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Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Sometimes a long vacation far away can actually be more exhausting than relaxing.

That’s why a weekend trip somewhere near you can actually be more rejuvenating.

Not only that but weekend trips are less expensive, you don’t have to take time off, and it can be just what you need to prevent burnout and keep your energies and spirits up.

The Best Weekend Getaways

The best weekend getaways cater to your personal preferences and desires so you can get the most out of your short trip.

Some people are looking for weekend getaways near me, where they can be close to home but still take a break from their lives. Others are looking for cheap weekend getaways, so they can enjoy a vacation without spending too much. Then there are people looking for group weekend getaways or the best weekend getaways for couples.

Different people look for different things in a vacation. Some people are history buffs and want to see some historical sites and go on tours. Others will want to go where there is lively music, or botanical gardens where they can walk and be with nature.

Other people have specific requirements for their vacation. If you have kids you might need a family-friendly option, or if you’re a couple you might want something more romantic.
Start asking yourself what kind of vacationer you are before you get started on any solid plans.

Take a moment to sit down and write a list of things you must have in a weekend getaway. This can help you decide the key elements of your weekend trip budget.

Make a Budget

weekend trip costs

The more days you stay away the more your trip will cost.

Which is why weekend trips are so great! You can vacation without breaking the bank simply by leaving for fewer days.

According to Budget Your Trip the average daily cost of a vacation for just one person comes to about $224. This means that a 2 day vacation would cost $448, a 3 day vacation would cost $672, and a longer 4 day vacation would cost $896.

But you can save even more on a weekend getaway by cutting areas of your budget and making smart, money-saving choices.

Download a Free Printable PDF for a Weekend Getaway Budget.

weekend trip budget

A vacation budget usually includes at least 4 categories.

Transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

According to ValuePenguin the average cost of transportation for 4 nights is $224, lodgings are $150, food is $155, and entertainment is $52. A 4 night trip, from Friday to Monday, can cost a total of $581.

These 4 budget sections are what you’ll need to figure out before going on vacation. Though there may be other things to consider depending on your personal preferences. For example, you might want to add a souvenir budget or create separate budgets for each person going on the trip.



As with any trip, you’ll need to figure out what transportation you’ll use, how much it will cost, and how you can save in this category.

The farther from home you go the more expensive transportation costs are going to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t go far away for your weekend trip, it just means transportation will take up a larger portion of your budget if you do. You might have to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget, like which hotel you stay at if you want to go somewhere farther away.

Since it’s just a weekend trip, longer trips will also take up more of the little time you have to get away that weekend. But if you go somewhere close by, then you’ll have even more time to enjoy your destination. Try going on a road trip instead of flying since driving is generally cheaper than plane tickets.

You should also try and book accommodations that aren’t too far away from everything. That way you can easily walk, ride bikes, or use trails like the boardwalk or river walk to get wherever you want to go while on vacation.



If you book your accommodations well in advance then you are more likely to snag some deals.

If you want to get in the habit of taking weekend trips, then try getting into the habit of researching prices every so often. That way you’ll see when prices go up and down.

You can also save on lodgings by choosing Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at instead of expensive hotels. If you go on trips very often, then investing in a trailer or some quality camping gear could actually save you money in the long term.



Eating out can easily become the most expensive part of a vacation. But you can save tons of money on food by packing your own meals and snacks.

No matter where you end up staying you can always bring your own food. If you’re going camping you can pack food bags and coolers full of nonperishable foods. If you’re going to a hotel or Airbnb you can find one with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals instead of spending tons of money eating out.

But remember to keep item number 1 in mind! Maybe eating out while traveling is a big part of a vacation for you. If this is the case, then just calculate restaurant expenses into your weekend getaway budget.



There’s nothing more disappointing than coming back from a trip where you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do.

You don’t want your weekend trip to feel like a waste of time. There might be specific things you want to do to entertain yourself while on vacation, like see a movie, go to a specific restaurant, see a show, go on a guided tour, or visit the zoo.

Create a vacation schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on anything or unexpectedly spend money on tickets for something once you get there. By creating a schedule for entertainment ahead of time, you’ll know how you’re spending your weekend and how much each activity will cost. That way you can include your fun in your budget and not feel bad later for spending more than you thought you would.

Entertainment can also be the most flexible part of your budget and an easy place to cut costs. Maybe instead of paying for an expensive tour you pick up a cheaper tour guide booklet and see the sites yourself. Or maybe you can find free things to do like go to a public beach or nature park.

Download a Free Printable for a Weekend Getaway Schedule.

More Weekend Vacation Budget Tips

weekend getaway tips and tricks

Now that you know how to save on your 4 key weekend budget categories, let’s go over some other ways to trim your weekend budget.

1. Split the Costs

One great way to get the most out of a weekend vacation while still saving money is to bring a group of people and split the cost. By renting a cabin with a bunch of friends or family members, you can stay at a really nice place for a much more reasonable price.

Transportation costs can also be alleviated by inviting friends to tag along and help pay for gas.

2. Pack Light

Packing light will not only make your life easier, but it can save you in the long run. By not packing too much you won’t lose as many items in the hustle and bustle of traveling.

You also won’t have to pay extra traveling fees for having tons of luggage.

3. Don’t Spend Money Once You’re There

If you plan carefully and bring your own things, you can get away with not spending money once you reach your destination. Eat your own food and bring your own entertainment.

There are plenty of things you can do for free on vacation, like outdoor activities or going to state parks. You might actually enjoy just reading a good book by the poolside instead of filling your weekend with expensive and busy activities.

4. Look for All-Inclusive Options

Some resorts and cruises can be all-inclusive, meaning that you pay for your stay and they provide everything else. All-inclusive trips can also give you the best deal since one payment will pay for all categories of your budget. All you have to worry about is showing up.

5. Put Vacations in Your Budget Now

Planning ahead will always save you more, and that includes planning for your vacations now. Put away a little money each month into a fund just for trips. Then once you have enough to cover your vacation budget you can go, relax, have fun, and not worry about the money your spending because you saved it all up specifically for this.

6. Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Have trouble budgeting your spending once you’re there? Just get a Prepaid Debit Card and use that for spending on vacation. With a prepaid debit card, you won’t be able to go over budget and can protect yourself from your own money spending habits.

7. Long Weekends

Plan to go on vacation during a long weekend. That way you don’t have to use paid time off, and you can get an extra day or two of relaxation and fun into your weekend. Having a long weekend to look forward to can also make work more bearable, and give you a time frame for saving up.

8. Most Popular Weekend Getaway Locations

If you want to travel somewhere really popular, you definitely want to look for deals. You can use websites like kayak, travelocity, trivago, or airbnb to find deals on transportation, lodgings, and fun times. You can also use sites like the Crazy Tourist to see reviews about popular places and help you decide where to go and what to see on your trip.

Here are some examples of how you can use these sites to your advantage.

Getaways in San Diego

Trips to Santa Barbara

San Antonio Vacation Packages from $658

Las Vegas Weekend Break Hotels

15 Best Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Rhode Island

New York City Weekend Breaks

Best Weekend Deals Los Angeles

San Francisco Cheap Vacations


written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

The Best Books by Dave Ramsey

dave ramsey books

Dave Ramsey is a New York Times bestselling author, and a radio show host on The Dave Ramsey Show.

You can find his books wherever you buy books and you can listen to his radio show wherever you listen to podcasts or the radio. All of his books are also on Amazon, where you can find the kindle versions for your e-reader, or audiobook versions so you can learn all about finances on the go.

Table of Contents:

When getting into Dave Ramsey’s books people often wonder which book they should start with? If you want to read Dave Ramsey’s books in order there are a couple of routes you can go. You can read them in the order he wrote them, or read them in order of the things you learn in each book.

Dave Ramsey’s Books in Chronological Order:

If you want to read all of Dave Ramsey’s books in order, you can follow this master list of all his books so far.

1992 – Financial Peace

1993 – Dumping Debt: Breaking the Chains of Debt

1998 – The Financial Peace Planner

1998 – More Than Enough

1999 – More Than Enough: The Ten Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny

2000 – How to Have More Than Enough: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Abundance

2002 – Cash Flow Planning: The Nuts and Bolts of Budgeting

2002 – Financial Peace for the Next Generation

2003 – The Total Money Makeover

2003 – The Great Misunderstanding: Unleashing the Power of Generous Giving

2004 – The Money Answer Book

2008 – Relating with Money: Nerds and Free Spirits Unite!

2011 – Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money

2011 – Dave Ramsey’s High Performance Achievement: Accomplishing the Extraordinary

2011 – EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches

2014 – Smart Money Smart Kids

2014 – The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity

Dave Ramsey Kid Books: Life Lessons with Junior

kid books

4.38 stars on Goodreads

Life Lessons with Junior is a series of children’s books written by Dave Ramsey. In them, he goes over all the most basic concepts of money management. Following Junior’s adventures can teach your kids all about monetary responsibility in clear simpler terms they’ll understand. He goes over everything from spending, debt, saving, work, giving, contentment, and integrity. Don’t miss out on gracing your household shelves with these great childhood reads with life lessons your kids will keep with them all their lives.

Smart Money Smart Kids

smart money smart kids

4.26 stars on Goodreads

Smart Money Smart Kids is a book that Dave Ramsey wrote with his daughter, Rachel Cruze. It is a book that teaches parents all about how to teach their kids about money. Part of good parenting is preparing your kids to be responsible, independent adults someday and a big part of being an adult is knowing how to manage your money. In this book, Dave Ramsey and his daughter will tell you all about how to raise kids who are smart about their money.

If you’re looking for something from Dave Ramsey that can specifically help your teens, check out his article, “A Teenager’s Guide to Building Wealth.”

Dave Ramsey also has a great recommendation for a college 101 bundle that includes Debt-Free Degree by Anthony O’Neal and The Graduate Survival Guide by Anthony O’Neal and Rachel Cruze.

Financial Peace

financial peace

4.31 on Goodreads

Financial Peace is one of Dave Ramsey’s first books, but he has since revisited the book, renaming it, Financial Peace Revisited: New Chapters on Marriage, Singles, Kids, and Families. This newer edition of his first book now includes more information for married couples, singles, children, and families. This book is also where he introduces the KISS rule, which stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” It’s about getting out of debt and staying out of debt and the idea that you should use contentment to make your financial decisions. It also goes over how to manage money flow and investing.

One of the primary keys to understanding your finances and being able to take control of them is to manage the flow of your money. A lot of people just let money flow as it does, not really thinking too much about where it’s coming from and where it disappears. But if you learn to take full control of where all your funds are going then the problem of disappearing funds won’t happen to you and you can find financial peace.

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

total money makeover

4.28 stars on Goodreads

A large part of what makes makeovers so fun is the joy of reaching your goals and having a different life and a different you at the end of your journey. But have you ever thought about going on a similar makeover journey with your finances? Dave Ramsey will show you how.

The Total Money Makeover may be one of Dave Ramsey’s most popular books. He talks about some of his most famous money tips all while debunking myths about money. He brings a simpler, more straight forward approach to money management that anyone can understand and utilize in their life, no matter their financial situation. Dave Ramsey says that this book can work every time, all you have to do is follow his steps.

Complete Guide to Money

complete guide to money

4.44 stars on Goodreads

In this comprehensive guide Dave Ramsey goes over all his basic financial tips and lessons—How to Budget with Dave Ramsey, how to save, how to get out of debt, how to invest, mortgages, insurance, marketing, bargain hunting, and giving. Anything you want to know when it comes to money, you can find in this master guidebook.

The Money Answer Book

money answer book

3.82 stars on Goodreads

The Money Answer Book is a quick read with questions and answers to more than 100 common money questions! It’s a fast guide that goes over budget planning, retirement planning, shopping tips, saving for college, giving to charity, and so much more. If you need something you can quickly leaf through to find the answers you’re looking for.

