Many people don’t travel as much as they would like because they think it is too expensive. Let’s end that myth right now. The key is to learn how to save enough money to fund your adventures. We spent months saving up and cutting costs and now we are off traveling around the world for almost a year. Here are 3 easy things you can do to save up for your next trip.
Implement Lifestyle changes
What are the things you spend the most money on? We wrote out our monthly expenses and found that we spent heaps of money on our car payment, gym membership and cable TV. We realized these costs were all added luxuries in our life that we didn’t actually need. Instead of driving everywhere we could start using public transit. Instead of paying for a gym membership we could run outside and buy some dumbbells to use to work out at home. Instead of cable TV, we could suck it up and watch Netflix and Hulu. We found that all these things were pretty easy to give up, it just required a change in lifestyle. By giving up our car, gym membership and cable we were saving over $500 a month. Guess where all that money went? Straight into our travel fund.
Make Simple Swaps
You would be surprised how much money people spend on small things like coffee, booze, Uber rides, manicures etc. Think about some of your small habits and find one or two that you can swap out. For example, if you’re a fan of those fancy Starbucks lattes, each time you buy one that is $4.50 you won’t have for your next trip. Even if you don’t go for those expensive Starbucks drinks, making your coffee at home, over time it will help save a significant amount of cash for your next adventure. For us, our simple swap was eating out. We are serious foodies and would constantly find ourselves paying San Francisco prices and throwing away $40-$80 on dinner out, or $20-$30 on lunch. Each time we decided to eat in, we put the money we would have spent into our travel fund. You would be shocked at how much we saved just by packing a brown paper bag lunch for work each day instead of buying lunch. Your simple swap could be smaller than our was, or you could pick multiple things to swap out to save even more. It is important to realize that even if a $4.50 latte doesn’t seem like it will put a dent in your travel budget, over time the $4.50 you save every time you forgo the fancy coffee, will add up fast.
We liked to have a visual representation of the money we were saving. Every month we would take out a bunch of cash and each time we passed on Starbucks or a dinner out, we would put the cash we would have spent in a jar. Yes, we know it seems a little silly to take out cash only to store it in a jar and then inevitably put it back into the bank again, but we needed that visual reminder of the money we could save by making simple swaps. It’s encouraging to see that cash piling up.
Get a Side Hustle
Nowadays it is easy to bring in some extra cash. Find something small you can do in your free time that will give you a little more travel money. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment but just something small to build up some cash over time. If you have a spare bedroom you could list it on Airbnb. We didn’t have the luxury of having a spare bedroom but sometimes when we went away for the weekend we would list our house on Airbnb and we certainly brought in some nice cash to cushion our travel fund. If home sharing is not your thing, you should consider driving for Lyft or Uber. Drive for two hours before or after work, or on weekends and you’ll have some more money to spend on your trip. Another option is to find flexible freelance work. Visit sites like Upwork or Freelancer where you can apply for freelance projects. You would be shocked at how many opportunities you can find out there. Enter some data, proofread a paper, design a website, plan a trip, or even get paid to tweet. You can find flexible one-time projects or ongoing contracts that will keep the cash flowing into your travel fund. You can also check sites like TaskRabbit to pick up some work around your neighborhood.
It is easy to save up for a big trip if you are smart about it. Use our tips to grow your travel fund and keep exploring.
Got more tips? We would love to hear them. Please share your advice in the comment section below.