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A lot of people complain about not being able to afford to travel, but the truth is it’s really all about priorities. If you really want to travel then there are many ways you can save money to do it, as long as you have some income coming in. Yes you may need to quit spending all your money on food and alcohol, but the sacrifice will be worth it when you’re crossing off many of the items from your bucket list.
Check Your Bank Account
Are you one of those people who’s scared to look at your bank account? The first step to saving money is to actually take a long hard look at your finances. It may be painful at first looking at all the money you’ve spent, but it’s necessary if you want to become financially responsible.
Make a note of how much money comes in every month, then compare this with how much you’re spending.
Set a Monthly Spending Budget
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to set a monthly spending budget.
Refinance Your Debt
If you have credit card debt, you’re likely paying interest every month. In order to pay down your debt faster, consider signing up for a 0% interest credit card. There’s usually a one-off balance transfer fee, but at least you won’t be wasting money on interest every month.
You could also consider taking out a personal loan in order to consolidate all your debts and just make one regular monthly payment. There tons of personal loan calculators out there that will help you calculate your estimated payment and what the loan will end up costing you.
If you have a car loan, you may want to shop around for auto-refinancing deals to see if you can get a lower rate.
Take Advantage of Bank Sign-Up Offers
One quick and easy way to make money for travel is to sign up for bank accounts that have sign-up offers. Some banks will offer say $100-$300 just for signing up and completing a certain number of actions. You may have to do things like set up a direct deposit for your paycheck, maintain a minimum balance for a month or two, or use your debit card for a specific number of transactions.
The bank may not deposit the money right away, but it’s a quick and easy way to make money with very little effort involved on your part.
Cut Back on Alcohol and Nights Out
Alcohol is super expensive and it’s often the biggest drain on people’s finances. If you go on a night out in New York city a cocktail costs $15-$20, a beer costs $8 and wine costs around $10 or $12. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to spend $100 in an evening just on drinks.
Consider having an alcohol-free month or even going sober while you’re trying to reach your travel savings goal. If you really can’t give up the drink, at least try to drink at home before you go out and perhaps stick to the cheapest drinks when you’re out. Light beer tends to be most affordable, so skip the fancy cocktails and go for beer instead.
Eat at Home
One of the biggest drains on my bank balance is eating out. While it’s fun to eat out once in a while, eating out all the time can get very expensive. If you’re really set on saving money for travel, try to limit eating out to say once per week or once every two weeks. Obviously it’s important to catch up with friends and enjoy life, but it’s just not necessary to eat out constantly.
Try to buy groceries and cook your own meals at home as often as you can. Avoid buying groceries
Make Your Coffee at Home
Instead of spending $5 on coffee from your local coffee shop every day, consider making your own coffee at home.
Are you spending money on tons of TV subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO? Monthly subscriptions can really add up, so consider whether you actually need them. If you really like watching movies and TV shows, perhaps just allow yourself one TV subscription then cancel all the others. Or you could entertain yourself by watching free videos on YouTube.
Always use Coupon Codes
Whenever I buy anything online, I always hunt around for coupon codes to get a discount. Sometimes the website will offer 10% or 15% off just for signing up to the company newsletter. Do it!
To find coupon codes you can simply search “[company name] coupon code” in Google and various sites will pop up. There are also tools you can add to your web browser, like Capital One Shopping or Honey, that will search promo codes for you and apply them at checkout.