Everyone has a reason for not traveling, and most say it is a money problem. They don’t have enough money for the trips that they want to go on. I have found that there are ways to save money on the trip, but there are also things to sacrifice if you are dedicated to your traveling experiences.
As of right now, I am against using credit cards for traveling purposes. I don’t want to rely on a credit card for free travel points, but I have been doing research and thinking about it figuring out more about it.
If you are dedicated to traveling regularly, there are things to give up to start building your travel fund.
Here are the 5 things that I either sacrificed or cut back on so I can travel.
This is probably the first thing I gave up when I started trying to save money. The more you start replacing prices with things it can buy, it changes your thinking.
If a Starbucks coffee is $5 and you buy one or two a week, That adds up to $20-40 a month. If you were to put that into your travel fund instead, you could have a tank of gas or two for a trip. When I started doing math that way, buying things changed. Forty dollars could get me just under two tanks of gas. That could get me about 300 miles away from home and back just for cutting coffee two days a week.
I am not saying to cut your coffee habit all together. Find replacement iced coffee recipes for at home and make it in bulk so you can pour it over ice in the morning and go! This will save you time and money!
Since I have turned 21, I started wondering where my money was being spent. I have noticed a lot more nights out on the town and grabbing food on my way home. Once you are an “adult,” it seems like getting together with friends becomes meeting up at restaurants or bars. Especially as a server, I have found that when I have more cash with me downtown, I am more generous.
I haven’t given this up or completely cut it out, but I have definitely cut back. Instead, I have invited people over or gone over to one of their places and just brought the stuff to mix my own drinks. One bottle of alcohol from the store is usually equivalent to 2-4 drinks at the bar and you get more out of a bottle than that.
While there are times where I do treat myself to drinks at the bar with friends, it usually is a special occasion or a date. Recently, I celebrated my friend’s birthday at the bar two nights in a row. After buying a few drinks for him and myself, I dropped over $30 in just a few hours.
When I do go out, I only take a certain amount of cash and I don’t bring my debit card. I have a hard limit of how much I can spend and it becomes nonnegotiable. I also look for specials like happy hour drinks.
There are a lot of people who will argue with this idea, but I am a firm believer in buying used textbooks online. In the midst of finals week or my first week being done with classes, I have failed to get my rented textbook in the mail regardless of the free shipping and e-mail reminders.
Instead, I buy my textbooks on Amazon or Chegg. When the end of the semester comes, I decided which ones I want to keep or not. Bookfinder.com allows you to check prices for multiple websites and decide which textbooks to sell back to which company depending on the best prices. Getting a check in the mail for a textbook is sometimes the best feeling. I am waiting on a $134 check for books that have been sitting on my bookshelf since my freshman year of college.
This can be a tricky one because you might not always get what you paid for out of them, but I can guarantee that the difference will probably still be cheaper than the rental costs of textbooks. Especially from your school book store.
My parents raised our family on no car payments. I don’t think they had a car payment my entire childhood and if they did, I was too young to remember it. They buy their vehicles outright.
While this sometimes means buying a cheaper vehicle ($1000-$4000), it means that you aren’t paying interest. You also aren’t paying for full coverage insurance. Instead of making car payments, it is easy to save up some of the money that you could be paying someone else and when the time comes, buy a new vehicle.
Dave Ramsey, a financial peace adviser, said, “The average family car payment in America is $350 a month.” I could replace my car every 4 months with that car payment. It gets me from A to B and then some. I haven’t had many mechanical issues with it since I bought it over a year and a half ago. The picture below was my first car. It was a deal that my dad worked out and it was super cheap. It still ran and my dad repainted it for me. It wasn’t special, but it was paid for in full.
What could you do and where could you go with an extra $350 a month?
This is my ultimate weakness. I love shopping for new clothes. I love getting dressed up and having a ton of fun with my outfits. I have more clothes in my closet than I even know what to do with and I dread moving.
Every time I go shopping, I really question whether I really need new clothes. This summer, I did buy a couple new pairs of shorts and tank tops because I had zero jean shorts that still fit and weren’t falling apart.
Clothes are easy to spend $100+ in an afternoon. Instead, try going through your closet and selling some of the clothes that you don’t wear. Use the money from your old clothes to buy the new clothes. If this isn’t possible, try to find great sales or try buying used clothes when you can.
What splurge are you willing to give up so you can travel more?