7 Things to Buy on Amazon…Besides Books

Adulting, Author: Brett Pucino

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I’m not sure if “The Amazon Generation” has ever been used to describe millennials as consumers, but if it hasn’t, then it should be.

Millennials are the first digitally native generation. Since we grew up on the Internet, we take how Amazon revolutionized our purchasing process for granted. We can literally buy anything with one click and have it delivered to our respective doorsteps.

The most commonly purchased items on Amazon are books, but here are seven other items you can purchase on Amazon.

  1. DVDs
    Amazon is perfect for strengthening your DVD collection. You can easily find the hottest new releases-as well as cult classics that you can purchase used for cheap prices.
  1. Car Parts
    When one thinks of Amazon, automotive parts don’t come to mind. But Amazon actually has a whole section dedicated to automotive and industrial parts. Head to Amazon next time something goes wrong and see if you can save some money.
  1. Kids Toys
    I have three nieces, and I can tell you firsthand that Amazon is a great place to buy kids toys. Those who are diligent can often find what they’re looking for at a better price than they would in the store.
  1. Clothing
    Amazon’s clothing section is divided into subsections for Men’s, Women’s, Girls, Boys and Babies clothes. You can find clothing from a lot of your favorite brands, and for those with Prime, you can be wearing your new outfit in 48 hours.
  1. Computers & Tablets
    There are tons of consumers who buy computers and tablets online. People will go to a brick and mortar electronics store to compare models in person, and then ultimately make their purchase on amazon.
  1. Sports Equipment
    Amazon is a great place to score deals on sports equipment. As a lefty golfer, I am constantly scouring Amazon for deals on clubs.
  1. Smart Home Technology
    I’m sure you’ve all seen commercials for Alexa and Echo, Amazon’s two newest products. They both are among the most intriguing offerings on Amazon-which shows that Amazon is betting big on mass adoption of smart home technology.

Have you bought anything cool recently on Amazon? Let us know in the comment box!

Help! What to Do if You Get Into a Car Accident

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

I got into my first car accident this past year. It was not anything serious, there were no injuries and it was a little fender bender. But — I didn’t really know what to do.

In typical fashion, my first instinct was to call my mother (after pulling over, making sure the other car stopped as well and that the driver was okay, of course). Luckily for me, my mother guided me as to what to do, and quickly got off the phone with me once ensuring everything was okay.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, and assuming that everyone is okay, here’s what to do:

Stay calm 
Accidents happen. Especially if it is a minor accident in which everyone is okay, there’s no need to freak out. If it’s a bigger accident, of course freaking out is natural, but try to remain as calm as you can.

Call the police 
I don’t care if it’s a minor fender bender and you don’t think the cops should get involved – they should. Of course they should be called to ensure that everything is okay; however, that’s not all. When push comes to shove, it’ll be your word versus the other person’s word. You need a third, unbiased party.

Get a police report
“But why do I need a police report when this accident seems pretty clean cut?” I’ll tell you why. It’s because people will start claiming everything and anything to help prove their innocence. You need a report of exactly what happened to ensure that the true actions are available if need be. This report will make life a lot easier for you, and for your insurance company.

Get the other person’s insurance information
This tip seems like common sense, I know, but I had to say it anyway. Take your phone out, and take pictures of the other person’s insurance information. You’re going to want all of the information you can get so your insurance company can get in contact with the other person’s insurance company to figure everything out.

Take pictures of the damage on your car
It can only benefit you to have pictures of the damage your car sustained; you can send it to both insurance companies, you can use it in case of any further need, and so on. Plus, you don’t want the other person complaining that the damage to your car wasn’t as bad as it really was.

Take pictures of the other person’s car
Similar to the reason above, this is also to cover your butt. More often than not (unfortunately) one person claims worse damage than was sustained in actuality. By having pictures of the other person’s car, you can avoid this scenario. Plus, I even know someone who got into an accident and the other person made a claim of driving a different car than the one involved in the accident! Having pictures of the other person’s car gives you proof as to which car was involved and the damage done.

