Category Archives: Quality of Life

Never Miss a Cell Phone Call At Home Again

I haven’t had a home phone in 9 years. old phoneWhen I first started telling people that,  they were shocked, especially older coworkers who couldn’t imagine a life without a landline. To me, it just didn’t make sense to spend the extra money on a house phone, when I did the majority of my talking on my cell. I tossed the home line and never looked back.

For the most part, I have never regretted my decision. Every place I have lived has had very good cell coverage and the call quality has been just fine. My only minor setback has come in the form of missed calls. I often come home and put my cell phone down somewhere, or I hook it up to charge. It’s only a matter of time before I inevitably walk away to another room in the house. My phone starts to vibrate and I can’t hear it. Sometimes I will sit down to watch a movie and I will miss three or four calls. It can be a little frustrating for all involved.

The other day, completely by accident, I stumbled on a solution to this problem.panasonic phone It comes in the form of the Panasonic KX-TG7743. While it may look like many other cordless phone systems you can find in most homes, it has a unique feature that sets it apart from all others. 

They call it “link2cell”, a feature that allows you to connect your cellphone, via bluetooth, to this cordless phone system. You pair your phone to this device as you would an ear piece or a handsfree system in your car. Once the connection is established all of your cell phone calls will go through this system. This means that you can make and receive call on a cordless house phone.

No more missing calls, no more running down your cell phone battery. This system can work in conjunction with a land line or with just your cell phone. You can pair up to two phones and assign them unique ring tones. You can also import your contacts from your cell to the KX-TG7743.

The reviews on this phone are excellent and the list of included features is long. It has a locator feature to help you find the handset, call block to get rid of those annoying telemarketers, talking caller ID, hands free speaker phone and many many more. It was awarded and excellent rating for call quality from consumer reports, and Amazon reviewers have given in 4.5 out of 5 stars, very rare. 

Panasonic’s reputation for quality and their innovative use of bluetooth technology have been combined in this cordless phone system. I purchased one a few days ago, received it, and plan to hook it up tomorrow. I will follow up with my own personal experience in the upcoming days. 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life

A Credit Card That Pays You 1% To Transfer Your Balance

Debt can be a curse. I read a study the other day that focused on the health effects of massive debt. It concluded that people who are deep in debt experience higher levels of stress and over a prolonged period of time this can have a damaging effect on their health. Luckily for us there is a cure, get out of debt.

credit card pileOf all the different types of debt in the world the most common and possibly the worst is credit card debt. This is largley due to the very high interest rates credit card companies often charge. For many of us the solution has been to move our balances over to 0% cards and chip away at it over time. The catch is the fees that these cards often charge to transfer the balance over, on average they are about 3%. That means if you have $10,000 in debt on one card you have to pay $300 to move it over to the no interest card. That just won’t fly. 

One solution is to find 0% interest cards with no transfer fees. Cards like the “Slate Visa Card from Chase”.  I have mentioned this card in the past and it still remains one of the best cards on the market for debt reduction as far as I am concerned. It has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and a 0% interest rate for 15 months. It is hands down the best 0% cards you can find right now. 

A new entry into this market is trying a pretty radical approach. The Barclay Ring MasterCard is offering qualified applicants a 1% cash back offer on balance transfers. That’s right they are paying you 1% to transfer your balances to their card.  On $10,000 in debt that’s 100 bucks! They have no annual fee and no balance transfer fee. It’s not all sunshine and rainbow though. This card is not a 0% interest card, their interest rate it 8%. This is low for a credit card, but in about 6 weeks that 1% cash balance will have been absorbed by the interest on the debt. 

For that reason, this card seems best suited for people who are going to accumulate a large amount of debt, and have the cash on hand to pay it. For example, let’s say you took out a home equity loan to remodel your kitchen. You charge all of that cost of the remodel to a retailer’s credit card to get 5% back on the purchase. My parents did this with their Lowe’s card, they got the cash back and 0% interest and just paid the card off when the bill came in. An added step in this would be to transfer that bill over the Barclay card, get the additional 1% back and then pay it off. 

Is all that effort worth it? That’s up to you. If the balance was 15k, you would make $150 on the transfer. That seems worth it to me.

I hope this type of offer starts a trend, perhaps one day we will see credit card companies offering 5% cash back on balance transfers. It seems far fetched, but I thought that same thing of 1% cash back until a few days ago. 

