Blast from the past

8:22 AM

I posted the content of this post about a year 9 months ago on my person blog and I wanted to share it on this one. Since it is travel related i thought some will find it helpful with ways to save for travel. The only thing I have since changed is my rewards on my credit cards. They all now accumulate miles points instead of cash. As a grow nearer to my dream trip around the world for my 50th birthday in a few years miles made more since. I hope you get some ideas and please share your own tips in the comments section. I'm always will to learn new ways to fund my travel addiction.


I can't tell you how many times I have been asked "how do you afford to travel so much!" If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question I would have the money to take another vacation! Lol As a stylist I get to talk to women everyday and I share my passion for travel daily. Recently one of my clients suggested I blog what I told her because it was a light bulb moment in her eyes! So I decided to share how I fund my travel account.

First take a hard look at what you already spend in your household! You will be surprised at the money you already have that can be allocated to your travel account! Two years ago I surfed the net looking for guidance on how to travel more on my salary and don't go into debt doing it. After numerous articles I came up with a strategy that fit me best. A mixture of many different formulas actually. 

Refining your household budget

I laid all my bills on the table to accurate see what I actually needed and what I could live without! After accessing everything I called all my utility companies and asked if I was on the best affordable plan and after a few calls I realized I wasn't! Plans change constantly and I was still on the same rates I had when I closed on my home so it wasn't the best anymore. Those phone calls saved me $140 a month! 

Next I looked at my lifestyle and realized that between work and my daughters many activities we were hardly at home to watch television. When we were we streamed everything! So I cut the cable, bought a high def antenna, a few streaming boxes and saved a ton of money! Since I already had Netflix and Amazon prime I had access to millions of movies and I had over 85 local channels so I didn't need cable at all! That change saved me $195 a month 

Find The Money Leak

I printed 1 year of bank statements and with a pink highlighter I highlighted all debit card transaction. Out of that I calculated all fast food, Starbucks, shopping swipes and added them up by month then multiplied by a year! Now let me tell you it will be shocking at first to see just how much money you spend on unnecessary things! After I picked myself up off the floor I calculated I could cut back at least 40% of the items I saw and have that automatically put in my vacation account! In my case that was $16 per day. $16 per day x 7 days = $112 per week 
$112 x 52 weeks = $5824 per year! Quite shocking how much money we waste on nothing!! 

Call Your Credit Card Companies 

I called my credit card companies every 3 months to make sure I'm getting the best bang for my buck! Most people don't know credit card companies will have offers that is not published that you qualify for unless you call them! I knew my goals were travel so miles and cash back was what I needed! So I upgraded my cards to reflect my goals! Cards that had the best offer for cash back I upgraded those and cut up my debit cards and used those cards exclusively as a debit card and paid them off every month. Debit cards wasn't giving me the return on cash back like my cards at 5% gas and grocery purchases. So let me do the math for you..... 
Last year I used my cash back cards for all my everyday needs and in December before I took my winter vacation I cashed in all my rewards. It was just over $1000 combined. I used the cash to spend in Florida and since I don't pay interest on my purchases it was like getting a $1000 bonus for Christmas!! 

Summary

In a year I saved 

$140 x 12 months = $1680
 $190 x 12 months = $2280
 $112 x 52 weeks =   $5824
 $1000 cash bonus


So that is a total of  $10,784 

I saved that out of the money I was already spending!!!! Let that sink in for a moment!!!! 

I'm saying this to say we all have the money to travel!!! We just need to find the money leaks in our households to do it! You don't have to go broke traveling when the money is already there and it's going to Starbucks, Chickfila, or Direct Tv etc... You can just reduce wasteful spending by 20% and that will fund a nice trip for your family. Have a blessed day all!!! 


Nicole Hagans
www.desperatelyseekingtravel.com

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