Ever since I started working, I realized that I was not sure where my hard-earned money is going. I felt stuck at home living a paycheck-to-paycheck life whereas others can save for travel. After 3 years of struggling, I decided to save little amount to travel. Here is what I am doing to save some money and feed my urge to travelling.
Let me know in the comment section if this helps you. :)
1. Make a Budget
The first step in saving for a vacation to plan for it. Yes, Trust Me! Before you even think about your savings, plan where you want to go, where you want to stay and what you want to do while you’re there. While you’re researching, keep a running tally of how much airfare, accommodations, food and activities will cost. After you’ve planned a vague itinerary, take the total estimated cost and write it on your calendar for your intended vacation Dates. Now, this vague itinerary would give you a motivation to save money.
2. Be Financially Responsible
Believe me, when I say this, I was known for going days at a time without checking my bank account or looking at what I’ve spent. My goal this year is to be better about keeping track of what I’m spending—and what I’m spending money on. Now, since you know your vacation estimate cost, you would divide the amount with the number of months left for that vacation. Now you know how much you need to set aside each month to be able to afford your vacation.
Tip: Stop Buying: It sounds simple, but it takes a great deal of control, especially if you are accustomed to buying the newest clothes/ Handbags or Gadgets. The next time you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. Most likely the answer is no.
(Example: I went to Lifestyle this weekend and I saw a 60% sale going on, walking through, I noticed a very beautiful piece of Watch, after wearing it on my hand, it just clicked my mind do I really need it? I already have two watches and I do not need a 3rd one. This is where this simple question “do I really need it” helps. Try and I am sure you will be impressed every time your brain says NO.)
3. Track Your Spending
What I did after my vague itinerary planning and cutting my unnecessary expenses is to create a spreadsheet in Excel — or another program — and start tracking every single purchase or payment.
TIP: Track every expense for about a month or two to get an idea of where your money is spent. This is a huge eye-opener for some people and from here you can consciously decide how you need to change your spending habits.
(Example: It took courage and after 2 months of failing in maintaining an excel from 3rd month I made it a point to write everything in excel from Buying a bread to having a dinner outside and I noticed all the grey areas where I am spending my money unnecessarily.)
4. Make a separate bank account / Invest in SIP
The budget you have decided on your dream vacation needs a commitment. I made a separate saving bank account for that. As I am in a habit of only using one, account and generally do not bring out my debit card of another account. It helps in saving money in that account. You can also start a SIP, which starts from minimum 500rs a month. This is much better than an RD/FD and gives a good return.
P.S. Investing in equity via SIPs might give negative or negligible returns on a short-term basis (less than 3 years) – take this route only if you can commit for 5 years. For lesser durations, you may go for SIP in liquid funds, arbitrage funds, NCDs, etc. based on your risk appetite.
5. Travel brings a lifestyle Change
Travel has brought a lifestyle change. Tracking my expenses brought my attention to the money I spent on fancy coffee shops, entertainment subscriptions. I at first thought I would not cut down or compromise with things I love doing apart from travelling. Just to give a shot, I thought to avoid fancy coffee shops and entertainment subscriptions for 2 months. I realized that at the end of 2 months I don’t need them anymore. I enjoy my handmade coffee more; I love the smell of old and borrowed books instead of buying a book from an expensive bookstore and I don’t really need an entertainment subscription.
I wrote this blog just to tell you that cutting your expenditures or compromising on things you love is not the only way to save money for travel. It is much more than that. Planning for travel may be a life-changing experience. It is been 6 months I am following this and I can see a huge impact on my savings. I am happy I am not spending my hard-earned money on kinds of stuff that I probably do not need. Also, I am happy that I have realized a lot about myself on this journey for planning a dream vacation.
Just give it a shot! I am sure you would notice a change in yourself and your lifestyle. Also, your dream vacation would no longer be a vague itinerary. :) #anythingfortravel