Saving for Travel
There are so may ways to save money to travel. It is not out of reach. Recently I was watching a money show on PBS. The family had $100 in a “Fun Money” envelope. They could use this money for dinners out, take out, going out for ice cream, the movies, anything that was beyond a necessity. Once the money ran out that was it for the month. By doing this they were paying down their debt.
What a fantastic way to save money for travel. Look at what you are spending on “fun” stuff now. Write that number down. Say you spend $250 on extras. Make yourself a $100 Fun Money envelope to get you through your month. Put the extra $150 you would have normally spent in a separate travel savings account. Voila! Within a few months you will have enough money for a plane ticket.
Other ways we have cut back and saved money
- Create a household budget. I cannot stress how important this has been to our travel savings. If you know where your money is going, then you will know how you can save. I have a friend that has a whole separate savings account that she puts her family’s travel fund into. This way they can’t easily access it for every day purchases.
- Create a travel budget. Figure out a realistic budget that you can spend for each trip. Make that your goal and start socking money away.
- Set up an auto save function on your bank account. I have our one account automatically send a set amount of money to another account each month. It takes no effort on my part. I’m simply saving a little each month towards something else. The money isn’t missed in my checking account, because like any other auto pay bill, the money is scheduled to go out and it’s noted in my budget.
- Pack a lunch. I once added up how much my husband and I were spending each week to buy lunch while at work. It wasn’t pretty. We only packed half of the time and we were still spending at least $60 between the two of us. Do you know how many plane tickets that can add up to over a year?! My husband and I have cut way back. He is only allowed to eat out once a week, if that. Before I left my job, I ate out less than once a week.
- Join a Gym. This goes along with “Pack a lunch.” When I first started at my job, I was informed that we could get a discount at the gym across the street. The rates were reasonable, so I joined up right away. Instead of going out to lunch, I looked forward to watching some really horrible show on MTV while I worked out on the Elliptical once a day. Even better, my gym regularly ran specials. I ended up paying $300 for a 3 year gym membership. That’s a really great deal. It stopped me from eating out or doing unnecessary clothes shopping plus I got into great shape.
- Cut back on the take out. I am a victim of ordering out. Friday night rolls around, I’m tired and I just don’t want to cook. I have the pizza place on speed dial. The drivers know me. That’s a bad sign. I have consciously made the effort to put down the phone and check my freezer. I go to Trader Joe’s and stock up on frozen pizza and fresh ravioli to make sure I have quick meals on hand that will take very little effort on my part.
- Make a grocery list. when I decided to leave my job, I looked at more ways to slash our budget. Our grocery bill was out of control. I rarely made a meal list and shopped for it. I just showed up at the store and bought stuff I figured we would eat. This was extremely wasteful, not to mention bad for my health. With preplanned meals I am able to eat healthier and have food on the table regularly.
- Get rid of cable, try Netflix or better yet, your library. when my son was born, we cut our cable to the most basic we could possibly have in order to keep our internet access. Then we signed up for Netflix. This saved us over $100 a month. With Netflix streaming, and even Hulu, I get to watch all my favorite shows and I don’t even have to deal with the commercials. My local library is also an amazing source of entertainment. They are better stocked than most video stores. I add movies to my library queue and wait for the giggles, drama and suspense to come to my local branch. It doesn’t cost me a dime.
- Cut back on eating out. Instead of eating out with friends, we invite them over for potlucks. This saves us all time, not to mention babysitter costs. We can also give our kids room to play without fear of them knocking over a waiter. Don’t get me wrong, we still eat out, just not as often as we used to.