Go on vacation with my friends that is. Yes it’s a relatively inexpensive trip but I have a couple of reasons not to do it.
The main reason is that I don’t have any real “vacation” money set aside. I do have about $200 or so that is sitting in my account with no real purpose but it’s not enough for a vacation. The second reason is actually more important to me than the first. The cruise isn’t going anywhere I want to go.
I’ve been to the Bahamas a million times. Of course not literally but still it’s been quite a few times. Those trips have been both direct flights and cruises. Although it’s beautiful there and I love the beach, I just want to visit somewhere new. I have a ton of places I want to go and very limited funds.
Unfortunately there are no cuts left to be made in my budget. I really do need to figure out how to get vacation savings going again though. That’s the only way I’ll be able to afford to go again. And believe me, after this year that I’ve been having, I definitely need a vacation.
Ugh I don’t need this. I use any old excuse to spend money and here comes my friend with a good one. Well it’s not a good reason to spend money but it’s a good reason to actually think about spending money.
My friend sent me a cruise brochure where there are cruises as cheap as $175 for 3 or 4 days. That’s dirt cheap territory. There would be at least 3 woman sharing a cabin, which I’ve done before. We would have to pay our own airfare but the agent would do that for us as well. All in all I think a nice weekend getaway would be $500 or so.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any money set aside for vacations in my budget right now. I do have a few extra dollars that I’ve set aside for that purpose but not a whole $500.
Ughhhh decisions decisions.
I have a new goal for my cash savings. It’s a small goal that I think I can reach. It’s to save $1,000 by the end of August. I have a small direct deposit that I just started into a different account and that money is not included.
This is a new bank account that I opened and it has a minimum daily balance. I put my paycheck in there plus a small amount each pay period stays in there. I also got a bonus for opening the account and that will be a nice chunk of the money (25%).
Right now I have $250 from my bonus in the account. I will be adding a small amount each month plus any other money that I get. Like I said, my goal is the end of August to reach $1,000 and I know I can make it.
I will not touch this money!
Woo-Hoo. This time I redeeemed from Swagbucks. In case you don’t know the name, Swagbucks is a search engine that pays you for searching the web. You get points that you can accumulate and turn in for prizes.
You don’t get points for every search. Yesterday I got points for maybe 1 search that I did all day. However there are tons of ways to earn points. There is searching (natch), daily polls, SwagTv and my favorite, Encrave. You pretty much watch videos (sometimes 1 sometimes more) and get points. Believe me a few here and a few there and in no time at all you have a gift card.
Since I got my new phone I’ve decided to put all of my “internet” money towards the device. So instead of a airline or restaurant gift card, I got $25 towards PayPal.
On to the next one!
One of my best and greatest points programs is My Coke Rewards. It’s awesome! I drink a ton of Diet Coke and Sprite (besides other brands as well) and I love getting rewards from that.
I generally hold my points until December and get gift cards. This year I want 3 cards, a $50 Southwest gc, a $25 Target or Wal-Mart gc (whichever one they offer), and a $25 Best Buy gc. For those 3 cards I would need 2,400 points. Right now my account is at 1,100 and I should be at 1,200 by the end of this month.
I would love to be at 2,400 before summer is over. Especially since there are usually good deals on amusement park tickets early in the summer. I know that my nieces would love to go to the parks and to be able to spend a relative small amount of points on them would be great.
Unfortunately they took away the Priority Club points which I loved. I would add them to my account in anticipation of a trip that I would take in the future. Maybe they’ll offer them again, maybe not but I’ll keep saving just in case.
Which reminds me, I need to add more points to my account.
I do a lot of different sweepstakes and points programs. Generally I only cash out once per year. This year will be a lot different though.
I plan on cashing out of all of my programs as soon as I hit the first acceptable level. Acceptable being the lowest amount I need for cash. I used to save up and get one large amount but those days are over.
First and foremost, I don’t know how long these programs will be around. When they fold, they go pretty quickly and all cash-out options are shut down. Instead of all of the cool gifts that you used to be able to get, there are only magazines and/or gift certificates for overpriced merchandise.
Secondly, I just need the cash. I’m using that money to pay for my new phone and instead of leaving it in the program, I’ll just add the excess to my savings account until I need it.
Besides that, I just love to see cash deposits hit my savings account.
So I’ve been hemming and hawing about using my phone for mobile banking. I had apps on my old phone but I haven’t downloaded any for my new phone. I can’t even rationalize why especially since I banked on my old phone.
I’ve been asking around and most of my friends and coworkers bank by mobile if they can. One coworker is anti-technology so he doesn’t even though he does have a smart phone. The rest of the people that don’t use their phone to bank don’t have a smart phone so it’s not like they can use their phone.
I’ll just bite the bullet and do it.
I can’t decide if I want to do it or not. I just got a new phone and I’m downloading apps onto it every day. The first thing I did was get Facebook and Twitter. Then I got YouTube and several other sites that I visit fairly often.
Now I have to decide if I want to bank by mobile. In theory I have no problem with it and I even did it on my old phone. I don’t know why I’m hesitating so much with this as it would make things a lot easier. Instead of searching and clicking, I could just click a app.
I don’t know why I have to always make things harder than they need to be.
I just realized that I did win 4 prizes that I hadn’t counted. I won 4 drinks in the March Madness game. That equals 4 Coke Zero’s. I was not fortunate enough to get any good seeds so I didn’t win any of the “good” prizes.
I guess I was so underwhelmed with the prizes that I didn’t count them. It’s not like I can go out and buy any tuxedos for sale with my winnings. Especially since I don’t sell the prizes anyway. I either use them myself or give them away to friends and/or coworkers who I know can use them. One of my coworkers was one of the people who gave me a bunch of Coke Zero codes so I’ll make sure to give him the coupons.
Hopefully bigger things are ahead and if not, at least I’ll have fun trying.
This is a kind of random subject but I haven’t won anything this year. This is definitely an oddity for me. I generally win one or two prizes per month. Even if that is an average for the entire year, I generally have at least 4 prizes by this of the year.
I don’t know if my entering has slowed down any. I know there are not a lot of great sweepstakes out there that I like. A lot of companies are also moving to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest campaigns which I don’t take part in. I hate clogging up my feeds and I am not a “social” social media person. I get on and get right back off so I’m not in their target demographic for that.
Hopefully the wins will pick up soon. I miss them.