I have become somewhat of a master at making the most out of nothing – I’m currently a student and I don’t have a lot of money, but I have found ways to make that money turn into great stuff – such as travel. First you must know that while I have a lot of hacks, I also actively choose not to spend a lot of money on things that other people might not want to give up, such as eating certain foods, going out with friends on a regular basis, living in a spacious apartment, and only you can decide and know your limits and possibilities. This is a guide based on how I save money for my adventures, and maybe some of my hacks can help you too!
Sit down and make a monthly budget stretching from now up until your trip. This means that you have to know exactly how you spend on bills every month, exactly how much you are willing to spend on food on a weekly basis and how much money you will be able to put away into your savings account. Also make a post for other expenses such as dentist appointments or buying those new shoes that you really need. This way you can calculate exactly how much you will be able to save up until your trip and what changes you might need to make in order to do so.
Shop groceries once a week and plan your meals.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to spend more by going to the grocery store more than once a week, and when I don’t plan on what to buy, I tend to buy a whole lot of stuff without any thought. Instead I plan what I’m going to buy, I only go to the store once or twice a week and I save the receipts so that I know exactly how much I spend on what. I also write all those numbers down in a document – for example, I live close to two grocery stores and I know how differently they both charge for the same toilet paper, and I know exactly what amount. This will obviously help me plan what to buy and where. I also make lunch and dinner for the entire week – doing this will save you money and time.
Keep a separate account for savings so that you don’t confuse them with spending money. I tend to pay my bills as soon as I recieve my money, then I put away the remaining amount to my separate savings account, while transfering my weekly amount for groceries to my actual account on a weekly basis (I do this using an app created by my bank, many banks have one and they are easy to use.). This keeps me from overspending, while being more aware of how much I spend in general.
Cut down on the crap – like fastfood, sugary and alcoholic beverages, cigarettes etc and transfer the money that were supposed to fuel your bad habits into your savings account instead. Your body and soul will thank you!
Cut down on impulsive shopping or quit shopping completely for a while. I’ve never been a big spender, but I have been an impulsive shopper from time to time, like most people, and looking back at it now I do realise what I deny myself by spending money on shopping – the very same money could have added a day or two to a fantastic vacation or helped me create an unforgettable memory with my friends. I do have a rule for spending money on shopping these days, which helps, and that is that I can only purchase experience based items such as books or videogames. Then again, this is something personal that works for me, you will have to find a system that works for you. I tend to remind myself that if my apartment burned down I would lose all the stuff that I’ve been hoarding over the years, but the memories I make will survive.
Save money by walking everywhere, if possible.
Taking the bus or car when you don’t have to is not ideal when it comes to saving money. By walking, you will get free exercise, help the envorinment and save money. Listen to a podcast, some great music or an audiobook to help you find motivation.
Downgrade to a smaller apartment.
I probably live in one of the cheapest apartments in my city – it’s a tiny, one room apartment without a kitchen and I can practically reach my fridge from the couch and crawl over into the couch from my bed. We are also two who live here, sharing the rent, which also makes it much cheaper. I love living this way and it doesn’t drive me insane, which helps, but I do understand that it’s not for everyone. Still, I would advice you to ask yourself what you think is important (for you personally) when it comes to the space you live in – do you need to fit a dinnertable in your home, or are you content with having pizza in bed?
Don’t be afraid to set goals!
The goals can be anything you want them to be, like saving a certain amount will grant you an extra day on your vacation, or trying an exciting activity that you have never tried before. Imagine what you would want to do on your trip and write a list – the more money you save, the more amazing things you will be able to do on the list.
I hope this were of use to you and I’m always looking for new ways to save money, so if you have any other ideas that you would like to share, please leave a comment below! 🙂