Plum District https://plumdistrict.com Money Savings & Deals Wed, 15 Jul 2020 06:51:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.4 How To Save Money At Disneyland? https://plumdistrict.com/how-to-save-money-at-disneyland/ https://plumdistrict.com/how-to-save-money-at-disneyland/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2020 08:51:13 +0000 https://plumdistrict.com/?p=47 There aren’t many vacation spots out there that are more popular than Disneyland. This is mostly due to the large influence Disney has had with its characters. Both Disneyland and Disney World are the most popular theme parks in the world, second to none. Apart from all the amazing rides, you get incredible food, great …

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There aren’t many vacation spots out there that are more popular than Disneyland. This is mostly due to the large influence Disney has had with its characters. Both Disneyland and Disney World are the most popular theme parks in the world, second to none. Apart from all the amazing rides, you get incredible food, great souvenirs, jaw-dropping live shows, and much more.

However, as you can probably guess, all of that excitement can easily add up in terms of money. Disneyland isn’t the cheapest place in the world, and people are always asking how to save money at Disney World too. So we’ll try to answer those questions and see if you can go to Disneyland on a budget.

Saving money at Disneyland isn’t easy, but if you try some of our ways to save some money at Disney World/Disneyland, you’ll be thanking us soon. With all that said, let’s finally show you how to travel to Disneyland on a budget.

How To Save On Disneyland Tickets

The most expensive part of going to Disneyland is buying the tickets. That’s why people are always looking for the cheapest way to go to Disneyland and save money on tickets. There are several ways to go about this, and depending on when you visit, one method might work better than the other.

With that said, let’s see what’s the cheapest way to go to Disneyland.

Decide when you want to visit

This is one of the most important Disneyland money-saving tips we can give. If you want to considerably save money at Disneyland/Walt Disney World, then deciding what time of the year you want to visit is crucial.

As with most tourist spots, you’ll typically save the most money during off-seasons. We’d recommend doing the same for saving money at Disney World. When the crowds are low, the prices will be lower as well. There is also better weather during the less busy times. So your trip will be more relaxing overall.

Not just that, but you’d also save money on flights, hotel rooms, and even for food and transport. Sure, it might not be so flexible if you can only go during your kids’ vacations, but you can find off days during that busy time as well. Tuesdays to Thursdays tend to be the best days to visit.

Always keep in mind if a national holiday is going on, or if most kids are out of school. This will contribute to a larger crowd and higher prices.

Buy tickets from the right place

This is another one of those well-known ways to save money on tickets. If you buy tickets directly from Disney, they will obviously cost much more than usual at both Disneyland and Disney World. 

However, you can usually find lower prices through Disney gift cards. You can even save money by using your credit card at certain online retailers for further discounts. One awesome way to save money is to buy Disney Gift cards at Target, if you have a Target Red Card. 

You get 5% off your purchase, and you can buy tickets with the Disney Gift Cards and save some valuable money. These days there are entire sites that are purpose made to find cheap Disney tickets.

Also, if you served in the military, Disney offers a military discount to all veterans. Certain credit card companies also offer great deals throughout the year.

Black Friday deals

Black Friday is the best time of the year to buy expensive things you’d normally think twice before even glancing at. This even includes Disneyland tickets a lot of the time. A lot of third parties slash prices on Disneyland tickets, and they are more than legit.

If you are looking for ticket deals, try to look for those that have MaxPass included with them. This way you can save even more money on Photographs and get easier access to a lot of rides, and even get to them quicker.

Don’t get single-day tickets

The pricing for Disneyland tickets can be quite confusing at times. Disney now uses a widely dynamic pricing system, so ticket costs can vary depending on the day and how large the crowd is. If you don’t know how much you’re spending on tickets every day, you’re losing a lot of money.

Getting multi-day tickets is a much better idea. This also helps if you want to add the park hopper option on all of your tickets. The park hopper upgrade allows you to go to as many parks as you like in Disneyland instead of just one park in one day. This way, you don’t have to be a park hopper each day, and that saves a lot of money.

Multi-day tickets are also much more flexible, so you can visit with ease. If you download the Disney App and get MaxPass, you can visit more places throughout one day, plus even more bonus perks.

Decide On The Hotel

Disneyland Resort Hotels are excellent, and they really are the experience of a lifetime. Familiar Disney characters are going around, and there is a lot of great stuff to do. However, the cost can definitely add up per day. It’s almost twice or triple what you’d be paying in an offsite hotel room per day.

There are many hotels within walking distance of Disneyland, and a lot of them even offer a free shuttle ride. Plus, you can save a lot of money when it comes to food.

Get MaxPass To Save Money On Photos

If you download the Disney app and scan your tickets, you can register them to work with MaxPass. MaxPass costs $15/person per day, and it allows you to take photos anywhere you want. The Disneyland photographers will take your photo, and then scan your phone. At the end of the day, all the photos will be sent to your phone.

It also allows you to make “FastPass” reservations. This allows you to see at what time rides are available, and when you can go visit them. This will allow you to strategically plan ahead, and get to rides faster. This way you don’t waste time walking around, and you save money on taking photos with the Disney characters.

Set A Budget

Once you’ve got the hotel and tickets sorted out it’s time to sit down and make a budget. Remember that this might not be incredibly accurate, as you might want to spend more once you get there. Still, it’s a good idea to have a rough estimate and remain in that ballpark, so to speak.

Remember to include everything in this budget. The hotel cost, the flight/travel costs, food and drinks, clothes, Disney souvenirs, costumes, and whatever else you can think of. Once you have a budget in mind, write that down and stick to it.

Take that amount with you, along with a bit of extra just in case of an emergency. This way you won’t worry about overspending.

Manage Your Food

Small snacks and sweet treats can be found all across Disneyland. The caramel apples, churros, and ice creams are all fun Disney themed stuff. However, you’ll be walking around a lot and Disneyland sucks up a lot of your energy and time. 

