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How to Save Money for Your Next Trip

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Photo: @theperennialstyle

Create a budget

First and foremost, create a spreadsheet in Excel, or another program and calculate your monthly expenses and expenditure. Back track and use your bank statement to go back month or two to get an idea of where your money gets spent, this will no doubt be a huge eye opener and from here you can consciously decide how and where you need to change your spending habits.

Budgeting can be tough, there are your regular, non-negotiable expenses like rent, utilities and food, plus your important add-ons like insurance, retirement savings or paying off debits. Don't forget to include the odd social event or treat - factor these into your budget to keep you sane. Figure out the bare minimum you need to live, giving yourself a small cushion (around $100). Calculate the difference from your monthly paycheck.
And stick to it...
Try using an 'ATM Budget' and get your allocated weekly spending money out in cash, or Money Manager App such as Mint to help you keep on track.

Start a savings account

Strictly for travel expenses and pledge not to touch it until you start traveling. Make sure it has a high interest return, and if you can't be trusted have a fee for withdrawals to keep you away.
Once you figure out your budget and the realistic amount that you are able to save, have your bank automatically transfer that amount to your savings every payday. Think about everything before you purchase. If things get low, spend a few days eating cheap and going for walks or free activities until you get paid again. Keep a jar in the house for all of the small change you find lying around, deposit it monthly.
As for unforeseen expenses, like car repairs and higher-than-expected bills, put them on your credit card and use your next paycheck to pay it off instead of taking it out of your travel savings.  
Saving money is not easy, it takes work and it takes sacrifice, but it will be absolutely worth it when you make your travel dreams come true. 

Liquidate your belongings directly into your Travel Fund

Sell items, go through your closet, house, garage, and boxes to find items you are no longer using. Then you can either have a garage sale or sell them online at Amazon, Ebay or Craigslist. Selling your unwanted things can boost your savings dramatically.

Put all of the money you make from this directly into your savings.

Learn to love low season

When you travel in the low season you can save a ton of cash on flights, accommodation, tours… everything is so much cheaper. You’ll also find great last-minute deals as tour operators try to fill seats and you can do loads of cool things you wouldn’t typically have the budget for. Oh, and it’s also quieter and more enjoyable without so many crowds!

Work, work, work

Picking up a part-time job can be a great way to ramp up your savings, whether its working a bar, doing odd jobs for people, walking a dog or freelancing from the couch, there is a marketable skill that you could put to use. Do something that is different and exciting for you, that way you have more motivation to continue, it will help to fill up your spare time to.

Money savers

Stop Buying: It sounds simple, but it takes a great deal of restraint; especially if you are accustomed to buying the newest gadgets or clothes, if you do need something try to buy it used. Cut out buying coffee at $5 a cup it really adds up, make a homemade brew and take it to work with you.

Limit Entertainment. Invite friends over instead of going out, go to places on days they are offering free admission, and look for other free things to do for entertainment. There are definitely plenty of things to do that don’t cost much money. Utilize happy hours, and specials or have a few glasses of wine at home rather that purchasing overpriced drinks at trendy bars.

Write a list when you go shopping and stick to it! Start eating healthier, unprocessed foods, stock up on vegetables over meat and dairy. Plan your meals around your grocery store’s sales and when you make meals, make enough for leftovers to take to work for lunches, or freeze some for a meal another night.

Cut your subscriptions and memberships: Get rid of subscriptions to magazines and any memberships you can do without. Go for a run, walk, hike, surf, or ride a bike instead of going to the gym, it’s much more fun and you get fresh air and wonderful sights.

Keep an eye on flights, and sign up to the airline emails and book when they go one sale, once you've got your dates locked in keep an eye out for accommodation sales!

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