How to Pay Off Your Overdraft Without Even Noticing

How to pay off your overdraft without even noticingHello! Today, I have an article written by a blog friend. Enjoy!

Not so long ago, I used to watch miserably as my hard earned monthly salary got sucked into my overdraft at the start of the month, leaving me with a credit balance of not much over zero.

I was a slave to my overdraft, having fallen into the habit of overspending every month until I had reached my overdraft limit of $3000 right before payday (sometimes I ended up over the limit too).

It was so depressing!

I made a good income, but my debts were out of control through spending carelessly and not paying enough attention to what was going on in relation to my bank account. In addition to the overdraft, I had all sorts of other debts too which were out of control.

I was a bit of a financial mess to say the least. But I did actually manage to pay off my overdraft right before I got serious about the other debts I had. And I paid my overdraft off in such a way that I barely even noticed.

I was actually quite surprised when I checked my overdraft one day (I didn’t check my bank all that often back then) to find that I’d reduced it by 50% without really trying all that hard. I was soon to realize that this was the first step I’d successfully made in my long and often challenging journey to get out of debt.

For me, having an overdraft that was maxed out bothered me even more than the debt I had accumulated through credit cards and loans. I just felt like I was working really hard at my job every day and then when I got paid, I didn’t actually see any of it because I owed my monthly wages to the bank instead!

Once I’d cleared my overdraft, I felt more in control of my finances almost instantly. I was able to see where my money was going and felt in a better position to tackle my other debts.

 

Here’s how I paid off my overdraft without really noticing

I set myself a challenge of cutting down my spending by $100 per month.

I achieved this through doing really tiny things like catching the bus home from a night out rather than getting a cab and I swapped clothes occasionally with my friends instead of buying something new. I was a spendy person back then and thought nothing of a new outfit two or three times per month and a luxury gym membership to boot.

I made a few more changes like having a girls’ night in on a Friday night rather than going out. It was nice to catch up with my friends and save money at the same time by having a movie night with wine and popcorn rather than an expensive night out. I also stopped buying lunches at work and took my own salads or sandwiches to work instead.

I began to save even more than I’d originally planned and I found that making small changes was no hardship really, it just involved being organised and thinking ahead.

I still had cable TV and for some reason, I still kept the gym membership – maybe that was my inner voice whispering to me (quite wrongly I should add) to keep up appearances – but the point is that I managed to save money just by making those small changes. By saving money each month like this, my overdraft started to decrease automatically.

When I realized that I’d managed to regain some control over my overdraft and I’d had chance to relish the fact that I was actually in the black rather than the red (until the middle of each month at least), I decided to call my bank to get them to reduce my overdraft.

When I called my bank to ask them to do just that, they asked me a series of questions to find out “if I was sure” and “wouldn’t the original overdraft be better to keep hold of just in case” as I might not be guaranteed an extension again.

I was a bit surprised because I had to actually convince my bank that this was what I wanted! I still get emails and calls from them even now offering to extend my overdraft because they obviously want to make a bit more money from me.

After I paid off my overdraft, I started to tackle the main bulk of my debt which meant giving up a whole lot more, but I’m fine with that – it definitely needed to happen that way for me.

 

In summary

If you want to cut down your overdraft without giving up everything, you could try:

  1. Making small savings in areas where you don’t mind cutting back.
  2. Calling your bank when you’ve reduced your overdraft by a certain amount and get them to reduce your overdraft facility straightaway before you’re tempted to use it again.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with your overdraft before?

 

Author Bio: Hayley is a freelance writer who currently blogs about debt and money matters over at her website Disease Called Debt. There you’ll find Debt Success Stories, debt help resources and money saving tips. You can also follow Hayley on Twitter.

 

The image above can be found here.

How To Get A Cruise For Cheap Or Even FREE!

How To Get A Cruise For Cheap Or Even FREE!We’re on Day 3 of our cruise, and we are loving it. We still have 5 full days and nights left on our cruise. We have found that a cruise is a great way to have a true “vacation.”

