Travel can be expensive. But if it’s important to you–as it should be!–knowing how to save money makes all the difference.
Vacations often seem like a luxury, not a necessity. But the respite a vacation offers, along with the reminder of just how beautiful our planet is, helps to re-center us, make us better global citizens, and can strengthen the bonds of the people we travel with.
Don’t forego these critical moments because you think you can’t afford them. Just tweak a few habits and reap the rewards.
Save Money By Giving Up These Items
1. Coffee/Eating Out
Start by making your own coffee at home instead of stopping by a coffee shop every morning. Buy yourself an awesome reusable coffee cup, some high quality organic beans, and a French press. You’ll save nearly $1,000 annually just by adjusting this costly habit.
Eating out once in a while is a treat, but it doesn’t need to happen every week. Instead of meeting friends out all the time, have friends over to your house. Set a theme and have all your friends bring a meal within that genre. Have cookouts, wine tastings, tapas, and the list goes on of fun and yummy parties you can have at your house.
2. Unplanned Trips to the Grocery Store
You should never go to the grocery store without a plan. First start by planning each individual meal for the week. Then make sure that if you have to buy any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients that you use them in more than one recipe. Choose recipes that you can sub in the ingredients that are on sale. And buy mostly whole ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and protein. Processed foods are the most expensive part of the trip. Once you go to the grocery store for the week, don’t pop in to grab one item, because that’s the easiest way to blow a bunch of unnecessary cash.
3. Gym memberships
Unless you live in Alaska, gym memberships are an unnecessary expense that adds up over time. Instead run or walk outside and buy a few weights for multi-purpose use at the house. If you’re into yoga, consider a membership to Gaia or Yoga Glo where you can take classes online. Or join a running or biking group if you want to workout with people. This can save you around $600 to $1000 per year.
For an average vehicle that’s driven 15,000 miles a year, all costs of ownership added up to $8,698 a year, according to AAA’s 2015 Your Driving Costs study. That’s one heck of a vacation right there. Of course, not everyone lives in a place where it’s possible not to have a car, but if you can avoid them, why not give it a try?
5. Cable Television
Cable is an entirely unnecessary cost, and you could be spending your time in a much more meaningful way. Go for a hike, play Scrabble, read a book, chat with friends. Choose an activity that adds value to your life. Movie nights once a week can be a great activity, but TV doesn’t have to be an everyday occurrence. At a minimum cable will cost you around $700 per year. If you can’t do without the television switch to a streaming service like Netflix.
Alcohol is pricey so if you really want to save money, it’s worth giving it up. Open a nice bottle for a special dinner or when you’re throwing a dinner party, but if you’re trying to budget, it shouldn’t be a daily part of your repertoire.
7. Extra stuff
Learn to minimize your life by making sure every item has a meaningful purpose. Go room to room and start giving away or selling what you no longer need. If you have luxury items you can sell them on sites like the RealReal or more moderate items can be sold on sites like swap.com. Sell to local and online consignment shops or on eBay. And once you’ve gotten rid of what you no longer need, avoid replenishing. Look at every item that you buy and make sure that it adds value to your life.