Spring Break has passed us, and with finals looming in our near future, many of us are wishing to be anywhere in the world but where we currently are. And I know I’m not the only one with a serious case of travel envy as I scroll through my Instagram, seeing the rustic streets of Europe, or sandy beaches and sunshine, littering my feed.
Sadly, almost none of us have the kind of job that would support leisurely trips around the world on a regular basis. If I could spend all of my time traveling, you best believe that I would. But even though you’re stuck making less than $10 an hour, and you still have to pay your water bill every month, I have some tricks up my sleeve to make traveling possible.
1. Open a savings account.
If you already have one, kudos. I had one the entire time I was growing up, thank you parents! But, when I moved away from home and got married, I ended up draining that bank account. . I spent a few years without a savings account and it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. If all of your money every month is in your checking account, you’re going to use it. Saving without an actual Savings Account is virtually impossible.
2. Set up a savings plan.
Okay, now you have a savings account. Aaaand it’s been sitting empty for the last four months. At first, it’s going to be really hard to put money away. You’ve been using your entire paycheck every month, so how on earth can you save any of it? We all know that part of your paycheck goes towards booze, fast food, and clothes you don’t need. You’re just not noticing it. When your paycheck hits your checking account, transfer 10% of it to your savings. Immediately.
3. Stop spending extra money.
10% isn’t always a lot. If you’re working full-time and making $10 an hour, (and some of you may be making more/less,) then every paycheck (assuming you get paid bi-weekly) will be a little less than $800, after taxes and such. So let’s say it’s $700. That’s $70 you’re putting in your bank account every two weeks, or $140 a month. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’ll add up. If you feel like your account isn’t filling up fast enough, reevaluate at the end of every month. You get your new paycheck, but you had $100 sitting in your checking account you hadn’t used yet? Put it in savings, so you won’t spend it on tacos.
4. Save your Abraham Lincolns.
I am the kind of person who rarely carries cash. All of my money gets put directly into my bank account, and so unless I specifically need cash for a purchase, I don’t have it. But, on the rare occasion I have cash in my possession, I take all my $5 bills and shove them into my coin jar. $5 every week, or every few weeks, really starts to add up. You’ll save more than you realize this way.
5. Find travel discounts and go during off seasons.
Obviously this isn’t a trick to save, but it sure as hell makes it cheaper to travel. There are a lot of search engines available to find cheap/discount flights. And Airbnb is probably my favorite way to travel. It’s cheap and safe, and in a lot of cases you have someone who understands the country/culture of where you’re staying, who would love to show you the ropes.
6. Get a good travel credit card.
Naturally, you always need to be careful with credit cards. I’m in no way implying that you should get in debt to travel. But, a lot of credit cards are available that have really good mile point systems. Make sure to read a lot of reviews, and ask your friends and relatives if they have a favorite or least favorite card. Also make sure you get a card that has no foreign transaction fees, so you won’t be charged extra when you’re overseas trying to buy a croissant.
You can always make more money, but you don’t always have the option to make more travel memories. And traveling is so much more attainable than most of us millenials think is possible. But with these 6 tricks, you’ll be saving in no time.
Featured Image via The Blonde Abroad