Why it is Important to Have a Budget Set When Planning a Move

budget setDo you have a budget set for moving to your new home?

Most people only allocate money for mortgage payments.

But, when you buy a home the list price isn’t your only expense.

This article breaks down extra costs you must include in your budget.

Have a Budget Set to Cover Closing Costs

Closing costs are the catchall term used to describe fees charged by the lender.

These costs will vary based on your:

  • Lender
  • Loan Type
  • Location
  • Professional Services

Lender Fees

Regulations require lenders be clear about all fees. Examine your documents. You should understand any extra costs related to your mortgage.

Many lenders have the new homeowner pay property and mortgage taxes upfront. You may pay several months or a year’s worth of taxes at closing.

Mortgage companies, banks, and brokers charge an origination fee for processing the loan application. Origination fees are also added to refinanced mortgages. The fee is usually 1% of the loan value.

The lender fees aren’t the only added expenses.

Loan Types

A conventional loan with less than a 20% down needs private mortgage insurance to protect the lender. That costs more.

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan with a low down payment needs an upfront insurance premium. This premium is often 1.75% of the loan value.

If you get a Veteran Affairs (VA) mortgage loans you may not need mortgage insurance or a down payment, but you will need to pay a funding fee. It’s usually 1.25 to 3.30% of the loan value.

Location

Every year Bankrate does a survey of closing costs in the United States. The analysis includes 10 lenders in every state.

The 2017 results show the average closing costs for a $200,000 home with a 20% down payment ranged from $1,700 to over $2,500.

You can see the state-by-state closing costs results here.

Other location-related expenses are taxes and association fees. If the home seller pre-paid taxes or association fees, you’ll have to reimburse them.

Professional Services

Home Inspection
Don’t skip a house inspection. There’s thrifty, and then there’s foolish.

A home inspection costs a few hundred dollars. It can reveal an expensive problem such as termite or flood damage, or faulty wiring.

Many lenders require an inspection. Some don’t. Regardless, have a thorough home inspection done so you know the true condition of the house.

If the home inspection finds a major problem, you can negotiate the cost of repairing it or walk away from the sale.

Land Survey
Some states ask for a survey to verify the lot size. This is an added expense.

Attorney Fees
If a lawyer prepares or reviews the sale documents, that’s an extra cost.

Professional Movers
The price of transporting belongings depends on how far you’re moving, and how much stuff you have. Moving out of state or across the country will cost more than across town.

If you hire professional movers, estimate your cost based on hourly rates. For example, a two-bedroom apartment moved across town will take 3 people about 6 hours.

Read this article on more service expenses so you have your budget set for closing.

Plan Ahead for Closing Costs

All the closing fees are due at the time of sale. Plan ahead with an online closing costs calculator to figure out how much money you need.

Want more ideas for ways to save money when you move? We’ve got what you need to make your move a success.

When Is the Best Time to Sell My Property?

when to sell homePerhaps you’ve been thinking about selling your home, but are a little nervous about putting it on the market? Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t get as much money out of it as you hope to?

It’s true that putting your property up for sale is a nerve-wracking prospect. But if it has to be done, then it has to be done.

But that doesn’t mean that you should just start selling willy-nilly. When it comes to selling a property, timing is everything.

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “so when is the best time to sell my property?” Well, let’s discuss that, shall we?

“When is the Best Time to Sell My Property?”

1. When Interest Rates are Low

While you could try to sell your property at any time, you’d be best served by doing it when interest rates are low.

Low-interest rates require buyers to pay less money over time, meaning that there will be more buyers available in the first place. The larger your pool of buyers, the greater chance you’ll have of selling your property at your desired price.

2. When You Won’t Take a Hit Financially

When selling your home, it’s ideal to be in good financial standing, especially when it comes to your mortgage.

The key is to be able to sell your home for enough money so that you can pay off your mortgage. The last thing you want is to have to pay two mortgages at once.

If your current mortgage balance outweighs the selling price of your home, it’s best to wait until it doesn’t.

