Archive for December 2015

6 Money Saving Tips for Your Next Holiday Road Trip

road tripThe holidays are nearly upon us, which means it?s time for shopping, baking and list-making once again. And if you?re like most people, the holiday season is also a time for road tripping, spending time with relatives and friends that live at least three hours away.

However, while traveling by car can be fun and far less expensive than flying, the costs can easily add up, too, if you don?t plan your trip well. So to help you keep costs down and make the holidays a festive season for you and your wallet, here are six money-saving tactics you can try before and during long drives.

Properly fill your tires up before you leave

Maintaining proper tire pressures can help improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3%. It also reduces the possibility of an unwanted roadside stop. To find the recommended pressure for your tires, check your owner?s manual or on the driver?s side door jamb. Use a pressure gauge to check if you have the correct pressures or not. If the pressure is inadequate, be sure to fill it up to the correct levels.

Gas up

Fuel is undoubtedly the costliest part of your road trip. There are many ways to save money on gas, including using GasBuddy, an app that helps you locate the cheapest gas in your area. Filling up your tank before you leave is also an indirect way of saving money because it takes away the temptation of stopping by at gas stations and getting inside to buy snacks or soda.

Plan your travel time

With the holiday rush, roads can be busy, resulting in stop-and-go traffic that will make your engine run less efficiently. You can avoid this by choosing your travel time wisely. The hours from 7 to 9am and 4 to 6pm are the busiest, so better travel before or after these times. Also, when passing through big cities or even towns, be aware if there are festivals or events that will take place so you can find alternative routes and not get stuck in traffic. This could save you time and money.

Slow down

The obvious reason for this is to avoid an expensive speeding ticket. But there?s more?slowing down is also one way to make your car more fuel efficient. While driving at speed will give you some time advantage, you will end up going for another stop to the gas station because the faster you drive, the less fuel efficient your vehicle will become.

Bring only what you need

Whether you?re headed out for a weekend or a week-long trip, make sure you only pack what you need. Aside from helping you easily track your things, packing lightly saves you money on gas since an extra 100 pounds of junk can cost up to 2% of your fuel economy.

Be prepared for possible emergencies

You?ll never know what will happen to you on the road, so it?s essential that you remain prepared. Pack a first aid kit in case someone gets sick, bring food and snacks, as well as entertainment?that will help you get through a long drive. Being ready with a list of contacts in case you get yourself in a car-related emergency is also advisable, such as the number of service providers offering roadside assistance, cheap tires, and other products.

A little bit of planning and a few smart choices will protect you from unnecessary costs of a holiday road trip. Using these tips, you?ll arrive at your destination with your wallet still healthy!


Photo courtesy of: tookapic

Don?t Let Debt Hold You Back From Your Dreams

read-369040_640When you are deep in debt and you are working hard to throw every penny you can toward paying it off, it?s easy to lose sight of everything else going on in life around you. You forget that while you are busy working extra hours, devoting time to a side hustle, and clipping coupons life hasn?t slowed down.

This fact has recently hit home for me as I?ve had lots of life changes happen this past year. Although I didn?t make as much progress on my debt as I wanted to when I set my goals for 2015, I am happy to say that I didn?t let debt hold me back from pursuing my dreams this year.

Despite being in debt, I accomplished my goal of quitting my full-time job to run my business from home full-time instead. I was also able to travel across the country to attend a conference. I had a blast while I was there and the trip more than paid for itself with new opportunities for my business.

That doesn?t mean that everyone who is in debt should necessarily quit their jobs to become self-employed, and self-employment certainly isn?t everyone?s dream. My point is that I finally decided I wasn?t going to let my debt hold me back from my dreams and you shouldn?t either.

Work Hard to Pay Off Debt

Debt (and interest) is a huge money suck and can really take away from your ability to pursue your dreams. While not everything worth having or doing in life costs money, some things do. It can be difficult to pursue these dreams when debt is taking away all of your extra cash each month.

This is why paying off debt is crucial to most peoples? plans to pursue their dreams. Most of the time it makes sense to pay off debt and free up monthly cash flow before making any big changes in life.

