At one point, travel seemed like an impossible dream for me. Right after the birth of our son, my husband and I barely had enough money to buy diapers, let alone travel the world. But, after a little bit of hard work and dedication, we now have a travel fund built up and are planning a trip to Europe!
If you think traveling isn’t for you because you don’t have the money, then this is a great post for you! Here are some simple saving strategies to build up a travel fund, so you can go on the trip of your dreams!
1. Plan a budget (and stick to it!)
Before you can get out and travel to all the beautiful destinations of the world, you need to get serious about a budget.
Every month, make sure every dollar has a place.
What do I mean by that? First, take care of all of your monthly bills (rent, groceries, etc.) and make sure that those are accounted for. From there, whatever money you have left from your check/source of income needs to have a purpose. Whether it all goes into savings, or you put some aside to buy whatever you want, make sure every dollar goes towards something.
Say you’ve got $50 set aside for groceries, but only spend $45. Don’t just use that money on something, either put it into savings
This prevents you from overspending and making sure that you’re saving for things that you really want (like traveling!) and not just splurging.
2. Cut out any unnecessary expenses, such as monthly subscriptions
After evaluating your budget, maybe you’ve noticed some bills that are super unnecessary. I was once a sucker for monthly subscriptions, but there were just so many that I didn’t use and either forgot about or was too lazy to cancel.
Things like monthly subscriptions add up quickly, so if you’re not using one, go ahead and cancel it, then put that extra money into your travel fund!
3. Cancel your cable (and get Netflix!)
Okay, I know I just said that you need to cut back on the monthly subscriptions, but Netflix is an exception. When it comes to TV, your cable bill can easily be more expensive than a Netflix subscription, plus you get the first month free.
Or, if you’re really feeling brave, cut your cable and don’t get Netflix. While you may be out of the loop on the latest TV shows, you’ll be that much closer to your dream destination!
4. Don’t eat out as much
My husband and I once had a horrible habit of eating out all. the. time. Once we took a step back and looked at our bank account, we realized that all of that money could be going towards something much more important.
You’ve got to pick your priorities. It’s one of the hardest habits to break, but if you’re spending at least $50 a week at restaurants and fast-food joints, you could easily save $200 a month for your next adventure.
5. Plan your meals for the month
Meal prep is such a great way to save money. While it does take a little bit of time to set up, it makes the rest of the month so much easier.
Once a week (or once a month), figure out what you want to cook each day and what groceries you’ll need. If you use any apps like Ibotta, you can save even more money by planning your meals around the deals presented on the app. (more on this in #6!)
Not only will meal prep keep you from eating out, you can buy your groceries in bulk and save money. Also, nothing goes to waste since you know exactly what you’ll use!
Ideally, you should end up with some leftover money from your grocery budget, which can go directly into your travel fund (Remember, give every dollar a purpose, don’t splurge with the leftover money.)
6. Use coupons/money-saving apps
There are tons of apps online that can save you some serious cash. Ibotta is one of my current favorites, as it’s just so simple to use.
If you couple this app with meal prep, you can save a ton of money. First, find grocery rebates on the app and save them. Then, plan what meals you can make using those groceries, and buy them. Then, take a picture of your receipt and cash in your rewards!
Another great money-saving app is Ebates, which is good if you buy things online a lot. Be sure to check it out!
7. Spark up a side hustle
A lot of people don’t think that they have the skills to start up a side hustle, but trust me, there are all kinds of ways to start a side hustle, you just need to find something you like to do and figure out how to work it!
If you’re creative, you can sell just about anything on Etsy (which I do here!)
Or, if you enjoy writing, you could try starting a blog (although it is an investment, I’ve already doubled what I put into my blog so far. So it can be done!)
Another option is to take surveys online, through places like Swagbucks. How much you make from this depends on how much time you’re willing to put into it. I’ve made over $25 from taking surveys, but honestly the time it took to get there wasn’t great. However, I didn’t do all of the extra things you can do to get SB (points that turn into cash) like shopping online to get rewards back. So it all depends on what you’re willing to put into it!
8. Make travel a priority
Ultimately, this is what it comes down to. You have to make travel a priority, otherwise there will always be better and more important things to spend your money on.
Implementing these simple strategies will build up your travel fund in no time! Once you get into the habit of saving for travel, it will get easier and you’ll be able to travel sooner!
What dream destination are you saving for?
If you found these helpful, be sure to share it so others can find it, too!
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