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4 Steps to Planning Your Next Family Vacation

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If summer isn’t the time of the year you like to travel because beaches are overcrowded, highways are under construction and hotel rooms are expensive then maybe fall is your time to get away with the family.

Labour Day is approaching and what better time to pack up the kids and take a great family vacation before everyone goes back to school.  If you’re planning a little getaway here are six steps to help plan your next family vacation:

Set a budget per person

This is similar to setting a weekly spending budget instead of a monthly one.  It’s easier to track expenses over a smaller time frame i.e. 7 days than it is to control spending over a large period of time i.e. 30 days.

If you’re a family of four decide how much it will cost for each person to take the vacation and then you can add up all the little expenses and figure out if your overall cost fits into  your budget.  Don’t forget to factor in an additional 10% for miscellaneous expenses per person which can be an extra snack or souvenir.

Decide on a destination everyone will love

Disneyland is a great family destination, but do your kids really want to go there?  Part of the fun in planning a family vacation is getting the family involved.  Sit down with your kids and ask them where they would like to go.  Give them a few days to search online and ask their friends.  Then call a family meeting and decide on a vacation destination as a family.

If you want to be extra savvy (and take the workload off yourself) give your kids some vacation parameters such as a destination within a certain number of miles from your home or within a certain budget.  Kids are always online, it’s time they did something productive.

Choose a mode of transportation

Flying may be the shortest option when planning a family vacation, but it’s also probably the most expensive.  If you can bare being the car with your family for a few hours then taking a road trip as oppose to booking flights may be more economical.

Just remember to set expectations so you don’t hear a lot of “Are we there yet?” and make sure your kids have a lot of activities to keep them calm and quiet.  You can even give them duties such as being co-pilot and navigating the directions or keeping track of gas stations and rest stops for fill-ups and breaks.

Plan as much as you can ahead of time

Planning both your daily activities and your meals ahead of time is a real money saver.  Maybe you cook a few nights and go out the others.  Searching online for local grocery stores and family friendly restaurants will save a ton of money and time because you can plan where you’ll be eating and how much you’ll be spending.

If you are hitting up a theme park plan where you and your kids want to go before you leave.  It saves time and you won’t find yourself wandering around aimlessly while everyone decides what they want to see and where they want to go.

One thing to keep in mind is you have to accept the fact you can’t do it all.  Family vacations are a lot of fun, but they also come with both budget and time restrictions.  That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and set realistic expectations before you leave.

Tell us all about your family vacation this year – where are you going? What are you planning to do? How much is it costing?

Photo from Pixabay

 

4 Reasons Why Retirement Savings are Important

I won’t ask how old you are. My question is, have you ever thought about your retirement? As a fresher, you may think it is quite pessimistic to discuss retirement. I’m not asking you to make the final decisions regarding the matter but rather only to consider your options. Here are the top four reasons why saving for retirement is important.

  1. Dreams

After decades of tireless and seemingly endless work, the world will forgive you for being a little selfish. With your retirement fund, you can finally make your dreams come true. You can consider it as a metaphor for your fairy godmother. After your retirement, you will have plenty of money and time in your hands so you can do whatever you’ve always wanted to. Whether it is learning oil painting in Venice or ice skating in New York, it is completely possible. Just make sure not to get carried away and spend everything overnight.

  1. Family

“What does a man do? A man provides.” If you are familiar with this phrase, then you will know that people go to great lengths to provide for their families. Just because you are retired doesn’t mean you are no longer responsible for your family’s finances – especially to ensure the future of your children. Even if they have graduated and found their own jobs, it is your duty as a parent to help them. So make sure to separate a part of your fund for your loved ones.

  1. Financial security

If you unsure about saving all your money in cash, you need not worry since there are many options available. You can invest your retirement fund through stocks, assets, shares and bonds. Precious metals such as gold and silver are the latest ways of investment. You can conduct a small research in order to learn more information on silver IRA or gold IRA. Since you may be a newbie to the field, do not worry about making the wrong investment option, since you can reverse it. For instance, if the market price for gold is low, you can convert it to silver by using a silver IRA rollover.  This way you can ensure that your retirement fund will always be an immediate backup during an emergency situation. 

  1. Medical expenses

This is an answer frequently heard from senior citizens. As you grow old your body grows fragile. It is important for you to save enough for health expenses. After all, what is the point of entertainment and recreation if you are not in the condition to enjoy it? Separating a portion for emergency and potential medical reasons ensures that you will not be totally reliant on your health insurance.

In conclusion, people start retirement funds for various reasons but despite dreams and plans, they usually spend it unwisely on the moment since their judgments are clouded by excitement. Therefore, whatever your plan is make sure you stick to it.

