Okay, fine! I’ll admit it! I am obsessively frugal to the core of my being. I am always on the hunt for creative ways to save money for travel that are easy to implement and fun for me to keep track of in my daily life. After constantly throwing away money on things that didn’t matter, or that collected dust after I didn’t touch them for years, I used these twenty tips to help me put my money where my heart is: in travel. Do you want the same thing? Then you’ve come to the right place! Stop wondering how to save money for travel and implement these tips that will save you BIG money fast!
Finances and money, I feel, can be very taboo topics to speak about since everyone has a different relationship with the “dolla dolla bill y’all“, but I want this blog post to be an open conversation for all of us. I realize that we are all on different financial ~journies~ so these tips are available for everyone to implement into their life so that you, too, can experience the wonder and joy of traveling the world.
Of course, I am always open to fresh ways to save money, so if there are any other tips on saving money for travel that have helped you book your dream trip, then please share them with us in the comments at the end of this blog post!
This post contains affiliate links for the products I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.
Dreaming of a trip? Check out these other awesome blogs for inspiration after reading how to save money for travel!
First things first,
1 | Track Your Monthly Expenses
One of the biggest ways that I maximized my savings for travel is by configuring what exactly I spend my money on each month. At first, I hand wrote everything down in a notebook, but 1. that was way too much work, and 2. I needed something that was easily accessible and gave me live numbers of what all of my accounts were looking like.
(not sponsored I just love this) Now that I’ve started using the Mint App, budgeting and cutting back my spending is SO simple and easy. I can create monthly budgets for groceries, bills, car insurance, coffee shops, and everything in between in seconds and Mint keeps track of those budgets as I spend my money, so I am always getting the down-low on where I am at with my monthly spending budget. It delegates where you spend your money to the designated budget category, so you never have to manually input your spending. I LOVE it. Everything about this app is super user-friendly and if you need an app to keep you accountable, this is the BEST one.
Tracking all the nickles and dimes might seem a little bit over the top at first, but a candle here and a latte there add up fast. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of getting carried away with those impulse buys. Once you actually see the total costs of everything, you’ll begin reconsidering those small purchases and you’ll get better at telling yourself, “no, I don’t need this“.
2 | Cutout All Unnecessary Expenses
While writing things down to track my budget wasn’t ideal, it is ideal for rounding up all your expenses and looking at what you spent for the last month. You may need to set aside a smidge of time to do this, but I promise it’ll be worth it in the end. This is how I go about doing things, but you can adapt it for whatever way makes the most sense to you.
First things first, pull up your bank and/or credit statements on your computer. Oh yeah. We’re talking 100% accountability and no room for guestimates. Whip those bad boys out and get a piece of paper or two out.
On that sheet of paper, write down everything you spent for the entire month. Every nickel, dime, penny, and dollar bill. If you need multiple pages, that’s fine, just write down absolutely everything. After that, add up all the similar categories and then divide everything into two separate categories: necessary spending and unnecessary spending.
Necessary spending is all the things that are absolutes that you cannot cut out like rent, groceries, car payments/insurance, student loans, and other bills that are, to put it simply, unavoidable.
Unnecessary spending is all those impulse buys; coffee runs, new clothes, movies, drinks, etc., that you have the ability to avoid.
After you’ve divided those up, you want to designate what you can and can’t live without. This is different for everyone. I know some people that turned off their phone plan, ditched internet and ate ramen and hot dogs every day just to save for travel and I know some people that did healthy meal-prep and kept their internet to save for travel. This is where you need to be honest with yourself. Personally, I don’t buy clothes or shoes or really anything extra besides my (sort-of daily) coffee runs. I make this investment because having space where I can work efficiently (where I am right now writing this, actually) is something that benefits my life in a positive way. Choose what ‘unnecessary spendings’ are necessary for you and total those up with your necessary spending.