Getting out of debt is a key step to financial prosperity. The “BarClays Ring MasterCard” is a great short term tool to help you towards that goal. If you have some credit card debt that you are looking to pay off in the short term or your current interest rate is significantly higher than the 8% APR that the Barclay’s card offers it might be a good idea to transfer you debt over. For a longer term solution the Slate Visa Card might offer you a better value. 

*Please consult a financial advisor before making any decisions which might effect you credit score.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life, Saving Money

Turn Your Hair Loss into a Small Fortune

I’m willing to wager that to some degree most men live in fear of losing their hair. As time marches on we all watch the flowing locks of our youth wither away. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sooner or preferably later we get there. Perhaps a cure for baldness will pop up tomorrow, but I’m not interested in that right now. For this article I want to focus on turning a negative into a positive. Let’s say you go bald, that’s unfortunate, but instead of dwelling on the bad why not look at the upside. shampooBald people don’t need hair cuts, or hair gel, or shampoo. How much do guys spend a month on those things?  Fifty bucks? That might be a little high, but let’s go with it.

Let’s take a fictional man, I will call him Ben. On January 1st, 2000 Ben went bald, he was a senior in college, so young. It was new years even he was drinking a beer dancing to Prince’s “1999”, the ball drops and so does all of Ben’s hair. What happened? Who knows, I blame Prince. You can say what you like about Prince but the guy just doesn’t any blame, so I am blaming him for Ben’s baldness.

Bald Ben is a resilient man and he bounces back from his follicle failure. He decides to take all of the money that he used to spend on his hair and invest it. He looks around and notices that back in 2000 no one really had a cell phone but some of his friends were starting to sign up for contracts. Ben does some research and decides to invest his hair money into Verzion stock. Every year on December 31st, Ben will buy $600 worth of Verizon stock.

2000-2004: Ben buys 55 shares in total with his $600 of annual investment

Then things get interesting, in 2004 Verizon offers a dividend. For those of you who may not be familiar with investing, a dividend is a portion of the company’s revenue that they give to the share holders, usually on a three month basis. Ben decides to use his divided money to buy even more shares.

2004: Ben buys 16 shares, he receives a dividend payment in the amount of $88 and buys two more share.

Year after year Ben watches as his investment continues to grow.

2005-2008- Ben’s Verizon’s stock goes up and down, but Benny keeps on investing to this point he has accumulated 175 shares.

Ben can see the success of his strategy and he stays the course, he continues to buy $600 worth of stock every year and continues to reinvest his dividend money. 

2009-2012 – Ben amasses 284 shares

As of today, Ben’s shares would be worth  $14092.08! Over the last 14 years, Ben’s hairy headed friends have had over 150 hair cuts adn nothing to show for it, Ben has over 14k in Verizon stock. He is around 35 years old right now, depending on market circumstances, by the time Ben is 60 his investment could be worth $200,000 to perhaps even $500,000 or even more. He could use this money to retire years earlier then he expected or to start a small business. All of this wealth was made possible by Ben’s decision to turn his hair loss into an investment. Imagine what you could do with just a small change in your annual spending.  

Of course the stock market is a volatile thing and no one knows what the future holds. I still believe that opportunities are all around us, we just have to look.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Earning Ideas, Quality of Life

The Repercussions of a Good Financial Decision

I once read that a person’s life is nothing more then a combination of choices. What professional youselect, who you marry, where you live, all of these decision shape what type of life you will have. Of course not all choices are that big, a majority of or decisions are relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The trick is to focus on the ones that count and try to make the best choice possible. road shotEven something as mundane as car insurance can make a big financial impact down the road.

Last year I received a renewal quote from my insurance company at the time, they wanted $1078 dollars. I was and am a good driver, no recent tickets or accidents and I have a pretty short commute.  I really couldn’t understand why the cost of my insurance was going up every single year. I decided that enough was enough and contacted several insurance companies for competing quotes. In the end Geico was true to their advertising and managed to save me over $370 dollars.

The best part is that those savings occur year after year. My policy is up for renewal and my latest quote was $690.00. From my calculations, my decision to switch insurance companies a year ago has saved me over 1000 dollars! The best part is that it just keeps on going. Would my old policy have come down? Perhaps, but I am almost certain it would not be as low as my current policy. 