How to Have More than Enough: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Abundance

more than enough

4.11 stars on Goodreads

How to Have More than Enough is the newest version of Dave Ramsey’s earlier book, More than Enough. Once you have gotten out of debt, he has more down to earth advice about building wealth. Dave Ramsey’s perspective is unique because he doesn’t just talk about monetary wealth, he talks about having a wealth of happiness. He takes it a step further by talking about finding wealth in relationships and in your family. In this book, he goes through 10 traits you need to be prosperous in life beyond your financial situations.



4.21 stars on Goodreads

In EntreLeadership Dave Ramsey talks about how he built his company, and how to be a strong leader. He talks about how to grow as a leader and the questions you should ask yourself in order to develop yourself. This book has doable, step-by-step guidance to follow to become a better leader and watch your business grow as you do.

He talks about inspiring and unifying your team, handling your business finances, and reaching your business goals. If you are making your own business and you need some pro tips about leadership, this book is what you want. But you can find great insights in this book no matter what you are doing with your life right now. If you are a parent you can use it with your family or at work, you can use it with your coworkers! This is because leadership is really all about functioning efficiently as a team and reaching your goals together.

What Books Does Dave Ramsey Recommend?

We’ve talked all about books that were written by Dave Ramsey, but what about books that Dave Ramsey recommends? There are many other great financial reads you can find on Dave Ramsey’s website. You can also read more about Dave Ramsey’s steps to reach financial steps by reading, “Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps.” Here are just a few book suggestions from Dave Ramsey:

Dave Ramsey’s Book Club

If you’re interested in really tackling your finances with Dave Ramsey’s sage wisdom you can actually join Dave Ramsey’s official book club! All you have to do is create an account on his website and then join the book club (fees may apply). Then, at the beginning of each month, you’ll receive Dave Ramsey’s book club book of the month in the mail. You’ll also get an email with details about when the live book discussion will happen on the private book club Facebook page along with a study guide to use as you read.

For more answers to any questions you may have about the Dave Ramsey book club, just visit the book club’s FAQs Page.

Dave Ramsey along with his many inspiring books have helped a lot of people get back on their feet financially. You can take on his financial fitness challenge too and manage your money like never before.

Another way you can get some needed financial help is to take out an Installment Loan at Check City! Installment loans can help you stay on top of your bill payments and avoid late fees, which can really hurt your long-term financial goals.


written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

How Much Do Braces Cost?


Generally people need braces because there is something wrong with their teeth alignment. But there are many reasons that problems with teeth alignment can occur.

Some people just have genetics that influences their teeth, making them more prone to certain oral problems. Other problems arise from external factors that we allow to negatively affect our teeth.

Whatever your circumstances, whether you’re younger or older, it is never too late to seek the orthodontic care you need to be more comfortable and confident. Many people worry about paying for braces though, keeping themselves from getting the care they need. But with some research on your part and understanding your insurance plan, you can have a pretty good idea of how much braces will cost you.

Explore this Article

Why a Kid Might Need Braces:

But before we go figuring out how much braces cost, let’s take a look at how to know when you or your child needs a checkup with your orthodontics . . .

Losing Teeth Early

Generally, the age range that kids lose their baby teeth is from 6 to 12 years old. But if they start losing their baby teeth sooner than 6 years old then you might want to take them to get checked out by your orthodontics. Losing baby teeth too early can be a sign of a bigger underlying issue and can affect their jaw and their permanent teeth as they grow older.

Crowded Teeth

When a child has crowded teeth, it means that their mouth doesn’t have enough space for their future adult teeth to come in. Leaving crowded teeth untreated leads to impacted teeth, which is an even bigger problem and involves much more invasive treatment to correct. If you are worried your child’s mouth isn’t going to be big enough for their adult teeth then consult your orthodontist.

Jaw Issues

Another major variable in teeth alignment and overall mouth health is your jaw structure. Orthodontists don’t just work on teeth, they also work on certain jaw issues. Signs that your child has a jaw-related issue is if they have trouble biting, chewing, and breathing properly.

Thumb Sucking

Sucking on a thumb or pacifier is a common habit for young children. Usually, as a child gets older they grow out of these habits, but some children have a more difficult time with this than others. It is advised that children who suck on thumbs and pacifiers should stop around 6 or 7 years old, if not sooner. If the habit continues past this point there is a chance that their teeth will protrude, creating a misaligned bite.

Why an Adult Might Need Braces:

Children and teenagers aren’t the only ones who need braces and dental care. Adults sometimes need braces as well.

Jaw pain, face pain, headaches, and earaches

Oftentimes a headache is just a headache, but sometimes this can be a sign that an issue with your jaw structure is causing your head pain.

Issues with chewing, speaking, or biting

Similar to children, these kinds of problems can be linked to jaw and teeth issues.

Jaw popping

If you find your jaw excessively popping you may want to mention it to your orthodontist.

Different Types of Braces:

If you need treatment at some point you are going to have to choose which kind of braces to get. When people think of braces they usually picture the metal kind, but now there are several other options to choose from.

Which kind of braces you get will affect how long you will have braces and what you will pay for them. Orthodontic treatments have come a long way over the years, and now there are a variety of treatment options, all of which vary in cost, effectiveness, treatment period lengths, and noticeability. Now, Invisalign isn’t the only type of invisible braces.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the traditional kind of braces with metal brackets. They are usually the cheapest option and are the most visible.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are just like traditional metal braces, except they go on the back of your teeth instead of the front. This makes them less visible than traditional braces, but not all dentists will do lingual braces.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are like traditional metal braces except they are made of ceramic instead of metal. They still go on the front of your teeth but because their color is closer to the color of teeth they are less noticeable.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, like Invisalign, are the least noticeable form of braces. They are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and get changed out for a new tray every so often. Clear aligners usually cost the most.


