On this week’s show I am taking a fresh look at ways in which to find money for travel and possibly a trailer purchase. RV travel is the most budget friendly way to see the country. It offers a flexibility that resorts and hotels cannot. You can choose different levels of campgrounds and services, types of travel trailers and ways in which to eat – all of which impact the bottom line and increase the amount of travel you are able to do. Whether you are in a Class A coach at a high end RV resort or rented used trailer at a state park, when you are taking in the majestic beauty of our National Parks, the view is the same for all!! Today, I am taking a look at some new ways to find money in your budget for travel and trailers.
- Facebook Marketplace – Sell stuff you’re not using. Marketplace was started two years ago as a rival to Craigslist. Its’ user friendly, has features that let you set a radius to promote to, has a payment feature and allows you to set the terms for pick up. I have used it several times to get rid of things that are too valuable for a Goodwill donation. I am still not recouping what I paid for antiques I’ve owned but aren’t using now. but I am getting more than garage sale prices and I am putting it in my travel account. The trick is to not get caught up searching and buying instead of selling!!
- Food Delivery Services – There has always been local pizza delivery but now a wide range of restaurants offer food delivery through Apps such as Post Mates, Door Dash and now Uber Eats. It’s a flexible job that allows you to work when you can and when you want to. You can work every other weekend and still have time for your normal weekend activities. With most of these services you need a valid drivers license, proof of insurance, and be at least 19 years of age. Weekends between 11 PM and 1 AM are peak in big urban areas.
- Automate your Savings – Like an old school Christmas club or vacation club but now automated. Ask your employer to automatically deduct a percentage of your paycheck that goes straight into an account designated for travel or trailer savings. If the funds never get into your checkbook they won’t be there to use for other discretionary purchases. It’s the old “pay yourself first” idea but not for retirement, for something fun!
- Freelance Your Skill Set – It’s never really been easier to get a side hustle going. You don’t have to post homemade paper ads for lawn cutting or window washing on the supermarket wall or laundromat anymore. Social media sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Up Work allow you to market your professional services. Up Work can be used by consumers and providers to search for or provide services such as photography, accounting, party planning, IT help, legal work and web design. Both sides pay a fee on a sliding scale and the site provides the platform for users to chat, file share, track time and get paid. Consider what skill or hobby you have that is easy for you but torture for others and put your talent to work making money for you.
- Rent Your Trailer – If you already own a trailer and it’s sitting in your driveway when not being used by you consider renting it locally through Outdoorsy, RV Share or Campanda. Rules vary within each company but you choose the price per night and whether you will provide linens and provisions or the renter will need to bring their own. The RV industry research shows that RV owners use their units 3-4 weeks a year. That’s a lot of driveway time that could be used for passive income.
- Cancel Subscriptions you are not using. We all sign up for “introductory” offers at great prices with an auto renew button that automatically charges our credit cards at a higher price when that initial offer is up. The Wine of the Month Club, the Quarterly Box subscription or the health club membership that we don’t really want anymore can add big bucks back into our accounts. A new company called TRIM will do the dirty work for you if you don’t want to. You will have to fill out your consumer information and they review your credit card bills and send you a list of charges you may want to eliminate. You check off the boxes of the things you are not really using and they cancel for you at no charge to you. Go Go Internet Airplane is their number one requested cancellation request.
- Review Your Insurance Policies – Cut your insurance bills by bundling policies with one company. There can be steep discounts when you consolidate your plans. You can also choose a higher deductible on policies to reduce the monthly charge. Consider cutting the collision insurance on old cars that are likely to not net a big return if totaled in an accident. Take a defensive driving class. Many insurers offer a discount for those who have taken the class. Check your homeowners policy to see if you are paying for things you don’t need. If you are paying for flood insurance and live on the hill, cancel it. It may have been part of a bundle of add-ons that you didn’t notice on closing day. Get rid of PMI insurance if you have 20% equity in your home. The insurance is paid for by consumers but is for the benefit of the bank. Lastly, sit down with your agent and ask to go over all of your policies looking for ways to reduce them.
- Cut Discretionary Spending – It’s amazing how much we spend without even realizing it. Do a little test and cut your spending for two weeks to see how it adds up. For two weeks pack a lunch; make coffee at home in the morning and take it to work with you; grocery shop with a meal plan and a list. Consider eating in on weekends. Make is special, potluck with friends is a great way to see important people without having to cook for a crowd. Have a steak for two dinner at home rather than dining out. Two organic rib eye steaks from Whole Foods costs about the same as one entree at a good steak house and you are not paying for marked up wine, a la carte side dishes and adding a tip. Don’t swipe! Stay off the prime buying sites for two weeks and see how much you save. I feel I often save money when I just order what I need. When I go to the store to buy it, I often buy other things too. Try and separate what is necessity from what is an impulse purchase.
Use these ideas to put more money in your pocket for travel and possibly for that trailer you have been coveting!