Are you following a budget? Do you know how much you spend in a week? A month? A year? I want you to write down all you expenses in two categories, bills and personal expenses. For the bills section write down your mortgage, rent, car payments, cell phone, cable, electricity, etc..
For the second section write all your personal expenses like groceries, restaurants, nights out, cigarettes, beers, coffees, movies, everything!
Then add everything up. This is a lot of money isn’t it? Don’t forget that a dollar is a dollar and when you spend, it adds up really fast.
A lot of people that are saying that they cannot travel because of money are just making excuses. This is a load of crap, everyone can save money for travel. I will show you how you can cut your expenses and how you can save tons of money for traveling.
No more restaurant– Learn to cook! It’s easy and fun. Restaurants are expensive and not that good for your health. The cool thing about cooking is that you learn new things and you can cook “in batch”, for example I just made a big pot of Chili that will last me a week so I don’t have to pay for any lunches for the five next days. You see where I’m going with this? Take a day and cook your lunches for the week (Mine is Sunday) and save money for travel!
Don’t buy coffee – Make your own, drink tea, buy instant but don’t buy daily coffee at Starbucks! This is a money sink and you don’t even notice it that this way you don’t save money for travel. Let me show you: coffee at Starbucks is around 5$, that’s 150$ per months. That’s around 2000$ per year! It’s close to three months in Thailand or Malaysia. Would you like to spend 3 months on a beach in Asia while drinking your homemade coffee OR would you prefer to drink a fancy coffee from Starbucks every day? Ah! I knew it.
Sell your car – I know this is a difficult one but if you can, sell your car. Gas is getting more and more expensive, you have to pay for Insurance and there is maintenance to do. Take the bus or the subway, walk, and take a bicycle. Public transportation is a good ways to get around the city and save money for travel, use it!
Find a roommate – Why not save some rent money and have a roommate?
Credit card – Have a credit card? DON’T USE IT. If you don’t have the money to buy something, don’t buy it. I will cover the subject of travel credit card in another article.
Cable TV – In 2014 with Netflix, Hulu and streaming you honestly don’t need cable TV. Don’t spend 50$ per months on this and save money for travel, do yourself a favor.
Electricity – Close the lights, don’t let the TV open when you are not watching anything and reduce you electricity bill.
Coupons – When the groceries flyers comes in, take one to see the rebates and coupons. Use them! A dollar is a dollar and everything adds up.
Sell the things you don’t need – Put an ad on the Internet and your local newspaper. Got two televisions? Why not sell one? Got an old couch, computer table or any appliances you don’t need? Sell it. You won’t need them while backpacking.
Drinking and smoking – If you can stop, stop now. Those are bad for your health and your wallet.
Move at your parent’s place – Sound silly? Well it is, but imagine the money you will save in a short time. It is not for everyone but if you have the chance and the guts to do it… GO!