There are a lot of people who love to travel, but who would never even consider the prospect of international travel because of the attached costs. This should not be so. It is a myth that only rich people, can travel the world. Any working adult who wants to travel can save up enough money to travel and see the world, and here is how to do it.
Learn the art of money management
Money management is a skill, which everyone must learn if they ever want to be good at financial planning. To learn money management, you will need to unlearn some bad financial habits which you must have picked up over the years, and learn new ones. This requires acquiring an entirely new mindset about money. This is going to be tough and would require a lot of sacrifices. You may fail a couple of times but you must be determined to pick up yourself and keep going.
Start tracking your spending
A lot of people blow through their monthly income in just a few days. Many cannot say where this money went. Others are unsure of how much is left in their accounts because they are afraid to check their balance. Unlike popular belief, effective money management is not stressful, what’s stressful is having financial responsibilities to make without having any money in your account.
The first step to tracking your money is to go through all your accounts and find out exactly how much you have. Then you must cut back on daily expenses by keeping a record of money spent.
Remember to record everything, from minor expenses such as groceries, dates, movies, to major expenses like rent, car payments, and utility bills. Don’t forget to include your vices such as money spent on smoking, and drinking.
After you’ve made a list, it becomes easier to eliminate unnecessary items on the list and save some money towards your travel.
You would need to make a budget for your travel while simultaneously budgeting your monthly expenses before the travel.
You need to plan to have at least the equivalent of a thousand dollars in your account to embark on any international travel. This amount might be more depending on your intended destination and itinerary.
Budgeting for your trip means you must choose to stay in the most affordable hotels and book the cheapest flights.
Plan your trip at least six months ahead so that you would utilize those six months to gradually put some money aside for your trip.
Create a monthly budget that attaches a specific number to every monthly expense and make sure that you do not exceed these numbers. Granted, some expenses such as utilities and rent are fixed, however, you can work with the flexible ones such as food and socializing. You can also eliminate some unnecessary expenses such as partying, eating out, unnecessary shopping and Netflix.
Cut Accommodation Costs
Rent takes a sizeable cut of everyone’s annual income, so one of the easiest ways to save is to save on rent. There are several ways to save on rent such as moving out from a big apartment to find a smaller place. Or moving away from more expensive cities to places with cheaper accommodation costs. If you cannot afford to move, you could take on a roommate or two, so that the cost of rent and utilities would be split between two or three people.
You can also move in with friends or family for a while if you are sure they would not mind having you. This may seem like a drastic step but it would help you save up some quick travel money.
Sell stuff you don’t need
Remember when you moved into your house and you overly decorated it because you wanted it to be like the home you’ve dreamed of all your life. Now you realize you do not need half of that luxury stuff you bought anyway. It’s time to make some money by selling them.
Look around your house; if you have not used an item in about a month then you do not need it anyway. When last did you ride your bike, or use your treadmill? Do you need that expensive TV? Some people have even sold off their cars to be able to afford a holiday abroad. However, remember to only sell items that you are sure you would not need in the future; else, you would face many regrets after your holidays are over.
Change your Current Job
If it doesn’t pay you enough to afford an annual vacation then its time to review your job and start sending in applications to better-paying ones. Try to get a job with lucrative benefits because you’re just not earning enough money from your current job.
If you’re too attached to your job then maybe its time to negotiate a new deal. Ask for a raise by leveraging on the strengths that make you indispensable to the organization.
If this option is not available, then you have to go back to the original option of looking for another employer who pays more. It wouldn’t be easy as there are only a few readily available well-paying jobs, but it’s worth the try.
Get a side hustle.
You can figure out a way to reach your travel budget without having to touch your real salary. Learn how to make money on the side when you’re not working at your day job. One of the easiest ways to do this is by becoming a freelancer. Offer your skills on online freelance sites and spend your evenings and weekends working on your freelance gigs. This would also help to keep your away from clubs, parties, shopping and other money-draining ventures.
Save! Save! Save
Always remember your target. You don’t have to have all the latest clothes, shoes and phones, put that money away for your trip. While at it, learn to make some home-cooked meals, drink the less expensive wines, minimize drinking and smoking. Reduce the number of dates you go on. It might all seem very stressful now, but you would be grateful for it when you’re finally having some fun on that trip abroad.