Submit a claim with your insurance company
Do this the day that the accident happens. The claim process can take time; especially if you are putting out money you want to get back, you’re going to want to get right on this. As soon as you can, upload all pictures and as much information as you can to your insurance provider. Make your representatives aware of what happened and how it happened. Additionally, you don’t want to not submit a claim and then, they hear about the accident first from the other party’s insurance company.

Remember car insurance is your friend
Well, it is in this case at least. If hearing the words car insurance still makes you cringe, check out our car insurance cheat sheet to help you out.

The Internet Has Become a Millennial’s Travel Agent – So Here’s Some Sites to Use

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

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Seriously though—when was the last time you sat in a travel agent’s office to book a vacation? Next question, when was the last time you sat in a travel agent’s office without parents, or someone of an older generation? Final question, have you ever even used a travel agent?

Fun fact of the day for you: according to a Skift survey from March 2015, only 10% of millennials booked their vacations through a travel agent in the prior year. A whopping 84% have never used a travel agent at all.

The world wide web is a glorious place—and one that gives you the freedom to book your own travel. You no longer need to go to a travel agency in person. You can book from the comfort of your own home, while at work, or even on the go. If you have any problems or hesitations, there’s almost always a travel rep’s contact information that you can use. However, for the most part, you can book with just a few clicks of a button—and credit card information of course.

I love vacations. I fully utilize my PTO and believe that everyone should. We all need to get away sometimes to come back fully refreshed and revitalized. Whether that vacation is a domestic one, an escape to a beach somewhere on the beautiful waters of the Caribbean, or to Europe—you deserve it. Go out, see the world and have fun. Here are some vacation booking site recommendations for you to start with.

Cheap Caribbean
Don’t knock the name—this website has been my favorite and the reason why I’m able to frolic down to the Caribbean three times a year. Not only is it extremely easy to use, but you’ll find amazing deals that you won’t think twice to spend the money on. For instance, last summer I went to Punta Cana for a week and stayed at an all-inclusive hotel. With direct airfare (and remember all food and drinks and your hotel stay are included) I paid approximately $1,200. The website even lets you “budget search.” You can input the maximum amount you want to spend total for all travelers, and the number of travelers, and it’ll show you all of the deals at once. As if this wasn’t enough, Cheap Caribbean also has representatives at the airport and usually at the hotel as well, in case you need anything at all. I can go on and on about what an awesome resource this is, but I’ll stop myself.

Apple Vacations
I personally haven’t used Apple Vacations but when I was in Cancun last summer, I met a group that did, and had a great experience from booking on the website. Apple Vacations is known to share great deals and you can choose whether you’d like an entire vacation package, only a hotel, or only a flight. In addition to vacationing to the Caribbean, Apple Vacations also allows you to book travel to Hawaii, as well as any ski vacations.

Globus
Globus operates in six continents across the globe and hosts over 250 vacation packages. My BFF traveled to Italy last year and calls the trip one of the best experiences of her life, and credits that to Globus. Many of us don’t know where to even start when it comes to booking a larger, international vacation. Globus makes it easy for you to do just that. Their site helps you plan your own vacation, from hotels, to tours, and so much more.

Vacations by Kat
If you do still want to use a travel agent, why not use a fellow millennial who understands you? Katerina Johnson loves planning vacations—both for herself and others. Plus, she happens to be my best friend from when we were four years old, so I can wholeheartedly vouch for her, her passion and her dedication to ensuring that you will have the best vacation of your life thanks to her. She specializes in Caribbean vacations, as well as Disney. Seriously though, who wants a headache on a trip to Disney? Kat will take that away from you.

Extravagant Travel Corp.
If you still want a travel agent to fuel your vacation planning needs, Deborah Orgel-Gordon of Extravagant Travel is here for you! She specializes in customized concierge services for business or pleasure—if any of that fuels your interest she’s happy to work with you on a one-on-one basis, so please contact her!

