October 22, 2015

Budgeting On Vacation

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for American Express Serve. I applied for the Serve Cash Back card to facilitate my review and received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. 

I just got back from an exciting trip to New York. While I live so close to NYC, I don't go as often as I'd like, and I take any chance that I can get to be there. So when we planned the ultimate girls' trip to NYC for last week, I was so excited to get off campus, away from school work, stress and the crazy atmosphere.

We tend to do this trip every few years, whenever someone in my family gets married, and with my sister's wedding coming up in the spring, we had a full week filled with wedding dress, bridesmaids, invitation and every other wedding detail appointments. Besides those, it was also filled with the funniest list of dares for my sister to pull off throughout the week (complete with proposing to complete strangers in the middle of Times Square, and having an emotional breakdown while wearing a wedding dress.. check and check!).

One thing about traveling is how quickly I spend. Between train tickets, paying for cabs and for all the impromptu Starbucks PSLs, the money racks up pretty quickly, and that's before I even hit Bloomingdale's. I know how expensive NYC can be, so I try to budget myself when I know I'll be in the city, and I try my best to put a cap on the amount of money I spend on cabs and unnecessary coffee runs!

I spoke a little bit in the past about how much I loved American Express' new Serve Cash Back prepaid debit card. Before I go on a trip, and especially to a city like NYC where I know I'm prone to dropping lots of cash on cab rides, I load up my prepaid debit card with a solid figure that'll cover my spending for the week. That way, when I swipe, I'm not pulling cash out of my shopping fund (or even worse, savings!), and I can track how much I spent on smaller purchases separately.

The American Express Serve® Cash Back card is a full-service reloadable prepaid account, and the best part is that it offers access to money management tools at no cost, AND cash back on everyday purchases. So, while I was stuck in traffic watching the taxi meter climb, I knew that I would still be saving myself money by earning 1% cash back for every dollar spent. Plus, it saved me the hassle of always carrying cash on me or being unable to track what I spent on cabs.

Traveling and getting off-campus is something that's incredibly important to me (and my sanity!), and I'm lucky enough to have had the fantastic week with my sisters and cousins and to see my mother and aunt. And for the first time, I didn't leave NYC regretting how much I spent on small purchases. Having the card for everyday small purchases (and sometimes even using it for bigger splurges, like my most recent indulgence at NARS.. can you BLAME me?!) has honestly changed how I've looked at spending: both on vacation, and at home.

Wanna see more of my NYC vacay? Follow along on Insta (and see which super-famous celeb I ran into!).. it's a good one! And don't forget to register yourself for an American Express Serve® Cash Back prepaid debit card (which can be mailed to you for free!), and start saving money while you spend!

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