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How We Saved for Travel, and For Everything Else Too


With New Year’s celebrations now over it’s time for the hard work of resolution honoring to begin in earnest. Many of us will start the year resolving to spend less money and save more. If you’re like Shannon and me, the objective may be to accumulate enough to travel the world; or maybe you’re trying to build a college fund or pad a retirement nest egg. All worthy goals.

Unfortunately our good intentions are typically doomed to failure right from the start. By mid-year most of us will have fallen back into the same bad habits we resolve each year to end. We do that not because we lack the necessary willpower, but because we lack the correct perspective. To change our financial behavior we need to fundamentally change the way we think about money. We need to find a way to turn human nature, which constantly tempts us away from our long-term goals, to our advantage. Fortunately that is easier to do than you may think.

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4 Cards Every Traveler Should Carry

You'll want this little chip thingy in your credit card if you plan on leaving the U.S.

You’ll want this little chip thingy in your credit card if you plan on leaving the U.S.

Cash may be king, but cards are usually more convenient, more secure, and oftentimes more rewarding. But the cards we use domestically aren’t necessarily the ones we’ll want to carry overseas. If you’re planning an international trip, here are the four types of cards you’ll want to make sure are in your wallet.

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Yes, Full Time Travel Really is Less Expensive than Staying Home

Our Spending

It doesn’t seem possible, but it is completely true. Traveling 365 days every year is less expensive than traveling just five or ten or fifteen days per year. And the reason for that is simple: living at home requires a huge amount of overheard that doesn’t exist on the road.

If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself. Tally up your five largest monthly expenses – such as rent/mortgage, car payment, state income taxes (by traveling full-time we get to choose our state of residency and ours, just so happens, doesn’t have an income tax) – and then multiply the total by 12. If you’re like most people in the U.S., the number you’ve calculated is somewhat greater than a realistic full-time travel budget.

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The Best Reward Card for Travelers

The Best Reward Card for Travelers It is a perennial budget traveler question: which credit card reward gets you the most free travel?

Nearly two years ago we did a deep dive into the most generous reward cards and came to a surprising conclusion. For the average user, the best cash back cards handily beat the best travel reward cards. We think that is still largely the case today.

So why, then, are we now ditching our no-fee cash rewards cards for the Chase Sapphire Preferred? Because when the facts change, we change our strategies. And since we last tackled this issue, lots of facts have changed.

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