?But Don?t Forget to Take (Calculated) Risks

Sometimes it?s just not possible to wait until your debt is paid off to make a change and pursue your dreams. Along with the positive changes I made in my life this year, I also experienced some bad days and some sad reminders that you can?t always wait to pursue your dreams.

Earlier this year I lost a friend of mine due to an auto accident. She was only a few years older than me and her passing was unexpected. This was a really sad time in my small community, but it also served as a reminder that you never know what can happen.

This was just one more thing that finally pushed me to quit my job and take my business full-time. Of course I was scared, especially since I still have debt to pay off, but I knew that my happiness was more important. If anything, I use the fact that I have debt to pay off as a motivation to work hard each and every day to make sure I?m earning enough money in my business.

Even though I?m working more than I ever have before and I?m more tired at the end of the day (being creative for hours on end is exhausting), I?m also happier than I have been in years. I know that I?m pursuing my dreams and not letting my debt hold me back.

I?m still going to get my debt paid off, but in the meantime I?m also going to take the time to enjoy my life and keep on dreaming.


What are you dreaming of? Is your debt holding you back?


Photo courtesy of: makunin

Save Time and Money with E-Filing

office-820390_640This might not be a topic relevant to a lot of people, but if you are a practitioner who regularly has to submit documents to the NSW Civil Registry, then this is big news.

This is because the NSW Civil Registry now lets you file all of your documents online. This is called e-filing?and you can lodge these documents for any Local, District, or Supreme Registry Court without leaving your office.

There are lots of other things you can e-file too though, saving you time and money.

What is even better, is if you use a third party service for all of your submissions, then this massively increases the benefits of court e-filing to your business.

So what are the real-world benefits of combining court e-filing with a third party submission service and how will it make a difference to your business?

  • Fast turn arounds on documents: In the majority of instances, your documents are turned around in 24 hours, so you can serve sealed documents much faster. This makes your business more efficient, allowing you to spend more time working on your business.
  • Instant verification: Your court documents will be manually checked by the third party service, prior to being uploaded to the court relevant system. If any problems or omissions are found with your submission, then you will be instantly notified. So your Statement of Claim is always verified before submission and lodged that same day, as long as your documents are uploaded before 12pm.
  • No signed documents needed: You don?t have to worry about uploading signed documents, because the Statement of Claim is automatically generated for you. This makes your life a lot less stressful and the entire process much quicker and streamlined.
  • Preview before you submit: With an easy to use preview function, you can check that you have everything in order before you submit the forms. This means that your employees can do all of the e-filing, you can check the submission and then they can go ahead with finalising the uploading process.
  • Streamlined accounting: Any good third party service will automatically calculate all fees and bill them back to the correct accounts. So you won?t have any more missed disbursements, making your accounting process flawless.
  • Monthly billing: Another nice feature of using a third party submission service is that you are billed monthly. So apart from having no more problems with missed disbursements, you only have one bill to pay each month for all of your lodgements to any of the NSW Courts.

On the other hand, if you decide to decide against using a third party submission service, then you have to pay your court filing fees upfront for every submission. Not only this, but you are also likely to have ongoing problems, such as missed disbursements, longer submission processes, and omissions won?t be picked up before uploading.

It is easy to see how e-filing for civil registry can save you time and money in your business, both of which you can utilize to grow and expand your business, rather than standing in line at the Court Registry.


Photo courtesy of: fancycrave1

How to Give to Charity While in Debt


5287978312_ccd2d3dae9_zThe desire to give to charity is a noble ambition. However, for those who are in debt, it might seem more like a fantasy than something that could become a reality. If you would like to give to charity, but you’re debt, you will need to be careful about how you dispense your funds in order to ensure a positive outcome on all fronts.

Obviously, you first need to take care of your own financial responsibilities. Make sure that you have enough money to pay all of your expenses on a monthly basis, including making more than the minimum payment on any outstand debts that you may have. Just as charity is important, it is also important to look after yourself and your family properly. Giving away money that you actually need to pay your own expenses is a plan that won?t last long.

Plan Carefully

Setting aside money to donate to charity is just like any other expense ? you need to plan it carefully in order to make sure the donation fits in with everything else in your budget.