3 | Put Things Into Perspective
Another great way to stay motivated to reach your savings goal is to put your frivolous spending into perspective. Once you start thinking about what you could get on your trip instead of that new top or expensive latte, you’ll be curbing those Starbucks and Target stops in NO TIME. For example, if you’re considering a visit to Vietnam by chance, here are some side-by-sides to put it in perspective:
A latte in your hometown ($5) vs. ~5 cups of local Vietnamese coffee
A new shirt ($30) vs. 3 nights in a hostel
See what I mean? This isn’t to say you shouldn’t treat yourself every once in a while, but if you find yourself constantly making impulse buys for instant gratification, think about how it will make you feel to spend it on experiences in another place, wherever that maybe, later down the line.
After all, aren’t you going to remember those mouth-watering cups of Vietnamese coffee over your one-star cup of Starbucks coffee?
4 | Make A Realistic Monthly Budget
Once you’ve crunched those numbers and revealed that great big monthly spending, it’s time to make your budget. I thrive on making a monthly budget since most of my expenses are fixed, but if you’re more of a daily budget kind of person then take the total monthly spending that you acquired in the last section and divide that by 30 since there are 30 days in most months (duh), and you’ll have your daily spending budget.
If you are making a daily budget, it’s important that you make it work for your lifestyle. Some people thrive off being extremely frugal and some don’t so this might take a little bit of trial and error before you hit that sweet spot for what works for you. Don’t feel like you absolutely have to sell everything you own and live without heat for six months. Some people enjoy going to those extremes, but if that doesn’t fit into your lifestyle then don’t try and force it to.
You can also dictate your daily/weekly/monthly budget by comparing it to how much you want to save for your trip. You may not even need to cut out a bunch of things depending on your finances, but rather you can set aside a certain amount of money each month so that you build your savings each month while still living comfortably.
Let’s say you want to go backpacking in Southeast Asia next year. You have ~365 days to save around $5,000 USD, so just divide 5,000 by 365 and all you need to do is set aside an extra $14/day and you’ll have a really great budget for your trip. This is a great way to approach saving for a trip in a more relaxed way that doesn’t require being strict about a budget every single day or week. Speaking of making a savings goal, let’s dive into how to configure how much to make your travel savings goal.
Any expense that isn’t bringing you joy or value into your life isn’t worth spending your money on.
5 | Create Your Travel Savings Goal
The best part about making a travel savings goal is that it’s entirely up to how much you want to spend on your trip. You can go extremely frugal if you want or you can go extremely boujie. If you’re traveling to a new destination or region, there is a large chance that you don’t know how much things cost or what to budget. But before you go throwing number around, consider these questions:
What does the average flight to _______ cost?
Your flight is probably going to be the most expensive part of your trip, so it needs to be the first thing that goes into your travel savings goal. I always thought that plane flights were always obnoxiously expensive, but ever since I implemented all the best ways to find cheap flights, I never overpay for my flights. Seriously, thinking about my very first trip where I spent $1500+ dollars on my flight to Okinawa, Japan gives me cold sweats. You should never pay over $1000 to fly anywhere (from the United States) unless you’re flying to the South Pacific/Oceania, other remote places, or booking at the last minute. In order to do this, you need to keep updated on flight deals from your home airport or other major airports, so I recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights. It’s a service, for $40/year, that gives you all the real-time flight deals out of your selected airports and it’s worth its weight in gold for the money that you’re going to save. I’m not affiliated with them, I just love their service.
So what does an average flight cost look like around the world? Use this as a rough guide:
North America | $250-500+
South America | $600+
Africa | $800+
Europe | $500+
Asia | $750+
Southeast Asia | $700+
Australia/Oceania | $900-$1000+
*What are my transportation options? What do they cost?
Is there cheap local transportation? Do you need to rent your own car? How are you getting from the airport to your accommodation?
