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Money Etiquette
Money Etiquette, Taxes

TurboTax Review: What to Know About the Online Tax Filing Service

Tax season is pretty much nobody’s idea of fun.

Fortunately, there’s a wide range of digital DIY tax filing services available to help you get your paperwork right and file your taxes online without spending your entire refund on an accountant.

In this TurboTax review, we’re covering everything you need to know about its online filing services and tax software and how it stacks up to its competitors.

TurboTax: How Does It Work?

Perhaps the best-known of the digital filing options, TurboTax is the tax-focused baby of Intuit, the same company behind Mint and Quickbooks.

As such, it’s not surprising that TurboTax has a dazzling array of financial tools to help you during tax time as well as year round, regardless of your tax situation.

TurboTax offers both totally DIY filing options as well as an upgraded suite of DIY filing with live online help. You can also purchase its tax preparation software on CD or by download, which can help you save even more money. You pay a one-time fee and get up to five included federal filings, though you’ll likely still need to pay to file your state tax return.

Here’s what the pricing tiers look like at TurboTax. (These prices are current as of January 2021 and are subject to change.)

Free Edition

The TurboTax Free Edition is appropriate for filers with simple tax returns. It covers W-2 income, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and child tax credits. True to its name, it’s free — but few peoples’ taxes are truly basic, and this tier doesn’t cover as many filers as competitors’ free options.

Cost: $0

Deluxe

The TurboTax Deluxe edition includes everything the Free Edition does, plus mortgage and property tax deductions, charitable donations, student loan interest, education expenses and 1099-MISC income — i.e. earnings of an independent contractor like a freelance writer or Uber driver.

If freelance work is your sole source of income, you’ll be better off using the TurboTax Self-Employed edition, which is described below.

Cost: $40 for federal filing, plus $40 per state

Premier

TurboTax Premier includes everything you get in Deluxe, as well as coverage for tax deductions and credits for things like stock market and cryptocurrency investments, rental property income and refinancing deductions. It also has a feature that lets you auto-import your investment income reports.

Cost: $70 for federal filing, plus $40 per state

Self-Employed

TurboTax Self-Employed helps you prepare tax returns with personal and business income, so it’s a fit for freelancers, independent contractors and small business owners.

This edition includes a host of features specifically designed for freelancers, such as:

  • Help finding deductions specific to your line of work.
  • The ability to import 1099-MISC forms with a quick photo.
  • Free access to Quickbooks Self Employed.
  • Access to a year-round tax estimator after filing.

Cost: $90 for federal filing, plus $40 per state

Woman sits a table doing taxes.

TurboTax Live

For each of the products above, TurboTax lets you upgrade to TurboTax Live to get on-demand answers and a line-by-line review of your taxes by a tax expert — CPA or EA.

Cost: TurboTax Live comes in tiers similar to its DIY products:

  • Basic costs $0, including free state filing.
  • Deluxe costs $90, plus $50 for state filing.
  • Premier costs $140, plus $50 for state filing.
  • Self-Employed costs $170, plus $50 for state filing.
Weighing your options for filing taxes? We’ve got you covered with an overview of all the best tax software.

Features

No matter which tier works best for you — and there’s an easy, clickable questionnaire that helps you figure out the right product based on your tax situation — all TurboTax customers get access to a wide range of tools, guarantees and features.

Audit Support Guarantee

TurboTax guarantees the accuracy of your taxes and stands behind that promise with its Audit Support Guarantee, which grants you free access to the Audit Support Center.

If you’re audited by the IRS, you can access the support center to get free, live, one-on-one guidance with a tax professional, as well as year-round answers to your questions and assistance on what to expect and how to prepare. This service is not, however, a replacement for legal advice.

Money-Back Maximum Refund Guarantee

TurboTax guarantees you’ll get the biggest refund possible. If you tally up a larger refund (or similar tax liability) with another tax preparation service, TurboTax will refund your fee (or pay you $30 if you used the Free edition).

Mobile Apps for Apple and Android

TurboTax lets you file from your smartphone or tablet with popular and highly rated apps for both Android and iOS. You can use the app to track charitable donations and deductible expenses throughout the year.