3. When Home Improvements are Up to Date

In order for you to sell your property for as much money as possible, you need to make sure that it’s completely up to date.

Maybe it needs new flooring? Perhaps its roof is starting to deteriorate? If your home has any problems such as these, they need to be fixed.

Fixing these problems will make your home more attractive to buyers, allowing it to sell faster and for more money.

4. Before Your Kids Start School

If you’ve got a young family and your children are about to enter kindergarten, it’s best to move into a new home before they start school. You don’t want to pull the rug out from under your kids by forcing them to switch schools and leave their friends.

Sell your home, find a new home, and settle in there so that your kids can get a comfortable feel for their surroundings.

5. When You’re Desperate to Move

Maybe you’re desperate, and find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs, “I just want to sell my property!” If this is the case, it’s definitely time to go.

There’s no point in staying at a home which makes you miserable.

If you’re this desperate, professional home buyers such as these Austin Home Buyers are capable of taking your home off your hands quickly.

Get More Helpful Tips at Thrifty Momma Ramblings

Looking for more helpful life tips? Maybe you’re looking to save money? Perhaps you’re hoping to improve your health?

In any case, Thrifty Momma Ramblings can help you. This site has information on everything from frugal living to health, and much, much more.

Have any questions? Don’t be afraid to contact us!

5 Simple Tips To Get More Blog Traffic

More Blog TrafficYou started your blog because you’re passionate about what you do—whether it’s being a mom, an accountant, a gardener or a social media marketing whiz.

But let’s face it. You also want to get more blog traffic. You want to develop a following. And maybe you’d even like to make some money on the side through affiliate partners.

You want to find like-minded people who like what you have to say. You know they’re out there. How do you get them to your website?

Fortunately, there are some great ways to get more blog traffic on a budget. Let’s explore how.

1) Get a Real Domain Name

When you started your blog, you may have just been testing the waters. But now you’re ready to give it a go for real.

If you’ve still got Wix, Weebly or BlogSpot on your domain name, it’s time for an upgrade. If you’re serious about becoming a professional blogger, you need a real domain name.

Your website name is a major part of your personal brand. If you’re hanging on to a free domain name to save money, you’re costing yourself more.

People won’t take you or your website seriously.

Even if it’s not true, it looks like you’re just one of the many weekend bloggers who half-heartedly throws a blog together. If it looks like you don’t care, they won’t care either.

You could get more blog traffic just by showing that you’re committed to your fans, your blog, and your topics.

Choose a platform that’s fast and mobile-friendly. Get your blog set up. And then find a domain name that exemplifies what you do.

2) Welcome Visitors with a Great Experience

A great visitor experience will help you get more blog traffic because people will come back and share with friends.

As a bonus, providing the right experience helps improve your visibility in searches. When your site is optimized for people, you’re on your way to being optimized for search engines as well.

Site Speed

Do everything you can to make your blog as fast as possible. Nearly1/2 of people expect your blog to load in 2 seconds. After 3 seconds, most people will go somewhere else. If it takes over 5 seconds, you won’t get much traffic at all.

Free speed testers like WebPageTest.org will help you understand if you’re on the right track. Google also has a speed test but it’s not compatible with Ajax-based sites like Wix.

If your site is slow, you can do some things by yourself to speed it up.

  1. Reduce the sizes of your images.
  2. Don’t overdo videos
  3. Don’t overdo embedding
  4. Check your site each time you add something new

If you want to learn to do more, take free coding classes at W3Schools or pay to get a class certificate.

But check with your web host first. Some sites that run on templates give you limited access to the code.

Navigation

You might be amazed by the clever navigation options made available to you. But to provide the right experience, keep navigation simple and intuitive. If your visitors have trouble knowing what to click when they visit, they won’t come back.

And they won’t tell their friends.

That’s less traffic for you.

Use vibrant images and great writing to wow your visitors. But keep navigation simple.

Mobile-Friendly

Test the mobile-friendliness of your site. Over 1/2 of traffic is on mobile devices. Your blog should look amazing on it.

