Tips to Save Money

February 13, 2017
Travel Tips

Who is concerned about the costs of traveling?

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One of the most daunting aspects of traveling is putting together the funds. It's difficult to put aside such a large amount of disposable income. The following tips should help ease the stress off of the financial planning for your trip.

1. Set up a savings plan.

It's hard to commit to saving when you don't have a plan outlined. There are a few things you can do to make this easier to achieve:

  • Outline specific goals: try to avoid over generalizing your goals. While it is important to "spend less money", that is hard to achieve without benchmarks to reach! You need specific, monetary goals to be able to see that travel fund grow!

Make a spreadsheet: Ok, who doesn't like spreadsheets? (Probably most people) This is a good way to be realistic, outline the major costs of your trip in terms of your income and expenses and see where you need to improve. 

  • Create your plan! 

2. Cut out unnecessary or extraneous expenses.

Do you really need that $5 coffee every morning? Can you bring a lunch to work instead of spending $8 every afternoon? Or maybe just cut these down to a treat on Mondays or Fridays. It can be hard to break a habit like this but it's important to be honest with yourself and keep the goal in mind. A more drastic-and noticeable- change in your expenses is to remove cable. This can save you upwards of $1,000 a year! 

This could easily fund your trip-or several trips! There are SO many alternatives to cable, and since many people don't need all of the channels offered to them why pay for them? There are many cheaper alternatives, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime that many of us already have.Review your expenses and see where you can either do without, or do it yourself!

3. Time to empty your closet

If you take good care of your clothes and you find your dressers overflowing, why not get some cash for the items you don't wear? You can bring these to local closets in town that give you money in exchange for a bundle of clothes or even try Poshmark. It can be frustrating sometimes if you only get $15 for a whole garbage bag of clothes (been there!) but add it to your fund! It grows quickly, and that could be a meal in Iceland or a souvenir in Japan.

4. Sell your stuff!

This sounds pretty drastic but don't we all have junk lying around we just don't use anymore? Couches, tables, college textbooks, speakers, your old iPod...instead of putting these in storage or piling more on top of them, try and sell them. Sites like Craigslist, Offer Up, and Amazon are good resources.

5. Cut coupons

Great way to get some quality time with Grandma...but seriously, this can be a GREAT way of saving on things you just can't cut out of your life. We all need toilet paper, why not pay less for it? Most grocery stores have some kind of free rewards program you can take advantage of, and even printable coupons online. Groupon offers some as well, so start clipping!

6. Work work work work work work...

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Go home, Rihanna. 

This is probably not the most popular way to save up, but it definitely works! If your job offers overtime, try and fit some into your schedule. Or, you can pick up small side jobs like tutoring or babysitting. Try checking out Craigslist or with friends and family to see if they have work for you to do. Some ads on Craigslist simply need someone to do some data entry 2-4 hours a week...from home!

7. Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account

Savings accounts generally get more interest than a checking account so why not have an automatic transfer every month? Any amount you can work with at any time interval. You won't miss the money you don't see. This can be easy to do; speak with your HR rep at work and have them transfer a portion to a separate account. Or, through your bank account you can set up automatic transfers. This is a great way to save up without even trying!Also remember that credit unions generally get better interest rates than banks. Try looking around for some credit cards that can be used to get miles, or are specifically mentioned for traveling! Look around and see what will work for you.

8. Save your change!

Change and small bills are so often underestimated! If you have lose change sitting around, or piles around the house and in your purses, put it all in a jar. This is especially true if you work at a restaurant or bar where you receive tips. Once you put this money in the jar, don't touch it! Don't take it out until you are ready to deposit it or exchange for large bills. I had a medium size jar FULL of change and it turned out to be around $65! You can use machines like CoinStar to put in your change and get cash, but remember they take a percentage of your change. If you want to save as much as possible, go to your bank and ask for the coin rolls; this way you can separate all your change, bring it to the bank in rolls and get the exact amount in large bills, or deposit it into your savings

9. Cook more, eat out less

I think it is common knowledge that eating out carries a much heftier price than grocery shopping and cooking for yourself. While cooking can be intimidating, there are a lot of simple crockpot recipes out there, and recipes for beginners you can search for on sites like Pinterest. Also, cooking your own food means you can use coupons!

10. Write it down

Write down everything you buy. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable and look back on previous purchases and decide if you really needed that doughnut. It will help you in the future to make wiser decisions in saving your money!In reality, this list could be nauseatingly long. There are my personal ways to make and save money that I have found WORK very well! Try applying some of these and see where it gets you.

This post is geared toward PLANNING BEFORE YOUR TRIP...Stay tuned for savings while abroad! :)

Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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