You can get an estimated cost for local transportation using the Budget My Trip website, generally speaking, local transport isn’t going to set you back a lot since it’s one of the cheapest ways to get around, but if you’re renting a car or hiring a guide it’s going to be a little bit more expensive. To configure this, you’re going to need to do some research on how you want to get around.
How much do hostels/hotels/Airbnb cost?
The next step in setting your trip budget is looking at how much you’re going to spend on accommodation. The best way to do this is by scrolling through Airbnb, Hostelworld, and Booking.com to get a good estimate for what you can get for your money and how much you want to spend based on your travel style. Generally, I don’t spend more than $20-40/night on accommodation, but that’s not always feasible in all destinations, so it’s best that you get a good idea. Plus, this will also help you cherry-pick special places that you may want to stay during your trip, so it’s a two-in-one.
How much have other people spent on their trips?
Okay so, I’ll admit, I am SUPER nosy. Reading about what other people spend on their trips is really interesting to me for some reason. But even if you’re not nosy and don’t really care about how much I spent traveling Iceland, reading budget summaries are a great way to get an inside look at where your money is going to go to during your trip. The best way to find these is good ol’ Google. Head over there and search ‘(country) trip cost’ and you’ll get a plethora of search results that you can browse through and read about. Looking at these helps me gauge whether or not I need to add or subtract my budget compared to other travel styles.
the daily reminder of my goal to hike to Macchu Picchu in 2020
6 | Set Up Reminders For Your Trip/Savings Goal
One of the best ways I keep myself accountable for my savings goal is setting up reminders throughout the day that *ahem* remind me (lol, duh) to practice good money management so that I don’t go back to my bad spending habits. These reminders can be implemented in a lot of ways. I am very much an aesthetic person, so I like to set my computer and phone backgrounds as the destinations that I am saving for. Currently, I have a 4k drone photo of Macchu Picchu as my desktop background *sheds a few tears*. It gets me excited about saving my money and I’ll see it every day when I log onto my computer. The same goes for my phone! This is how I hold myself accountable, but you might want to set a daily alarm and name it “#savethatmoney | Paris 2020“, or put up post-it notes around the house with your destination and the amount you want to save. The protocol is going to be different for different people but find whatever works for you and stay inspired to reach your savings goal!
7 | Simplify Your Life
We live in a very much, what I like to call, disposable society (heavily referencing here in the United States). We don’t purchase things to invest in them and we rely on the instant gratification of unconscious consumption to feed our daily life. Think about what you need, like what you REALLY need. Most of the items and products that we purchase on a daily basis end up 1. in the trash or 2. collecting dust because we feel like “we HAVE to have it“, or it’s a deal “too good” to pass up. Of course, some of these things can bring value to your life, but once you realize that you have exactly what you need and don’t need anything more, your life and spending habits will improve exponentially.
I used to be an online shopping FIEND. F.I.E.N.D, I tell you. I had a highly disposable income since I was still in high school at the time and to this day, I can’t think of a single thing that I bought back then that I still have today; aside from my first trip to Japan. It was during my trip to Japan that I was introduced to the idea of minimalism, and I fell in love with it immediately.
Minimalism is basically what I mentioned in the first paragraph, living with what you need, and nothing more. There are some very extreme minimalists that live with like two shirts and call it a day, but don’t be apprehensive about it because of these examples. Minimalism isn’t about living will less than 50 items or having the least amount of items as possible. It’s about simplifying and finding joy in what you surround yourself with. This documentary kind of explains the entirety of the lifestyle if you want to learn more, but the millennial term for it would be Marie Kondo-ing your belongings.
This will help you in a number of ways. It’ll help you live with less and realize the true value of what you’re bringing into your life. It’ll help you think twice about what you purchase. But most importantly, it’ll cause that huge fog of stress and anxiety to leave your mental state. Seriously, it’s changed the way I express gratitude and the way that I go about spending my money and I know it’ll do the same for you.