Refund Advance

If you need your money post-haste, TurboTax offers a refund advance of up to $3,000 of your expected federal tax refund with 0% interest and $0 loan fees. To be eligible, your expected refund must be at least $500.

If you’re eligible, you’ll get the funds within as little as three hours of the IRS accepting your tax return, loaded onto a Visa debit card. You’ll get the virtual card info, so you can spend online right away, and the physical card should come in the mail in five to 10 business days.

Once the IRS processes your federal return, your remaining refund amount will be loaded onto the same debit card. You don’t have the option to receive the rest of your refund in another form (e.g. direct deposited into your savings account).

Pay-With-My-Refund Options

TurboTax lets you pay your product and filing fees with your federal tax refund, meaning you never see an out-of-pocket cost for the service. There is, however, an additional fee for this option; most users report a charge of $39.99, though this price is subject to change.

Woman sits a table doing taxes.

Fees

To prepare and file your tax returns through TurboTax, you’ll pay a fee for the filing program or software, plus additional fees to file your state return. Here’s how that looks:

  • DIY online filing: Free to $90, depending on tier.
  • State filing fees: Additional $0 for free filing, $40 per state for paid DIY tiers, $50 per state for paid Live tiers.
  • TurboTax Live: Free to $170, depending on tier.

If you owe taxes after you file, you can pay through TurboTax’s payment processor via credit card or debit card for a convenience fee.

TurboTax also helps you pay via direct debit from your bank account for free. This is an option not all competitors offer; with other tax services, you’d have to go directly to the IRS to pay this way.

FROM THE TAXES FORUM
Claim innocent spouse with IRS after divorce
12/7/20 @ 5:46 PM
wood
Never received my returns
9/15/20 @ 2:41 PM
Rachel Sciuto
I forgot
8/31/20 @ 2:12 PM
Chance Olwen
See more in Taxes or ask a money question

TurboTax: Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve laid out the basics of TurboTax’s features, what’s the verdict on its performance? Like all financial products and services, there are both pros and cons to using TurboTax.

Pros

  • Affordable: TurboTax’s tiers clock in at a lower price than similar tiers from competitors — though its free DIY service doesn’t cover as many filers as other options.
  • Ease of use: Filing with TurboTax is pretty comprehensive and user friendly, according to user reviews. Its technology simplifies the process — for example, you can automatically populate your tax forms by snapping photos of your W-2s.
  • Comprehensive: The company has a product available for just about every filer, no matter your income or tax situation, or how hands-on or hands-off you want to be.
  • Customer service: TurboTax offers lots of support, including links to extensive support topics as well as a community forum that lets you interact with other filers and tax experts in real time.

Cons

  • Overwhelming user experience: All those options mean TurboTax is super customizable. But sifting through them can feel kind of overwhelming. Its homepage tries to guide you to the right products based on your tax situation, but those can be confusing and make it tough to get an overview of products if you’re a comparison shopper.
  • Lack of transparency: Your total TurboTax fees aren’t totally clear until you actually go through the tax prep process. That could mean wasted time if you end up wanting to find a cheaper option.
  • No physical locations: TurboTax doesn’t offer in-person, brick-and-mortar offices like H&R Block. If face-to-face, personalized service is important to you, this isn’t your best option.

Who Is TurboTax Best For?

When it comes right down to it, most online tax preparation services are more alike than they are different.

TurboTax may be best for someone who wants custom tax help without going into an office and dealing with a live person. It’s also a good option if you’re looking for a truly fee-free line of advance tax credit so you can access your money ASAP.

Remember, you can always file for free, if you’re eligible, through the IRS portal. This service is available to filers who earned $72,000 or less (in 2020), and the page also links to free fillable forms for earners at all levels.

Still comparison shopping? Check out our reviews of H&R Block and TaxAct before you make a decision.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Money Etiquette

5 Ways Thrifty-Frugal Fun Made Paying Off Our Mortgage a BLAST!

Today we have a guest post from Lindsey Ralston of Big House in the Woods. She’s sharing her personal story of how she paid off her mortgage early and had fun while doing it. Hope you enjoy it! We paid…

The post 5 Ways Thrifty-Frugal Fun Made Paying Off Our Mortgage a BLAST! appeared first on Modern Frugality.