If you get hungry during lunchtime, think of where to eat first. You can either go back to the hotel and eat there, which would be cheaper or get a better full course meal at a restaurant inside Disneyland. We recommend eating inside Disneyland for lunch so that you can see the hype for all the restaurants.

But for dinner, we recommend eating outside the resort. This is because you’ll be so tired at that point, that a light dinner should be enough to get you to your bed. Packing food is another great idea, so you never have to stop while walking around. Things like trail mix are great foods to munch on.

Pack The Essentials

If you’re going to Disneyland, it’s important to fully prepare for everything. This is especially true if you’re flying in from a distant location. Visits during the summer can get quite hot, as people are packed together closely during this time. Keep a towel with you at all times. It’s also a good idea to buy some sunscreen before entering the park.

Taking smaller kids inside Disneyland is already a hassle, but you don’t want to be running around for tissues and other essential stuff. Rent a locker, and put all of these items inside there for safekeeping. Also, consider storing baby wipes and a few extra towels.

Bringing your own stroller inside for small kids is also a great idea. The rent for a stroller is quite expensive inside the park, so it’s a better idea to take your own. You don’t want to come out of California Adventure Park and carry kids in your arms.

Don’t Go For Rental Cars

Unless you plan to explore the city, getting a rental car these days is not the smartest purchase for Disneyland. Sure it would be easier to get around, but you’d still have to pay for parking, and the rent cost can add up along with that. That money can be spent elsewhere in the park while having fun.

Besides, even if you are staying offsite, most hotels are at a maximum of 5-10 minutes from the resort. Most offer free shuttle rides to the resort, or you can catch an uber for a cheap price. Transport isn’t really the huge issue it used to be for Disneyland. 

Renting a car is a waste of money if you only want to explore Disneyland. However, if you do want to get a feel for California and Anaheim, you’ll want to rent a car if you are planning to hit the beach anytime soon.

Always Carry A Water Bottle

This one ties in with the tip about managing your food at all times. Carrying a water bottle is incredibly important both inside, and outside of Disneyland. You’d be surprised by how expensive everything is inside, even water. Carry a large, sturdy, and refillable water bottle along with you.

Most restaurants will fill the bottle for you without any questions asked. If not, there are plenty of clean drinking fountains around, so you can always stay hydrated through that. 

The heat can get quite menacing during the afternoon hours, and carrying a water bottle with you is nothing short of a great idea. Just try to be polite whenever you need a refill. Try to avoid sodas, as you’ll end spending a lot on drinks without even knowing. 

Get coffee from your hotel early in the morning, so you can have that caffeine kick for the rest of the day. If you can skip alcohol entirely, then you’ll save even more money.

Skip Souvenirs

This might actually sound a bit controversial to some people. That’s because a lot of people like to go and buy Disney themed clothes and other items featuring their favorite characters. The cost of these souvenirs can quickly get ridiculous.

Here’s an example, a normal Disney themed T-shirt outside of Disneyland would cost you about $5 at the most. Inside Disneyland, it costs about $20, and even some hats start at that price. It’s also not practical to buy clothing items. Since you’re probably not going to wear that Mickey Mouse shirt outside of Disneyland.

You go to Disneyland because it’s magical, and you want to leave with good memories. Sure, souvenirs are a good way to remember an amazing trip. But when the souvenirs start getting in the way of having fun, that’s where we draw the line.

If you absolutely must, at least get things that would fit into your home and things you wouldn’t find outside elsewhere.

Disney Fairies

This tip is directly connected with the one above it. Let’s say you have younger kids who will be unwilling to leave without souvenirs. Well, you don’t want to spoil the trip by scolding them or telling them you can’t buy them something they want. This workaround is just for you then.

Like I mentioned before, souvenirs like shirts and Disney themed toys are considerably more affordable outside of Disney World. If you go to Target or Walmart, you can find an incredible amount of things that wouldn’t look out of place in Disneyland. They always have stuff on clearance as well.

Buy anything you think your kids might like and they should be happy. However, Disney Fairies is something that makes this even more magical. If you’re staying in one of the hotels in the resort, you can talk to the staff and tell them to put these gifts on your bed when you come back, they’ll even leave some extra goodies. 

This is what’s called the Disney Fairies program, and adds a bit of magical touch to otherwise cheap stuff from Walmart or Target.

Costumes And Clothes

As we touched upon it previously, it is clear that clothes are quite expensive inside Disneyland. But if you have a younger daughter who wants to dress up as a princess, or maybe a son who wants to dress up as a superhero, plan this ahead of time.

You don’t want them to get hung up on costumes than have to buy them from inside the resort for a higher price. Most of the time, you can find the same stuff that is inside for much cheaper elsewhere.

If they’re wearing a costume, it’s also a good idea to carry a few sets of regular clothing. Kids get bored really quickly, so if they get uncomfortable, you can handle it with ease. 

Speaking of which, make sure they wear comfortable shoes underneath their costumes. You’ll be walking around a lot, so you don’t want them to get tired.

Free Activities

You’d be surprised by how many free activities there are to do in Disneyland. While you can’t exactly take any rides for free, there is other stuff to do. For example, you can take part in drawing classes and take the drawings home with you.

As for kids, there are always some pages to color, make necklaces with beads, and more crafting events. Inside California Adventure are always some free snacks that many tourists take advantage of.

Apart from that, the best thing you can do in Disneyland is to take lots of photos with your own phone or camera. The resort is absolutely incredible, so you’ll cherish all the great pictures you take. Try to bring a decent DSLR with you if you can.

Other Quick Tips

If you absolutely must buy souvenirs directly from Disney, take a look at their app instead of the actual shop. We don’t know why this is, but a lot of items are usually much cheaper inside the app. 