Other Orthodontic Services and Treatments:

Though braces are very common, there are a lot of other dental treatments out there. Some of them also relate closely to braces or are treatments that you’ll do after your braces come off.


Retainers are generally used after you have finished your treatment period with braces. Retainers are used to make sure your teeth stay the way your braces have worked to align them as you transition into not wearing braces anymore. Retainers usually have a metal band that hugs your teeth and a plastic mold that is custom-fitted to the roof of your mouth.

Space Maintainers

If a child loses their baby teeth earlier than normal they might need to use space maintainers. This will keep the spaces between their teeth open so that there is room for the adult teeth to come in later and ensure that their adult teeth grow into the correct spots.


Mouthguards are often worn by athletes while they are playing a sport. An orthodontist can custom fit the mouth guard for maximum protection during games and competitions. You can also buy mouth guards over-the-counter, but they are not as comfortable as a custom-fitted guard and are less effective at protecting an individual’s teeth.

Mouthguards can also be called night guards and can be used by people who grind or clench their teeth in their sleep. Nightguards protect your teeth from damage and pain due to teeth grinding.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

Now that we have determined whether you need braces and talked about the different kinds of braces you can get, it’s time to figure out the cost. The cost of braces and treatment is going to depend on several different variables:

  1. The type of braces you get
  2. Whether you’re an adult or a child
  3. How long you’re going to need them
  4. What kind of dental issue needs correcting
  5. Your dental insurance
  6. Your orthodontist
  7. Your region

These types of factors will all weigh in on how much you end up spending on braces. Metal braces are usually the least expensive option while clear aligners, like Invisalign, are going to be the most expensive option. Orthodontic treatment for children generally costs a little less than it does for adults, but this will also depend on your orthodontist. The longer you need to have braces and the more severe the problem is the more expensive the overall treatment is going to be as well because these will require more work from the orthodontist and more appointments.

Lastly, factors like your insurance company, the orthodontist you use, and where you live can also factor into how much you spend on braces. Different insurance policies will provide different coverage for braces, different orthodontist offices will have their own prices in place, and sometimes more rural areas end up being cheaper than busier ones.

How much do braces cost for adults?

Regular metal braces for an adult can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $5,000.

How much do braces cost for kids?

Regular metal braces for kids can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on how much treatment their teeth need.

How much do braces cost with or without insurance?

It is always going to be helpful to have insurance to cover the cost of braces. So make sure you contact your insurance and understand what they will and won’t cover so you can get your maximum benefits. With insurance, your braces can cost closer to $3,407, while the average cost of braces without insurance is $4,937.

How much do braces cost a month?

The cost of your monthly payments will depend on whatever plan you have with your orthodontist, your insurance, and what the overall cost of your braces end up being.

How to Figure Out the Cost For YOU

Whatever braces you choose will depend on what needs to be fixed, your pocket, and your preference. After figuring out what needs to be fixed and what your preferences are you can easily figure out the possible demand on your pocket by following two simple steps.

But before you go calling your orthodontist office and your insurance makes sure you know ahead of time whether you need braces, how severe your case is or how long you will probably need them for, and which kind of braces you would like to use. Then you will simply:

  1. Check with your insurance to see what they will and won’t cover.
  2. Contact your orthodontist (or various ones if you’re searching) to see what all their options, payment plans, and costs are. Some orthodontists will have a monthly payment plan you can take advantage of.

Taking care of all aspects of our health, including our teeth, is an important part of being a healthy human being. Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, but by knowing your options and asking the right questions you can be on top of your orthodontic plans.



Check out Angie’s List to see more about different treatment types and their costs.

Read more about the pros and cons of different braces types.

Read here the signs of needing braces for adults and children.

Visit the American Association of Orthodontics to see answers to frequently asked orthodontic questions.

Read the Check City article, “Tip of The Week: When You Get a Raise, Save More, Don’t Spend More” to learn about how raises can help you save for braces.

Check out our Personal Loans Page to see how Check City can help you with unexpected bills such as medical and dental bills.


written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

Common Insurance Blunders

With billions of people on the planet, all with their own thoughts and ideas, it is not uncommon to find that the advice passed to you from “those in the know” can actually be some of the worst suggestions you can receive. This can certainly be seen in some of the most terrible, and common, insurance advice seemingly passed down from knowledgeable people.

Common insurance blunders often deal with protecting the insurance policy or with saving money on purchasing insurance. Many abysmal pieces of advice regarding insurance have been passed on from generation to generation and laterally across peers of the same age group and all of them have led many to wish they had not listened to their amateur insurance expert next door.

One of the most common horrible pieces of advice that many people receive concerning insurance is that they should base their home insurance policy on the real estate value of the home. Not only is this one of the most repeated bad pieces of insurance advice, it is also one of the most divulged or enacted terrible tips.

Protect Your Home

The thinking or rational for this faulty tip sounds logical, the main idea being that one should insure their home for the same cost it would take to rebuild it. But what does not get told is that basing one’s homeowners insurance on the real estate value of the home will typically lead to different costs should the home ever actually need to be completely rebuilt.

That is because the real estate value of the home is typically lower than the construction costs it would take to completely restore or rebuild the home. For this reason, the better piece of advice for knowing how much to insure a home would be to talk with local construction companies, maybe even the company that build the home in the first place, and consult with them on the price tag it would take to totally rebuild the home and then set the homeowners insurance based on that number and not the real estate value of the home.

Lying to Get a Better Rate

Another common but potentially very harmful piece of insurance advice that one should never take is to lie a little on the insurance application to get a better rate. Those with preexisting conditions have traditionally be more prone to this risky piece of advice, but even those with seemingly nothing to hide from the insurance companies have been known to indulge in telling little white lies on their insurance application forms.

This is a terrible piece of advice all around. Not only is lying on an application form considered insurance fraud, which is a felony offense in most instances, it also can limit the effectiveness of the policy because it could prevent beneficiaries from receiving their benefits.

