Have you ever created a budget for a trip and noticed a huge gap between what you need and what you’re earning? “How on EARTH can I possibly make that extra money?” you think to yourself. You’d be surprised to learn that there are a ton of ways to save, some of which you might have completely forgotten about or haven’t even dreamed of!
I’ve compiled just 9 ways you can save for your trip abroad. Maybe it’s ways to tighten your budget or perhaps it includes making a little money on the side. Whatever suits your needs, saving for your dream trip isn’t too far off!
1. Get Back to the Basics
Create a budget of everything you spend monthly. Now, highlight everything you NEED in red (like food, rent, transportation) and highlight everything you WANT in green (shopping, salon treatments, etc). Try to cut out those things that are highlighted in green, or at least until after your trip. You’ll not only learn how to live simply but will have a lot of extra green in your wallet!
2. Utilize Those Deals Online
Sure there’s old fashioned couponing, but it’s tedious and takes up a lot of time. In addition to couponing, try utilizing all of the bargains, coupons and deals on the internet. Make sure you sign up for your favorite brand’s newsletters for last-minute deals (whether that’s travel-related brands, clothing stores or restaurants you love). If you’re looking to save on groceries, goods and services, you need to check out the following sites and programs:
- Living Social
- Yelp (they sometimes offer deals if you check-in online)
3. Make Money For Your Skills
Odds are you’re making a large amount of money from your regular job. But what about making money doing something you love? There are plenty of ways to earn extra money by providing a service you already love to do in your spare time. If you make products (like artwork, knitwear, homemade candles or more) try selling your one-of-a-kind treasures online. If your skills are more abstract, like writing, photography or graphic design, try freelancing! You can work on these services outside of your normal working hours and make a lot of money if you have the experience!
4. Sell Your Things
When was the last time you used that 1st generation iPad? What about that old bracelet your ex gave you? Time to sell everything that’s holding you back (or cluttering your room). Just make sure you sell your things on the appropriate platform. Try Ebay for collectables or expensive items, Letgo or Poshmark for clothes and furniture and Craigslist for anything else as a last resort that won’t sell right away.
5. Get Creative With Your Workouts
Getting proper exercise might just be one of those things you need, but that super expensive pilates class isn’t. Cancel that gym membership and find an affordable way to work out. Run outdoors, train with a friend or try watching YouTube videos instead.
6. Be the Designated Driver
Instead of sitting at home on a Friday night watching reruns, why not make sure everyone gets home safe (and make a little extra money doing it)? Surely you’ve heard of Lyft or Uber. These ride share apps pay a good amount of money to take people from A to B. You can switch the app on and off whenever you want and can make a bunch of money during your free time you would have otherwise spent doing nothing.
7. Take Advantage of Credit Card Benefits
If you’re the type to pay off your credit card every month, opening up a new credit card could be very beneficial! Credit cards have plenty of benefits including travel related ones. Sure, opening up too many credit cards can hurt your credit, but one or two is very safe and worthwhile! Just make sure you sign up for the right ones (and make sure you pay them off monthly)! These “right ones” include cards with signing bonuses (like a large amount of points upon signing up) and great point-earning ratios. Every major credit card company has a travel-related card, my personal favorites are The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and The Capital One VentureOne Card. Remember to always read the fine print here and use as you feel comfortable, don’t spend too much just to rack up travel points!
8. Apps, Apps and More Apps
There’s an app for just about everything these days, naturally many of them can help you save money. Here are a few of my favorite that can either help track the money you already have or help you earn more:
- Mint (helps you budget and save)
- Stash (helps you save)
- Nielsen (helps you earn money)
- SavvyConnect (helps you earn money)
- Foap (helps you earn money)
- Receipt Hog (helps you earn money)
9. Buy Things Secondhand
I used to justify my shopping sprees with sales from my favorite stores, but even your favorite brands on sale can drain your wallet. Try shopping secondhand for clothes, furniture and gadgets. Thrifting is literally the only way I buy clothes now and I got most of my wedding decor from flea markets around the city. If you have the time and patience to sort through everything, you’ll find vintage and incredibly expensive gear that was marked down for being “last season.”
Sebrin Elms is a twenty-something newlywed with two kitties and a serious obsession with travel. She started her blog, The Clumsy Traveler, in anticipation of a 3-month long honeymoon around the world. When she came back, she wasn’t ready to stop writing and traveling! You can learn more about her story on her blog or follow her on Instagram @theclumsytraveler.
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