For most of us, the ability to pick up and travel the globe seems out of reach as we don’t think we have the time or the finances to travel. Most of us would be surprised to learn that it is possible to save as much as $10,000 in one year to spend on travel. We’ve scoured the Internet for just a few ideas from experts in travel on the best ways to do this.
For anyone who can consider their income as being at or near middle class level, it often seems that every penny goes toward monthly expenses. (But really, no matter what your income level is, you probably feel that way.)
If you long to travel and just don’t know where the time or the money will come from, the question that you must ask yourself is: when it comes to expenses, what is a necessity, and what is a luxury? Prioritizing your expenses and your lifestyle in relation to your desire to travel is a huge part of saving $10,000 in a year.
It all starts with knowing what your expenses are each month and then making a budget a serious part of your life. The goal is to make a plan that you can stick with for a year. It’s going to take a major psychological adjustment to repeatedly convince yourself that you don’t want certain luxuries you’re accustomed to. But once you make this correction, you’ll be well on your way to saving enough this year so that you can travel next year.
When tightening any budget, it is often the big ticket items that allow you to save the most money. One expense that often eats up a lot of people’s money is the cable bill. The national average of the monthly cable bill is around $135 per month. Getting rid of it can save you $1,620 per year.
If you live relatively close to work and shopping, you can start walking, biking, taking the bus, or car-pooling so that you can eliminate a lot of your transportation costs. Eliminating one car could save you anywhere from $50-$300 (or more) each month. Even just reducing the amount you drive every week could save you $25 a month or more in gas. This translates to saving $25- $300 per month or $300-$3600 per year.
If you go out for dinner or drinks with friends every week, you can save a great deal of money by cutting down or cutting it out. You’ll conservatively spend around $30 for dinner or $20 on drinks in one night. By eliminating just one of those outings, you can save $1,560 over the course of a year.
Your living situation is another place to save money for a year. Depending on whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, you can cut your expenses either in half with a roommate, or by a third by renting out a room in your home for a year. You can even consider moving to a cheaper domicile as a way to save money. By living smarter, you can easily save $3,600 per year.
If you want to rent out space in your apartment or house by the night as a way to bring in some more money, you can use websites like AirBnB. These options can save anywhere from $250-$1000 a month or as much as $3000-$12,000 a year.
You don’t have to give up your coffee, but brewing your own rather than spending $3-$5 each day can save you $30-$80 per month or as much as $360 to $960 per year. While you’re at it, start bringing your lunch rather than buying it. You can keep it interesting by getting recipes online. Try making a larger dinner than usual and using the leftovers for lunch. By shopping smart and eliminating buying lunch each day, you should be able to save around $15-$45 per week or as much as $780-$2,340 a year when you cut out buying three lunches per week.
Having a meal plan, learning to use coupons, and selling unneeded items online via craigslist or eBay can also put some extra money in your wallet. If you regularly go to the theater to see movies, wait and rent them with a Netflix subscription or even Red Box. Doing all of these things can help you save $2,000 or more in a year.
Probably the best advice that these travel and budget websites provide is that the battle to save $10,000 or more over the course of the year for travel is a psychological one. They all emphasize the importance of keeping your eye on the prize.
They all suggest that you occasionally reward yourself with a treat of some kind (a meal out, a movie etc.) so that you can keep your spirits up. Travel is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves to enjoy life while expanding our minds and peace of mind. Just ask yourself what that is worth to you?