We’re all dreaming of the next big trip. Sometimes even while we’re in the middle of the current one, we’re already planning the next one. The hang up that a lot of us have is that oftentimes our dreams exceed our pocket books. Here’s some tips for saving for your next trip.
1. CUT BACK ON EATING OUT
The fact of the matter is that eating out is expensive, and detrimental to any kind of eating out that you would like to do on your next trip. Think of it this way: Every drink or meal you eat out at home is one less drink or meal you can have on your trip.
Bonus Points: Every time you think of going to eat out or ordering a pizza, put $20 in your trip Piggy Bank, it adds up fast!
2. PARK THE CAR IN THE GARAGE.
Gas and wear and tear on your car on your daily commute is killing your adventure budget. Depending on your commute, try walking, taking the bus, or even making your bike your daily commuter. Even paying for gas for your bike is still gonna cut back the black pit of doom that is your daily commute.
Bonus Points: Do the math, how much money are you saving not putting gas in your car every week? Put the amount your saving in your piggy bank. For example I pay $56 every week on gas for the truck, if I commute on the bike that’s $11 a week, so put $45 a week into the trip Piggy Bank.
3. CUT BACK ON TOYS
This sounds counter intuitive I know. However, do you really need that new tablet, camera or phone? I’m not saying that you can’t buy new farkles for your bike that are going to make your trip more comfortable. I’m saying, stop and seriously consider every purchase that’s not a necessity. Do you really need new clothes, or are you falling into ‘fast fashion’? Do you really need those new tools, or are your old ones just fine? Think about your priorities here.
Bonus Points: Put the money you were going to use to buy those toys with, into that dang trip Piggy Bank.
4.DO ODD JOBS
Google “Ways to Earn Money on the Couch”. Weed out the scams of course, but there are SO many ways to make a little extra cash in your spare time without even leaving the house. Got a car or a truck? Drive for Uber or Lyft on the weekends. Take surveys, write resumes for people.
5. PUT A LITTLE AWAY EACH WEEK
This is the most obvious one, but it’s important to remember. Put a little money away each and every week leading up to your trip. Break down all “necessity” pieces of your travel budget (gas, food, lodging and paperwork), add it up then divide it by how many weeks there are between you and your trip. That’s how much you need to put away each week to make it happen. Any extra you make from odd jobs etc, is more fuel for your ‘fun money’ or maybe upgrading your accommodations.
6. FOCUS ON YOUR GOAL
Make reminders for yourself or your goal. It gets hard to be ok with all of this saving, if you’re not constantly reminding yourself of your end goal, what you’re sacrificing for. Make a vision board. Print out or cut out pictures from magazines of the places you want to see and make sure it’s somewhere you have to look at it every day. Add to it!
Spend some time every week planning and adding to your trip. Make weird reminders on your phone’s calendar with notes like “HEY GUESS WHERE YOU’RE GOING IN A COUPLE WEEKS” Keep. the. Hype. Going.
7. BUY BULK GENERIC GROCERIES
Stop. Buying. Brand. Name. Food. You can save a ton of money just by buying the store/generic brand of your normal foods. In addition, you should be buying bulk in anything you can. Especially pasta, rice, flour, oatmeal, and nuts.
Bonus Points: Buy Groceries like you normally would, keep the receipt. Then when you buy the next round of groceries, do your best to purchase the same kinds of foods but only the generic brand or in bulk. Subtract the difference in your two grocery bills, and put that extra money into your piggy bank.
8. STAY AT HOME | DO FREE STUFF
You’re already paying to live in your home. Spend some more time there. Don’t cut yourself off entirely, but when your friends suggest going to the bar, meeting at a coffee shop, or going to a movie, suggest something a little less expensive. Go to a *free* park. Go hang out in a National Forest, or down by the river. Try to avoid places where you have to pay to park. Take up hiking, not only will you get a great workout (that will help your stamina on your trip), but it takes up a good chunk of your free time without costing more than the gas to get to the trailhead.
Bonus Points: Put $5-10 in your Trip Piggy Bank everytime you leave the house and you’re not going to get groceries or go to work.
9. SELL YOUR STUFF
This isn’t always a viable option, but almost everyone has some stuff they could probably get rid of. Clean out the garage, clean out your closet and make a pile. Already have a goodwill pile? Try and sell it for a couple bucks before you take it in. There’s a bunch of different apps you can list your stuff on, Facebook (sell stuff in appropriate groups), Ebay more valuable items, Craiglist it, Letgo, Offerup, Decluttr or have a yard sale.
10. CUT AWAY EXTRA BILLS
Cut out every subscription bill you can. I’m talking about Hulu, TV/Cable, Audible, Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, Naturebox or any kind of Subscription Box, any subscriptions you have with Amazon for various products, or …. Netflix. I know I know, life without Netflix sounds like a nightmare, but you know what? Youtube is free. Sony Crackle also has free movies.