These are five great places to start. Still a bit confused as to how to begin? I turned to someone who knows a bit more about travel than I do— Amanda Folk, founder of Chasing My Sunshine. She shared some of her go-to suggestions with me whether you’re in need of flights, a hotel stay, or a tour.

Here’s what Amanda had to say were her favorite sites, and why:

Google Flights
I love Google flights because you can find the cheapest flight to a general destination with a general range of dates. This is really good if you are flexible with your locations and time off, you can just follow the sales! I’ve searched “Europe” + “September” + “two weeks” more often than I care to admit.

Runner-up: Skyscanner used to be my go-to, and I still double-check it. I use this if I’m a little more specific with my destination. Let’s say I want to go to Stockholm, Sweden but the flights are outrageous. I can just look for the cheapest European destination listed on Skyscanner and check out connecting flights from there to Stockholm. You can save hundreds of dollars this way!

AirBnB
This is my FAVORITE way to look for places to stay, anywhere. You can find anything from hostel-type housing to an entire house for yourself. The prices are usually much more reasonable than a hotel and nine times out of ten you’ll get more of a “local” experience that everybody craves! If you haven’t used it before, that link gets you $30 off your first stay.

Runner-up: Hotwire is great if you’re looking for a hotel and aren’t too picky about where you’re going to stay. It gives you great rates and a general location, but you won’t find out the name until you book. This has saved me more than once as a wedding guest when booking destination hotel rooms! You can also get rental car deals on there too, which I find super effective.

Free Tours by Foot
Okay, but what are you actually supposed to do once you get there? I LOVE Free Tours by Foot. They’re great to give you the lay of the land and the tour guides are often full of information. Best part? As you might have guessed, the tours are free! You just pay for tip – but don’t skimp! They also have food tours which can be great for lunch. I’ve taken them in my home city, Philadelphia, and learned so much from them even though I’ve lived there for seven years. Highly recommend!

As you can see from above, Amanda definitely knows her stuff. If you love to travel, I highly recommend following her blog and connecting with her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

The Internet Has Become a Millennial’s Travel Agent, So Here’s Some Sites to Use

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

Seriously though — when was the last time you sat in a travel agent’s office to book a vacation? Next question, when was the last time you sat in a travel agent’s office without parents, or someone of an older generation? Final question, have you ever even used a travel agent?

Fun fact of the day for you: according to a Skift survey from March 2015, only 10% of millennials booked their vacations through a travel agent in the prior year. A whopping 84% have never used a travel agent at all.

The world wide web is a glorious place — and one that gives you the freedom to book your own travel. You no longer need to go to a travel agency in person. You can book from the comfort of your own home, while at work, or even on the go. If you have any problems or hesitations, there’s almost always a travel rep’s contact information that you can use. However, for the most part, you can book with just a few clicks of a button, and credit card information of course.

I love vacations. I fully utilize my PTO and believe that everyone should. We all need to get away sometimes to come back fully refreshed and revitalized. Whether that vacation is a domestic one, an escape to a beach somewhere on the beautiful waters of the Caribbean, or to Europe — you deserve it. Go out, see the world and have fun.

Here are some vacation booking site recommendations for you to start with:

 

Cheap Caribbean
Don’t knock the name—this website has been my favorite and the reason why I’m able to frolic down to the Caribbean three times a year. Not only is it extremely easy to use, but you’ll find amazing deals that you won’t think twice to spend the money on. For instance, last summer I went to Punta Cana for a week and stayed at an all-inclusive hotel. With direct airfare (and remember all food and drinks and your hotel stay are included) I paid approximately $1,200. The website even lets you “budget search.” You can input the maximum amount you want to spend total for all travelers, and the number of travelers, and it’ll show you all of the deals at once. As if this wasn’t enough, Cheap Caribbean also has representatives at the airport and usually at the hotel as well, in case you need anything at all. I can go on and on about what an awesome resource this is, but I’ll stop myself.