Go back over your last three months? worth of financial records and see if you could have included a charitable contribution in your budget at that time without going into the red. If you see that there is room in the budget for such a donation, you just may be able to add charitable giving to your list of monthly expenses.

Practice Giving

How can you practice giving money away? By not really giving it away ? at least not at first.

Once you decide how much money you are going to donate each month, take that money and set it aside in another one of your accounts for a ?holding? period. For example, you could take the money out of your main checking account each month for three months and stash it in your savings account.

If you get to the end of the three months and you are still comfortable giving that money away, go ahead and make the donation. If not, you will have discovered that you can?t actually afford to be making regular donations just yet.

Only Give to the Best

All charities are not created equal, so make sure you have picked out quality charities before you send off a check. There are plenty of resources available online where you can look into the records and background of each registered charity.

Obviously you can pick and choose causes that are important to you, but no matter what the cause, make sure the charity you select is one that is going to spend your money in the right places. There are plenty of great charities doing excellent work all around the world, so it shouldn?t take too long to find worthy destinations for your donation.

As long as you have done careful planning on your budget prior to sending the money, you can sit back and feel good about the help you have provided to people in need.


Do you give to charity on a regular basis? How do you budget for your charitable donations? Do you consider giving time to a charity if you’re unable to give financially?


Photo courtesy of: Vicki DeLoach

6 Christmas Gifts that Keep on Giving – at Little Cost

christmas gifts

gifts-557205_640With the holidays right around the corner, it?s time to finish up buying Christmas gifts?(if you?re not done shopping already!).

In my opinion, it?s a lot more fun to give gifts than it is to get gifts. This is partly because most gifts we get are only new, shiny and exciting for the first 15 minutes after we unwrap them on Christmas morning. If you don?t want your family or friends to feel that way on Christmas morning, here are some great Christmas gift ideas that keep on giving, but don?t keep costing!

Media Subscriptions

You can easily buy your family or friends a subscription to their favorite magazine, newspaper, comics or online media streaming service. A years? worth (or more) of these subscriptions can be paid for as a gift to someone on your list so they continue to receive your gift all year at no cost to them. Another great option, for cord cutters, is the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00GDQ0RMG” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link]. This provides access to many different shows and movies with no ongoing cost to them.

Classes to Learn a New Skill

If someone on your list is pining to learn a new skill, you could purchase them the gift of knowledge. You could enroll them in a class at a local college, university or business where classes are being taught in the skill they want to learn. Cooking classes, art classes, or even personal finance classes or workshops can make great gifts for your friends and family.

Season Passes for Popular Entertainment Options

Another great gift that keeps on giving is a season pass to a popular entertainment attraction. Many movie theatres, pools, amusement parks and zoos offer season passes, year-long passes, or even frequent visitor passes that make great gifts.

Membership Fees

While paying for a gym membership is not everyone?s idea of a fun gift, it might be a good gift for the gym rat on your list. This is definitely a gift that keeps on giving if they are frequent gym-goers. Another membership that might be worth gifting is a membership to a warehouse store like Costco or Sam?s Club. These stores are great ways to save money groceries?especially if you don?t have to pay for a membership fee one year. 🙂

A Grocery Service

Busy moms or bachelors on your list would likely love the gift of a grocery service. It takes away the burden of having to prepare meals when you are a tired and busy mom, and helps bachelors eat healthily if they are unable to prepare meals on their own.

Subscription Boxes

There?s a subscription box service to fix anyone on your Christmas gift list this year. There are subscription boxes for shaving kits for men, [easyazon_link keywords=”toys” locale=”US” tag=”wisedollar-20″]toys[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link keywords=”games” locale=”US” tag=”wisedollar-20″]games[/easyazon_link] for young kids, clothing and accessories for ladies and even toys and treats for pets. This is definitely an option if you want to pay once and give your friends and family a gift that will keep being delivered to them each month all year long.

The fun of giving and getting gifts on Christmas morning doesn?t have to be short-lived if you give everyone on your list a gift that keeps on giving. The best thing about these gifts is that the receiver doesn?t necessarily have to spend any money of their own in order to get the gift all year long.


Do you enjoy giving gifts? Have you ever given any gifts that keep on giving? If so, what did you give?


Photo courtesy of: Patrice_Audet