One of the questions that I am occasionally asked is how do I manage to fund my BJJ adventures? So I thought it would be a good idea to blog and share about how I’m funding the build up and my trip to the World Masters. However, when I started writing it I realised that it would just be a really boring blog about budgeting, saving up, working over time and asking you friends and family for cash instead of presents. Honestly there really isn’t anything new to how I save for my trips and competitions nor do I have a secret money tree!
So instead I thought I’d share a couple of my more random money saving tips that I do. They won’t change your BJJ life but they will help maximise your adventure fund without too much effort.
Go Retro and Get a Piggy Bank
Saving in a bank is pretty boring and it doesn’t always feel rewarding so get a piggy bank. I have Dave the Minion (naturally!). Any spare change or cash that I have at the end of the week goes into Dave. That money is purely for adventures and usual helps with my spending money on trips. This is where willpower also helps. Not buying that coffee on route to work or sticking to your food prep and not buying lunch at work all adds up and can boost your “Dave” fund! It’s really satisfying seeing the physical cash build up. However, if you do collect a lot of loose change do not go to one of those supermarket machines. They take a significant percentage of your money. Find out if your local bank that has a coin deposit machine or go seriously old school and count up those pennies!
What can you sell?
Look at what you can sell for extra money. There are a host of sites to help you get rid of old DVD, CDs and Books etc. Perhaps you have a couple of gi’s that don’t really fit or you don’t wear that often that you can sell via friends or on eBay? What skills or talents can you sell? Some of my higher belted friends host seminars or teach privates whilst another has a side line sewing on gi patches. If you are creative or technically gifted then there are other marketplaces such as fiverr where you can sell your skills from technical design through to the more random.
However, I’m not that talented. So I have teamed up with the talented Legacy Creative to sell my blog patches to raise extra funds and my Support page details other ways individuals can support me and the blog.
Your Buying it Anyway! Get Cash back
There are a host of cash back sites out there and my personal favourite is Topcashback. Whilst I don’t use specifically as a money making scheme I do just use it for stuff I’m buying anyway. It really is essentially free money and we all like free cash! I’ve been using it for over 6 years now and have average rewards of just over £100 a year by simply buying stuff I was getting anyway! It really adds up especially if you use it to purchase bigger items like travel and hotels. If you don’t use it yet then sign up via my referral link and get a bonus to start you off! (disclaimer I’ll also get a bonus for you signing up).
Vouchers, Loyalty Schemes & Promotions
This isn’t just about shopping around for your flights or accommodation but just being savvy in your everyday life. Set up a spare email address and sign up for those loyalty scheme, newsletters and mailing list for those shops and companies that you use most often. You’ll frequently get sent discount codes and offers that will all save you money. There are also apps such as Checkoutsmart and Shopmium (use code BMHHCEAT to get a free bar of Green & Blacks!) that I check regularly but neither are likely to change your bank balance significantly. They both work on the principle of giving you discounts if you buy certain products and scan the receipts. I don’t qualify for most of the offers (often branded or processed food) as I don’t use those products that often but it’s definitely worth checking out especially if you shop for a family or relatives.
Seeing as the World Masters is being held in Vegas I thought I’d give a very specific tip. Vegas is a town full of vouchers and discounts so don’t be afraid to use them. You can get a host of coupons both online by searching on Google or on the strips itself. However my personal favourite is a game called MyVegas. You can play via an app or via Facebook and basically you earn loyalty points in exchange of complimentary experience in Vegas. I’ve used it for a few trips now have had free tickets and food. The free monorail tickets were particularly useful for the competition last year!
Fingers crossed this blog give you a few ideas that you might not have considered. The extra cash might not change your life or fund a major trip but as a certain supermarket says “every little helps”!