How much could you save in one weekend if you really put your mind to it? Five Acorns employees and I decided to put ourselves to the test.
Here’s what happened when we devoted an entire weekend to not paying full price—starting with my own family-friendly itinerary. (Spoiler: We all saved a good chunk of cash, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as you’d think.)
Budget-Friendly Fun With the Family
Money saved: $130
My weekend started with a flurry of texts from friends about a Build-A-Bear sale—an unheard of “pay your age” promo!—that had everyone clamoring to the mall. While I could’ve saved big on two pricey toys, the last thing my two daughters need is more stuffed animals, so I said no. Pro tip: Sometimes the best savings strategy is knowing when to pass.
On Saturday, I cashed in a Groupon deal: $19 for two hours of fun in a bounce house, saving us $16.80. On the way home, we stocked up on groceries, where I saved $41 on everything from school supplies to produce and snacks with in-store sales and BOGO deals.
Sunday began with a trip to the movies with two other families. We're all members of our theater's rewards program, which costs $15 a year. This landed us four tickets to “Hotel Transylvania 3” for under $20, along with half off popcorn. Had we gone on Friday night, our tickets would have cost double. We spent the afternoon skimming titles at our local bookstore. We came up with a stack of six we really wanted, but I hadn't budgeted for the $51 splurge. I pulled out my phone on the spot, and logged into my library account. Five minutes later, I'd reserved all six books—for free.
For us, this was a pretty typical weekend. I never learned smart money habits as a kid, so I love showing my kids how easy it is to have fun without breaking the bank.
It's All About Rewards Programs
Trevor Rogers, design director (New York City)
Money saved: $1,455
My wife Katie and I are already thinking ahead to Thanksgiving travel arrangements. We're spending the holiday in California, but roundtrip airfare doesn't come cheap. So we cashed in 69,255 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for JetBlue tickets. They were roughly $700 a piece, so our points saved us a whopping $1,400! All we paid was $30 after taxes and fees.
From there, we leveraged our OpenTable rewards points to snag $25 off dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. The next night, we used a loyalty punch card to get $17 off a box of wine. You can probably tell that I'm all about rewards, which is why I also took advantage of the Slice app, which specializes in providing delivery services from local pizzerias. We got a ton of food on sale, saving a total of $30, including a $5 signup bonus.
This weekend savings challenge wasn't a huge departure from how we normally spend our money. We're always on the lookout for deals and love our rewards programs.
July 23, 2018
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July 23, 2018
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