You just hop on a ship (ahhh don’t call it a boat – people get mad! :) ), relax, eat and drink a lot, it takes you to ports, and it is just overall very relaxing. We have had a lot of fun so far just sitting on our balcony and watching the water.

Yes, I know, we are new to cruising but I have already learned so much.

I am the type of person who researches a vacation like crazy before going on it, so you can bet that I read cruising forums and articles for many, many days until I felt like I have been cruising several times before.

Since I told friends and family that we were going on a cruise, I have had many people ask me about the costs of going on one.

There are many different types of cruises out there. There are expensive round-the-world cruises, or there are cheap ones that are a few days long. There are interior rooms and then there are also large suites that are multiple floors. It all depends on you, where you want to go, and what you care about in a stateroom. Outside of the stateroom, all guests pretty much enjoy the same exact services, so the amount of money you spend all depends on what room you want to choose.

I have seen one night cruises for $50 per person and two night cruises for $99. I have also seen 3 and 4 day Caribbean cruises in an interior room go for $129 per person (yes, that includes food and basic drinks!), not including port fees or taxes. Depending on when you book, you may even be able to book a balcony room for just a few more dollars. If you do one or a combination of the options below, it could be easy to get your cruise for cheap or even near FREE. Who doesn’t like free?

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What To Think About Before Having An Outdoor Wedding Plus Craziness That Happened At Ours

What To Think About Before Having An Outdoor Wedding Plus Craziness That Happened At Ours

Our wedding took place on June 7th, 2014. It was a great day, and in the end our wedding cost around $22,000.

We had a completely outdoor wedding ceremony and reception, which ended up costing us a lot of stress towards the end. Having an outdoor wedding was extremely beautiful, but there were a TON of different things to think about.

Would I do it all over again?

YES! I would choose an outdoor wedding over an indoor one any day.

But there is a lot of planning to do beforehand.

 

Is it cheaper to have an outdoor wedding?

NO!

We actually had people ask us (to our face) if we were getting married outside because we couldn’t afford a “real” wedding. Let me tell you, that is offensive to ask someone. Having an outdoor wedding is still a real wedding! I don’t know why some people think it’s not.

If you are only wanting to have an outdoor wedding to save money, then you will be in for a shocker. Getting married outdoors does not automatically mean that it will be cheaper.

There are many costs that come with having a wedding outdoors. You will have to pay to rent a:

  • Wedding tent (these are usually anywhere from $500 to $10,000!);
  • Tables (usually around $5 to $10 a table);
  • Chairs (these can be anywhere from $1 to $20 each);
  • Linens (these were expensive – around $15 for each linen);
  • Cocktail tables;
  • Dance floor (we spent around $400 to rent ours);
  • Lighting (we bought our own lighting after Christmas was over and saved money. However, this is usually around $1.50 per foot to rent);
  • Bathrooms, and more.

All of this can add up quickly!

 

What would you do if it was extremely hot?

We risked this for our wedding. June in St. Louis can be 60 degrees, or it can be 110 degrees. It can vary widely. Luckily because of the bad weather earlier in the day (read more about that below), it cooled off and it was around 7 to 75 degrees on our wedding day.

If it’s extremely hot on your wedding day though, you don’t want your guests or yourself to suffer. You might have to invest in air conditioning in a tent or at least a few fans. Make sure to have plenty of cold drinks as well!

 

Flooded Road

This is the road that leads to the house. Completely flooded and impassable just one month before the wedding.

What happens if it rains?

Rain was something that was constantly on my mind about our wedding. I was terrified of light rain and heavy rain. Either way, I didn’t want it to happen!

Light rain would have meant that everything and everyone would have had to be shoved under a tent and a barn (the barn was just a roof structure though as there were no sides) and that our ceremony would have had to be shoved under there as well.

Heavy rain would have been a completely different story though. Heavy rain almost always means that the road to the house floods, which would have called off the whole wedding. This happened one month before the wedding (and usually happens a few times a year), so that was definitely on my mind.

