If you had a dollar for every time you said you were going to save money (and followed through), you probably wouldn't be reading this blog post right now.
But we get it. There are SO many things you need to buy, or bills that you need to pay, or cupcakes asking you to buy them and take them home. It can be hard to save your money. We won't lie: traveling does take a pretty penny (and a few quarters, too) out of your wallet. Despair not, for we have the key to saving up for a nice vacation. You deserve it.
Here are 9 ways to save money and afford your wanderlust.
1. Start Using Cash
Credit cards are basically like spending monopoly money and it's easy to think you can just keep spending. A few swipes here, a few more there, and before you know it, you've spent over $200 in one day! Whoops. By only paying with cash, you start to see exactly where your money goes and when you run out. Give yourself an allowance per week so you know how much to spend and not to go over the top.
2. Shop Differently
Ordering groceries online is a great way to spend less on basic items like olive oil and salt. For clothes, check out brands like Everlane, who sell (really cute) quality basics without retail markups. And Gentlemen, if you're trying to upgrade your wardrobe AND save up for travel, check out Urbana Custom - sweet suits, and again, no retail markup.
3. Learn to cook
Going out to eat is one of the biggest money suckers. Plus, we all know how annoying it is when you have to split the bill and your meal was the cheapest and you only got one drink...
Brush up on some cooking skills and save money. And for social meals, host a potluck. No 20% gratuity and leftovers for dayzzz. Bon appetite.
4. USE YOUR SKILLS
Have some skills that could profit you? Use them! Tutoring, consulting, nannying, and blog writing are all great options to make a little side cash. Even if it's just $50 week, that's $50 dollars more that you didn't have for time that would have been otherwise used to rewatch Lost for the third time. In three months, you could have a plane ticket to Europe.
5. Cut the coffee
Well not, like, completely. But those fancy coffee drinks add up. Keurig or Nespresso capsules cost about $15 for a 20 count. That's less than three pumpkin spice whatevers you're getting at X coffee shop where the baristas act like they're doing you a favor by steaming your hemp milk (just LA?). We know sometimes you just gotta, but be smart about it.
6. USE Tax Returns
Conventional wisdom would tell you to save your tax return for a rainy day. We would argue that saving it for say, a trip to Europe, is just as worthy an investment.
7. Sell, sell, sell
That dress from Neimans you never wore (but had to have)? That forth watch that just sits in your closet? Get rid of it. If it's not getting used, sell it. It's an easy way to make money while de-cluttering your living space. Don't know where to sell your things? Craigslist, Poshmark, Let Go, or your local Plato's Closet are all good options.
8. Ask for travel-related gifts for your birthday or holiday
Instead of letting fate take its course during the holidays or your birthday, ask your relatives for travel-related gifts. Hello there, AmEx travel gift card! (or FTLO Trip deposit, just sayin'...)
9. Book things gradually and in advance
"All in moderation" may be what people say towards eating habits, but it also works when booking travel as well. When you book things all at once, it's going to seem like a lot. But doing it gradually and spreading it out might help you budget more. Trips add up when you wait too long to book, so make sure you plan and book early. Also, when you pay for most things up front, you won't be stressed about spending a lot of money on your trip.
Don't let money get in the way of being able to see the world. Use these 9 ways to save towards your next trip!