6 Money Tips for Traveling to Europe

Traveling to Europe is everyone's dream. Whether it's France, Italy, Germany or Sweden, Europe is a feast for the eyes and the mouth. There are so many things to think about when you travel to Europe, and these 6 money tips should be on top of the list.

1. Travel Insurance- Bad news! Your US health plan most likely won't cover many costs if you need major medical care out of the country. For a small price you can get travel insurance that will cover you while you are away. Check out USWay for one of my favorites.

2. Passport- Your passport is worth gold to you. Keep it safe always. I always take 2 copies with me. I leave one in the safe in the room, and another is kept safe in Dropbox if I need to use it. I never the room without either carrying my passport, or even better, putting it in the safe as well.

3. Cash- Money, Money, Money. Whatever you do, don't exchange your currency at the airport. I love the Cash Passport from Travelex. It works with 6 different countries currency, and it is just like a debit card. You load it up with money in the local currency, and you use it wherever you go. No more carrying around cash. Best news is if you lose it, you can easily get it replaced without having to wait weeks. If you do use your debit or credit cards when you are away, make sure you find out how much cash you can withdrawal during a 24-hour period just in case. Safety first!

4. Cell Phone- Leave it at home! Rent a cell phone from places like Cellular Abroad and don't even worry about dropping your phone in the Trevi Fountain in Rome. You will save the most amount of money on a rental, trust me, I've made the mistake of not doing this and spending a ton on cell phone charges.

5. Valuables- Always lock them up in the safe. You will thank yourself later. And please, whatever you do, don't choose an easy combination. Make it something you will remember, but never choose 1-2-3-4. I will come hunt you down if you do…that's a promise.

6. VAT Tax- Did you know you could get a refund for the VAT tax you pay when you buy merchandise? That could be a lot of money. You need to find a vendor that knows how to deal with VAT tax paperwork, but as long as you do, you can redeem the paperwork for actual cash at the airport before you leave. There are a million details to getting VAT tax back, so make sure you read up about online first.

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Financial Records- What to Keep and What to Trash

It's so confusing trying to figure out what financial records to keep, and what to trash. There's so much paperwork, you just really want to trash it all. Before you make any decisions, stop and take a listen to this podcast.

We will talk about what to keep, how to organize it and where to back it up.

Be sure to catch us on our YouTube Channel for weekly money videos as well as daily tips on Instagram.

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How to Budget in 20 Minutes a Month

In this video podcast we teach you how to budget in 20 minutes a month. That's all it takes to become a budget master. After you watch, download our budget template to help you start budgeting.  Here are more articles on budgeting to check out.

Be sure to check out our YouTube page as well and subscribe to get all our latest videos.

 

 

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4 Super Secret Money Tricks

In this podcast we are going to talk about 4 super secret money tricks that every millennial should master.

1. Rule 72- Tells you how fast your money will double, and what interest rate you will need. It's a great dinner party game as well.

2. IRA for Down- Did you know you can use 10K from your IRA as a first-time home buyer penalty free? It's an amazing trick.

3. Compound Interest- Yes, you've heard of it, but do you understand it? Compound interest is, as Albert Einstein says, the 8th wonder of the world.

4. HSA- That stands for Health Savings Account, a great account tied to a special HSA health plan that allows you to pay for qualified medical costs and deduct that amount from your taxes. Score!

If you have a money success story, we want to hear from you. Email us at yourmillennialmoney@gmail.com, and be sure to follow us on Instagram @ millennial_money.

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3 Tips in 3 Min: How to Think Like a Millionaire

The truth is, we are all going to need to be millionaires. I bet you don't realize it, but to retire and live a comfortable life in 30+ years, you are going to need millions saved. That's a scary thought for many millennials.

There aren't any crazy secrets in learning how to think like a millionaire. However, there are a few tips that can help jumpstart your millionaire mind.

1.  Millionaires budget everything. They understand how important the budget is to their finances. Millionaires don't cut corners with budgets as well. They get a system in place and follow it religiously. Even Warren Buffet budgets…and I'm certain he has more money than God.

2.  Millionaires always negotiate. Saying this a different way, millionaires don't like to pay full price for anything. They understand how to negotiate, and that everything in life is negotiable from their cell phone bill to their real estate contract.  As a millennial, paying too high of credit card interest can get in the way of you becoming a millionaire.

3. Millionaires diversify. What this means is that they don't put all their money in one place. As you move through life and gain more money, don't just think about your 401(k) or IRA as the only place to put your money. Diversify also means that you don't just buy Apple stock. You have your money spread out in lots of buckets.

Tune in to hear more tips on this week's podcast.

Be sure to follow us @millennial_money on Instagram and @shannahgame on Twitter. We will be launching our new YouTube channel, Your Millennial Money NEXT week, so stay tuned. 

Don't be shy. If you have a question or a topic suggestion, send them to us at yourmillennialmoney@gmail.com.

