I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many times again: constantly being asked how you afford to travel wears on you. Especially when there are so many resources out there that will tell you all the same basic unnecessary expenses you can cut to save money for whatever it is that matters to you. But there’s also no harm in adding one more blog post to the pile.
So this is exactly how I save over $500 a month for travel without even sacrificing my social life.
I’m not a Starbucks person, but even at my favorite local coffeehouse, a large chai latte runs about $5. Meanwhile a box of 20 tea bags is just $4. Scaling back to just one trip to the coffeehouse a week, and brewing my own the rest of the time, saves me over $75 a month.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking for myself, so eating at home instead in restaurants all the time isn’t a huge change for me. By continuing to pack lunches and cook dinners, I save about $200 a month. Plus, it’s healthier and better for the environment.
I used to keep a really well-stocked bar. I worked in the wine industry and bought a few cases of wine a year through discount programs. When I decided to get serious about travel, my wine club membership was one of the first things I canceled. That’s another $30 a month back in my pocket. I won’t say I’m great at that other way to save on nights out – having just one drink – but once I get that down, I’ll save at least another $20 a month.
My wine club wasn’t the only thing I shed immediately after learning about RTW travel. Getting rid of cable in favor of Netflix and canceling my subscription to Lumosity saves about $40 a month.
The biggest concession I’ve made is selling my car. Granted, it wasn’t worth much, and the money I made wound up covering me during a really rough tax season instead of staying in savings. But between gas, parking, and maintenance, I still save over $250 a month by walking to work, taking my city’s free trolley to get around downtown, and getting help from family and friends when I really need to go someplace farther away.
I won’t claim to be perfect in my adherence to my savings plan. Some months are tighter than others income-wise, and some weeks require working late a few nights a week, and I rely on takeout more. But overall, things balance out, and I really don’t feel like I’m giving that much up. By my travel date, I’ll have enough for eight months of travel through Southeast Asia and Europe, and by freelancing on the road, I’ll be able to make enough to finish out the year in South America.
These are some basic tips. Looking for something more drastic. See how I made bigger boosts to my savings account.