Here’s a quick food tip. If you’re ordering a full set meal, you can actually opt to order it a la carte for some quick savings. Don’t plan on eating the sides anyway? Just ask for the main course and you can easily save money.

The Anaheim packing district and 4th street marketplace are two great areas to quickly grab lunch. They cost considerably less when compared to Disneyland.

Explore The Coastal Cities

You don’t have to spend the entirety of your time at the Disneyland Resort. If you can only budget out the money for 3 days, that’s okay. Three days at Disneyland is still a dream for a lot of people. If you want to spend a longer time on vacation, then think of spending some time in the coastal cities as well.

We’re obviously talking about Los Angeles and Laguna Beach. If you can rent a car early in the morning, you can easily avoid traffic and reach either city in a matter of hours.  It doesn’t matter which city you pick, as both have great beaches and lots to do.

It’s a great way to wind down after a long day trip to Disneyland. There’s nothing more satisfying than spending your vacation relaxing at the beach.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to it. We tried to keep things very diverse and think outside of the box. Hopefully, you’ll save a lot of money on your next trip to Disneyland. Maybe this advice could be of some use to your family and friends as well. Have a good journey!

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Bullet Journal Savings Tracker – What Is It & How to Setup? https://plumdistrict.com/bullet-journal-savings-tracker/ https://plumdistrict.com/bullet-journal-savings-tracker/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2020 05:23:52 +0000 https://plumdistrict.com/?p=43 In our debt-ridden world where financial security is always a gamble, saving money is incredibly important. There are a lot of methods you can adopt to achieve your goal of saving money. Now granted the actual process varies and it depends on what item you are saving money for. However, one way to stay on …

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In our debt-ridden world where financial security is always a gamble, saving money is incredibly important. There are a lot of methods you can adopt to achieve your goal of saving money. Now granted the actual process varies and it depends on what item you are saving money for. However, one way to stay on top of this is to always keep track of things.

There are many ways to keep track of all of this. You can create different accounts for your expenses and savings. This way you’ll know how much is being spent and how much you’re saving. However, if you’re feeling creative, there is a more fun way to keep track of savings.

That’s by keeping a bullet journal savings tracker. It’s an effective and motivating way to keep track of how you’re doing when it comes to saving money.

What Is A Bullet Journal?

Most people have To-Do lists, planners, calendars, and much more to plan everything they do on a daily, monthly or even yearly basis. Well, it turns out calculating all those numbers can get boring. That’s why Bullet Journals have gained in popularity over the years.

Think of a Bullet Journal as a combination of a calendar, daily planner, and as the name suggests, it also serves as a journal or personal diary. You can split it up into sections for all three of these things, and much more. The best part is that there is no template to follow, and you can change up things to work best for you.

There are various styles of bullet journals out there but we’ll be focusing on bullet journal savings tracker or a savings bullet journal, to keep things simple.

Benefits Of A Savings Tracker Bullet Journal

A money savings tracker bullet journal is exactly what it sounds like. You set a goal for how much money you want to save. This could be either for retirement, a vacation, or some sort of luxury item, etc, etc. Keeping a bullet journal savings tracker will help you stay organized for any of these scenarios.

The organization is one thing, but after writing things down, you get peace of mind. Instead of worrying about how far away you are from your goal, you’ll always know the exact number. This is one of the many benefits of having a bullet journal money tracker.

A good bullet journal will always encourage you to get things done and move towards your goal faster. Think of it as crossing off a To-do list. However, in this scenario, we are moving up towards our goal, not eliminating things.

Bullet journals also inspire people to go after new ideas and test their creative skills. A bullet journal savings tracker does not have to be boring. In fact, there are a lot of great Bujo tracker ideas out there.

How To Set Up Your Own Bullet Journal Savings Tracker

There are a lot of bullet journal tracker ideas out there. Despite that, all these journal ideas can get quite elaborate and difficult to keep up with overtime. Sure, artsy drawings and colorful headers look great for social media (if that’s your thing), but they don’t contribute much to meeting your savings goals.

First off, decide if you want to save for one reason or a wide range of purposes. If it happens to be the latter, you’ll want to create a separate notebook for your bullet journal savings entirely. This way you can keep adding things as you please, and cross off old ones.

One of the best journal ideas we have is to keep track of everything. Dedicate two or three pages just to an index alone. Write the name of everything you are saving up for, and when you enter that item, add the page number in front of the name as well. This will encourage you to focus on everything at once.

Savings Tracker Journal Ideas

Finally, let’s move on to actual journal ideas so you can get some inspiration for yourself. Feel free to incorporate any of these into your own bullet journal savings tracker. Before we move on, remember that bullet journals are a personal thing. There aren’t any hard and fast rules on how you make your own bullet journal savings tracker.

The Expenses and Savings Log

This bullet journal savings tracker is exactly what it sounds like. It isn’t very creative or aesthetically pleasing unlike others out there. It is solely focused on practicality. Let’s say you already have some goals in mind, but you need to track all of your income, expenses, and savings in one place.

This is the bullet journal savings tracker to go for. Dedicate a couple of pages to this. Make separate rows for every month of the year. Also make separate columns for your income, expenses, and savings.

If you are saving up for long-term reasons, this will allow you to track how much you can realistically accomplish. Make sure the numbers are accurate, or at least roughly close. This way you can always be on top of things. 

This bullet journal isn’t the most good looking as we said, but it’s the most accurate bullet journal savings tracker out there. Everyone should have some sort of this tracker in their bullet journal.

Specific Savings Tracker

Let’s say you don’t have long-term goals in mind, but want to set aside money for stuff you want to buy. Well, these types of bullet journal savings trackers are perfect when you buy something expensive. Making separate trackers for these items is a good way to focus on one thing exclusively.

