Traveling is expensive – we all know that. Even if you book the cheapest flight, stay in the cheapest hostel and don’t eat out, you will still spend a lot of money on your trip. If you still want nothing more than to visit a far-away country, you might want to start saving up some money. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
1. Keep track of your expenses
Create an Excel document (or even a list written by hand) on which you first state your earnings, so how much money you make per month. Then write down and subtract inevitable things like your rent, how much money you spend on gas, etc. What you are left over with is your “budget”.
Now, start stating your expenses: each time you spend money on food, clothes, etc., write down the date and how much you spent. After several weeks the list will tell you what you spend the most money on and you can save money. If you find that you buy a lot of things that in the end you don’t actually eat, read tip #3.
2. Save all the left over money
Maintain the list mentioned in tip #1 for a couple of weeks and after that, calculate how much money you approximately have left over each month. This left-over money of course excludes all your necessary expenses – like food, your rent, etc. Save this money for your trip.
3. Create a weekly menu
As mentioned, if you spend too much money on food (especially if it’s wasted or just lying in your shelves for weeks), creating a menu can help. Each weekend, sit down with your cook books, the internet or just your brain, and write down what you want to eat each day. Then note down the ingredients you’ll need and what you will have to buy. When going shopping, stick to what is on the list – do not buy more than that. Having this plan will most likely decrease your expenses by a lot.
4. Minimize your expenses
The list mentioned in tip #1 will help you with that. Of course you will need to continue spending money on food or rent, but from now on, consider things like clothes, decorative items, DVDs, Netflix, or even eating out to be luxury articles. Don’t spend money on these things unless it cannot be avoided (like if your shoes are broken). This too will save you quite a lot of money.
5. Have a “resteglas”
This is a very effective way of saving money. Use a vase you don’t need or an old glass bottle, and start saving up: At the end of each day, pour all the loose change you can find in your wallet or your pants’ pockets into your container. In addition to that, you can save i.e. 1€ coins or 20ct coins throughout the day and also put these into your vase or glass bottle.
Do this consequently and by the time you will be starting your travels, empty the vase and count the money – you’ll be surprised by how much money will have accumulated.