of detail to consider, such as the lounge or the kids’ bedrooms. However, rather than calling out the professionals, why not approach things more economically?

See if you – or any friends and family – have any old paint you could use rather than buying it brand new, and if you know anyone who’s handy with a paintbrush and can spare a few hours at the weekend, why not see if they could help out?

Your local college may even offer night classes on things like plumbing – and remember that the long-term gains could outweigh the cost of the course fees.


Have car-free days

Leaving your car in the garage a few times every month, and walking or cycling to work instead, could save you a fair amount on fuel bills. Not only that, but you’ll also be doing the environment a bit of good – and getting an extra bit of exercise into the bargain too!


Try cutting back on ‘small spends’

Think about the smaller purchases you make on a daily basis that could be having a big impact on your finances.

Do you get a coffee from an expensive coffee shop before work every day? Why not take your own instant brand? If you use the subway, why not get off a few stops before the one you need and walk to save on travel costs? You may be surprised at what a big difference such little changes could make to your budget.


These tips could help if you’re generally managing your money well. If you’re having real problems with your finances and have fallen into debt, you might need to do more than cut back on your spending – and the debt section of the Think Money website could help you.

Honey, the Kids are Moving Back Home!

moving homeWhen parents raise their kids and get them up to that all-important age of 18 years old, they are prepared to say goodbye. This is because the teenager is usually moving on to their own, independent life either by going to college or getting out into the working world. These days, however, there is a new trend of college students moving back home in order to save money. What’s going on? After all, aren’t college kids the ones who like to go out and party? How in the world can they enjoy living back home with mom and dad?

Although many parents are sad to see their kids leave for college, commonly called empty nest syndrome, most of them get used to the idea of their new lives. In fact, many parents relish the idea of having the ultimate freedom to do what they want in life after finally raising their child to 18 years old. That’s why it can be quite an adjustment to have your grown college student living back in your house. This leads to the question of how can you make the process of living together again less of an imposition? Here are some ideas and tips to get you started when you find out that your college kid is moving back home:

Boundaries from the get-go

You have to think about your college student moving home almost like you’ve just taken in a tenant. There should be boundaries and rules put into place for what you will and won’t accept in your house. For instance, is there a specific time that you want the house locked down for the evening? Many parents don’t want their college student to be coming and going at all hours of the night like they are living in a dorm. As the owner of the home and the landlordâ, you are perfectly within your rights to set up rules that they are expected to follow.

Delegate some chores

Just because your college student is moving home doesn’t mean that they are relieved of housework duties. If they are going to be living in your property, they need to have certain cleaning tasks that they take care of. Remember that you’re trying to prepare your college student for the real world after they graduate. Letting them be a slob around your house is not teaching them anything.  I remember when some of our Composite doors had been abused and my Mom asked me to clean them.  It was my chore and I did it!

Paying your fair share

Financial contributions: Even though your college student has moved home due to financial reasons, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t contribute something to the household. Even if it is as simple as paying a quarter of the electric bill each month, your student needs to understand that they have to pay their way in life. Most college students have some kind of a part-time job to pay for their car insurance and gas. Sit down with them before they move in to decide what part of the bills will be theirs to pay. You don’t want them to move home and start living off of you again because that will only set them back from becoming independent after they graduate.

Teaching opportunity

For some empty nest parents, having a college student move back home can be a wonderful thing. You might feel great about getting to take care of someone else again. However, remember that your needs are not the only ones in play here. It’s much more important to make sure that your college student gets a real world wake-up call. The whole purpose of sending them for higher education is so that they can go out and be independent in their lives. You want them to be successful not only in their career, but also in their personal life. That’s why having these boundaries and rules in place is so important.

Let Savings Fall Onto Your Lap

savingsI’ve always believed that as long as your vacation is ahead of you, summer is clearly not over. It’s not unusual for me to wait until the fall, September or even October to make my yearly escape from the everyday grind. After all, I live in New York, so jaunting off during the summer months simply to lie on a beach is no enticement to me; we are frankly surrounded by beaches.

In fact, many New Yorkers save their vacation time for the winter months; that’s about when we start to get homesick for our beach-lying days. As a massive money-saver, I really enjoy the fact that my off-season vacationing can lead to a lot of savings, but most of all I appreciate dealing with a lot less crowds! Does anyone feel like Disney?

