As a travel lover, figuring out how to travel is a priority even if money is tight. Since beginning post-college life, here are five ways I’ve cut costs to save for travel.
If it fits your situation, finding a place with low-rent (or no rent!) can dramatically alter how much (or how little) money you have left at the end of each month. It’s probably one of the biggest ways you can cut a monthly cost if you can do so.
Last year, I paid about $650 a month for rent and utilities, which was overpriced for my budget. Coming out of that lease, I was determined to pay cheaper rent.
Luckily, my best friend and awesome artist, Jacque White, made the move to Philly and we got creative with our situation to save rent as young people living in the city.
We share a room and while I know that would be a difficult move for some, I’ve known Jacque my whole life so we made the best of our friendship and situation.
With this, I’m saving around $150 in comparison to my last rent. And our house is awesome — it’s actually the nicest place I’ve lived in Philly.
If you have the chance to pay less, do it. Cheap rent exists if you look for it.
I used to love shopping to buy new things, but over the past year I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things that never really came to serve a purpose.
Basically, I threw my money away for things I never got any benefit from.
When shopping, ask yourself:
- What’s the purpose
- Can I find it cheap(er)?
- Will I wear (or use) it?
I’m not saying I never buy clothes or items that I simply enjoy and want, but if I do, I get it cheaply and make sure it’s something I’ll use more than once.
changing how you consume = saving money and helping society
Clothes that tend to be cheaper are used — which I believe is a great way buy “new clothes” without contributing to fast-fashion culture.
When shopping, thrift first. You never know what you will find! I got two pairs of needed work shoes for only $11 the past week at Circle Thrift in Philly.
If I can’t find what I’m looking for at a thrift store, my next stop is either a consignment shop or Marshalls. I try to avoid paying more than $20 for anything, and even then, getting what I need for virtually a steal is best.
To put it in a sentence — shop for what you need and only pay more if you have to. Chances are, what you need is out there for a fraction of its original tag.
To be honest, the idea of spending money to go out is why I don’t go out about 75% of the time. What can I say? When I go out, I want to have a few drinks and MAYBE pay a small cover if I have to.
When I do go out, I bring what I can afford in cash, no cards. If I run out of money, it’s gone.
I just be sure to have an uber set-up on my phone so I can get back.
It’s tempting to spend a lot of money going out with friends to eat, drink, or go to whatever type of event, so by bringing cash, you keep your spending to its limit. This is another major area to save for travel if you go out often.
Another way to save money on going out is by finding local deals.
In Philly, there is an awesome Mexican restaurant called Loco Pez featuring a happy hour with $5 margaritas and half-priced (super-loaded and delicious) nachos. It’s a great time and delicious food for cheap, how can that be beat?
Speaking of nachos, eating out is our last area to cut expenses to save for travel.
The best way I’ve cut costs eating out is by having cheap, go-to establishments when I’m out and about. After living in Philly for three and a half years, I’ve learned where to find inexpensive (and filling) food anywhere in the city.
If I’m getting food on the go or at work, I try to spend $3 to $6 dollars, sometimes spilling out $7 or $8.
When I’m out with friends I try to keep it under $10, although sometimes it might rack up to $30 if it’s a unique food experience or a once-in-a-while splurge.
Eating out can really add up, so it’s best to strategize where and when to eat out to make sure you’re still fed without hurting your budget.
Do you have any tips to share?
There you have it, the five ways I’m maximized my situation to fit my budgeting and saving needs. Did any of these tips change how you think about your spending? Add your input below in the comment box!