These are the type of bullet journal savings trackers that you can get very creative with, they also happen to be extremely popular in many bullet journals. The most popular example out of these is the savings jar.

Savings Jar

Draw a savings jar of any size (depending on how much you want to save) in your bullet journal. Write your goal at the top, and break the jar into sections according to months of the year. Let’s say you want to save up for this item for a year, and it costs $6000. So every month you’d have to save $500.

As you successfully save up every month, color in the sections or cross them off inside your bullet journal. Once the jar is full, your goal is completed and your bullet journal savings paid off in the long run.

This is yet another one of the more popular bullet journal savings trackers out there. That is simply due to the flexibility and creativity it allows you. At the end of the day, that’s what bullet journals are all about.

The Wishlist

This bullet journal tracker is a bit more unorthodox. It’s not commonly seen in bullet journals like the ones above, but some would argue that it is actually more practical. It is more of a budget than actual savings, so let us quickly explain.

Make 5 different categories like groceries, possessions, enjoyment, health, and emergency funds. You can change all of these however you please. For this to work, you must have prioritized where you want to save money first. Remember bullet journals are all about staying focused.

Now start setting aside for all of these categories as you go through the year. You can do this in any order. Keep adding the updated amount you have saved for each category. Next, we move on to the wishlist part.

On a separate page, make a wish list of things you need or want. Now write the cost of all these things in front of them. The categories you made earlier will tell you where they belong, and if you can afford them right now. This bullet journal tracker is more of a long term thing than the others.

Useful Tips

That’s about the gist of it. If you go looking around on social media for bullet journal savings trackers, you’ll find a lot more specific stuff people have done with their bullet journals. With all of that out of the way, we have some very quick tips for you to get you started.

  1. Try to make your own system. Sure other people might be more experienced in this, but try to take it easy and see what works for you. Bullet journals should not be a hassle.
  2. Decide if your focus is productivity or motivation. If you want to treat your bullet journal as a log of everything, then it is more productivity-focused. If you need motivation, it should be more encouraging and have visual cues
  3. Get creative! Bullet journals are all about seeing how you can make boring everyday tasks into fun experiences. So have fun with it.

That’s all we have to cover about bullet journals for now. Bullet journals are definitely more effective than one would initially expect. They’re not just about looking good, they can help you get things done effectively. We hope this helped you with your money saving journey.

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How Can I Save Money Living In NYC? https://plumdistrict.com/how-can-i-save-money-living-in-nyc/ https://plumdistrict.com/how-can-i-save-money-living-in-nyc/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2020 05:29:39 +0000 https://plumdistrict.com/?p=36 There are few cities in the world more recognized and popular than New York City. NYC is often termed as “The City That Never Sleeps”. This Metropolitan city is extremely diverse and always busy, and that characteristic is what has garnered all the attention for it.  Brooklyn and Manhattan are what most people picture when …

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There are few cities in the world more recognized and popular than New York City. NYC is often termed as “The City That Never Sleeps”. This Metropolitan city is extremely diverse and always busy, and that characteristic is what has garnered all the attention for it. 

Brooklyn and Manhattan are what most people picture when they think about New York City, as they are shown the most in movies and TV. However, both of those areas are expensive to live in, and getting by can be difficult for some. Despite that, New York City isn’t as expensive as you probably think.

Most New Yorkers are people who are always on the move, working more than one job, and just trying to make it in this competitive city. If you’re one of them, we’ll show you how to save money living in NYC.

Save Money On Housing

The reason New York City is so often considered to be expensive to live in is because of housing. Most people assume that places like Brooklyn and Manhattan have apartments with high-rent, which is true for the most part. However, living in New York and the cost of living isn’t that insane.

Saving money in NYC isn’t hard, and we’ll show by teaching you how to save money in New York when it comes to housing. Below are a few ways to save on the cost of living.

Move To An Affordable Location

Like we said, living in New York can be expensive amidst the Brooklyn and Manhattan areas. However, the best way to save money in NYC is by moving to an affordable location. Since the city is so easy to move around, New Yorkers have the advantage of using public transport to get to work quickly.

There are a few popular neighborhoods within New York City that you could move to. There is Washington Heights with all of its beautiful parks, Harlem with its large community, and much more. Even places that weren’t considered the best once have gotten much safer in 2020. Hell’s Kitchen is a prime example of such a neighborhood.

While this is one of the more obvious ways to save money in NYC, it is something to take advantage of. Even if you think that moving to a location further from your office is counter-intuitive, it might end up being a great money-saving idea.

Research Apartments Thoroughly

If you are just moving there and thinking of living in New York, then you’re likely aware of the costly rent in most areas. It’s higher than most other cities in the country, however, there’s one major culprit behind it: Broker Fees.

If you want to know how to save money in NYC, then this is the best tip we can give you, and that is to hunt for apartments on your own. Brokers will often show you various apartments, and once you finally like one, they will charge ridiculous fees. That’s what you sign up for when you deal with a Broker.

Living in New York is expensive, to begin with, and if you want to save money, paying broker fees on top of rent is not ideal. Thoroughly search for apartments on sites like Craigslist, and try to find the actual Landlord or owner yourself.

Dealing with Brokers is more of a hassle anyway, as they usually don’t have any idea what the customer wants. It is extortion in every sense of the word, so this is a major money-saving tip to follow and worth taking advantage of if you can.

Get A Roommate

If you have seen a certain popular TV show that was set in New York City (I’m talking about the show Friends, of course), then you know that roommates are extremely common in most areas of New York City.

Well, it really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, since the cost of living is higher than other cities. Getting a roommate will help you to split rent costs and save money on that. Apart from that, you can even split the costs on furniture, appliances, subscriptions, and much more. 

However, getting a roommate isn’t as glamorous as shown on TV, most of the time. You’ll have to meet a lot of people to find the right person. Look for someone who is responsible and will respect your boundaries. That’s easier said than done, but maybe try asking a few friends or family.