 

Apple Vacations
I personally haven’t used Apple Vacations but when I was in Cancun last summer, I met a group that did, and had a great experience from booking on the website. Apple Vacations is known to share great deals and you can choose whether you’d like an entire vacation package, only a hotel, or only a flight. In addition to vacationing to the Caribbean, Apple Vacations also allows you to book travel to Hawaii, as well as any ski vacations.

 

Globus
Globus operates in six continents across the globe and hosts over 250 vacation packages. My BFF traveled to Italy last year and calls the trip one of the best experiences of her life, and credits that to Globus. Many of us don’t know where to even start when it comes to booking a larger, international vacation. Globus makes it easy for you to do just that. Their site helps you plan your own vacation, from hotels, to tours, and so much more.

 

Vacations by Kat
If you do still want to use a travel agent, why not use a fellow millennial who understands you? Katerina Johnson loves planning vacations—both for herself and others. Plus, she happens to be my best friend from when we were four years old, so I can wholeheartedly vouch for her, her passion and her dedication to ensuring that you will have the best vacation of your life thanks to her. She specializes in Caribbean vacations, as well as Disney. Seriously though, who wants a headache on a trip to Disney? Kat will take that away from you.

 

Extravagant Travel Corp.
If you still want a travel agent to fuel your vacation planning needs, Deborah Orgel-Gordon of Extravagant Travel is here for you! She specializes in customized concierge services for business or pleasure—if any of that fuels your interest she’s happy to work with you on a one-on-one basis, so please contact her!

 

These are five great places to start. Still a bit confused as to how to begin? I turned to someone who knows a bit more about travel than I do— Amanda Folk, founder of Chasing My Sunshine. She shared some of her go-to suggestions with me whether you’re in need of flights, a hotel stay, or a tour.

Here’s what Amanda had to say were her favorite sites, and why:

Google Flights
I love Google flights because you can find the cheapest flight to a general destination with a general range of dates. This is really good if you are flexible with your locations and time off, you can just follow the sales! I’ve searched “Europe” + “September” + “two weeks” more often than I care to admit.

Runner-up: Skyscanner used to be my go-to, and I still double-check it. I use this if I’m a little more specific with my destination. Let’s say I want to go to Stockholm, Sweden but the flights are outrageous. I can just look for the cheapest European destination listed on Skyscanner and check out connecting flights from there to Stockholm. You can save hundreds of dollars this way!

AirBnB
This is my FAVORITE way to look for places to stay, anywhere. You can find anything from hostel-type housing to an entire house for yourself. The prices are usually much more reasonable than a hotel and nine times out of ten you’ll get more of a “local” experience that everybody craves! If you haven’t used it before, that link gets you $30 off your first stay.

Runner-up: Hotwire is great if you’re looking for a hotel and aren’t too picky about where you’re going to stay. It gives you great rates and a general location, but you won’t find out the name until you book. This has saved me more than once as a wedding guest when booking destination hotel rooms! You can also get rental car deals on there too, which I find super effective.

Free Tours by Foot
Okay, but what are you actually supposed to do once you get there? I LOVE Free Tours by Foot. They’re great to give you the lay of the land and the tour guides are often full of information. Best part? As you might have guessed, the tours are free! You just pay for tip – but don’t skimp! They also have food tours which can be great for lunch. I’ve taken them in my home city, Philadelphia, and learned so much from them even though I’ve lived there for seven years. Highly recommend!

As you can see from above, Amanda definitely knows her stuff. If you love to travel, I highly recommend following her blog and connecting with her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Your Insurance Cheat Sheet, Part 1: Auto Insurance

Adulting, Author: Mary Grace Donaldson

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You don’t want to talk about it. Or think about it. Or figure out how it works. Or deal with the paperwork. Most of all, you don’t want to pay for it.

But…for better or worse, if you want to drive, you need to have auto insurance (in most states).

