Solving the Spend vs. Save Dilemma

Spent money can’t grow.

In the book, Beyond the Basics – Maximizing, Allocating and Protecting Your Capital, author Sammy Azzouz, JD, CFP and President of Heritage Financial says:

“Saving money is a more important skill than making it.”

Why? Because compound growth – earning returns on your previous returns – is powerful.

But wealth is about more than money.

Ask Joe Waters, Jr., MSFP, CFP, a Wealth Advisor at Heritage Financial. He spends his days interacting directly with our clients, helping them build financial plans to address their long-term goals and dreams. As you can imagine, they talk about so much more than saving and investing.

While Joe helps his clients build wealth through prudent saving strategies, he can’t hide the fact that one of his passions is spending…on travel.

At the young age of 40, Joe and his wife have traveled extensively, visiting places like South Korea, Nicaragua, Italy, Portugal, Hawaii, Mexico and nearly 20 different U.S. cities.

You would think all that travel would be expensive.

You would be wrong.

Joe just booked a three-week European vacation, paying only for taxes on his flights and 7 night’s accommodations.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
– Anonymous

Given the save versus spend dilemma that faces every serious investor, Joe loves to share his strategies for enriching life through travel without breaking the bank. Here are his top tips:

Take advantage of a free lunch.

Just like diversification is the “free lunch” of investing, credit card points are the free lunch that comes with paying your bills. While points programs may not be for everyone (this strategy won’t work if you don’t have a good credit score, don’t pay your bills on time or don’t pay attention to details), there are loads of different cards and offers to meet your specific situation.

Joe learned most of what he knows from following a few trusted travel blogs. His favorites are,, and

Do your research for even more benefit.

There are points, and there are “the best value” points. Joe has learned that earning transferrable points (points that can be transferred to your choice of loyalty programs) is much more beneficial than earning points in a specific frequent flyer or hotel guest program because you have many more options on how to use your points. Here’s a great overview on the best transferrable point programs.

Become a VIP.

Earn enough points and not only will you be traveling for free, but you’ll be treated like a VIP. At Heritage, we want our clients to have that VIP experience as much as possible. It’s why we created a Concierge Program that includes a host of pre-negotiated services from travel to credit cards and automobile purchases (with no kick-backs to us by the way).

The dilemma is real.

Saving is an important skill, but wealth is more than cash in the bank. At Heritage, our team of Wealth Managers, Wealth Advisors and Financial Planners are constantly working with clients to strike the balance that works for their specific situation. If you’d like to talk more about the balance that will help you build your wealth, let’s talk.

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