One of the biggest obstacles for people who want to travel is their bank account. What a buzzkill, right?
Saving for travel can be simple or difficult depending on how much you’re able to put into savings, but with these tips, it will make saving seem like a breeze and you’ll be booking your flight in no time!
The first step is committing to your travel goals and being honest about where your money is going and what you can change/cut back on so you can pour your money into more adventures.
Make Your Own Coffee
Alright, raise your hands. Who is guilty of the daily Starbucks pit stop? What if I told you that you could have $1000+ extra dollars PER YEAR if you had your morning coffee at home? You can buy a bag of coffee and any additions you like and that is going to last you so much longer than going out every day for it. Plus, you can turn on the coffee pot while you get ready in the morning so that means no lines and it’s completely customizable!
The price of one Starbucks drink is around $3-5 per coffee. Let’s do simple math here and let’s say you get a $4 coffee every single day. In a year, you’re spending a WHOPPING $1460 on a drink! That amount of money can get you a flight anywhere in the world, or more if you find low-cost airfare. It can pitch in for multiple domestic flights, or a flight to your dream destination! It’s important to put a perspective on your money because although it has seemed like “only four dollars” every day, those costs add up and you can put it towards more adventures!
a solid cup of coffee in scotland
Drink More Water
Drink more water? Yes! Not only is water extremely tasty, hydrating, and great for your body, it’s great on your bank account! Drinking water instead of alcohol, sodas, juices, and other carbonated/sugary beverages no matter if you’re going out or to the grocery store is going to save you heaps since water if free basically everywhere (except if you’re buying bottled). If you’re going out with friends, an alcoholic drink can be like $7 for ONE. My suggestion: pregame hard, stick to water, and then enjoy that margarita while you’re plopped on the beach in Mexico!
Pick Up More Work Hours / Another Job
No joke, I spent more time at my job than at my house when I was saving for my travels! More hours means less free time, but in the wise words of Rihanna, “all I see is dollar signs!” Look at each shift as more money towards your travels and you’ll jump at the opportunity to pick up shifts!
Limit or Lose the Monthly Subscription Services
Within recent years there has been an explosion of membership boxes, tv networks, ad-free subscriptions, and more of these monthly payment services that really aren’t doing you a service at all if you’re eager to hop on the next flight out of town! The best thing you can do is either remove or limit your services to a couple a month and put your dollar towards the products that bring value to your life. If you absolutely cannot LIVE without one of them, try signing up for a family membership and splitting the cost! Most of the time they’re only a couple dollars more and you can have up to five people on it!
Open A Savings Account
This one is pretty obvious since everyone probably has a spot where they keep their savings separate from their checking account, but this can really help you get a visual and help you not spend so much. Whenever you get your card to this account either leave it at home or make sure you keep it somewhere safe and away from your wallet. You can’t spend money that you don’t have immediate access to! Also, having a savings account will help you actually see the money that you’re putting into travel and that is always a good feeling watching your account grow which means you’re closer and closer to that dream trip of yours!
glamping in bali
Resist the Impulse Buys
You walk through the sliding doors and there it is; Target’s dollar section ready to fill up your cart when you only went in for one item. We’ve all been there before. A lot of stores have upgraded their layouts to where they have little knick-knack sections before you check out now and they are making bank off of people making impulse buys. Whenever you pass by these spots, just remember that you probably don’t need it, you have an adventure to save for, and it’s another one of those silly impulse buys.
Sell Unneeded Items
I know for a fact that a lot of us have a bunch of stuff lying around that we either bought and never used, kept because of attachments, or that we haven’t even looked at in months or even years! Before I first set out on my solo adventure I was looking through my closet after watching Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things, which I feel is a great place to start if you’re looking for a little more insight about our relationship with “stuff”, and I was looking at all these shoes, t-shirts, dresses, and other things that I have never worn in my life or that have just sat in my closet for who knows how long. There are tons of apps out right now where you can post your items for sale like Poshmark, Vinted, ThredUp, etc., and make some extra money solely from stuff that you can let go and let it bring value into someone else’s life.
Dine-In Instead of Out
- Meal Prep – I think that eating spaghetti five days a week is extremely appealing, so I don’t really think there is a downside to this option!
- Make a Shopping List – I can’t tell y’all how many times I have gone into a store with no list and ended up wandering around mindlessly grabbing things that I think I would eat only to end up having a bunch of random foods!
- Buy Fruits, Veggies, etc., on Sale or In Season – Every grocery store has a weekly ad of savings that you can apply to your shopping checklist. Try to revolve your meals around what is on sale. Get creative with your meals and never underestimate the power of hot sauce, folks!