Source: modernfrugality.com

Money Etiquette

9 Simple Ways To Get Free Diapers

Looking for free diapers and low-cost baby products? Diapers are expensive and a pain in the budget. Babies need roughly 8000 diapers before they’re potty trained, costing parents $2000 or more. So we’ve put together some simple and legitimate options to help you save money. When you combine these methods together, you can literally save […]

The post 9 Simple Ways To Get Free Diapers appeared first on Incomist.

Source: incomist.com

Money Etiquette

8 Ways To Get Your Official FICO Score for Free [32 Sources]

How to Get Your Free FICO Score Do you want access to the same FICO credit score information lenders, landlords and even employers use to evaluate you?  Good news, now you can get that information for free. That’s right, FICO credit scores are now available for free.  You just have to know where to look  […]

The post 8 Ways To Get Your Official FICO Score for Free [32 Sources] appeared first on Incomist.

Source: incomist.com

Budgeting, Money Etiquette

50+ of the Best Debt Free Quotes to Motivate You to Finally Dump Your Debt

Sometimes the best motivator is a hug, and sometimes it’s a swift kick in the butt from some cold hard truth! Here are the best debt free quotes to do just that!

I love a good underdog story! Seriously, I love it when a person is down on their luck, and they spend all their time crying. Then they decide to kick a little butt and then swing out in front at the very end of the story. Everyone cheers, moms cry, and good game butt slaps for everyone!

Is this the point where Queen sings We Are the Champions?  I hope not.

The point is that it is so dang motivating to see people overcome their past, their fears, their own ideas about who they are, and decide to kick all that to the curb and put their game face on! I love the determination, the promise that hard work pays off, and the achievement they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.

The true magic isn’t in the movies; it’s in real life. Let me tell you, I am moved to tears (almost) every time I listened to the Dave Ramsey podcast and heard people yell out their debt-free scream. True story. I’d be driving to work at 7 am with tears in my eyes, as I could just feel their excitement and their pride in taking control of their lives and getting out of debt.

Now we can’t all be on the DR podcast, spilling the deets of our debt payoff story. So I’ve rounded up some of the best debt quotes and debt free quotes to help motivate you to take charge! So you can either start on your debt-free journey or help crush the last little bit of debt that you’ve been working so hard to dump!

50+ debt quotes to inspire you to finally dump your debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info

America the great (debtor)

It’s common knowledge that Americans are deep in debt, yet it’s staggering when we see the actual amount. As of Sept 2020, Nerdwallet found that the average US household held debt of $145,085, to the turn of $14.35 trillion nationwide.

That figure includes all debt, but when people talk about debt, they are mostly talking about credit card debt. According to the same study the average household carries $7,027 on their cards, and they’ll pay an average of $1,155 in interest this year (2020).

Can you imagine, taking $1,155 and flushing it down the toilet? Ugh!

Now, I do want to say that some credit card purchases are a must spend, things like car repair when it’s your only mode of transportation to get to work. A new HVAC system, when yours died in the middle of winter. Those things are necessary, and I understand and support those that need to do it.

But debt that is frivolous makes my heart hurt – new iPhones, excess clothes, eating out 5 nights a week, those things are what is dragging Americans down.

So what do we do? We change! It’s the only option, yet people don’t change when they’re comfortable, they change because they are either inspired or they’re forced to. No one wats to be forced to do anything, so instead let’s inspire! I found some of the best debt quotes to do just that!

Debt quotes

“Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.”
– Gloria Steinem

“Overspending while trying to raise one’s status is a condition of economic materialism which hurts people financially, because it usually results in unnecessary debt. One does not raise social strata by buying things but instead by acquiring enough wealth to qualify for the next category of wealth.”
– Zachariah Renfro

“When you buy a bigger house, another luxury car, or a fancy boat, you are showing people that you used to have money.”
– Christopher Manske

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”
– Zig Ziglar

“[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”
– Charles Dickens

debt quote from bejamin jowett

“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”
– Nathan W. Morris

“A Debt Problem Is, At Its Core, a Budgeting Problem.”
– Natalie Pace

“The basic thing with frugality is: IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, DON’T BUY IT.”
– Harken Headers

