Minimalism Motivation

How to Save a Crapload of Money For Travel

Here’s a truth: traveling cheaply still requires money.

Some people see that we’re young twenty-somethings who travel all over the world and immediately jump to the conclusion that we do it on our parents’ dime. Au contraire, y’all. It’s a mix of skimping on things that don’t really matter, while still finding a balance and enjoying your life. In one simple word, priorities.

Ever heard of those money-saving tips like “Cut your daily Starbucks out of your life and you’ll save $500 a year?” Yeah, no. It’s like, I enjoy my $2.50 americano every morning, and while it may save me $500, I don’t want to cut it out because it brings me a tiny dose of happiness every day. Instead of sacrificing too much, here are our favorite ways to save a crapload of money for travel.

Immediately take money out of your paycheck.

travel-fund

As soon as you get your paycheck, immediately deduct $50 or $100. The trick is to do it immediately as if that money were never there. If you wait until after your paycheck is all gone and then try to set money aside into a travel fund, you’ll feel like an even bigger broke a$$ b*tch. We’ve been there before, trust us.

When the money isn’t touching the continuously increasing and decreasing numbers in your digital bank account, the money will feel like fun money, and not like money that can be used for something else, like another drink at the club or another Uber ride.

Hint: put your cash in some tupperware or some other secret stash. Yes, this is risky because someone could break in and steal your money, but also this is the money-saving hack I 100% believe to be the most helpful.

In fact, make funds of all sorts.

I’ve tried three separate times to budget on my iPhone, but the habit never sticks. I’ve tried many other times by taking out cash, putting it in tupperware, and calling it a “fund” and the habit always sticks. Technically, it’s budgeting, without calling it budgeting. When you have a travel fund, a restaurant fund, and a fun fund, your spending feels more organized. When you run out of one of your funds, that’s it. When you’re done with your fun fund, instead of spending that time wondering why you’re doing this, use the time to research something cool in the city you’re traveling to. It won’t feel so bad after all.

Convince your family that you don’t need presents, and that you’re not buying any presents.

no-presents

Presents are a bank-account killer. Commercialism has us all deeply convinced that we need to buy things for other people in order to show we care about them. Tell your loved ones straight-up that you don’t believe in this, and that everyone’s money would be better used if they used it on something that would mean something to them, and not a material possession. Coerce them even more by proposing that you’ll send them a postcard from your next trip.

Hand-made presents still count, though.

Get a job that allows you freedom.

dogwalking-job

How did we begin our travel blog? I juggled five jobs – all of which I was in control of my schedule. I worked for catering companies, friends who needed a dog-walker, a language school where I taught French to 30-year-olds, a casting company that employed TV extras, and even Instacart, where I grocery shopped at Whole Foods for rich and busy people. When you’re in control of your schedule, you’re in control of your life. You don’t have to explain to a boss why you need five days off of work, or even two months off work. You get to finally do you.

Juggling your own jobs and your own schedule is essential, because you can work as much as you want, especially when times are tough, or when you’re expecting a big payoff, like an upcoming trip.

Always, always, always pregame.

always-pregame

Drinks in Manhattan clubs are at the very least $7 or $8, if you’re not going during a happy hour. If you’re not lucky enough to have a sugar-daddy, then we highly recommend you down a four-loko right before you go into any bar or club. You may have to choke it down, but before you know it, you’ll be twerking on the dancefloor to some rendition of Pop, Lock, and Drop it, and after seeing that, who doesn’t want to buy another drink for the life of the party?

Make the right investments.

I once read a minimalism blog that said you should either invest in things that will last a long time and still look good (a gold watch, for example), or stuff that is super cheap and might break or get lost easily (Chinatown knockoffs like sunglasses). As consumers, we tend to remain in the middle-category, where the things we buy aren’t great quality, yet tend to wear away easily.

Buying things is not the problem. Buying things you don’t need is. Knowing the value of what you buy is key. Spending money on a yoga class is not wasted money. A stronger, healthier body is not a bad investment. Not to mention, it’s something like that would benefit you while on the road. Spending money on clothes you’ll wear every now and then isn’t the best way to invest your money.

What are some of your personal money-saving hacks? Comment below!

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  • Camila F

    Thanks for the post! I need to save money to travel soon.

    • Vincent

      Money comes down to choice; an agreement; an idea. We just have to look
      around and ask people what they don’t want to do or need do for them.
      That could be painting a room, wealthy pet owners might be too busy to
      walk their dogs, some people need movers, there’s lawn care, personal
      grocery shoppers.

      I was given the tip to go on angieslist.com just to take a look at the categories, and get an idea to start

  • I still live with my parents so I don’t have to spend all my money anyway. I’ve been saving for a trip to Seoul in May and I’ve cut out a lot of unnecessary life pleasures like oh, visiting every single new restaurant that’s open or buying a really pretty blouse when I can get it for 30% if I wait.

    http://www.thelunchcompanion.com

  • April Lisette

    Not owning a car and using public transportation is a big one for me.

  • Safwan Rahbany

    Dude! this article is soooo cool! I love how you share your personal experience and the photos are amazing.

  • raissaemail

    I don’t think that flexible career you have (or had) would be feasible here in Switzerland. People have money alright, but they would not spend it to have someone walk their dog. And you need to be trained to babysit. Or clean.
    I’ll try that tupperware budgeting thing..I used an envelope last month but I needed separate budgets and lost track.
    Savings for me: pack lunches, snacks and drinks, make a nice nest so that I like hanging out in it (We pay for it, we better make it count and use it), use the library, only (seldom) buy very good quality clothes that are worth it, (no made in china, no polyester, no acryl etc..) barely going out (it’s not important to me), grow my own food and do my own grooming. I know that’s not for everyone.

    • Vincent

      Money comes down to choice; an agreement; an idea. We just have to look around and ask people what they don’t want to do or need do for them. That could be painting a room, wealthy pet owners might be too busy to walk their dogs, some people need movers, there’s lawn care, personal grocery shoppers.

  • Rachael Johnson

    Hey Damon and Jo! I wasn’t exactly sure what the best way to get in touch with you was, so I decided this was as good as any 🙂 this is Rachael from Mineral Springs who jump roped with you, and I didn’t get very many pictures on my phone. So, I was wondering (since I saw y’all save some) if you could send me them! I didn’t want to write my email up on here, but I dm’ed you on Instagram with my email. If you could send them to me that would be great, as today was such a great and surreal experience and I would love to have some of the selfies 🙂

  • unebougeotte

    I have a question about the deducting $50 – 100. is that from a daily, weekly, or monthly payment? if you get paid per day for example, how much should we subtract so that it will equal 50-100 by whatever time?

    • Vincent

      doing it daily or weekly helps to make it a memorable habits. We all need that reminder. 🙂

  • George Town
  • ricepaperpages

    What did you guys do in college to save money/travel?

  • Jill Weber

    my dudes, i praise you for teaching us all how to save a pretty penny, but how can you charge us close to $30 for a shut up and go tee? the economy is shit and lets be real noone in their right mind is gonna dish out that kinda cash for one tee. help an aspiring traveler out. university is expensive i dont have luxury cash floating around and im def not dipping into my travel jar i keep on my shelf.. xoxo

  • Fernanda Bittencourt

    After spending one year on an exchange program abroad and buying 2 suitcases of clothes I decided not to buy any for the next year. I’m three months away from the finish line and all I want to do is give most of my clothes away! Cutting my bad habit made me look at it a whole new way! and I’m saving shitloads of money 😀

  • Lucas

    I’ve been trying my best to save money but always ended it up bad.
    Now I’ll try these tips and see what’ll happens, wish me luck

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