We’re all looking for ways to travel more. Although it’s one of the most rewarding activities, it usually doesn’t come at a cheap price. When traveling is high on your list of things you want to pursue in life, then you most likely commit to finding your ways to make it a reality. You can view these ways either as sacrifices or as a means for that ultimate goal of traveling more.
What it usually means is leaving behind your settled lifestyle and ways you go about your everyday. There are things you’ll occasionally (especially in the beginning) feel you’re being robbed of. I guess this needs to be clear: Yes, you’ll be missing out on certain things and you might view this process as being quite extreme. But if you just keep your focus on the objective, you’ll also start to reap the rewards.
Today I am offering hands-on tips and ideas that can get you into action and help you kick-start your saving plan for your future travels. They mostly relate to our everyday habits that we’re often unaware of. Sometimes money is leaking out of our lives in places we don’t recognize. Often the realization that things can be done differently is all we need to start making the shift. I’ve been implementing some of these little changes in my life for a while now, while some of them still need to become part of my everyday.
Let’s get started and explore my 14 practical tips on how to save and travel more.
1. Stop smoking.
Your health will thank you. Smoking isn’t only one of the worst investments in yourself but is also a place where a lot of money can be saved. It seems that the temporary high of smoking is worth it, however, you continually need to sustain it. Why not save that money and find a new high like exercising? I get it, it’s not the easiest habit to cut out. This is possibly the toughest change you’ll be making out of the 14. My head still spins when I think of all the money I smoked out in the past that I could have instead saved towards my future travels. Put your numbers together, get the perspective, and then decide.
2. Drink water.
Why not make water work for you? You’re already paying your monthly water usage bill to the council. There’s so much you can save just by avoiding fizzy drinks, juices, alcohol, bottled (sparkling) water and energy drinks and instead stick with water. If you truly can’t live without bubbles in your drinks, make a small investment in SodaStream. I’ve seen it do the trick for many people.
3. Make your own coffee.
The daily coffee fix adds up to the overall weekly bill. Drinking coffee outside has become one of the society’s norms and possibly your everyday habit as well. Unless you work at a coffee place and get it there for free, try making your coffee at home in the morning for 1 month. See how the numbers show up for you at the end of this short experiment.
4. Choose the most affordable supermarket.
Stop shopping at the most expensive grocery store and switch to a cheaper alternative. Most often you’ll be able to find same exact products at a much more affordable price. I’ve realized I can save up to 15% on my weekly grocery shopping expenses just by changing to a different supermarket. Eventually, the savings will add up towards your travel goal.
5. Eat clean and healthy.
It’s not true. Eating healthy is NOT more expensive. My advice is you keep to simple and unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, lean meats, eggs and similar. These are cheap and healthy. Also, try to cook for yourself most days, and start reading product ingredients and labels. You’ll soon realize there are so many products out there you won’t want to touch or eat. Just keep away from junk food and aim for no nasties (sugary stuff, chips,..). Even if only cutting those out – you’ll be able to save quite a bit.
6. Cancel Cable TV / Sky TV / Netflix.
It’s good to ask yourself how much you spend on entertainment as it can many times become the regular monthly expense that you’re sustaining. If you really don’t use Cable TV, Sky TV, Netflix or some other similar services that much, then it would be a good idea for you to consider canceling the subscription. Do you really need it?
7. Buy less makeup.
You don’t really need to own 101 nail polish shades. What I mean here is, we, women especially, tend to spend a lot of money on beauty and cosmetic products. During my ‘trying out’ and ‘experimenting’ phase I was searching for that perfect concealer/lipstick/pallet. I was basically spending way too much money on it. I used to stock up piles and backups of different products.
When you do find the products that work for you, though, stick with them and stop experimenting by buying all other ‘maybes’ or ‘what ifs’. Search phase needs to eventually end. Also, as you learn to read the ingredients, you quickly cut a lot of products out without buying or trying them out. So, simply know and find your core products and then make them a constant. And also, buy them only when you run out of the existing ones.
8. Stop buying magazines.
I am so guilty of this habit! I used to have a couple subscriptions, from travel and photography magazines to healthy lifestyle ones. I completely stopped buying them after eventually realizing there’s no chance I can finish (sometimes even start) reading them. They would just pile up and I would rarely return for another flick. I found that I can get all the information I require online by simply google-ing it. When trying to save money for traveling, examine how much you spend on magazines.
9. Stop buying physical books.
To continue the idea, physical books can also add to your total monthly/yearly bill. Why don’t you consider buying a bit cheaper electronic books or even audio books? That said, I am such a traditional book lover. I completed reading quite a few electronic books already, but couldn’t get used to it. Additionally, I also feel I already spend too much time in front of different screens during the day and am trying to avoid spending any more time in front of yet another one (I know, excuses). I admit, buying physical books is my shortcoming and am keeping this habit for now. But I do recommend examining your tendency towards buying books. Assess if that’s possibly the area where you could save some money for your travels.
10. Cook for yourself.
This might be one of the toughest things to achieve in your travel saving endeavors. It requires quite an organized person to pull it off. You will first need a weekly meal plan and a shopping list. The hardest part is sticking to it and actually cooking those tasty meals. Every. Single. Day. How often you just don’t feel like it? Too often? Yeah, I am there with you. You can, of course, deliberately cook more if you’re able, and keep part of it in the freezer for future. Also, in a long run, you’re able to save quite a lot on your weekday work lunches if you pack the leftovers from the night before, instead of eating out.
11. Cancel gym membership.
I’m not suggesting you should quit exercising, but rather switching to a different way of doing it. Running outdoors in the fresh air is free, and there’s no need for a gym treadmill to do it. You can go hiking and even practice bodyweight exercise routines. Alternatively, invest one month’s membership fee into buying your own basic gym equipment like weights, dumbbells, bench and yoga mat.
12. Choose quality over quantity.
This applies to every aspect of your life, but especially to clothes, shoes, and accessories. Buy a few quality pieces that you really love and can include in your existing wardrobe. They will last you longer and you won’t have to repurchase them all the time.
13. Decrease your monthly bills.
Your recurring monthly bills might include rent/mortgage, insurance, electricity, water, phone service and a few others. To a certain extent you have the power over how much you spend on these services. Water, electricity and phone bills can easily be reduced, while others need some specific contract readjustments.
14. Sell stuff. Stop buying stuff.
Sell some stuff. This will give your savings account an instant cash injection. Your ‘stuff’ might be something you vigorously collect (but never use), that bike you never drive (but keep paying registration for), or something totally different.
Additionally, stop buying things that you don’t need or won’t use. Embrace the minimalist lifestyle. It directly means you’ll be saving more by having less. Have only what you need and nothing more. Simplify and minimize your life and make space for more travel.
In the end, I suggest you track your spendings and savings. It won’t help you save money per se, but you’ll have a clear overview of where the money goes and how much you’re actually saving. You might also want to consider opening a separate saving travel account where you transfer all your savings to.
I hope you were able to find some valuable suggestions on how to travel more with money-saving habits. Not every single one might work for you, and they don’t need to. If you truly don’t want to rob yourself of every pleasure, start with a couple of things that are the easiest for you to go without. Little things tend to add up and you’ll definitely come the full circle when you book your next travel adventure.
Do you have your own idea or tip to share with me/us on the ways to save for traveling? What’s been working for you? Was there something that didn’t? Do you have your own success story of how you managed to save for your travel? Let me know in the comments below.
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