This blog post was updated on October 18, 2018.
Ordinary, day-to-day life leaves very little room for the travel funds to grow. Your piggy bank might have a giant sign strapped to it of where you hope to go, but the reality of getting there can seem dismal when you count up a few handfuls of spare change. Some will tell you to sell your car. Others will tell you to sell your kidney. However you don’t have to take drastic measures to save money for travel.
As a frequent traveler, I often receive questions of about saving for travel. For me, affording travel starts at home. Even in the depths of your despair of not having the funds to travel, where there is a will, there is always a way to make it happen. If you want to free up some extra cash so you can actually travel this summer, here are a few easy things you can do right now at home.
Use only credit cards that give you miles/travel rewards: When my cash flow is low and I start to feel sorry for myself, I look to my airline miles for hope. If you are trying to save for travel, you can do so by only using a credit card that gives you miles and travel rewards with the dollars you spend. I try not to use my other credit cards that don’t have travel rewards when I am looking to save. In the process of trying to acquire more miles, I end up spending less because I am avoiding certain credit cards. You have to spend some money at home. You might as well get something out of it and build up your airline miles for a free ticket.
Call up your cable company to cut back: The price for phone, cable and Internet can weigh heavily on travel funds. Sit down with your television for a minute. Notice any unnecessary movie channels you never watch? Hopeful travelers should give their cable company a call to find out if there are holes in their bill. Sometimes removing a few movie channels or switching to a new cable package can knock some money off of your monthly bill. If you find yourself never watching your television anymore and only utilizing online streaming, cut out cable all together and you could save hundreds a month.
Switch to Bar Soap: I am always so shocked when I hear people are still buying body wash. If you shower daily (I hope) a bottle of body wash can run out in as quick as two weeks. Most brand name body washes cost around $6-$10. You could spend upwards of $20 per month just to stay clean. Instead of buying those bulky bottles of body wash and shower gel, buy a bulk box of bar soap. Most can be found in packs of four to eight for around $4-$8. One bar of soap can last as long as two months if not longer depending on the soap. It might not seem like much, but that extra $10 to $15 saved each month adds up to many meals out on the road.
Drink Water: When I go to the supermarket, I never go down the juice and soda aisles. Drinking anything other than water can be costly to your travel funds. If you have a water filter on your tap or happen to live where the water is refreshing and clean (I’m looking at you Colorado) you can quench your thirst and save in the process. Cutting out unnecessary liquids, including frequent alcohol purchases is one of the easiest ways to trim back your grocery bill.
Sit down with your bills and find overspending: In order to start saving for travel, you have to confront your spending head on by having a visit with your monthly bills. Add up your expenses each month. If you are spending more than you make, it’s time to cut back somewhere. Traveler to traveler, this varies. Break out the highlighter and hone in on charges you don’t need to be making or that could be lessened. In a day and age of automatic payments, sometimes you can forget you are paying for things you don’t need or use anymore.
What are some ways you save at home to pad those travel funds?
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