Have you ever considered a silver IRA?

When should you move out of your parent’s house?

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As we get older, graduate from school and start our lives many 20-somethings are asking themselves “When should I move out?”  There is really no correct answer, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution as to when you should move out of your parent’s house.  It really depends on your personal and financial situation.

I moved out at 18 because I chose to leave home and attend university in a city 800 miles away from my family.  I had to grow up fast, learn to budget and pay bills while studying in my first year at college.  I wouldn’t change the way I did things because it was my choice, however I can say that my life would be very different if I would have stayed at home a bit longer.

Your parents need the space

This is a good reason to move out – because your parents tell you to.  This wasn’t my personal situation, but it did happen to a friend of mine.  When parents get divorced new families are formed and when your mom or dad want to start a life with their new spouse it doesn’t always include having their child living in the home.

Sometimes the perfect time to move out of your parent’s house is when they tell you to.

Until you get married

Traditional families may expect their children to stay at home until they’re ready to start their own family.  If I were a parent I’m not sure I would want my 30 year old child living with me just because they weren’t married.  Since I moved out of my parent’s house at an early age I am a big believer in kids moving out as soon as possible.  Living on your own requires a lot of growing up and there is a lot of freedom that comes with having your own space.

I definitely don’t think I would be the same person I am today if I stayed at my parent’s house.  However I would definitely have a lot more money if I would have lived at home for a few more years, at least until I graduated from college.

You want your own space

Moving out on your own comes with a lot of responsibility, but it’s also very rewarding.  With your own space you can come and go as you please, you never have to answer to anyone and you finally have a place to call your own.

If your parent’s home is getting a little bit too crowded and a little bit too stuffy it may be time to move out on your own.

Before anyone moves out on their own I would give two pieces of advice: learn to cook and learn to manage your money.  These were two big mistakes that I made when I moved out of my parent’s house.  I was emotionally ready to leave but I definitely wasn’t ready financially.  If I would have taken the time to learn how to cook edible food and manage my money it would have saved me a lot of grief in my 20s.

Photo from Pixabay

 

4 Ways to Overcome Money Problems in your 20s

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One of the benefits of being in our 20s is that we have a lot of growing up to do.  I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.  Our lives are just starting and the benefit is that we can make changes so our lives turn out to be whatever we want them to be.

I made a lot of mistakes in my 20s, (just as most 20 year olds do) a lot of which involved money.  The good thing about making mistakes in our 20s is that we can learn from them, make changes and go on to be whoever it is that we want to be.

If your 20-something money situation is less than ideal here are some ways you can make changes and improve your finances:

Talk about it with your partner

Not too long ago I found myself 27 years old and over $50k in debt.  BF didn’t want to talk about our money situation because our conversations would always end up in a fight about why we have no money and how we should spend the little money we had.  So I avoided the situation all together for the sake of our relationship.

However what we should have done was admit the problem and talk about it instead of avoid it.  The sooner one of us would have brought up the situation, the sooner we could have started to fix it.

Go to your bank and ask for help

Our finances got so bad that I considered declaring bankruptcy.  That’s a lot of financial trouble for anyone, but defintiely for someone who’s in her 20s to be in.  I thought I had my credit card payments under control and I thought I could become debt free if I wanted to…but I was wrong.

I should have asked for help a lot sooner than I did.  I should have went to my bank to set a budget, figure out how to cut my expenses and start spending less.  Instead I just kept making minimum payments and using the majority of my pay check to repay debt instead of living my life.

Change your lifestyle habits

A big contributing factor to my debt was the fact that I was living the fast life.  I was eating out at restaurants every day and never thinking twice about spending money.  This is a recipe for disaster.  A lot of people say that the one way to overcome money troubles is to stop spending, but that’s easier said than done.

I had to completely change my lifestyle in order to start spending less and making bigger payments towards my debt.  I moved to a smaller apartment outside of the core downtown area (where I had always lived), I cut my monthly expenses including switching to a smaller cell phone plan and downgrading from an extreme satellite package to basic cable.

Accept the emotions along with the finances

After a long hard look at my life I decided I was going to overcome my debt; however it wouldn’t be without tears.  I decided that bankruptcy wasn’t an option and I started accepting the fact that I was in a lot of trouble.  Only then could I actually swallow my pride (and there was a lot) and change my ways.

It definitely wasn’t easy to tell my friends I couldn’t hang out, start cooking at home instead of grabbing food on the go and learning to live on less.  But I did it and I am a better person for it.

Photo from Pixabay