It can be hard to save money for travel. We all have an endless number of bills to pay. For some, it’s kids to feed, a dependent family member to care for, or maybe that friend in dire need. At the end of the day, in the list of things we have to do, saving money for vacation stays rock bottom.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are dead serious about saving money for a vacation or making that move abroad, read on.
This guide contains money-saving tips, mindsets, and lifestyles to help you achieve your travel dreams.
But understand this: we’re not making hard and fast rules or suggesting that you have to follow all of these tips precisely. Choose what sounds appropriate for your lifestyle and personalize it. Do your thing and start watching your savings grow.
Let’s get to it- the answer to the question in your mind:
“How can I save money for travel?”
1. Decide on the amount you need
How much do I need for my trip?
Like anything in life, achieving your goals is easier when you know exactly what your goal is and how near (or far) you are in attaining it.
Plus, deciding how much is needed for your trip is the first to begin saving money. It gives you a clear idea of what you can afford, sets guidelines for how much to save, and gives you complete control over your cash.
To come up with a number, you will need to do some research. For sure, a two-week trip will not cost as much as a 12 months trip. Helpful information about the cost of flight, hotel, food, e.t.c can enable you to prepare. Call and ask friends who have made similar trips (best), or read blogs to get the information you need.
2. Make that number your inspiration
It’s crazy how when you want something, you make necessary sacrifices to make it happen.- Katie Diederichs
Once you have decided on your number, write it down on a sheet of paper and paste it everywhere. As you continually see the reminders, it becomes engraved in your mind.
3. Have a daily budget
Setting a daily budget and sticking to it is not an easy task. But once you can create one and stick to it, you are on track to save the money you need for travel. So you must put a number on it.
Now the question;
How can I plan and set up a daily budget?
Planning and calculating your daily budget requires time and effort. But there is a reward for this. Just follow these steps:
- First things first, write down all your essential expenses for each month. Do this for at least three months for essentials like rent, gas, groceries, food items, etc.
- Next, write down the non-essentials like cable subscription, hangouts, clothes, gym membership, etc. Remember to include only the things you can live without for a while.
- Add expenses for essentials and note the total. Also, add up expenditures for non-essentials, and calculate the amount.
- Divide the total for essential expenses by 30, and there you have it- your daily budget.
Following a budget is a personal decision. If you don’t feel like it, you don’t have to create one. Just make sure if you are using one, it is realistic for your lifestyle.
4. Track all of your expenses
Once you know your daily budget, it’s time to track your expenses. Yes. Every single one of it- even the small ones. Because accountability is crucial if you want to hit your travel goal, you need to know where your money goes.
That way, you can also control costs, see what you’re spending your money on and how much you’re spending.
You can either track your expenses on a notebook or use budgeting software that works with an app on your phone. Either way, you don’t want to neglect this.
5. Consider the actual cost
Indeed, buying a Netflix subscription won’t be so bad. It’s only going to cost a little cash. But when you put that in perspective, you will see how that seemingly ‘little cash’ can contribute to your savings goal.
So always consider the actual cost. It may look like it’s nothing, but you can be delaying your dream trip by spending money on non-essentials you without.
6. Set the right Priorities
Time for some truth. When trying to save money on a modest income, you can’t buy the life and luxury stuff the rich folks do. You will be harming your savings trying to buy designer clothes, monthly pedicures, exclusively organic produce, a luxury car, membership to trendy gyms, and all that other stuff.
Sorry but it’s true.
This doesn’t mean you can not have fun or enjoy life. What it means is finding what matters to you the most and prioritizing your spending on that. Maybe focus on things like having a decent home, eating healthy food, and the occasional weekend fun with close friends.
7. Cut down on expenses
There are several things we pay for without really thinking about it. They just keep leaving our accounts automatically every month- subscriptions like a gym membership, Netflix, Unlimited data plan, Amazon Prime, etc. Now ask yourself if each of these expenses is unavoidable. Are they essentials?
If you find them unnecessary, consider alternatives. For example, could you exercise on your own instead of paying for a monthly gym membership? Or could you muddle through on less data?
Remember, it’s still your decision to make. If these things make you happy, you can go head-on with them.
8. Find a Balance
Many people see strictly following a budget as a torn in the flesh. In a 2018 survey, nearly 60 percent of the participants said they don’t track their spending. And two in five have never used a budget. One main reason for this is, it makes them feel trapped or even insecure.
A budget isn’t meant to make life less pleasant. It’s simply a spending plan that helps you track how you spend your money. So pick one that suits your lifestyle.
Occasional overspending can happen, and that’s fine. Just ensure to find a balance when you have these splurges. For example, If having dinner and drinks with friends cuts deep into your daily budget today, be careful to track your spending every other night this week. Maybe cook more often and avoid nights out.
Also, plan for the holiday seasons like Christmas. If you know the holiday is going to be a big month for spending, make sure you are more economical the months before. Balance is crucial.
9. Live beneath your means
Do you remember the popular advice “live within your means?” That’s good advice because spending more than you earn is not a smart move. But then, you might need to do a little more because living within your means doesn’t leave much room for saving.