Some quick tips for mobile-friendliness include:

  1. Making sure your web host adjusts the page for mobile (or you do)
  2. Using large, easy-to-read fonts
  3. Keeping paragraphs short
  4. Eliminating distracting elements on mobile
  5. Checking how your site appears on mobile

3) Think Outside the Blog

You can’t get more traffic because people can’t find you.But as long as people can’t find you, you remain hidden at the bottom of the barrel on search engines like Google.

A vicious cycle plagues your site.

Reach out to other bloggers with similar blogs. Be on the lookout for opportunities to guest post on the other site. Agree to write them an amazing post in exchange for a link, bio, and pic.

Many sites these days use Gravatar. You can upload your pic and information. Then when you guest post, your Gravatar follows you from site to site.

What you’re doing is leveraging someone else’s traffic to gain a following. Through this, you can earn your own traffic and build a stronger personal brand.

Ever heard of the Oprah-Effect? It’s like that but on a smaller scale.

4) Get Social on Social

Get more blog traffic by sharing with others on social media.

You’re probably already active on social media. But social media for a blog can be very different.

You may want to start a dedicated account for the blog or use your own. Share inspirations and other blogger’s posts. In addition, entice people back to your website to check out your latest blogs.

Show that you’re part of a community in your niche. And through it, build a following of people who will visit and love your website.

Use free automation tools like HootSuite to schedule posts for maximum impact. They also have great tools to help you curate posts to share on your account.

Be personal and approachable in your posts—not overly promotional—to earn a following.

5) Be Consistent & Stick with It

It can take a little time to build up your blog. For a while, the people may come in at a trickle. It can be discouraging.

But fake it ’til you make it. As you continue to drive more people to your site, your visibility in search engines and on social media will rise.

You’ll be able to do less promotion and more working on your blog. You can even monetize your blog with affiliate ads if you want. But don’t overdo it and lose your loyal fans.

Set a schedule for your posts. Your goal should be 1-4 amazing articles a week. Some of the most successful bloggers post 15-20 pieces of content a month.

But never sacrifice quality for quantity.That could hurt your blogger brand. Keep fresh ideas flowing in by spending time on other blogs, social and forum sites to see what people are talking about.

Start a topic log where you jot topics every time one comes to mind. This way, you never run out of ideas when it’s time to write.

If you have trouble keeping up, hire a content writer to help manage your blog. If you’re monetizing your traffic with affiliate marketing, they’ll easily pay for themselves.

Get More Blog Traffic Now

With these tips and consistent effort, you can quickly begin to get more blog traffic. Get serious with a real domain name. Be active on social. And create the right “customer experience”.

When you do, people will want to come back and tell their friends.

For more thrifty momma tips on everything from DIY to running a business, check out our blog.

4 Questions You Didn’t Know to Ask About Breast Augmentation Post-Surgery Bras

Did you know that nearly 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation surgery last year? To date, it’s the most common cosmetic procedure for women.

If you’re considering breast augmentation, it’s important to consider post-surgery bras as part of your recovery.

Confused about making the right choices for your comfort and support? We’ve got the best tips on hand.

Let’s get into them!

What To Know About Post-Surgery Bras

Be Patient

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, recovery will take some time. That means you’re not going to be going bra shopping right away.

Many women experience bleeding into the pockets around the breasts for the first few days after their procedure. While pain typically subsides after a few days, swelling and soreness can persist for several weeks.

As a best practice, wait six weeks before transitioning into post-surgery bras. This gives your implants time to heal. Wearing a bra too quickly might create irritation and actually slow down the recovery process. And, you do want to be healthy, don’t you?

Start With a Sports Bra

Even though you might be eager to try on all the frilliest, prettiest bras in the lingerie shop, resist this temptation!

Immediately after your surgery, you’ll want to invest in cushy sports bras. These will provide additional support for your girls. They’re also incredibly comfortable.

Even though they might not be the most attractive option, they’re necessary for rapid and healthy healing.

