TIPS TO SAVE FOR TRAVEL
Even before I left to travel full-time while working remotely, the number one question I’d get about my trips?
How do you afford to travel so often?
I’m a pretty firm believer that traveling more, bar no extreme life circumstance, is a matter of mindset.
There are loads of things you can do to travel more often, even with a full-time job.
But, the most important?
The best way to commit to traveling more is to create a dedicated budget for it.
I put aside money for trips the same way I do for my bills, rent, gym, groceries, going out, and so on. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, even $25 per paycheck adds up over the course of a year. The key bit is to set an amount and stick to it.
Committed to saving money for travel, and looking for other areas to budget hack?
So many of our spending habits are ingrained that we don’t really question them. Or, we don’t want to ‘feel deprived’.
For me, it’s always about balance.
I still enjoy small treats like nice coffees out, but not daily.
I still order takeout from time to time, or have my nails done, but not regularly on either front.
If you take a hard look at just how much you’re spending week in and week out, and where- chances are you’ll be able to spot a few areas to trim.
These tips have helped me save for travel over the years, but I don’t employ all of them at once.
Again, it’s all about balance.
And, on the days when you’re having a hard time sticking to your plan and budget, visualise how you’ll feel on that trip you’re dreaming of.
For me, this is usually enough to convince me I don’t really need that UberEats order when there’s food in my fridge I can cook.
Not sure where to start?
Start with tracking your spending for 1-2 weeks. Before you can create a budget and plan, you need to understand just where your money is going, and why.
You can use an app for this, or just log every expense at the end of the day.
When your week or two is up, evaluate. This isn’t about feeling bad if you bought a latte daily, more so to understand where your money is going so you can make decisions about where you spend in the future, and how you prioritise.
Set on a budget and looking for additional ways to save?
10 Tips to Save for Travel: Money Saving Hacks To Try This Week
- Try having a ‘zero day’: This is a day where you don’t spend any money- zilch. I try having a zero day once a week. Sometimes the closest I come is paying for public transit to/from work, but that’s still much better than the alternative
- Cut out 1-2 morning coffees weekly: I’m a firm believer there’s no need to cut out small indulgences completely if they bring you joy. However, saving $8-10 a week by just going one or two days without will really add up over the course of a month
- Enroll in an auto-save program: I use both Digit and Revoult to automatically roll card purchases up to the next dollar/pound. The spare chance goes into a savings account. I’m always shocked by how quickly it grows, and even more by how I usually don’t even notice it’s missing
- Take public transit instead of Uber/Lyft: I love rideshares as much as the next person- especially when they get me somewhere much quicker than public transit. But when the bus is a fraction of the cost of an Uber, I know it’s the better decision for me to manage time and leave early to save $$$
- Plan out your meals to save money at lunch and cut money off your weekly grocery shop: Yes, meal planning can save you money on two fronts. You won’t have the expense of lunch out daily, and you won’t mindlessly add items to the cart you may or may not need/use. I usually add a $5-10 buffer to my grocery shop budget each week so I can buy myself a treat, or try a new product. This helps me stay excited about meal prep, even when meals are sometimes similar week over week. And, be smart about where you buy your groceries- I’ll buy fresh produce from a farmers market and dry staples (chickpeas, beans, eggs, spices) from the cheapest grocery store that’s an option
- Stop ordering takeout: Like rideshares, I love having custom food delivered to me as much as the next person. But, it’s exponentially more expensive than cooking. If I’m saving for a trip, I usually try to limit my takeout ordering to 1x weekly, 2x monthly or 1x monthly. Again here, things can be scalable- no need for an all or nothing approach
- Be mindful about buying things: I try not to buy things (clothes, accessories, home goods, and the like) unless it’s something I truly need. And even then, I usually save the item to a private Pinterest board, and mull over the expense for at least 24-72 hours. I apply this mindset to big and small purchases. Even recently in Colombia, I spotted a tote bag I loved in a cafe I frequent, priced at $5. I saw it the first time there, but waited until my sixth trip when I was really certain I wanted it, needed it, and would use it to buy it. Delayed gratification is the name of the game
- DIY beauty treatments: I’ll never be a big fan of pedicures at home, but other things- like hair masks, facials and face masks can be a lovely way to indulge in a little self care for nowhere near as much as they’d cost in a salon. I try to make a routine out of it, the same way I would schedule salon appointments- I block time to do face masks and pamper myself, knowing I’ll feel like I’ve treated myself in a big way for little $ afterwards
- Limit eating out or meeting friends for drinks: I get that this is a tough one, but again- it’s about limiting, but giving up entirely. If I’m saving for a big trip, I may only decide to eat out or joint friends for drinks once a week. Those casual Friday nights at the pub? Tally how much you spend over the course of a month- it may not seem like much week to week, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be shocked at how quickly it builds
- Get curious about what you spend where and why: Even once you create a budget and plan, it never hurts to constantly analyse and optimise your spending habits. You may find removing one spend that doesn’t bring you a ton of joy opens the door to spend on other things that do (e.g. less weekly wine, but keeping a weekly mani appointment). Saving for travel doesn’t have to be restrictive, but it does have to be intentional
Looking for ways to create additional income, beyond places you can save?
Consider upskilling or starting a side hustle.
Google common options- they are – e n d l e s s -.
I work as a digital consultant and teach English on the side.
My teaching schedule is flexible- I set my own hours, so it’s easy to flex up or down when I want to generate more income or have more free time.
Need some help getting started on these fronts?
- Upskill (learn something new that may make you money in the future) through any of the free, awesome online resources out there. A few of my favourites: General Assembly, SkillShare, YouTube, Google tutorials and trainings. You’d be amazed at what is free
- Additional ways to generate extra income:
- Become an online tutor with a company like Cambly, where you get paid to chat with people around the world
- Teach English as a Second Language (loads of companies- VIPKid, GoGo Kid, PalFish)
- Work as a virtual assistant, VANetworking is loaded with tips and job leads
- Take good pics? Submit photos to stock agencies- Shutterstock, Photoshelter, Fotolia and iStock
- Surf the internet for research, now more than ever, companies are keen to fact check
- Crafty? Sell handmade items on Etsy, Amazon Handmade or Cargoh
- In need of a deep clean? Donate what’s no longer usable or wearable, and put the rest up for sale on sites like Facebook Marketplace, GumTree, Craigslist, Shpock and Ebay. Do this regularly to generate continual extra $ (think quarterly or semi-annual clean-outs)
- Check out freelance websites, they’re loaded with opportunities from companies and small businesses
- Upwork.com: Great for freelancers in fields ranging from sales and marketing to accounting to customer service
- Fiverr: Market your own services
- TaskRabbit: Create a profile and detail what you’re good at- love gardening or got a penchant for building flatware? You’ll be in business in no time
Do you wish you could travel more often? What’s stopping you from doing so? Would you add anything to these tips to save for travel more?
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