Do you think you have to have lots of money to travel? We’ll think again. I’ve put together The Ultimate Guide To Traveling When You’re Broke, to show you how you can travel on very little money.
I’ve always traveled no matter how much money I had. When I was much poorer than today, I took a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC for a week, at just over $100. I ate peanut butter and cheese sandwiches and shared a hotel room with seven other people, but all these years later I still have some great memories and photos.
The point is that you have to make travel a priority if you want it bad enough, you will find a way. If eating out, shopping, and buying the latest gadget is more important to you, then you probably won’t be traveling as much if you have a lower income.
If travel is your priority and you’re still struggling to find enough money, then you need to look at what you’re spending your money on and see if there is any room to save more.
First, create a budget that lists your income and expenses and looks at where your money is going. Keep track of every dollar you spend for one month, so you get an accurate look at what you’re wasting your money on. You might also want to read Four Tips For Becoming Debt Free for additional help on eliminating expenses. For more money saving tips read 7 money-saving tips for around the home.
It may be shocking to see where the money is going. When I did this, I was amazed at how much money we were spending on food for two people. Most of it was because of the frequent stops to convenience stores for a bottle of soda, a pack of donuts, a carton of milk, it all added up to a pretty big expense at the end of the month. I bet you’ll be surprised too when you see how a few dollars here and there turns into a few hundred dollars at the end of the month.
The number one reason people say they can’t travel is that they can’t afford it. But the truth is that most of us have some expenses that we can cut to make it possible
Here are some simple ways to reduce your expenses so you can get on the road faster.
Eliminate that daily cup of coffee from Starbucks, the energy drink from the convenient store, or the daily soda from the machine at work. A daily coffee at $4 a cup is $1460 per year, a soda at $1.50 a day is $547, and an energy drink at $5 a day is $1825. Just giving up one of those habits for a year would give you a pretty good chunk of change for travel. So brew your coffee, buy soda at the grocery store, or drink more water, this is an easy way to save some money.
Eat out less; fast food is expensive and unhealthy. Grocery shop and cook for yourself. Be careful at the store as well, making a dish from scratch is usually cheaper than buying processed or already prepared food. What you eat can make a huge difference in how much money you spend. Need some ideas on what to cook? Here are 52 Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes For Every Week This Year.
Buy your toilet paper and paper towels from Amazon. The price almost always beats the store prices, even with coupons. See if the brand you’re buying offers Subscribe & Save, this saves you an additional 5%. If you subscribe to 5 items in the same month, you’ll get 15% savings on each item! You can cancel your subscription at any time.
Read how to Make These 69 DIY Cleaning Products For Pennies. According to Popsugar.com, “These eco-friendly concoctions will leave your house sparkling. And after making the initial investment for the all-natural ingredients, these cleaning supplies cost pennies per concoction to make.”
Car payments are another significant expense that most people have. If you have access to public transportation, you might consider getting rid of the car altogether. Some people have to have a car though if this is the situation you might consider downgrading to a cheaper car. For more tips on saving money on your car payments read The Truth About Debt And Your Car Payments.
Cut the cord on the cable. There are so many options for streaming TV now; you should be able to watch your favorite shows for free or cheap.
You can view full episodes of many of your favorite TV shows for free on major network sites like ABC, CBS, NBC, TLC, TBS, and HGTV. Subscribe to Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu and spend a fraction of the cost of cable.
Just be careful how many you sign up for, or you could be spending as much as you did on cable. If you’re not ready to let go of the cable, at least try dropping back to a cheaper package.
If you have a cell phone and a landline, get rid of the landline. You don’t need the expense of both phones. I know it only adds a few dollars to your bill, but every little bit helps.
If you’ve cut your expenses as much as you can, then you need to look at some ways to make more money. The next post in this series on How To Travel When You’re Broke is all about making extra money.
With health care costs rising every day it definitely pays to shop around for your prescription medications. In a years time, you could save hundreds of dollars by comparison shopping, using online pharmacies, or discount cards for your medication.
How do you save money to travel? Let us know in the comments below.