And, yes, this rule applies to all women, from those getting breast augmentation in Los Angeles to those who live in the middle of nowhere.

Get Professionally Fitted

You have your dream boobs. Preserve them buy getting a bra that actually fits. Did you know that most women are wearing the wrong-sized bra? Don’t let that be you!

Go to a local lingerie shop or department store and have yourself professionally measured. This will save you time and headaches. It will also save your precious breasts from unnecessary suffering and irritation.

Even if you asked your surgeon for a specific size, bra sizing isn’t necessarily standardized. Furthermore, after your breasts settle, they may be a different size as well.

Don’t Go Ham at Once

Yes, it’s tempting to buy all the pretty things once you have the green light to wear post surgery bras.

Our best advice? Resist this temptation! Your breast size and fit will continue evolving as the swelling fades and your implants settle into place.

Instead of redoing your entire lingerie wardrobe, buy 1-2 bras at a time over a yearlong span. Best of all? A pretty, new bra will always be just around the corner!

Final Thoughts

Breast augmentation surgery can be very exciting and empowering for women who undergo this procedure.

Be sure to take precaution and be safe during your recovery. As always, if you have any concerns, please consult with your plastic surgeon. Ask questions and stay informed.

Your health, happiness, and well-being are all important for healing!

Top 10 Board Games for Family Game Night

Sometimes you just need a family game night to relax. Spend some quality time with the people you love the most and have fun.

However, the possibilities are endless. With so many board games and such a large variety of products and genres, just a walk down the store or a visit to your favorite e-shop can prove quite challenging.

Today, we will take a look at ten different board games for an amazing game night. However, let’s learn more about the benefits they come with.

The Many Benefits of a Family Game Night

There are many different reasons why you should plan a family game night instead of just watching TV. Board games are able to help both adults and children:

  • Enhance communication skills
  • Promote the idea of fair play
  • Develop focused and strategic thinking
  • Sharpen their minds
  • Strengthen family bonds
  • Create a fun family tradition

So, now that you know why you should start organizing your next family game night, you should also know what board games you should play. Keep reading for more!

1. Scrabble

Everybody knows how to play Scrabble.

It might not be the newest board game (it was introduced in 1948), but it is certainly one of the classics. The rules are simple. The players are given letters which they have to put in the right order and form words.

A game night with Scrabble will be entertaining and educational both for adults and children. You will get to know new words, new meanings, synonyms, and totally new information.

2. Monopoly

Now, we are talking about the most popular and recognizable game of them all. Monopoly is a great way to talk to your kids about how money and investments work, teach them about business, and prepare them for what the future holds.

Today, it has been produced in almost a hundred languages and the total sales have reached 200 million games. However, traditional Monopoly is not for everyone, but there are many different alternative versions to choose from.

Get the one you like the most, and get ready for a delightful family game night or some exciting Monopoly marathons!

3. Pictionary

Do you want to give your mind a break and just let your creative juices flow? Then, Pictionary is what you should be looking for. Just draw the word or the phrase that the card mentions, and win!

This game promotes not only creativity but also team-spirit and bonding. Plus, you or your kid are going to develop amazing drawing abilities over time.

4. Trivial Pursuit

This super popular board game was conceived by Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott while they were playing Scrabble. And it worked.

Today, Trivial Pursuit is one of the main choices for a family game night and you can actually learn one thing or two just by playing it. From random and useless to really helpful and sophisticated information, Trivial will be your best go-to when you don’t really know what to play.

Also, it comes in various versions to choose from. See more here.

5. Clue

Do you want to create some suspense and get some extra thrills? Play Clue!

The players run around a mansion trying to solve a murder. By gathering evidence they have to find the murderer, the weapon, and the location it happened.

Clue is an amazing medium to help you develop problem-solving abilities and critical thinking.

Fun fact: The game was invented in the UK (where they call it “Cluedo”) and the concept comes from World War II.

6. Puzzles For Not Just One Family Game Night

There is a great alternative for everyone who wants to create a family tradition by playing board games: Puzzles.

