Updated: Sep 17, 2020
The hardest part of wanting to travel is figuring out how to afford it. There is this misconception that traveling needs to be expensive and that only people that are well off can afford the getaway. Well, let me tell you! That is a complete MYTH. If you want to save for future travels, what you will need is discipline.
Here are 10 ways to save money to travel more often:
(keep in mind traveling does not have to be international or lengthy)
1. OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
You should already have at least one savings account for rainy days and emergencies (if not get to it). Open a savings account dedicated to your future travels; that account gives you the chance to put some funds away specifically for exploring the world. Keeping that money separate from your other funds will help you avoid spending it frivolously. I recommend opening an account with a high-interest yield like that your money is making money.
2. SPEND LESS ON EATING OUT
Every time you eat out you spend on average $15-$20 per meal and that's being modest. Learning how to prepare a home-cooked meal for yourself can be very satisfying and delicious. There are many recipes online that are easy to follow to help you get started. Even in a country such as the United States, you can easily eat on $40 to $50 a week of groceries when cooking for yourself.
3. REDUCE YOUR UTILITY BILLS
Put on a long sleeve shirt and a sweater and keep the heat on low and instead of constantly using the air conditioner open the window for some fresh air. Of course, depending on your region, that might not always be possible, but a couple of dollars a month can go a long way. Take shorter showers in order to save on the water bill. In 2020, in the US, the average utility bill for apartment renters is $100-$150 a month and for homeowners, it's close to $400 a month.
4. ASSESS YOUR EXPENDITURES
Take some time to create a spreadsheet and make a list of your daily and monthly expenses. Split them into two columns: the Needs and the Wants. Little by little get rid of the "wants" and put that money towards your travel savings account.
5. SELL UNNECESSARY BELONGINGS
As someone told me before, "if you haven't used it in a couple of years you do NOT need it". Websites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace are great places to sell things you no longer need. If you plan on traveling long term, you may consider doing the same with certain furniture. It will save you money on storage space and put money in your pocket.
6. MAKE EXTRA MONEY ON THE SIDE
If you already have a source of income that is great, see if you can get an extra shift or a raise.
If you do not have a source of income, you can try getting a part-time or temporary job. In the time of Covid-19 online jobs are easier, for example:
- Virtual Assistant
- Online Surveys
- Virtual Customer Service Agent
7. STAY MOTIVATED
Do not lose hope, remember why you are doing this, why you are saving, and perhaps not enjoying certain pleasures. Think about that first trip when you will be sipping a margarita on the beach. Create a vision board, put a picture on the wall, or even put up a map with pins of where you want to visit. Saving money takes time and discipline but is so worth it in the end.
8. NETFLIX & SAVE
Kill the cable and invest in a Roku or something similar. Cable cost on average $150 a month which is $1,800 a year. Netflix costs $12.99 a month which is $155.88 a year which is a $1645 savings that can go on that savings account. Books and magazines are also cheaper and quite a good read if you choose the right one.
9. SET A BUDGET
In 2020, there are plenty of free applications that make it easy to keep track of one's money and where it's spent. A quick Google search will lead you to many tools that can help. Use one of them to assess your expenditures and see what expenses are not necessary. Set a budget for the month and try to follow it.
10. STAY AWAY FROM FINANCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE
We are who we surround ourselves with. Therefore, seeing your friends go out all the time, spend money on parties and new gadgets will make it hard and will ruin all your chances of saving for your travel, so don't.
Don't be so tough on yourself that you become the party pooper of your friends either; it is okay to go out and have fun once in a while and still save for your travels.
BE SAFE AND SAVE WELL AND HAPPY TRAVELS!