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Guest post by Matthew Sienna
You’ve bought your ticket, you’ve written your itinerary, and now you need to save for your trip. It’s time to make a practical budget—and make your dreams a reality. Whether you want to explore the ruins of Cambodia or ride a scooter through the streets of Rome, saving money now will pay off when you finally embark on your journey. Here are a few ways you can save for your trip.
5 Ways to Save for Your Next Trip
Limit Your Spending
It isn’t easy, but you’ll thank yourself later. Keep track of your expenses through online banking or an app like Mint—you might be surprised at how much you spend. When you get carried away at happy hour, buy a pair of shoes on a whim, or go out to lunch every day, your travel budget suffers. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars by limiting your spending. Just imagine how much better the gelato is in Italy than the pint of ice cream you crave now.
Create a Budget
It’s time to tighten your belt and limit your spending to the essentials. Create a spreadsheet using your net income–the amount left after deductions including Social Security, taxes, 401(k) investments, health insurance, and Medicare are taken from your check. The rest is what you spend on monthly expenses. Make a list of your fixed monthly expenses including bills, gas, and groceries, and cut down where you can, saving the rest for your trip.
List What You Need for Your Trip
Part of the fun of planning a trip is laying out the clothing, toiletries, tools, and other items you need to pack. You might have browsed the web for months looking up the latest travel gear and gadgets, but don’t forget the essentials. That may mean reconsidering the items in your Amazon cart. Do you really need that designer luggage tag? Save for the important gear, like a watertight storage bag or spare battery for your phone. If you have your eye on something in particular, scan deals and sales online. Create a travel budget that accommodates the gear, clothes, and electronics you need for your trip, and stick to it. If there’s an item you must have, make room to splurge on one or two items.
Work a Second Job
Add extra spending money to your budget by picking up a second job. It may take up more of your time, but you can use the extra funds to spend on food, trinkets, and fun excursions. Boost your bank account the old-fashioned way with a valet or serving job, and stash the tips in a jar. You can also tutor students, teach lessons, or babysit.
Finding a second job has never been easier thanks to technology. There are hundreds of opportunities waiting for you on job websites, like freelance writing and consulting. Smartphones put jobs at your fingertips thanks to apps that allow you to work whenever you want, like Uber or Lyft. Earn cash fast by signing up for jobs like Wag!, a dog sitting app that helps you find dog owners in your area who need someone to walk and watch their dog while they’re away.
Take Care of Your Monthly Bills
If you’re about to embark on a long trip, make sure you keep a close eye on your bills. You can fly to another country, but you can’t escape your monthly payments. Whether you have student loans, a mortgage, or taxes, arrange your budget so you can take care of your monthly payments. You can find out more about tips and suggestions on how to avoid late payments by reading articles online. Make your life easier by arranging online payments through automatic deductions from your bank account. If you owe taxes after you file, set up an IRS online payment to take the burden off your hands—the sooner you get your debts settled, the sooner you’ll have enough money for that dream trip!
Follow these tips and you’re well on your way having the trip of a lifetime.
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