How To Painlessly Save Money For TravelSaturday, March 12, 2016
Chances are, we've all read a lot of lists on ways to help us save money. Many of them probably say much of the same thing over and over again. I've tried to show you some new ways to save money that don't take much effort on your part or feel like you're depriving yourself. Hopefully you'll find some new ideas here (some I know you've heard of, but I've tried to put a new way of thinking on it).
***UPDATE**** As of 11/30/16 I had saved enough money for 2 ROUND TRIP ticket to Europe!!! Without even realizing the money was being saved. We're going in April!!
Do you have trouble saving money? Do you always say you need to or you're going to, but find yourself dipping into it for things you know you shouldn't? I know I do this. Then someone told me about Digit and I figured I'd give it a try. What it does is link to your bank account (it's perfectly safe. I use this and wouldn't recommend it if it wasn't), and analyzes your spending. Then, every few days it will take out a certain amount of money and move it to your Digit savings account. By analyzing your spending, it knows what you can afford to save and they have a "no overdraft policy" which pretty much means they will pay you back any fees if they make your account go into overdraft because they are that confident in their product. (Update: I have unfortunately used this service as my account went in overdraft from some unexpected expenses. During that time, they tried to save $2.37 which made the account go negative again and get another $36 overdraft fee. They were awesome about giving me the overdraft fee back within about 1 day) Right now I've been using it for a month and love it. It's saving me money without me having to think about it, and I love getting a text message that tells me it saved me money and how much is in my savings! It makes saving fun. Again, I've been using it for a month now and it has saved me about $30.
Check it out and sign up to try digit here. (using this link, digit will give me a small commission-from the company, it doesn't cost you anything- for referring you. Thank you in advance if you choose to go through my link).
Update: So far as of 1/2/17 I have used my digit money to buy 2 round trip plane tickets to Europe, used about $100 for an unexpected bill, dipped into it a little bit for some extra Christmas spending money, and now I still have over $100 in it. I can't say enough good things about Digit. I will probably write a separate post on digit sometime soon. It deserves it's own post, lol.
Your Digit savings balance:So now, I'm saving it up for my food and extra spending money on my trip to Europe.
Again, to try it out yourself, sign up here (By signing up through my link, Digit might credit me with a small amount, at no cost to you, for referring you. Thank you!)
Walmart Savings Catcher
Whether we like it or not, most of us shop at Walmart at one point or another- maybe even multiple times a week. I know there's times I go in there three times a week because things are just cheaper there. My bread, cereal, peanut butter, and other random things we keep in the house seem to be cheaper here, plus I can grab any other essentials I need. But, did you know that they have a program called Savings Catcher that is an app on your phone (or you can do it online) where you scan (or type in the numbers if on your computer) the bar code of your receipt and it searches through their competitors stores near you to see if any item was cheaper when you bought it?? And then they give you the difference! The only trick is that you have to spend that money at Walmart. Well....I can find anything there, so I don't really care. You can let it accumulate and then put it on a Walmart gift card to buy what you want!
I save mine up for travel needs before a trip, or car snacks for a road trip, or what I'm really thinking of doing is saving it up all year (it maxes out at $600/yr by the way) and using it to buy my son's Christmas presents and stuff there! Hello, free Christmas money! Anyway, if you shop at Walmart ever, you should definitely use this! I love it, it beats having to find the sales and jump from store to store to buy something because it may be cheaper there. And it usually find something to give me money back for. I've put in about 8 receipts so far (I just found it myself) and only one of them they said that Walmart had the lowest price, so I didn't get anything back. Other than that it's been between $1 and $4 per receipt. It adds up. Currently I have just over $14 saved up from just scanning my receipt!
Your Reward Dollars
Total Reward Redeemed: $0.00
You haven't yet set a redemption method.
Update 1/2/17: I had saved $39 just before Christmas and used it to offset the expense of a "bigger" present for my son. He's been wanting the Hot Wheels Ultimate garage since last Christmas and we didn't get it for him. This year he still wanted it, so we figured we would buy it. It went on sale to $78. But then I remembered I had $39 in Walmart credit from doing nothing except shopping there! So once I used that (which was super easy...they email you a code within 24 hrs. you can use the code in store or online which is what I did.) Turns out one of his big ticket items, I paid about $40 for when it normally costs a lot more! So much easier and he was really happy opening it from "Santa" on Christmas morning!