An hour of investigating help me make the best choice regarding my insurance. If you haven’t compared quotes you should probably do the same. Reviewing all of your household expenses and trying to find places where you can save money is also advisable. I am in the process of trying to reduce my monthly cell phone bill. As it stand now I am paying over $100 a month. I want to try and shrink that down to $70-80. I will keep you posted about my results. 

1 Comment

Filed under Quality of Life, Saving Money

Two Free Nights at a Five Star Hotel in Paris – My Review

Last May I went on my Honeymoon to Europe. As some of you may recall, I used credit card rewards to drastically reduce the cost of the trip. Not only did it save us money, but it also allowed us to stay at luxurious hotels that we would never even think of visiting under normal circumstances.

While some deals seem good when you first book them, what really counts is what you experience when you arrive. Hyatt outsideI want to examine each deal and share with you our opinion of each location. The first three days of our 8 day Honeymoon began in Paris, at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome.

For this hotel I used the rewards from my  Hyatt Visa Signature Card. This card has a $75 membership fee and offers two free night at any Hyatt in the world. To earn this reward you now have to spend 1000 dollars in the first three months from opening the account. 

Hyatt room 1I booked a room at the hotel, a room here normally goes for $800- $1000 a night. Thanks to my reward the first two night were free and we bought enough points to cover a third night. The cost of the points was $500 so our average for this hotel was about $165 a night. For Paris that is an impossibly low price. 

As for as the hotel is concerned I have almost nothing but good things to say about it. The Hyatt Vendome is a true 5 start location. From the moment you walk through the front doors you are welcomed by a large and friendly staff. The bride and I were always greeted by the doorman when we entered the building. The concierge was always extremely helpful. Anytime we asked for help they were right there to assist.

The look of the hotel is quite beautiful. Everywhere you look you’ll notice these bronze sculptures in the shape of people, they are magnificent. 

As for our room all I can say is, wow. The bed was big and comfortable, TUBit had a rainfall shower and a huge tub. At the end of the day the Bride would enjoy a hot bath and we would relax and unwind. We must have walked 5 -7 miles everyday in Paris and it felt great to have such a comfortable place to come back to. As we were about to leave the Bride said,”I wish I could take the tub with us.”

The Vendome section of Paris is right in the middle of the city. We walked to Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens, it’s a terrific location.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the hotel was the prices of food and drinks. We went down to the bar for a late night drink, one beer and a daiquiri cost us 54 euros, that’s like 70 dollars! To be fair this is a 5 star hotel in the middle of a beautiful European city so the prices reflect that. In the end you don’t have to eat or drink there, if you want to splurge fine, if not you can find a dozens places to eat a drink with in a few blocks of the hotel. 

All in all this was an amazing experience and the best part is that you can have it almost anywhere in the world that has a Hyatt hotel . We choose Paris, but I am sure you would have just as good a time in Sydney or Chicago or Tokyo. Pick yourself up a Hyatt Visa Signature Card and see for yourself. 

 

Rewards Rating:  A

Hotel Rating: A-

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life, Saving Money

Amazon Prime – Three Months Out

A few months back I made a comparison of all of the popular video rental options available right now. Prime 1In the end I concluded that “Amazon Prime” was the best value. I was so impressed by the service that I enrolled in the 30 day free trial to see if things were are good as the seemed. The short answer is, they are. 

To be completely honest I didn’t enroll myself in Amazon prime, I enrolled my mother. I bought her a Roku box for her birthday and asked her to try the Amazon service. What quickly followed was an obsession with “Downton Abbey”. She ripped through the first two seasons in a matter of days. Since the third season wasn’t available for free she immediately rented it.  My Mom loves the Roku and “Amazon Prime” and uses them nearly every single day. 

What I think my mom likes even more than the streaming video is one of the other benefits of an Amazon prime membership, the free two day shipping. Once that kicked in she began to shop on Amazon more and more. Many of her purchases that might have gone to other retailers are now going to Amazon.

As for the service itself, I have no complaints. The “Amazon Prime” library is huge, diverse, and growing. Every week they add more and more quality titles. Everything streams in HD and I have never experienced any glitches or interruptions. 

I am still presently using Netflix, but as soon as the Bride and I settle into our new place, I think I am going to make the switch. The age of Netflix may be coming to an end, the time for Amazon Prime is approaching. 