At the end of the day, getting a roommate is one of the best ways to save money in NYC, so it’s worth it to take advantage of.

Sublet Your Apartment When Traveling

If you’re going out of New York City for a week or two, this is something you should absolutely take advantage of. This is one of the best tricks to learning how to live cheaply in NYC. People who are visiting there are always looking for cheap ways to stay in NYC.

Cashing in on this easier than you might think. Inform your landlord that you will be traveling outside the city for some time and that you want to sublet the apartment. If the apartment is rent-stabilized, there should be no problems.

So how can one sublet their own apartment? Well, it’s much easier these days. You can find groups online and post there. The most efficient way of doing this is none other than putting the apartment on Airbnb, and you’ll quickly get a lot of requests for sure.

Food And Groceries

Well, that’s the housing part covered. If you use some of the tips in that section, you’ll already be saving a lot of cash. However, we still have a lot of room for improvement, so get excited! Next up, we’re moving on to food and groceries.

New York City is known for its abundance and diversity in restaurants and food. The culture also happens to revolve around food and eating outside a lot. However, there are a lot of ways to save money here too.

Eat Most Of Your Meals At Home

I know this might sound boring and obvious to some, but this is advice worth heeding. Buying groceries and cooking your own food at home will always be cheaper than eating outside. People don’t realize just how much money they can save in this way.

If you enjoy cooking, this is even better. You get to enjoy a hobby you like while saving some money. Even if you’re not the greatest chef in the world, you can learn some quick and easy recipes for lunch/dinner. If you eat at least two of your meals at home, you’ll save a lot of money.

New York usually has cheap breakfast all around, and many places have lunch discounts. Dinner is comparatively most expensive, so see if you can eat the last meal of the day at home.

Pack Your Lunch

This one ties into the last one but could be a lifesaver if you think about it. Think about all those times you were walking down the street to work or back from work. You get hungry and just go to the nearest restaurant to satiate your hunger.

If you pack your lunch, you’ll end up saving a lot of money and time too. As you won’t be spending unnecessary money. If you can learn how to cook, living in New York can be much easier.

Also, always carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times. Buying bottled water is a waste of money when tap water in NYC is good enough for anyone. A lot of restaurants will even refill these bottles for free, so take advantage of that. Drinking water regularly is also more economical than buying a soda or something similar.

Shop Online

Do you always end buying groceries that you never use? Well, a good way to stop spending on useless stuff is to buy online. You’ll only buy the things you need and won’t stop the gawk at all the fancy items that look good but have no practical value at the end of the day.

This is also a help if you want to get into cooking, but don’t want to waste time with a trip to the grocery store. A lot of stores also have online discounts more regularly than the actual store location.

Lunch Discounts

As I mentioned before, lunch is much more affordable in NYC as compared to dinner. This is because most restaurants have lunch specials and discounts during the afternoon hour. If you are looking to eat out during this time, look for these deals during the afternoon.

Food Trucks Are Your Best Friend

NYC is famous for its expensive and fancy restaurants, sure. Despite that, the city also has one of the most diverse street foods in the world. You can find anything from empanadas, burritos, sandwiches, and even salads. Food trucks are all over the city, and you’d be surprised by the quality.

Of course, you’d have to hunt them down a bit, but they’re much more reasonable than an expensive restaurant.

Happy Hours

Drinking in NYC can be quite the luxury, as the prices are incredibly high compared to anywhere else. Expect to pay at least $12-$16 on a cocktail, depending on where you go. If you are the sort of person who enjoys a drink after a long day at work, be on the lookout for happy hours.

Happy hours are exactly what they sound like. Many bars and restaurants offer Happy Hours in which drinks can be bought for a heavily discounted price. This varies from bar to bar.

Use Public Transport

New York might be infamous for its high living costs, however, it makes up for that with its excellent public transit system. There are subways, buses, car services, all that can be taken from anywhere in the city.

The city is easy to navigate, although an outsider might feel a bit lost at first. However, if you can learn about the routes, public transit will seem like a breeze. Driving a car in NYC traffic is quite the frustration anyway. So save yourself the headache and the money, and go for public transport.

Want to use buses and the subway? Have a look at the Metro Card. This is a monthly card you can get for a fixed fee that lets you enjoy unlimited rides for the whole month. However, a monthly card can be about $127 a month, so be sure you use public transport a lot before investing in that.

Affordable Activities 

Just because NYC is expensive doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of cash to have fun. In fact, you could have a lot of fun without even spending a single dollar in some cases. We’ll quickly go through some of the more popular stuff.

Go For A Walk Or Run

Surprisingly, the NYC metropolis is incredibly popular among runners. There are a lot of routes to run through in many neighborhoods, with a lot of sightseeing included as a bonus. The Central Park Loop, Brooklyn Bridge, and Manhattan Bridge are extremely popular for this sole reason.

Go To A Museum 

Many museums in NYC are completely free to discover, and others mostly ask you to pay what you want. The incredibly popular MET and even the Museum Of National History are included in this. Other museums also have free days/hours, so be on the lookout for that.

Cheap Theatres

A lot of theatres and cinemas in New York often have discounts at certain hours, and this is common when a new Blockbuster is airing. Follow all of your favorite cinemas on social media, to be alerted of these great deals. If you’re a movie snob, we have an even better tip.

You’ve probably heard of the AMC cinemas around the city. You can sign for a $24 monthly membership program, which lets you watch three movies a week. That adds up to 12 movies you can watch in the cinema if you go every week. You also get free popcorn size upgrades and soda refills.

Try Kayaking

If you previously lived in a place where this wasn’t possible, or simply never gave it a shot, now is a good time as any. During the summer, you can kayak along the Hudson River, without paying a single cent. This only works during the summer holidays.

