So how do you get that bankroll so you can enjoy the fun and excitement casinos have to offer?
A casino trip is like any other vacation. You have to earn and save money to pay for the trip. The big difference between a trip to a sunny beach and Las Vegas is that you have to save more to go to a casino due to the wagering.
Open a Dedicated Savings Account
One of the first things you can do to start saving for your vacation is to open a special savings account dedicated to the trip.
If you have a relationship with a bank, you might want to start with them first to see what they have to offer. You can also find some banks that are completely online that have great offers. Be sure that with any account that you set up that you read the fine print. You may have to maintain a minimum balance. Also, certain accounts may prevent withdrawals for a certain amount of time or you can face penalties.
Become a Driver
Do you have a car? Why not give someone a lift? Ride sharing is a great way to earn some money for that casino trip.
Companies like Lyft and Uber let you make your own hours. All you have to do is log into the app and wait for your next fare. There’s no set schedule and no minimum workload. If you don’t want to work, you don’t have to. And you don’t have to worry about collecting the money, the app does that for you. You get paid every day you work.
Apply for a Credit Card
If you have good credit, now may be the time to get a credit card. Not to pay for the trip, but to reap the benefits the cards offer. It’s likely that you will have to fly to get to the casino you want to go to.
Also, these cards may have discounts on hotels and car rental, so be sure to research the different benefits. If you can’t find a card that you qualify for that offers travel miles, find one that offers cash back. Just understand that you will have to have the card for a year before you get the cash back, and it may be a payout at the end of a year, so plan accordingly.
Check Social Discount Sites
If you are planning a trip, you can find some great savings on sites like LivingSocial or Groupon. These sites provide discounted offers for hotels, car rental, restaurants, gifts, and entertainment.Once you find the deal you like, you buy the coupon and use it at the business. Once, I found a 50% off my hotel stay for up to 5 days. I bought the coupon and used it a month later and save over $500.
Just a word of warning. These coupons have expiration dates, and if you’re using it for a hotel, mention the coupon when booking so they know you are using it. Be sure to talk to a manager as that may be the one who set up the deal with LivingSocial or Groupon.
Ditch the Hotel
Hotels can be expensive. The great thing about a city like Las Vegas or Atlantic City is that you can visit the casino, but you don’t have to stay in the hotel.
While the hotel may have many amenities that you may want to experience, you can save money by renting a room through a site like Airbnb or VRBO. If you’re willing to stay a few miles outside the city and drive in or take an Uber, you can save even more than if you rent a room inside the city. It’s important to remember that this is someone’s home, so you’ll have to abide by the owner’s rules while staying there.
Clean out the Garage
A great way to earn some cash for your trip is to sell items you no longer need. And today there are so many avenues to sell your used items, you can’t really go wrong.
You can do a traditional yard sale, or you can sell items through Facebook groups or their new Marketplace. You can even go to a traditional online sale site like eBay. If you find any items you think are really valuable, take them to a pawn shop or a second-hand store to see if you can get a good price.
Participate in a Market Research Study
A great way to make some cash for your trip is to take part in market research studies. These studies can be a video call, an online community, or even an in-person study. Studies can be things like research on an upcoming movie, how you use a certain product, how to improve a product or to develop new services.
Studies can pay anywhere from $50 to over $500 depending on the type of study, length of study and how much work is needed to be done. Two groups that I have personally have had dealings with that paid well were 20/20 Research and EchoQual. I’ve linked to their Facebook pages where they list their open projects.
Get Paid to Take Surveys
Much like the market research option, you can get paid to give your opinions on a survey, but It’s less involved. Unlike the market research option, you aren’t limited to just a few per company per year. You can take any survey that you qualify for. These surveys usually only pay a few dollars each. But there are a lot of them, so you can really make some money for that casino vacation.
Among the best sites to take paid surveys are Opinion Outpost, Swagbucks, PrizeRebel, and a video-based survey company called Mindswarms. Be sure to read how they pay out as each has different rules and many different methods to get your payment.
Get Paid to Test Products
Businesses are creating new products or improving old ones all the time. But they can’t just send it to the stores and fill up the shelves with them until they’ve tested them. There are many companies that will pay you to try their products and give thorough feedback. Some of these companies can pay up to $200 for you to try out their items and in most cases, you get to keep the product. You can make even more money by adding it to the yard sale after you finish testing it. Two sites you may want to join to do some product testing are BZZ Agent and Smiley360.
