One of your “friends” on Instagram just posted yet another picture of one of her many trips across the world. It’s not that you’re jealous or anything, but you find yourself enlarging the pictures to see the scenery.
“She’s living her best life,” you whisper and admire. If only that were you.
BUT, like I keep saying, it could be you if you just PLAN. You’ve tried the mason jar piggy bank trick and the saving a percentage of money a week trick but life happened and you had to adjust.
What if you can save, build your travel budget for your trip and plan for unexpected life moments without stressing? Do you want to hold yourself accountable without dipping into your emergency fund and break those travel saving goals? Here are 9 ways to help your travel budget goal not fail this year.
How do I save up for travel? And, stick to it?
You might like (or even love) talking about setting goals but when the time comes to actually do it, there’s always something keeping you from following through with your plans. It takes self-discipline to really progress and meet your goals. The question is: are you ready to master self-discipline?
Well, this is how!
Stick to your goal! You’ll get to travel to the places you have always wanted to see. If the photos on social media inspire you to travel, then it should also motivate your willingness to stick to your travel budget AND not fail.
If your dream trip is a few hundred dollars, then start small. Set an amount that wouldn’t make you miss a bill payment. This could be as low as $10 a week or $25 a month; something that you’ll accrue over time and get you closer to your vacation.
Let’s say the trip is $800 with airfare and hotel included. You’ll also need spending money which will run you $200-$300 depending on your budget and destination. Your goal will be to save at least $1100. Write it down with a permanent marker/pen (not a pencil) and mark it in your planner. Visualize your monetary goal every day. You can set it as a reminder on your phone. Just hold yourself accountable.
Find a side hustle
Hustling is the new wave so you might want to find one to fund your travels this year. If your job doesn’t allow you to pick up some extra shifts or do overtime, then check out the list of side hustles to meet your goal.
If you have a car, then try out being a driver for Uber, Lyft or any other ride-sharing service.
Charge people for your hobbies. If you crochet, knit, write, design websites, or have some skill or talent, then monetize them. You never know how much you can make just to reach your savings goal. Hustle hard and hustle smart.
Take up extra hours at work
Tack on some overtime hours or pick up some extra shifts at work. If you’re already at work, then a few extra hours won’t hurt you, especially if you have an end-goal.
There will always be that one coworker willing to give up their hours so don’t miss out on those extra coins in your paycheck. Your dream trip is waiting for you.
Now, if you do not like your job (or if you even hate your job), then finding a part-time job at a local shop, mall, or business might be better. Bottom line: Do something for some extra money in the bank and your travel savings account.
Save your change
Ever heard of the method of breaking a dollar? When you buy Starbucks coffee or drink with cash, break the $10 bill in your purse and set the change aside for your trip.
There are apps like Acorns that helps you invest in stocks with the change from your purchases. For example, think of your trip as your stock and the change from the caramel macchiato as your investment.
Cut back on expenses
Get yourself a highlighter, download your bank statements, print them out, and go through your expenses. Or, if your bank is high tech like Wells Fargo, then this step is automatically created for you.
Sort through your expenses into your needs and wants list, then decide which expense you can live without. This could be a subscription service that you no longer or never used, and/or are unnecessary or unhealthy purchases.
Then, calculate those expenses. Document where exactly you can save some money from your monthly bills and how you can put it towards your dream vacation.
If checking your bank statements make you cringe or nervous, take a trip to your bank and talk it out with a financial advisor. Talking to a live person might put you at ease and guide you through this uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing phase.
I’ve been through this process and it’s great to talk out your ideas with a professional and expert who wants the best for you and your money.
Trust me, I know you might feel ashamed at your decisions, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Does the cashier at Chick Fil A or Burger King know your name and your usual meal? If so, then there lies the problem as to why you’re still in your hometown and not at a beach somewhere in the world.
Start grocery shopping for meals that can last you throughout the workweek. Meal prep on Sunday and save the money you would spend on your daily salad on that trip to Bali.
Embrace saying NO
Shonda Rhimes had a year of “yes” but you, my impending travel queen. will have your months of “no”. If it isn’t free or within your budget, then your answer should be “No”.
Don’t feel ashamed or coerced into breaking your stride of budgeting and saving. Saying “no” can also be therapeutic and helpful to your mental health and wellness. Remember this is for you and the amazing things you’ll experience while traveling. It can also inspire someone else in your camp to take the leap and travel the world. Next stop: Girls Trip?
Spend the night at Home
Here are some ideas to make spending a night in your home fun, entertaining, and worth the budget game.
Netflix and chill with yourself or invite some friends over for “game night”. Host a paint and sip in your living room. Challenge your friends to a cooking match, this way you get to try different dishes without breaking the bank at a fancy restaurant.
Use all the tactics above to be creative and on track to meet your travel budget goal. You can still have a great time.
Look in the couch
Do you remember when you were younger and you would find loose change in your mama’s sofa?
Those friends that you invited over for a game night or for a little friendly get together may have dropped some coins. So, start searching underneath those pillows or reclining those seats.
Psst, here’s a hint to other places to look for change → 25 Places to Look for Spare Change
Your saving goals would gladly appreciate the loose change. Any little bit helps when it comes to meeting your travel budget goals.