I assume you’re here because you want to save money to travel or you want to travel MORE. I’ll start by explaining why I think I’m loosely qualified to offer some advice on this matter: Even though I’m horrible with numbers, I’ve always been really good at saving money. It’s something I started doing from a young age because if I ever wanted something I had to earn the money and save for it. Now, I’m slightly obsessed with saving money and I have several methods that I’ve implemented into my everyday life in order to save money so I can travel more.
Here are my best nine tips on how-to-not-be-too-stingy-and-still-have-a-social-life-while-saving-money-to-travel, accompanied by some of my favourite travel pictures to help kick-start that saving motivation!
1. Put away a small amount of money each day, week or month.
I believe this is the easiest method for saving money because you save as much or as little as you can afford. I also recommend saving this money in a place where it is not easily accessible (in a sealed tin or savings account, see points below) Here are a few ideas of how much money you can save to travel using this method:
Saving .50c a day or $3.50 a week or $14 a month for a year will save you $182.
Saving $2 a day or $14 a week or $56 a month for a year will save you $730.
Saving $5 a day or $35 a week or $140 a month for a year will save you $1,820.
2. Cut back on buying coffee or lunches at work
Did you know that if you buy a $5 coffee every day, you’re spending $25 each week? Did you also know that if you stopped buying coffee every day for a year (based on working 48 weeks) and saved that $5 a day you’d end up with $1,200 of savings instead?
There are also plenty of people who buy their work lunches every work day. If you’re one of those people, have you considered that spending $10 – $15 each workday on lunch equals $50-$75 a week? Based on working 48 weeks per year, what might be a convenient meal each day adds up to whopping $2,400-3,600 a year, which is easily an overseas trip!
3. Open a savings account
If you don’t already have one, do yourself a favour and open a savings account. This should be an account that you don’t have a physical card to access the funds. A savings account will be a place to save money to travel that you can’t easily access (through the tap of a card), which will make you consider and track your spending in contrast to swiping a card without a second thought.
4. Cut back on buying new clothes and shoes.
I’m not suggesting you stop buying clothes completely or that you stop treating yourself to new clothes occasionally, however, it’s really important to consider whether you really need something new when you’re shopping.
At the start of this year, I did a major sort through my wardrobe and noticed that I had so many pieces that were so similar to one another in my closet. So I set myself one rule for shopping this year (because yes, I’m obsessed with shopping) and it was that I wouldn’t buy any new items of clothing that weren’t significantly different to what I already owned. I’ve not only curbed my spending and able to save money to travel, but I have a more varied wardrobe than I did in January! I’ve also stopped buying new outfits for special occasions and work with what I already own.
5. Use a spare change tin
I absolutely despise carrying around cash because I know that I’ll spend it if it’s sitting in my purse. So because I know I do this if for some reason I end up with notes or coins I stuff them into a savings tin, which I can only open with a can opener to stop me from digging into it!
6. Make a budget… and stick to it!
Budgets can be a wonderful thing. Budgets can make us realise that we don’t have to forgo all the other things we love and enjoy just so we can afford to travel. Instead, budgets allow us to track, evaluate and prioritise our spending.
For example, as part of my budget, I may save $100 from each pay into my travel fund. I may also budget $100 from each pay towards social activities, shopping and day-to-day expenses. However, every now and then I may miss out on saving money for travel if an extra bill pops up or I want to attend a special event that my “social activities, shopping and day-to-day expenses” budget won’t cover. Budgets, when abided by, ensure that you understand how your money is being spent.
7. Go out less, eat in more
Ditch restaurants (every now and then) for home-cooked meals, self-prepared picnics or outdoor barbeques, which will probably feed a few more people than it costs for one to eat at an establishment. Most people will spend between $30 – $60 each time they go out for a meal, whether that be brunch, lunch or dinner. Consider this, if this you were to eat out once each week for a year you would be spending between $1560 – $3100 annually.
8. Cut back on vices
Vices such as alcohol and cigarettes are big travel-fund-draining culprits. I’ve gone ahead and put together a few hypothetical calculations to put these expenses into perspective. For those who throw down a couple of hundred dollars on a night out each weekend will probably tear up at the idea that if they didn’t drink away that $200 each week for a year they would have saved $10,400. For smokers, a 30-pack will set you back approximately $40 and say you buy two packets a week, that’s $4,160 a year, which (pardon the pun) has quite literally gone up in smoke.
9. Cut back on luxuries and services you can do for yourself
Another thing I’ve implemented into my daily life to fund my travels is cutting back on spending money on things I can do myself, such as getting my nails done. Did you know that many people who get their nails manicure at a salon do so every two weeks? This sort of upkeep at $40 – $ 60 each visit would cost $1,040 – $1,560 annually.
I don’t suggest cutting these things out completely but instead, I save these things for special occasions or do them less regularly. Other luxuries or services that could be supplemented with alternatives or done yourself may include gym memberships, lawn mowing and car washes.