People ask us a lot how we afford to travel so much, and the reality is we make sacrifices with some other things. Travel has become one of our top priorities so other things that we used to spend money on, get pushed to the back burner. Not everyone is willing to sacrifice some of these things, but we enjoy traveling so much that it makes it worth it. If you’re dying to get out there to travel more (which we don’t blame you), here are our top tips to save money for vacation right now. Some things are small and others are large, but it all makes a difference in the end. Hopefully this helps you explore the world, without breaking the bank.
How to Save Money
Get rid of cable
How many shows do you really HAVE TO watch anyways? Cable costs way too much for the little amount that we actually use it. The average family spends $120 on cable A MONTH!! Use Netflix if you really need to watch things, or just use YouTube as a source of entertainment. You’ll probably be more productive without it! If you want to watch TV, we suggest getting an antenna, so you can still watch the basic channels.
Make your coffee at home
While everyone loves their Starbucks, it can get expensive. Spending $3 every day on a coffee everyday is $1000 for the year! That right there is a trip alone. Make your own coffee and other drinks at home. You can get a basic coffee maker for under $20.
Skip happy hour
Those nightly rituals at happy hour may not be much, but if your frequently having a drink of 2 at happy hour, thats money you could be saving. Have your friends over instead of going out for a drink. This is a great way to save money for traveling.
Cook more meals at home
We’re big on meal prepping almost every week. We hardly ever eat out, and we find the food we buy and make at home goes much further than if we eat out. If we buy and make only what were going to eat for the week, we end up spending less on groceries. This also helps keeping you to stay in shape for that next big trip!
Count your change
We put all our loose change in a jar, and then right before each trip we cash in our change. You’d be amazed at how much change adds up over time.
All those extra subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify… all add up. Consider canceling all monthly subscriptions. You most likely won’t miss it that much anyways.
Do your own nails, waxing, etc.
I know most people think this is a must-have, but think of all the money you could save if you only do these things when absolutely necessary. Think about it: a $40 nail service twice a month is $960/year. Even just cutting back to every once in a while will save a lot!
52 week challenge
This is one of our favorite ways to save money. You start by putting away $1 the first week, $2 the next week, and so on for all 52 weeks. By the end of the year, you’ll have saved $1378! However, we like to do it backwards. We start with the biggest amount in week one, and then by the end of the year (when we find ourselves spending more with the holidays), we are in the single digits and its not as noticeable on the wallet. The 52 week challenge is a good base to save money, and you can easily change it around to work with your budget.
Use daily deal sites
There are lots of websites out there that have great deals for travel. Use groupon, living social, Travelzoo, etc. for any travel or other activities that you do feel are absolutely necessary. If you do feel like you need to get your nails done, or want to go to the bowling alley, finding a deal on these sites will at least save you some money.
Subscribe to travel deal sites
Before you book that next fight, make sure to check out what deals are out there. There are so many travel sites that help save you money. There are even sites that will alert you when there are cheap flights. Websites like The Flight Deal, SecretFlying, and The Points Guy all are great websites that have all the travel deals you need.
Put a certain amount directly into a savings account or travel fund
If you can find a bank that transfers directly from your checking into a savings, do that. You can do this manually, but we find that if we have to do manually, the chance of it happening is less likely. With the automatic transfer, you don’t even notice its gone from your regular banking account. You don’t need to take a ton from each check, even $25 is enough! Every little bit helps!
Find a travel credit card that gives you perks
First of all: don’t open new credit cards if you aren’t able to make the payments! However, travel credit cards are a great way to use the opening incentive for a flight, hotel or other travel purchases with the miles. Here’s a great referral for Delta Skymiles.
How to Make More Money
Sign up for Ebates
Ebates is a free cashback site that allows you to earn money back from your online purchases. You can either search directly on the Ebates website, or install the Ebates Safari extension, and it will let you know when a website is affiliated with Ebates. Then you can shop like normal, and once the purchase is complete, youll end cash back. We love Ebates mostly because of all the travel sites that we use that allow us to use money back, like Hotels.com, Expedia, and Agoda. Theres also plenty of other great retailers like Dicks, Nike, Groupon, and many more! Ebates will even email you when some retailers have a higher percentage of cashback available. We always check Ebates for cashack deals before we buy anything online.
Sign up for Swagbucks
Swagbucks is an online site that rewards you for shopping or online quizzes. Earn points by shopping, watching videos, answer surveys, or search the web. Once you earn points, you can redeem gift cards or get cash back through PayPal. Similar to Ebates, you can earn points when you shop at certain online store as well.
Do online surveys
There are lots of online sites that you can earn money from by doing surveys. Some examples are Inbox dollars, My Survey, and MyPoints, but there are a ton out there. On most of them, once you earn points, you can redeem your points for a gift card to different retailers. If you have free time on your hands, it’s the perfect way to get some extra money.
.Hopefully you’ve learned some tips to save money so you can travel more, or whatever it is that your heart desires! Once you’re ready for that next big trip, here are a few other tips on how to save money for a vacation:
- Learn how we find cheap flights
- Where to book cheap flights
- Our favorite ways to book a cheap cruise
What are some things you do if you’re saving for a vacation? We’d love to learn what other people do to save.
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