A busy schedule on the road often means frequent travelers don’t have enough time to manage their money wisely. Get smarter about your financial life – even when away from home – Get smarter about your financial life – even when away from home – with these tried and true tips from TravelingMom and Katie Linendoll, Capital One’s Digital Lifestyle Expert.
As if planning two fun-filled, action-packed weeks of vacation for three kids with three different interests and a husband who hates sand is not challenging enough, I have to stay within budget and remember which bills have to be paid while we are away. A bank statement in the mail does not help me if I am out of town. I have devised some ways and – borrowed some from others – to help me become a better money manager so that I can enjoy my travels.
Technology is important; it makes tracking finances and managing money easier than ever, especially for travelers. These smart new money management tools save time, ultimately save money, and most of all give you peace of mind.
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Autopay is Your Friend
Cable bills, cell phone service, utilities – monthly bills for most families these days can definitely stack up. Being on the road means that there is a real risk you might miss a due date, triggering fees and even hurting your credit in the process. With a family of 5 with wanderlust to boot, I swear by autopay for certain bills in my household to avoid this risk. Automating these regular payments every month means that I never miss a deadline when I’m on a trip or just busy with real life. Of course, always remember to check that the auto-payments are accurate.
Having access to your money on the road where and when you need it is essential for travelers. But sometimes that flexibility means you sacrifice earning power. Many traditional checking and savings accounts earn miniscule – or no – interest. Online money market accounts like the no-fee and FDIC-insured 360 Money Market account from Capital One (which earns 1% APY on balances over $10,000 and .6% on all other balances) can help you earn more on your money while still keeping it easily and quickly accessible 24/7 when you need it.
Make Use of Mobile Check Deposit
Ever received a check while you are out-and-about and hundreds of miles away from the closest ATM for your bank? There’s no longer a need to pack it up to take home to deposit and risk having it lost while you’re in transit. Mobile check deposit is a game-changing feature for frequent travelers. Simply use your smartphone to scan the check and with a few clicks, it is as if you had taken it in person to an ATM or bank counter. Plus the money goes into your account much faster than waiting to return home from a trip to make the deposit in-person (so you can start earning interest sooner!).
Sign Up for Text Alerts
Overspending on vacation can ruin what should be a beautiful memory. Most of us have good intentions about sticking to a budget but everything looks like so much FUN! It’s tempting to adopt a “charge today and pay tomorrow” attitude. Financial accounts that offer text alerts can keep you on top of your financial goals. Text alerts are also essential for alerting you to something more serious – like someone fraudulently gaining access to your accounts – while you are on the road.
Don’t Blow Your Budget on Travel Extras
Of course, a big part of managing money is simply budgeting and saving smartly in the first place. The little costs of travel can quickly add up without you realizing it when you are busy on a business trip or on a family vacation: a bottled water here, a magazine at the airport newsstand there. And, if you travel with kids, those costs can quickly be double, triple or even more. Look for ways to avoid these extras – for example, bring your own water bottle and load up your mobile device with reading material or other entertainment. My kids get $50 cash on our vacations for souvenir and extra entertainment while we are traveling. When it’s gone, it’s gone! Well, mostly. My husband can be manipulated. This system helps me budget while teaching them about managing money in the process.
This post was sponosred by Capital One. I have been a Capital One card holder for years. While this is a sponsored article, all opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. To learn more about Capital One, visit www.capitalone.com.