The benefits are already known. Puzzles promote creativity, problem-solving, social and cognitive skills as well as self-esteem, among others. Also, they are some kind of a ritual when you and your family come together regularly, and having a common goal to achieve will only bring you closer together.

The folks at Jigsaws Australia mention another great idea: Jigsaw parties. Split up into two teams and set the timer. The score can be based on the number of pieces each team has put in after the alarm rings.

7. Perfection

Now that we are talking about timers, it is time to talk about another great board game too: Perfection.

Each player has only 60 seconds to put twenty-five pieces in twenty-five matching-shaped spaces. If you make it on time, the timer stops. If you don’t, all the pieces that you have already put, pop out and scatter around.

Sounds exciting, right?

8. Scene It?

A family game night or a family movie night? That’s a dilemma. But why not combine them?

Scene It is the perfect board game for movie junkies who want to learn more about films they either know or they have never heard of. Also, with so many editions (from 90’s to TV) you can literally play a different version of Scene It every night.

However, you may want to keep in mind that, if there are really young children in your family, you should stay away from this game. For now.

9. Risk

Risk is both a game and a game changer. When it first came out in 1957, it was the first strategy board game that involved critical thinking, strategic moves, and fun, at the same time.

You and your enemies have only one goal: Conquest of the world.

Being the most popular war game in the world and with an award on its record, this fella here is going to offer you amazing game nights for you and your family.

10. Watch Ya’ Mouth

Watch Ya’ Mouth is a newcomer but this doesn’t mean that it is not worth our attention. The concept is really simple.

You have some mouthguards and almost a thousand phrases. The challenge is to say the phrases with your mouthguards on. Will your team repeat them back? If yes, you have a point!

Simple and hilarious!

Conclusion

Whether it is a classic board game or a totally new one, spending a fun night with your family will only make each one of you want more. A night of Clue can turn into a whole new ritual, and a family moment can be better than a night out with friends.

Do some research and talk about the board game you want to play over dinner tonight! There’s no reason not to strike while the iron is hot.

How to Find Affordable Lighting for Your Home

affordable lightingLight is the source of life. The sun helps plants grow, keeps us warm, and illuminates the world around us.

But when you step inside your home, it’s up to you to make sure things don’t go dark.

Keeping a house well-lit can be expensive. There’s the stylish fixtures, the light bulbs, and of course the electric bill.

But you don’t need a fancy chandelier to help you read those way-too-high bills. Affordable lighting is achievable with a few simple steps.

Read on to learn how to light up your house without lighting your wallet on fire.

Keep Things Functional

Getting down to basics, the purpose of lighting your house is so that you can see.

To save money on lighting, you can adopt a functionality-over-everything mentality. You don’t need to buy expensive light fixtures to illuminate your home.

You may not get to have the fancy decor you might want. But for those on a tight budget, being practical with your lighting should take priority.

Lighting Where You Need It

Not every corner in every nook of your home needs to be fully lit up.

If you want affordable lighting, sticking to key spots is a great way to save money on both equipment and electricity.

Where do you usually work? You’ll want good light on places like your kitchen countertop and office desk.

If you have a comfy chair that you like to read in, a bright lamp that helps you see the pages would be a good idea.

Other areas simply don’t need as much light. If that reading chair is in a den, you don’t need to light up the whole den. Only the area that you read in needs great coverage.

Your bedroom is meant to be a place to sleep. You sleep with the lights off, after all. Why install light fixtures that cover 100% of the room when you might only need a small bedside lamp?

Even some high-traffic areas like a hallway don’t need to be entirely lit up. You should be able to see where you’re going. But odds are you aren’t going to be reading a book while standing in the middle of that hallway.

By being strategic with your light placement, you can optimize functionality and save money thanks to your more affordable lighting.

Mobility and Flexibility

Sometimes areas of your house need more light at certain times, but not permanently.

Having a collection of portable, affordable lighting options gives you the versatility to temporarily light your house according to your needs.