Explore The Parks

Just because the city is packed with tall buildings doesn’t mean there is no lush greenery around. NYC is home to many beautiful public parks, all of which can be explored for free. You’re already aware of Central Park. If you haven’t been there yourself, you’ve seen it in movies and TV, even video games.

Apart from that Washington Square Park, City Hall Park, Battery Park, are all extremely popular. In fact, NYC has over 1700 parks, so there’s something for everyone.

Broadway

Broadway is one of the top three tourist and visitation spots of the city. Plays can be quite expensive on Broadway, so before you spend the full amount for the ticket, always look around for a discount. There are many apps made specifically for this.

If you are someone who believes in good luck, try your hand at the Broadway Lottery tickets. They are free to enter and if you win, you can get great seats for a discounted price.

Visit The Public Library

The New York Public Library is extremely popular among students and bookworms. They have millions of items and several locations around the city. They are also a great place to sit down, relax, and get some work done.

If you are the type who buys a lot of books, maybe try renting them so you can save money. Alternatively, join a book club or try to trade books with friends and people you meet there.

Other Free Attractions

In such a big city like New York, there are bound to be a tonne of attractions for all sorts of people. There are playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, among other things. If you are someone who likes sightseeing, there are a lot of options for you as well.

The Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central are both popular tourist spots, so go visit them every now and then to see if you can meet new people. You can also visit the world trade center memorial. You can also visit the World Trade Center Memorial for free, but the museum admission costs money.

The best thing you can do is to get on the Staten Island Ferry to get an up-close and personal look at the Statue Of Liberty.

New York also hosts a lot of concerts, festivals, and parades over the year. Parades are incredibly popular during Thanksgiving and other holiday occasions. They are a good way to have fun.

Other Ways To Save Considerable Cash

Well, up to this point we’ve covered all the essentials and how you can save money on them. However, there are a lot of smaller areas in life where you can save money while living in New York too. Let’s have a look at some of them and see how much of an impact they really make.

Get Rid Of Cable

Ask yourself an honest question, when is the last time you actually thanked that you used all the channels that came with your cable subscription? You’ll struggle to find a decent answer. It’s baffling as to why so many people are still paying for costly coaxial connections. 

NYC is a place that has good internet across the city, so you can easily stream all your favorite shows wherever you are. Seriously, it’s time to cut the cord and be free of this useless expense.

Share Subscriptions

Speaking of subscriptions, they can quickly start to add up in our day and age. Netflix and Spotify are the obvious ones, and they are both $10 a month on average. However, you might like other shows on HBO too, so that’s another subscription. Now add in magazines, newspapers, and the cost adds up.

If you have a roommate or neighbor that is willing to split the costs, it is seriously worth considering and will save you a lot in the wrong run. If you’re in college, ask a few friends and they’d strike a deal with you.

NYC Newsletters

The Time Out New York Newsletter, Gothamist, and Nonsense NYC are all great online newsletters if you want to stay up to date with what is going around in the city. These will also often alert you of deals, discounts, and even free events. All of this is delivered to your inbox. You might even get a few perks from some newsletters for signing up.

Don’t Skimp Out On The Essentials

I know I’ve already talked about most of the essentials. This includes housing, food, entertainment, and utilities. However, there are a few essential utility items that you should carry with you everywhere you go.

Purchase a sturdy water bottle that you won’t ever lose or break. Think of this as the last water bottle you buy, and go for a well rounded one. You don’t want to keep buying them after a couple of months. The same can be said about running shoes. New York is a place that requires a lot of walking.

Invest in a few pairs of shoes that are of high quality. Make sure you can use these every day. They should be comfortable and last a long while. Also, carry a backpack and a good pair of headphones with you. These are all items that can be expensive, so invest in them once so you don’t have to replace them every now and then.

Final Thoughts

If you follow all of these tips and tricks, you should already be saving a lot of money. See? Living in one of the nicest cities of the world doesn’t have to be as expensive as one might think. 

While NYC can be quite a costly place to live in, it’s not as bad as the media portrays it. Also, make sure to enjoy yourself and take in the city for all of its beauty. Hopefully, we’ve achieved our goal and now you know how to save money while living in NYC.

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How Much Should You Keep In Savings? https://plumdistrict.com/how-much-should-you-keep-in-savings/ https://plumdistrict.com/how-much-should-you-keep-in-savings/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2020 14:21:16 +0000 https://plumdistrict.com/?p=31 The question of “How much money should I have in savings?” is extremely common. This is especially true among millennials and the younger generation these days, as student loans and other debts are much more expensive these days. We all know we should be earning money, and also be aware of how we’re spending it.  …

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The question of “How much money should I have in savings?” is extremely common. This is especially true among millennials and the younger generation these days, as student loans and other debts are much more expensive these days. We all know we should be earning money, and also be aware of how we’re spending it. 

But if the question you are asking is how much money should I have in savings, well it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to answer. All of this is mostly relative, so if you’re a bit confused just remember that there is no exact number. 

However, there are a few ways to figure it out for people thinking about how much cash should I have in savings?. Before we even get into that, we have to get two things out of the way.

Be Aware Of Your Income

I can’t stress this enough, if you don’t already have a savings account, you must create one as soon as possible. I say this because it is extremely important to know the difference between your month’s worth of expenses and month’s worth of saving. Every dollar of your income needs to have a purpose to it.

Of course, all of this depends on how much money you make. But even if you don’t make much, or are struggling to get by even, contribute whatever you can to your savings account. This way you’ll feel a tad bit safer in the future.

Worry About Your Debt First

There is no way to sugarcoat this, debt essentially steals your money and destroys your future plans. Interest rates can drive up over time, and the more you let the debt build, the more you’ll have to pay in the long run. Calculate your month’s worth of expenses, and try to put the rest of your income to pay off your debt.

