Sponsored by Nimble
Saving and budgeting are fun for some people. For me, this is not the case. I assume I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. There are no tricks to budgeting; it’s simply common sense, time and effort. You are just lazy, giving in to temptation. It’s time to stop. Here are a few budgeting tips worth considering before your next big trip.
If you’re like me, you never budget. Probably because it’s dull and takes up valuable anything else time. It turns out it helps, a lot. Start with all the big expenses – this will include flights, accommodation, insurance and a daily spend on food. If you want to be meticulous, do some further research into how expensive each city you’re visiting is, then assign an assumed budget for each, depending on the number of days you are there. Uber costs, for example, are worthwhile investigating in each city, as are all of the restaurants you’ve been recommended.
Now you need to add the unforeseen expenses, the little extras like tours, activities, entry fees, a show or band you want to see or an item of clothing you want to buy. Obviously, we all like to think we can stick to our budget but it rarely happens. After a few drinks with old friends we all tend to splurge, you need to account for this – maybe two blowouts a week (minimum).
Rewards Programs and Credit Cards
People don’t take advantage of airline and hotel rewards programs enough, letting valuable points earned from past flights and stays go to waste.
If you’re savvy, exchanging points for flights and accommodation is an excellent way to save some extra money. Even small obscure loyalty programs have partnerships that allow you to transfer miles. Just keep track of all your programs, and do some research. For example, Velocity Frequent Flyer points earned from the purchase of fuel at BP locations can be converted to Singapore KrisFlyer miles – take advantage!
For the Qantas flyers, many credit cards will earn you Qantas points on your everyday purchases. If you fly frequently, chances are you already have a one that fits your needs. If you are in the market for a new one, seek out the cards with a good sign on bonuses. Both the American Express Qantas Ultimate Card and American Express Platinum Velocity card off new customers 100,000 points for signing up and spending the required amount. With high points earns, free domestic flights, discount companion fares, lounge passes, complimentary travel insurance, deals and flexible partner programs you will save money before and during your trip.
Do the research! You will be rewarded.
Recently, developer Tim Gurner, caused some uproar about millennials spending too much money on Coffee and Smashed Avocado, citing this was the reason for them not being able to own a home. I do not agree with him; however, I do agree that reducing this habit out will help you save.
Buying coffee and lunch at work every day is affecting your ability to save. If you’re spending $40 a day on coffee and two meals that is $200 a week, and $4800 over six months (6 months you’re meant to be saving for your trip!). No one expects you to cut out coffee, but try to keep it to one a day and have your second in the office, or get into Green tea to get the abs ready for Greece. Prepare your lunch at home; it’ll reduce your weekly spend significantly and will help you eat a lot healthier. Finally, take note of your other outgoings, what can you do without? Do you need Stan and Netflix and Foxtel? Are you overspending on your mobile, would you save more upgrading your contract and not paying for extra data every month. Yes, they seem small at first, but these direct debit bills start hurting your account.
Learn to Say No!
Doesn’t matter how good you are in the week, Friday rolls around, and you end up spending a couple of hundred dollars with your mates at the pub. It’s senseless spending that can easily be stopped. Get into the beers in office, and join the fellas for a couple at the pub. If you’re not going to buy a round, go home, no one likes ‘that guy’. Curtail your drinking and eating out to one night a week and view it as a reward, midweek $100 dinners and beers three nights a week cripple your ability to save. You’re not missing out, just say no, you’ll be the smug one after your morning gym session.
Maybe you are stuck in your ways; saving has become too difficult. Maybe your savings are going to something more important like a house, or you haven’t read our budgeting tips, or you’re stuck in Hong Kong after miscalculating the exchange rate for a bottle of vintage Pol Roger at Dragon-i. You can apply online with Nimble and get up to $5,000 and have the money within 60 minutes of being approved. Sorted.