We’re back with Part 2 of: 22 Ways to Save for Travel
12. Sell Items you No Longer Need
Every spring, most of us go through a period of extreme cleaning and purging. It feels great to get fresh air back in the house, to tidy and clear out some of the clutter. So imagine how much better it would feel to make money to save for travel from items you no longer need. Gather what you’re looking to get rid of and plan a garage sale (holiday weekends usually mean more people are out buying!) or list your items for sale online. There are Facebook groups specifically for this purpose, or websites like Ebay, Kijiji or Craigslist make it easy.
If you’re looking to save big bucks and don’t mind taking some drastic measures to make your dreams come true, consider downsizing your home. There are many ways to make a smaller space work well. Talk to your kids about sharing bedrooms. Instead of paying extra for a garage, your new home could have a small storage shed and a carport. Utilize nearby park space instead of paying for a big backyard. In smaller homes, the key is inventiveness and organization. The extra money you can save in a smaller home (from your mortgage costs, to insurance, to your heating bills) adds up so fast you’ll be taking that dream trip in no time!
14. Give up or Reduce Vices
Everyone has a vice. Mine is coffee. I used to stop and buy a coffee every day on my way to work. But then I got serious about wanting to save for travel and I did the math. One coffee a day is $1.75. That one coffee per work day costs me $8.75 per week, which is equal to approximately $35 per month or $455 per year. And that is just for coffee. A lot of people end up buying food at the same time. Once I realized how expensive my habit was it seemed crazy to continue when I knew there was something else (that I wanted way more than coffee) I could be putting that money towards. I still stop and get coffee, but it is once in a while not every day. Coffee from home does the trick now! You know what your vice is… try figuring out what it costs you and how you could cut back to save for travel!
15. Find ways of Earning Extra Money
Are there odd jobs you could pick up to help save money faster? Lots of people pay to have their lawns mowed in the summer or driveways cleared in the winter. There are many companies you can sign on with as a sales rep while working from home in your spare time. Some examples of these are Avon, Scentsy, Tupperware, Norwex and so on. You could offer childcare to your neighbourhood, or if you’re crafty, use your hobby to earn money through Etsy. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and branch out!
16. Save for Travel by Cancelling Subscriptions
For the longest time we paid for satellite TV that we hardly used. Once we decided to cancel we started saving nearly $100 a month. We now use Netflix and Youtube and pay a grand total of $10 a month. Magazine subscriptions often end up in piles, barely glanced through. Newspapers end up in the recycling without being opened. If you’re holding onto any subscriptions that you’re not getting your money out of, consider letting them go. Flyers can now be accessed online. Magazine articles are often available as well. Looking for a certain story about a do-it-yourself hack, make-up tips or recipes? Since internet is one subscription you’re not likely to give up, make Google your new best friend!
17. Don’t Upgrade
Everyone is used to having the newest models of everything, but this can be expensive. Just because your phone contract is up doesn’t mean you must spend the money to upgrade your phone. My contract ended 5 months ago and I went to see what phones were available. The one I wanted was going to cost me $280 on top of a new contract. Needless to say, I still have my old phone. New technology being released doesn’t mean we have to own it. The same goes for other electronics. New types of televisions are being released all the time and the TV’s themselves are getting bigger and bigger. If your television still works, keep using it. One new TV can cost the same as an entire trip for your family. This same idea can be used for other items as well. Furniture is another big ticket item people like to replace more than necessary. Keep what you have until you have no choice but to replace it and you’ll be able to save for travel much faster.
18. Find Free Activities to do With Friends
Going out with friends is important but it can get expensive fast. Often people go out for dinner and/or drinks or out to the movies, all of which costs quite a bit. To help save for travel, try finding free ways of spending time together. You could meet up for a nature walk or spend a day by the beach. Watch local websites for free events taking place or meet for coffee at each others homes. Consider a movie night in with homemade popcorn. Plan group board game nights and have everyone involved take turns hosting.There are so many free (or nearly free) activities you can consider. They’re fun, often new experiences that all help you save for travel!
19. Lower Personal Maintenance Costs
How much do you think your family spends per year on things like hair cuts, colours, nails and spa treatments? I’m sure the number is pretty high. I have longer hair and to get a trim and a colour it costs me about $120 before tip. And that is just at a basic cookie-cutter hair place, not even a fancy salon! To keep up with the hair colour, you have to go back every 3 months (or else… roots! *gasp*). So for my hair alone, we are looking at $480 per year. I also have a husband and three children. I would estimate my husband spends $40 every 3 months and we probably spend $60 for all three kids combined every 6 months. So in total, our family of five spent $760 per year, just on our hair. Does that sound ridiculous to you? Because it really does to me. Our solution to this was simple; stop. Now let me explain, I don’t mean we stopped everything entirely. But we gave up the things we could. It has been a long time now since I got my hair coloured. Do I miss it? Frankly, yes. Am I sorry? Not at all. We also purchased a Self-Haircut Kit so now the boys get their hair cut at home. The girls and I still get our trims done professionally, but our overall cost is way down.
The same does for getting your nails done. I used to get mine done all the time. Every 2-3 weeks I was in getting them redone. It worked out to be $30 every three weeks. That is $520 a year. When I stopped getting my nails done, I missed it, so I bought a bunch of nail polish that I found on sale. It still isn’t the same, but I feel a lot better about it, and so does my wallet.
20. Buy Generic
Through the media, companies have a really great way of making their products familiar and feel trusted. When you brake it down, their products aren’t that different from the generic or no name brands. The biggest difference tends to be the cost of the item. We have found that buying generic vs brand name saves a load when you’re trying to stick to a budget. Multiple sources confirm that in most cases, you’re getting the same product when you buy generic. So why throw money away when you could save for travel and still get the same thing?
21. Make a Savings Goal
If you only follow one piece of advice from this list, let this be the one. This tip is in the same league as budgeting and tracking your spending, but it is really important and I think it deserves a category on its own. If you don’t have a goal, how do you know if you’re getting yourself to the place you want to be? Have a goal for how much you want to save, whether it is a yearly total or a specific amount for a trip you’ve already planned, and write it down! Track your progress towards that goal. This number is the ultimate key to the flexible portion of your budget. If you can’t make it to your goal, the trip doesn’t happen. Seeing the numbers right in front of you works wonders for motivation.
22. Local Midterm Travel
Big trips can be really expensive. As a family of five, we understand how costs add up. After getting home from a trip, it can take a while to save up for another. It can also feel really difficult to wait long periods of time as you save for travel. One way you can still enjoy travel while not spending a lot is to keep travel local. Smaller trips close to home are much more affordable. Most of us haven’t explored everything our local area has to offer. Plan day trips or the odd overnight trip away to ease the travel bug while you await your next big adventure.
We hope you find our list helpful when trying to plan your next adventure. Remember, not all of these items will be realistic for everyone. We all have our own situation and circumstances that must be considered. However, putting into place as many of these ideas as possible will help you save for travel and reach your goals much more quickly. It can be hard work to make lifestyle changes, but I’m sure you’ll agree, travel is worth it!
Are there any tricks you’ve learned to help save for travel that we haven’t listed here? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment with your ideas or let us know which tips you’ll be trying!
Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. Using them costs you nothing extra. We make a small commission, used to bring you more great content!