6 Ways You Can Use A Personal Loan this Summer

Summer is a time for fun and excitement, but it can also be super expensive. people at a picnicSummertime can be a season of major life changes like household moves and weddings; purchasing that boat you’ve been eyeing and let’s not forget those dream vacations!

Before you start swiping the plastic for everything under the sun, Destinations Credit Union recommends considering a personal loan to stay within your budget.

At, Destinations Credit Union, the application process is smooth and quick, and, as a member, you don’t need flawless credit to qualify for a great rate. We also offer fantastic terms, with low interest rates. When you use a personal loan instead of racking up credit card debt, you are making a responsible choice that can positively impact your finances for years to come.

To help you accomplish this, we have outlined seven ways to responsibly use a personal loan this summer.

1. Getting married

According to Brides.com, the average wedding in 2018 cost more than $44,000. That’s a whole lot of money you may not have sitting around.

If you’re tying the knot this summer, consider taking out a personal loan to help cover your wedding costs. Use your loan to fund the larger expenses, such as your rings, wedding dress and venue, or to cover the smaller costs like the flowers, travel arrangements and photographer.

2. Moving to new home

Since the kids are out of school, summer is the most popular time of year for household moves. Whether you’re moving a few blocks or a few states away, moving costs can be prohibitive. You’ll need to consider the expense of moving supplies; paying the mover; plus the cost of new furniture and other household items to help turn your new residence into a home. Taking out a personal loan to help you cover these expenses can make a household move a lot less stressful.

3. Consolidating debt

Summer is all about freedom and what better way to feel free than getting rid of that nagging credit card and student loan debt?

Paying off multiple loans and credit card bills each month can make you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle thanks to skyrocketing interest rates. Wouldn’t life be simpler if you only had one debt with a nominal interest rate? A personal loan can make that happen.

A personal loan can be used to pay off all your credit card and other outstanding debt, and with a single loan to pay off with a manageable interest rate, you’ll be able to make steady progress toward living a debt-free life.

4. Taking a dream vacation

Perhaps the road trip you take every summer is getting stale and you’re ready for something bigger, like a luxury cruise or trip abroad. You might be celebrating a milestone anniversary or college graduation, or maybe you want to cross something off your bucket list; however, your budget is not equipped for the tens of thousands of dollars you need for your dream getaway.

A personal loan can help you fund the trip of your dreams with a payment plan you can afford so you won’t need a vacation from debt when you return.

5. Renovating your home

When the weather warms up, homeowners want to upgrade their homes. Whether it’s installing a swimming pool, giving your kitchen a complete makeover or turning your garage into a guest suite this summer, a personal loan can make it possible. Personal loans may be a better option for homeowners who don’t have a great deal of equity in their homes and consequently would not be a good candidate for a fixed Home Equity Loan, or a HELOC.

6. Funding medical expenses

If there are medical procedures you’ve been putting off because they’re not covered by your health insurance plan, a personal loan can help you look and feel great this summer. A personal loan can help borrowers fund elective cosmetic surgery, dental work, fertility treatments and consulting with alternative practitioners about chronic health conditions.

Apply Online, stop by Destinations Credit Union or give us a call at 410-663-2500 to ask how you can get started. We’re always here to help make your summer dreams come true.

Your Turn: What are your summer plans and how are you going to pay for them? Share it with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-can-a-personal-loan-be-used-for/

https://www.thebalance.com/reasons-to-get-a-personal-loan-4684106
https://www.bankrate.com/loans/personal-loans/top-reasons-to-apply-for-personal-loan/amp/

How To Enjoy A Busy Wedding Season Without Going Broke

It’s the season of gauzy canopies, lacy gowns and stiff penguin suits. That being the case, guests tossing flowers at wedding coupleand with wedding invitations flooding your mailbox, you might already be booking your weekends with weddings through the end of August.

Celebrating a new marriage together with your friends is great fun, but all those wedding invites can put a real strain on your budget. Between wedding attire, travel costs and gifts, each wedding can add up to a pretty penny. In fact, according to the most recent research by Express Spending & Saving Tracker, the average wedding guest is out $673 for each wedding they attend. That’s enough to make you go broke by the time wedding season is through!

If these numbers are scaring you, take a deep breath and relax. You don’t need to go into debt just to attend your friends’ weddings. Just follow these hacks for simple ways to celebrate in style-and within budget.

