One of the biggest expenses people face when planning a trip to Europe is the plane ticket. While most thrifty travelers can skimp out on lodging and food, there’s really no getting around the hard hit a flight can take on your wallet. Frequent-flier points and travel hacks are nice, but here are a few tips I like to use to save up for expensive flights.
Online saving accounts. If you don’t have an online savings account in 2014, you need to grow up. Online saving accounts allow you to automatically deposit money from your checking account or pay check, saving you time and energy. AUTOMATION IS KEY. You also should NOT link this account to a debit card so you can avoid spending on random things. CapitolOne360.com (formally ING direct) allows you to create separate saving plans and set specific savings goals. It even allows you to keep track of your progress while on your savings journey.
$5 Bill Alert. Never spend a $5 bill. Yes, I mean NEVER. The $5 savings plan is a simple one. Whenever you end up at a register, consciously decide to never spend a $5 bill. Instead, once you get home drop that $5 bill in a shoe box. With this discipline, you’ll be surprised by how much you can save in a month.
52 Week Saving Challenge. This simple savings trick is great to kick-off at the beginning of the new year. You start by saving $1 the first week, $2 the second week, $3 the third week and so forth. Eventually, by the end of the year you will have around $1,400 in the bank. Print out this form (PDF) from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and you can keep track of your progress.
Credit Card Cash Back. Cash back from a credit card might be the slowest savings method, but it’s worth doing if you’re anyone who buys anything. I am not a big advocate of credit card use, but if you are disciplined, the rewards can be worth it. The bill should be paid in full each month to avoid interest racking up, or else you’re just wasting your time and money. These tips have helped me save a lot of money over the years. What are your favorite saving methods? Let me know in the comments below