Food delivery has moved into the 21st century. No longer do you have to work for a single restaurant and wait for that next customer to call in. People use apps like Eat24, UberEats, and Postmates to order from the restaurant of their choice. As the driver, you pick it up and bring it to their door. Much like Lyft and Uber, you can make some good money delivering these orders. You can set your own hours and you get paid every day.
I’ve talked about earning money. I’ve talked about saving money while on the trip expenses. But saving money during the year can be part of your larger strategy to increase your bankroll for your trip. There are a ton of budgeting tools for both your desktop and mobile devices. Do a quick internet search and find one you are comfortable with and start using it to keep track of your everyday spending.
I discussed using Groupon and LivingSocial for coupons for your trips. But using coupons for your everyday purchases can help you stow away money for your trip. Weekly grocery store circulars have great deals and in-store coupons. Check your mail for coupons from companies like ValPak who send out coupons to people every month.
Also, the newspaper can be a great source of coupons. Where I live, we have 2 newspapers and the stores bundle them on Sunday for a single price and they are loaded with great coupons. Check with your local supermarket for opportunities to double or even triple your coupons for even more savings.
Cut the Cord
Another great way to save money is to get rid of cable or satellite. If your bill was like mine, you may have been looking at $300 for television. It was way too much for what I got out of it. I went down to the store and bought a Roku stick for $30 and got SlingTV for $20 a month. I still kept my internet, which is another $30, and I got Netflix for movies. For less than $60 a month, I have all the TV I need, and I’m putting the other $250 towards that next trip.
Buy in Bulk
You’ll always get better deals on things when you buy in bulk. Stores like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Warehouse give deep discounts on items that you would normally get at the grocery store. If you have a large family, you probably already see not only the wisdom in this but the necessity. But what if you live alone or you have a small family?
Here’s what I did:
I joined a group of people like myself that agreed to shop together. I know that if I bought the $35 10 pack of toothpaste, it would take me 4 years to use it all. But because I shop in my group, I get my toothpaste for $3.50 instead of the $5.50 I would pay at the supermarket. It may not sound like much, but over a year, it adds up. Search for groups on Facebook for people who like to save this way. If you can’t find one, you can always create your own Facebook group. It’s free.
Start Eating at Home
I’m a single guy, and I didn’t want to be bothered after work to make a meal. I had better things to do. I sat down one day and figured out that I was spending about $40 a day eating out on average. It was hard, but I had to change my mindset. I had to stop buying my lunch at work and stopping off for a burger on the way home. I had to end the weekend ritual of game day pizza.
What convinced me? Other than the desire to have money for my trip, I started watching videos from Struggle Meals. The guy on these videos is a chef named Frankie Celenza, and he creates meals for about $2 a portion. It was fascinating. Now I prep all my meals, and while I don’t go to Chef Frankie’s extremes, I am spending considerably less than $40 a day on my meals. All the extra cash is sitting in my bank account waiting for my trip.
Save the Change
Rarely will any of my debit card transactions end in a round dollar figure. It’s never $14 in $13.56 or instead of $37 the total at the register is $37.43. I have hundreds, if not thousands of these transactions each year.
While in my bank a few years ago I saw this ad for a “keep the change” promotion. This promotion takes these odd-numbered transactions and rounds them up to the next dollar. The difference is deposited in my savings account. So now if the total is $17.23, $18 comes out of my checking account, but $0.77 goes into my savings. It’s a great way to build up savings incrementally. After a year, the dollar amount can be significant.
Negotiate Your Bills
No matter what you pay on monthly expenses, there’s always a way to get it cheaper. So why not try? There are many services you can use to lower monthly bills like electricity, cable, and cell phones. Some only focus on a single utility. Trim, for instance, will negotiate your cable bill if you have Comcast and will find cheaper insurance rates.
Others will negotiate all your bills. One such service is BillShark. You simply download the app, take pictures of your bills, and upload them to the app and they get to work at negotiating your rates. Billshark has experience dealing with these companies. They keep track of promotions, and they get you the best rates available. And you don’t have to sit on hold for hours or transferred repeatedly to get it done. BillShark charges a fee of 40% of the savings, and if they can’t save you any money, they don’t charge you anything.