We so often hear that it’s too expensive to travel. Almost all of us have heard it or said it, “I can’t afford to travel.” Here’s the thing, you can. It’s about learning how to save money, prioritizing what you spend on and remembering why and where you want to go. Saving can be compared to dieting – going cold turkey very rarely works before you end up splurging on everything you missed. Having balance, and not giving up your lifestyle, can be the key to not having FOMO and overspending.
So, if you want to finally start traveling, or better budget for your time abroad, it’s time to cut down on your expenses. Here’s some simple tips to start saving money today (without coupons or giving up your lifestyle)!
Buy less coffee out
Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, etc. we’re talking at you. Buying coffee out is a daily expense that really adds up. A $5 cup a day costs $150 a month. That quickly adds up to $1,800 per year, which is enough for a month in Europe or Southeast Asia(!!). So cut the daily coffee run and make some at home, or at the office. It’ll make the occasional cup out that much better.
Start packing a lunch
We know it’s unrealistic to pack a lunch every day, and sometimes you get home too exhausted to make dinner – but packing a lunch (or eating at home) can help you save thousands each year. So next time you’re thinking about hitting Chipotle instead of throwing together a lunch, drag yourself to the kitchen and make a quick, healthy lunch. Your wallet, and waistband, will thank you. Or even better yet, spend time meal prepping on Sundays and whip up these quick and easy, make ahead lunches.
Get a good reusable bottle
The environment and your wallet are going to thank you for this one. Buying water bottles daily are not only bad for your wallet, they’re terrible for the environment. Plus, with so many cute reusable bottles now – like Bkr – they’re basically a fashion accessory, that’s good for the earth.
Cancel your cable
With streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu and more, why do you still need cable? You read the news on your phone or laptop anyhow, so save yourself $$ and opt to kick cable to the curb (and a landline if you still have one of those – is that even a thing anymore?).
Get a new credit card
Now this might seem counterintuitive. But we’re not encouraging you to spend more, rather to rack up points for flights, on your everyday purchases. Do a bit of research and choose a travel credit card with a hefty sign up bonus. Here’s an up to date list of travel credit cards on Forbes to get started.
Cut back on overspending on drinks
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but for those that enjoy going out for a drink (or a few) cutting back on that habit can save you hundreds a month. Alcohol is expensive, but especially expensive at bars and restaurants. Try limiting yourself to one or two drinks out, and cut down on the number of nights a week you go drinking, to save some serious cash. Remember that all those happy hours can add up, (and that for the price of one drink in the US, you can buy 3 bottles of wine in Europe!!).
Make your dream destination your phone background
With so many excuses for why you can’t save, it’s important to remember why you want to save – to see the world! Find a photo of your dream destination and make it your phone screensaver or lock screen. We spend a crazy amount of time looking at our phones everyday, so this is a good way to subconsciously ebb that beautiful place into your brain. That way, every time you might get the urge to splurge, you’ll actually see why you shouldn’t.
If you implement these simple tips, you can start saving big-time, in no time! Remember, it’s ok to enjoy yourself but keep your bigger goal in mind. Saying ‘no’ to friends might seem challenging at first, but if you pick and choose your social engagements -and what you spend on – you’ll soon be spending your time on the beach or exploring Europe.
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