2010 April :APOShoppers

Archive for April, 2010

Air travel rules have become more stringent over time and this is mostly felt at airport security checkpoints.

There are currently three checkpoints travelers have to go through when flying. The first checkpoint takes place when you register for your flight and pick your seat. At this stage, before you are presented with your boarding pass, you have to present a valid ID (e.g. driver’s license or government-issued ID) along with your ticket and the luggage you would like checked-in. All pieces of luggage are hand checked for prohibited items. These are usually quick run-throughs. Random extensive searches are sometimes implemented. These searches include checking all compartments of bags and wiping cloth on surfaces of your items to check for prohibited substances. These extensive searches rarely happen and are nevertheless still part of standard procedure required by aviation authorities. When you happen to be on the receiving end of these searches, remember to keep your cool.

After you get your boarding passes, you must then proceed to the main security checkpoint. Here you will be asked to walk through a metal detector, sans footwear. Your footwear will have to go through an x-ray machine along with your carry-on luggage (if you have any). Everyone has to go through this security check except those who are physically unable to do so. Some ordinary items might be prohibited on board. If you happen to be carrying any, you will have the option of returning it to your car, mailing it to your home, turning it over to airport security, or simply discarding it.

Your last checkpoint will be upon boarding the plane. You will have to show your boarding passes during this time. Occasionally you may be asked to show an ID, but once it is not usually required.

These security checks are standard operating procedures; everyone currently has to abide by these. Make sure to keep your calm during the checkpoints so you will avoid embarrassing confrontations with authorities. Security is always on the lookout for suspicious-looking individuals or those who draw attention to themselves and you don’t want to give officials any reason to be wary.

It is also wise to update yourself on items prohibited aboard an aircraft or even those exclusively banned from carry-ons. Doing so will help you avoid delays or missing your flight altogether. Your flight should be hassle-free if you keep all of these pointers in mind.

Service Members Save Money On Groceries

Cutting down on costs at your Commissary is one way of managing your money well. Here are a few ideas you can employ to save money on your next run.

• Come up with a budget that is just at part with or if possible below what you can actually afford. Build a list of grocery items within that budget.

• Check out the coupon collection that most people ignore in the front of the Commissary .

• Have a list ready before your next trip to the Commissary, making sure to include common kitchen items such as coffee, milk, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, onion and garlic.

• Keep tabs on item prices, especially items you frequently use, so you can come up with a workable budget on your next grocery run.

• Limit your Commissary visits to once or twice a month. You can save on travel costs and decrease your chances of overspending.

• Plan your meals ahead of time. This helps you avoid missing an ingredient and saves you money if you choose meals that have common ingredients. Mayonnaise, for example, allows you to make both sandwiches and macaroni salads.

• Branded goods and choice-cut meats have cheaper substitutes that do not have to do away with quality. Go for those substitutes.

• Purchase goods in cash and save yourself the trouble of going over your budget.

• Buy snacks for your travels. 24/7 mini stores are usually more expensive, especially if you live in Europe. Bringing food in your travels eases hungers pangs without hurting your wallet.

• It pays to be inventive in the kitchen: You can make something special out of leftovers which can potentially maximize your savings.

Follow these tips and you will be in for a good surprise once you have tallied up your expenses for the month.

Avoiding Impulse Spending

One of the easiest habbits to develop while overseas is impulse spending. Impulse spending is never a good thing. It drains your chances of getting worthwhile items for yourself (e.g. car, house, vacation or retirement) and it will wreck your relationships. Not sure if you’re an impulse buyer? Answer the following questions with true or false to find out.

1. Your spouse or partner complains about your spending.
2. Your credit card never fails to surprise you with a larger amount than you expected.
3. There are not enough number of days to wear all the clothes and shoes you own.
4. You own the latest gadgets even if your old ones are not in the least bit obsolete.
5. You buy items you never thought you wanted until you saw them on a shelf.

If you answered true to any of the statements, chances are you are an impulse spender.

Here are a few tricks that can help put your impulsiveness in check: Make a list of the things you want to buy before hitting the stores and take only enough cash for your list. Leave your credit cards at home to avoid overspending. Ads and the media oftentimes dictate our needs. Distinguishing your needs from your wants will keep you from falling into the dictates of the media. Give yourself time to cool off when you see something you want (or something you think you need) that you haven’t planned on buying. Two weeks should be enough to help you figure out whether an item is something you can live without or not.

Taking heed of these simple steps and in no time you would be back on track with your loved ones and finally save up for important investments.

June 30th Relaunch