Budgeting in general can be tough we know. There are regular, non-negotiable expenses like food and shelter, plus your important add-ons, like retirement savings or paying off those college loans. And just when you feel like there is no wiggle room in your budget to save more, you want to start travelling, which means a new savings account for your travelling.
The key to any trip is being smart with your money – and that starts even before you hit the road. It’s important to know how to save and plan for your trip so you don’t find yourself running out of money while you are in a different country.
Here are a few ways to save and be smart with your money so you can have a travel fund, and travel as often as you want, and do all the things you’ve dreamed about doing.
Create a Budget:
We know you have probably heard this a million times but it is important to create a spreadsheet in Excel – or another program – and start tracking every single purchase or payment. Do this for a couple of months to get an idea of where your money gets spent. This is a huge eye opener for most people and from here you can consciously decide how you need to change your spending habits.
If you are not using it, then sell it. Go through your closet, garage, and boxes to find items you are no longer using. Then you can either have a garage sale or sell all your items online at Gumtree or OLX. Selling your unwanted things can boost your savings dramatically. Remember not to use the money but to put it in your savings travel account.
Stop Buying things:
If you are accustomed to buying the newest gadgets and clothes this may be a little difficult for you. You need to learn a great deal of restraint. The next time you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. Most likely the answer is no. when you do need to buy items, try to buy them used and when something breaks try fixing it first.
Invite friends over instead of going out and start looking for deals and specials. Go to places on days they are offering free admission and look for other free things to do with your friends for entertainment. There are definitely plenty of things to do that don’t cost much money.
Get the Best Interest Rate:
Do some research to find a good interest bearing savings account. Also, you should never have to pay monthly fees to have an account since many banks offer checking and savings.
Automatic Transfer to Savings:
Once you have figured out your budget and the realistic amount that you are able to save, have your bank automatically transfer that amount to your savings every month or every two weeks and so not touch it.
Save on Utilities:
If you have DSTV then get rid of it. This can be beneficial in a couple of ways. You may not be able to live without internet and there are plenty of sites to watch movies and television shows online if you have the urge.
You obviously we are not going to cut out electricity, but here are a few ways to lower your bill. Dry your clothes outside in the summer, turn off all lights when you are not using them, so not use the heat dry cycle on your dishwasher or just wash dishes by hand, and install CFL light bulbs.
Write a list when you go shopping and stick to it. Start by eating healthier unprocessed foods. They are cheaper and you will notice a benefit in your health too! Plan your meals around your grocery store sales and when you make meals, make enough for leftovers to bring to work for lunches.
Give a gift of service or a homemade gift instead of buying an item.
Memberships and subscriptions:
Let go of subscriptions to magazines and any memberships you can do without. Go for runs, walks, surf, or ride a bike instead of going to the gym. It is much more fun anyway.