Save Your Change
Ok, I'm sure you've heard this one, but it's definitely worth repeating. It's a very painless way to save money that works without depriving you of much- if anything at all.
Every time you break a dollar, be diligent about putting the change aside. Maybe a special jar that you have decorated or labeled for whatever trip you want to take. Don't be general. Don't just have it say "my travel fund". Make it an actual goal. Where is it you want to go?? Make something that says "Paris fund", "Yellowstone National Park", "Girls (or family) Road Trip". Be specific, you get the idea. It will help make you excited to add to it!
Now, I'm always super excited when I go to buy something and the total comes out to $1.02. No more looking for those two pennies.....it means .98 goes straight to my travel fund! It adds up quickly. Right now I have about $190 in change saved up. My goal was to save up change for my summer road trip. I have since surpassed that goal as gas for my road trip should cost about $150. Now, the extra between now and then is going toward our food on the trip. This is how you make travel affordable. By saving your money, without it really affecting your life. You just need to be diligent about doing it.
Pay Yourself First
This. Many of today's millionaires (I've skimmed some books, lol) also give this advice. Don't just work to pay your bills! Yes, they need to be paid, but pay your self first! Even if it's just $3 from each and every paycheck. Start with something. Chances are, you would have blown those $3 on something, and now maybe it can buy you some cool street food while you're on the road?
Personally, my goal is to put 10% toward a travel fund whenever I get money. My husband and I don't get set paychecks. He is a bartender so he comes home with tips each night. That means every single night 10% of whatever that amount is, goes straight to a travel fund. Same thing if someone sends you birthday or holiday money. 10% goes to the fund! Now, I can't say that sometimes I've had to back that number down to 5% or something because we needed the money to go elsewhere, but the point is, contribute something to yourself first. You're worth it!
Donate Your Plasma
Ok, so this one might involve a little pain. I don't do this anymore, but I used to on and off for a couple of years. Why not donate your plasma? You are helping someone else, while also receiving money to fund your travels.
It's much like giving blood, except they filter out the plasma and give you back your red blood cells. I won't talk much about the process here for those who are squeamish, but it's really not bad. Biolife is the most well known company who does this and they have many locations throughout the US. You can donate up to twice a week and usually make about $25 per donation. They often run specials where you can make more money for the same donation as well. $25 twice a week is $50. If you do that for just one month you've already made $200. Sometimes your dreams are worth a little pain :)
(I don't this we need a picture here, do you? lol)
Cut Back On Eating Out
I know you've heard this one before too. But hear me out, I'm not telling you to never eat out and live off of ramen. I hope I can make this a little more feasible- saving you money while also enjoying food and ambiance.
I love going out to eat. I can't help it. I won't ever fully give it up....even for travel. But I can curb how often I go out to eat. What I found works well for me, is when I get in the mood for something and want to go out, I think for a second and ask myself these questions:
If I buy this meal at the grocery store and make it myself would I be saving a good amount of money?
Can I make it myself and have it taste just as good or better?
If the answer is no.....well, then I might go to the restaurant and get it. If the answer is yes....then it's a no brainer, I go to the store and bring it home to make. If the answer is yes, but I still really want to go to the restaurant instead....I've found that it's usually because I want a change of scenery and don't want to at stay home.
So what I do then, is go to the store, make the food, and take it picnic style somewhere fun around town. A lake, the beach, a park, etc. I've found doing this helps a lot.
Now sometimes it just doesn't make sense to make it at home because it'll cost the same or less to go out and eat it. Then, I get my fix :) But asking myself these questions, helps me save money and keep me happy a lot more often.
Okay, there you go. Hopefully you've found some items that you can start using now to have the travel fund you've been trying so hard for!
If you have any other painless money saving ideas, please share them in the comments so we can all benefit from them!!
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