One of the biggest deterrents I hear from people when it comes to traveling is that they don’t have any money to go on a trip. People ask me all the time how can you afford to take those trips? The obvious fact is that you do need money to travel. However, you need money for everything else as well. I guarantee you spend money on something that I don’t because I would rather save my money for a trip.
There is nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned money on what you choose to spend it on. So if you want to go on a trip, you can use money towards a trip instead of eating out three times a week. What’s the most important to you? Can you live without cable? If so, you can use the money you would have spent on cable and save it towards a long weekend trip to the beach. It’s all a matter of what’s important to you.
Once you decide that you’d like to go on a trip, you need to create a budget so you know what to save for. If you create a budget and realize you need $3,000, then you can look at your current budget and find out if there’s any way you cut some costs. Food was a huge area for us.
A lot of us know this, but consider this chart created by the U.S. Department of Labor. Look at the break-down of costs and compare it to your own costs. There seems to be a lot of areas of waste that you may not have even considered.
We all make choices on what we’re going to spend our money on. My husband and I have considered that traveling is something we want to do. We consider that when making decisions. For example, it’s just the two of us so we don’t need a huge house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. We could afford to pay for a larger home, but that would mean that we can’t do anything else. To us, that’s not worth it. We would rather pay less and have a smaller home than pay more and not be able to go anywhere.
Do you need to eat out three times a week? Not only does it pack on the calories (and thus expanding your waistline) but it’s also a money suck. For two people to go out, you’re looking at $30-$40 for one meal. You could get four chicken breasts, a 5 lb bag of potatoes and ingredients for a salad for less than half of that. And you would have enough for leftovers. By just cutting out one meal eating out a week… you could potentially save yourself $100 a month. That’s $100 you can put towards a trip.
Another trick for eating out is sharing a meal. Some of those portions are insane. Last time we went out, we spent $15 for the two of us. We shared a meal and each ordered water. Yeah, we weren’t stuffed to the brim, but we were content.
Transportation is obviously a large area on here as well. We both work on opposite sides of town, and for us, two vehicles is just worth it. If one of us was working from home, we could get away with one car. Another area to consider what you can afford.
We’d been spending $60 on Internet a month. My husband and I both work and have internet at work. We also have smartphones that have data. Do we really need the internet at home too? To us, it sounded excessive. The only thing we used it for was Netflix. Is $60 for Netflix really worth it? Because that’s what it was costing us after realizing that’s the only reason we had internet. So we got rid of it. Now, we can get free movies and TV shows from our local library and save $60 a month.
My recommendation to you is that you sit down and write out everything you spend money on. Then, go through and number each item according to its priority level. Then re-write the list in order of priorities. Take a look at those last three things on the list. Can you get rid of any of those? If so, you can save some $$ to put towards your dream trip.