One question that I get asked a lot is how I could afford to travel during school and my apprenticeship without earning a huge salary. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. Consistency is key.
No matter how you want to travel, it’s cheaper than you think but it probably isn’t free. Some money will be required to get you going.
Create a Budget
One of the most helpful tools for me is my budget. I created a budget and enter every expense to see where my money is going. This way I can plan every month in advance and plan how much money I want to spend on certain things. Most of my money goes into my travel fund. For this I am using YNAB. YNAB isn’t free either but you can test it for 34 days and the little money you’ll spend on this will save you a lot in the long run. Oh, and if you’re a student you get an additional 12 months for free!
Stop Spending Money on Things You Don’t Need
Do you really need a Starbucks coffee every morning? Do you really need to eat out every week? Do you need your car or could just as well take the bus or your bike? Think about every little bit of money that you spend and think how far you could come with it on your vacation.
Downgrade Your Home
Do you have a landline at home? Do you have cable TV? Do you really need that? Nowadays most people have a smartphone anyway, why not get rid of your landline? And who watches TV anymore? Just get yourself a Netflix or Hulu account and you’re set. It’s a lot cheaper and (in my opinion) a lot better.
Do Fun Things That Are Free
There’s plenty of things that you can do on a weekend that won’t cost you any money or is very cheap. The Simple Dollar has a list of 102 free things you can do on a weekend. Check some of them out!
Alcohol is expensive. If you suddenly stop drinking you’ll notice how expensive it really is. If you don’t really want to stop drinking you can also just grab a bottle from a grocery store before you go out. Your budget will thank you.
If you smoke, just don’t. It kills you and your bank account.
Bring Your Own Lunch to Work or School
This is a big expense as well. If I assume that lunch would cost me 15CHF per day it would cost me 75 CHF per week and 300 CHF per month! Bring your own lunch to work for 2 months and boom, you just got yourself a flight halfway across the planet.
Buy a Water Bottle
Get yourself a water bottle that you can refill. I know plenty of people who buy water bottles every single day. Even if it’s just 1 CHF a day, it adds up.
Don’t Go Shopping
Don’t go shopping just because something is on sale. You probably don’t need it. And maybe hold out on some new clothes as well.
Create a Travel Account
I enter the amount of money I want to save for travel every month into YNAB and move it to a savings account which is just for travel. I recommend to do the same thing and only touch the account when you travel.
What are your favorite money saving tips? Leave them below in the comments.