Don’t Hide Your Insurance Plan

Another common but misleading piece of insurance advice that can lead to beneficiaries not receiving the benefits of the insurance policy is the often suggested but foolish advice to have one’s insurance policies locked up in a safety deposit box somewhere. While this may sound like a good idea to some, if one thinks through the possible scenarios, one can see that locking all of the insurance policies into a safety deposit box can be an unstable and perhaps even damaging plan.
As an example, one should think through this scenario. If a person puts, say, their life insurance policy into a safety deposit box than only that person whose name is one the safety deposit box will be able to have access to the box.

This means that beneficiaries to the life insurance policy will have to wait until an executor of the will has been appointed by the state before they can gain access to the safety deposit box and the valuable life insurance policy within. If one still feels that a safety deposit box is the safest place for their insurance policies and other important documents, then they should pre appoint an executor to their will who will be able to legally open the box in the event of the policy holders death, have the safety deposit box co-singed with a spouse or trusted loved one, or simply purchase their own fire safe to be kept in their home or similar location which can house the important documents.

These and other seemingly sound pieces of advice on insurance given out by those who think they know to others can often be misleading and potential dangerous, both legally and financially, to those who accept them. For this reason, those who wish to learn more about how to properly handle their insurance policies should seek the counsel of honest insurance professionals.

Understanding the Basics of Whole Life Insurance

For many people looking to purchase a life insurance policy, the initial steps in doing so can be confusing and difficult. The following is designed to educate the first-time life insurance buyer on one of the two basic types of life insurance, whole life insurance.

Whole Life vs. Term Life Insurance

Besides a whole life insurance policy, the other main form of life insurance policy is called term life insurance. Term life insurance is relatively easy to understand as it works much like any other form of insurance in that a subscriber pays a premium and is in turn covered by the terms of the insurance policy for a specific amount of insurance.

A whole life insurance policy, however, can be any number of arrangements or plans worked out with an insurance company but that all perform the same basic function. A whole life insurance policy can be more difficult to understand than a term life policy.

Insurance + Investment

With a whole life insurance policy a person’s insurance provider uses a percentage of the person’s paid premium to use as an investment tool in an investment portfolio. For these forms of whole life insurance policies, premiums are typically higher than they are for a term life policy as
to allow the insurance company to invest the excess money into an investment plan.

Whole life insurance plans therefore offer both coverage of life insurance plus an investment of your premium rates. For an example, if a person who had a term life insurance plan and that plan cost one hundred dollars in premiums every month, but then that person wanted to switch to a whole life policy they would have to pay one hundred and thirty dollars with the excess amount of thirty dollars being invested in different investment options determined by financial professionals.

How Does it Work If you Need It?

In the event of death for our example whole life policy holder, the whole life policy would pay out the predetermined ten thousand dollars (the amount used as the example pay out for the term life policy holder in before they switched to a whole life policy) plus whatever money had been made from the investments of the excess thirty dollars over the years. These investment profits can also be taken out by the policy holder during the course of life.

However, the withdrawn profits are then required to be paid back with interest by the policy holder. This factor of having to pay back one’s own investment profits with interest causes most whole life policy holders to think twice before borrowing against their whole life investment profits.

To determine which type of coverage is best for you and your family, consider your situation and which would be more beneficial in the event of death. To answer any remaining questions you may have concerning both term and whole life insurance policies, come into any of our Utah Check City locations and visit with the representative of Insure Utah. They will be able to answer all of your life insurance questions and recommend a policy that will best suit your needs.

Saving Money by Buying the Right Insurance

Americans today are always looking for ways that they can save money. Some people think that they need to make more money.

But a better way to solve financial issues is to redistribute the money that you are already making so it will cover your financial needs. There are many, many ways to save money in our modern society.

It may not necessarily be easy to save money all the time, but it is most definitely always worth it. One great way to save money is to buy the right insurance.

It is an accepted fact that we must all buy insurance. It is the only wise and smart way to live.
People who don’t buy insurance often find themselves in binds that they cannot get out of financially. The types of insurance that most people buy are life, auto, health, and homeowner’s.

The way to go about buying insurance is to shop around. Compare and contrast different insurance policies before you settle on one.

Don’t Let Yourself Get Sold

If you are a person who does not like to disappoint people, maybe you should let your spouse or a family member go shopping for insurance without you. Insurance salespeople can be very persuasive and it may be difficult for you to say no to them.

When buying insurance, you need to stand up for what you want and need and what your price range is, and not give in to a salesperson because they are persuasive. If you are easily persuaded, you will either want to be extra tough skinned when you go shopping for insurance or have someone else go for you.
People often just renew their insurance contracts each year and keep with the same company over many decades. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, it can be a bad thing when companies decide to change their rates and don’t notify you.

Always Check Rates vs. Coverage When Shopping Around

The reason why it is good to shop around for insurance policies before you renew yours is because you may find that another company can offer you a better deal for the same coverage. If you hadn’t shopped around and had just renewed your contract, you would be losing money.

This is why it is so important to continuously check up on your insurance policies and make sure that you are getting the best possible deal that you can get. Another great tip to lower the cost of your insurance is to raise your deductibles for both auto and homeowner’s insurance.

If you are willing to pay a little more per claim, you can usually reduce your annual premium by a few hundred dollars. This could save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Of course, the tricky thing with insurance is that there is no way to know how much insurance coverage you will actually need throughout the course of your life. Life is unexpected.

Sometimes things happen, and sometimes things don’t. But you definitely want to be protected in case things do happen.

Do You Need All That Coverage?

This is why having adequate insurance coverage is so important as you go throughout your life. Another great thing you can do to save money on insurance is to decide if you really need the extensity of coverage that you currently have.

Perhaps your children have all grown up and moved out of the house. If they are getting on their own insurance with their own families, you do not need to include them on your insurance plan anymore.
Even if they are still on your plan, they may not need as much life insurance protection because they are older, wiser, and more mature. Children tend to need a lot of life insurance protection because they tend to get into more accidents.