“Know what you own, and know why you own it.”
– Peter Lynch

“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.”
– Noam Chomsky

“A good name is still to be preferred over great riches. Especially it is to be preferred to the appearance of riches, acquired with nothing down and nothing to pay for 2 months.”
– Ezra Taft Benson

debt quote from richard armour

“To grasp why people bury themselves in debt, you don’t need to study interest rate: you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.”
– Morgan Housel

“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”
– American Proverb

“No man’s credit is as good as his money.”
– E.W. Howe

“Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them.”
– George Herbert

“Creditors have better memories than debtors.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.”
– Rutherford B. Hayes

debt quotes from robert kiyosaki

“Debt can turn a free, happy person into a bitter human being.”
– Michael Mihalik

“Debt on anything that depreciates is disastrous.”
– Orrin Woodward

“The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.”
– James Lendall Basford

“Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.”
– George D Prentice

“Debt is one person’s liability, but another person’s asset.”
– Paul Krugman

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”
– George Lorimer

“In God we trust; all others must pay cash.”
– unknown

debt quote from ralph waldo emerson

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
– Proverbs 22:7

“Ten million dollars after I’d become a star, I was deeply in debt.”
– Sammy Davis Jr

“Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”
– Samuel Johnson

“A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.”
– Victor Hugo

“One of the greatest disservices you can do a man is to lend him money that he can’t pay back.”
– Jesse H Jones

“Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.”
– Josh Billings

debt quotes from unknown author

“Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.”
– Ezra Pound

“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash, son.”
– Charles Portis

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting out of debt.”
– Dave Ramsey

You can’t talk about debt without have Dave Ramsey be a part of it! He is the debt payoff king, and for good reason! He has helped tens of thousands of people payoff debt and build wealth with his baby step process.

“Debt is a prolific mother of folly and of crime.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

“Debt basically enables people to live a lie.”
– Rachel Cruze

“Words pay no debts.”
– William Shakespeare

debt quote from thomas tussar

“Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift… The hangover comes the day after.”
– Joyce Brothers 

“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.”
– unknown

“Rich people believe ‘I create my life.” Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me’”
– T. Harv Eker

“Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt.”
– Henrik Ibsen

“The decision to go into debt alters the course condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.”
– Dave Ramsey

Being “debt free” quotes

Some of these quotes talk about the peace that freedom from debt can bring, while others are more “motivational quotes” to inspire those on their debt free journey!

“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
– Adam Smith

“Out of debt, out of danger.”
– Jerry Voorhis

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“His brow is wet with honest sweat; he earns whate’er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.” 
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“It always seems impossibble until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela

debt quotes - unknown author

“Pay off your debt first. Freedom from debt is worth more than any amount you can earn.”
– Mark Cuban

“A healthy and debt free living person is the richest and the happiest.”
– Sushmitha Maddula

“Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.”
– unknown

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
– unknown

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”
– Roy T Bennett

“Perseverance is teh hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
– Newt Gingrich

“Learning is never done without errors and defeat.”
– Vladimir Lenin

At the end of the day

Yes, clichés are so cliché. But that doesn’t stop them from being right/true! People for centuries have been talking about the negative effects of debt; not one talks about how great it is. Yet, in today’s age, so many of us find ourselves in debt, looking for a way out.

I hope you found a little bit of inspiration on this page of debt quotes, maybe a new mantra to help you when times are hard. Either way, know that other people have struggled with debt, and many have overcome it. You will too! Soon enough you could be sharing your own story, writing your own debt free quotes to inspire others!

  • Budgeting Quotes to Inspire You and Your Bottom Line!
  • 5 Tips on How to Stay Motivated While Saving Money (just like a Pro)!
  • Debt Payoff – This is How You do it!
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Which of the debt free quotes are your favorite?

The post 50+ of the Best Debt Free Quotes to Motivate You to Finally Dump Your Debt appeared first on Money for the Mamas.

Source: moneyforthemamas.com

Budgeting, Money Etiquette

4 Reasons Why Creating a Budget Can Increase Your Wealth

Building wealth isn’t necessarily second nature to anyone, but you have to start somewhere.

