Are you looking to enjoy more travel but finding money is a bit tight? There are a number of ways you can learn to simplify your life by reducing your daily expenses in order to help you save up for travel.
By learning how to differentiate between essential expenses and unnecessary purchases, along with changing what you put value on, you may be able to enjoy more travel without having to find a second job or sell everything you’ve worked hard for.
We’ve all read those articles about individuals or couples selling their homes and nearly all their belongings in order to travel the world. While the notion may seem romantic and adventurous, for many people it just isn’t realistic and does come with obvious drawbacks and challenges.
Sure, saving can be difficult, but you don’t have to sell everything you own in order to afford taking a holiday. There are many things you can do in your daily life that will help you cut your everyday expenses and allow you to save for the travel you desire.
By setting goals and learning how to budget, along with tracking your spending and cutting costs in certain areas, you too can free up some of your income to allocate to travel. Here are some of the best ways that will allow you to save money for your yearly travel fund.
Top Ways to Help You Save Up for your Next Trip
Become a Smart Shopper
One of the easiest ways to start saving for travel is becoming a smarter shopper in your everyday life. This begins with learning to compare prices, take advantage of price match guarantees, and searching for items online where they are often much cheaper than in stores.
Online shopping also comes with the advantage of signing up for company email lists which often send you notifications of sales along with discounts or free shipping on your first placed order. You can also search for online coupon codes to save even further.
Another great way to save is to buy used instead of new. Many products depreciate in value the minute you purchase them, thereby making used items often a far better value.
Of course there are many household items you may be a bit wary about buying used such as mattresses or lounges since it’s not exactly fun playing the “guess what that stain is” game.
Thankfully, you can nowadays find new stylish sofas that are affordable and built to last which will save you money in the long run since you’ll be making a purchase that is economical without compromising on quality and durability.
Some final ways to be a more economical shopper include holding off on buying the latest released products like smartphones or plasma TVs. Most products, especially electronics, are usually more expensive when there is hype around them.
Wait a few months or a year and then make your purchase.
Seek out times of the year when sales are most active like the holidays, and forego buying those items you don’t really need but seem to buy out of impulse.
Cut Down on Food Costs
Food costs may be one of your biggest ongoing expenses, but there are many ways to quickly lower your weekly food bill. It starts with sticking to the grocery store and learning to cook your own cheap meals.
Eating out at cafes and restaurants, even cheaper takeaway joints, can see you paying exponentially more for a similar meal prepared by you with ingredients purchased from the grocery store.
While it’s fine to eat out for special occasions, dining at restaurants regularly will see you throwing away money since a lot of what you are paying for is not the food rather the preparation, presentation, setting, use of dinnerware, and gratuities for service.
While it may take time preparing your own meals at home, you can easily whip-up several days’ worth of meals all at once to save time. Beverages are another area where you can save a ton of money.
Cut back on alcohol or ditch it altogether and you’ll start saving quickly. Make your own coffee at home rather than grabbing a café takeaway on the run. And start drinking tap water, assuming its safe, using a reusable drink bottle instead of wasting cash on bottled water.
Start buying grocery items in bulk whether it be purchasing more economical larger sized bags and boxes of items or standard sized items which are on special. Sticking with store brand foods as opposed to the more expensive name brands will also reduce your grocery costs.
Sell Items You No Longer Want or Need
We all have stuff hiding in closets, drawers, and under beds that we no longer use. Whether it‘s old impulse purchases, stuff the kids have outgrown, or curios we inherited from relatives, there are often a number of things in your home that may be valuable.
Why not make money from the stuff you no longer want or need instead of letting it collect dust.
You can opt for a yard sale or take to the web via using sites like Ebay, Amazon, Gumtree, and Craigslist to sell all your unwanted items.
If you have a bit of artistic talent, you can even create items to sell on sites like Etsy to make some extra cash from doing something you enjoy doing as a hobby.
Reduce Your Utility Bills
While you may not be able to save a ton of money by reducing your utility costs, every little bit helps. Start focusing on how much wasted electricity you use and change your habits.
This means turning off lights when not in a room, unplugging chargers when not charging devices, and wearing sweaters and using blankets instead of turning on the heat.
Open windows and use fans instead of cranking up the air conditioning, switch to energy-saving appliances and LED bulbs, and opt for a clothesline instead of using a dryer.
You can also save on your water bills by switching to water efficient appliances, taking shorter showers, checking for leaks, and only running your dishwasher when it’s completely full.
Spend Less on Your Looks
While it feels good to look nice, you don’t always have to pump a lot of money into your appearance in order to look attractive.
Reduce the frequency of your haircuts and hair treatments, nail salon visits, and other self-pampering rituals. Cancel your gym memberships and opt for cardio sessions outdoors or do calisthenics and yoga in the comfort of your own home using YouTube tutorials.
Staying fit doesn’t have to cost a muscular arm and a leg.
Ditch the designer brands and switch to clothing that looks just as good without the inflated price tag. Seek out costume jewellery over diamonds and gold since most people can’t tell the difference from afar anyway.
Stick to the bargain racks that often offer up what was once expensive clothing just a few months prior. You can save on clothing by purchasing it during off seasons such as buying leftover bikinis and board shorts in fall and winter, and jackets and hoodies in spring and summer.
Find Free Activities to Enjoy
Daily or weekend enjoyment doesn’t have to necessarily cost money. There are many ways to have fun with your partner, friends, or family.
Spending time outdoors whether it be walking the beach, spending time in a local park, or hiking in nearby national parks is a great way to find relaxation, get exercise, and generally have fun.
Instead of heading to the theatre or paid sporting event, opt for reading books on the porch, learn a new skill, play with old board games, or check out free local attractions like museums.
Another activity which is not only free but rewarding and fulfilling as well is to volunteer your time for a good cause. And good karma always has a way of repaying you later which may assist you in your desire to travel.
Save On Fuel Costs or Ditch Your Vehicle Completely
While owning a vehicle offers a ton freedom and convenience, they definitely don’t come cheap both in terms of initial costs and ongoing expenses associated with fuel, maintenance, and insurance. There may also be hefty loan repayments with high interest involved.
The obvious way to save money on transport is to sell your car and opt for public transport and use ride-sharing services like Uber if you live in a place that offers it.
Not only does using public transport save you money, it also frees up time you would have spent driving to do other tasks like catching up on work emails and greatly reduces your chances of being involved in a serious traffic accident.
Of course many of us, myself included, are not so eager to hand over our keys. Thankfully, you can still own a vehicle and find ways to reduce your fuel and other driving related costs.
When it comes to saving of fuel, search for smartphone apps that help you locate the cheapest fuel stations around town or make use of fuel rewards programs which are often offered through businesses like grocery stores.
Some other ways you can reduce driving costs is to refrain from speeding, limiting your air conditioning and heating usage, making sure your tyres are properly inflated and aligned, removing roof racks and keeping windows rolled up for better aerodynamics, and using cruise control if you have it.
When it comes time to purchase a new car, consider investing in an electric or hybrid vehicle and understand that manual transmission vehicles are generally more fuel efficient than automatics.
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