8 | Pass Up The Upgrades
Along with a disposable society, the US is also home to a society of status. We constantly feel pressure from those around us to always have the latest and greatest thing, when we should really be approaching new releases with the mantra,
if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
My senior year of high school, after simplifying my life, I drove a 1996 Honda Accord with no radio, no A/C, a massive paint spill in the backseat, AND a missing hubcap. I was so determined about saving and happy with what I already had that I didn’t need to get a brand new car that I didn’t need just to make car payments for x amount of years all for an illusion of status.
I use a phone that’s going on four years old in the new year. It does what I need it to and it hasn’t let me down once since I got it.
The point is if what you have still does what you need it to do, there isn’t a reason to spend an obnoxious amount of money to get the latest thing. It doesn’t make sense financially, either, if you’re constantly spending money year after year so that you stay in the loop. Use what you have until an upgrade is necessary.
I’ll say it twice for emphasis if it ain’t broke don’t fix it
a tasty bowl of soup I had in Reykjavik
9 | Dine-In > Dine Out
It’s almost crazy how expensive it is to go out and eat at restaurants compared to what you would spend cooking your own meals at home. I know not a lot of people do not enjoy cooking, but if you’re committed to meet your savings goal then you’ll take the extra step to learn and save that chedda’! If you combine your own cooking with meal-prepping you’ll be unstoppable. Most of the time we reach for takeaway food or dining in when we don’t feel like cooking, but if you spend a Sunday afternoon cooking all your food for the week, you won’t be dreading cooking every day.
I grew up on Triple D, Bizarre Foods, and Iron Chef America so cooking for myself was instilled in my bones at a very young age, but I know how difficult it can be for others that can’t or don’t enjoy cooking. A good idea, if this sounds like you, is to try out one of those meal-delivery services like Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, or Blue Apron. Every week you get sent hand-selected recipes that are already portioned out and they take little to no effort to cook up and enjoy. They’re surprisingly very affordable and they might save you a bit of money depending on your lifestyle. I’m not affiliated with any of them, but I have been considering joining something like this because I live a very much on-the-go lifestyle and I think this would help me save a bit of time.
At any rate, start cooking for yourself. It’ll save you so much money and keep you healthier in the long run!
10 | Sell Your Things
Most, if not everyone I know has a bunch of random crap laying around (see #7). That pair of jeans that you ordered online that didn’t up fitting but you kept them anyway because you didn’t want to go through the trouble of mailing them back. Those sneakers that you only wore a few times that are collecting dust in the back of your closet. Or, if you’re really wild and motivated, that newer car that you felt pressured to buy to keep up with societal norms (see #8). Now, hold up, I’m not saying walk everywhere. Sell your more expensive car and purchase another of lower value and pocket the rest (SCORE?!).
Selling the items you no longer want is a great way to pocket cash for y0ur trip. The saying, “another man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, is no joke! We are all more connected through technology than we ever have been, so use this to your advantage and get to sorting through your things!
Where to sell your things
Tips For Selling Your Things
- Be Patient. Don’t expect to sell everything as soon as you post it.
- List on many platforms. You want all the eyeballs you can get on those things you no longer want!
- Post high-quality photos and very detailed descriptions. People want to know exactly what they’re getting!
11 | Shop Smarter At The Grocery Store
There are so many ways to save money at the grocery stores, but these six tips are the core elements that helped me stay on budget while I shop for groceries. Remember Mint? There was a feature, thankfully that I forgot how I accessed, that told me how much money I spent at Whole Foods in the last year… While I won’t share the number (think over $8,000 USD), the best way to describe my feelings towards the obnoxiously large number was deep, deep shame. SO, what I have done to combat spending $xx,xxx amount in 2020 is by implementing these six tips:
Go To A Cheaper Grocery Store
Uh, yeah. I wish I could put this on a large neon sign at the entrance to all those expensive health food stores. I’ve made habits of going to expensive places by habit, but now I am starting to purchase my produce at Aldi and getting other staples at Trader Joes. Those are cheaper options that still allow me to get organic and high-quality produce while still saving extra money.