If you do not need to pay for your children’s life insurance any longer, you will probably be able to save enough money to completely fund an emergency fund. If you do not have an emergency fund, this could be a great time to start.

Collecting any extra money here and there can be put into the emergency fund. Before you know it, you will have quite a healthy emergency fund up and running.

Sometimes people go a very long time without needing to use their insurance. They may be a family who is very careful and does not get into accidents often and does not need to use their insurance often.

While it may seem that people like this do not need insurance, it would be very unwise for these people to need buy insurance. Insurance is necessary, even if you never use it.

Understanding Three Fundamental Aspects Concerning Car Insurance

One of the more aggravating aspects to owning a vehicle is paying the monthly auto insurance premium. Car insurance is essential for any car owner to protect themselves and their vehicle from damages and accidents.

But choosing a type of auto insurance policy, paying for one, and understanding what auto insurance myths are common on the market will greatly aid a person throughout the process. By understanding the basics of these three aspects to auto insurance, an individual will be able to better negotiate the world of car insurance.

The first basic understanding of car insurance that people will need to comprehend is that there are multiple types of coverage options for car insurance. The most frequently underused and misunderstood form of coverage that would greatly aid all car owners is comprehensive auto insurance.

Comprehensive auto insurance is a complementary aspect to car insurance that, when working in tandem with a collision insurance coverage option, can provide extensive auto insurance coverage. And although its name makes it seem like comprehensive auto insurance is an all-encompassing safety blanket form of insurance, it is important for consumers to understand what exactly is covered under a comprehensive auto insurance plan.
To clear some of the initial confusion, perhaps it would be best to refer comprehensive auto insurance as its other common name—other than collision or OTC insurance. This distinction helps to establish that comprehensive auto insurance is coverage on a vehicle that has been damaged without being involved in a car accident.

Some of the perils that an OTC or comprehensive auto insurance policy provide insurance coverage for include:

  • The theft of the vehicle. Although it should be noted that comprehensive coverage does not typically provide insurance coverage for individual personal items that may be stolen from the vehicle.
  • Damage incurred from falling objects such as tree limbs, power poles, or roofing materials.
  • Damages sustained from hitting an animal. Typically a bird or deer depending on the area where the subscriber lives.
  • Acts of vandalism incurred upon the vehicle.
  • Fire damage from an outside source or accidental ignition.
  • And damages sustained from natural disasters or severe weather. This often includes coverage from hail storms that can greatly damage a vehicle and would otherwise not be covered by insurance.

Because of all of the potential dangers to a vehicle beyond a car wreck, may have chosen to purchase comprehensive auto insurance to protect their vehicle from both mishaps and car accidents. Once a type or form of car insurance coverage has been chosen and policy decided upon, a person can begin to plan paying for the car insurance.

Monthly premiums on standard car insurance policies are typically costly enough to require that an individual or a family specifically budget for the expected expense every month. The cost for car insurance can be managed by working the price into the family’s monthly budget, but for the initial payment, before a budget that includes the insurance premium has been created, a family may wish to take out a small title loan to cover the cost.
A title loan is a small and safe loan that is borrowed on the value of the vehicle’s title. Title loans are easy to pay back and most can be repaid in full on the person’s very next payday.

With payment of the premium included in the budget, and with the initial expenses taken care of with the help of a small title loan, a family can enjoy the security of a well insured car. But there are several myths that surround car insurance that every insurance subscriber should be aware of.

Like with most things in this world, auto insurance has its own set of myths and false preconceived notions that can put the uniformed individual at a disadvantage while trying to decide on an auto insurance policy or even after they have received a policy. Here are a few of the most common myths surrounding auto insurance and what people will need to know to avoid falling for them.

  • The color of the car will influence premiums. A full quarter of individuals who were surveyed incorrectly assumed that painting their vehicle red would make their insurance premiums spike. The theory is that red cars are more sporty, therefore more powerful, therefor more costly to insure. But the truth is that most insurance companies rarely ask the subscriber for the color of their car.
  • Auto insurance will always include coverage on theft, fire damage, hail damage, or property damage. While most people may believe that having auto insurance covers every expense that could be incurred on their vehicle, the reality is that unless the person has comprehensive auto coverage the above losses to a vehicle will not be covered by standard auto insurance policies.
  • Car thieves steal new cars. Because of the rarity of parts in older models, especially those old junkers that are out of production on any level, an experienced car thief is actually more likely to steal older cars. The thief gets a bigger payday when they bring old cars with hard to find parts into a chop shop rather than a new luxury vehicle that is more or less common on city streets. Yet still, citizens believe that a new car will have an added boost to the premium due to the potential for theft.

These and other common auto insurance myths plague the everyday car owner. Before making any decisions concerning car insurance, be sure to speak with an insurance professional to clear the confusion and to get the best deal possible. If you’re looking for the best prices on insurance let Check City do the work for you.

Retirement and the Basics of Life Insurance

There is a lot of uneasiness and nervous feelings surrounding people’s retirement plans these days for a number of reasons.  One primary reason for the coming alarm is the diminishing ability of the Social Security program to help senior citizens with the cost of living due to the growing number of retirees compared with the shrinking number of contributing citizens to the Social Security funds.

With government help fading for those soon to be retirees, more and more people are searching for new ways to plan for the day when they will leave their careers behind through retirement.  Before this can happen, however, an individual or couple must feel secure in their financials in order to be fiscally stable moving forward.

To accomplish this financial security, there is a trend emerging out of the working middle class that involves retirement minded saving plans. With more people changing to this fiscally minded retirement type of mentality, there continues to be a need for those people to be informed on new and inventive ways to save for retirement.

Save For The Future

It is important, however, for these individuals who are working now to save for the future to understand that there are not set guidelines on how to appropriately save money for retirement.  And there are multiple ways in which to do so, many of which are common knowledge and may already be in use by people looking to save but can still be used to spark other inventive methods for saving.

