Monthly Archives: August 2016

7 Tips for Saving Money on Airplane Tickets and Airfare

One of the most expensive parts of traveling these days has to be the cost of airplane tickets. It’s pretty easy to shop around and find deals on hotels but what about saving money on your airfare costs? There are a few ways you can save money on airfare and I am just learning this as I am trying to book a flight for any upcoming trip.

  1. Sign Up For Alerts – If you know which company you want to fly with or have narrowed down a few sign up for their loyalty program or their mailing list and they will send you notifications for seat sales or even codes for discount airfares.
  2. Fly Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday – It’s agreed upon that these are the cheapest days to fly on. Nobody wants to fly midweek and airlines don’t like empty seats.
  3. Fly Off Peak Hours – Search the available times for the day you want to fly and you will see that off peak hours are cheaper. This usually means later a night or very early in the morning but if you can do it you will save on airfare.
  4. When to Buy – I have read a lot of different things but most experts agree that buying four to six weeks is the cheapest time to book  your flight.
  5. Clear You Cookies – I actually watched a co-worker do this. As she searched for vacation packages from her computer the prices constantly changed and they were going up. It’s called dynamic pricing. The more demand the higher the price. So if you clear your cache, clear your cookies or use and incognito browser you will probably see cheaper prices.
  6. Join Loyalty or Rewards Programs – I signed up for an airline specific credit card. I was given a number of airline rewards dollars I can use towards a flight, free checked bags and a voucher for a flight. I realize that this isn’t for everybody but it saved me money of an upcoming flight.
  7. Watch Hidden Fees – A few things can add up like checked bags. Know what you can bring for a carry on. Usually a small travel suitcase and a personal item. I try to get as much out of this as possible. On my last two flights once inside the airport the company checked my carry on for free because they have room.

Saving money on your airfare or airplane tickets isn’t hard but it takes some work and research on your part. Do a little digging and put a plan together and you should be able to save money on your next flight.

airfare photo

Photo by Mike Miley

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Save Money on Back to School Shopping

So the kids are heading back to school or the your young adult is off to college. It can be an expensive time for many households but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways you can save money on back to school shopping.

Save Money on Back to School Shopping

  1. Make a list and stick to it. This is important. You don’t want to be flying all over the place buying randomly. Make a list of what you need and then go after those items and cross reference your list with sales, coupons and cheap places to get those items. A list will help you itemize what you need and help you find the most inexpensive place to get them.
  2. Buy used text books.  I rarely bought brand new books when I was in college. There are lots of places to buy used text books. Find out if there are used books stores nearby or start a search of websites like Amazon.
  3. Take an inventory at home before you shop. Chances are  your closets are filled with pens, crayons, markers, pencils and more. There is no need to shop for more supplies if you already have the supplies at home.
  4.  Make use of the dollar store. Most of the supplies you need are probably things you can find at a dollar store like pencils, paper, notebooks and even computer supplies. You don’t need to brand name shop for supplies.
  5. Garage sales are a great source for furniture and other dorm room essentials for your college kids. You will probably be able to find cooking supplies, furniture and computer essentials at any garage sale.
  6. Watch for sales and cut coupons. Start doing some comparative shopping and start cutting coupons or search for online coupons.
  7. Enlist social media. Join a Facebook group in your local area that trades, gives away freebies or sells children essentials cheap. You can also start following the major stores you shop at on Twitter or Facebook for coupons and sales.
school supplies photo

Photo by Lyn Lomasi

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Review Your Credit Card Statements Weekly

You learn by experience and this week I learned a hard lesson about credit cards. I used a credit card for some entertainment expenses online and was surprised at the end of the month to see a cash advance charge and an interest charge for that advance that had been adding up all month.

I take responsibility for the letting this slip by me. I wouldn’t have had this charge I had been checking my credit card account online on a regular basis. If I would have seen it I would have paid it off immediately and not had an interest charge. I hate interest charges.

I have now made it part of my weekly plan to check my active credit cards for anomalies and charges.

credit cards photo

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Tips to maximize your heating system this winter

It is estimated that heating your house can account for upwards of 50% of a family’s winter energy bill.  This number is too high to ignore. A furnace that is not operating efficiently can have a drastic effect on a persons heating bill.

Every year before the winter season starts it is recommended that you have a tune up scheduled with a licensed heating technician. You want to make sure that all of your wires are connected properly and that all of the various electrical components are in good working order. If any of these are not it is going to cost you extra money to heat your house.

You also want to make sure that the system is clean and that you proper airflow. Improper air flow will cause a large strain on your system and not only increase your heating bill but also cause the system to fail sooner than it should. Furnaces are expensive you want to get as much life out of them as possible.

Don’t forget to either clean or replace your furnace filter. A dirty filter will make the system work harder and cost you more money in the long run.

furnace filter photo

Photo by G & A Sattler

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