Let's Connect!


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Pandemic Money-Saving Tips

With stay-at-home orders (either official or self-imposed)right now, a lot of us are bored and dreaming of travel. I'm looking on the bright side, because it's the only way to get through sometimes. By staying home and not buying unnecessary things, except for the occasional treat, I'm paying down my bills and will be actively saving more for my trips soon. What does that mean? 

It means I'll be going on more trips when it's safe to do so. It also means I can go on bigger trips instead, if I want to, or splurge a little more when I do travel. People are taking this time to plan their dream trips, and I don't blame them. We'll be planning those as well, and hopefully find ourselves learning about destinations we want to move up on our travel list as we do our travel-at-home date nights.

So, aside from saving by not traveling right now, even spending a little extra on our date nights, here are some other ways I'm saving money for upcoming trips:

Using a fantastic saving app

I've been using Qapital for several years now and it's really changing the way I spend and save. You set up a goal, or multiple goals, and then set up rules in order to save for them. I save just by doing things I normally do. Right now I've just got the one rule set up (but move over money when I have extra): the $2 round-up rule, so any time I use one of the cards on file, they round up to the nearest $2. That means if I spend $4.50, $1.50 will go into my Qapital account, to make up $6, which is the next denomination of $2 after $4.50.  

You can change your rules at any time (and there are a lot of them to choose from), the app is no longer free, but the basic account is just $3 per month. On average, Qapital says that basic users save $1500 per year. You can do the math on that and tell that the benefits far outweigh the $36 you'd pay per year. It's easy to use and super secure, you can take your savings out whenever you want/need, so you can use it at will, and if your balance on your debit card dips below $100, your savings are paused in order to avoid overdraft. You can use it on both Android and iOS. Start saving now! (and you'll get $5 free for using my link!)

Make a list and stick to it

When I go grocery shopping, I make a list. I try to plan my meals around the same ingredients with some variety. Chicken, noodles, potatoes, carrots, beef and beans are all great staples, because you can make a ton of things with them. Buy enough to make twice as much as you plan to eat and freeze so you have dinners for future nights and can save money in the coming weeks, or have easy food to make when you return from vacation. 

Don't forget coupons and store rewards programs. Use those apps and coupons to guide your shopping for the week or month to save even more. Tally up how much you saved and put that money in your vacation fund! A couple good ones: Ibotta | Fetch Rewards | RetailMeNot

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Keep the change

If you're like everyone, you have a ton of change just sitting in your car or the bottom of your purse. Make a jar or container at home to throw all that change in at the end of each day. You wouldn't know it, but all those cents can add up over the months and you might find you have a spare $100 or so that you can use as spending money!

Fill your free time

Do you find yourself sitting in front of the TV for an hour or two? Earn points through Swagbucks. You can use these points to earn money and gift cards. It's easy to accrue a lot of points in an hour or so and you can trade them in for travel cards, Amazon gift codes and even Paypal cash. Download the app on your phone to earn even more. It's super easy and totally mindless. 

Get cash back

You're going to buy stuff. You just are. Ebates lets you save money on your online purchases by offering you a set amount of cash back on participating retailers, including a lot of travel sites. If you're going to spend money, you might as well save as much as possible. Ebates sends you cash back payments four times a year, either by check or deposited to your Paypal account. It's super easy, and those payments can be used as spending money on your trips. Want to know more about how it works? I wrote a whole post on it!

Make coffee and food at home

I know, I know. We're all sick of cooking and seeing the inside of our houses. I found that when I don't go out to eat, it's just not as exciting, so we've cut back on outside food to once a week getting delivery through Uber Eats (get 25% off your first 2 orders at checkout when you use my code: eats-shereenr208ue). I also invested in the Eats Pass, so we get free delivery. It pays for itself in just 2 deliveries and often there are great promo codes. I usually add the amount I save to the tip, to help out a fellow human trying to get by.

I've also started using the Joe App for my coffee runs, which are not frequent, but I like to support small businesses. Joe App allows you to order ahead in-app and then choose how to pick your order up: curbside or counter. Each order you place earns you beans, which can then be exchanged for money off your order. There are often promo codes as well. You can even tip in the app. (Use my link above and get $5 off.)

How are you saving money during this time? And where are you saving up to go to next?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep the blog running.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover