How to Earn Money Renting Your RV – Rent Out RV, Profit, Repeat

You love your RV. But chances are, you’re not using it every day of the year. In fact, there are more than 18 million RVs in the U.S, that sit idle for 350 days out of the year. Not only that, but RVs are often the second-most expensive purchase Americans make outside of their home.

If you’ve got a road-ready RV sitting in storage or in your driveway while you make payments on it, you have an opportunity to offset that major expense and let it pay for itself. We’re talking about renting it on an RV rental marketplace like Outdoorsy.

Years ago, homeowners couldn’t fathom allowing “strangers” to rent out their homes. The same way homeowners found online vacation rentals a lucrative and safe enterprise, Outdoorsy is proving that RV rentals can deliver similar success.

RV owners are making up to $50,000 annually by renting out their travel trailers, campers, conversion vans and luxury motorhomes on Outdoorsy.

Entertain the question for a moment and learn just how much you can make by renting out your RV to vetted and verified renters who share your passion for the RV lifestyle and the great outdoors.

How Much Money Can You Make Renting Out Your RV?

No doubt, there’s more to renting out your travel trailer or conversion van than simply listing your property online, accepting a reservation and swapping your keys for money.

Outdoorsy is built on trust. And thoughtful assurances, at every level, are what make that trust rock solid.

Every prospective renter on Outdoorsy has their driving record verified, so you know your RV will be in safe hands with a strong track record of defensive driving.

And then there’s trip insurance, up to $1 million in coverage, and roadside assistance, both of which help strengthen the trust between owner and renter.

Once you account for the insurance costs, listing and reservation fees and driver background checks, RV owners take home about 80% of what renters pay for the pleasure of renting your RV.

Here are some estimates on how much you could make by renting out your RV for just one to two weeks:

  • Class A: $2,569 – $5,138
  • Class B: $1,624 – $3,248
  • Class C: $1,540 – $3,080
  • Camper van: $1,204 – $2,408
  • Truck camper: $875 – $1,750
  • Travel trailers: $693 – $1,386
  • Folding trailer: $490 – $980
  • Fifth wheel: $1,113 – $2,226
  • Toy hauler: $770 – $1,540
  • Passenger van: $420 – $840

RV owners can make even more than these estimates if a renter exceeds your mileage or generator restrictions. Outdoorsy accepts even more RVs than those listed above — anything from conversion vans to luxury motorhomes.

You’re paid handsomely for every little bit of wear and tear your RV could potentially sustain for everyday use and insurance protects your property from abuse.

It’s free to list your RV on Outdoorsy. They won’t charge you anything until a renter pays to rent out your RV.

How to List Your RV and Start Earning

Creating a listing is simple, and there will likely be strong interest when you do set out in the RV rental business. But creating a great listing takes a little bit of effort and will be worth your while when renters start to rate the experience.

Signing Up

It’s not a commitment to anything. Signing up for Outdoorsy only indicates you’re open to learning about what could come next.

You’ll need to supply your name, email address and your contact number. You can sign up in a web browser or download the Outdoorsy app.

Creating Your Listing

Outdoorsy will do its part to ensure you can trust renters. With your listing, you’ll have to do your part to attract renters and help them understand just how great of an opportunity renting your RV will be for them.

Take photos showing off your RV. Staging your photos is fine, even encouraged, as it’ll help renters start to daydream about it. You can select the amenities your RV offers and Outdoorsy will compile them on your listing.

You’ll also need to establish your rules for your RV: how many miles they can put on it, the types of places they can take it, how much they can use the generator and so on.

Accepting Reservations

You are never obligated to accept any reservations. But if you’re still nervous about handing over the keys, it gets a lot easier each time.

Also, it’s perfectly acceptable to throw a few questions at potential renters before accepting their booking requests to rent out RV time from you.

Preparing for the Next Renters

More than just removing personal belongings, you’ll want to make sure your RV is clean and is road ready. Your renters will do the same for you when they return it — neither side wants to clean up after the other.

Swapping the Keys for Money

It’ll be back before you know it, and in as good a condition as you remember. The last thing a renter wants is to be liable for insurance costs.

You get to determine where you’ll meet renters to drop off the keys and where they’ll have the RV delivered. But remember, going the extra mile to accommodate your guest will probably earn you rave reviews and will ultimately help attract even more guests.

Getting Paid

Once the key exchange is done, you’ll be paid through Outdoorsy about 24 to 48 hours later. Your bank may take the usual three to five business days to update your ledger, however.

Outdoorsy won’t charge you a dime until a renter has paid to borrow your RV. Once Outdoorsy is paid, they’ll collect insurance and other fees before initiating your payout.

How Insurance Works

If you’ve ever thought about renting out RVs in the past, you were probably dissuaded by your insurance policy’s commercial exclusion clauses and RV rental restriction.

Nearly all RV insurance policies rule out renting out your RV.

Episodic Insurance built into the Outdoorsy Platform

Roamly’s  “episodic” insurance coverage begins covering your RV from the moment you hand over the keys to the renter until the moment you get them back. The renter must purchase Roamly’s episodic insurance as part of the RV booking process, ensuring that the renter, and your RV, are protected on the trip.

This comprehensive policy comes with up to $1 million in liability coverage for each trip.

Personal RV Insurance with No Commercial Exclusions

While your RV is protected through Roamly’s episodic insurance when it’s being rented out, you’ll want to make sure that your RV insurance carrier even allows you to rent it out in the first place. That’s where Roamly’s personal lines of insurance can help.

Roamly’s RV policies explicitly allow you to rent out your RV when you’re not using it by removing the commercial-use restriction found in traditional RV policies. While other carriers will deny legitimate claims or drop your coverage if you rent out your RV, Roamly won’t. In fact, Roamly encourages it, and it offers unique premium discounts the more you rent out your RV on Outdoorsy.

And yes, you really can save up to 25% in many cases by switching over to Roamly, an insurance company that was built by RV enthusiasts just like you.

To see how much Roamly could save you, get a quote here. It takes just 60 seconds and can be done completely online.

Get Paid to Share the RV Lifestyle

People don’t just want to see our country’s National Parks and scenic drives, they want to savor them through immersive experiences that a car or SUV just can’t accommodate.

Ready to rent out your RV? Even if you aren’t quite ready, joining the Outdoorsy community is the next step and it’s completely free.

You can learn from other RV owners who are using extra income from Outdoorsy to pay for their grandkids’ tuition, pay for home improvements or cover all the expenses for their next big adventure.

<!–

–>

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

How to Get the Most Out of Your Airline Miles and Points

@media (max-width: 1200px) body .novashare-buttons.novashare-inline .novashare-button-icon width: 100%; .novashare-inline .novashare-button .novashare-button-block background: #000000; .novashare-inline .novashare-button .novashare-border border-color: #000000; .novashare-inline .novashare-button .novashare-inverse color: #000000;


Additional Resources

Lots of people like to travel to new places and try new things. The problem is that travel can be expensive.

I’ve personally managed to take nearly all of my vacations for free thanks to rewards credit cards. All in all, I’ve earned more than 1 million miles and points to fund my trips over the past five years. I’ve used these points to visit U.S. and international destinations I would never have seen otherwise, enriching my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. 

If you know what you’re doing, you can — like me — save a lot of money by using airline miles and points. If you really take the time to optimize your travel rewards, you can find yourself on a luxury vacation for economy prices.


How to Get the Most of Your Airline Miles and Points

Most airlines and hotels operate loyalty programs that award you with miles and points when you fly or stay with them. 


Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations have an average return of 618%. For $79 (or just $1.52 per week), join more than 1 million members and don’t miss their upcoming stock picks. 30 day money-back guarantee. Sign Up Now

These points help you save money and earn upgrades when you redeem them for travel. And there’s lots you can do to earn more rewards even before you travel — giving you some much needed budgetary breathing room. 

Earning Miles & Points

If you’re looking to go on an exciting vacation on the cheap, you’ll want to earn as many miles and points as possible before you set sail. Use these strategies to boost your earning rate.

Sign Up for Airline & Hotel Loyalty Programs

Even if you haven’t flown with an airline or stayed at a hotel, you should be able to sign up for that company’s loyalty program. This ensures you’ll earn points next time you fly or stay with that company. 

It also ensures you’ll receive promotional offers. 

Though potentially annoying if you’re not actively planning to travel in the near future, these offers often promise big discounts or exciting opportunities to earn rewards points or miles. For example, members of American Airlines AAdvantage program often receive mailers to sign up for a branded credit card and get a great sign-up bonus.

Choose the Right Credit Card

One of the best ways to earn more airline miles and hotel points is to regularly use a travel credit card. 

Most major airlines and hotel chains have a credit card partner and offer one or more branded credit cards. Each time you use their card, you’ll earn points or miles that you can redeem toward future travel.

When evaluating potential travel credit cards, consider the following:

  • Whether You’ll Actually Use Your Points. If you won’t use the points or miles a card offers, it’s not worth getting.
  • How Much You’ll Earn. Look for cards that have the highest earning rates in the categories you know you’ll spend in.
  • Status and Perks. If you’re loyal to a specific airline or hotel, see if there are premium cards that come with status or perks with that chain. For example, certain Hilton credit cards confer automatic status that comes with you automatic room upgrades, a daily food and beverage credit, a free night on longer trips, and more.
  • Generic Cards. If you aren’t loyal to a specific brand, choose one that offers generic rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the American Express Gold Card. Instead of being tied to a single airline, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards points toward travel on a number of the card issuers’ partner airlines.

Take Advantage of Welcome Bonuses

One of the best opportunities to rack up points or miles is through welcome bonuses and other credit card offers.

Credit card issuers want you to sign up for their card, so they’ll try to incentivize people to sign up through these offers. Usually, they require you to spend a certain amount of money within a certain time period, often three or four months.

For example, you might see a deal to earn 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in your first three months with a new credit card.

These bonuses are often large enough to get you a free round-trip flight or hotel stay right away. If you’re in the market for a travel credit card, pay attention to each contender’s welcome bonus offer — it could well be the card’s defining feature.

However, be careful and make sure that you can meet the spending requirement of any card you sign up for without overspending. If you overspend and carry a balance, the interest you pay will more than offset the value of the rewards you earn.

Take Advantage of Bonus Spending Categories

Some credit cards have flat-rate rewards programs. You earn rewards at the same rate regardless of where you spend your money.

Other rewards programs have bonus categories. For example, a credit card might give you 1 mile per dollar spent on most purchases but offer 2 bonus miles for each dollar you spend at restaurants.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers:

  • 5x points on travel through Chase
  • 3x points on dining and delivery
  • 3x points on groceries
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel purchases
  • 1x points on everything else

Some cards also offer limited-time deals where you can get even higher earning rates at certain merchants, such as 10x points per dollar spent with a particular merchant.

If you have multiple rewards credit cards, try to optimize your spending to take advantage of bonus spending categories and earn more miles or points.

Refer a Friend

Many credit card issuers offer refer-a-friend bonuses to cardholders who get someone else to sign up for a travel card. Often, these programs are win-win situations: You get a bonus for making a successful referral and the referred person gets a lucrative sign-up bonus.

If you know someone who wants a travel credit card, refer them to your favorite card. You could both end up closer to a free flight or hotel stay.


Pay for Group Travel

If your friends aren’t up for signing up for new cards but still want to travel with you, you can accelerate your earnings by offering to book everyone’s flights and hotels. Put the cost of the trip on your card and have everyone else pay you back.

As long as they do pay you back, you earn miles or points on the entire trip value while still only paying your portion of the costs.

This can be especially lucrative if your credit card offers bonus points for spending on flights or hotels. You could find yourself racking up tens of thousands of points if you put all of the flights or hotel rooms on your card. It’s also a good way to hit spending requirements for welcome bonuses.

Just make sure you get paid back after you book the trip.

Use Shopping Portals

Many credit card issuers, airlines, and hotel chains offer shopping portals that sell merchandise and travel. If you shop through these portals, you could earn additional frequent flyer miles or rewards points, often at better rates than those offered by the card’s regular rewards program.

Depending on the portal, you might even earn points when you shop with a debit card. That’s great news if your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be and you’re having trouble qualifying for a travel credit card as a result.

Earn Elite Status

Many airlines’ and hotels’ loyalty programs offer elite status if you earn enough miles or points or spend enough money on their branded credit cards. If you travel a lot, elite status is well worth the effort to achieve, as it promises perks like room or fare upgrades, food credits, bonus point earnings, free nights, and more.

For example, if you earn at least 125,000 Rapid Rewards points with Southwest Airlines, you qualify for a companion pass. That gives one companion of your choice a free ticket on any flight you take, less taxes and fees. The pass lasts through the end of the following year, giving you more than 12 months to enjoy this benefit. 


Redeeming Miles & Points

Earning your miles and points is just one piece of the puzzle. You’ll want to use points in the most efficient way possible to make sure you get the best value.

Be Flexible About Travel Dates

Whether you’re paying for your airline ticket with cash or miles, being flexible about your travel dates is one of the best ways to save money while traveling. 

Certain times of the year, like Thanksgiving weekend and the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day, have huge demand for travel. Other times, not so much.

For example, a recent round-trip flight between Boston and Orlando cost me about $220 in early June. Not bad. During Thanksgiving week the same year, the same route cost more than double that. Ouch.

Certain days of the week are busier and therefore more expensive too. Expect to pay more to fly on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. 

Bottom line: If you can be flexible and travel during less busy times, you can redeem your points for award flights at a much cheaper rate.

Treat Yourself to Upgrades

If you’re looking for a luxury vacation, fare class or room upgrades offer fantastic value for your points. You can often upgrade to a first-class or business class seat for a relatively low number of miles compared to the difference in the two fares’ cash prices.

Hotels are similar. More luxurious rooms often cost fewer points than you’d expect based on the cash price.

If your goal is to travel as much as possible, don’t waste your points on upgrades. But if you’re craving a once-in-a-while splurge, this is a cost-effective strategy. 

Think Beyond Airfare and Hotels

Airfare and lodging are big travel expenses, but they’re not the only ones you’ll encounter on your journey. Once you get where you’re going, you have to think about what you’re going to do and how you’ll get around.

Some hotels and airlines have partnerships with rental car companies or vacation companies that offer activities or excursions. You might be able to redeem your rewards for exciting activities or a free rental car so you can drive around your destination.

Travel cards with generic rewards are often the best way to get these redemptions. For example, Chase’s Sapphire line of cards let you redeem your points not only for flights and hotels but also for cruises, rental cars, and sightseeing tours.

Consider the Point Transfer Ratio

Many airlines and hotels have partner companies and let their customers transfer points or miles to their partners. This has two clear benefits.

First, it gives you more options. For example, the OneWorld Alliance is a group of airlines that includes American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and Qantas, among others.

If you have American Airlines AAdvantage miles, you can often use them to book flights with another member of the OneWorld Alliance.

Second, if you’re willing to put in some work, you can sometimes get even more value for your points by transferring them. Favorable transfer ratios often boost your points’ value — sometimes by an order of magnitude — after you’ve moved them to another airline.

Find the Award Chart Sweet Spots

Some hotels and airlines have standardized redemption options, letting you turn a set number of miles into a specific flight or hotel stay.

For example, JetBlue offers one-way flights to and from Hawaii and any U.S. East Coast location for 30,000 miles, making a round-trip vacation 60,000 miles. 

Depending on where you live on the East Coast, that deal could be a great value over redeeming points for other flights. For example, despite the much shorter distance and (usually) lower dollar cost, a flight between Boston and Los Angeles can cost as much as 33,000 points.

Be on the lookout for sweet spots where you can get a far greater value for your points or miles than other redemptions.

Redeem Via the Rewards Portal

If you’re using a travel credit card with generic rewards instead of a branded airline card, you can often get better value for your points by using the card issuer’s rewards portal.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card boosts your points’ value by 50% when you use them to book travel through Chase’s travel portal. If you book your tickets outside the portal, you lose that value.

Pool Points With Friends & Family

If you’re going on a family vacation with members of the same airline or hotel loyalty program, look into pooling your points as a group. Many airlines and hotels allow this at no cost. 

If you each have just a few thousand points, you may not be able to get any useful redemptions on your own. But together, you might be able to get a free ticket or room and split the savings between everyone.

Watch for Limited-Time Deals

Some airlines or hotels will run deals where you can redeem your points for great deals. If you’re paying attention, you might see a chance to get a flight or hotel stay for half the normal price.

These deals can also come on the earning side, such as a higher earning rate on the purchase of a flight or hotel stay. This can accelerate your progress toward a free flight or stay.

Don’t Forget Partner Awards

Just like the various travel alliances often let you transfer points between airlines or hotels, you can often redeem your miles directly for flights on other airlines without having to transfer them first.

Partner bookings can be a bit complicated when it comes to finding the best value for your miles. But if you’re lucky, you can get a great redemption for very cheap.

Familiarize yourself with the different airline alliances to see which airlines are partners to see if you can find good opportunities. If you have a specific trip in mind, you can do some research online — using resources like travel subreddits — to see if other travelers have found exciting deals.

Keep an Eye on Expiration Dates

Some loyalty programs make their miles or points expire after a period of time. For example, American Airlines miles expire after two years of no activity. 

Fortunately, if you earn a single mile during any two-year period, you reset the timer for your entire balance. Time your purchases accordingly.

Cash Out Miles You Won’t Use

Between sign up bonuses, referring friends, and not having time to travel much, you might find yourself with way more miles and points than you can imagine yourself using.

If you find yourself with miles that are about to expire or that you won’t otherwise use, try to redeem them for something so that you don’t completely miss out on the value. 

You can do this even if you don’t plan to travel in the near future. Many airlines let you cash out your miles for non-travel rewards, such as gift cards or merchandise. While these redemptions are generally a worse value than redeeming miles for an award ticket they’re better than letting your miles languish and never get used.


Final Word

If you like to travel, airline and hotel rewards programs are a great way to save money on trips or to take a luxury vacation. 

Signing up for the right credit card, finding opportunities to maximize mile and point earnings, looking for lesser-known ways to boost points’ redemption value — these strategies and more have significantly reduced my travel costs over the years. They can do the same for you.

But maximizing travel rewards is just one way to save money on the road. Even as you work to make the most of your points, look for other opportunities to take exciting trips on the cheap too.

.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-table-of-content-wrappadding:30px 30px 30px 30px;background-color:#f9fafa;border-color:#cacaca;border-width:1px 1px 1px 1px;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-table-of-contents-titlefont-size:14px;line-height:18px;letter-spacing:0.06px;font-family:-apple-system,BlinkMacSystemFont,”Segoe UI”,Roboto,Oxygen-Sans,Ubuntu,Cantarell,”Helvetica Neue”,sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”;font-weight:inherit;text-transform:uppercase;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-table-of-content-wrap .kb-table-of-content-listcolor:#001c29;font-size:14px;line-height:21px;letter-spacing:0.01px;font-family:-apple-system,BlinkMacSystemFont,”Segoe UI”,Roboto,Oxygen-Sans,Ubuntu,Cantarell,”Helvetica Neue”,sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”;font-weight:inherit;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-table-of-content-wrap .kb-table-of-content-list .kb-table-of-contents__entry:hovercolor:#16928d;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-table-of-content-list limargin-bottom:7px;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-table-of-content-list li .kb-table-of-contents-list-submargin-top:7px;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-toggle-icon-style-basiccircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:after, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-toggle-icon-style-basiccircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:before, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-toggle-icon-style-arrowcircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:after, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-toggle-icon-style-arrowcircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:before, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-toggle-icon-style-xclosecircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:after, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_0d0fb5-39 .kb-toggle-icon-style-xclosecircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:beforebackground-color:#f9fafa;

GME is so 2021. Fine art is forever. And its 5-year returns are a heck of a lot better than this week’s meme stock. Invest in something real. Invest with Masterworks.

TJ is a Boston-based writer who focuses on credit cards, credit, and bank accounts. When he’s not writing about all things personal finance, he enjoys cooking, esports, soccer, hockey, and games of the video and board varieties.

Source: moneycrashers.com

Can I Afford to Have a Hot Girl Summer?

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

After a year spent indoors, everyone wants to have a hot girl summer in 2021. But when your financial situation is still recovering from the pandemic, can you really afford to?

Whether you’re struggling to get by or just looking to save a few bucks, use these tips to go big this summer – without going over budget.

Cash in rewards points

Millions of Americans stocked up on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants during the pandemic. But many consumers inadvertently hoarded another item: credit card rewards points.

If you’re planning to reunite with high school friends or travel to a bachelorette party, cash in your points and miles to save on the trip. If you had to cancel a vacation due to the pandemic, redeem any remaining travel credit.

If you have more rewards points than you need, you may be able to redeem them for cash or as a statement credit on your card, which you can then use toward your trip.

Don’t have any rewards cards? Now may be a good time to sign up. Chase is currently offering a 100,000-point bonus for new cardholders who apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, or a 60,000-point bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Depending on where you’re going, that’s enough for a couple of flights or hotel stays.

Invite friends over for a swap

My new favorite tradition with friends is to host a swap. Everyone brings items they no longer need, and we take turns picking new-to-us items. Last time I got three dresses, a pair of Madewell overalls, a curling iron, and a dog bed.

You’re not limited to clothes at a swap. I encourage my friends to bring anything, including books, kitchenware, makeup and home decor. It’s a free way to get new items, and it encourages you to declutter your house.

Drink like a college student

Back in college, most people would have a couple drinks at home before venturing to the bars. If you’re going out with friends, consider starting with a drink or two at home.

Another money-saving trick is to eat a full meal before you go out, so you’re not tempted to grab pricey appetizers. If you’re getting drinks with your friends, limit yourself to basic cocktails instead of specialty cocktails, or stick to the draft list instead of buying a fancy bottle.

Create rules for yourself

Now that the world is opening up, it’s tempting to throw your budget away and treat yourself to everything you missed during the pandemic. Before doing that, set up some ground rules to keep yourself from going overboard.

For example, make a rule that if you’re getting dinner or brunch with friends, you won’t get take-out that week. These basic rules will help you spend less without having to give up what really matters.

Use a cash budget

Instead of bringing your credit card with you on a night out, only take the amount of cash you want to spend. You can still use your phone to order an Uber or Lyft, but you won’t have the temptation of a credit card. Decide how much you’re comfortable spending and only bring that amount.

Join a sports league

Group sports leagues like softball, soccer, or kickball are one of the most affordable ways to hang out with friends and get some exercise at the same time.

Most group leagues cost between $50 and $75 a person, depending on the sport, and usually last around six weeks. Sometimes you’ll even get a discount at a local bar where you can hang out afterwards.

Plan a budget-friendly trip

For the past few years, my college friends and I have met up every summer at my in-law’s lake house. The house is located near a small town in Indiana, only a few hour’s drive for most of us.

Instead of picking a more exotic locale, we prioritize saving money. It’s free to stay there, and we split the cost of groceries. I usually spend about $100 on gas, food, and drinks for a three-day trip.

If you’re considering a getaway with friends, get creative. Don’t automatically book a trip to Vegas or Miami. Pick a spot that’s close enough to drive, or near a popular airport where flights will be less expensive.

If you’re not lucky enough to have access to a family vacation home, look on Airbnb and VRBO for affordable destinations. Find a house with a stocked kitchen so you can cook most of your meals.

Pro tip: Use Mint’s free travel budget calculator to help you plan your next adventure.

Budget for it

When the world shut down last year, most of us got used to spending less on gas, bars, and new clothes. But as things start to open up, you may find your spending ramping back up.

Use this time to revise your budget and allocate money toward restaurants, rideshare services, and new outfits. As things return to normal, you may have to change your budget a few times before finding a happy balance. Give yourself some grace, as circumstances may change rapidly.

If you find budgeting for one month at a time difficult, give yourself a weekly allowance to use for non-essential purchases. Redirect some of your pandemic habits, like ordering take-out a few times a week, to your rediscovered social habits, like getting dinner with your friends.

Talk to your friends

While some consumers survived the pandemic without getting laid off, millions of Americans lost their jobs and remained unemployed for months. So while your friends may be ready to party, you might be focused on rebuilding your savings.

If you suffered financially during the pandemic, you may not be able to keep up with your friends this summer. Even though it may seem awkward to discuss your money problems openly, it’s better than making excuses.

If you lie about why you can’t hang out, your friends will think you’re avoiding them. But if you’re honest, they may accommodate you by suggesting budget-friendly activities. Give them the chance to understand, even if it means having an uncomfortable conversation. Who knows – one of them might be struggling as well, but too afraid to speak up.

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins. More from Zina Kumok

Source: mint.intuit.com

Capital One Travel Rolls Out To All Cardholders With 5x/5% Rewards On Hotels & Car Rentals

Capital One Travel was initially only available on certain Capital One cards and, beginning today, is available for all Capital One Venture, Spark, Miles, Quicksilver, and Savor cardholders.

  • Savor, Quicksilver, Spark Cash, and Student cardholders will have access to Capital One Travel and now earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. 

  • Venture, VentureOne, Spark Miles, and Spark Miles Select cardholders will continue to earn unlimited 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Venture X cardholders will continue to earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and unlimited 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

7 Things to Know Before You Start Biking to Work

When I learned that the cost of my monthly parking garage pass was more than doubling to $75 a month, I balked. Seventy-five dollars a month just to babysit my car while I’m at work?

So one muggy morning, I decided to give bike commuting a shot. I didn’t plan my route. Or my outfit. Or take my bike for a test ride, even though I hadn’t ridden it in months. Hey, what could go wrong in 2 miles?

I took my usual route to work — a busy street with no bike lanes and a rickety sidewalk where cyclists aren’t exactly welcome in the traffic lanes. Funny what you don’t notice from your car.

My dark jeans and black tunic were drenched in sweat less than a mile into my ride. Not a great choice of biking attire for mid-90s temperatures.

But it wasn’t just the end-of-summer heat that was making me sweat. I felt like I was biking uphill — and I live in Florida. I asked myself: Was biking always this hard? Have my leg muscles atrophied?

Then a guy standing at a bus stop pointed out the obvious: My tires needed air.

7 Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Start Biking to Work

I survived the 2-mile ride to work. Then I Ubered home that afternoon.

A few days later, temperatures dropped slightly, and a helpful co-worker put air in my tires. I decided to give bike commuting another try — if only to get my bike home. This time, I planned my route and took a street with bike lanes.

Since then, I’ve become an avid bike commuter. I love that I get to exercise during my commute, and I’m also saving money. Since I live close to work, my savings on gas are minimal, but I have been able to ditch the $75-a-month parking pass. Plus, I’m less prone to after-work impulse buys. If I stop at the grocery store after work, I’m limited to what I can fit in my bike basket.

Want to try biking to work? Here are a few tips I wish I had known before I tried bike commuting.

1. Do a Weekend Test Run

It’s great when you can figure out things — like that your route of choice doesn’t have bike lanes or your tires need air — when you’re not pedaling furiously to a meeting at rush hour.

Test out your commute by doing a practice run during the weekend. You may be surprised by just how bike-unfriendly your normal route is.

Make sure to wear your work attire if you plan to ride in the same clothing you wear during the day. Seeing just how much you sweat could change your mind.

2. Dry Shampoo Is Your Friend

Wearing a helmet is nonnegotiable whenever you ride your bike, OK? So that means helmet hair is something you’re going to have to deal with.

Dry shampoo comes in handy when you need to freshen up to make yourself presentable for the office.

A woman waits to ride a cross a busy road while bike commuting.
Robin waits her turn to cross a busy road on her way to work. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

3. Plan Your Outfit Around Your Commute

Riding your bike to work is a lot easier when you don’t have to do a complete change of costume when you get to the office. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to minimize sweat during your ride. If you wear skirts or dresses, throw on a pair of bicycle shorts or leggings underneath. (Long skirts and dresses are best avoided, though.)

Keep a spare shirt handy in your backpack in case you sweat more than usual or you ride through dirt or dust. (It happens.)

Pro Tip

If you need to pack your clothes and change at the office, a travel-size bottle of wrinkle spray comes in handy. No, your outfit won’t look freshly pressed, but it will smooth things out a bit.

4. Lighten Your Load Already

You’re saving money by bike commuting. But unless you want to fork over that money and then some to your chiropractor, keep your backpack as light as possible. Investing in saddlebags or a bike crate will be well worth it if you have lots of stuff to cart to and from work.

5. Ask Your Employer for Storage Space

Bikes are best stored indoors, where they’re less likely to get stolen. Plus, they’re more likely to rust when exposed to rain or snow.

Here at The Penny Hoarder’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, we’re lucky to have a passcode-protected bike closet. If your workplace doesn’t have a designated space for bikes, ask your employer to create one — or at least if there’s an acceptable place that you can stash your bike.

If that’s not possible, keep your bike locked up in a busy area with two different types of locks.

Pro Tip

Your car isn’t the only thing that needs a tune-up: Your bike should get a tune-up anywhere from every few months to once a year, depending on how much you ride. Expect to pay $30 to $80.

6. Be Prepared for Bad Weather

Here in Florida, storms are a bit unpredictable. I keep a kid-size poncho in my backpack that I can pop out if it starts to drizzle. The kid-size part is key because it’s short enough that it doesn’t get in the way of pedaling.

Obviously, when there’s lightning or extreme weather, you shouldn’t be biking. So have a backup plan for the days that you aren’t able to bike to work.

Make sure you know of a parking option that doesn’t require a monthly pass, a bus route that’s close to your office or a co-worker who can give you a ride. Otherwise, you’ll need to work the occasional Uber or Lyft into your budget.

7. Don’t Give up Your Parking Pass… Yet

So you’ve had your first successful bike commute? Congrats!

Still, hang onto your parking pass for at least a couple weeks. It’s great when bike commuting happens without a hitch. But what happens when you’re running late, you have a doctor’s appointment before work or you need to run home at lunchtime?

Once you’ve experienced a few disruptions to your regular routine, you can better assess whether giving up parking is feasible.

Is Bike Commuting for You?

This isn’t really an if-I-can-do-it-anyone-can type of thing. There are a lot of reasons bicycle commuting has worked for me:

I have a flexible schedule. I only work daylight hours. My workplace is casual. I live and work in a bike-friendly pocket of St. Petersburg, Florida, which means I don’t have to deal with snowstorms and subzero temperatures. I don’t have kids to shuttle to and from school or day care. Most importantly, I feel safe bike commuting.

If you want to try it, commit to doing it three or four times over the next months. Take it from me: Your first try may not go perfectly. But after three or four times, you’ll get the hang of it.

What if you hate it? Then it’s probably not worth whatever money you save. Your ideal commute is one that doesn’t leave you frazzled before you’ve even gotten to work.

But don’t be surprised if you get hooked. I find my workdays a lot more enjoyable when they start and end with a bike ride instead of circling a dusty parking garage. And the $75 I’m saving is a pretty sweet bonus.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.  She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected] or chat with her in The Penny Hoarder Community

Related Posts

<!–

–>

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Capital One Partners With Turo Car Rental To Offer Bonus Rewards (10x With Venture X; 5x With Venture)

The Offer

Capital One announced today a new partnership with Turo car rental service.

  • Venture X and Venture cardholders will earn bonus points when booking through the Turo app or on Turo.com. Valid May 17 2022 through May 16, 2023.

    • Venture X cardholders will earn 10X miles
    • Venture cardholders will earn 5X miles

Our Verdict

Nice additional perk for the Venture cards, especially Venture X. Capital One often releases these kinds of bonus points partnership offers. Hopefully this one ends up staying around for the long haul.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Swimming Pool Financing: What to Know and Best Pool Loans

Who doesn’t love a relaxing dip in the swimming pool on a sweltering, hot day? And when that swimming pool is in your backyard, it’s even better.

You could bring your friends together over the summer by hosting pool parties. You could teach your kids to swim right at home. If you rent out your place on Airbnb or Vrbo, you could fetch top dollar for the additional amenity.

Sounds like a dream.

If your house didn’t already come with a pool when you moved in, there’s still a possibility of turning your pool fantasies into reality if you have enough space.

And if you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars upfront to spend on a pool construction project, there’s always pool financing.

What Is Pool Financing?

Pool financing is when you borrow money from a financial institution or lender to cover the costs of building a pool. Pool construction typically costs anywhere from $17,971 to $46,481 with the average cost being around $32,059, according to HomeAdvisor.

Of course, the cost will vary based on the size, the type of pool, your location and where you plan to build the pool on your property. Adding a small plunge pool to a cleared, flat space in your backyard will cost considerably less than adding a resort-style pool with waterfalls and a jacuzzi to your property that requires you to cut down multiple trees and level the land.

Besides the personal enjoyment that comes along with having a pool, this addition to your home could boost your property value and make your home more desirable to future buyers, renters or short-term guests.

The high cost to install a pool means that many people rely on pool financing. There are several ways to go about getting a loan for a pool.

Options for Pool Financing

If you want to add a pool to your property, but don’t have the cash upfront, you have several options.

You could get a personal loan (sometimes referred to as a pool loan), a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit or a cash-out refinance. Some pool builders or retailers offer in-house loan programs through their partner lenders. You might also consider using a credit card as your method of financing.

Personal Loans (AKA Pool Loans)

Pool loans are unsecured personal loans offered by banks, credit unions and online lenders. You may be able to get a pool loan through the financial institution where you already have existing accounts, or you might choose to get financed from an online lender or financing consultant company that deals exclusively with pool loans and home improvement loans.

One of the benefits of personal loans is that you don’t have to offer up any collateral. If you stop making payments and default on your loan, you don’t have to worry about your house being foreclosed — though the lender still could sue you. If approved for an unsecured personal loan, you can usually receive funds within a couple of days, much quicker than some other financing options.

Because you don’t have any collateral backing the loan, however, these financing options can come with higher interest rates. Interest rates can start around 3% and go up to about 36%.

A borrower’s credit score, credit history, income and existing debt load all affect the interest rate.

Personal loan terms generally range from about two to 12 years — though some pool loans can have terms up to 20 years or more. You can get loans from $1,000 to over $200,000 to fund simple above-ground pools or elaborate in-ground pool projects.

Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans are essentially when you tap into the equity you have in your home and take out a second mortgage. If you have a significant amount of equity, you could finance your pool project this way.

Home equity loans generally have lower interest rates than personal loans because your home is used as collateral. If you default on your loan, the lender could foreclose on your home.

Also, with home equity loans you’ll face additional fees, like a home appraisal cost and closing costs, so be sure to factor that into your decision making.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A home equity line of credit or HELOC also taps into the equity you have in your home, but it’s a revolving line of credit that you can use for several years instead of a loan that provides you with one lump sum of cash.

With a HELOC, you can pull out funds as needed to finance your pool construction and other home improvement projects. While you’ll only pay back what you borrow, the interest on HELOCs are usually adjustable rates rather than fixed rates. That means your monthly payments can increase during your repayment period.

Cash-Out Refinance

A cash-out refinance is essentially when you replace your existing mortgage with a new mortgage that exceeds what you owe on the house and you take out the difference in cash.

You can then use that lump sum to pay for your pool, and you’ll pay it back throughout the course of your new mortgage — over the next 10 to 30 years depending on your loan terms.

A cash-out refinance might make sense if you’re able to get a lower interest rate than your current mortgage. However, just like with a home equity loan or HELOC, your home is being used as collateral, and you’ll face additional fees involved in the refinancing process.

In-House Financing from the Pool Builder

Some pool companies may directly provide you with pool financing offers, so you don’t have to search for financing on your own. The pool companies typically aren’t offering the loan to you themselves, but they’ve partnered with a lender or network of lenders to provide you with financing options.

This type of financing is the same as applying for a personal loan or pool loan. The benefit is that you get a one-stop-shop experience instead of having to reach out to lenders individually. Your pool contractor may even be able to assist you through the loan process.

The downside is that you could potentially miss out on a better deal by only getting quotes from the pool company’s partnered lenders.

Credit Cards

Because of their high interest rates, credit cards are usually not recommended as options for financing a new swimming pool. However, there can be situations where it’d make sense.

If you’re able to open a zero-interest credit card and pay the balance back before the zero-interest period expires, paying with a credit card can be a great option — especially if it’s a rewards card that’ll give you points, airline miles or cash-back for spending or a bonus just for opening the account.

If you choose this financing option, be sure that you’ll be able to pay off the balance in a relatively short period of time. Most credit cards only offer zero-interest periods for the first 12 to 21 months. After that your interest rate could go up to 18% or more.

Pool Loan Comparisons

Getting quotes from multiple lenders will help you select the best deal for your pool construction project. Here’s what a few top lenders are currently offering.

Lyon Financial

Best for Long Loan Terms

4.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features

  • Pays the pool contractor directly
  • 600 minimum credit score
  • Offers military discounts

Lyon Financial is a financing consultant that has been in business since 1979 and works with a network of lenders to provide loans for pool and home improvement projects. Unlike personal loans that provide the borrower with the funds upfront, Lyon Financial disburses the funding directly to the pool builder in stages as the project progresses.

Lyon Financial

APR (interest rates)

As low as 2.99%

Maximum loan amount

$200,000

Loan terms

Up to 25 years

HFS Financial

Best for Large Pool Loans

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features

  • Provides loans up to $500,000
  • Most loans are funded within 48 hours
  • No prepayment penalties

HFS Financial is a financing company that partners with third-party lenders to provide homeowners with the money to construct pools on their property. Use their “60 second loan application” to kick off the loan process. Funds are typically dispersed within 48 hours.

HFS Financial

APR (interest rates)

As low as 2.99%

Maximum loan amount

$500,000

Loan terms

Up to 20 years

Viking Capital

Best for Customer Service

4.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features

  • Supports a network of pool builders
  • 650 minimum credit score
  • Offers military discounts

Viking Capital is a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1999. The company acts in the capacity of a financial consultant, and partners with a network of lenders to provide multiple loan offers for pool construction projects.

Viking Capital

APR (interest rates)

As low as 5.49%

Maximum loan amount

$125,000

Loan terms

Up to 20 years

5 Steps to Securing Pool Financing

Follow these steps to secure a loan for your pool.

1. Determine What Monthly Payments You Can Afford

Before you dig into your pool financing options, you should be clear on what monthly payment you can afford. Having a pool is a luxury. You don’t want a pool construction project to jeopardize your ability to pay your bills and meet your needs.

Figure out how much disposable income you have to work with by comparing your monthly earnings to how much you typically spend each month.

Don’t forget to factor in maintenance and additional utilities usage when estimating how much you can afford to go toward pool costs.

2. Check Your Credit History

When you’re financing a pool, having a good or excellent credit score will help you secure a loan with a low interest rate. Ideally, your credit score should be 700 or above.

Some lenders may offer you financing if you have fair or poor credit, however you may have to pay a lot more over time due to higher interest rates.

To boost your credit score before applying for a pool loan, follow these steps.

3. Get Cost Estimates for Your Pool

Talk with pool builders to get estimates on the total cost of your desired pool project. Get estimates from multiple pool companies so you have a better idea of what options exist.

If the estimates come in higher than you expected, consider scaling down the size of your pool project or using different materials.

Make sure any additional work — like constructing safety fencing — is included in your estimate.

4. Choose What Type of Financing Your Prefer and Shop Around For Lenders

After you figure out what options are available within your budget, it’s time to decide on what type of financing you prefer.

Will you be applying for an unsecured loan or do you plan to tap into your home equity or refinance your mortgage? Are you going to purchase a small above-ground pool that you could pay off in 15 months using a zero-interest credit card?

Once you know what type of financing you’ll go with, reach out to multiple lenders so you can compare offers and choose the best deal. You may be able to use a competitor’s lower offer to get a lender to reduce their offer even further.

5. Complete Loan Application and Sign Off on All Paperwork

The final step to get your pool project financed is to complete any additional paperwork and sign off on the dotted line. Expect to provide information about your income and other existing debt.

Your credit score may take a dip after taking on new debt, but it should rebound as you make regular, on-time payments.

Alternatives to Pool Financing

Taking on debt for a new pool doesn’t have to be your only option.

You could put off your pool construction project for a few years and save up for the expense in cash. Open a high-yield savings account to use as a sinking fund and don’t make withdrawals from the account until you’ve reached your savings goal.

If you think you’re outgrowing your current home — or are looking to downsize — wait until you’re ready to move and then look for a new home with an existing pool.

Or if you’re okay with not having a pool in your backyard, you’ll save money by visiting public pools or renting private pools from Swimply on occasion. This is a good option if you think you wouldn’t get much regular use of having your own pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many years can you refinance a pool for?

You can finance a pool over 20 to 30 years, depending on the type of financing you secure. If you need decades to pay back the loan, you might consider refinancing your mortgage or taking out a second mortgage. Private, unsecured loans typically need to be repaid sooner, however some have loan terms of 20 years or more.

What is the best way to finance a pool?

It all depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you’ve built up a ton of equity in your home and want to spread your debt payments over a lot of time, you might lean toward a home equity loan or HELOC. If you’ve got excellent credit and would qualify for a low-interest personal loan (unsecured loan), that might be the better option.

What credit score do you need for pool financing?

Ideally, you’ll want to have a credit score of 700 or higher to get the best interest rates for pool financing. Some companies, however, will accept lower credit scores. As a result, your loan may have a higher interest rate.

What is a good interest rate for a pool loan?

An interest rate around 5% is a good deal for a pool loan. You may be able to find rates even lower if you have excellent credit.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

<!–

–>

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

American Express Transfer Bonus: 25% To Flying Blue (KLM/AirFrance), 1:1.25

The Offer

  • You can currently receive a transfer bonus of 25% when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue. Normally you can transfer 1,000 MR points and receive 1,00 Flying Blue miles, during this promotion you’ll receive 1,250(1:1.25).

The Fine Print

  • Valid until 6/15/22

Our Verdict

We saw a 30% transfer bonus last year, but standard is 25%. Previous bonuses are as follows:

Targeted Bonuses

Source: doctorofcredit.com