This post was written by the lovely and talented, April Caldwell! For more on April, check out her story at the end of the post.
As a money coach I help clients balance the short term with the long term; or the fun “now” with the security later. I strongly believe that we work to enjoy our lives and while that means saving for the future, it also means playing some too. I would rather spend my money on experiences, like travel; so here is how to save some money to afford the trips you want to take..and I like First Class all the way!
But first..a short exercise. Write down all of your set expenses: rent, cable, phone, hair, IRA, etc. Then write down all of your discretionary expenses from snacks, shoes, coffee and similar things. If you don't know what you spend your money on, then you need a budget. Are there any expenses there that you didn't realize? People bleed money without realizing it and those expenses add up. Take what you earn, minus what you spend and save and see what you have left over. Then, set a travel budget.
For example, cut a $2 weekly expense, and invest the amount at 3% and you'll have $1,228.01 in 10 years, $8,076.98 in 40 years. Redirecting $2 daily has an even bigger payout: $56,694.21 in 40 years.
What does that have to do with my Vacation? One reason people don't travel is they think they can't afford it. But if we cut our forgotten expenses, reduce our set costs, and find other ways to save we can build our travel fund much more quickly.
As promised, here are 7 simple and creative ways to cut your expenses, make money, and get out of town!
Cut the Coffee - This is an easy one that drains your checking account without you ever noticing. $5 a day costs you about $150 a month. Make it at home, put it in your trendy cup and go. Or ask for gift cards for your birthday.
Find a Roommate - Do you have an extra bedroom going to waste? Find someone who works a different shift than you and you won't even notice they are there, earn an extra $300-500 a month. Downsize your apartment and save an extra $70-100 a month.
Get Rid of Cable - Do you really watch it? Really? Can you get what you want with Netflix & Hulu? Save $150 a month.
Sign up for Travel Newsletters - You’ll be able to get updates about all the last-minute sales or special deals happening. It will also help keep you motivated when you see those stunning pics.
Buy Second Hand - I like thredUP. While you're there, sell your old clothes and make some money! Purging can be very therapeutic too. Imagine going into your closet and seeing only items that bring you joy. My facebook book club just finished a book on “tidying up” and how to decide what to keep.
Shop Everything - Check your car insurance, renters, pet insurance for the best price and the best coverage. You should be pricing this out at least 1x a year. Life insurance about every 5 years.
Travel with Someone Who You Don't Share Expenses - Go with a girlfriend and stay in the same room. It's like saving 50% with ease!
Applying these tips can save you around $350 a month. Make sure to have a dedicated travel savings account to put the extra cash. You don't want it to disappear.
About the Author: April Caldwell
Promoting positive community and economic growth
For some it may have been divorce, loss of a loved one, a career change or simply a personal setback. Regardless of their issues they are tired of feeling like a victim and want to take back control of their life. I help my clients realize they need to make their financial affairs a priority in order to go from a feeling of surviving to a place of thriving.
Talking money can be scary and that’s why, as a money coach, I like to start people off with attending an event. Come meet me and a group of 16 of your new friends and learn why & how to take control of your finances.
I have a MBA and 20 years experience in the financial industry. A Jacksonville native who served my country during Operation Enduring Freedom and returned home to raise my family. That's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So read more here.