Budgets aren’t simply a means to keep track of whether your bills are paid and which accounts are due. They’re your tool for managing money in a way that builds wealth. Wealth might seem like a far-off concept, but almost everyone has to start somewhere. Unless you were born into it, the only way to have a comfortable financial profile is to build it yourself.

Here are four reasons why a budget can increase your wealth, and ways to make it happen:

Budgets Reveal Income Deficiencies, Which Lets You Fill Them

One of the first steps in creating a budget is determining exactly what your income is and recording it. For people who earn a regular, dependable paycheck, this part might be simple. For freelancers and those with more sporadic income, it’s not so easy.

One recommended method is to review your income for the past year and determine a monthly average income based on the lowest amount earned in one month. You could also take an average of lower months to find a conservative monthly estimated income. This is a cautious way to estimate, but it’s also safer when income isn’t guaranteed.

Once you see what you’ve got, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not as much as you thought. Insurance, taxes, and other deductions make your hourly wage or yearly salary a bit smaller. If your income is less than you need, there’s only a couple of things to do about it – earn more, perhaps with a part-time job or by seeking different employment, or spend less.

Keep an eye on spending, and help your money work for you.

Budgets Expose Excessive Spending, Which Lets You Stop It

Everyone spends, but building wealth depends on spending less than you earn. Simple enough, until you try to implement those changes. That’s where a budget can help you sort out your needs from your wants, which lets you make better choices. When you track your spending, including cash purchases, everything is revealed

Excessive spending is a wealth destroyer. Impulse buys at the checkout, new gadgets at every release, and even grocery items that aren’t on your shopping list take money from where you want it. And where you want it is in the position of earning more.

Think of it this way. When you spend on something you don’t need, you gain an object that’s worth less (or even worth nothing) the day after you buy it. Instead of your money earning interest or dividends for you, it’s lining someone else’s pocket.

Budgets Help You Make Investments and Track Them

Investing isn’t just for the rich. Sensible investments can put you on the same path to wealth, and a comprehensive budget helps you find money to allocate in that direction. Saving money is important, but savings accounts traditionally earn pitifully poor interest. According to Forbes, Ally Bank, which is one of the top-rated internet banking institutions, offers only 0.87%. That’s not much of a return. Your money is safe, but it’s not growing fast enough to suit anyone’s taste.

If you’re just starting out, mutual funds might be a great way to ease into investing. U.S. News and World Report Money explains that while there’s never any guarantee for a return, and past performance is only a gauge, mutual funds are something that the everyday investor might consider.

Compared to the interest earned on a savings account, mutual fund returns averaging between 3% and 14% are hard to ignore. With budgeting software, you can keep track of those investments any time you like.

Budgets Help You Set Goals and Reach Them

Budgets are goal-setting tools. Used wisely, small steps lead to big advances over the months and years to come. Some people view their budget as an unpleasant, difficult, and sometimes depressing requirement. That’s missing the point, which is empowerment.

When you know what you have, how you spend, and how well your money is performing, you can make conscious choices that improve your current situation. Start small, if you must. Set one goal. Let nothing stand in the way of reaching it, even if it takes longer than you realized.

Maybe you need to start an emergency cash fund. Or perhaps you want to pay down some debt. Whatever your goal, a budget helps you get there. And when you get there, you are on your way to building wealth.

Mint.com offers a comprehensive suite of products that put you in control of your money. Sign up for a free account today, and start building wealth to last a lifetime.

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The post 4 Reasons Why Creating a Budget Can Increase Your Wealth appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

Money Etiquette, Money Management

How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel

The post How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

I don’t know about you, but one of my most exciting resolutions for this year is to travel more. In order to make this a reality, though, I need to be able to save money wherever I can on the trips that I plan for my family.

One of the biggest tools in my money-saving arsenal is to use an online travel agency site, like Priceline, anytime I’m ready to book. This can help me save tons whether I’m trying to find flights, hotels, rental cars, or even book a cruise or vacation package.

While Priceline is a pretty straightforward platform to use for travel booking, there are a few features that can save you even more money than you’d expect.

Express Deals show you star level and location, not the name of the hotel. Image source: Priceline.

