‘So many places, so little time...and money’

If you love travelling, you’ve probably said it at some point. 

Well, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that time waits for none of us and we can’t magic more of it out of thin air.

But we CAN find ways to make money - and, the best thing is, it isn’t always so difficult.

Maybe you want that extra weekend break that your budget doesn’t quite allow, or your spending money for next month’s trip needs a little boost.

Here we’re going to take a look at some quick and simple hacks to give your spending pot a quick lift.

Prep meals once a week

Here’s a simple technique to protect that pot before you go away: prepare all of your meals for the coming week in one sitting.

This might be a fair bit of work at first, but there are many benefits.

Firstly, it’ll be way easier to keep track of what you’re spending if you stick to a set plan; you’ll less likely to splash your cash on those impulse items you don’t need.  Apps like Yummly can help you along with this by setting out a clear plan and spend limit.

You’ll quickly notice other perks of this, too. Less time prepping is a big bonus, as you’ll be chopping and cooking everything all at once rather than on several separate occasions.

And you might just knock inches off your waistline by slimming down your purchases, something you’ll thank yourself for on the beach.

Cashback sites

The rise of online shopping has also led to another phenomenon - cashback sites. 

Their objective is to earn commission from the retailers, and to give you a cut of it. To do this, they strike a deal with the shops and provide you with a link to access the goods, thus activating a discount which the site converts into cash for you.

The beauty of this is that you can find all of the best discounts in one place, without having to trawl through individual sites. You’ll also have all of your savings in one place, meaning that the figure can quickly accumulate - offering you the chance to give your spending pot a cash injection.Close

The best sites depend on which country you’re in, but Dubli is a great international option that offers double cashback to new members for the first 90 days, and WowApp is another great choice that offers such a wide variety of cashback options that it can be a tad overwhelming.

On the flip side, it’s important to be careful not to overspend just because cashback makes purchases more attractive. For example, cashback bonuses offered by casinos may be more tempting, but you should always bear in mind that, if you really want to save money, you shouldn’t be gambling at all. The same can be said about unwise spending decisions you may be tempted to make just because of cashback.

Work from home

Got a hobby that you love? Whether it’s reading, writing, or even watching TV, you can probably make money out of it, if you know where to look. 

One of the great advantages of the digital age is the amount of work opportunities available to just about anyone. Hundreds of freelance sites exist for you to make the most of your talent; just sign up, write a quick bio, and see who responds.

Upwork is a popular option due to its wide range of work and the long list of countries in which it operates. The website does take a 20% cut, which you have to take into account, but it’s relatively easy to find a task such as proofreading or writing that serves as a side income.

There are quirkier sites where people post random things that they need doing. This can be anything from gardening to helping students with their homework, but it can be great fun. Fiverr is a fine example of this.

What better way to get a cash injection than by doing something you enjoy?

Set Automatic Savings 

Fintech banks are leading the way in the banking world at the moment, and with good reason. 

One of the biggest positives of having a Fintech account is their range of saving options that can be activated with a click or a tap. Companies such as Revolut offer automated savings that simply deduct a % from your paycheck every month and put it into a side pot. 

The beauty of this is that you often don’t notice this happening; you can’t miss what you didn’t have in the first place, after all. 

So, if your holiday is a few months away then set it up now. You’ll be surprised what your bank’s saved up for you once holiday time rolls around.

Bonus Hack - Play the $5 game

While we’re talking about savings, try out this cool little game that can have big results. 

Every time you pay for something with a note bigger than $5 (or the smallest one in your currency) and get a $5 (or equivalent) back, put that bill aside. Over the course of a month, I bet this happens to you at least 15 times, meaning you’ll have a nice little side stack handy for when you jet off. 

If you don’t ask, you don’t get

One of the old facts of life is that you might as well ask because you never know. This extends to the credit card industry too, where high interest rates can get you into debt that is extremely difficult to get out of.

There is a temporary solution to this, though. Phone up the credit card company and simply ask if you can lower the rate for a temporary period, say the three months leading up to your vacation. 

It’s easier than you think. After all, credit card companies are used to dealing with people who can’t or won’t pay - if they have a polite customer on the line who is willing to negotiate, then they’ll probably react positively.

Other expenses that can be cut with a phone call are annual and introductory fees, depending on the lender. You should also make sure that you pay on time to avoid those pesky late charges