Tap Lights

These are the battery powered portable lights that turn on when you press down on the top.

These are small, easy to carry, and are often sold in bundles of 3 or 4 for less than $20. You can lay them down around the house, or you can mount them on walls or even ceilings with peel-and-stick adhesive.

Clamp Lights

These lights often come with adjustable necks and stay in place by clamping down on the edge of a table or other surface.

The clamp makes them very secure, so they can almost act as a mounted permanent fixture. But moving or repurposing them is as easy as unclamping.

LED Rope Lighting

A LED rope light comes as a spool of rope would. Unroll and use as needed.

Rope lights are thin and unobtrusive. They’re very flexible and you can cut them to size. Use them as trim along your ceiling or floor, wrap them around an object, or utilize them in any number of other applications.

Be Energy Efficient

Affordable lighting for your home isn’t just about the light fixtures. You can save a lot of money on home lighting by being energy efficient.

Turn out the Lights

The obvious first step is to turn off lights that aren’t needed.

During the day, turn off all the lights in your home and open the windows. Your home will be plenty bright enough for most tasks. Plus you’ll get the benefits of natural sunlight, such as improved productivity and mood.

At night, only keep on what you need. If a room isn’t being used, turn off the light.

Do a walk-through before you leave the house or before you sleep. Make sure you leave nothing on.

Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

The types of light bulbs you have play a huge role in how much energy you use.

Incandescent bulbs have long been the most commonly used light bulb, and often they’re the least expensive. But they’re very energy inefficient.

In fact, incandescent bulbs are being phased out, thanks to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Outside of some specialty bulbs, incandescent lights will no longer be produced and will be unavailable when the last supplies sell out.

Although the up-front cost of incandescent bulbs is cheaper, people end up paying more in the long run. They need more watts, and they only last around one year. The cost comes across on your electric bill and in frequent replacements.

Although you will soon not have much choice, making the switch now to more efficient light bulbs can help make your lighting more affordable.

One option is compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs can offer an annual energy savings of 75%, and they last up to 9 years. These bulbs contain a small amount of harmful mercury, so they need to be handled with care and recycled after they stop working.

An even more efficient option are light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs can offer up to 86% in annual energy savings and can last more than 20 years. They’re also safer, as they contain no mercury.

CFLs are cheaper than LEDs. That said, the once very expensive LED lights have dramatically dropped in price in recent years, making them even more practical.

For more affordable lighting, it’s time to switch to better bulbs.

Smart Lighting

New technology has brought about the age of “smart lighting,” another means to boost energy efficiency.

Smart lighting uses automation and wireless control to optimize the use of lights in your home.

One example of smart lighting is using natural light sensors to automatically adjust the dim for your indoor lighting. If it’s bright outside, the lights turn off. If it’s cloudy or the sun is setting, the lights brighten to compensate.

Motion sensor lighting is another part of smart lighting. If someone enters a room, the light turns on. When they leave, it turns off.

Smart lighting also integrates your home lighting with other devices. You can sync your lights with voice-activated technology like the Amazon Echo to adjust your lights with verbal commands.

Mobile apps can also let you use your phone as a remote control. You can adjust the lights from your couch, or turn them off if you leave the house and forget to flick the switch before you walked out the door.

Fancy equipment like this may not sound like affordable lighting. But there are several budget-friendly options to choose from, and more will come as the technology improves and becomes more common. Plus, you’ll save on your electric bill.

Ikea offers the TRADFRI Gateway kit for under $80. Cree also sells individual smart LED bulbs for less than $15.

If you’re forgetful or just a bit lazy, investing in smart lighting can be a good long-term affordable lighting option.

Get Your DIY On

You’ve got your functional lights with energy-efficient technology. But your affordable lighting isn’t stylish, and the HGTV star in you is itching to improve your home decor.

It never hurts to get your DIY on. There’s near unlimited possibilities to what you can do to customize your light fixtures.

