You find it hard to save cash so you can travel? Same here. I've never been the best at saving money and it really doesn't come easy to me. Because I'm so desperate to travel, to escape 'normal' and to see the big wide world, I've looked far and wide for some ways to save money so I can travel sooner for longer.
Here are the things I did in order to save money and travel overseas twice in the past year (and that's not nearly enough for me).
Hands down, the thing in this world that I spend the most money on is food. If you're like me you just scan your card away when you're hungry without even thinking and look back after you finish eating with regret. I used to spend $200+ per week on food without even thinking about. It sickens me to think I could've bought myself 2 return tickets to Japan in every month.
After realising this I sat down and came up with a couple ways to minimise spending on food throughout the week: make your lunch, envision yourself overseas with the money you'd otherwise spend on food and specifically allocate a certain amount a week on food and stick to it.
To be honest I still break these rules every now and then, we aren't perfect, but an improvement is better than nothing. If you usually eat out 5 days a week, it out 3, if you eat out 2 days a week, eat out once. Start by halving the amount of days you eat out. For me I used to eat out every weekend for breakfast, lunch and dinner religiously. I asked myself, 'what meal of the day do I enjoy the most? I'll compromise on that'. I decided to only eat out on Saturday morning for breakfast which would roughly save me $50 every Saturday alone.
I would also get a coffee everyday and spend anywhere from $5-$12 on coffee per day, so I started making coffee's at home in the morning before I left the house and instead of buying up to 10 coffee's a week, I cut down to 3, which saved me about $40 per week.
Make your lunch. It sounds so boring, and I say this because it is but making your lunch can and will literally save you hundreds of dollars by just putting a few sandwich's together at the beginning of your day. Not only was I spending money on food during the weekend, but I was also spending money on food during the week basically every day.
Food makes such a huge difference and can be overlooked so easily because of the small amounts... But these 'small amounts' can build up really quickly overtime.
This has to be the best and easiest way that I save money for travel. I would take a set amount of spending money for the week out in cash and every time I split a note I would take those coins, come home at the end of the day and just put that cash into a container in my room - I use a huge M&M container and cut a hole in the top to slip the money into. It's crazy how much cash you can accumulate by doing this. Over the past two-ish months I've managed to save over $350 in coins that I wouldn't otherwise have from just mindlessly swiping my card.
I know, staying home can suck, especially if you're like me and enjoy spending every sunrise and sunset by the ocean or on top of a mountain. But after paying for fuel, food and other random stuff along the way these outings can also rack up costs you could be saving to instead spend on travelling overseas. I find it so hard to sit at home, or even stay locally when there's so much more I'd rather be doing with my time and places I'd rather be seeing. What motivates me to go through with this necessary evil sometimes is instead think of all the epic places you'll be seeing overseas and new memories you'll be making with new people. The wait is worth it.
The thing that goes hand in hand with these tips is to be uncompromising. To be honest a large part of me not wanting to spend money is because I was hit by a realisation one day: You are giving your money to a huge corporation who are getting rich off of you. You are literally the reason they are so wealthy. Even though I still buy unnecessary stuff sometimes (we all do), practice makes better - not perfect, and as long as you're seeing an improvement that's an awesome start. So start today, and save up for the epic trip you wanna go on in the next couple of months. It's possible.
Until next time, stay safe but not too safe,