- Stick to Basics – Instead of buying all of the fancy food items, stick to the basic food items that are versatile. Rice, beans, pasta, and oats are some of the cheapest foods on the planet and you can do a TON with them. Two bags of pasta and a jar of sauce will last you four+ meals for less than $7.
- Use Coupons – I am not too savvy in this department, but I do know that coupons can shave a little or a lot of money off products for you, so keep them in your wallet and whenever you need to go shopping again, pull them out and see if you can apply them to the items you need (or watch an episode of extreme couponing and get inspired)!
AMAZING thai style curry
Keep Track of What You Spend
This one can be as easy as keeping a small notebook and tracking expenses, or you can download and app and make special categories to divvy up where you spend so you are able to see where you need to cut back, cut out, etc.. Personally, I like to keep all my things neat and clean, so I prefer apps like Nomad Budget because it lets you separate and create your own categories, set daily and monthly budgets, and color codes all the different types of expenses! This will help keep you on track on and off the road; a must if you’re budgeting!
- Cutout Unnecessary Expenses – I used to be an EXTREME online shopper (trust me, I could have had my own TV show) until I realized how much money I was throwing away to buy clothes that I didn’t even need! Look at where your money is going whether it be hair/nail appointments or spa days and try to go every other time, or better yet, ditch the spa day back home and get that massage on a beach for $10 instead of $80 back home!
- Stick to A Budget – As easy as this one sounds, it can be so easy to say, “well, I’ll go over today and spend less tomorrow.” Trust me. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I suggest writing out all of your expenses, dividing them into wants and needs, and formulating a budget that works best for your specific situation. Big or small, putting money aside each month is pushing you further and further to your dream destination!
Borrow Items from Friends/Family
For so much of my life, I thought new event = new outfit and boy was I thoroughly confused! I ended up buying all of my prom dresses in high school and could probably have like $700 more dollars right now if I just would have borrowed one or went a cheaper route! I think if you’re going to splurge on a dress or something “dressier”, buy something that is timeless and can go to many events so that you don’t have to worry about spending the money for something that you’re only going to end up wearing once or ask around and I am sure you can ask through the grapevine and find someone that can lend you something.
Buy Used Items
Something I learned through the process of adopting a more minimalistic lifestyle is that there is no need to have everything shiny, new, and untouched. I like to buy a lot of what I have used because it saves you a ton of money, and you’re recycling so it’s good for the planet as well! The car I used to drive had no AC, a missing hubcap, and was older than I was, and I did that because I wouldn’t have any car payments, and insurance was roughly $70 a month! My “new” camera was actually bought used! I got it at a great price and it works just like it would if it was straight out of the box!
Living in a world of fast fashion and materialism, I think it’s important to step back and look over what truly matters to us and getting rid of the things that don’t.
Cut Down Utilities & Other Expenditures
These are more “extreme” things that you’re able to do for travels, but hey, we need to get that coin and get on that plane, am I right?
- Sell Your Car – If you’re in a place where public transportation is readily available to you, sell your car! If you’re in a spot where you need a car to get around, try selling it and opting for a cheaper ride that has great gas mileage and doesn’t have a monthly car payment. Or, if you can, try and carpool and offer gas money for whoever is driving you.
- Share Your Apartment / Move in With Parents – Look at all your monthly expenses; now imagine cutting all of those in half, thirds, or even fourths! If you choose to share your space with another person they can help you pay bills, and it will help them out as well since you’ll both be splitting bills. It’s a win-win and a great way to save a ton of money.
- Stick To Wifi Only – With free wifi being everywhere these days, it’s so easy to cancel your phone plan! This tip is great if you’re trying to spend less time on your phone as well.
- Turn Your Lights Off – This is pretty self-explanatory. Turn those lights off. Turn the TV off. If you need to, put a sign on your front door to remind yourself to turn off your lights!
- Take Shorter Showers – Shorter showers = smaller water bill!
- Sell Everything You Own – This one is the most extreme, but not uncommon! I have seen so many people simply sell everything they own, packing up their lives in a backpack, and setting up home base abroad! If you’re not looking to pick up and move, this will give you a fresh start regardless.
- WHERE TO SELL ONLINE: Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, VarageSale, Gumtree, and Decluttr.
- WHERE TO SELL IN APPS: Vinted, Poshmark, and Depop.
- WHERE TO SELL IN PERSON: Garage Sales, Donations, Friends, and Family.
Until next time,