1 Comment

Filed under Quality of Life

Something to Consider When Preparing For Your Next Vacation – The Medicine Bag

CVS, RiteAid, WalGreens, we take them for granted. In most parts of this country a pharmacy is never more then a few minutes away. All of the medicines and brands that we are used to, whenever we need them. We never even give it a second thought, I certainly never did.

europe medThen I went away on my honeymoon and boy was I surprised. First off, pharmacies aren’t always so easy to find, even with the big glowing green cross. Secondly in Europe pharmacies only sell medicine, no candy, no birthday cards, just medical items. 

The other thing is noticed was that I didn’t recognize any of the brands and the prices of many of the items were very high. The bride and I bought hand sanitizer and it cost us three or four times what we would pay in America. 

This is why I recommend that you pack a medical bag when going out of the country. Any of the products that you might normally take or use for an upset stomach or a head ache. Whichever products you suspect you might possibly need. Buy them and pack them away, just in case. 

That way if the need arises you are ready. You won’t have to find a pharmacy, and pay triple the amount for a brand you have never seen before. You won’t have to worry about having a back reaction to a foreign medicine or end up ignoring the problem and ending up in a hospital. 

A small medical bag could save the day and your vacation with it. It’s always better to be prepared. 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life

Something to Consider When Preparing for Your Next Vacation – Pick the Right Luggage

The Bride and I just spent 8 days in Europe on our honeymoon and it was fantastic. I wouldn’t change much about the trip, but I would have prepared a little differently. I found that somethings you don’t even think about before your trip becomes glaringly obvious when you begin your travels. For us this was most true about our luggage.

Do you have a suitcase? It seems like most of us do. We climb up into the crawl space or the attic, slide the Christmas decorates over and pull it out. How old is that suitcase? Does it have a floral pattern from the 60’s and old American Airlines luggage tag with your mom’s maiden name on it? So much has changed about the way we travel and that old luggage just won’t do.

When I was in Venice I met a nice guy from Massachusetts. We were talking about our trip and he told me how much he loved his new suit case. delsey luggageHe had a Delsey Helium Aero 21. It had a strong hard shell, a TSA approved combination lock, and wheels that rolled in all directions. The 21 model is carry on size, which for me is a big deal. Carrying on means not having to deal with the worry, hassle, and possible expense of checking your bag. I would much rather get off the plane and go instead of trying to find the right luggage carousel and waiting for my bag to pop out or worrying that it was lost in transition.

The TSA approved lock is also an important feature. I brought locks with me for our luggage, but I very rarely used them. I was primarily worried about losing the key and I couldn’t lock them when I went on a plane. If a TSA agent needs to access your bag and its locked, he/she will cut it off. luggage lockHaving and approved combination lock fixes both of theses problems. Traveling with locked luggage is also a good deterrent to thieves. Most of them want and easy target, slide a zipper over, grab something inside and go. A hard shelled locked bag is too much of a hassle. They are much more likely to move past you and try to find an easier target.

The other feature about the Helium Aero 21 that I like is that it’s expandable. If you open a zipper on the side it will increase the size of you bag by up to 2 inches. I really like this for the simple fact that I often buy things on my trips and I always need more room. This suitcase adjusts to meet that need.

Finally I like the hard shell. I have a canvas type suitcase, more of a bag really. I am always worried that it will get crushed or mangled. The hard shell eliminates that and it also stops people from trying to squish your bag over to make room for theirs. 

This suitcase sells for  $127.49 on Amazon and has some fantastic reviews. It comes in a wide range of sizes, but only the 21 qualifies as a carry on. The Bride and I are considering purchasing two for our next trip. We are done with the inconvenience and the hassle of our old luggage. 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life

A Case for the Debt-Free Car

I know a lot of people who have good jobs, but really old cars. To try and get to the bottom of this I asked a friend of mine, who was an unabashed member of this group, why he held on to his aging vehicle. His reply was “It still runs and I don’t need another monthly bill”. Now I love cars, but as I get older and get closer to home ownership and hopefully fatherhood I am begin to understand this way of thinking. The debt free car is very appealing.  I decided to dig down and take a closer look at the numbers.

