Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Can you believe in a mere eight months we will all be together again for the next BlogPaws conference? It’s true! May 28-30, 2015 we will gather in Nashville for what we think will be one of our best conferences yet! Whew! Are you ready? Have you taken the steps to start saving money for the trip and working with your bosses, co-workers or family members to be able to get away from it all and embrace the learning and fun that are all a part of a BlogPaws Conference? Personally, I am a “long-distance” planner like; I start planning my next conference attendance before I’ve even left the one I’m involved in. Why? Because I need to save my money for the potential air fare, the price of the conference and hotel stays. I also like to take advantage of early bird discount pricing.
If you’re serious about your pet business then attending a conference like BlogPaws is one of the best ways to get in the same room with pet blogging and pet brand professionals. The learning sessions only serve to enhance your knowledge and skills and are lifelong attributes that will enhance your pet blogging business.
While eight months may seem a long way in the future, when you consider that the holiday season is truly peeking around the corner right now, it’s best to plan for your future conference attendance sooner rather than later. Another reason to be a long distance planner? It’s easier to squirrel away a bit of money here and a bit of money there throughout the year (before the holidays and holiday shopping are on the doorstep) than it is to try and find the money the month before a conference. Add to the mix that air fares rise the closer you get to your travel time and if you don’t reserve your hotel room now you may miss out on the conference rate! Those, in my mind are all great reasons to start making plans today to attend BlogPaws 2015.
Here are my 25 top money saving tips and tricks:
- Set up a bank account or get a mason jar or a piggy bank and mark it “BlogPaws 2015 Conference Money.” Any little bit of extra cash that you come across, put it right into your bank before it has a chance to slip through your fingers. Also, having a visual such as a jar or piggy bank keeps the idea of saving front and center.
- Forgo the manicure for a month or two and put that money into your piggy bank. Get together with girlfriends and do each others’ nails! Make a night of it and bring your dogs and do their nails as well!
- Don’t download apps for your smart phone that you have to pay for. In most cases there is a free version that will be just as robust as the paid version.
- Don’t buy precut or pre-packaged items in the grocery store. I know I love the convenience of 100 calorie snack packs but when I do the math the price is exorbitant — especially if I am trying to save money. If you’re in the habit of buying pre- cut fruits or veggies or pre-packaged foods look at the price difference and put that additional money into your savings.
- Don’t buy bottled water. Invest in a water filter and save yourself a lot of dough! Throw the money you’ll be saving on not buying bottled water right into your piggy bank.
- Do you pay monthly subscription fees for items you don’t use? Gym memberships, perhaps? Do you live in an area of the country that is conducive to working out in the out of doors? Would it be cheaper to invest in a few exercise DVDs and a bit of workout equipment and exercise at home?
- (Note: this would be hard for me) Turn off the television and cut back on the pay channels. Not only will turning off the television save you money, but it may help you be more active and thereby healthier. Take the money you save monthly on the cable bill and add that to your ever growing stash for the conference.
- Is your cell phone bill too much? Are you paying for services ie minutes or data plans you don’t need or use? Talk to your carrier about making some money saving changes.
- Pay your bills on time to save money.
- Switch to a bank that doesn’t charge fees. For example, I was using a bank that charged $25 per month in fees! I can now bank that additional $25 toward my future conference attendance.
- Sell your used books and DVDs. Put the money into your savings jar.
- Don’t give up reading! Save money on books, magazines, CDs and DVDs by taking them out from your local library.
- At the end of every day, drop your accumulated loose change into your savings jar.
- Some people believe that giving up your morning cup of designer coffee will help you save over the course of a year and while it will, you need to weigh out whether the sacrifice is worth it. If you don’t want to give up that morning treat or lunches out every day — cut back one or two days a week and put the money you would have spent into the jar. Depriving yourself may make it difficult for you to continue saving.
- Clip coupons. Take the coupon savings and put that into your conference fund.
- Carry and use cash. Set a limit for yourself such as, “If my purchase is less than $20 I will use cash to pay for it.” I am not certain how much savings that could reap you but if you’re accustomed to using your debit card for small purchases like a pack of gum, you may think twice on a purchase if you know you’re spending cash. Also, carrying cash makes it easier to be accountable for spending than if you put all your purchases on a debit card.
- Plan for Meatless Monday meals. Eat fruits, vegetables, rice and beans for the day. Try to calculate what you’ve saved on your meatless meals and set that aside.
- Americasaves.org has a tip whereby you bank the same amount of money you spend on a non essential item. If you can’t afford to do that, then you may not be able to afford the indulgences. For example, you buy a $5 coffee and you put $5 into your savings jar.
- Do you have a pet loving buddy who is considering going to BlogPaws 2015? Start a savings challenge with him or her. Call each other up when you want to give in and dip into your savings, help motivate one another to keep on saving so you can see each other in person!
- If you purchase items that have rebates, apply for the rebate and bank the savings.
- Do you still have a home phone? Do you use the home phone or does everyone just talk on their smart phones? If you don’t use your home phone, get rid of it and bank that savings.
- Make pizza at home rather than ordering out. Toss the money you save into your savings.
- If you take your dog for grooming every four weeks can you bump that out to every five or six weeks? Calculate what you will save over taking her for grooming 12 times a year versus 8 times.
- Barter for services. Whether you use a specific barter organization or barter with a friend for services, calculate what you would have spent for XYZ item or service and bank that amount.
- Determine how much it will cost you for the entire trip then calculate backwards as to how much you need to save (remembering that the price of tickets for airfare and early bird pricing could go away and prices could increase) so you will have a set amount that you need to save for rather than a vague, “I need to save money for a conference” because specificity matters.
What are some of the ways in which you save for conference attendance?
(Photo Shutterstock: Boy and dog saving money)
(Photo Shutterstock: Dog with wallet)