Shop Your Pantry First
You know those like five different cans of beans you have in your pantry? Or those other ingredients that you planned on cooking with, but never made it around to it? Base your new shopping list on what you already have at home! Right now, I have rice paper and rice noodles that I planned on making spring rolls with, but here they are months later, still not made. Since I have the two core ingredients, getting the carrots, tofu, basil, cabbage, and other fillings are cheap and then I have meals or a snack for the next few days and I am clearing out the pantry!
What is in your pantry right now that you could make meals out of?
Only Bring The Cash You Want To Spend
If you want to spend only $70 on groceries every week, go to the ATM and withdraw whatever amount it is that you want to spend so that you’re not tempted to add extra things in your cart. If you have your card with you, it’s easier to add things here and there, so if you only have cash, you’ll be more likely to say no to extra things so you don’t go over budget.
Eat More Plants
Not only are plant foods like rice, beans, oats, and potatoes much, MUCH cheaper compared to seafood, meats, and other animal products, they’re like 100x healthier for you! Switching to a plant-based diet, or just eating less meat in general, is a huge contributing factor in my savings over the years. I like to focus my meals around staples I can buy in bulk, like those listed above, and then I can really shave off the dollars and cents off my dinners.
Meals I love that are cheap | spaghetti, oatmeal, fried rice, homemade soups, + stir fry.
Buy In Bulk
You would not believe the amount of money you’re charged for things being prepackaged. It’s a little obnoxious once you realize how much you could be saving.
For example, I bought garlic powder the other day, as one does. I paid around $4.99 for my organic, co-op led spice and after a few months I ran out so I decided to refill it at the bulk spice station at the grocery store. I had planned on refilling the containers anyway to reduce my waste so I had no problem spending the original dollar amount for the container. Guess how much I paid…
I only paid 80 cents for my garlic powder refill.
This is what other companies are doing so that you pay more for something that costs so little: bagged rice, bagged oats, pre-cut fruit, juices, (+ many more) are all culprits of this. Next time you’re at the store, check and see if you can buy your favorite staples in bulk and see what you can save. If you have a Costco near you, see what you can save by buying in even larger portions to save you more over time!
Leave the guesswork out of deciding what’s for dinner each night or being too lazy to cook by making all your meals ahead of time. This seriously changed the game for me. There are budget meal-prep ideas all over Pinterest and Youtube that are tasty, cheap, and surprisingly really easy to prepare, so if you just do a little bit of searching you can find one that works for your lifestyle. I do vegan meal prep since that is my preferred lifestyle and I have saved around $50/month by planning and making my meals ahead of time!
experiencing the EPIC scenery of Arches National Park
12 | Minimize Your Fixed Expenses
If you already have a lot of necessary expenditures on your plate, but you still want to maximize your savings, you can still lower the bills that you have a little bit more control over like gas, electricity, water, and even your phone bill.
If you want to save money on gas, carpool more and try to drive less.
If you want to save money on electricity, unplug what you’re not using (plugged in electronics, even when they’re not on contribute to your electric bill!) and turn those lights off!
If you want to save money on water, take shorter showers, turn off the water when you brush your teeth, and make a sink full of hot soapy water instead of letting it run while you do dishes.
If you want to save money on your phone bill, cancel your plan, lower your monthly data, and use free wifi as much as you can!
There are so many ways to shave extra dollars off the bills that you have a little bit more control over, so brainstorm creative ways that you can save money!
13 | Find free or cheaper alternatives for things you enjoy doing
Love to go and drink? Pregame at home.
Can’t stay away from your yoga practice? Try browsing Youtube for the thousands of free yoga videos and ditch your membership.
Is a cup of coffee your favorite pastime? Learn how to make a killer latte at home.
Eager to see a new movie? Browse Netflix or rent it at a Redbox for your own movie night (or sneak your own snacks into the theater… (; )
Love fashion? Try a clothing rental subscription box for a fraction of the price rather than always buying new items.