Express Deals

Once upon a time, Priceline had a tool called Name Your Own Price. This allowed you to bid for flights, hotels, and rental cars, finding companies who would accept the offer(s) you were willing to make. It was a bit of a gamble and you were essentially “buying blind,” but the tool was a great opportunity to save.

Unfortunately, that tool was phased out a few years ago for flights and rental cars. It’s now only available for hotel stays and only accessible through the Priceline mobile app.

However, if you’re still itching to save money — and don’t mind buying blind — there’s another option. You can still save big using Priceline Express Deals … saving up to 60% off, in fact.

With Express Deals, you are able to pick up incredible prices on hotels, as long as you’re a little flexible (and trusting). All you need to do is choose your destination city and travel dates, and Priceline will help you find a great deal on a surprise booking.

While you won’t be able to choose the exact hotel you’ll get through Express Deals, you can choose the amenities you need and even the hotel quality you desire. You’ll see the price you’re paying as well as your overall savings. As soon as you book the room, you’ll be told where you’re staying (but, be careful because these are non-refundable purchases). And you can switch to the map view and see exactly where your hotel options are located.

A screen shot of the Priceline Trip Builder tool

Priceline lets you package airfare, hotel, and more. Image source: Priceline.

Trip Builder (new)

Sometimes, you just need a hotel room. If you’re planning a big trip or family vacation, though, you’ll need a lot more: hotel rooms, rental cars, and even flights.

Thanks to Priceline’s new Trip Builder feature, you can bundle all of those travel needs into one convenient package and save significant money.

With Trip Builder, you can combine any two or three needs from flights, hotels, and a car. If you’ll be bouncing around, you can add multiple hotel stays to the bundle and further boost your savings.

Your Trip Builder booking will all be listed under the same confirmation number, making it easier than ever to track all of your reservations in one place. You’ll also enjoy some of Priceline’s best deals in the process, leaving more jingle in your pocket for things like souvenirs and experiences.

Best Price Guarantee

Every once in a while, I’ll book a room or a flight for an upcoming trip, only to notice that the price goes even lower the very next day. Sometimes, that price continues to drop, reminding me of how much money I lost out on.

Luckily, you can learn from my mistakes. That’s because if you book a flight, hotel room, rental car, or cruise through Priceline, you’ll be covered by their Best Price Guarantee.

With this guarantee, you can receive a 100% price adjustment if the price of your reservation drops in the 24 hours after you book. If you booked an Express Deal, Priceline will not only give you double that — 200% of the difference! — but you’ll also have all the way until midnight the night before you travel to file your Best Price Guarantee claim.

There are some requirements, of course: the lower-price itinerary must be publicly accessible (no military discounts or special pricing platforms), the details must match exactly, and some airlines are excluded (Spirit, British Airways, and KLM, to name a few).

Even still, this guarantee means added peace of mind when you travel. And perhaps even extra savings in your pocket after you’ve already booked.

Double up on savings

Want to make your Priceline experience even more lucrative? Then double up on the savings.

There are a few ways to do this. You can:

  • Visit Priceline’s website through a shopping portal such as Rakuten (which is currently offering up to 5% back on your bookings)
  • Use a travel rewards credit card to earn extra miles or points on your reservations made through Priceline
  • Join Priceline’s membership program, giving you access to additional members-only discounts and easy trip management
  • Get the Priceline Rewards Visa credit card, which offers 5x bonus points back per $1 spent on priceline.com purchases

In fact, you can use more than one of these within the same booking, earning you maximum rewards, and saving as much as possible.

When booking a trip, sites like Priceline make it easy to shop around, compare prices, snag discounts, and manage reservations. You’ll have access to deals and promotions that you might not be able to find elsewhere, while also offering a best-price guarantee each time you book.

The more you save on your travel today, the more you can put toward additional trips in the future. And I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start seeing more of the world in 2020.

–By Stephanie Colestock

 

The post How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

Source: pennypinchinmom.com

Minimalist LIfestyle, Money Etiquette

Holiday Spending Statistics for 2021

Rather than shopping in department stores and visiting Santa at the mall, this year’s holiday season is going to look a little different. You’ll likely be spending more time with your closest loved ones and exchanging gifts you ordered online. With the events of 2020, many have experienced unexpected changes in employment, income, and even health so the holiday budget is top of mind. To figure out what gifting budgets may look like this year, we ran our own holiday survey and collected 26 holiday spending statistics.

