When I meet people and share my travel stories with them, the only thing I always hear is, "I wish I was as rich as you."
You know what? I am not rich. I am just like you and many others who think they are underpaid and don't really get time to earn extra income and are under a burden of loans. Yes, I have all of that in my life.
And with all that, I believe, "all you need to travel is a tiny budget and a huge passion for traveling."
Can I make you think and write a bit?
Okay! So get a paper and a pen and start writing your monthly expenses.
Now, what do you get?
A massive amount of money spent. Isn't it?
There must be a lot of expenses that you never even realized you made. Now what?
I save money to travel wherever I want. How? Because I have made travel my priority. Being a girl, I don't spend money on shopping. I don't buy expensive gadgets or spend money on luxury dinners. And I save wherever I can.
I hate it when people say, "I love traveling, but I can't afford it."
You know what? YOU CAN
Let me repeat it: You can afford traveling. Yes, you can.
Since I am talking about saving money, I want to highlight the fact that traveling isn't free, yet it can be cheap. No matter how inexpensive we go, we need at least some amount of money to travel. And for that, you need to cut down your expenses.
Cut Your Luxury Dinner
I know you love visiting restaurants for good food, but these restaurants love your money. Cut it. Cut the expensive dinner plans that will save you Rs 2000 a week, that's about Rs 96,000 in a year. Do you know that you can spend a month in southeast Asia with this amount?
Learn To Cook
When you learn to cook, it keeps your food bills low. If not luxury even your regular outside meals costs you nearly Rs 500 a week and that's almost Rs 24000 a year. With this amount, you can go on a ten days road trip in South India. Cooking on your own doesn't necessarily mean you have to put yourself into another struggle of life. You can simply learn it online.
Lose Your Car
Yes, just do it. You know cars are damn expensive. The insurance, the maintenance, the loans, the gas are killing your savings. I used to pay Rs 8000 a month for my car loan, and on top of that, it's maintenance just ruined my savings. Get to work using public transport and get rid of your car if you can. Let me calculate it for you. You pay nearly Rs 1,00,000 - Rs 1,40,000 for car loans, Rs 40,000 - Rs 55,000 for gas, and Rs 25,000 - Rs 30,000 for maintenance of your car in a year. And what if you have some sudden car failures, you need to fix that too. You spend Rs 1,65,000 to around Rs 2,25,000 a year. You know with that amount you can stay in Europe for a month. And if you think your city doesn't have an excellent public transportation system, get a bike. That is much cheaper to maintain or you can simply carpool.
Get Rid of Cable
I used to pay Rs 700 for cable every month until I realized it's just a money waste in this world of legal TV streaming. You already use unlimited cheap internet plans, why don't you use that for TV streaming as well.
Stop Switching Phones Until They Are Entirely Dead.
What's more important? Buying gadgets frequently or traveling? Well instead of buying a new expensive phone every year. You can be smarter to research for the cheaper and a more useful phone and use it till it dies.
Get A Travel Credit Card
Many travel credit cards give rewards points on your everyday purchases, and you can use those points and redeem it for free flights, free hotels and get discount on your primary travel requirement. I would recommend you to get a travel card as soon as you decide to travel more often and start earning points so that you can use it for free money.
Sign Up For Travel Website Newsletters
I know you would think that newsletters will just clutter up your inbox. But signing up for travel newsletters will help you to receive the best offers. I would have missed a 40% discounted flight to if I would have ignored a travel newsletter.
Let Go Watching Movies
You can stream movies online, you know that's easy. It costs nearly Rs 400 when you go out for a movie, and then popcorn and cold drinks come out as an extra expense. Movie saves a lot.
Smoking doesn't only kill you; it kills your money as well. A cigarette pack costs Rs 300, and it ruins an enormous amount of Rs 54,000 a year. If you don't care about your health, you should care about your trip.
Quit Your Fatty Snacks
Go for proper lunch and dinner instead of wasting money on unhealthy munchies which turns out to be your daily expense, and you don't even realize you made such expenses. These expenses are tiny so we don't consider them, but they end up being huge.
I hope these tips will help you to get more savings on your piggy bank and you will soon be on roads to travel. It's time to come down to a more simple way of life and make your dream trip a reality. If you have any questions or bits of advice you can get in touch with me.
Hi from World through Erica, a budget traveler, helping her loved ones to make their own cheerful stories. Let's travel together at worldthrougherica.com