This sounds drastic sure, but let me explain. Let’s say you have a lot of credit card debt which has piled up over the years. If the amount of money you have in a savings account is less than the credit card debt, then you have a negative net worth.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have in that savings account. In reality, it’s not even your money, as you owe it to the credit card company. So your actual money-saving journey kicks in when your debt is paid off. Don’t put this off, and try to resolve it as soon as possible.

This doesn’t mean you should put all the money from your savings account into fulfilling your debt either. It will be a drastic amount, but try to set the bare minimum of $1200 aside for emergency funds. This could be helpful in case of a rainy day. We’ll talk more about emergency savings later. Finally, let’s get to the matter at hand.

How Much Money To Keep In Savings

Finally, let’s attempt to answer the question on everyone’s minds: how much should you have in savings. Remember, all of this advice and information isn’t exactly objective, but it should give you a general idea. The number will be different for everyone, but we can take a guess based on age, income, and monthly expenses.

So, the answer to how much should I have in savings, depends on the type of thing you are saving up for. Let’s break it down. Savings aren’t just all about retirement, as you’ll quickly learn by reading below.

Emergency Funds

I mentioned emergency funds briefly above, so what does it really mean to have money stashed away for emergencies, and how savings should I have, I hear you ask?. Emergency funds should cover all of the completely unexpected expenses.

Did a medical emergency come up? Use the emergency funds. Does your car need a new set of brand new tires? Use the emergency funds. They are even more important if something threatens your job security, and you could be out of income for a few months. Having emergency savings should help in that.

Let’s calculate the amount you need. Gather all of your grocery receipts, electrical bills, utility bills, mortgage, etc. We’re talking about all of the essential utilities you need to get by. Internet and phone bills are also included. We’re doing an audit of sorts, so gather all of your essential expenses for the past three months.

Then add up everything, and have a look at what you need to survive for three months. These are just the essentials, so things like books, subscription services, games, etc, should not be included.

Start building up these emergency funds, it should take you some time. The average emergency fund should be able to cover you for about three to six months if you happen to be out of income. Some people recommend more, but the average advice is to aim for six month’s worth of funds

What’s The Point Of Emergency Funds?

Emergency funds will keep you afloat for three to six months if anything unexpected happens. This way major disasters can be a bit lighter on the wallet. If you can aim for more than six months, that’s even better. Of course, this won’t be easy at first. You might even have to look at part-time jobs if you’re a student.

However, you’ll be incredibly thankful to yourself that you did this. As you won’t go into panic mode whenever bad happens, and at least the financial worry can be taken out of whatever situation you are in.

If you can keep building these funds, and aim for even a year of emergency funds in total, you’ll rarely worry about minor inconveniences.

Retirement Savings

Having money in a savings account is important. Having separate accounts for current, savings, emergency, and retirement funds is even smarter. There are a lot of ways you can save up for retirement savings. However, we only recommend doing this once all of your debts and loans are paid off.

You don’t want to be paying off loans even in your retirement age, and that money should be spent on living the rest of your life peacefully. It wouldn’t be pleasant if the money you gathered in your savings account for all those years would be wasted on paying debts. 

Retirement savings are important so that you can relax after all those years of hard work. How can you save up for them? Well, that depends on where you live. Once your debt is through, consider signing up for a 401K or Roth IRA retirement program with the company you work with.

Of course, this only applies if you live in the USA. However, most countries have similar programs for retirement. Be aware of tax deduction, and compound interest rates. The sky’s the limit, so try to contribute to your retirement savings as much as you can.

The Numbers

If you want some average numbers, let’s quickly go through them. By your late 20s, you should have one year of your annual income contributed to retirement savings. That means if you earn $70,000 per year, your retirement savings should have the same amount.

It is recommended for people from ages 35 to 44, to save three times the amount of their annual income. This might seem like a large sum, but start contributing early on and you’ll get there in no time.

Most people hit their peak earning in the ages of 45-50, which means it’s very risky to switch careers at this point. Experts recommend aiming for six times the amount of your retirement figure.

By age 50-65 you will need to have saved up eight times the amount of your annual income. 

Other Expenses

So you’ve figured out how much you need in emergency funds, and how much to aim for your retirement savings. It would be awfully convenient if those were the only things you needed to save up for. However, life is not that easy, and life can be expensive at times.

Let’s say you want to get married. The average American wedding costs more than $30,000. The cost of a wedding is still pretty high in other countries as well. Thinking of buying a new car? Well, you’ll need to account for tax, monthly gas expenses, and maintenance too. If you want to take a vacation, that’s also quite expensive, especially if you have a family.

We recommend setting up entirely different savings accounts for all of those expenses. Of course, you might have to work a little harder and maybe even find multiple sources of income, but that’s the cost of living in an expensive world like ours, especially in this day and age.

However, if you’re set in all of these departments, you will never have to worry about money for the most part. 

Sure, finance can be a bit boring to some, but financial freedom has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? So if you start to worry about all of this stuff soon, eventually you’ll be ready for whatever heads your way.

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How To Save Money As A Teenager https://plumdistrict.com/how-to-save-money-as-a-teenager/ https://plumdistrict.com/how-to-save-money-as-a-teenager/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2020 06:31:25 +0000 https://plumdistrict.com/?p=16 When you’re a teenager, you happen to want a lot of things. Whether that involves cool stuff that your friends have or bigger goals like getting into a good college. Before I tell you how to save money as a teenager, there are a few things I’d like to get out of the way. Saving …

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When you’re a teenager, you happen to want a lot of things. Whether that involves cool stuff that your friends have or bigger goals like getting into a good college. Before I tell you how to save money as a teenager, there are a few things I’d like to get out of the way. Saving money for teens is a lot easier than you might think. 

Sure, most teenagers don’t have a lot of cash/income, to begin with. But if you start little by little, you’ll thank yourself years later. If you start to save money now, you’ll also get a sense of how to handle money as an adult. But enough talk, let’s get into some money-saving tips for teens.

