How to save money to travel – A few simple tricks
After a very fluctuating bank account due to student loans, rent, bills and the joys of buying groceries (not just any food but actually healthy food) it has been a challenge finding ways to actually save to travel. After months of putting money into my savings account and then transferring back into my checking I decided I have to make it a priority and find a few simple ways to save some cash. These are just a few of my simple tricks and I will share more over time.
Look around your house/apartment/room…do you really need all of these things?
I opened the drawer of my nightstand and inside was two old cameras I hadn’t used since 2010 and an IPod Nano from high school. I then went on eBay and researched how much others were selling these items for. I was in shock when I realized that the iPod Nano’s were being sold for over $65 each. I then took pictures of these items and posted them on eBay. I ended up selling my iPod Nano for $75! I sold the other two cameras for around $20 each. They were both worth nothing otherwise and would have sat in a drawer for another year untouched.
I also looked through my closet – I sold two pairs of Michael Kors heels I haven’t worn over once or twice each. I ended up gaining another $80 for the two pairs.
Within a week I gained an extra $195. Now that may not seem like much but you have to consider that that extra $200 is a ticket in Asia or Europe or a few extra souvenirs from somewhere. Look around your apartment and see what you really don’t need and consider selling them online for some extra cash.
Sell your clothes online
Another great resource is https://www.liketwice.com/sell/ – Instead of donating old clothes, they will send you a free bag to fill with name brand items (anything ranging from Banana Republic, J.Crew, Anthropologie to high end brands) and they will pay you for each item. Any items they don’t pay you for then they donate. I tend to try and donate any clothes that I haven’t worn in over a year and a half to make room for new clothes! This is a great resource to sell some of your sweaters that are in great shape but you have grown out of their style or you just don’t quite love it enough to keep it. They pay around $3-5 per item.
Transfer all money in checking to savings the night or two before your payday
I found this trick to be very useful for myself in saving money. At my corporate job I was paid every two weeks on Friday mornings. If I knew I didn’t have any big plans in the few days before payday and I knew I wouldn’t need more than $20 to possibly buy some gas or lunch then I would transfer all extra money sitting in my checking account to my savings. I knew that if I had the money sitting in my checking then I’d find some sort of excuse to use it whether it would be going to the movies, shopping online (this one gets me in trouble) or buying unnecessary items.
Cook your own meals
This is not only healthier but also a great money saver! I am a big believer in food prepping on Sundays for the week. There are so many varieties of meals you can cook for the week that won’t taste boring. In the picture I posted this is the example of what I made:
Chicken Breast – $7 Brand: Just Bare (I like this brand because these are grass fed chickens and you can actually research where the chicken comes from. It is also under the American Humane Certified Farm Program – https://www.justbarechicken.com/about/values/humane-certified)
Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli– a frozen bag of each is right around $2 depending on the brand
Brown Rice – One of my favorite foods to eat – you can buy a big box for $2
So for a full lunch meal for Monday through Friday it comes out to around $2-3 per day for lunch versus if you bought a meal at work each day for $7. You are not only eating healthier which will prevent from buying snacks at work or eating that damn chocolate that is in every cube row but also it will save you a significant amount of money each week!
Write down your goals of why you are saving
Why exactly are you saving? Is it for that vacation to visit your friend in New York City? A bachelor party in Vegas? A backpacking trip through Asia? Or just so you can be content to make a decision on a whim if there is a cheap plane ticket over to Ireland.
This always helps me be realistic of why I shouldn’t go to the bar on a Friday night and spend $40 when I know I should be saving. I always think about the fact that some people spend 4 dollars a day on coffee Monday through Friday at Starbucks where they could be saving that $20 a week which could add up to a one way flight within 4 weeks of saving that amount or a train ticket from Germany to Italy. Every little bit adds up.
Saving money is hard! I have a very hard time saving considering student loans eat up almost half of my paycheck. I am basically paying a second rent each month. However I know the importance of saving money but still having enough to have fun and enjoy myself. I never feel deprived and that is because I balance my budget. If that means I am going to take a trip down to Chicago to visit a good friend, then I won’t be buying a new pair of shoes this month (unless they are absolutely necessary!)
I try really hard to be clutter-free in my life as well. I want to feel comfortable enough that if I wanted to move to a new city or state next week that it wouldn’t take me much to move my one small trailer full of items. Memories are so much more important than owning a lot of materialist possessions. I want to emphasize that as the best times in my life have come from spending time with my loved ones whether it is traveling, hiking, enjoying the fresh outdoors or sitting in and sipping on some wine. My happiness is not based on how many pairs of shoes or purses I own or whether or not I have the latest and greatest new items. I make practical purchases and although some of the things I own are expensive and nice I believe you can buy quality over quantity and save the rest for adventures and traveling. Please reach out to me on more exact ways I save or how I am able to travel while still having loans and feeding myself!
I strive to remind others that it is possible to take adventures, save that PTO to travel through Europe for 2 weeks, or quit your corporate job and do something you actually love. Memories and experiences will last a lifetime.