Travel isn’t cheap and everyone thinks I just magically pull money out of my a** to make trips happen. There are a lot of little things I’ve sacrifice to be able to afford my travels.
Where to Start
The essentials like rent, transportation and utilities are the first things you need to examine. People pay for a giant room in a nice apartment when they are barely even there. My room in Spain is a little box. I have a twin bed, small desk and a closet. My twin bed takes up a fourth of my room. I have so many people in Spain saying they can’t find a place because they want a double bed, exterior room with a big closet and a desk in a nice neighborhood. Then they have twice the rent I do.
Then I have so many friends with brand new cars and those cars take up the majority of their monthly budget. And they just keep buying cars. I had friend who had 3 cars. Whenever we went anywhere we drove mine because it got better gas mileage. It doesn’t make sense to me!!!
I know I’m a minimalist by nature and it is difficult for people to cut these corners. But don’t complain about not being able to afford a trip when you live in a giant apartment with a brand new car. Isn’t it better to spend your money on an experience rather than things? I know my experiences abroad are priceless to me and I’m happy to live with a little less if it means I can buy that plane ticket to another country.
I do have to share the story of one friend. She was a college student and working as a life guard and I think in a restaurant. One day, she put all of her things in storage and decided to give up her apartment. She asked her friends if she could just couchsurf from couch to couch for a year. She said people gave her so much shade for it but by the end of the year, she had a ton of money. I don’t remember how much but it was a couple thousand dollars. She paid off some debt and went on vacation. This is an extreme but as you can see people can live with less to gain more.
Where to Does Money Go
This post was inspired by Post Grad Stat and her post about watching your money. I’m going to add my own tips as well.
One of the first things I did at the beginning of the year was download an app, called Expense. I looked at where exactly was my money was going. It’s good to hold yourself accountable. It makes you much more aware of your spending habits when you actually keep track of it.
- Toiletries and make up take up a huge part of any woman’s budget. I’ve started making some of my own. I wrote about making my own skin cleanser. Now I use a DIY Conditioner, moisturizer and face mask. I follow Hello Glow, a great blog about DIY beauty and I’ve been collecting more articles on Pinterest.
- On the note of beauty, ladies, you have to minimize your make up. I wear foundation, fill in my eye brows, mascara and eye liner. I used to wear eye shadow and contour but now I save that for the weekends. In the future, I might even take out wearing eyeliner. Make up is so expensive and it is not necessary.
- Repair the clothes you have. Don’t just toss them out if they have a hole and don’t buy more clothes than you need. I know this is hard but every cute top you buy is one step back to buying the plane ticket.
- I’ve cut down on drinking. Partying takes up a huge part of any one’s budget. I only go out like twice a money. This month I went a little overboard but drinking is just a bunch of useless calories, a waste of money and you’re really just standing in a room of sweating people getting grabbed at.
- I minimize going out to eat. I go out to eat maybe once a week. Eating at home and packing your lunches is going to save you so much money.
- On the note of food, I’ve been meal planning, where I cook one or two dishes that I eat through the week. This makes food easier, faster, and cheaper and I don’t waste as much food.
Things I Should Cut Back on
- The gym. I could do at home work outs and run outside but I don’t. I feel more motivated when I’m at the gym for some reason and now I’m paid up until June so it doesn’t matter.
- Toiletries. I would like to get to the point where majority of my cleaning and beauty products are DIY. IT’s cheaper, healthier and much better for the environment.
- Food. Sometimes I eat way too much food. I love food. Making my own food is my everyday indulgence.
Making More Money
Something I’d like to do when I’m back in the States is start making side money. The internet is a beautiful place where you can find a lot of strange little jobs. I’ve been researching on Pinterest a lot of ideas. Right now, I tutor for extra money.
- Buy second hand items and repurpose them like buying plain white plates, decorating them and selling them on Etsy. I heard a girl on Ellen who was doing things like this and reselling stuff on Ebay to the point she was able to buy a house and rent it out.
- I was using Fivver and UpWork but I didn’t have time to commit as much as I could have. I did get one gig on UpWork. I’d like to do more with these sites and grow my income as well as my portfolio.
- I could try to get someone to sponsor my blog! I just don’t have the followers and the content to do that right now and since my travels are winding down this isn’t the time to do that. But who knows?! When I take a new direction maybe I can get this blog to that point.
You Can Do It
When you make a commitment and goals, you need to make sacrifices. Life shouldn’t always be comfortable. If you keep moving and accomplishing it’ll mean more than any of these silly little luxuries. Buy experiences not materials!