How to Save Money to Travel

OK. Saving money for a trip takes commitment. Once you realize that, it becomes a lot easier to save. I only make $31,000 a year, but I’ve been able to save more than half of what I’ve made so far this year for my world trip.

1. Cook every meal

I can’t stress this enough. Cooking saves you tons of money. People who eat at fast food restaurants probably spend around $5 per meal (and more if it’s a somewhat decent restaurant). Cooking chops that eating budget by at least half. Buy chicken breasts at the supermarket for $10. That’s five meals right there for $2. And if you say, “I don’t know how to cook,” what better time to learn than now? YouTube has many cooking tutorials for you.

2. Get roommates or move in with your parents

This is probably the biggest thing you can do to save money. Unfortunately living in Louisville, I didn’t have the option of moving in with my mother. Instead, I searched Cragislist for a house with roommates. I’ve cut my living expenses by $200. Over the course of six months, that’s $1,400 extra for my trip. And in my case, I was able to get Netflix, Hulu and cable for the first time since moving out and still save money. That’s a big discount.

3. Cut the discretionary spendingImage

That means no impulse buying. Exercise self-restraint when you find the perfect pair of jeans or when you get the craving for a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks. There’s nothing wrong with the clothes you already own, and you can make your own coffee at home. I’m not suggesting to be a hermit, but have a budget and keep to it.

4. Ditch the car

Yes, it means giving up your freedom, but there are bus systems you can use. I have a roommate who uses the bus in Louisville (a not-so friendly mass transit city) to go to med school every day. I imagine ditching your car is probably easier on the East Coast or in the Bay Area, but if you do so, that’s probably $1,200 you’re saving every year on insurance. And by selling your car, that’s extra money in your pocket for your trip.

5. Get a part-time job

The more time you’re working, the less time you’re spending money. This tip won’t work well if you have a job that requires you to be on-call, but for people who can do it, I would suggest it.

There you go. There are five easy tips to help you save money for your trip. The biggest thing you can do is to exercise self-restraint. It’ll be worth it in the end.

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