SAVE MORE, TRAVEL MORE
By Allen Michael
Traveling is one of the luxuries everyone wants to enjoy, but not everyone can afford the expense needed for it. You don’t need to be rich to afford your dream travel destination. All you need to do to achieve this is to know how to save money and commit to your goals.
If you wish to travel to a destination you may think is too expensive, here are some tips on how to save for that trip.
HAVE A GOAL
Nothing seems more exciting than impulse traveling, where you take the next available flight to
your dream destination. While this may be thrilling, it’s not a smart move to make. Traveling requires careful planning and goal setting, especially if money is a little bit tight.
It may be an exciting thought to travel everywhere, but it’s more practical to set one travel goal at a time. Be specific about where you want to go. If you plan to go on multiple destination trips, make sure to carefully plan out how you can afford it without going into debt.
Plan out your travel and itinerary, calculate your budget and finances, then stick to your goals.
LEARN HOW TO BUDGET
The most important thing to do when planning a huge trip is your budget. Track your cash flow as it is essential to know where and how much of your money gets spent. This way, you know which expenses are unnecessary, you can determine where to cut back on your purchases, and you find out how much you can save.
Budget your everyday expenses with your travel goal in mind. That makes this first step easier.
COMMIT TO YOUR GOAL
Now that you have set your goal and determined your daily budget, it’s time to commit to your travel goal. Saving money can be hard and challenging. With the right mindset and constant revalidation of why you’re doing it helps.
As you establish your budget, you can now assess your expenses. Start small and avoid spending on your whims. Do this and you can save more than what you initially planned.
This process may be hard to do, so this is where goal-setting helps. Hang a map on your wall or put up pictures of your travel destinations to remind you of your goal. It may be a long way to go, but remember it’s worth it in the end.
The most challenging part of saving is differentiating needs from wants. A lot of items for sale are masked as needs when in fact, they are unnecessary expenditures. Examples of these are shopping for clothes, eating out, buying a cup of cappuccino in your favorite coffee shop, or purchasing unnecessary subscriptions.
If you examine these things, it may look as if you need to spend money on this stuff. Not so. In fact, you can actually find a cheaper or free alternative.
MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE
Have the urge to buy that tall size Frappuccino? You may reason out that it doesn’t cost more than five dollars. But if you really think about it, it’s about $1,000 you can save a year if you just make your own espresso or coffee at home for $0.17!
If you’re in need of that coffeehouse drink so badly, start small. Cut back by buying that tall drip coffee for two dollars once a week. Then drink homemade coffee the majority of the time.
COOK YOUR OWN FOOD
Instead of opting to eat out every day, it’s a smarter choice to cook your own food. Cooking for yourself doesn’t have to be too time-consuming, especially with all the apps and recipes out there. Plus, think about the money you can save by planning out your meals weekly.
Cooking your meals every day can provide you with extra money in your savings. For example, if you eat out for a week, it would cost about $80.
Instead, find unprocessed, healthy foods to make yourself. This might only cost you $40 to $50 a week.
This process will not only help you with your travel savings but could also result in a healthier and more active lifestyle.
CANCEL THE GYM MEMBERSHIP
While a healthy and active lifestyle should be a top priority, it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself if that a gym membership is a necessary expense.
When reviewing which subscriptions and memberships to cut back on, ask yourself these questions. “Do I maximize the use of this membership?” “Do I go to my gym often?” “Do I really need to use the gym?”
If you do realize you need the benefits a gym membership offers, you can cut back on this monthly expense by looking for a gym that offers almost the same benefits but with cheaper price.
However, if you find yourself wasting away funds that can potentially be used for your travels, it’s time to find an alternative.
Outdoor exercising, running in the park, or working out around your home are great and free alternatives you can do for cardio. You can also set up a gym in your own home and exercise with the help of workout videos for free online. By doing this, you’ll see your physique healthier and your savings account fatter.
This not only works for gym memberships but for your other subscriptions, as well. Look at your magazines, newspaper, book club, etc. subscriptions. With everything at our fingertips, it’s high time to stop spending on things you can initially find online for free.
KILL YOUR CABLE TV
As mentioned above, a lot of things are available online for less or for free. That being said, you can save more when you cut your cable subscription. Entertainment doesn’t have to cost around $1,800 a year. That could be what you spend on cable TV!
Instead of spending money on just watching TV, find a healthier and more productive entertainment alternative.
Spend your time on reading secondhand books for as low as five dollars, visit events with free admission, go to a park and witness live music, or take on a free hobby. You can also invite friends over or hang out at their place to watch some old movies. Entertainment doesn’t have to be limited inside your home.
And, if you crave a movie night or would love to binge watch a movie, Netflix subscription is always cheaper than cable.
This process can also cover a wider scope, such as your utility bills. When you ask yourself how you could cut back on your bills, there are some habits you can do to lessen your electricity and water bill.
The secret to saving more is knowing how to spend your money. You want to spend less and have the same quality. Research and compare products, then apply your street-smart skills.
GENERIC BRANDS AND CASHBACK
One of the things you can do to spend less and save more is to consider buying generic brands. This doesn’t apply to everything, as it should be based on your judgment. But, if there’s no need for you to buy the brand name, you’ll save a lot more when you opt for the alternative.
Another thing to consider when spending is to use coupons and Ebates. These can help you in saving even just a small amount. Discount coupons and cash backs are very helpful, especially for cutting down your grocery expenses.
BE SMART ABOUT YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS
It’s always smart to review your home and car insurance and find the best and cheapest options for you.
The car insurance industry is quite competitive, and your rates may be slowly increasing without you noticing it. Experts advice is you should shop for car insurance every year. Search and compare prices to find what’s best for your situation.
Know the rates of your current house and car insurance. Take the option to switch to a lower rate, without compromising the benefits. This will help increase your travel savings.
Another thing to consider when you want to maximize how you save is to cut back on your accommodations. This is a common story successful travelers shared regarding how they saved for their traveling goals.
If you either rent or own a place, it can cost a lot of money living on your own. Take on a roommate or two, and help alleviate that problem. You can save more.
If you’re younger and your lease is about to expire, it’s also ideal to consider moving back to your parents’ home. This is especially important if there are only a few months left before you plan to leave for your trip. This way, you can lessen your bills and expenses, and save more for your travels.
These are just some of the many tips you can do each month to save money if you’re planning to travel more. Of course, there are many other easy ways to save every day.
One last thing to remember when saving for your trip: make sure to have a separate account for your travel savings to avoid getting tempted to spend it. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. With these easy tips, you’ll be able to save up for our dream destination in no time!