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One question I am asked often is how we afford to travel. There is no great secret to this. We basically prioritise travel and we save what we can. Recently we also started working online to help fund our travels as well, but all our previous trips have been funded by saving as much of our money as possible.
Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to magically save money for travel. You either need to be rich, on a big income or prioritise travel when it comes to how you choose to spend your money. Here are some of our tips for how to save money for travel so you can travel more often…
You won’t be able to save money effectively until you know what you are currently spending it on. The easiest way to work this out is to keep to a weekly/fortnight/monthly budget. The time frame does not really matter, just pick what suits best for you. We personally have a monthly budget as our big costs (rent and mortgage) are both monthly.
Your budget should detail everything – rent, mortgage, insurance, utilities, child care, food, allowances. Everything. By allowances I also mean an allowance for you and your partner. The idea of an allowance may seem horrible to start with, but it is the best way to ensure you know what you are spending. We also find it works well as then J and I have some discretionary money that we can spend on what we want without having to consult anyone.
Once you have your budget, it’s time to look at what you can cut back on. Do you really need cable TV? Do you spend unnecessary money on groceries? Could you eat our less? How often do you need a haircut? Could you cut back your allowances? Could your mobile/cell phone plan be less? Are there cheaper insurance options? You get the idea. If travel is important to you then there is bound to be something that is not as important that you can stop spending so much money on.
Now that you have some money for travel, it’s important to put it in a high interest account. I like the bonus saver account at People’s Choice Credit Union as you get a bonus interest rate if you deposit at least $50 a month which is an incentive to keep saving regularly. Term deposits are also a good idea once you have some money saved if you are someone who is tempted to reach into their savings. This way it is much more difficult to touch the money until a certain date.
If you want to save some extra money so you can reach your travel goals quicker, brainstorm some ways to earn some extra money and do it. This can range from selling items you no longer need to babysitting to renting out a spare room on Airbnb. There are many ways to go about this. If you need some inspiration, you can read my article about 25 quick ways to earn money fast. It’s also possible to earn some extra money doing online paid surveys here.
It’s easy to become discouraged when your savings aren’t growing as fast as you would like, so it’s important to find ways to motivate yourself to keep saving. Perhaps you could allow yourself some type of small splurge when you reach certain milestones or you could make your own money saving thermometer, stick it on the fridge and colour it in as you save more money.
I personally like thinking about what exactly I am saving for and what I am achieving every time I deposit some money in our account. For example, if we are saving for a trip to Thailand and our travel budget is $100 a day then every time I save $100, I know that’s one day of our holiday I have just paid for.
Saving money and being thrifty isn’t fun but remember that the end product is! When you are lazing on the beach in the Philippines, visiting Disneyland, exploring Paris or whatever else you end up doing, there is no doubt that you will be glad you saved every cent!
Bonus Tip: Enter travel competitions! You never know. Here are some tips for winning.
What is your best tip for saving money for a vacation?
You may also want to read our tips for finding the cheapest flight to anywhere to help save you more money!
This post is in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union. Terms and conditions apply to any product you consider.