In 2019, roughly 729 billion dollars was spent during the holidays. This topped the charts, making it the biggest holiday season. This number may come as no surprise when you account for everyone on your shopping list. From your coworkers to family, holiday budgets can stretch thin to accommodate for everyone.

Wondering what others are spending on holiday gifts? Keep reading for our holiday spending statistics roundup, or jump to our infographic for our budget-friendly gifting etiquette for the workplace.

Average Christmas Spending

Average Christmas Spending

  • The average American planned to spend $942 on holiday gifts in 2019. (Gallup)
  • Last year, Americans spent $227.26 on non-holiday gift purchases such as decorations. (Alliant Credit Union)
  • Americans decide their holiday gift spending based on how close they are to the gift recipient (58 percent) and whether or not they’re family (28 percent). (Mint 2020 Holiday Survey)
  • Over 50 percent of holiday spending goes towards clothing and accessories. (Avant)
  • In 2019, holiday retail sales soared past $700 billion, making it the biggest holiday shopping season. (Statista)

Holiday Spending Statistics and Trends

  • Americans were holiday shopping early in 2019, with 43 percent starting in November. (Black Friday)
  • On average, 64 percent of holiday shoppers waited for a sale before making a purchase in 2019. (American Research Group)
  • In 2019, 59 percent of wish lists included gift cards. (National Retail Federation)
  • More than half of Americans would rather have cash over a gift. (Mint)
  • In 2019, 67 percent of shoppers were spending the most on holiday gifts for their children. (Black Friday)
  • Pet lovers are also big shoppers. In 2019, 77 percent of pet owners planned for their pets to be part of their holiday festivities. (The Dog People)

Holiday Spending 2019 vs. 2020

Holiday Spending 2019 vs. 2020

  • Fifty-one percent of Americans plan to spend the same on holiday gifts in 2020 as they did in 2019. (Mint 2020 Holiday Survey)
  • Roughly 40 percent of holiday shoppers plan to spend less this year, and 8 percent plan to spend more. (Mint 2020 Holiday Survey)
  • Over half of consumers are opting out of retail shopping due to health risks. (Accenture)
  • Seventy-four percent of people agree that events will only include a small get-together. (Morning Consult)
  • In addition, 47 percent of adults agree that holiday events will be canceled. (Morning Consult)

Holiday Retail Sales

  • In 2019, 38 percent of shoppers planned to browse in-store displays for inspiration. (Black Friday)
  • In 2019, holiday ecommerce sales increased by 13 percent with roughly $142 billion dollars spent. (Adobe)
  • Cyber Monday, a special day for holiday ecommerce discounts, totaled $7.4 billion spent in 2019. (Adobe)
  • Sixty-one percent of holiday shoppers in 2019 used a smartphone to complete an online order. (Thinking With Google)
  • On Black Friday in 2019, more than two-thirds of holiday shoppers made impulse purchases. (Bluecore)

Holiday Budget Statistics

  • Ten percent of Americans budget for gifts based on how much the gift receiver spends on them. (Mint: Holiday Survey 2020)
  • Eighteen percent of Americans are trying to pay down debt this holiday season. (Morning Consult)
  • Twenty-one percent of customers say they will be giving out fewer gifts this holiday. (Morning Consult)
  • Thirty-three percent of adults are trying to spend less and save more due to COVID-19. (Morning Consult)
  • People’s 2019 holiday budgets fluctuated based on where they lived. Urban shoppers planned to spend roughly $200 more than rural shoppers last year. (NPD)

Whether you’re planning to spend more or less this holiday season, check in on your budget as you go. Using our app, you can set a specific budget and get notifications when you go over. You can also check in on your financial goals each week using our weekly summary updates.

Planning to shop for your coworkers this season? Check out our visual guide on office gift-giving etiquette below.Download Gift-Giving Etiquette Guide

Sources: GlobeSmart

Methodology: This study was conducted for Mint using Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no fewer than 1,500 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. Responses were collected October 23 – 27, 2020.

The post Holiday Spending Statistics for 2021 appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

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