It can be hard to save money for travel. After all, there are seemingly endless expenses to keep up with in your day to day life. It can be overwhelming for anyone.
Now, I know you don’t want to be stuck in your hometown your whole life. Everyone wants a vacation. You might just want one week away, or you might want an entire year.
No matter what your travel goals are this year, you’re going to have to save money. It’s not as hard as you think, either. I’ve got three easy tricks that will help you save money without even noticing it. When it’s finally time to buy your flight or pack your car, you’ll be ready.
Save money, curb your habits
Whether you’re tight on cash every month or you just aren’t very good at saving, these tricks are sure to help. However, let’s start by talking about priorities.
It’s easy to spend money in America. Going out to eat, getting drinks with friends, going to shows, and just buying random crap are all easy ways to waste your money. If you’re serious about traveling.
Think of the two biggest ways that you waste money on a regular basis.
Do you go to the bars every weekend? Do you eat out a lot? Whatever your expensive habits are, cutting them in half, or out altogether will go a long ways towards freeing up extra money to save.
These tricks will work whether you cut back your expenses or not. However, cutting out a couple of expensive habits is the best way to speed up the process.
It all comes down to what you want. How badly do you want to travel? If you want to save money, here’s how to make it happen:
Save 10% of what you earn
This is a classic trick. It’s taught by billionaires all over the world and it’s a concept that dates back to ancient Babylon (seriously).
The idea is simple. Every time you’re paid, immediately deposit 10% of your earnings into a separate account that you do not use. It’s a small amount that you probably won’t miss in your day to day life, but over the months it will start to add up.
Personally, I do this with three different accounts every month and I deposit 10% into each one. One is for travel, one is for emergencies, and the other is for investing. I don’t touch any of that money. I just let it add up.
Next time I want to buy a plane ticket, I’ll be set.
If you’re interested in reading more about the origin of this idea, as well as learning how to manage and accumulate wealth in general, check out ‘The Richest Man In Babylon.’ It’s available for free online here and it may be the single biggest step you ever take towards taking control of your financial future.
Organize your bank account
As you may have realized, I have four different savings accounts. Each one has a different purpose. Every time I am paid. I divide the money up by percentage before spending any of it.
Having your bank account organized in a way that makes it easy to track your savings is critical for so many reasons.
Firstly, it lets you see your travel savings add up. Not to mention that you can rest easy that you won’t use that money for rent or other things.
Second, it helps you to stay more disciplined about your savings goals. If you’re almost out of money in your expenses account, then you’ll be less likely to go blow it all at the bars. Keep all your money in one place, and you might not have so much restraint.
If your bank account is still just composed of a checking and a savings account, try changing it up.
Open a couple of secondary savings accounts that fit your life. One can be for future travel. Another can be for emergency expenses. One can be for something big that you want, such as a car or a new computer.
Dividing up your money and setting goals is a great way to get serious about savings. It can also help you to protect your savings from day to day expenses.
Save all your singles
If you’re looking for more little ways you can save money in the long run, this one’s easy and fun. It’s especially effective if you work in the service industry and receive tips.
Get a big jar and put all of your $1 bills in it. Any time you have singles, put them in the jar. Keep the big bills for day to day expenses. Or, receive bonus points by depositing them into your savings accounts.
Then, you can do either of two things with these saved up singles. You can use them to deposit into your travel savings account every couple of months. That way they go directly to your future adventures.
Or, instead of saving mine, I use my singles to mediate my biggest expense– gear.
I’m a climber, and I have a real problem. If I had my way, then I’d spend all my money on gear every month. However, when I’m saving up to travel, this obsession can be a big problem.
So my solution is to only buy gear with my $1 bills. I work part time as a cook, and my tips add up pretty quickly. This way, my savings for travel are safe from my obsession with climbing equipment, and I still get to buy new gear from time to time. It helps to mediate my spending and keeps me from being impulsive.
Either way, this allows your singles to be used for something productive, instead of beers with friends and snacks at the gas station. But hey, maybe you want to use your collection of singles as your party money. That’s a great way to keep social drinking from interfering too much with savings.
The bottom line
No matter how you do it, you’re going to have to get good at saving money if you want to spend time traveling. This means budgeting your expenses as well as getting smart about how you manage your money and accounts.
These three tricks will get you a long way towards your goals of travel, but you can always do more. So find ways to save that work for you. Then, mark your progress and remember to focus on each step you take towards the things you want the most.
There might be days when it sucks to save money, but it will all be worth it once the plane takes off. Just think about the road ahead and do your best to stay on track.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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