In another life, I sold insurance. My favorite part of my job was educating millennials about how it works. Like finances, insurance—in any capacity—can seem daunting. There is a great deal of numbers, industry terminology and fine print involved in any one insurance policy. But I’m here to break it down for you as I did with my customers—in the first part of this two-part series.

Liability Coverage

Every auto insurance policy comes with liability coverage, or the portion of the policy that will pay damages to another party. On your auto insurance policy, liability coverage will be listed on a line looking similar to this one:

25/50/10

Keep in mind: all numbers are in thousands. So, ‘25’ is actually $25,000 and ‘50’ represents $50,000.

The ‘25’ is in the first position represents bodily injury damage per person. If the drivers suffers injuries that would cost $10,000 worth of treatment, your policy would front that $10,000. But—if that driver suffers injuries that would cost $35,000 worth of treatment…you’d be short about ten grand. Why? Because your policy limit only covers up to $25,000 worth of bodily injury payments per any one person.

The ’50’ in the second position represents bodily injury damages—wait, didn’t we just cover that? You’re right, we did, but now we’re moving into bodily injury per accident. Say you were once again in an accident, but this time, there were two people in the car—and each person suffered injuries that required treatment costing $15,000 each. Not to worry…you’d be covered. Why? Because $15,000 doesn’t exceed the per person limit of $25,000, and $30,000 ($15,000 x 2) doesn’t exceed the per accident limit of $50,000. However, if both people were injured to the tune of $30,000 each, you’d have to hold on to your wallet.

But wait—what about the big gash in the rear bumper of the car you just hit? What coverage is going to pay for that? The ‘10’ in the third position represents property damage—that is, any damage your at-fault accident caused to the car, or a pole on the side of the road, or a guard rail, to name a few possibilities. And if you’re thinking that in this case it will cover up to $10,000 worth of property damages, you’re correct.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) aka “No-Fault” Coverage

Personal Injury Protection requirements vary by state—but if it’s included in your policy, you are entitled to payment to treat your own injuries in the event of an accident, regardless of fault (hence the nickname no-fault coverage).

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Oh, no—you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance, or carries significantly low liability limits. To put it simply, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will help you out—it’s in place for those exact situations and is required by a number of states.

Collision Coverage

While it’s an optional coverage, you’re probably going to want collision coverage for a newer car—and if you’re engaged in a lease or loan contract, it’s going to be required as part of said contract. Sometimes accidents happen in which it’s difficult to decipher which party is truly at fault. In those cases, both parties will suffer property damage to their respective vehicles. Your car may have a gash in the front, or a smashed headlight. Since it could take a bit for one side to be ruled at fault, collision coverage is the best way to get the repair taken care of. It will usually come with a deductible—better known as the portion of the price of the repair that you are responsible for yourself—but the cost of any damages over and above the deductible are covered.

Comprehensive (aka Other Than Collision) Coverage

Sometimes damages to your vehicle are not the results of an accident between two vehicles. It’s possible…a tree fell on your windshield. Or maybe you hit a pole causing damage to the front grill. Whatever the cause, don’t worry—there’s an optional coverage for that (again required by most lease or loan contracts). Comprehensive coverage will cover any loss caused by something other than a collision less your deductible, and most companies don’t even include a deductible if it’s just for an auto glass repair.

Helpful Tips

  • There are many auto insurance companies out there in cyberspace—especially the big names that you’ve probably seen in commercials including State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Farmers and esurance (which is an Allstate affiliate). They will all promise the best prices. Get quotes from more than one company and be sure to speak with an agent about the particulars.
  • Read your policy when it comes in the mail. I know, it’s a drag and it’s long. But do your best to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions.
  • If you have a lease or loan contract, know their auto insurance requirements. Not only will your financial institution most likely require the purchase of comprehensive and collision coverages but they will also ask for higher limits of liability.
  • Be sure to check your state’s required liability limits. In the above example, I used New York’s required limits of 25/50/10—but your state may require higher or lower minimum limits.
  • Educate yourself further. I’ve covered a lot here, but there is more to auto insurance than just coverages, limits and deductibles.