How I Uniquely Funded My Houston Trip

A lot of people ask how I travel so much.  People are surprised to know for MANY years I was unable to travel.  I was in LOADS of debt!  Much of my ambition to get out of debt was to travel the world!  It was not until I became financially literate where I was able to start doing what I love to do (click here to read more about it).  There are people who assume I’m just blowing money and have a robust bank account!  That is far from the truth.  Let me give you an example how I was able to afford my most recent trip to Houston, TX for three nights:

COST

Southwest Round-trip flight: $320.00
Event Cost $149.00
Dollar Rental Car $130.10
Hostel (not hotel) $115.06
Valet Airport Parking $54.76
CitiPass $52.00

TOTAL TRIP COST $820.92

I did not dare to pay that much!  Here are the “discounts” that allowed me to afford the trip:

DISCOUNTS

Credit card 1 reward points- $246.04
Credit card 2 cash reward- $67.92
Flight voucher- $82.20
Travel savings- $150.00

TOTAL DISCOUNTS -$546.16

(That just made me really happy all over again)

TOTAL TRIP COST: $820.92
MINUS DISCOUNTS: -$546.16
NET TRIP COST: $274.76 

lewis_cheering

Thank you, thank you…

Here is a breakdown of each:

Credit card 1 reward points– $246.04

This credit card is Capital One Venture One.  When you sign up and spend $1,000 within three months, you get 200,000 points (which is $200).  Easy.  Knowing what’s already going out, I put my regular three months expenses on this card then paid it off.  The spending money I already saved up for my Europe trip, I used my credit card and paid it off through my savings account!  (Let me add, my Europe trip I paid all cash through my savings as well!).  For more information on this card, click here.

Credit card 2 cash reward– $67.92

This is Capital One Quick Silver One card.  I pretty much use this credit card for gas and food to gain points and pay it off every month to avoid interest.  Over the year, I accumulated cash rewards in which I planned to use toward a trip.  Houston came up, so I used it for this trip!  For more info about this card, click here.

Both are on the list of top credit cards 2015!  Check the latest top credit cards on Wallet Hub.  Let me just add, I would not have been able to obtain any of these credit cards if I didn’t get out of debt which allowed me to rebuild my credit to get such cards!

Flight Voucher– $82.20

I booked through Southwest Airlines.  I received this voucher because, well, I ran into a situation where I had to cancel my flight last year (clearly a situation I don’t want to tell the world!).  I couldn’t get all my money back, so Southwest gave me a voucher.  Thank you Southwest!

Travel Savings– $150.00

Although there are many ways to save, I have a money market savings account in which I load funds every month and earn interest.  In this situation, I had money left over from my Europe trip.  Perfect opportunity to use it for this trip!  Because I am able to keep my expenses low is how I am able to save every month.  For example, don’t have a Netflix account anymore (which is $107.88 per year) and my cell phone bill is now $35.00 per month with unlimited everything.

So become a master of thyeth finances!  Know what is coming in, and what is going out.  That is how the rich people do it!

Here is a helpful spreadsheet template that I practically LIVE BY.  I list my income, and ALL my expenses.  That is how I am able to know what is coming in and what is going out.  It is also very easy to do it by hand.  Whatever way you choose, be BE HONEST with yourself and your spending habits.  That way you know if you are in the negative or positive, and you can know where to adjust!  Take control of your finances so you an begin to enjoy life.  More to come on this topic!

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