There are tons of savings apps out there and that can be super overwhelming, to the point where it’s better to do nothing than to actually use one of them. Last April I finally settled on one that wouldn’t cost me anything to use so there was absolutely no risk (how I like most things that affect my money). Albert’s his name and saving money you didn’t even know you had is his game.
I downloaded the app and within 20 minutes everything was linked up. Albert analyzes all of your spending from your bank account and every week removes an amount from your checking that you don’t need to pay bills. Sounds scary, right? You should set this up so it’s a manual process instead of an automatic process, right? Wrong, Ghosties. For the past eight months, this sucker has been working in the background and has saved us $941 without us even realizing it. It has messages that tell you you’ve just made a big purchase (most often after we’ve paid the daycare bill), you’ve gone to Dunkin Donuts 20 times in the past two months (yet another gut check where you realize your reliance on coffee) and also offers investing opportunities (which I haven’t started with yet as the consumer debt’s got to go first).
I’m using this to pay for our vacation this year. “But you’re paying off debt this year so isn’t this counter-intuitive?” And you’d be right to ask that question but last year was the first time we’d had a vacation with our kids, ever. And while I don’t have a lot of good childhood memories, the ones I do have are from family vacations. They weren’t exotic, they weren’t four star hotels (or even three stars in some cases) but it was the best time we had as a family and we want to give that to our kids.
Every year we get a free week in daycare where we don’t have to pay the kids’ tuition to hold their place, regardless of whether they attend or not. Which means that’s $532 in our pockets. That, combined with the Albert savings allows us to spend a week in Florida, close to Daytona. The condo, which isn’t super fancy but is perfect for our needs, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, washer/dryer and allows AFH and I to put the kids to bed and head out onto our balcony. No hiding in a bathroom and drinking beer while watching the latest season of GLOW on a ridiculously low volume for us! The kids love it because they have a pool with a lazy river AND a private beach where they can build sandcastles to their heart’s content.
Because we’ve been unaware of this money slyly being pulled into our Albert account it’s something that yes, I could throw back into our debt. BUT, I feel like the week we get for our vacation is invaluable to us as a family. The trick to this debt paydown is also not just living for a rainy day. My aunt, who was a Math teacher, used to constantly say, “When I retire, I’m going to do […]”. And one night she went to sleep and never woke up. She was in her mid-fifties, never realizing any of the dreams she’d had for her retirement.
Allow yourself the wins and the fun little things that make you feel sane because we could all be hit by a school bus tomorrow. Don’t go crazy, don’t say, “I deserve this” while buying a 70″ TV so you can play Fortnite because the 55″ one in the living room wasn’t big enough. Be rational. Download Albert and put it to work for you. Oh, and allow yourself a few days on the beach. – FemaleGG
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