Vacation when no else is

The Travel Industry Association estimates that 23% of people report taking their vacation in the fall, which is a sharp drop from the 38% who reported a preference for vacationing during the summer months; fortunately, as the masses reduce, so do the prices. In resort areas known for their postcard-worthy beaches, the price drop is particularly noticeable. The Caribbean and Florida are two prime examples of this; hotel rates alone can see their rates drop almost 40% compared to peak season.

There are some places where tourism never seems to cease, big cities like New York and Chicago never seem to offer a prolonged period of off-season rates. But I live in New York and assume Chicago is pretty similar. Why would I want to go there?

Utilize credit cards to your advantage

I also fill out a lot of credit card applications throughout the year, simply to enhance my vacation savings when the time comes. Like many, I only associated the frequent flyer miles on my credit card with vacation savings, over the years I have expanded my repertoire, using different credit cards for everything from gas to hotel stays, each with their own built-in savings. Of course the flyer miles are probably still the best savings there is, but even with that, I no longer settle for just the typical 20,000 miles or so. Why would I when there are offers out there of up to 100,000 miles. They are not as easy to come by, but they do exist.

Do your research first

A lot of cards offer hotel programs:   these can lead to major savings, but it does take a little more work to do a proper comparison shopping on these cards. Often they will have a lot of blackout dates and capacity limitations. The ones that claim there are no blackout dates will instead have some strong capacity restrictions. Do your homework on these and you can save some serious cash. For local trips I, of course, have a gas card credit card that I use. Of course, with the high price of gasoline over the past several years, I often think it would be cheaper just to fly. Sometimes taking the scenic route can end up being the best part of your vacation. If it makes you feel any better, think of it this way:  using a gas card which earns money back means the more that you spend, the more you are actually saving. OK, so it’s a bit of a justification, but it is true nonetheless.

One other tip I learned the hard way: it you are going overseas on your vacation, make sure you use a card that at doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Most do and you will end up paying more for every purchase that you make â“ a real vacation killer for me!

Pay Cash or Finance a Car? That is the Question!

finance your next carWhen it comes to purchasing that shiny new car, you might be confused as to whether you should pay cash or finance it. With all the talk about personal finance these days, most people are either on one side of the fence or the other. You have one group of people who pay cash for everything and don’t believe in having any debt at all. Then there is another group of people who finance all kinds of stuff with the intention of paying everything off quickly. There are pros and cons to each approach that we will discuss below.


Perks of using Cash

When you pay cash, you get the perk of not having a monthly car loan payment to deal with. The feeling of not having to scratch out a check each month to pay for your car is a great one. Plus, if you run into any kind of financial, job-related or medical issues, you don’t have the worry of paying your car payment each month. When you pay cash, you also eliminate the need to pay finance charges and interest each month.

Another perk of using cash is that you can sell the car at any time, even if it’s at a loss. Buying a car with cash allows you to have a monthly budget with less of a strain. However, there are some cons to using cash to buy your car.


Obvious Negatives

The first negative for using cash is that you are using up your liquid assets to pay for something that will only go down in value. What else could you use that money for that might earn you a better return on your investment? Secondly, when you use cash you are taking away from emergency funds that might be needed for something else later. This means that you have to be very sure that your emergency fund is in place even when you take out money to purchase a car. You don’t want to put yourself in the position of not having liquid assets when you need them.


No Absolutes Here Folks!

So does this mean that you should always finance a car? Not necessarily. Again, there are pros and cons to both scenarios. Most people like financing simply because it means you’re using someone else’s money to pay for your car. Again, this frees up your cash assets for other important needs. Unlike a lease, financing a car means that you will own it once you have paid all of your monthly payments. There are some great loan deals out there including no money down and a 0% APR.


Bad Credit Might be an Issue

For people with credit problems, getting financing for a car might prove to be difficult. Many people with credit issues find that they have to purchase a car with cash simply for this reason. In addition, having a monthly car payment can put a strain on your budget and cause you financial problems if you lose your job or have other issues that affect your monthly finances. Anytime you are going to take on a monthly debt obligations, you really need to think through it clearly to make sure that makes the most sense for your specific situation.


Measure Twice, Cut Once

Whether you pay cash or finance a car, it’s likely to lose value almost as soon as you drive it off the lot. That’s why it takes careful consideration to make sure that you’re making the right decision for your personal financial situation. Much like a house, purchasing a car is a large financial investment and requires forethought to make sure that you’re not going to put yourself in tricky financial waters.

