How to save money for travel

You want to see the world, but you’re not sure how to save money for travel. I get it. Sometimes travelling can seem out of reach because it can be expensive, but it’s definitely not impossible.

By following some simple tips, you can learn how to save money for travel without being rich.

1. Make a budget 

There is no way you can reasonably save money if you don’t have a budget. Before anything else, make sure you create a budget using whatever method works best for you. There’s lots of apps and websites online that can help categorise your money, watch your spending and track your expenses.

Personally, I love using You Need a Budget. Although this program isn’t free, I’ve found that it’s the most flexible, useful and easy program that works best for me.

No matter what software you use, you need to understand where most of your money is going. Every dollar that comes into your account should be assigned to a certain category, so all of your money if accounted for.

You can either open a dedicated savings account within your bank account, or you can simply allocate money to travelling through your budget app without opening a new account. Personally, I wouldn’t open a new savings account simply for travel. Some banks put restrictions on how much money you can put in, how much you can take out, when you need to repay it, etc. It’s easier to simply allocate money to travelling with your budget.

Once you make your budget, it’s time to start saving money for your travel fund!

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2. Cut back on the stuff that’s not important

Once you make your budget and track your spending for a month or so, you’ll easily be able to see what you can cut back on. 

A lot of people suggest cutting out monthly subscriptions such as HBO, Spotify, Netflix, etc, or cancel your cable. Can you get away without your gym membership for awhile? Do you even use it?

For me, it’s eating out or getting takeout that really starts to add up. You don’t realize how cheap cooking a meal at home is until your budget shoves it in your face! By cutting back on takeout, I’ve been able to save a lot more money each month.

Once you start cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you’ll find extra cash each month to help you travel the world.

How to save money for travel

3. Make it a priority

You might be thinking: well, I really enjoy getting takeout! I still want to do that!

What do you want more, frequent meals out or travelling? 

Travelling, and saving money for travelling, won’t happen unless it’s something you’re focused on. Yes, I’d love to buy new clothes each month and buy countless drinks at the bar every Friday. But that money could be going towards visiting Japan instead. What do I really want?

Cutting back on things that you like sucks. Of course it does! But you need to decide if short-term happiness you get from buying new clothes or ordering pizza every week outweighs a trip somewhere new. Thinking of your long term goals can be really helpful to put things into perspective.

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4. Bring your own lunch to work!

Seems obvious, but buying lunch every day really adds up! If you buy lunch frequently, your budget will let you know how much you’re actually spending. An easy way to save a few bucks every week is to bring your own lunch to work.

Each time I visit the grocery store, I make sure to stock up on lunch-making stuff so I always have it and won’t have an excuse to buy lunch out instead. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it definitely adds up.

5. Compare prices for utilities

Just because you’ve used a certain provider for internet for a long time, doesn’t mean they’re the best price. Search around online and compare prices for utilities like electricity and internet. A lot of the time, we stick with what we know because it’s easy. But oftentimes, you’ll find a better deal with a new provider for the same level of service. An easy win for saving a few dollars every month!

6. Pretend like your poor

When you’re paid, pay all your bills. Put away some money for your savings. Budget for the month and leave no extra money (or very minimal) leftover. This forces you to live like you don’t have money, even if you do. You put your month towards the most important things each month: bills, savings, your budget, and leave the least amount of money leftover for extras that you can handle.

If you have a lot of leftover money each month not assigned to anything, it’s so easy to spend it. You’ll hardly realize that it’s gone! Don’t give yourself the option. Put that money away so you can’t use it and you’ll have money saved for travelling in no time.

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How to budget for travelling

7. Credit card weighing you down?

Some people really struggle with overusing their credit card. If you’re in that group, it might be wise to cut-up your card. If you can’t stop yourself from overspending with your credit card, even when you have a budget, you might need to get rid of the card. Even if it’s only short-term.

Sometimes it’s too easy to spend money when you don’t even have it!

This also goes for overdrafts and other options that allow you to spend money you don’t actually have. It can be impossible to save for “luxury” items like plane tickets if you’re in debt from credit cards. If it’s a temptation, get rid of it.

How to save money for travel

At the end of the day, if you want to travel you need to make it a priority. By following these simple money-saving travel tips, you can put money towards travelling even faster than before.

Cutting back on things we enjoy and going “without” isn’t fun, but it’s necessary if you want to travel. Try to envision yourself on that beautiful Bali beach, or exploring Prague’s historic streets – it might help keep you motivated.

Have a favourite tip that I didn’t mention? Please let me know! Leave a comment below or email me at hello@introvertedexpat.co.uk