One way to smartly prepare for the future is to get yourself out of debt now.  By proportioning more of your paycheck towards the payment of debts, you will be able to save hundreds, maybe thousands, of interest dollars over the course of the loan.

Once debt free or even before, an individual can explore options of investment that will return more on their savings than will a standard interest rate provided by a savings account at a bank.  One such investment option is to explore differing 401 (k) plans and manipulate those plans to your utmost advantage.

This can be accomplished by placing the maximum amount of money into the 401 (k) that will be matched by the employer.  Companies will have varying percentages for which they will match an employee’s contribution into their 401 (k), but all will do so, so one should take advantage of this essentially free money.

It was said earlier that investments should be considered over holding all of one’s money in a bank’s savings account.  But this is not to say that one should empty their savings accounts entirely as these definitely have their place in preparing for the future, but people should diversify their savings in investments that could bring the profit of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a few decades of investment.

Another investment option that may not be considered by those planning on retirement is a whole life insurance policy. In fact, life insurance in general is a necessary step in preparing for the future, but an individual first needs to understand the basics of life insurance before they can make a responsible decision concerning the purchase of a life insurance policy.

With all the potential assets that a person needs to protect through insurance, perhaps the most important is one’s own life.  Because of the benefits that a life insurance policy can provide to loved ones and family members, many people choose to take out a life insurance plan from an insurance company.

Buying Life Insurance Can Be Overwhelming

But for first time buyers, the entire process of purchasing life insurance can be overwhelming and confusing.  The purpose of this blog post is to give a starting point to those who are just beginning to explore their options in potential life insurance policies so that they can build a stable financial base for their future and for their retirement.

As a reminder, we at Check City and Insure Utah are available for all your Utah insurance needs, including life insurance.  Come in to any Check City location in Utah to talk with our knowledgeable staff and let them answer any life insurance questions you have.

Firstly, there is more than one type of life insurance policy that is available to insurance buyers.  In fact, there are multiple types of policies available but, in general, all life insurance plans fall within two main umbrellas of coverage, being either a term life insurance or a whole life insurance policy.

In a much generalized description, Term life insurance policies work like most other insurance policies.  The subscriber will pay an insurance provider, like Insure Utah, a premium, and in return the policy holder is guaranteed a fixed payout in the event of that subscriber’s death.

Solely for an example to demonstrate the basic workings of a term life policy, a subscriber will pay a hundred dollar premium every month in return for a policy that will pay out a predetermined amount of $10,000 to named beneficiaries in the event of the subscriber’s death.  Those numbers are meant only for example and do not reflect current pricing of an insurance policy, but they do illustrate the concept of how a term life insurance policy works.

This type of policy should be used by those who only wish to compensate for the loss of income or for the cost of living for those whom they have named as beneficiaries to the policy, or those who will receive the insurance money after a claim has been filed.  This is an advantage for most persons as the payout costs do not fluctuate after being determined and can therefore be more reliable in payment than can a whole life insurance policy.

Choosing a term life policy should be considered by those who want the security of a fixed amount of money to be paid to beneficiaries in the event of death.  But there is another primary type of life insurance, whole life, which likewise has its own advantages.

A whole life insurance policy can be any number of arrangements or plans worked out with an insurance company but that all perform the same basic function.  With a whole life insurance policy your insurance provider uses a percentage of your paid premium to use as an investment tool in an investment portfolio.

For these types of life insurance policies, the monthly premiums are typically higher than they are for a term life policy as to allow for the insurance company to invest the excess money into an investment plan.  Whole life insurance plans therefore offer both the coverage of life insurance plus an investment of a percentage of your monthly premium rates; this is done with the hope of a generous return on investment that will be added to the payout of the policy should the claim be filed.

For an example, instead of paying one hundred dollars per month in premiums as did our term life holder in the discussion on term life policies, a whole life policy holder would pay one hundred and thirty dollars with the excess amount of thirty dollars being invested in different investment options determined by financial professionals.  In the event of death for our example whole life policy holder, the whole life policy would pay out the predetermined $10,000 (the amount used as the example pay out for the term life policy holder in the previous paragraphs) plus whatever money has been made from the investments.

Additionally differing from the term life policy is the ability of most whole life policy holders to withdraw funds from their whole life policies while still living.  The investment funds that have accumulated over the course of the whole life’s investment period can be drawn upon by the subscriber should they feel inclined to do so.

This, however, is not typically advised by most financial advisors because the withdrawn profits are then required to be paid back to the insurance company with interest.  It is in effect a loan on one’s own investment profits and acts as any other loan by putting the subscriber into debt.

This factor of having to pay back one’s own investment profits with interest causes most whole life policy holders to think twice before borrowing against their whole life investment profits.  So while it is a fiscal cushion that can be leaned upon in times of desperate need, the common consensus is to let the whole life policy build in capital without drawing on its reserves.

To determine which type of coverage is best for you and your family, consider your situation and which would be more beneficial in the event of death.  To answer any remaining questions you may have concerning both term and whole life insurance policies, come into any of our Utah Check City locations and visit with the representative of Insure Utah.

These professionals will be able to answer all of your life insurance questions and will be able to recommend a life insurance policy that will best suit your needs and the needs of your loved ones.

Preventative Insurance; Preventative Measures

Having the right insurance can make all of the difference in the world for a family who finds themselves in the middle of a catastrophe.  Emergency planning for the family, having suitable insurance for damaged or lost items, and taking precautions against the most common form of house destruction—a house fire— are all vastly important safety precautions that every family should consider taking.

The first step for a family to take while striving to become prepared for any disaster is to ensure that they have suitable insurance coverage.  Whether the disaster in question affects the entire region, such as would happen when a natural disaster strikes, or the catastrophe is a more personalized disaster like a fire in the home; both will require suitable preparation beginning with insurance.

Purchasing home insurance can be one of the most difficult and frustrating tasks for a family to undertake.  The process of sorting through policy options and providers can be incredibly taxing as can dealing daily with harassing insurance salesmen.