14 | Find Ways To Earn More Money
If you’ve implemented the budgeting, cut back in certain categories, and perfected your budgeting method, then it’s time to add those extra dollar signs to your check deposits. I follow tons of travel photographers and influencers that have ten different revenue streams at all times. Talk about raking in the DOUGH. While you don’t need to spread yourself thin by scrapping up ten different ways to save money, you can add a few that can help you save even more than you already do!
Ask for extra hours at work / a raise
Maybe you’re a part-time employee looking to go full-time or you’re not working as much as you could and/or like to. Talk to your boss or coworkers about picking up extra shifts during the week! Or if you’re really ambitious, (not literally) give your employer a powerpoint presentation about why you deserve to make more money. Never underestimate the power of asking! If you never ask the answer is always no.
become a lyft/uber driver/uber eats driver
If you’re in an urban area that lyft and uber services are widely available, then you might want to consider becoming a driver for them. I have taken a few Ubers in my day and a lot of them use Uber as a second income stream because you can make great money in little to no time at all. The best part about this is that you get to schedule your hours so it fits with your schedule. It’s the ultimate money move!
take up tutoring services for a subject you’re great at
take Christmas card photos/senior portraits/other shoots with your photography skills
15 | Fix It or DIY it
Remember when I said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well in this case, if it is broke, fix it!
Generally speaking, it is so much cheaper to fix something or patch something up then it is to buy a completely new thing, whatever that thing may be.
A lot of us don’t realize that we have lifetimes of information right in the palms of our hands and we have the ability to learn ANYTHING we want. Seriously. Here are some DIY (do it yoself) ideas that are great tips for saving money for travel:
giving yourself a manicure
how to change your own oil (Youtube is great for this!)
cut your own hair
hem and sew items that are too big/long
There are so many little things that, with a little bit of grit and elbow grease, we can do ourselves!
16 | Set Up A Separate Account For Your Savings
Putting Your Money In The Right Place
As long as I can remember, my checking account was also my savings account. No matter what, I would put all my money into one account and let me tell you how that has failed me over the years. I thought to have more than one type of bank account was too much of a hassle for myself to manage, but, once again, the Mint App has changed the game and allows me to see all my account statuses so I can see transactions across ALL of my accounts and how much I have in all of them.
For a while, I was using a savings account set up with my bank, but they took $4 out every month for a service fee. I guess that’s the reason why I put everything into my checking account was so that my bank wouldn’t automatically withdraw funds each month (lame, right?), so I found a better banking service that would also serve me on my travels, Charles Schwab!
I love Charles Schwab because the account card has a chip reading feature (great if you’re heading to Europe), you have no ATM or foreign transaction fees, no monthly fees, AND no minimum balance requirements! So not only are you putting money into a savings account, but you’re also setting up your financial situation for when you’re on the road. Foreign transaction and ATM fees really add up over time, so you’ll want to have a card that waves these. I am still building my credit to get a shiny new travel credit card, so I love that this card has all the features of a travel credit card that I am looking for!
Put Everything Into Savings First, Then…
Move what your daily/weekly/monthly budget is into your main checking account. As you experiment with your budget you may have to move money over if things come up or if you’re still perfecting your budget and that’s okay. The main reason that you’re putting everything into savings first is so that you don’t see your entire paycheck as your spending money. I used to be so bad about seeing all of my money in my checking account as my “fun” money when in reality I should have moved it into savings and then moved my necessary spending money into my checking.
Then, whenever you go out to get groceries, treat yourself to a night out, you leave your savings account card at home so that you’re unable to spend your savings. Separating funds is the best way to mark your travel money as ‘unspendable’ while you’re at home. Plus, sometimes I forget how much is in my savings, so I look at my checking account as all the money that I have which helps a ton as well.
sunset at Kirkjufell in Southern Iceland
17 | Maintain A Balance
What Brings You Real Joy?
