Money saving tips when reserving for a cruise

January 31, 2008

These past two weeks have been crazy, really.

Wasn’t able to find time to post because work has been driving me crazy. Sleep is almost non-existent but then again, at least I am productive. Well, enough about me.

Why cruises? Well, it seem impossible to save money if you’re going to a cruise. But there are ways, actually. The key is timing and smooth talk.

1. Book in advance.

This is a tried-and-tested way. If you’re the early bird, you may get discounts and get your most preferred room on board.

2. Bid.

Yes, you’ve heard it right. There are actually cruises on auction. Where’s the saving part there? Well, you will be able to operate on your budget for the cruise. I know auctions can make us go beyond what we really have but think about it, you will be able to develop the discipline on spending on what you just have because when somebody else bids higher, you realize how much you really have.

3. Contact a cruise specialist.

You will be able to take advantage of a better cruise deal when you have cruise specialist. They know their way around the industry and know when to stop bargaining. Just make sure you will deal with a reputable cruise specialist.

Spend within your means

As I’ve said, timing is the key. Operate on a budget. But don’t sacrifice a decent and comfy cruise experience just so that you’ll be able to save more. Practice balance. Bottom line, make sure you’ll enjoy yourself while on board but make sure you still have something to spend when you go back home till next pay day.


Money saving tips on how to be your credit report’s Swiss Guard

January 10, 2008

Receiving our credit reports takes us back to our school days where we feel putting our report cards at the ends of the earth.

Reality dictates that our financial standing is defined by what is indicated in our credit reports. Aimie, my colleague at work, cried the whole morning at the ladies room when she found out that her mortgage application has been rejected partly because of her credit standing. Felt really sorry for her and I now have this fear that the same thing may happen to me.

As much as we want to evade the numbers in the credit report, we have to face them and in facing them we have to make sure that it reflects the truth and nothing but the truth, as our financial adviser may help us.

Getting the services of a financial adviser is really helpful but can be very costly and at times stressful. Aimie is on her third day on appointments with her financial consultant and she told me that as much as she appreciates professional help, she can’t help but feel more stressed and to some extent dumb of money matters.

So, I went on a casual interview over coffee with a college buddy who’s now a financial consultant for a fairly successful production company in Buffalo in New York. Asked him on how we can get A-plus marks on our credit reports without initially hiring someone like him.

Make an annual analysis of your credit reports

Yes, we have to deal with the inevitable fact that we have to scan our credit reports. My buddy recommended logging on to annualcreditreport.com for free and secure uploading of credit reports.

If there are errors, call the credit bureaus first and foremost

Now, he said, if this happens, don’t panic. We can contact Experian at 1 888 397 3742, Equifax at 1-800-685-1111, and TransUnion at 1-800-888-4213 . Also, send only the photocopies of the documents that they will be asking from you and keep their replies. Also, it will really be to our advantage if we take down all our phone conversations with them.

Call up the one who reflected the negative mark

The trick to making the clarification with the source of the “red mark” is to make a friendly dispute. Choose your words but immediately present them with the necessary paperwork to support that you have a clean record.

Wait like you have never waited before

Revisions take months to be completely done so your patience meter should be on full time.

Keep a keen eye for tiny details

Review the personal identifiable information listed on your credit report. Check your physical and p.o. box addresses, your social, your name and other sensitive stuff. If there are inconsistencies, report them asap.

Checking is the key

Verifying is our main tool to guard our precious credit reports. Lucky for me it only cost me a caramel macchiato to get these tips.


Money saving tips to send your debts to oblivion

January 2, 2008

New Year means new moves.

As we said sayonara to 2007, we bid hello to a year of fresht starts. And what way to start this year than to trim down on our debts.

I know, everyone of us have debts in one way or another.  Maybe painful to admit, but borrowing is something that is almost next to the inevitable things on earth.  Once or more occasions in our lives were forces to owe someone money.  We make promises to pay them off as soon as possible but they end up piling faster than the birds migrate south during winter.

Slowly but surely

There have been a gazillion money saving tips on being debt-free in this lifetime and we tend to take them seriously at first but eventually we fall from grace and set them aside with the thought of a promising tomorrow.  But thing is, they won’t go away when we wake up. They’ll hunt us till we want to just sleep all the time so we don’t have to stressed out.  So, here are five money saving tips on tslowly but surely taking out debts out of our system.

1.  Don’t treat the past as past

When it comes to debt, anyway. Surely, we had things  that we regret spending on.  So, the first wayto being debt-free is to take note of our “spending shortcomings” in the not-so-distant past and make sure that we will NOT do them again. Looking back isn’t enough, learn from them.

2. Put pay the bills on the of your must-do list

This may sound stressful because we all try to evade bills talk as much as we can.  But facing the reality that they will be there even if we move houses will lessen our worries.  Make sure that your first priority on pay day will be to pay the bills.

3. Flush a portion of your bonuses to your outstanding debts

The last month of the year was THE month for bonuses.  So, if there’s still something left, use them to pay your debts.

4. Pay-off your outstanding credit card balances

Be content with just one card.  If you have more than one, examine the one which you regularly use and a higher limit and payoff the ones which you rarely swipe. This way, you have gotten rid of a considerable percent of your debts.

5. Keep track of what you owe

Adding to this tip, check them regularly. It’s somewhat stressing but the rewards are very fruitful. For a more interactive approach, you can log on to geezeo.com and wesabe.com. These two websites will be able to show your financial activities.

6.  Earn extra

Sometimes, no matter how we live frugally, it all comes down to the fact that we don’t earn enough. So, why don’t you opt for a second job. It may be lesser hours or a full-time one but the bottom line is, we need to earn more to get rid of our debts and by earning more, we owe less.