Start-up Marketing for Your Business Made Simple

start-up marketingWhen starting a new business, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to spend a lot of money in order to get things up and running.   Marketing and advertising can be very expensive if you go about it the wrong way.   However, when you’re starting up as a brand-new business, there is really no reason to sink a lot of your money into marketing until you do the basics first.   Let’s take a look at some unique and innovative ways to promote your business without breaking the bank.

Promotional items

It doesn’t cost that much money to get some simple promotional items for your business.   This can include things like personalized T-shirts, writing pads and pens.   The idea is to get people used to seeing your logo and branding.  One such company is Ideas by Net Promotional Items.  They provide some cool promotional items and I personally know companies that use their products.  You can order very inexpensive personalized T-shirts online.   In fact, you could probably get 10 shirts for well less than $100 on sites such as Vistaprint.com.

Social media

Perhaps one of the best ways to start marketing your business is through social media.   Even though word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to get advertising for your company, virtual word-of-mouth might be even better.   Get involved in social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, especially if your business is locally based.   The idea is to get your friends and family to start spreading the word about your business so that the information goes viral.   Create your own Facebook fan page and do things such as giveaways in order to get more traffic to it.   For instance, you could offer to do a drawing for a free gift card or some other perk for every person who likes your page within a certain period of time.

Use video

Getting viral attention for your business is one of the most important things that you can do early on.   Use video so that people can hear your voice and see your face.   This allows people to build rapport with you even if they haven’t met you yet.   Put these videos on your social media sites, but also on sites such as YouTube.

Get involved locally

Make sure that you get involved with some local networking groups or even your Chamber of Commerce.   Face-to-face networking is impossible to replace.   Being able to shake hands with someone and hand them your business card will go a long way to providing you with the relationships you need in order to grow your business.

Start a blog

In addition to your social media marketing efforts, it might make sense to start a blog where you give your opinions and expertise about your particular niche topic.   Again, this will set you apart as an expert in your industry which gives you more credibility.

Publish your own book

It might seem that it would be very pricey to publish your own book, but that simply isn’t true.   These days, you can use sites such as Createspace.com to self publish a real, physical book that you can put up for sale on Amazon.   Not only does this give you an opportunity for an additional revenue stream, but also gives you the ability to look like the expert in your field.   Think about your other competitors locally.   Do they have a physical book that they can hand to people?   The self-publishing process is actually free.   The only thing you have to pay for is a sample of your book at the very beginning which costs less than $9.


As you can see, there are some great inexpensive, creative ways to promote your business and get your brand name out to the public.   You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to do this!

12 Free Summer Activities for Your Family

summer fun One of the best times of the year for many families is the summer. And no it’s not over yet in many areas of the country!  Kids are out of school and families are able to do things together. However, the economy hasn’t allowed a lot of families to take grandiose vacations in recent years. That’s why it’s more important than ever to find free summer activities that your family can enjoy without breaking the bank. Here are 12 of our favorite activities you can enjoy with your family this summer:

Going on a picnic: Simply pack a picnic basket basket and head over to your favorite local park to enjoy the day with your family. Try a menu of sandwiches, fruit and potato chips to make things easy.

Have a  camp out   You don’t even have to go anywhere to have a great camp out. Set up some tents in your own backyard, grab the ingredients for some s’mores and enjoy an evening out under the stars.

Find the sunset: Think of a great place in your local area where you and your family can enjoy watching the sunset one evening. Make sure to bring your camera!

Sprinkler time: Many of us remember running through sprinklers as children. It was a ton of fun and didn’t cost a thing. Get some inexpensive sprinklers if you don’t have them and make a day of it in your yard.

Make ice cream: Homemade ice cream is some of the best stuff on the planet! Instead of spending lots of money at your local ice cream eatery, you can make it at home and build a lot of memories in the process.

Set up your own field day: Many of us remember field day at school where we played all kinds of sports and competitions to win prizes. Instead, set up your own field day right there in your backyard; invest in some slowpitch softball bats for a big game of softball, or similar activities.

Visit state parks: There are so many beautiful state parks all over the United States. You are likely to have one within close range of your home, so take a day to visit and enjoy. Many times, you only have to pay a small parking fee, if anything at all.