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7 Money Moves Before Baby

Having a baby is really stressful. You've got a lot of expenses, and even some that you don't know about. While it should be an exciting time, it's also a time to get your money in check. Here are the 7 money moves you should make before the baby arrives.

1. Life Insurance

There is no better time than pre-baby to get yourself some life insurance. It's cheap when you are young and healthy, so grab yourself a term policy for now. This will be enough coverage to get you started. Aim for 8-10 times your income for a good base amount.

2. Automate Savings

Savings should be a fixed expense in you budget. It should be something that you HAVE to do each month, not WANT to do. Automating your savings ensures that the money will move directly from your paycheck or bank account into your savings account without you having the ability to get your hands on the money. Once it's in your bank account, game over.

3. Negotiate

I've talked about the importance of negotiation, and it's really key to saving money. Don't be afraid to give it a try. Start with your cell phone, cable and internet companies. You would be surprised how much you can save a month just by negotiating a few times a year.

4. Choose a Guardian

You're going to need to choose a guardian for your little baby. If something were to happen to you, I am sure you would want to make sure your child is well taken care of. Don't take this step lightly. Find someone who you know would raise your baby the same way you would, and someone you trust. Make sure you note this in your will. It can change over time, but always make sure you write it down.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

It's common that one person will stop working when you have the baby, which means one less paycheck. Practice for a month before the baby arrives. Take your paycheck and put in savings. See how you make out on one paycheck, and then make adjustments. Better now than when the little bundle arrives and things get REAL.

6. Health Insurance

Now's the time to get really cozy with your health insurance. Most people don't understand what co-pays, co-insurance and deducible means. You need to know how much money out-of-pocket your will be so you can make sure and beef up your savings. This is serious stuff, and serious money. Some deductibles are $5000. That's a lot of pocket change to find. Call your insurance carrier and tell them what hospital you will deliver at – yes, some hospitals charge more than others.

7. Freebies

Don't be ashamed to ask friends for hand me downs. There are a million little things you will need to get for the baby, and that means a lot money to be spent. If someone has an extra stroller, or bed or even some clothes, take them up on the offer to use them. Now is not the time to be stuck on the status of having everything new.

 

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3 Tips – 3 Min: Best Beginner Investing Books

Investing isn't for the faint of heart. You've got to do your research before you lay out your money. Run right now and pick up the three best beginner investing books:

1. One Up on Wall Street- Peter Lynch

2. The Intelligent Investor- Benjamin Graham

3. How to Make Money in Stocks- William J O'Neil

Read them once, and then read them again! These should be on your book shelf before you open your ETrade account.

 

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What Nashville Can Teach You About Real Estate

Tune into our latest podcast episode about what the Nashville real estate market can teach you about buying your first home.

Nashville right now is the perfect storm – massive job growth, youthful population, growing infrastructure and over 85 people a day moving into the city.

If you are a first time home buyer, here are a few tips that you might not have thought about.

 

1. Think about buying a house differently

2. Real Estate as an investment

3. Price per square foot

4. Know what to look for

5. Understand leverage 

This is the first podcast in our Millennial Money marathon weekend. Join us Friday, Saturday and Sunday for lots of new podcasts.

We are also announcing our You Need a Budget Contest. Two lucky winners will receive a free copy of the YNAB software. To enter, tag @millennial_money, and use hashtag #YNABcontest on a picture or video and tell us the best way you've saved money this week. 

Send any questions to us at yourmillennialmoney@gmail.com, and follow us on Twitter @shannahgame.

 

 

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Do I Need Life Insurance?

Do I need life insurance?

That is probably the #1 question that I get asked. Honestly, life insurance is great, but it isn't for everyone. As with everything having to do with finance, the best answer is, it depends.

Life insurance comes in many varieties. Term insurance is much like renting an apartment. You have the life insurance for a certain amount of years, pay the annual premium and when the term is done, your life insurance is done. That is if something doesn't happen to you during the term.

Permanent life insurance comes in many flavors too, and it's more like buying the house. Terms you might hear are Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life, Whole Life and Variable Life. Many of these forms of life insurance accumulate cash in an account. So, you have the life insurance PLUS some cash. You might consider this as an alternate investment to the stock market, and it can even offer some nice retirement benefits while you are alive.

Life insurance almost always pays a tax-free amount to a beneficiary that you set up when you buy the insurance. You don't need a will, rather life insurance will pass automatically to whomever you designated.

There are two reasons why you might consider life insurance when you are young:

1. You are married. 

2. You have a kid, or many kids.

There are lots of other reasons why someone might want life insurance if #1 & #2 don't apply. Maybe you want to leave some money to a charity, or a favorite relative. That's not uncommon. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure that the beneficiary has what insurance folks call, “an insurable interest.” Basically, this means you can't name your pet turtle, or your high school crush as your beneficiary unless there is a legitimate reason why they should be named as the beneficiary.

No matter what you choose, make sure you do your research of both the company and the product you are purchasing.

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