How to Save Money to Travel
Oh, boy! No money, no traveling? Guess that goes without saying. So what are some ways that you can save money to travel? When and how much should you save to travel? Saving for a trip can be a little difficult sometimes, especially when you have a family, one income in the home or bills. But with early planning, it’s possible. You say what? Yes, it’s possible. Here are a few ways that can help you get to that dream vacation quicker than you think!
Declutter Your Home
You’ll be amazed at how much money you have lying around your home. What do you mean, Tiffany? Well, that old stuff stored in the back of your closet or attic is free money. Money that’s just sitting there. Green bucks I tell ya! I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” So let me tell you my story, I had some old decorations stuffed in the back of the closet collecting dust and who knows what else. I decided that I needed to get rid of it but didn’t want to throw it away. I spent a weekend getting everything cleaned and looking brand new again. Snapped a few photos and posted it to an online garage sale site that I stumbled upon months earlier. Before I knew it, all of my items had sold within a matter of weeks. Made just over 900 bucks, on stuff that had been sitting in a closet for years. I used that money for an upcoming trip and had a few bucks left to put towards the next trip.
Unnecessary Monthly Expenses
How many of us have gym memberships that we never use? We tell ourselves month after month that we’re going back to the gym “next month, ” but we never do. Before we know it, the months turned into a year and there went a $500 unnecessary expense. That use to be me once upon a time. What about the cable service? Are you paying for 300 channels but only watching 10. The price for cable is outrages these days. The next time you write out your monthly budget go ahead and multiply each expense by 12. When you see how much you pay for cable in a year, it almost makes you question your sanity. I know it did for me. What an average person spends on cable in a year is enough to take a week-long vacation, at least once a year.
The Internet is another expense that can turn into unnecessary spending over time. How many hours a week do you think you use your home internet service? Maybe 10-15 hours a week? That’s what I thought as well. I only use my home internet about 1-2 hours a week, if that. I get online twice a month to pay bills and once a week to make a blog post. I thought I was spending hours surfing the net. I am, on my phone that is, approximately 15 hours a week. The money you’ll save by ditching your internet service is only going to get you closer to your dream vacation. If you do decide to ditch your cable service you can always connect for free at your local library or coffee shop. Most libraries carry a strong Wi-Fi signal that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your car to connect. Talk about hassle free! Just think about all the money you’ll be saving every month by doing so. Now see yourself lying on the crystal-clear white beaches of Maldives, soaking up some summer rays. Aah… Life is good.
Start Saving Now
It’s never too early to start saving for a trip. I start saving for the next trip as soon as I return home from the last one. I have a set amount that I save every month no matter what. Occasionally, there are times when I can save more, and I do! Any extra cash that I get from birthdays, holidays, and special occasions, I save it. You wouldn’t believe how quickly it starts to add up. Sometimes we have to go back to the basics when saving. Piggy bank basics. I still remember the cabbage patch piggy bank I had as a kid. I would save every penny that I came a crossed. One-by-one, I would count them as I made my deposited. From time-to-time, I would shake the money out to see how much I had saved. And then cheerfully dance around my room. One day my bank was full. I was able to use the money for anything that I wanted. Somewhere along the way, I stopped picking up pennies… Piggy banks still work the same way now as they did when I was a kid. If you add money to it, over time, you’ll have enough for that dream vacation or at least money towards it. This past weekend I started back using my piggy bank. Can’t wait to see what I save in a year. At some point, a penny will turn into a dollar.
Planning early for a trip is a great way to see what your estimated expenses are. It’ll also give you something to look forward to and keep you focus on your savings goal. If at all possible, avoid taking any last-minute trips. Don’t do it! If you fail to plan, you are setting yourself up for failure. Each trip that I take is planned 12-14 months in advance. That gives me plenty of time to save my money and research the places I plan on visiting. I’ll share more with you next week on how I start my planning and my favorite travel tools that I use. Planning early keeps my fire going and goals in check. It also keeps me on track with my spending in general.
Tracking Your Expenses
Tracking your expenses is a perfect way to see where your money is going and why. Warning – you may want to lay across the bed when writing out your expenses for the first time. You just might faint when you see how much unnecessary spending you do each month. It can be quite shocking for some. Here are two ways I think is helpful when writing out your expenses.
Writing out my expenses quarterly helps me to see what’s coming due in the next few months. I write it in a small notebook that I keep next to my night stand. I glance at it twice a month when it’s time to pay bills. I never have to worry about my monthly expenses catching me off guard. And it helps me make reasonable decisions when I want to give a charitable donation or buy a special gift for someone.
Another way I enjoy tracking my expenses is yearly. It keeps me on track with the bills that are due once a year that can be easily forgotten like vehicle registrations, insurance premiums and homeowners’ association fees, which can sneak up on you with a blink of an eye. Tracking your expenses may seem like a headache, but I promise you it’s not. I only spend about two hours, once a year, writing out my expenses for the whole year.
Give Yourself a Weekly Allowance
You’re not too old to have an allowance. Have a set amount that you give yourself to spend every week and don’t go astray from that. This has work wonders for me over the years. It may be challenging at first, but I promise, it’ll get easier over time. When you know that you only have a certain amount to spend for the week you don’t spend it as quickly as you would otherwise. Tracking your expenses will show you just how responsible you are with money. You should always know where your money is going.
Cut backs are typically related to spending that is reduced for a short or long period of time. This is a great way to save money to travel. It’s also a great way to have extra cash to pay off bills or to grow a savings account.
Save your loose change
Make coffee at home
Brown bag your lunch
Check out books at your local library
Style your hair
Use natural lighting
Research free entertainment
Limit spending for birthdays/holidays
I’ve listed several ways on how to save or make money to travel. They may not all be for you, but I challenge you to give at least one of them a try. Comment below and let me know some of the ways you like to save money to travel.
“Whatever your dream is, every extra penny you have should be going towards that.”