Have a craft day: Most kids love crafts, and many would highly enjoy spending the day as a family making all kinds of things. You can get craft supplies at the dollar store or just use things from around your house like paper bags and plates.

Local freebies: Many times, local museums and other attractions will have free days during the summer. Check around to see what you can find and get some culture in the process.

Fishing: Even if you don’t love fishing yourself, there is a great chance that your kids do. Taking a little fishing trip to a local watering hole, and it will provide a lifetime of memories.

Scavenger Hunt: Set up a scavenger hunt around your house or yard.

Family game night: With so many people running through life on hectic schedules, kids will really enjoy having a family game night where everyone gets together and laughs for hours on end.

Spending time together as a family during the summer doesn’t have to be expensive or cost any money at all. By simply taking the time to come up with unique, free ideas for entertainment, you can build a lifetime of memories with your family while never opening your wallet. After all, these kinds of activities are what you and your family will remember for many years to come.

5 Money Lessons From Street Solicitors

street solicitorOf all the guidance we can receive from observation alone, some of the most valuable lessons about budgeting and finance we learn from our parents and role models. As adults, the world becomes our campus, even the woeful street corners. Here are five universally recognizable street solicitors that have a thing or two to teach us about money.


The lady that asks for pennies

This lady is not going to give you a long-winded cautionary tale in a bid for your sympathies. In her wisdom, she simply asks, Got a penny?â. Her minimalistic style speaks to small-time investment and taking the low-risk stock choices on your 401-k. Do you have a single cent you can spare? Statistics would argue in her favor, just like the quantitative data arguing against lofty stock picks.


The unabashedly honest wino

This guy is looking for donations to the Get-Me-A-Bottle Fund, and he’s not above telling you so. He’s a high-rolling gambler, placing bets on the notion that transparency will both shock and appeal to logic. Keep your pennies â“ this guy takes nonchalant leaps of faith at every metropolitan intersection and has little use for anyone who wants him to change. Just like some of the more peculiar trading behavior on Wall Street, being purpose-driven but flippant is less likely to make you a millionaire on a whim. Just more likely to decimate your portfolio.


The ex-CEO still carrying a briefcase

This guy is easy to spot â“ he’s the one in the lounge-lizard’s collared shirt with a politician’s hand gestures. His entreaties for spare change are more polished than most used car sales pitches and will leave you walking away wondering what just happened. He could probably tell you more about avoiding capital gains and skewing the facts on your income tax return than anyone ought, plus, more than likely, a few scary stories reaffirming that the IRS are not to be trifled with. Don’t make deductions capriciously or without investigating the legitimacy of those breaks.


The man speaking to no discernible individual

On several downtown strolls, you might hear someone within earshot advising a mysterious party to exercise care when using that chainsawâ, except laden with enough slang to make a pirate blush. What he’s really saying, in so many flowery words, is that aimless networking is a practice in futility. Who are you trying to reach, and what are your financial goals? Don’t waste your financial ambition by sending it out into the wind. That’s about as strategic as putting a message in a bottle.


The lady that monologues her life story

She wants a bus ticket, but during the course of transmitting her request, relating her rich and storied childhood became a prerequisite to your charity. You may learn her father’s favorite sports team or her sister’s college GPA; how is one to know of its accuracy? This is basic resume-exaggeration and predictably, employing her tactics in the quest for employment can land you in hot water down the road, bus ticket or not. Relying on your true merits and genuine talents will only make your sense of accomplishment more vivid when the time comes.

(Guest contributor Rae Alton is a content specialist and tax dork from Greensboro, North Carolina; her personal hero is Alex P. Keaton.)

photo by fangel

Keep Your Sanity, Use Cash

cash onlyCredit and debit cards carry with them a terrible temptation. There is no discomfort when you use them. Making a large purchase with cash requires you to literally surrender real money from your hand. The pain comes immediately, whereas a credit card carries with it an “I owe you” quality and a debit card doesn’t provide that proverbial sting, because the transaction is conducted electronically.


My experience

I suffered this problem when I first got a debit card. It seemed effortlessly to offer a cashier my card, as if someone else was paying for a book, movie, or food. I also got into a predicament when I began buying a stream of books through online sites such as Amazon. It wasn’t until later that I realized how much I had spent in such a limited period of time, because I was not very thorough with my checkbook.

Maintaining an accurate and updated checkbook is one solution to the problem, but I also found another viable method which hopefully you can use and integrate into your own methods.