On our wedding day: We had some crazy weather at our wedding. It was storming ALL DAY. Our ceremony didn’t start until 5:30, but we were getting ready all day on the property and it was not fun to watch extremely heavy downpour as we were getting ready.

There was also a tornado that touched down around 30 minutes from the property, and a few of our wedding guests actually saw it and got stuck in it.

At 5:30, we all lined up to walk down the aisle. A big gust of wind came through and knocked EVERYTHING over. I mean pretty much everything. I stood there horrified as the wedding planners tried to cover my face.

The photo booth’s tent completely lifted up and flew away, vases all knocked over onto the ground, the lighting all fused out besides just a few strands, and I felt extremely horrible for all of the vendors who were working. That was probably the worst thing because I felt bad for having an outdoor wedding because of what I was putting the vendors through. I’m sure they are used to it because outdoor weddings are pretty common now, but I’m sure it still sucked for them.

However, right after 5:30 as I was beginning to walk down the aisle (with the wedding planner standing by my side with an umbrella), the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun came out. Everyone put their umbrellas away and it was very beautiful.

It very lightly sprinkled the rest of the night, but it was so light that it actually felt nice because it was still St. Louis and 70 degrees in St. Louis is still humid and sort of hot feeling.

 

Will you need a backup plan?

If you are having an outdoor wedding, then you might want a backup plan. We risked it and didn’t have a backup plan. If the roads would have flooded, I really don’t know what we would have done. It would have been horrible and I was risking all of it being called off because of water.

Yes, I’m dumb, but thankfully it worked out.

We did try to find a backup venue though. However, I contacted many places and every single place I talked to was mad that they would be considered a “backup plan.” I mean, they were truly offended and I was actually yelled at a few times. It was ridiculous and I can’t believe some of the things that were said to me.

 

Do your guests know where they are going?

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, then there is a chance that you might be having it out in the country somewhere. If that is the case, make sure that your guests have good directions with them. You don’t want your vendors or guests showing up late, possibly disturbing the ceremony, or something else bad happening.

One of our vendors showed up nearly two hours late. After screaming, nearly crying and around 10 people talking to them to help with directions, it made for a very stressful two hours because the wedding could not begin without them. I’m pretty sure I sweat all my makeup off and ruined my hair because I was so stressed.

Even though we gave preprinted directions to all guests and vendors, and had balloons to make the turns, a few people still showed up late. Make sure to budget this into your time schedule.

You also should tell your guests that it will be an outdoor wedding. This is so that they know what kind of shoes to wear (6 inch heels in grass would not be fun) and so that they can dress for the weather as well.

 

Other things to think about.

If you are having an outdoor wedding, there are plenty of other things to think about as well. I hope I’m not scaring anyone away, but I just want to inform you all so that you can prepare.

I read a ton of outdoor wedding tip articles for mine, and they really helped. Even though a lot of crazy things happened on our wedding day, I would still have an outdoor wedding again. It was super beautiful and a lot of fun!

  • It you’re out in the country, where will people sleep or how will they get home? We had a lot of people sleep at the property. I think Wes’s mom counted 26 people sleeping in the big house (there are two houses on the property – the “big” house, and a guest house where we slept). There were also people sleeping in their cars and a few people brought tents. We had a bonfire after the reception ended and it was a ton of fun. People were enjoying it until 9 in the morning from what I was told!
  • Will you need any permits? For some areas, you might need a permit to have a party, for guest parking, and/or to serve alcohol. We didn’t need anything since the property is so large and private
  • Bugs. We bought several cans of bug spray for our guests. You don’t want them to get all bit up!
  • Bathrooms. You will probably need to rent bathrooms. You don’t want 200 people using the same septic system unless it’s built for that. Don’t worry though, there are nice bathrooms out there to rent. Some come with air conditioning, flushing toilets, sinks, and everything else.

 

What craziness happened on your wedding day?

Would you have an outdoor wedding?