Home > Author Archives: Kim Parr

Author Archives: Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

Highlights from London

raising tower bridge

In continuing our tour of Europe, today we’ll be visiting London, one of the most expensive cities on the planet. Even if you don’t normally try to collect points and miles, I would consider them if a trip to England is on your bucket list. The exchange rate is not on the side of the US dollar! Here are some highlights from London. Getting Around London After taking the train from Edinburgh, we arrived at St. Pancras, which is right beside King’s Cross station where you catch the underground or “tube” as the locals call it. The tube is one of the few cheap things in London. If you’ll be using the underground more than once, the easiest way to pay is with an Oyster card that you scan before and after each ride. We ordered cards ahead of our trip, but they would have been easy to buy at the station. I put £15 on cards for Jim and myself, which covered us for four days in London. Kids under 11 ride free, making the tube tons cheaper than taking a taxi. Plaza on the River Up to this point, our hotels had been functional but very cramped and without ...

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How to Avoid Common Travel Problems When You Go Away

make travel easier

Whether you travel for business or leisure, there are plenty of good things about getting away, including having a change of scenery, learning about a new place or culture, ticking sites off your bucket list, and having the chance to meet new people. When you go on vacation, you also have the chance to reconnect with family members or friends and to unwind and de-stress from the busyness of life. However, there are also a number of issues that can crop up when you’re away from home, especially problems that might affect your finances. From losing your all-important credit card or cash stockpile, to getting sick or injured, or having a passport stolen, unfortunately travel snags can be an all too common part of trips away. To help keep your next journey “smooth sailing,” read on for some tips on how to avoid common issues. Tips for Your Money One of the major things to be mindful of when you travel is your finances. For starters, it always pays to take out travel insurance so that if anything does go wrong, you’re covered. Just make sure that you read the fine print before signing up to a policy, to make ...

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Don’t Fear Stock Market Downturns

market downturns

    There are several reasons not to pay attention to the news. Anyone looking at headlines lately can’t miss seeing headlines like Dow plunges, stock market suffers worst one day drop since 2008, US stocks tumble on global slowdown fears. If hearing that makes you want to stuff money under the mattress, you’re not alone. Fear is a huge motivator when it comes to investing. We work hard for our money, and it’s painful to see balances plummet due to unforeseen events that we don’t even really understand. As hard as it may be, don’t fear stock market downturns. I’m sure our parents and grandparents have many stories of watching the economy and stock market fall and recover. In my adult life, I only have one period of turmoil under my belt, but it was a doozy. Living Through a Stock Market Melt Down At the beginning of 2008, I was a new Mom who owned a business. Most of my free time was spent trying to figure out how to keep all the plates in my life spinning. We were seriously in debt and almost living paycheck to paycheck, even though our income was pretty high. The one bright ...

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New Homeowner? Check Out These Must-Read Tips

tips after buying a new home

  Have you just made the exciting but terrifying move into homeownership? Welcome to the club! No longer is your home a rental with limits. You can switch up your abode however you please. It’s time to really make it feel like home. To do this, check out our top tips for new homeowners. Install Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans are a low-energy way to keep up the airflow in a home. Instead of turning on a bulky air conditioner that will only cool down one area of the house at a great expense, consider ceiling fans as a low-cost and more efficient alternative. Because of how air circulates, you can keep your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter, ultimately saving you even more money. Check the plumbing Before you need a professional, do a survey of the plumbing before you settle in. Does the toilet leak? Do you have a leaky faucet? Are there any areas that faintly smell like mold? Repair any of these issues quickly; otherwise you’ll not only have water running, but money–out of your pocket. Plumbing issues can lead to problems with home insurance, so it ...

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Dental Insurance is a Rip Off

paying for dental care

  One of the worst things about self employment is insurance or lack thereof. After taking my daughter for her back to school dental visit and coming home with $125 less in my pocket, I decided to look into dental insurance. Maybe with all the recent changes in health care, there was a new affordable plan that might save money? Unfortunately, I came to the same verdict as I did after checking a few years ago, dental insurance is a rip off. If you are self employed or if your work doesn’t offer dental coverage, you can pick up an individual plan. I did not check every plan known to man and the cost varies by area, but I bet they are pretty similar wherever you live. Cost of Dental Insurance Looking at ehealthinsurance.com, Humana offers the cheapest plan at $37.98 per month or $455.76 a year for one adult and one child, non tobacco users. So what does this plan give us as far as benefits? Well, we get up to two free cleanings and one set of bitewing x-rays per year. Sweet! We already do that anyway. That sounds great to get it free, until you look at ...

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