First, write out your budget for the month. Now, separate them into two categories: One for purchases, such as rent, which remain constant month after month. The second category is for purchases which can vary, such as gasoline and entertainment, and change frequently.

Take the second list and determine what can be paid for with cash and how much you are able to afford to allocate towards the second category each month. The rule of thumb is to be more liberal than conservative on the estimate.

Have this amount withdrawn from your paycheck or bank account at the beginning of each month and place it into either a specifically marked envelope or in your wallet and wrap it with a rubber band.

Then, simply use cash for your purchases. When you fill up your car at the gas station, eat out, or buy a movie or a video game, use cash.

What this does is make it easy and simple for you to determine how much money you are able to spend per month. All you have to do is look inside of the envelope or your wallet. Whatever you have left is what you can spend.


Observing other people’s mistakes

Working at a sporting goods store, I witnessed hundreds of customers spend over $1000 in a single purchase. Every time they did, it was with a credit card. I sincerely believe if they had reached into their wallet and taken out the cash equivalent, they would have taken a long second look at the items were they on the verge of buying and discovered it wasn’t worth the cost to them.

In fact, customers who did pay in cash often reduced the number of items they bought when they realized they didn’t have the necessary amount to pay for it. Rarely did they resort to their card to cover the discrepancy. When people lack of actual money to buy something, it creates a psychologically reaction, which usually makes them hesitant enough to not go through with the purchase. It’s reality politely telling you to ease off on the spending.

And it’s better than watching a cashier swipe your credit card, only to inform you that it’s been denied because you’ve reached your spending limit. Unlike Congress, you can’t raise your credit card limit just because you’ve hit the ceiling.

Certain items, however, can only be bought on the internet, and if you use eBay frequently, it is required to use a credit card. In this case, set up a separate bank account and have a scheduled transfer at the beginning of every month from your primary checking account. If possible, use a certain credit card only for such purchases. As before, it is imperative that you do not initiate any other transfers. Self-control is paramount.

A separate bank account and cash on hand will give you greater flexibility while also maintaining a limit on spending.


Cash makes you think twice

In a digital age like the one we live in, when you use cash, you avoid making purchases you’ll later regret, and it will spare you from a lot of grief which plagues those addicted to card-swiping.

The tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin is a moral lesson on fiscal responsibility; the people of the town took an “I owe you” on his services, and then regretted their purchase and refused to pay for it. Didn’t quite work out the way they wanted.

Think of the stereotypical adult, who is commonly is depicted buried amid a mountain of monotonous receipts as they attempt to balance their checkbook and confirm the accuracy of every bank statement. It is a tedious and painstaking process which can be circumvented in many instances.

If you use cards less and cash more, you decrease the number of bank transactions, thereby making it less arduous to navigate when you’re inspecting it for any oddities. Additionally, it decreases the chances of identity theft and are easier to detect them they occur.

A lot of identity thieves rely on the proliferative use of credit and debit cards to hide their activities. Often, they will make small, discreet purchases, which will easily blend in with other similar transactions, to test their victims. If no alarms are raised, they will continue doing so until they make such a large purchase that their cover is blown. Prevention requires either a vigilant consumer or a wise consumer.

Ultimately, using cash is a way to prevent bad debt. When you pay with cash, you’re paying up front. There is no monthly payment, no fees, and no interest rate.

photo by seanmcmenemy

Go Green, Save Money and Save Natural Resources for Future Generations

go greenDoing your part by going green goes a long way in help preserving the scarce resources of the planet we call home. Living an environment friendly lifestyle only requires a few simple adjustments. Not only is it a selfless thing to do, but there are some incentives that should motivate you to take action. By following some simple advice, you could go green and save money at the same time. In fact you will be able to make a difference in the fact that you will be able to leave something for the future generation to use.


Bottled water

Bottled water has become notorious among environmental activists, and for good reason. Plastic can take several thousands of years to completely break down and corrode. Think about the millions of water bottles lying in the landfill at this moment. Prevent another bottle from ending up there by using a reusable water bottle. You can fill it up from home or from a fountain. This will save you money. Buying bottled water can greatly add to your expenses. This is unnecessary considering water is easily accessible from a filtered faucet.