1.) Save on airfare

Get the best deal on your flight with these hacks:

  • Clear your browser cache before searching for a flight so airlines don’t target you with high-priced flights.
  • Get the lowest prices by booking your ticket for mid-week and/or taking a red-eye flight.
  • Shop on a Tuesday about six weeks before you’re needing to fly out to score the best deals.
  • Use apps like Kayak, Hipmunk and Hopper to help you find the best-priced tickets. Some apps will even send you alerts when tickets on a flight you’ve looked at go down in price.

If your destination is within driving distance, you can also choose to hop on a train, board a bus or rent a car with some friends and turn the drive into a fun road trip.

2.) Think outside the registry

Jump off the registry bandwagon and get creative instead! You can gift the couple with a more personalized gift, like a themed breakfast basket for the morning after, tickets and reservations for a dream date night or a customized kitchen package complete with quirky mugs and whimsical gadgets. No one has to know how much (or how little) you spent. But, your gift is sure to be memorable and treasured by the couple.

If you’re part of a bunch of friends who are attending the wedding together, you can also choose to purchase a group gift. Do some detective work to find out the couple’s secret luxury gift wish, like a top-of-the-line grill or a leather sectional sofa, and then let each friend contribute to a pot until you have the full amount. You’ll save on your gift costs and you’ll know you’ve given your friends a wedding present they’ll be thrilled to receive.

3.) Don’t buy a gown

Don’t feel pressured to spend hundreds of dollars on the dress you’ll wear to your friends’ weddings. Chances are, you won’t want to wear the same gown twice in a season. Also, the dress that perfectly matches one wedding color can horribly clash with the d├ęcor at next weekend’s wedding. Instead of dropping a ton of money on a dress you might wear once, rent a gown for a fraction of the price from rental services like Rent the Runway. You can also borrow from a friend or purchase a gently used gown on sites like OnceWed.com or PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com.

4.) Invest in a good suit

Tux rentals can run you up to $150, so if you’re looking at several weekends of weddings over the next few months, it might be worthwhile to invest in a staple suit or tux you can wear again and again. Make sure the suit is of decent quality and will make it through hours on the dance floor with its seams and buttons intact. Once you’ve got your suit in the closet, you can change up the outfit to match different wedding colors and themes by swapping the shirt and tie or the cummerbund and bowtie.

5.) Use AirBNB instead of booking a hotel

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a hotel stay for every destination wedding you attend. Instead, check out AirBNB for affordable lodgings in the area. You can save even more by booking a full apartment or an entire house with a couple of friends and splitting the cost.

6.) Don’t be afraid to say no

Members of the wedding party inevitably end up outspending everyone else thanks to the wedding attire, shoes and the pre-wedding parties they’re required to attend. Most of these costs are dictated by the bride and groom. If you’re asked to be a bridesmaid or an usher and you know you can’t afford the associated costs, don’t be afraid to explain your position to your soon-to-be-married friends. They’ll likely understand, and either accept your declination or make some adjustment to their plans so you can be part of the wedding party.

Here’s to a season of affordable and joyous wedding celebrations from all of us here at Destinations Credit Union!

Your Turn: How do you save money on wedding expenses? Share your best ideas with us!

SOURCES:
https://lover.ly/planning/news-tips/guest-guide/sneakiest-ways-save-money-attending-wedding/

https://www.moneycrashers.com/tips-save-attending-wedding-guest/
https://lover.ly/planning/news-tips/wedding-101/why-youre-about-to-spend-700-on-every-wedding-this-season-ouch/
https://www.theknot.com/content/amphtml/save-money-as-wedding-guest

5 Ways To Budget For Your Wedding

Q: I’m ready to tie the knot, but I don’t know if I can afford to have a wedding! BetweenBride With Mother and Sister the flowers, gown and venue, it’s thousands and thousands of dollars. How can I cut costs without compromising on my special day?

A: If you’re finding the costs of your wedding to be prohibitive, you’re not alone. According to wedding magazine The Knot, the average American wedding costs upward of $35,000.

That’s a lot of money to spend on one day, especially for twenty- and thirty-somethings who might still be carrying college debt and are probably at the starting end of their earning potential.

It should come as no surprise, then, that more than half of newly married couples are still paying off debt from their special day years after the honeymoon is over.

This doesn’t mean you need to give up your dreams of a spectacular gown and a three-tiered wedding cake.