For this exercise we will pretend that you are buying one of two cars today. The first car is a new car, right off the showroom floor, and it costs $25,000. This seems like a nice midrange for most of the car buying public, sure you can find cars for well over $30k and a good amount for $15k. carFor this demonstration we are going with $25k, which would either be the base model of a higher end car, or an economy car packed with options. For the other car, the debt free car, we are going pick an imaginary car with under 125,000 miles and in good running order. Such a car might take some effort to find, but I believe that it is entirely possible. We are going to plot out 5 years of ownership, taking into account maintenance and general wear and tear. We will assume that you drive 12,000 miles a year, the average for an American motorist. You will also have $6000.00 to put down. 

The New Car: After taxes, title ,and license the grand total for you new ride is $28,000.00. Your down payment knocks it down to $22k and you get a low interest five year loan for the rest. Your new car payment will be $400 a month. You give the dealer a check and he/she hands you the keys. 

The Debt Free Car: You search and search and finally find a good condition used car, a 2008 with 120,000 miles on it. You bring your uncle the mechanic over, he takes a look, and he gives it the thumbs up. You haggle with the dealer on the used car lot and you settle on $6000.00. You fill out some paper work, hand him a check, he hands you the keys, you cross your fingers and drive off in your “new” used car. 

 

Year 1 – 

  • The New Car – Things are going well, as time passes you can still make out the faint scent of new car smell. As the first year ends you have paid out $4800.00 in car payments.
  • The Debt Free Car – You’re doing fine also, you research is serving you well and you haven’t had any mechanical problems. Cost to you this year $0

Year 2 – 

  • The New Car – Still going strong, anything that pops up has been covered under warranty. You pay another $4800.00 in car payments.
  • The Debt Free Car – You year was a little more expensive than last. When you went in for inspection you were told you needed new brakes and tires, you are out $1000.00

Year 3 – 

  • The New Car – Status quo, another $4800.00 in loan payments.
  • The Debt Free Car – You heard a banging sound when you drove to work, major repairs to your transmission cost you $2000.00

Year 4

  • The New Car – Needs tires and brakes = $1000 and $4800.00 in car payments. 
  • The Debt Free Car – Needs and new battery and upon the advice of your mechanic you pay for some preventative maintenance, you pay another $600.00

Year 5

  • The New Car – Is no longer that new, a few small repairs pop up for $600 and you pay you last year of payments $4800.00 Congratulations you now officially own your car!
  • The Used Car – Now has over 170,000 miles on it. The alternator goes you are out $400.00 You decided it time to move on and sell it to a high school kid for $1000.00 

After 5 years where do we stand?

  • The New Car Owner: Has paid out: $25, 600 during this time period.
  • The Debt Free Car Owner: Has paid out $4000.00 and has $1000.00 towards his/her next vehicle. 

*I am not counting items like oil changes and inspections since new and used cars a like have to go through these types of service.

The “New Car Owner” has spent $21,600 more than the “Debt Free Car Owner” in that same period. What would you do with an extra $21k? Pay off student loans, or credit card bills? Put a new kitchen in your house? Save for college for your kids? Start a small business? 

On the other hand the “New Car Owner” has now become the “Debt Free Car Owner” and if they have taken good care of their car along the way they can expect a smiliar if not even better out come and can use that car debt free for another 5-7 years. The “Debt Free Car Owner” has to buy another car.

When I step back and look at the numbers I am pretty surprised, $20,000.00. That is a lot of money and as I look towards the future I can think of many things I could do with that money. Perhaps my next vehicle will be a debt free car.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life

How Credit Card Rewards Made My Luxurious European Honeymoon Possible (Part 2)

In the previous post, I revealed the four credit cards and their rewards that I used to plan my honeymoon. I researched the flights and hotels, I didn’t want to leave the night of my wedding or even the day after. The “Future Bride” and I decided to wait a couple of days and regroup before beginning our European adventure. I showed her each of the hotels and their normal prices, which were very high. We could never afford to stay at places like these. The she took one look at the itinerary and said, “This is never going to work.”

I picked up my phone and began to dial, first stop Paris.

  • hyatt 2I had selected the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, a luxurious 5 star hotel located in the center of the capital city. This award winning hotel is consistently the highest ranked location on all of the top travel sites. The cost on a queen room at this establishment, $909. The prices are in Euros so you have to convert them, the conversion changes every day. I did a quick check and that same room is selling for $942 right now. I called reservations and told them that I was a Hyatt Signature Visa Member and that I would like to use my two free nights at this hotel. The customer service rep asked me what date, check her computer, and booked those two days. The “Future Bride” was shocked.