Document printing

Your work may require you to print out documents regularly. People tend to print out papers before proofreading it on the monitor. They catch a typo once it is on paper and end up having to reprint another one. Use a spell checker and make sure the grammar and punctuations are all in the right places before printing. This will keep you from having to invest in copy paper less often.


Bill Payment

You should also pay all your bills online. You can view all your transactions and statements over the web, so no need to have a paper copy mailed to you. This saves you the cost of a stamp each time.


Use Skype

Your work may also require you to attend meetings with others from different locations. Instead of commuting and meeting in person, use online methods such as Skype. This allows you to view and hear everyone from your monitor. This prevents an unnecessary road trip, which emits smog into the atmosphere. It also cuts down on the trips to the gas station. If meeting in person is required, then try to carpool. Keeping your tires properly inflated will also ensure better gas mileage.


Make a Difference

Do not believe for a minute that because you are only one person, that you cannot make a difference. Each effort you make to contribute to the environment helps preserve the resources for the next generation. Each small action you take can add up to a big difference. The coming generations will be thankful that they have some amount of natural resources still with them for use and they are not totally depleted.


(John created stock market basics in an effort to help beginners investing in stock market to be ahead of the learning curve and in the process make some really good investments)

photo by epsos

25 Money Saving Tips For The Holidays

Everybody the world over is feeling the pinch, making it more important than ever to find ways to save money. Holidays really can be expensive, so here are 25 tried and tested money saving tips to ensure you have a great break without emptying your wallet.traveling

1. Book your holiday early: If you’re splashing out on a major airline then you really must book as early as possible to secure cheaper flights.

2. Book your holiday last minute: If you’re flexible about where and when you go there are great deals to be found booking a last minute flight or holiday package.

3. Search for special offers: Keep an eye out for promotions and special offers online and in the press.

4. Grab a package deal: Package holidays are a great way to save money and cover a wide range of destinations

5. Holiday in cheaper locations: Check the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer to discover which locations offer the most for your money.

6. Negotiate, negotiate: Don’t be afraid to haggle with travel agents to bag yourself a bargain holiday.

7. On a study break: Students under 26 years of age should make sure they possess an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and an International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) to benefit from substantial savings.

8. Take what’s necessary: Avoid taking superfluous items to stay clear of excess baggage fees.

9. Shop online: Without doubt, some of the finest holiday deals are found on the internet, so get searching!

10. Avoid public holidays: Check that your holiday doesn’t fall on a public holiday in the country you are visiting as this will significantly increase your holiday costs.

11. Source your hotel away from the tourist spots: Accommodation is far cheaper a few miles outside the tourist centres. Book a cheaper room and use public transport to travel into the town.

12. Budget yourself: Set a daily spending limit and stick to it.

13. Seek local knowledge: Ask the locals where they eat and drink. Often these places will be far cheaper than the tourist oriented establishments.

14. Find the best exchange rates: Look online and compare their rates with those on the high street. It pays to conduct a little research.

15. Phoning home: Give the mobile a rest, you’re on holiday! Expensive mobile call rates can be an unwelcome surprise. Use email cafes instead to deliver a message cheaply.

16. Save on your sun tan lotion: Buying your holiday essentials at the airport duty free is a sensible way to save money.

17. Hire a car to and from the airport: Hiring a car and driver to cover your airport transfers saves on fuel and parking costs.

18. Fly unsociably: If you travel during unsociable off peak hours you can often make a significant saving.

19. Be alert to the budget con: Unfortunately, many budget airlines advertise their flights at ludicrously cheap prices, only to slap you with extra charges later. Wise up and find out exactly what it is you’re paying for.

20. Alternative travel options: People are far too eager to leap on a plane. Check out alternative transport like buses and trains to Europe and see some scenery while you make a saving.

21. Use that credit card: Find out whether using your credit card entitles you to air miles or other kinds of promotional benefits.

22. House swapping: Look online for people from other countries looking to house swap with UK residents. It’s a great way to see a different country for little money.

23. Use a hostel: If you’re not looking for luxury then using any of the thousands of hostels across the world is a great way to holiday cheaply.

24. Group book with friends: Sharing costs with family and friends on hiring a holiday house or villa can save you all a fortune.

25. Holiday with friends: Do you have friends living abroad? Then why not arrange a stay with them to catch up and extend an invitation to them at the same time?


(To save even more money on your holidays, compare car hire online with Vroomvroomvroom.co.uk.)

photo by Robert Couse-Baker