As any good adventurer knows, the real trip preparation begins long before tickets are purchased. While a life of spontaneously island hopping throughout the Mediterranean with little more than a couple Euros in your account sounds like a dreamy affair, reality is a heavy hitter.
Wanderlust is addictive and, if you truly want to see the world, you need to change your life in-between expeditions to build the necessary funds. Before you pack your bags, here’s how to trim your expenses on the home front to make sure you can soak up every ounce of that foreign sunshine.
Making meals at home has a multitude of benefits. Not only can you better control what you’re putting in your body and expand on your cooking skills, you can save some serious cash. Instead of weekly nights out, invite friends over for an inexpensive potluck where you can share entree ideas in good company. Bread basket optional.
Honestly, vodka soda, we had a good run. But I’m just not cut out for your high life anymore. Cutting back on booze (and the inevitable cab ride home!) is the easiest way to put away a little extra cash.
Ebay, ThredUp and consignment boutiques are a great way to purge what you don’t need in exchange for some spending money. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. If you haven’t worn that designer gown in four years, it’s time to part ways and comfort yourself knowing that a catamaran boat ride through the pacific is worth cutting ties with some gems.
Even if you can afford certain things, ask yourself if you truly need it to be fulfilled. I recently decided to get rid of cable because I knew my time could be better spent elsewhere (i.e. reading, exercising, sleeping). Even though I could afford my monthly cable bill, I’d rather spend that money elsewhere. It’s essential for you to be particular with how you spend your time and, in turn, if it’s worth the cost of doing so.
Monthly payments can add up quicker than you realize, especially if you’re on an automatic pay system. Instead of paying for a monthly gym membership that is often neglected, invest in sneakers and DVDs to use at home at your convenience. If you’re receiving a delivery service (looking at you, Stitchfix and BarkBox), order them for special occasions rather than signing up for regular shipments.
Gas. Insurance. Parking. Repairs. Even the occasional property tax. Although going sans automobile might be the biggest adjustment you make, it will reward you with thousands of dollars you can put towards a more productive mean of transportation, like a plane ride to Australia. If you live in a place with ample public transportation, consider giving up your car for a more freeing lifestyle.
Have a spare room for use? Or even a couch? Apps such as Airbnb and Couchsurfing allow you to rent out what you’re not using to make money with little responsibility on your part.
One last thing! Don’t forget to setup a savings account to keep all your travel funds. I personally love Capital One 360!