How To Budget for Travel? Brokerage Account?

This week's Happy Hour Finance Friday is focused on budgeting for travel.

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What brokerage do you use and what strategy do you use to fund them? What's the long term amount goal you're trying to reach?

Currently, I am using Robinhood and the Acorns app. I am new at investing and these two apps have been a very easy way to get into investing. I don’t particularly have a specific strategy right now as I'm just learning how to invest in the stock market and take advantage of the economy at this time. Mostly, I have done average down. For example, the first week of investing right before the crash, I bought Apple and Nike and as the market went down I kept buying lower and lower as it went. I have learned that you can’t exactly predict the time of the market going up or down so buying stocks at the right cost is best. Also, I’ve been diversifying in many industries and I’ve put quite a bit into dividend stocks. Ideally, I would love to have enough money invested into dividend stocks that I can have a good monthly passive income.

What expenses could be written off as a social media influencer? Also, how should someone go about locating an accountant that works with influencers?

Disclaimer: I am by no means a financial advisor or a tax expert. From my experience the expenses that could be written off for influencers are similar to what can be written off by models. Equipment such as your laptop, iPhone, camera, and other things that are essential to the business' function. Editing programs such as Lightroom and Final Cut Pro can also be essential for the business just as it would for a photography business. If you have a dedicated office area or studio space, that could also be written off. The best way to find an accountant that works with influencers is to directly ask influencers you know as well as influencer agencies.

How to budget for travel?

  1. Save money when you can. Prioritize what you want and set up a goal so you can focus on it and save money daily. Overall, look at how you are spending your money and save where you can. Easy ways to start can include cooking at home, buying less clothing, buying things only on sale, etc.
  2. Travel Credit Cards. We usually rack up enough travel credits to do two vacations a year that can cover our flights. A simple upgrade in credit cards can really help you earn extra perks like this. This is very helpful when we want to be frugal and save, but still want to have a vacation.
  3. Travel off-season. Usually flights are the cheapest around Feb-April, Oct-Nov. Those months are less packed with families since most kids are in school and that also means less tourists to enjoy the city.
  4. Compare prices for everything. Hotels, activities, restaurants, Uber vs public transit. For example, in Paris the subway is cheap and very easy to use. In Portugal the Ubers were very affordable. I always want to experience the local food and experiences so I prefer street food over 5 star dining. If something is necessary to fully enjoy the city and country, I will consider the expense. I wouldn’t consider us "budget travelers" at all since we don’t do backpacking, but half the time we choose AirBNBs over hotels. Don't get us wrong. We definitely enjoy luxury experiences and splurges over the years, but that is not our minimum standard or expectation when we travel. So, it's important to be realistic with what you want and budget accordingly. Typically, with saving money and earning travel credits we get two free trips per year and we usually do one trip in May and one trip in November to celebrate our birthdays.