I love to travel, and I will gladly devote every free penny I have to do so. However, in order to pay for my travel expenses, there are some sacrifices and lifestyle changes that need to be made. Here are my best tips and tricks for saving to fund your wanderlust:
- Start a separate savings account: Set up an additional savings account with your bank to hold your travel funds. It’s very simple to do, and only costs the minimum deposit to open it (which is usually $25). This way you have savings devoted solely to your adventures. For me, this is the easiest way to keep everything separate; mostly so I don’t spend my rent money on plane tickets.
- Put extra income into said savings account: Whether it’s the extra tip money you got that day, a $20 bill you found on the ground, or commission you made, make the decision to put that extra cash into your travel fund. I usually put a set amount from each paycheck into the account. It can be an amount, a percentage, or whatever you want as long as it’s consistent. Set a goal and stick with it.
- Ditch the Gym: Gym memberships are expensive and there are numerous ways to work out on your own. A single work-out DVD or set of weights is much, much cheaper than a monthly membership fee and can be used over and over. Go for walks or runs outside, or join a social sports league.
- Eat at Home: Going out for dinner can be very pricey these days. Instead, learn how to cook and make dinner at home. Invite your friends over instead of going out. Or, if you don’t want to completely give up going out, set a weekly budget for yourself so you don’t overdo it.
- Plan your Meals: Plan your weekly meals based off of what’s on special or the coupons you have. You can also make large batches of dishes that can be brought for lunch or frozen and enjoyed later on. Knowing you have homemade meals ready at home will make it all the more easier to skip fast food stops on your way home.
- Switch to generic: Every penny counts, so the dollar you save off of generic paper products or food can go a long way. Most of the time the generic version is just as good as the name brand, so you’re really just paying extra for the label.
- Do-It-Yourself: Stop paying people to do things for you that you can easily accomplish yourself. Make your own coffee in the morning, trim your own hair, fix your own clothes, and paint your own nails. These small expenses, $5 for a latte here, $25 for a manicure there, really start to add up over time.
- Sell your old things: I have recently sorted through of all my things due to a move, and found so many things I don’t use or wear any more. I’m sure this is the case for most people, and there are plenty of places ready and willing to buy your old crap. So, clean out your closets and storage and sell the things you haven’t used in a year to someone who’ll get more use out of it.
- Turn off the lights: Another big monthly expense, of course, is electricity. Turn of your lights, unplug your appliances and turn off the air when you leave the house. Watch less TV or keep the lights off and open the blinds, because again, every penny counts.
- Shop the sales: Some people just need a little retail therapy every now and then, and I am absolutely one of those people. However, I try to shop the sale sections at stores I like, or go to discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or outlet stores. Again, it’s best to set a monthly budget for these sorts of things.
These are tricks that have worked for me, and I’m sure there are many more that work for other people. The most important thing to remember is that you really can do this: save up your money and see the world. It’s a definite possibility. So, Happy Wanderlusting and Good Luck!