Want to travel the world for a while? Or just take an unforgettable vacation? You don’t need to be rich, but you’ll need to get creative about how to save money for travel.
Saving money doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and saving for a big trip can be a huge struggle if you’re not used to being careful with your cash.
Here are some tips and tricks, as well as some age-old classics on saving money for travel (or for anything else for that matter!)
Review your current finances
Take a look at your bank accounts, your existing money, your income, your outgoings and everything else in between. You want to get to know the ins and outs of your account before you begin everything. At this point you can take a look at what you absolutely must spend money on, such as rent, insurance, etc. and then also take a look at what are some things you can cut from your spending, such as eating out, shopping, etc.
You need to know what you’ve got to work with right from the beginning.
Figure out a weekly spending limit
Once you know your income and outgoings like the back of your hand, and you see what you have to spend money on versus what you can live without, give yourself a fixed amount to spend each week.
Anything outside of that can go right in your travel fund.
Take out cash and spend only that
Once you know your weekly limit, instead of using your debit or credit card, take that limit out in cash. Think of this as your weekly allowance. When you can visually see the amount of money you have left, you will be more aware of what you can and cannot spend.
Use cash and don’t charge it!
Create a money jar
Money jars are a great way to see your travel fund grow and grow! You can make it a game of putting one dollar in the jar every day, or even better yet double the amount each day until you hit $10 and then start from $1 again. This way you don’t feel like you are putting in too much money yet, you see this growing and growing in the jar.
Another thing you can do is just empty your change into the jar every day and then at the end of the year go to the bank and cash in the change to some hard earned cash.
Setting up savings jars like this is a very easy way to save your spare cash.
Eating out is the most expensive way to feed yourself. And, cooking at home costs much less than going out to eat. So why not spruce up your cooking skills, turn on your favorite cooking show and start cooking yourself!
Going out to eat with friends or family is on average $25 per person, so cutting back on your restaurant meals by just 3-4 times per month will quickly save you almost $100. Cooking by yourself is not that intimidating either, take a look at cooking blogs such as Minimalist Baker or Smitten Kitchen, that show you videos and explain exactly how to cook absolutely delicious and healthy meals.
Money saved: $75-$100 per month. $900-1200 per year, based on eliminating 3-4 $25 meals per month!
Bring your own lunch to work
I understand bringing your lunch to work isn’t the coolest thing in the universe but it can save you a lot of money without you even thinking about it!
There are plenty of creative and delicious lunches you can make at home and take with you. Plus, why not bring the leftovers you cooked the night before?
At $5-$15 a day, you’ll save a lot over the course of a year by packing your own lunch
Pick up extra work
If you have enough time in your schedule to find a little bit of extra work, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to earn some more cash and occupy your time so that you’re not spending it, quite literally.
There are great freelance platforms you can create an account on such as Upwork, or you can search for odd-jobs that you could do on your day off by creating an account on platforms such as TaskRabbit.
Money earned: $50-$200 a month. $600-$2400 a year. Based on $50 shifts 1-4 times per month.
Enjoy the little things
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Hanging out at one of your friend’s houses while drinking wine and catching up is something that you can do for free or very little money. Plus, isn’t it more comfortable to sit on the couch in comfy clothing versus getting all dressed up to go to a crowded bar?
Swap out your weekly bar night with friends for an evening drinking at your place, or host dinner parties where you all cook together rather than going out to eat, have game nights, or movie screenings, and you can socialize and save money at the same time.
Money saved: $10-$80 per month. $120 – $960 per year. Based on skipping 1-4 nights out at $10-$20 each.
Even if you think it’s totally out of character for you to be able to save, I can promise you that the ability is in there somewhere.
But it has to start with disciplining yourself. Make it a habit that if you buy something or go out to eat for lunch (when we just told you to bring your lunch) then put an extra $5 in your travel fund jar.
And of course, this doesn’t mean you will have absolutely no more fun for the whole year as you are saving, it is just about being conscious about what you are actually spending your money on and keep asking yourself if it is worth it or no.
Remember how worth it’ll be!
Of course, we have all had days where we just needed to go out and get drunk at the local bar or go dancing the night away. And, I’m not saying you can’t ever do that again, but just think twice before doing so. You can just as easily get drunk at a friends house in a much more comfortable setting!
Picture yourself on vacation in the sunshine somewhere, and you will see it will be worth the discipline and worth the trouble. Travel will reward you for your hard work, and the more you put in, the more travel will give out again, and again, and again.