Many people complain they cannot travel. Usually, they say they don’t have time or money to do it. The thing is, to tackle this problem you have to either travel in a cheaper way or save money smartly!
What’s hard to grasp is that you don’t have to change your life completely in order to save money, it can be a lot simpler than that — and sometimes healthier. Every day you have different situations where you have to spend money and as long as you keep choosing the cheaper option, you should be fine.
Let me tell you how to save for your next trip:
1. Pack your lunch
Do you always grab a sandwich and a drink from the same store? Do you know how much money that adds up to? If you answered “yes” and then “no” you can potentially save a lot of money!
Say you spend $5 per day; that’s $25 a week! Over 50 weeks, you’re looking at $1250! So, why not prepare your sandwich at home the previous night and take it with you to work? Not only will you save a lot, but also you can be creative and pick some healthy options!
2. Don’t buy your morning coffee
“Say what!? I can’t live without my caffeine!”
Take it easy there! I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink coffee, just that you shouldn’t buy the classic latte to-go. Again, how much do you pay for it? $3? More? If you decide not to buy it in the morning you could save around $600 in a year.
The best course of action would be to take a flask with you! Just buy your favorite brand of arabica or robusta and brew it in the morning. The more involved you are in your coffee making, the more pleasurable it will be.
3. Cancel the gym membership
This might be a great way to save a bit more especially if you’re failing to attend your morning sessions! But in case you’re concerned about your fitness, remember that you can exercise in many places other than the gym.
You could buy your own weights and lift at home. Or instead of using the treadmill you could run in the park. What’s the price of the monthly membership? $20-$30? I can see you saving roughly $300!
4. Consider using public transport
I know there are several areas where it’s very hard to live without a car. Fair enough! But if you don’t live in one of those areas, could you be better off using buses, trains and subways? Could it be cheaper?
When you take into consideration insurance, maintenance, taxes, fuel and possibly parking fees, it quickly adds up. Nowadays you even have Uber or Lyft, which gives you even more options. I don’t have a car so it’s up to you to figure it out how much you could save, but I bet it’s more than you expect!
5. Cut down on eating out
Who doesn’t love visiting new and upcoming restaurants? Tasting different food and having a nice time with your partner or friends? The problem is that if you do it frequently, you might be spending more money than you’d like.
Nowadays you can find the recipe for pretty much any dish you want and before you tell me you’re not a great cook, have you actually tried? The moment you cook something super tasty you’ll be encouraged to do it again!
Say you usually spend $100 per month eating out. That’s $1200 over the whole year, think about it!
At the end of the day, everyone has different priorities. Some value the freedom a car gives to them too much to give it up. Others cannot be bothered to pack their own lunches or make their own coffee. I get that.
Still, I just gave you five examples! What are your spending habits? How can you change? If you pay attention, it’s usually the things you think are harmless that add up — it’s the small purchases.
So the next time you dream of visiting the blue clear waters of the Caribbean, remember that you have the power to save the money to do it!
Guilherme is a Brazilian freelance travel writer. He is the Co-Founder of the Slow Spirit Blog, where he writes about a minimalist, sustainable travel lifestyle.