Many people who start off traveling don’t do so because they have spare cash or make enough to do so, but because they plan accordingly. Whether you would like to take a year off for traveling or simply have a dream vacation, you can still save up enough to make these aspirations come true, even if you don’t see a promotion in your near future. All you have to do is make conscious decisions in your own life of how to save money and put it aside for your wanderlust.
Put Aside 10% of your Paycheck
If you have the ability to put aside more, then by all means, put aside more. But with the obligation to pay rent, groceries, utilities, or other necessary bills, 10 percent is a low enough number to have minimal impact on your wallet, but high enough that you can actually save money. Putting aside even the smallest amount each month will add up, and when you finally jet off to the city of your dreams, you won’t regret it.
Cut Back on Expenses
While not ideal, sometimes you have to make some sacrifices in order to achieve your goals. Start saving money by cutting out small things that you don’t need, such as that venti caramel frappuccino from Starbucks. Once you grow accustomed to the smaller changes, make some money-saving lifestyle changes, such as cooking at home as opposed to eating at restaurants and attending less happy hours.
Find Extra Ways to Make Money
Finding a side job to supplement your income will help you save more, and faster. I know many people who work in the corporate industry by day and as a bartenders by night, where the tips you earn from all your inebriated customers might add up to more money than you would think. If you feel comfortable enough, rent out a room in your apartment or sign up as a host on websites like airbnb.
Simplify Your Life
Even if you don’t realize it, simplifying your life will save you hundreds of dollars. This means simplifying everything, from your living space to your preferences. Sell the clothes you don’t wear, the books you don’t read, and the DVDs you don’t watch. Don’t buy things you don’t need, skip the expensive spas for a haircut, and if you have a gym membership but barely use it, cancel it! Minimize what you spend your money on only to necessities, such as food and rent.
Be Sort of a Badass
Just because you want to save money and travel doesn’t mean you have to give up everything about your life. Even when planning for the future, it’s okay to have a little fun in the now. Save money in some unconventional ways. Cable companies are well known to give discounts and deals to customers who have complaints, and many other service providers can easily be bargained with. For some, giving up happy hours or a night out is slightly drastic, so if nightlife is non-negotiable, bring your own flask to the bar and split a meal with a friend. If you’re going out for sushi every night, the dollars will still add up, so be sure to make these outings special occasions.
Saving up to travel won’t always be easy, and there will be some sacrifices involved, but it will be worth it. Imagine how happy you will be that you gave up ordering pizza for dinner every night when you’re finally in Italy, eating an authentic Italian pizza (which are so so good!). Know your goals, and set up a plan on what you can or are willing to give up to reach them. However, don’t go six whole months without a single outing with your friends. Remember that the journey is just as important as the trip itself.