23 Jun 9 Small Tips to Save Money for Travel
It’s daunting to begin to save. Period. It’s hard to set a budget, especially if you aren’t budget savvy (like me) and enjoy getting coffees from your favorite coffee place everyday (like me). It can be hard to pick where to start, but about a year earlier, Chloe and I started seriously saving for our trip. And trust us, we keep thinking about how much we could have saved if we would have been seriously saving for three years.
Chloe and I both work in the service industry, which was mainly how we saved for this adventure (our tips). Here are some tips we used when saving for our trip:
1. Set a budget.
Figure out all of your bills (rent, energy, water, credit card, internet, insurance, phone, etc.) and decide how much ‘extra’ you can spend a month on groceries, fun, and life in general – and then try to stick to that budget.
2. Save your tips.
Deposit your tips into your bank account immediately because it can be pretty easy to spend cash that is burning a hole in your pocket.
3. Set aside a coin jar to put all of your change in, as well as cash when it is handy.
And do NOT let yourself take any money out of it! But also, be conscious of it and force yourself to put $5, $10, or even $20 away every now and then… I promise you it will add up over time and you’ll be shocked at the total amount when it’s full!
4. Stay in and cook more, rather than eating out for every meal.
Chloe and I live in downtown Missoula, so it was close to all of the restaurants and bars. It got a little too easy to rely on walking to some place for dinner – and we worked on going grocery shopping, as well as buying food that we won’t waste and will actually enjoy making.
5. Cut back on your coffee spending.
Whether that be switching from lattes to drip coffee every other day, or making coffee at home – cut down on the luxury items that you don’t really need.
6. Look for ‘deals’ when going out with friends.
Get some drinks and meals at happy hour, or look for days/nights when drinks are discounted. This way, you can still be social on a budget. And don’t be afraid to nurse one drink or share meals with someone – you typically get more than you need anyways!
7. Cut back on shopping.
Do you really need that new shirt, sweater, whatever? Most of the times, you probably don’t.
8. Pick up a few extra shifts.
Since we both work in the service industry, it is relatively easy to pick up shifts. We both committed to trying to pick up a minimum of a few shifts a month, even with a full school load. Chloe and I both worked about 25 hours a week when we were in school.
9. Lastly – it may help you decide to stay in or go out when you think, “Would I rather have this beer here or a beer in ____?”
Or in Chloe’s case, “that $5 is another coffee in France!” It may work sometimes… or you may decide that you do need to meet up with a friend for a beer.
We have realized that cutting down on big purchases help a lot – but changing your small spending habits helps even more. Here’s to hoping that we listen to our own advice and save some $$ over the next month before we officially leave!