By planning ahead, choosing wisely and prioritizing what’s truly important, you can say “I Do” without stressing over wedding costs.

Here’s how:

1.) Start saving now

Instead of waiting for that special someone to pop the question, start saving now!

Ramit Sethi, popular finance blogger and author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, says this is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to planning for their weddings. The average age of marriage is 27 for men and 26 for women. If you start saving for your wedding when you’re 20, explains Sethi, you’ll only need to put away $333 a month. But if you start at age 26, you’ll need to put away $2,333 a month!

Start saving now and take your vows, debt-free.

2.) Time it right

Don’t assume you need to get married on a balmy Saturday in July. Think off-season and mid-week, and you’ll save a bundle!

First, consider a winter wedding. You might not have the luxury of sunny skies and blossoming flowers, but you’ll have the warmth and coziness of being inside on a freezing winter’s day. You can treat your guests to steaming hot cocoa and then set off for the ski slopes and a dreamy wintry honeymoon.

Best of all, you’ll shave thousands of dollars off the venue price by choosing an unusual time of year to get married.

Second, think beyond Saturdays. If you can find a church with a vacancy on a Sunday, grab it! Venue prices can drop dramatically with just a one-day switch.

You can also opt for a mid-week wedding that precedes a national holiday date, like July 4th or Thanksgiving. This way, your guests will still be able to enjoy the evening without rushing home.

3.) Skip the cake

A slice of a dessert for $2.50 that doesn’t even taste that good? Meh. Who needs it?

Here are some other ideas:

  • Fake your cake. If you can’t stomach the idea of a cake-less wedding, ask your baker to fake it for you by creating a false, cardboard bottom for your cake and only baking a genuine top layer or two. You’ll get the same look without the huge cost and you won’t be left with half a cake to trash when the wedding’s over.
  • Set up a bar. No, we’re not talking liquor. Make your wedding a conversation piece by setting up a dessert bar instead of a cake. You can serve hot waffles with ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce and a huge selection of other fun toppings. Or, you can choose to serve warm brownies or chocolate chip cookies as your base instead. Make it super fun with a hot chocolate fountain. Everything’s better with chocolate. You’ll be pampering your guests at a fraction of the cost!
  • Serve a sheet cake instead. Still want a cake you can eat in its entirety? Order a simple sheet cake from the best bakery in town. Your guests will be happy to savor a slice — even without all that fondant and frosting.

4.) Save on your gown

Every little girl dreams of her special day – and the special dress she’ll be wearing when it finally comes. But wedding gowns can cost thousands of dollars, and after being worn once, are often left to turn yellow in a forgotten corner of an attic.

Instead of throwing out thousands or even hundreds of dollars on your gown, look for a pre-owned gown on eBay, OnceWed.com or PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. You can find a beautiful, gently used gown for under $100.

You can also look for a gown that wasn’t specifically designed as a wedding dress. Check out prom shops and sites, or embellish a bridesmaid dress to make it look like bride material.

5.) Vary your venue

Wedding venues tend to be couples’ biggest money-waster for their special day.

Save a ton by choosing a venue that has no outside contracts. You can shop around for the cheapest caterer, or break convention and skip the sit down meal, opting for something simpler and cheaper, like a BBQ buffet, burger bar or hors d’oeuvres and mini deli sandwiches.

If you really dare to be different, you can have your wedding in one of these unique, budget-friendly venues that can also serve as wedding halls for starry-eyed couples just like you:

  • Art gallery. It’s already decorated beautifully. Make your wedding stand out with this artsy choice of venue!
  • College campus. If you’re still a student and your college has a large dining hall and picturesque grounds, this can be an ideal wedding venue. Plus, you’ll probably be able to snag a steep student discount!
  • Vacation home. By renting a vacation home for two weeks, you’ll have lodgings for your out-of-town guests, a romantic wedding venue and a honeymoon destination when the wedding’s over.

Still not sure how to pay for your wedding? We can help! Call, click or stop by [credit union] today to ask about our personal loans, wedding clubs and other great services that can take the stress out of your wedding preparations.

Your Turn: Already married? Share your best wedding hacks with us in the comments!

SOURCES:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/rachelwmiller/insanely-smart-ways-to-save-money-on-your-wedding

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.brides.com/gallery/wedding-budget-saving-tips/amp
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/ways-to-save-money-wedding/amp/