Why is it that when we are young and full of energy and curiosity to see the world that we are also SO BROKE?!
Well, the truth is, it’s all about priorities. If you prioritise travel over other spending…you can make this work! And I’m here to tell you how.
They always say the easiest way to save is not to spend. Alas, ‘they’ are right again!
Here are some ideas for how to swap spending for saving and still have a good time:
- trade dinner out at a restaurant for cooking at home
- trade drinking at the bars for having friends over and playing drinking games
- trade a night playing mini golf/bowling/other games that cost money for a night of board games with your friends
- trade a day of shopping for a nice long hike
- trade ‘out for lunch’ for a picnic in a park
- trade a night at the cinema for a movie night at home
And if you do want to go out every now and then, look for ways to do it cheaper.
A lot of movie theatres have discounted prices during the day time or on week nights for example. Also, I’m not encouraging you to smuggle in your own snacks because that is immoral, but some people buy their candy beforehand for cheap and shove it in their purse or pockets! 😉
Another example: if you are in the mood to go out for drinks, go during happy hour! Or if you want to go out to eat, just go for appetisers and DRINK TAP WATER. Your bank account and your body will thank you for this.
Also, if you are a regular shopper (clothes, etc), just don’t go shopping. You will be amazed at how far you can stretch the wardrobe you already have.
A few other priceless tips: (hehe)
- Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere – never pay for overpriced water
- Have your coffee or tea at home – use a travel mug – never pay for overpriced coffee or tea
I think you get the idea. Just don’t spend money as much as possible.
I don’t think you should have a miserable and boring life in between each travel adventure, but you do have to make some sacrifices. Just keep your eye on the prize (travel) and choose the free/inexpensive option whenever possible.
Sell your JUNK
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
So I don’t actually mean ‘junk;’ I just mean the stuff you never use. Face it, there is likely loads in your closet that will never be worn. There are plenty of shops that will pay you for your clothes. Have a quick google in your area.
Here’s what I do: I load up a few bags with clothes I no longer wear (or never wore…yikes) and I bring them all to a shop that buy second hand clothing. Typically, they take several items. They love anything with a brand name, but will sometimes take other items too.
I usually make roughly $20 – $30 doing this once a year. Depending on what you have got in your closet, you may make way more or a bit less.
I then bring the items they did not buy from me straight to a charity shop. Which is just a good thing to do for your community anyways!
It’s an easy way to make some quick cash towards your travel fund while also getting a little bit more organised.
Don’t stop at clothes though! If you have other items laying around that you aren’t using but someone else could enjoy, post them for sale online. Facebook marketplace, eBay, etc. This could be anything: bikes, jewellery, furniture, kitchen goodies, etc. You may as well have the cash (and the space in your house) to put towards something you really want.
Accumulate Air Miles
Don’t hesitate to sign up for air miles accounts the first time you fly with any airline. Sure, sometimes they take a while to add up, but when they do add up…you could fly FOR FREE!
You should also consider whether it is worth it to A: go for the cheapest flight available every time you travel or B: try to stick to one airline whenever possible to accumulate air miles.
Obviously, this depends on the price difference, but DO think about it!
Also, open a credit card that offers air mile rewards. Have a look around before you do this because many credit cards offer some sort of promotion or deal a few times a year.
For example, there might be a deal that says if you spend X amount in the first 3 months, you will get DOUBLE air miles! OR if you open the card at a certain time of year, you will automatically get X amount of miles free.
I use my air miles credit card whenever I can. Typically, spending about 1 gbp = 1 air mile. It seems slow to add up, but I may as well use it if I need to spend that money anyways! Groceries = air miles… heck yes!
Many credit cards are free to sign up for and use, so I recommend starting with a free card when you first start.
However, many credit cards offer better incentives if you are willing to pay an annual free. For example, they may offer a ‘companion flight’ for free once you reach a certain number of miles. This essentially means you get one ‘BUY ONE GET ONE’ flight a year. AWESOME!
Keep a Change Jar
And be strict with it: once the change goes into the jar, do NOT take it back out!
This money, which may otherwise have ended up on the floor of your car, in the bottom or your purse, or between the sofa cushions, is now your travel fund.
It’s amazing how the pennies add up and you feel like you’ve done no additional work. It literally feels like free money!
Eye on the Prize
Any time you are tempted to spend unnecessarily, think of it this way: what could this money go towards otherwise?
For example, I was in town the other day and saw a pair of shoes that I really liked. Now, I have plenty of shoes…I don’t need another pair. They were about 35 gbp. Not too bad… But I thought to myself, ‘what could this money pay for instead?’
And the answer was that the cost of these shoes would cover almost half of my flight price to Prague this winter! Now my head was full of wanderlust for Prague instead of a desire for those shoes. Magic!
Happy saving! Eyes on the prize! You’ll get there eventually!