Tips To Save For A Great Family Vacation

If you haven’t already begun saving for your spring or summer vacation this year, you have two choices: 1) Declare it’s too late to save and wait until next year, or 2) Make a plan and make it happen! To get started saving right away, follow these three tips that will move you closer to achieving your dream of taking a fun-filled spring or summer vacation.

Form a Budget

If you’ve already decided where you’d like to go on vacation, when you will go, and for how long, establishing a budget is easy. You can go about forming your budget in two ways: First, research via the internet to find the best flight fares, hotel packages, transportation, restaurants, and other expenses. Then plug those numbers into a vacation budget planning form that will help organize and calculate your expenses. Second, form a budget by outlining your vacation destination, travel dates and the estimated amount you’ll have to spend. Then, have a travel agent find you the best deals based on the vacation packages they have available.

Look for Ways to Save

We’re all familiar with the traditional ways of saving money, such as having a change jar or piggy bank or opening a savings account with a local bank. Those ideas still work and may be useful in helping you save for your vacation. But in today’s world, there are even better means of helping you reach your savings goal. First, among the modern savings tools, you can use to help you are the many smartphone apps that automatically transfer a set dollar amount – at pre-determined times – from your checking account into an account for your vacation. Apps such as Mint, Digit or Qapital may be useful. In addition to saving money from your paycheck each month, you can create sources of additional income by selling household items and collectibles online on sites such as eBay, Etsy or Amazon.

Make Your Goal Tangible

While your spring or summer vacation may only seem like a dream until you actually leave for the trip, there are things you can do to make it tangible and real now! Print off some color pictures of your vacation destination and hang them up where you’ll see them daily. Additionally, you may consider purchasing a few small items that you will need for your trip, such as suntan lotion, sandals or a bathing suit. Put these items out where you’ll see them regularly to remind you of why you’re saving. How will these ideas help you save? By having visible images and tangible items related to your vacation in plain view, you will stay focused and motivated to achieve your vacation savings goal.

The professional accountants at Donohoo Accounting Services have even more ways to help you save. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation or call 513-528-3982.

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Three Ways to Avoid Wage Garnishment

While paying your bills on time may give you a feeling of accomplishment and pride, getting behind can have an opposite, devastating effect. When past-due bills are turned over to collection agencies – and their calls and letters go unanswered – the creditor may have no choice but to sue for payment. However, before you find yourself in that situation, be sure to understand what garnishment is and be familiar with the steps you can take to keep it from happening to you.

What Is Garnishment?

In order to collect payment of a debt that has gone unpaid and perhaps ignored for an extended period of time, a creditor may file a lawsuit to collect payment directly from your employer. That’s the meaning of garnishment. It is a legal means of collecting payment on a debt by taking payments out of your paycheck, including bonuses and retirement income. Garnishing a debtor’s wages is usually the last tactic a creditor will resort to after all other methods have failed.

Ways to Avoid Garnishment

Before debt collection gets to the stage of garnishment, there are three basic steps you can take to avoid the process:

Stay current on your debt payments If you have difficulty keeping track of your various payment due dates, add them to your smartphone’s or computer’s calendar. Include a reminder notice in each calendar post to alert you to make your payment on or before the due date. Or, remind yourself to stay current by writing a budget. List all your payments and when they’re due. Then, check off each one as you pay.

Respond quickly to creditor communicationsSoon after a payment is missed and becomes past due, the creditor will follow up with you by phone, email, mail or perhaps even via text message. Usually, creditors are friendly and helpful when a single payment becomes past due. Also, some won’t report one past due payment to credit bureaus if it’s less than 60 days past due. As soon as you become aware of a missed payment, communicate with the creditor – don’t ignore or avoid their attempts to talk with you. Communicating lets them know you intend to make up the payment, get the account current and avoid the possibility of garnishment.

Work out a payment planWhen your account becomes past due by 60 days or more, the credit bureaus receive notice and you sink ever-closer to the risk of having your paycheck garnished. However, when your past-due balance becomes significantly past due or the dollar amount is beyond your ability to pay, that’s when a payment plan is necessary. Again, communication is key. Contact your creditor and ask to arrange a payment plan. Making a payment arrangement is mutually beneficial because you both would prefer to avoid the hassle of garnishment.

Are you facing financial difficulties including the threat of garnishment? The accounting professionals at Donohoo Accounting Services can help get your finances in check. Call 513-528-3982 or email us today.

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