Open A Savings Account

Opening a savings account is an important way of learning how to save money fast as a teenager. Having a bank account obviously has its benefits, but setting aside a separate one just for savings will be helpful. It doesn’t matter how much you put into this account, but it helps if you have a target of some sort.

For example, if you get $50 to spend every week, calculate how much you need for your spending needs. After that, put the rest into a savings account. You can also set a strict amount of money you want to put aside, but it’s doubtful that you’re getting a consistent amount of income anyway.

Most savings accounts also have an interest benefit, so the longer you let that money sit, the more it will grow. Of course, this depends on the monthly fees and other charges your bank takes from your account. I recommend a lot of research before you open this savings account to find the right bank for you.

Money management for teens is important, so here’s another tip: Try not to touch the money in your savings account. We call it a savings account for a reason, only withdraw that cash when you absolutely need to or when you’ve reached your goal.

Always Remember Your Goals

This is something that applies to almost everything in life, whether it’s personal finance or personal development. Once you have a savings account, it’s time to set your goals. Most likely you clicked on this guide because you want to buy something expensive, or save money for future endeavors.

Saving money for something expensive won’t be easy, so how can a teenager manage their money? Well, personal finance is something you will have to learn. Try to understand the difference between essential items and luxury items. 

The next time you want to buy something expensive, take a step back and think if it’s really that important. Weight the pros and cons. If you can get by without that purchase, save money for that expensive object you desire. This is the best advice anyone can give when it comes to saving money.

Find A Part-Time Job

As a carefree young adult, finding a part-time job can be boring for money. But nothing in this world can come about without hard word, and that just so happens to include part-time jobs as well. There are a lot of things you can find to do as a young adult to get some extra income and save money towards your goals.

Go to your local mall, shops, and stores to see if they have any openings for a retail job. It sounds a bit old school, but usually, the shifts aren’t that bad to work with. If you can find something you’re even mildly interested in, that’s even better. For example, if you are a tech enthusiast, find a job in a computer store or something similar.

You can also do a lot just from home. If you are the creative type and interested in design, try digital illustration and graphic design. There are a lot of places where you can sell digital art online too. If you can make logos, try to find a few clients to do that for. You can also write research papers for other kids for a bit of money.

You could also do some housework or extra chores around the house. If not, try to see if there are a few chores you could do for people in the neighborhood.

Always Carry Food And Water With You

This is something probably every young adult has gone through. You get hungry all of a sudden in the middle of class, and then you spend a lot of money on lunch, only to regret it later. Sure, it’s good to treat yourself every once in a while, but excessive spending isn’t going to help.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat out at all, but taking lunch with you to school will save you a lot of money. Even if you do it for only a week or two, you’ll be surprised by how much you saved. This is another great way to save money.

You might be thinking saving money isn’t easy, but with a few small compromises like taking your lunch to school will help a lot. Most parents won’t mind helping you out in this regard either. Avoid vending machines too, as you end up spending a considerable amount that you don’t even acknowledge. You’ll save money from that alone, and a good amount too.

Personal Finance

I have mentioned personal finance here and there in this article, so let’s explain it quickly. Personal finance is the financial management that you perform to calculate how much you earn, how much you spend, and how much money you save. It is important to sit down for a bit and calculate all of this out to an estimated value.

Seriously, if you can figure out how to save money without mindlessly spending it, you’ll already be ahead of a lot of people. Saving money is something even adults struggle with, so if you can understand your personal finance soon, you’ll be even better at it as an adult.

Another tip for personal finance is keeping track of what you buy. Save all of the receipts you receive, and calculate your spending every month. There are also a lot of great apps for this sole purpose. This will make it much easier for you to calculate your spending habits.

Sell Stuff You Don’t Need

If you want to save money as a teenager, this is a small sacrifice you’ll have to make. Think of all the old stuff you have lying around: old gaming consoles, cartridge, childhood toys, mp3 players, books, board games, etc. Ask your parents to arrange a yard sale, and sell all that stuff you don’t need.

If you like playing games and buy physical disks, sell games you’ve already played before buying new ones. This way you’ll always have some money to buy games too. It’s also much more economical than having a large collection.

Take Advantage Of Coupons

Many large sites like Amazon, Best Buy, and others have huge sales all year round. Try to always be on the lookout for these. If there aren’t any sales, try to hunt down coupons for any purchase you make online. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.

This is especially helpful during the holiday season. A lot of companies have their products on sale, but you can easily find many coupons during the holiday season, and this drives the price down even further. Also, if you want to make any big purchases, try to wait it out for sales like these if you can

Make Use Of Your Student ID

A student ID can prove to be much more important than it actually sounds. A lot of subscription services and sellers offer benefits to students, so make use of them whenever you can. Many clothes retailers also offer a lot of discounts to students.

Apart from that, if you’re thinking of buying any courses online or joining a program, a lot of them are completely free as long as you have a student ID. Always be on the lookout for student discards. Don’t be shy to ask either, as many organizations will be glad to help out students.

Try To Pay With Cash

This isn’t exactly a technical way of saving money, but hear me out. If you have a credit card, you probably usually pay for stuff through that. Well, research shows that people who pay cold hard cash are usually more aware of their spending habits. Now I know you can’t use cash everywhere, especially for online services.

However, whenever you go to a local store, the movies, or even a night out with friends, keep cash with you. The physical feeling of giving money away irks some people for a reason. This is more of a placebo effect than anything, but if it works for you then there’s no harm in trying.

Final Thoughts

To be completely honest, saving money as a teenager isn’t the easiest thing in the world. But with enough perseverance, you’ll eventually get there. Even if you use a few of these techniques, you’ll be surprised to see that money management for teens isn’t as impossible as some might think. 

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