If you want to save more, try to knowingly live beneath your means. So even if you can afford that lifestyle, live like you were making less money.
Perhaps this change in mindset is all you need to help grow your savings.
10. Those little things
Most times, we tend to spend more on little things. Do you see those little things? They can be massive when you add them up.
Let’s do some maths here. Say you spend money on these little things for this week.
- N1500 for pizza because it’s been a long time + 1200 for ice cream too. Yeah.
- N500 for Heineken.
- N120 for coke because the sun is hot
- N1000 for that thrift because it looked so cute.
- N2500 for that blockbuster you couldn’t pass on.
Before you know it, you have spent over N5000 you weren’t planning to spend this week. Do that for a month, and it’s N20000. Now do it for a year and see how much money you can save for your travel if you cut on those little things.
11. Eat in more often
Eating in restaurants puts more holes in a savings plan than a drill on a workpiece. Plus, learning to cook is ridiculously rewarding. Seriously. Learn how to cook if you don’t know how to. It’s a clever way to help you save money- and one of the easiest ways too.
You can start cooking simple meals like rice, beans, chicken, pasta, potatoes, and vegetables that are healthy and cheap. You’d be surprised how much money you can save eating in.
This doesn’t mean you should never go out to eat. But make sure it’s something you do only when necessary.
12. Avoid the latest
In today’s world, we are faced with constant pressure to get the latest phone, car, furniture.. the list goes on and on.
Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using your phone for a few years before changing it. If you’re aiming to save, you can’t upgrade everything in your life.
Plus, the pressure to buy the latest stuff is put on us by the same companies that want our money.
Try to use your belongings until they stop working and only go for the latest when necessary.
13. Don’t Ditch. Fix
It’s easy to throw things away when you think they’re faulty. Well, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you want to save, ditching your belongings shouldn’t be your first line of action.
Learn how to fix things. Is that backpack torn? Fix it instead of throwing it away. A few stitches here and there could add some years to its usage.
14. Be a Smart Shopper
- Buy things in bulk. More often than not, bulk buying attracts massive discounts.
- Take advantage of discounts. Shop on days like Black Friday to enjoy massive discounts. How
- Before you go shopping for any reason, make a list of what you intend to buy.
- Step up your bargain skills. Negotiate prices of items more. There is nothing wrong with that. Always have an idea of the actual prices, so you don’t overpay.
- Shop around. Unless unavailable, it’s pointless to go far to get items you can find around your home.
- Buy clothing at thrift stores. You can usually save more than 75 percent on thrift and still look cute.
Those are just a few of the ways to shop smarter.
15. Have cheap Fun
You can visit a nearby park, or invite friends to your home for games night or take a road trip to a nearby town you’ve never been to.
If you are in Lagos, Nigeria, there are tons of fun things to do for less than N2000. Freedom Park is where fun lives! Gate fee is N200. Why not visit?
16. Get things done yourself
It feels nice to get people to do little chores around the house. Heck, these services cost money. If you can do them yourself, why not do them? For example, instead of using a laundry service, you can get it done yourself.
Also, try washing your car. And if you can, learn how to change the oil yourself. And Instead of going for your monthly manicures and pedicures, create your spa night at home.
To be candid, you don’t have to do everything yourself. But if you make it a habit to get things done yourself, you can save a lot of money. Plus, you’ll learn valuable skills too.
17. Get a side hustle
If you are wondering where to start, we wrote a post on 15 side hustles to help you make up to $1000 monthly. You can go check it out.
Here is a catch, you can pick something you love and do it as a side hustle. For example, teaching Nigerian kids abroad an indigenous language (say Igbo) can fetch you money. That way, you put that extra money directly into savings.
Do you know you can become a freelancer on Konveyo and work on your terms?
18. Find creative ways to earn money
Aside from taking side gigs to help you save more money, there are other creative ways to make money.
Coaching can work for you if you are an expert in a specific field. With the internet, anyone can build a coaching business. According to recent statistics, Life coaches make as much as $160/hour. That’s some money to save up.
Another way you can make extra money is by selling things online. People sell stuff online through different Facebook groups all the time. You can try that too.
There are several ways you can be creative. We put up a list of 22 creative ways to make $100 every day online. Why not check it out.
Now here is a creative money-making trick you shouldn’t sleep on. You can earn up to $100 weekly as a Konveyo delivering items for people and businesses while moving around.
19. Reduce your utility bills
Utility bills are recurrent and essential too. You can’t completely cut them, but you can reduce them big time. Use less AC by using fans or opening your windows for natural air. They consume less energy than ACs.
Also, put off bulbs when they are not in use, and install energy-efficient LED bulbs that provide similar lighting for much less cost.
20. Stay away from financially irresponsible people!
This one had to come last but it’s very critical. And you know why? Because following a budget is hard on its own. You don’t want to complicate this more by being around friends who go out every night to buy expensive electronics, expensive cocktails, and new boots. That can ruin all your hard-earned motivation. And you don’t want that to happen. Save money for travel while your friends chill out all the time.