Easier said than done

Know that these money saving tips spell easy to do.  Decreasing our debts is hard to do.  The challenge is to do them one day at a time.


Money saving tips on cutting down on your tax bill

December 26, 2007

It’s T minus 4 days before 2007 ends so do the time to pay our taxes is also looming.

In the deepest of our hearts, we just want to pay the most reasonable tax as we want to make sure that they go to where they should be. For at the end of the day, tax is one of the two things in this world that is inevitable. Death being the other one, of course.

So, have come up with a few money saving tips on how to wisely and legally cut down on your tax bill for this year and for the coming years to come.

  • Donate now
    Now is one of the perfect times to give something to charities. The accepted amount that you can donate should not be more than 50% of your annual gross income. But make sure to give to a charitable institution that you truly support. It’s your hard-earned money that they’ll be getting.
  • Be environment-friendly
    Buying the eco-friendly stuff can make give you a $500 savings and less tax. IRS.gov says that we can save $50 for getting a main air circulating fan and a propane and $150 for a qualified natural gas. A high-efficiency air conditioning system or water heater can qualify us for a $300 tax.
  • Chip something to your retirement plan
    Even if you’re still young and strong, it’s prudent to put up on your retirement. You can donate to a maximum of $15,000 or $20,500 if you’re in your 50’s.

Paying our taxes is one of the thing we will do in our lifetime. Some manage to evade but in the end still get busted. But I can understand some who are hesitant because we want to really see how our taxes are spent. Just have to do our part and monitor what is happening around us.


Money saving tips on shopping for the real eco-friendly products

December 20, 2007

Every one is realizing the need to go green. Want proof? Look at this year’s Nobel prize winners. Efforts to make people use environment friendly products are more aggressive and assertive more than ever.I bet you’re making efforts to go green yourselves. I, for one have purchased LED lights this year. Yes, I was inspired by the beautiful Christmas tree in Rockefeller plaza. The need to go environment friendly is more necessary now. But there’s a catch, how do we know if we’re really buying “green” products? Well, with these money saving tips, we don’t need degrees in biology to figure if we’re really being friendliest to mother nature and at the end of the day save more bucks.

  • Do your research

There are online environmental agencies where you can do a little background check on the “greenness” of the products you’re eyeing for. You have fscus.org by the International Forest Alliance Stewardship to give you a complete list of wood-made products that were manufactured without any damage or waste, no over-consumption and over-harvesting. Made-by.com, a Netherlands-based organization monitors a garment’s “footprint” The footprint is a record of how the garment was made, from the materials to the actual production.

  • Spot the label

Be sure to check a product’s label to see if it has passed environment safety standards. Look for (Design for the Environment) DfE logos in household cleaners. If this is mark is present, it means that the items are made with low-volatile organic compounds. If these compounds are in their highs, they can cause serious damage to groundwater and give out greenhouse gasses. The end result, well, we all now experience a dose of that. Just look at the 7 inches of snow in some states.

Also, look for “Energystar” in your kitchen appliances. This reflects that the kitchen products are energy-efficient. All labels are given by the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Think about the consequences

Most of all, what’s important is that we all let the inner environmentalists out. In our hearts, we know that even an inch drop is harmful. Because if we combined all the wastes even just in our block, the weakening atmosphere will be more paralyzed. So, let’s all do our part. If we do, we all not just revive mother earth, but revive our bank accounts as well.


Tips for saving money for college freshies

December 5, 2007

School has just started like three months ago.  Everybody is in the holiday spirit, well so am I.. but then again, I feel that we should also focus on other matters that have direct effects on our lives.    

Tips for saving money for college freshies 

I went to college myself and I fully know how challenging it is to budget money to make it just through a single day.  We all know college is expensive and costly.  Our folks worked hard all their parenting lives just to get us into a good college. I, for one have to work while I was in the University.  So, just want to share a few tips on how to save money while you’re still in your first year as a college student.  When you’re able to save, even a little, it is already a big help to your parents. After all, they have other things to attend to, like mortgage and retirement.

  • Get a credit card.  I know that maybe a lot have been given credit cards at a younger age. But if you still don’t have one, apply.  You can have your parents add you as an extension so that they can keep track of your expenses. They know how to do the math.  My mom did the same for me. Plus, this will be a solid foundation for a good credit history. 
  • Scout for scholarships and grants.  These opportunities will help you avoid making large student loans which will end you up in a large debt.  This is the time for you to discover your abilities and take them to the next level.  This is a win-win situation. You land a scholarship plus you’ll be able to show what you are really capable of. We all have our own unique talents and skills, we just need to tap them.
  • Take a year off afte highschool graduation.  Well, this is a tough choice. Taking off here doesn’t mean slacking off getting a job to save enough money for your tuition.  I feel that this will let you sort out your priorities. And, you’re not alone, the heirs to the British throne, Princes William and Harry, did take time off. But then, not all of us live in castles, literally, all I’m saying is that it will never hurt to take a job before going t college.
  • Work minimally while studying.  Your main goal is to study. You work to pay for your tuition or to have your daily allowance. Know your priorities.
  • Do the math with your parents.  Sit down with your folks and come up with the specific budget that you’ll be needing. Include everything and be realistic as possible. Don’t be shy to tell them the exacr amount that you need for an item. They’re your  parents so they will think of your best interest.

What’s important is you consider ever single aspect and never be hesitant to let your parents know what you need. If necessary, get a job. Major money saving tip, spend with what you have bu work your way to have more.