At some point of our lives, we have all dreamt of taking a special trip. Everyone wants to see other cultures and traditions or simply picture that beautiful sight we wish to experience first hand. Wishing and hoping is not everything, traveling requires a few things and money happens to be one of them. There are those who have yet been able to experience their adventure, mostly due to not having the budget to cover all the expenses that a trip entails; things such as necessary equipment, lodging and transportation.
The first hurdle when it comes to facing the challenge of financing a trip mostly comes from people’s minds. Most folks think they won’t be able to do it because they have a fixed monthly budget that just doesn’t stretch enough, others simply postpone to an uncertain future thus making their trip a distant goal that eventually becomes a forgotten plan they used to have.
If your goal is to really travel, then you must put your mind into it and make some changes to your routine in order to make it. Those additional expenses on beers, restaurant bills and unneeded compulsive shopping could pay for a week stay at that hotel you’ve always dreamed of. Even if they look small and unimportant, they really add up at the end of the month. Your best bet is to start by identifying and eliminating unnecessary spending. You must stop thinking that saving money is difficult and start doing it, even if it means starting by saving your pocket change. Here we have some tips to get you started and to make it easier to start saving.
Keep notes of your weekly and monthly spending.
This is a great strategy when it comes to saving. First you must note your fixed monthly spending, things like rent, utilities, gas, transportation, etc. Write it all down. Just the fact of having everything cleared up and in front of you, will help you visualize how you are spending your money and will make you question yourself about what’s important and what isn’t. After you identify what’s really necessary you will be able to reduce what isn’t. You will notice that at the end of the month you will find some extra money already from those extra beers and eating out that you left aside. That’s how you start saving for your trip.
Reduce personal spending.
Some expenses are necessary and impossible to avoid. You must pay utilities, you must pay rent and you have to eat, but there are things that are nothing more than whims and will not affect you negatively if you choose to leave them aside. You must try to reduce unnecessary spending and get your mind on “saving” mode. Picture yourself at your destination enjoying yourself and start turning off the lights you aren’t using, unplugging electronics that you don’t need and being mindful of your water usage. All of theses things help, you will notice the bills becoming smaller and a higher percentage of savings being achieved.
Using your credit card at a store gives you the satisfaction of having the things you want right away, while seemingly not spending your money, but that’s the mistake. Later you must pay that money back with added interest that will start to eat away your savings and leave you back where you started. There are situations in which using credit is a great option, but even if it appears so, while you are saving this is a bad idea and should be avoided at all costs. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need.
It is a lot easier to save money, when you have a set goal in mind. Set small challenges for yourself, that will make it easier when you have to deny yourself some things you were used to having in the regular basis. Look at the bigger picture and try to start setting aside a portion of your income towards your trip. The idea is not to create impossible goals that you won’t be able to achieve because you will lose hope and get unorganized. While keeping in mind your basic expenses, set aside some money while thinking about how much fun you are going to have at your next destination.
Understanding how much money you spend on what is very important, it allows you set money aside for certain things and keeps you from spending on things you don’t need. It is normal for situations to come up that will force you to spend on something you hadn’t planned, but having a pre-set budget will go a long way towards taking charge of your spending and being able to set enough aside for your upcoming adventure.
Find deals and compare prices.
First of all, you must do your research. Ask friends, colleagues, family, go online and compare prices. This tip will help you not only save money for the trip, but also find the best fares for traveling and the hotels themselves. This will not only help you make the most out the money you have set aside so far, but give you the extra motivation you need to make it through the final stretch. This part is very fun and challenging and will make you glad you have made some sacrifices along the way.
Save any extra income.
Every time you get some money you weren’t counting on, save it. Maybe a return, a gift in the form of cash or some extra income you received aside from your regular salary, save it. If it’s extra it means you weren’t counting on it, so put it to good use and set it aside for your trip and spend it on a souvenir from a distant land or a new experience you want to enjoy.