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Read To Travel

7 Ways To Save Money For Travel

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It makes me feel sad how many people  genuinely believe that traveling is impossible.  They wonder how I, and many more like me, afford to do it.

You may think my parents fund my adventures.  That good ol’ mum and dad send me heaps of their hard earned cash money so that I can explore and eat my weight in ice cream in new countries.  The only things my parents send me are constant love, emotional support, and my mom’s daily Facebook #tbt baby photos of me that she posts while relaxing in my bed with the dog.

Travel is affordable.  It’s becoming more affordable each year.  Even though visa and security regulations have increased tremendously in recent years, it balances out the ever-growing accessibility of the world.  Later on, I will publish a post about how I save money while traveling.  But to start, here are some of the things I do at home to save money before step on the plane.

Cook At Home

Eating out is expensive AF.  This is coming from someone who absolutely loves to eat and loves eating out at new places.  However, when going out to dinner with my boyfriend we can spend more than I spend for an entire week’s worth of groceries (sometimes two weeks depending on how many beers we have…).

Cooking is so much fun, especially with all of the inspiring food blogs out there.  I’ve even gone so far as to prepare my meals on Sundays.  If I already have lunch or dinner prepared in a container I won’t be tempted to order takeout during or after work.  Host a potluck with your friends and have everyone bring a dish.  If you really want to get out of the house with your friends or significant other, pack a basket at home and head to the park with a picnic blanket!  The opportunities for saving money on food are endless.

 

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Say No To Starbucks

I get it, you need your daily caffeine fix, or two—I’m talking about you, Mom—to make it through the day.  Do me a favor, think of your regular Starbucks, Dunkin’, your deliciously perfect creamy skim long latte extra shot in a medium takeaway cup… write down how much it costs.  Next, multiply by how many times a week you order coffee.  For someone who orders a $4 coffee every day for five days a week, that’s $20 a week, $80 a month, $960 a year.  That right there is a roundtrip flight to New Zealand, Hawaii, Japan (!) just from opting to cut caffeine out of your diet or brewing at home or at work!

Write It Down

I am a huge nerd when it comes to finances and saving money and list-making.  I LOVE MAKING LISTS.  I love writing things down.  I love to be organized, though my bedroom floor often suggests otherwise.  What it really comes down to is that I just love saving money because traveling is a huge priority in my life.  I keep track of how much I earn each week and I set financial goals for how much I want to hold in my savings account each month.

 

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Get Your Drank On At Home

I have already said how much I love going out. For dinner, for drinks, for ice cream.  I love it all.  Sadly for us imbibers, drinking is NOT cheap, especially out at the bar.  You can buy a six-pack of good quality craft beer for about $12.  Getting that same beer on tap at the hip bar in town is probably between $7-9 a pint.  Bruh, I don’t need to write out the math on that one.

Not picky about beer and willing to drink Budlight? A THIRTY-RACK is $20!!! Drinking at home is relaxing.  Your living room’s liquor license doesn’t run out at 1am.  You don’t need to watch television at the mercy of someone else’s preference and mighty hand controlling the remote.  I’m not putting down going to the bar because, seriously, I love it.  So don’t take it personally if you frequent the pub daily.  All I’m saying is that when I am home from traveling, my nights out on the town decrease significantly because every beer at the local pub is another Guinness I could be slugging in Ireland in my mind.  You could even go the health route and just not drink at all, but we don’t want to get too crazy now.

Set Up Auto-Transfer

If you really just can’t be bothered to sit down and look at your personal finances on a weekly basis, set up your checking account to transfer X amount of dollars once a week or once a month.  The larger the amount the better, but don’t feel you need to struggle to live just so you can transfer $500 a week into your savings.  When I was just starting out I used to just put $1 a day into a jar.  Do whatever feels the most comfortable for you.

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Save Those Coins

In my bedroom, I have a container into which I dumped all of my loose change every day.  I don’t touch the container or withdraw from it.  I only cash it in a day or two before a big international trip.  You can get anything from an extra $50-$100 from the spare change that just sits unused on the ground or in the bottom of your purse!

Don’t Go Shopping

I know I know.  Shopping is so much fun and it makes you feel so good to wear that new dress.  But…. Be realistic.  If anything, you should probably be cleaning out your closet, not adding to it. You really don’t need a lot of clothing to have a nice, good quality wardrobe.  Plus, you don’t need to bring a lot of clothes traveling either.

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And finally…

Nobody is perfect when it comes to saving money.  When I’m at home, I go out for drinks with friends, eat out for dinner, or grab a coffee every now and then.  But I definitely don’t do these things every day and I try really hard not do them every week.  I try to make these events so rare that they feel really special when they do happen.  When I’m boarding a flight to start a new adventure or exploring the streets of a new city, all of those months of self-control truly feel worth it.  You don’t need to be a millionaire or earn $10,000 a week in order to fulfill your travel dreams.  You just need to be a little conservative with your cash!

I challenge you to try my way for ONE month and just see how much money you save! Then put that money in your Wanderlust Jar and don’t give up until you’re jetting off on adventure.

Tara Higgins

Tara Higgins

Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.

  • Amanda

    Great tips. I do many of these myself as I afford to take my family traveling on a bartender’s wages. People don’t realize the money they are throwing away on silly things they don’t need that could go travel! I love the auto transfer idea. I never thought of that one!

    June 10, 2016 at 2:11 PM
    • Tara Higgins
      Tara Higgins

      I agree Amanda. It’s so easy to fall into a habit of spending money on things we don’t need or that we could make for ourselves at home.

      June 15, 2016 at 11:47 PM
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