When I said to the person from reservations that it was too bad that we only had two days at the Paris Vendome she told me that I could buy points for a third day. I was curious and asked how much, she checked and told us $528.00.hyatt At first that seemed like a lot, but it was still about half of the regular price. When the Future Bride and I talked it over we decided to go for it. Paris has so much to see and how many times are we going to get to visit this beautiful city. Three nights at a luxury hotel in Paris, regular price $2727.00, our price $528.00. Next up, the romantic city of Venice.

  • Venice was a unique situation, since it is so small their aren’t as many hotels to choose from. In fact there is no Hyatt hotel in Venice. I decided to use my Marriott Rewards points for this city. veniceThe nicest Marriott hotel and the only one located in the city of Venice was the beautiful Boscolo Venezia hotel. Once a noble palace, the Boscolo offers a unique experience in every one of there luxurious rooms and one of the largest private gardens in Venice. The front doors of this hotel sit directly on a canal, the pictures of this place look so beautiful they seem fake. The “Future Bride” was floored.

I called and spoke to someone from the Marriott booking department. We selected the date and said we would like to use our Marriot rewards points. Two nights at this hotel would require 70,000 rewards points, we had 50,000. venice roomI was told we could buy the remaining points for $250.00. One night at the Boscolo normally cost $400, so $125 a night seems like a great deal. We booked it and I began to feel like a heroic husband. Two nights at a gorgeous hotel in Venice, regular price $800, our price $250. On to Rome.

  • We wanted to spend three days in Rome, the city is so big and so full of beauty and culture. Now it was time to put my 40,000 Hilton Honors rewards points to work.Hotel Panorama My previous two successes had made me ambitious. I was going to shoot for the moon. I selected the Hilton owned Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria hotel, a five star location that sits a top a hill overlooking all of Rome. With 5 pools and one of the top 5 spas in the world it is the pinnacle of luxury. The price for one night in this hotel is $1035!

That one night would cost 50,000 points, we had 40,000 and paid $100 for the remaining 10,000. Deluxe RoomWe paid 100 dollars for a hotel room that normally cost over 1000! Since we still had 2 more days in Rome to account for we decided to make our final night in Europe at the Rome Cavalieri. Two days in Rome left to go.

  • Now it was time to break out the American Express Travelocity Rewards Card. This card rewards you with 10% on all purchases made on the Travelocity site. I decided that I would book and pay for our flights on Traveleocity using this card. We are flying from NYC to Paris to Venice taking a train to Rome and flying from Rome back to NYC. For the two of us it cost $3188.80. I compared this price against other travel sites and it was competitive if not a few bucks cheaper. Those flights earned us 20,000 Travelocity rewards points.

With my new reward points in hand I went to the Travelocity site to use them. Since we were arriving in Rome by train, I decided to start my search near the Roma Train Station.

  • medit 2My search led me to the Bettoja Meditarraneo Hotel. This well reviewed 4 1/2 star art deco hotel is located close to all of the attractions. The price for two night in this hotel is $579.36. Our Travelocity points knocked $400 off that. We ended up paying about $89 a night for a hotel that normally cost $263!

So how much did we save? Did we keep to our $5000 budget? Let’s see.

  • Without the use of credit card rewards this vacation would have cost: $3188.80 for the flights + $2727 for our stay in Paris + $800 for our stay in Venice + $1613.36 for our stay in Rome = $8329.16
  • With the use of credit card rewards we only had to spend:  $3188.80 for the flights + $528 for our stay in Paris + $250 for our stay in Venice + $279.36 for out stay in Rome = $4246.16

We saved $4083.00, nearly cutting the cost of our trip in half and coming in under budget by almost $800!  This isn’t a hypothetical exercise, this is something that I actually did. I planned it last fall and the “Future Bride” and I are going in less than three weeks. You can do this as well. Plan your next family vacation to Disney this way, or your next trip to Vegas or that second honeymoon you have been talking about for years. Use reward cards to cut down the cost and stay in places you would never even think about.

As always I would never suggest carrying a balance on your credit card. I made charges to these cards to earn rewards and paid the bills as soon as they came in. Carrying a high interest balance will quickly erase any rewards and possibly drive you into debt, I caution against it. 

So what do you think? The Builder did all right on this one. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section and I will answer them as best I can.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Quality of Life, Saving Money