And beyond these stressors there is a delicate balance that will need to be taken to ensure sufficient coverage to the home while being able to avoid overspending on monthly premiums.  With these and other concerns weighing on the family, most would not think of visiting their local Check City Utah location to help them with their home insurance needs.

When people think of Check City they usually do not think of insurance. They may think of our much recognized Payday loans or check cashing services but rarely do they hitch Check City and insurance together.

But Check City does provide independent insurance agents who will work with you by finding the right insurance coverage for your needs and coverage that will help to safeguard your family against any future disasters.  Additionally, our insurance agents are competent and friendly and will work with you as you begin your search for quality and affordable insurance for things beyond the home including auto, renter’s, RV or trailer, watercraft, motorcycle, and even small business commercial insurance.

Our insurance agents take the stress out of purchasing an insurance policy by working for you to find and compare insurance plans form multiple insurance companies. Their job is to find the right amount of coverage that will be suitable for your needs and at the best price possible. All you need to do is sit down with them and discuss exactly what you are looking for in an insurance plan and they will go to work finding a plan that fits your specifications.

There will be no hassling solicitation calls from insurance companies you have contacted through your efforts in searching for a policy because our agents will do all the necessary contacting and gathering of information. Additionally, there will be no effort on your part to shop around and compare coverage plans because we also will be in charge of that.

Our agents will highlight and illustrate they key differences between insurance providers and their insurance plans for you to ensure that you have all the information possible that will allow you to make an informed decision before spending money.  Choosing the right insurance agent can make a big difference in the quality of coverage you are presented with as well.

Some insurance agents take short cuts by providing template portfolios of previously gathered insurance plans that have no customization to the individual at all. At Check City, you can be assured that you are receiving a variety of options and choices on your insurance policies that will allow you to purchase the best possible insurance plan for you.

Armed with proper insurance, a family can begin to fully prepare against unseen disasters in the home.  The most common form of personal disaster involving the loss or damage of a home is the ignition of a fire in the home.

Even the smallest of kitchen fires can cause great and extensive damage to a person’s home.  Flame and smoke quickly eat and decay a structure’s materials and cause severe personal property damage.

Recovering from such a disaster can cost a family or individual hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.  The best way to ensure you are not one of the unfortunate homeowners who are affected financially by the damage incurred by fires is to prepare and plan ahead.

By making sufficient and quality preparations, a homeowner can be assured that they will not be shelling out their own money to repair and restore lost possessions.  As stated previously, perhaps the first and best way to be prepared for a fire in the home, or any other disaster, is with proper homeowners or property insurance.

At Check City we are capable and prepared to offer our insurance services to residence of Utah at competitive prices and with the coverage that will financially back up your possessions.  Come in to our store locations and talk with an Insure Utah representative to explore our homeowner’s insurance policies and find an insurance plan that will best suit your needs for home fire protection.

Beyond being well covered with insurance, the best way to prevent a fire within your home in the future is by implementing proper preparations and preventative measures in your home now. The initial and crucial preparation that should be taken by families is to install and maintain working smoke alarms.

These can be purchased at almost any hardware store and are the primary fire safety tool that will ensure your family’s personal safety in the event of a fire.  As a homeowner, you should install your smoke alarms on every level of your home, and, if possible, in multiple rooms per level.  Smoke alarms should be properly maintained by testing them monthly, cleaning and dusting them regularly, and replacing the batteries in them once a year.

A large amount of fires that begin in a home are ignited by misuse of electricity within the home.  One can prevent electrical fires in the home by using electrically outlets responsibly by not overloading their circuits.

Electrical fires can also be avoided by the correct use of appliances within the home.  When appliances malfunction and are in danger of causing an electrical fire there will often be warning signs that accompany those malfunctions.

These warning signs can include unusual smells emanating from the appliance caused by irregular overheating and sparks from the electrical source of an appliance.  If these warning signs occur the appliance should be immediately switched off, unplugged and repaired or replaced.

Safety with respect to potential ignition points should be paramount when preventing a fire in the home.  By taking these and other known precautions, such as limiting the use of portable heaters, a family will be able to not only prevent fire damage but will be physically secure in the event of a devastating fire in the home by the proper use of smoke alarms.  Doing so and having suitable homeowners insurance will also literally pay you back by saving potentially hundreds of dollars on fire repair costs.

But often times disasters can strike without warning and can have catastrophic results.  When an unseen emergency takes place the time for a family to prepare has passed and the time for action is at hand.

For those families who are prepared with home insurance and who have planned out an action plan to be followed by their family members, a sudden disaster or emergency does not need to be an overwhelming event.  But for those families who do not have a sufficient action plan in place for their family members, an emergency situation can be as chaotic as it is dangerous.

When first planning for a disaster or emergency action plan, a family should consider that most often they are not in their homes when a disaster strikes. Therefore the first step in an appropriate action plan will be to list out all the regularly attended locations that each family member will most likely be in when confronted with an emergency or disaster.

These commonly attended locations often include a place of work, school, religious worship, shopping centers, recreational locations and even places such as one’s own vehicle or public transportation services like buses or trains.  Once a family has listed out the possible locations where they may be at the onset of a disaster or emergency they can begin to plan out what each family member should do to better protect themselves in each of these locations.

Often, public places such as schools or businesses including shopping centers will have their own emergency action plans in place.  It will be beneficial for a family find out what these specific emergency action plans are of the places they frequent and educate themselves on what to expect should a disaster strike while at these locations.

Once those plans are in place a family can begin to make additional preparations for those emergencies that can be weathered from within their homes.  One should include in this type of preparation an emergency kit that may have things such as water and food, clothing, communication tools and other survival gear such as matches and a flash light.

Preparations by families against all forms of disaster, including one of the most frequent disasters of a fire in the home, will enable the safety of that family should such disasters strike.  While having suitable and affordable insurance will enable a family to have their personal possessions secured if any disaster should befall the home.

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