What’s better than getting your entire summer family vacation to Florida for almost-free? How about ALSO getting a second vacation to the warm sandy beaches of an all-inclusive luxury resort in Los Cabos, Mexico ... for just $95 out-of-pocket? Yes, it’s true! After strategically travel hacking our way to a whole bunch of Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points and scoring nearly-free flights, a hotel, and rental car, we decided to go “all-in” and maneuver our remaining points towards yet another incredible vacation for barely any money at all! Here’s the back-story … As many of you already … [Read more...] about Travel Hacking Chapter 4 – How We Got an All-Inclusive Trip to Los Cabos, Mexico for Just $95!
Savings & Budgeting
Hello and welcome to another edition of what is becoming both an exciting hobby and lucrative financial opportunity: Our conquests in travel hacking! For anyone unfamiliar with this term, “travel hacking” is when you attempt to get free or near-free deals on your travel expenses. You do this by taking advantage of big credit card sign-up offers and optimizing the rewards points to get the best deals possible.As I mentioned in the original post, I decided to give travel hacking a try after looking over our expenses for the year and concluding that we needed to find a way to save money on … [Read more...] about Travel Hacking Chapter 3: Getting the Hotel and Rental Car for (Almost) Free!
Hello! And welcome to the next phase of my attempt to become a travel hacker.For anyone who's not familiar with that term, “travel hacking” his when you get to travel for free or at a seriously reduced price by strategically signing up for various credit card offers and optimizing the value of your points.In my last post on this topic, I wrote about what a steal I got by scoring free flights for the entire family next year to Orlando!All it took was signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card where I was awarded nearly 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points as part of the … [Read more...] about Our Next Travel Hacking Scheme: How to Get a Free Hotel Stay
Guess who just scored a set of FREE flights for next year’s vacation?That’s right – me! And I’m very excited about it.This year, after spending almost $2,000 on just the flights alone for our annual family vacation, I became extremely determined to find a way to do better when we book our trip to Orlando next year. And I wanted to do this without sacrificing the quality of our travels.You know … do more with less! Just like we did already this year with our mortgage refinance, Sprint cell phone bill, and even our property taxes.That’s when I found a pretty incredible … [Read more...] about How I Got Free Flights and a Great Travel Hacking Resource
When it comes to your cell phone, do you have some type of insurance or equipment protection plan?If you do, you’re definitely not alone! With as much as phones get dropped, wet, cracked, sat on, or just plain lost, you almost can’t afford NOT to have some type of coverage. There’s nothing more annoying than having a phone that’s not working 100%. And with as much as they’re charging currently for an iPhone, at first glance, it seems almost crazy not to have some sort of protection for your device.The first time we got my wife her iPhone, we added a coverage plan to her account, and I … [Read more...] about Is Sprint Total Equipment Protection Worth the Cost? The Numbers May Surprise You!
Talk to any of your friends at work or family members at a gathering, and someone is always sure to bring up “the price of gas” and how it is eating away at their monthly budget.Their complaints are totally justified! According to The Nest, transportation expenses count as the second biggest expense in U.S. households, running as much as 10 to 20% of the household income.Man, don’t I know the feeling! Car expenses have been a huge drain on our household for a long time. For well over a decade, I’ve commuted an exceptionally long distance to work every weekday: 60 miles each way, … [Read more...] about What is the Real Cost of Driving per Mile?
Every day, good intentioned couples are faced with a practical financial decision: Should we build back up our rainy day savings account or continue to save more for retirement?We just had this same dilemma in my own household. After having tapped our emergency fund for immediate cash to use a down payment on our new house, we’ve now got a big hole to fill.But that poses a financial problem. Every penny we earn that exceeds our budget is supposed to go towards our early retirement by age 45 plan.Plus, as we’ve demonstrated before here, saving your money in tax-sheltered accounts … [Read more...] about Should I Build My Rainy Day Savings Account or Save More for Retirement?
Me: So I get to add an extra line, get a brand new iPhone 6, and my monthly bill is going to be exactly the same?Sales Rep: Yes.Me: You’re sure? It’s not going to go up after a month or two?Sales Rep: Correct.Me: And we’re not getting any less service at this price?Sales Rep: Right. Oh, there is one thing … you’re also going to get this new Samsung tablet as part of the package. That’s already included in the price I quoted you. Shopping Around for a Cell Phone: That exchange of words above is exactly what happened just a few months ago when I started … [Read more...] about How to Use the Power of Customer Retention to Lower Your Bills
One of my favorite blog series to follow along with is J Money's "Challenge Everything" series over at Budgets are Sexy.In case you don't know this one, basically what J does is take a different bill every month and tries to get it lowered.Or another thing he'll try is to look for some other side hustle to make a little extra money on the side.Collectively this ends up going into a special fund that he can do whatever he wants with when it's all done.So far he's done quite well with himself. At last count he was over $4,000 bucks! Lower Your Bills With a Little … [Read more...] about A No-Brainer Way to Lower Your Bills – For Free!
We all know that part of a good, healthy financial well-being is to have a decent sized chunk of money set aside in your emergency fund or rainy day savings fund as some people call it.Some advisers tell us it can start off with as little as $1,000 (I believe that one is a Dave Ramsey thing). More commonly I see suggestions to have as much as 3 months, 6 months, even 12 months worth of living expenses set aside in easily accessible bank account.Fortunately for my wife and I we have done a pretty good job of building up our rainy day fund over the years to as much as $20,000! That’s a … [Read more...] about Where to Park Your Rainy Day Savings for Growth Without Much Risk