If we all lived in an old sitcom and I was the main character, every time I said “I’m broke” a catchy little tune would play in the background and the laugh track would go off. I swear “I’m broke” should be my catchphrase. It is the main reason I cite when I cannot accept a dinner invitation, a night out on the town, and sometimes even a little coffee date. It is all part of the growing pains of your twenties, or so I am told, but sometimes I feel like living on such a strict budget really limits my experiences and any chances of spontaneity.
Yet, we have all heard the benefits of traveling: increased happiness, greater opinion of our own homes, an appreciation for the world, etc. So it stands that although it is important to follow your budget you should always be setting aside some funds for an upcoming adventure. Sound impossible? No way you’re going anywhere in the next six months? Well not to fear, here is a list of the 4 best ways to budget for a trip, on a budget!
1. Stop buying clothes.
This one is a simple, things vs. experiences. Clearly, if you are already trying to find ways to afford to travel, you prioritize experiences. You don’t NEED another pair of leggings from lululemon in order to have a blast on your upcoming trip! Even if you spend $100.00 a month on clothing/beauty products you can save $600.00 in six months.
2. Turn your kitchen into your favorite café!
If you buy a cappuccino 5 days a week on your lunch break you probably spend around $20.00 a week on coffee, which is almost $420.00 in six months! Instead, go to your local store and pick up some coffee essentials. Get some really yummy freshly ground beans, a coffee press, and some milk. Who knew that while trying to save money you could also become a barista?!
3. Get a library card.
Hear me out on this one! If you’ve been to your local library you would know that it is most likely a treasure trove of wonderful things. You can often find the most recent DVDs, all the best-selling books, the paper, and oftentimes even free classes to help you learn new skills. The library is the single best place for free or severely discounted entertainment! If you go to the movies with one friend twice a month you probably spend around $60.00 just on tickets, that is $360.00 in six months!
4. Cut the waste.
Do you ever throw away groceries that have gone bad before you had the chance to eat them? It can be really tough to buy and cook the proper amount of food for just one person, and hey, sometimes it happens. Pay close attention to this and see what you’re buying too much of. If you can manage to cut $10.00 off of your weekly grocery bill then you’ve saved yourself $240.00 over six months.
At the end of our six months of saving we’ve managed $1,620.00 and that is while already being on a budget! We didn’t have to somehow make more money or miraculously get rich. We just snipped some corners, reset our priorities, and stopped being wasteful. Now the only thing left to do is decide where you’re going!