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Poor Man's Guide to Saving For Trips
Even if you have a modest income, you can travel: rethink personal finance and modify your lifestyle.
Unless you're living in extreme poverty or if you can barely satisfy your bare necessities, then you will still be able to travel occasionally – simply by setting new rules, living differently.
Traveling is not just for the rich, the wealthy.
Don't shy away from traveling, even if you have a low income - rethink your personal finances and live a different lifestyle, which will allow you to save.
If traveling is one of your main goals, then bit-by-bit, day-by-day, you can do something about having the necessary funds.
Source: © Morguefile.com/mconnors
#1 Don't buy a thing you don't need
Every time you'd like to buy something, ask yourself: would you rather have that or, would you rather take a nice trip?
How much money did you spend this month on things you don't really need? Calculate how much money you're throwing away every year. Redirect those spendings, use them to fund your travels.
#2 Shrink your utility bills
Consume less electricity/water/gas, less anything that would increase the household utility bill. "Everyone knows this", right... but do you actually take action and measure how much you can save?
What do you actually do to reduce your bills?
For example: going to bed 1-2 hours earlier is not only healthier, but also saves a lot of electricity. Most of us go to bed late at night.
Declare a weekly "computer & TV free day" and go out instead.
Take showers instead of baths...
Don't leave electrical equipment in "stand by", instead – turn them totally off and even pull the cables from the plugs, when not using them.
#3 Swap your desktop PC for a laptop
My desktop machine (PC itself without the peripherals) consumed 450-500 W, in addition to the peripherals (LCD monitor, wireless router for internet, 5.1 speakers) totalling another 120-150 W.
My PC's full consumed power topped a staggering 650 W!
Whereas, my new laptop (on which I'm typing right now) consumes 65 W.
Of course, when charged, you can run exclusively on battery. And the charging process really doesn't much power.
#4 Put at least 10 % of your income away
10 % sounds easy, but may be hard to some. Some may even save 25 % or more...
The technique is very simple, yet very effective!
For every 10 dollars that you make, save 1 by putting it away.
Making 500 $ a month? By saving 50 $ every month, it adds up to 600 $ in 12 months!
Making 1000 $ a month? By saving 100 $ every month, it adds up to 1200 $ in 12 months!
How much are you earning and how much could you save in 12 months? Do the math and set your own rules.
Take a look at this the other way around: if someone stole 10 % of your money, would you die? Would you become homeless? If not, then you can do it!
#5 Cut your expenses on entertainment
A night on the town, attending the theatre or going to a movie consumes a lot of money – especially if you calculate the monthly costs.
I used to spend lots and lots of money on bars, delicious food in restaurants, drinking with friends... It can be part of "normal daily life", but if you set travel a priority, you have to cut down on fun.
Although others' company can be great, you can do home cooking or invite your friends over.
I'm not saying don't have fun, don't enjoy others' company, just become more economic.
#6 Save on daily transportation
If you own a car, drive less and take the bus or rail or, go cycling if you can.
Besides fuel and maintenance costs – a car consumes a lot more: taxes, even highway fees (in some countries).
You may be throwing away money that could fund several hotel nights...
Why waste money on getting around in your home city, when you can spend that money abroad on something memorable?
#7 Save on food and drinks
If you buy fancy meals and drink periodically with your friends, it adds up.
From experience, I know that people are more likely to spend a lot on their belly, but are reluctant to spend on trips.
Sometimes healthy eating costs less. You don't have to starve yourself.
Reduce the times you eat at restaurants, make your own food. Invite your friends and family over.
I calculated: on average I can prepare the same meal (as the restaurants) for 75 % less!
#8 Sell what you don't need
Books from your library, coins (some could have great numismatic value), just about anything that you won't use any more of have forgotten about for years and makes no use anyway.
Periodically, more and more "useless" items will accumulate in your house.
How good is your "junk"? Someone might pay for what merely collects dust in your basement.
#9 Quit having too many banking services
Do you have 5 cards and 4 bank accounts at 4 different banks and multiple internet banking services that cost you money every month?
Cut the unnecessary bank accounts, cards and services.
Calculate the fees you're paying to the banks and think about it: is it really worth?
#10 Smoker? Quit it!
Stop ruining your health and affecting people around you. Passive smoking can kill too, you know.
Besides health and ethics, it's also costly...
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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