3 Easy Ways to Save Money For Travel!
Our first goal in using points for travel is to travel for free. However, you likely are going to have to spend money on food, tickets to events, or possibly transportation like Uber or a taxi. This article is going to outline some ways to easily set aside money for these expenses.
Even though in the beginning most people don’t believe that we can fly and stay in hotels for free, hopefully all of you are catching on by now that it IS possible once you learn the system and once you can manage your money effectively. I have written several articles about how to manage the system, and they can be found here:
How to use points for a free hotel stay
Travel credit cards for beginners
How to use credit cards to get free travel
This article now will highlight how to manage money effectively in very simple ways in order to save money for future expenses. Note, please, that these suggestions are sound financial decisions whether you travel or not, and note that this is not in any way a complete list of ways to save money for travel. This is more of a starting place!
Acorns is a program that primarily invests your money from a system called “round-ups.” Although they aren’t the only group using round-ups, they are possibly the most popular because of it being user friendly on smartphones.
Let me explain briefly how this works:
I attached my checking account to Acorns and it rounds up my purchases to the next dollar. For example, if I make a purchase from my checking account for $3.78, then 22 cents is then deposited into my Acorns account. This is a similar system that my parents used when they were using cash, because they would drop the daily change into a bucket then would deposit it over time.
Even though this seems like a an extremely small way to save money, I have invested just under $700 over 3 years just from my checking account being used. That’s not counting the purchases made from linking my credit cards!What the Acorns account looks like
Another HUGE advantage of Acorns is that you can make weekly deposits as low as $5. I could not more highly recommend this system to college students because it teaches them true ways to save money that is similar to later in life! So if you are a college student or have a student in college, please sign up for Acorns for saving money and for learning smart ways to save money!
If you are interested in signing up for Acorns, use my referral code and we will both get a $5 deposit!
It pains me to write this mainly because I LOTS of friends in the local banking business, and we use local banks for some accounts; however, we cannot justify using local banks for savings accounts. In high school my savings account at a local bank was earning 0.05%. I hear from others that they are never earning much more than 0.15% at local banks.
Because online banks have cut out the expense of maintaining a property all over the country, they offer much higher savings interest rates. Synchrony Bank is offering a savings account rate of 1.45% while Barclay Bank is offering 1.30%. The increase and difference between the local bank and the online bank is astronomical! Both of the banks listed above have no annoying monthly service fees either!
I can understand firsthand that it is difficult to completely go online for your savings accounts, but the benefits are palpable. I entered it slowly about 7 years ago, but since then I have been pleased with everything.
This is probably the one thing people miss most often when they don’t use an online savings bank. When working online it is much easier to “earmark” your money so that you know what you’re going to spend it on later.
For example, we put away $75 per month for veterinary expenses. We may only visit the vet once per year for shots, but I don’t want a $500 bill (we have 3 pets) showing up in April when it’s time for shots. So instead of that huge bill for one month of the year, we decided to put aside money to cover the shots plus other pet sicknesses. So when we go to the vet in April and get lots of shots for the pets, I will pay for the vet with a credit card, then will move the money from our Synchrony Bank account to our checking account in order to pay off the credit card!
Here are some other things we set money aside for each month so that we don’t “get behind” when one of these expenses hit in one month:
Future Car Down payment
Car repair/tires and brakes
I realize this section can be confusing, and I realize that most people have a rainy day fund in case something like a refrigerator breaks, but the method described above further differentiates your expenses so that you know where money is going and what you need to save for in the future!
Saving money can be difficult when paying bills and have student loans. That’s why starting with something like Acorns is such a good plan because you can take small amounts of money and store it over time. Separating your savings accounts into categories and moving into online savings accounts is also a great way to save money easier!