9 Tricks to Make Travel Cheap!

9 Tricks to make Travel Cheap, traveler, world, abroad, free, shoestring, budget, frugal, freedom, minimalism, passive, income, passport, visa, advice, world, vacation http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/9-tricks-to-make-travel-cheap

I have made a lot of money mistakes when I went traveling.  I do not want to date myself but travel blogs were not as popular, and for the most part, was flying blind other than a Lonely Planet Travel Guide.  I lost thousands that could have been avoided.  So I compiled a list of my hard-earned tips and tricks, so you, would not make the same ones!

1. Go where your money goes farther!
Choose destinations where the cost of living is low. Beer in Western Europe could cost you five times a beer in Eastern Europe. Check out https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp to get an idea of how much it costs to just be in a country.

2. Travel slowly!
The longer you travel for, the cheaper it is. You get reduced rates staying places for a month or longer. The less jumping around you are doing, the less you are paying to get from one place to another. As you are there for longer, so you can take advantage of free days at museums and free festivals. Go to local parties.

 

3. Travel like you live there.
Don’t go out to eat constantly, pick up food at grocery stores and markets instead. Don’t make every day an action packed day, learn to relax. Take local public transportation instead of the tourist option.

4. Work!
Many places or business will give you room and board for work. It is easy to do, and you can even plan ahead with sites like HelpX.net, WWOOF.net, and WorkAway.info. Do not limit yourself; you can contact organizations or businesses you would like to work at and ask them directly too!

5. Cut down on fees.
Get a checking account or credit card that does not charge you extra for out or country transactions and ATM withdrawals. Or even better, find a bank which refunds any fees you may incur at a bank that is not your own. I use a Charles Schwab Investor Checking account. They have been amazing while stationary and abroad.

6. Play the dangerous game of credit card rewards.
I’m not a huge fan of these, as I always seem to end up giving them the cost of whatever they give me right back in interest. But they can be a powerful tool if you are disciplined. My husband and I took a trip to Nicaragua on points and only incurred a few airport fees.

7. Don’t have expenses at home!
Want to travel for a long time? Drop that lease, rent or sell your home, and sell off all your stuff including your car. Travel while you have no at home expenses weighing you down. You may be homeless, but let me tell you it is freeing!

8. Pay attention to Visas!
Know the status of the country you are entering and if you have to prearrange a visa, pay for a visa upon arrival, or can enter for free. I did not anticipate needing a visa, and it ended up costing me a lot of money in changing flights around as I could not afford expedition, and it would have taken a long time regardless as I was not in my home country. For United States citizens: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html

9. Don’t be afraid of people!
Hitchhike, find a travel buddy to split costs with, stay at someone’s house for free or through CouchSurfing.com. Try to network through social media to find friends and family in the area or their friends and family. Ask people who know more about the area than you to show you around. Not only does it help with costs, but it enriches the experience. Make sure to be kind and pass it on!

Ready to be Inspired?  Check Out:  My Top 5 Favorite Travel Videos!

Know someone else who might want to know how to save money traveling? Make sure to share!

How to Buy a Property With No or Low Money Down!

How to buy a property with no or low money down investment real estate http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/how-to-buy-a-property-with-no-or-low-money-down/

Most of us have heard that it is smart to have 20% downpayment to purchase a home.  And it is.  Your payments will be lower, less interest will be paid over the course of the loan with a large downpayment.  However, if you are using these loans as a vehicle to purchase an investment, meaning not just a place to live but to make money, it can be a wise choice for a variety of reasons.  There are also people who just prefer to own a home, though sometimes it does not make sense.  Check out this article about the pros and cons of homeownership:  What you need to know before you buy a home!

Loan Types

1. FHA – Federal Housing Administration. 3.5% Downpayment.
Pros: Low down payment, good for up to 4 unit properties, accepts lower credit scores.
Cons: MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium)  this is additional insurance you must purchase and pay monthly with your mortgage which lowers buying power.  If you are competing with other offers with everything but the financing being the same, FHA tends not to get the contract.  This is because FHA loans have a base quality standards the house must maintain to loan on it, and the lender will often require repairs.

 
Can I get an FHA Loan? LendingTree.com
 

2. VA – Department of Veterans Affairs Loans 0% Downpayment
Pros: No down payment, good for up to four unit properties, mortgage insurance is only a one-time premium which gets wrapped into the loan.
Cons: None to speak of.  If you have access to a VA loan you should have a house.

 

3. Insured Conventional – 3% Downpayment
Pros: Low down payment, good for up to four units
Cons: Not as widely advertised, PMI (Premium Mortgage Insurance), this is additional insurance you must purchase and pay monthly with your mortgage which lowers buying power.

 

4. Seller Financing (Seller Carryback, Land Contract) – terms vary widely but can be low or no downpayment.
Pros:  You are dealing with a person so you may be able to negotiate your terms as there are no standards anyone is being held to. Closing fees will be lower as the mortgage company will not be charging fees such as the origination fee.  You can sometimes get this type of financing with lower credit scores.
Cons: They are harder to find, most people just want all the cash up front when they sell.  The interest rates can be much higher than standard loans.  When you default on a seller financed home the property reverts to the owner and does not go through a standard foreclosure or trustee auction.

 

5. USDA Rural Loans – 0% downpayment
Pros: No downpayment, low-interest rates, not just rural also encompasses small towns, available to people who would normally not qualify for loans.
Cons: There are strict property and borrower restrictions.  Check those out here: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans

  

Related: How I never have to pay another penny for my retirement at age 34 on a 30,000 per year salary!

Additional ways to keep up front costs down

1. Negotiate in 3% closing cost coverage into your purchase offer.  This will cover all other fees and leave you with just the down payment.  Be considerate of the seller though and know that this is worse for the seller then selling the property for 3% less due to commissions.

 

2. Purchase a HomePath.com property.  These are foreclosures and short sales.  They have low 3% down payments and often give 3% in closing costs.  They also work to accommodate the first time buyer, giving some homes owner occupant preference and try to make it easier to qualify for.

 

3. Pathway to Purchase Programs.  This program may or may not be renewed with the changes in the government.  It was downpayment assistance program.  There are income and purchase price limits, but they are relatively high.  There is a limitation to what cities the program is in.  For Tucson, AZ they would give up to $20,000 toward your mortgage.

 

4. NHF Grants (National Homebuyers Fund Inc.). http://www.nhfloan.org/programs/index.shtml   Non-repayable grants up to 5% of the mortgage amount.  Not available in all states.  Low to moderate income requirements.

 

5. Other Downpayment assistance programs.   Check out  http://downpaymentresource.com for a search of programs you could be eligible for.

 

6. Ask your lender to see what fees they will waive.  I have found the big lenders more willing to waive fees than small lenders.  Small lenders tend to work harder to get borderline qualifiers into loans though!

 


Do you have any experience with any of these?  Any that I missed?