As much as I want to tell you that you should eat ramen noodles, walk to work, cancel your phone plan, and other extremes so that you can seriously maximize your savings, it simply doesn’t work for some people. I am my own prime example of that, and it’s okay if it doesn’t vibe with you either. That’s why everyone’s budgeting looks different because we all live different lives.
The goal is to omit the impulse buys, the new shoes, nail appointments, and other frivolous things that eat our budgets, but it’s okay to go out and treat yourself every once in a while or keep the things that bring you real joy. For me, it’s a cup of coffee from my local coffee shop. I know getting rid of coffee runs is like THE thing to do to save money for travel, but a cup of coffee grants me a quiet and efficient working space, a solid cup of joe, and some time to myself after getting off work. There are many areas of my life that 12 ounces of freshly brewed beans drastically improves, so that is an expense I don’t have any issue budgeting for. The same goes for Spotify. These are considered “splurges” to my frugal self, but it helps me maintain that healthy balance to help me reach my savings goal.
Also, there are going to be times every month where you have to spend money that you didn’t have written into your budget for that month. Birthdays, holidays, celebrations, and other social events do come up and that may cause you to go a little bit over budget for the month and you don’t have to beat yourself up over it. The best way to tackle those extra expenses in one month is to make them up in the next. You can cut back a little bit on groceries this week or skip the coffee for the next couple of days… Trust me, I know it’s tragic, but your budget will bounce right back!
18 | Try Living Beneath Your Means
An alternative wording for this tip can be, ‘just because you have the money doesn’t mean you should buy it‘. A lot of us do live within our means and have a bit extra to spend, but how would you budget if you didn’t have the extra money to get that new rain jacket or go out to an expensive dinner in the city. A lot of us think that we can afford something because the money is sitting in our accounts.
PRO TIP | A great strategy to pair with this one is tip #16.
Once you only move the absolute necessary amount of money into your checking account, it’ll be easier to visualize what you would do if you didn’t have the extra money. For a lot of people, this is a huge mental and habitual changed that can seriously up your savings game!
19 | Learn the art of borrowing + buying secondhand
If you’re in need of something that you wouldn’t use a lot, don’t need all the time, or can’t afford it at the moment, ask to borrow it from a friend! Need to clean your carpets? Ask your mom if you can borrow hers. Going to an event and you don’t have the proper attire? Ask your friend that went to a wedding recently. In a generation of connection, there is no shame in borrowing what you need from others to save some money!
Let’s say you don’t know anyone that owns the item that you need. Consider buying it secondhand! Buying pre-loved items is an excellent way of slashing retail prices and giving items a new life with a little bit of TLC. Most thrift stores have very obscure kitchen appliances, gently used electronics, and clothing that could practically be brand new, so shop around and see if you’re able to find what you need at a discounted price. Plus, thrifting is really really fun!
20 | Exchange Skills + Services
Coinciding right along with tip #14, this tip is not about finding cheaper alternatives, but finding free ones. This works best with people that you know and are close to rather than random strangers because you can’t go up to just anyone offering swaps. Obviously you can’t waltz into a hair salon and offer a service in exchange for a haircut. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way *sigh*, but you can link up with the people that you’re connected with!
Maybe you’re in DESPERATE need of a haircut, but you don’t want to break your budget this and you just so happen to rock at taking pictures. You can exchange a quick trim for a few senior photos or a family photo for your cousin.
Or maybe your car needs an oil change and your brother needs a babysitter so he can have a nice date night with his wife. You can watch them for the night and get your oil taken care of in the morning. Score!
The key thing here is to make it a fair trade because you don’t want to take advantage of the other person by offering less and/or not coming through for them. This should be a fun exchange for both of you since you’ll both be saving money! It doesn’t work for absolutely everything, but if something comes up and you know a guy… shoot them an offer!
What’s something crazy you’ve done to save money? Share with me in the comments below!