You can buy a cheap brass fixture from a thrift store and spray paint it to any color you like. You can paint it black or silver to give it a more neutral, modern feel. Or you can make it colorful to match your personality.

You can turn a $10 hanging pendant light into a homemade chandelier with little more than some pieces of cardboard or plastic spoons.

Your own creativity doesn’t cost a penny. Sometimes the path to affordable lighting in your home goes right through your own head.

Watch for Sales

As always, sometimes the cheapest way to get something is to wait for some hot deals to pop up.

If there’s a particular type of light fixture you want for your home, and a DIY project just wouldn’t do it justice, be patient. See if it goes on sale.

The holidays are always a great time for sales, and the new year sometimes brings in new styles and fixtures. The thing you’ve got an eye on may get marked down to make room.

Check the local news, too. If a home furnishing store is going out of business, you could snag a great deal in an “everything must go” sale.

Affordable Lighting Is Just the Start

Saving money and living well isn’t easy. Trying to keep cash in your wallet is almost like its own full-time job.

Luckily, Thrifty Momma is here to help. Keep an eye on our Frugal Living blog for more tips on how to make your family happy and your house look amazing on a budget.

Be A Super Mom! 4 Ways To Be A Money Saver When Booking A Hotel Room

Anyone can make a hotel reservation. Not everyone can save big while doing it.

If you travel a lot, you might have noticed that getting a cheaper room today is not as easy as it used to be a few years ago.

According to the latest statistics, the daily average rate of the U.S hotel industry has increased exponentially for the last seven years to reach $123.97 in 2016.

Even so, that doesn’t imply you can’t get great deals to save you money on your next vacation. Many room booking tricks exist that can help you tame even the wildest hotel rates.

Here are the fours ways to be a money saver while touring the world like a genius.

1. Be Flexible

If your schedule is flexible, consider booking a hotel during the off-season. For instance, booking a hotel in August might cost you almost 50% less than it would cost you in December.

Moreover, traveling during the off-season will make your stay more enjoyable as you won’t have to contend with the crowds.

Being flexible encompasses many facets that allow you to cut costs. Even staying in a hotel during weekdays rather than on weekends can save you money.

You might also get exclusive savings if you book via Hotwire or Priceline. However, with Priceline bidding system, you won’t know the hotel name until you make the payment.

2. Shop Around

Shopping around is probably the most important tip for getting the best deals when booking a hotel.

You can use sites such as Viajacompara.com to find and compare the best hotel deals.

When shopping around, be sure to check the price you pay when booking directly through the hotel vs. booking through an online travel agency.

Most online travel agencies usually have negotiated rates with individual hotels or a chain of hotels. By booking through such agencies, you could end up saving a lot of money.

It’s therefore, important to check all the major websites to ensure you’re not missing out any money saving deals.

3. Look for Deals that are All Inclusive

Nothing can be more annoying than booking a hotel with a seemingly reasonable rate, only for the price to be jacked up with daily internet fees or parking fees.

Some hotels even charge hidden resort fees that can add to as much as $30 to your nightly bill.

When comparing hotel rates, give precedence to those deals that offer free internet and parking. If you shop around well, you might even find hotels that offer free breakfast.

4. Become a Money Saver by Buying Other People’s Reservations

Buying other people’s hotel reservations is a trick that can easily make you a great money saver.

In the past, you’d lose the money you paid for non-refundable hotels room. Today, the hotel industry has evolved so much that there’s even a secondary market that deals in the resale of non-refundable hotel rooms.

Sites such as RoomTravel exist to connect you with people who are stuck with reservations they can’t cancel but are willing to sell at a discount.

By using such services, you can get a hotel reservation at a discount of up to 70%.

Wrapping Up

Before you settle on on any hotel deal, be sure to read hotel reviews. You don’t want to reach your destination only to find your room in a deplorable condition. It’s advisable to read reviews from real people who have been there before.

Also, check out for deals and coupons. Some sites offer exclusive hotel deals and coupons that can save you money.

How do you save money when making hotel reservations? Share with us in the comments section below.