Do you feel like you’re stuck in the same spot all the time? Both literally and figuratively, it’s like you’re in a rut. You want to travel and live an amazingly Insta-worthy life, but you just don’t have the budget.
But here’s the thing about budgets…
It’s up to you to make your own.
Instead of spending money on things that give you pleasure in the moment, focus on the things you really need and those that deliver true, lasting happiness. Like travel.
Here are 7 ways you can minimize your lifestyle to travel more.
1) Eat more meals at home
If you’re the type who eats out or orders takeout often, you can save a giant chunk of change by cutting this habit from your life. Depending on how bad your habit is, you could easily save thousands a year just by making more meals at home. Just think about how much you spend on lunches when you haven’t brought one with you. The same holds true for coffee. Instead of buying a $5 coffee out, make a $0.05 coffee at home. It’ll be an adjustment, but you’ll get through it.
2) Consider cutting cable
If you spend most nights watching Netflix or Hulu, why bother paying for cable? If it’s for the local news, start checking online sources instead. If it’s for the sports package, consider watching at a friend’s house. You can also watch the big games at a local sports bar, but be careful about spending when you’re there.
3) Sell unused items
You’d probably be surprised to learn how much you’d get for your unused junk that’s laying around the house. Have a local garage sale or sell your items on an online marketplace. Facebook Marketplace has a thriving community of people all over the world who are looking for second-hand items, so it’s relatively easy to sell something locally there. You just have to arrange a meeting time and place.
4) Install LED lightbulbs
LED light bulbs are about 4x more energy efficient as incandescent bulbs, and they last longer. So there are two ways you save money. We are talking about spare change here, but changing out one lightbulb can save you about $0.66 per month. If you multiply that by the number of light bulbs in your home, it can definitely add up.
5) Install a programmable thermostat
You may already try to set your thermostat to a more cost-effective temperature when you go to sleep or leave for work, but it’s easy to forget. If you install a programmable thermostat, the temperature will change automatically, saving you money that you can put towards travel.
According to some estimates, you could save up to $400 annually by using a programmable thermostat. And since that more than covers the cost of the thermostat itself, we can file this one under the category of worth it.
6) Sell your car
If you’re driving an expensive car, you could be strapped with a large car payment and additional interest. Or you could just be hanging on to an asset that’s depreciating by the day. You could make better use of that money if you drive a used car instead. Choose a car that’s more reasonably priced, and try to buy it without a loan. This will save you thousands throughout a year (more over 5 years) that you could put towards airfare to one of your bucket list destinations.
7) Reduce grooming expenses
If you’re getting your nails done weekly or spending a ton of money on expensive haircuts, stop. Do your own nails at home (you’ll get better at it over time), and find a cheaper haircut. Also, see if you can stretch the time between grooming appointments further.
And if there’s any other area where you’re spending for appearances only, consider cutting them out. Think about which is better, looking polished or living the life you want? The answer may honestly be different for everyone, but it’s a good question to ask yourself. At least you’ll know where your priorities lie.
If you’re reading these tips and thinking you want to travel without any of these sacrifices, you may need some prioritization in your life.
We all have to live with limits. Some have stricter limits than others, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck at a standstill. What it does mean is that you’ll have to make some sacrifices to live the life you truly want. This means learning to quiet the inner voice that tells you something is a need when it’s really just a want.
Once you can master the art of cutting back on unnecessary spending, you’ll find that your resources aren’t as limited as you thought.
What lifestyle changes have you implemented to help boost your travel budget?