There is an old cliché in money world – “You either need a good offense or a good defense – make more or save more.” There are a lot of different ways to tackle saving for a trip around the world, but getting started can be the most difficult part. Your personal savings plan may start months or years before you leave for your trip, but it’s got to start somewhere. So here are some tips to help you fill up that piggy bank and get you off on your adventure.
Open a savings account
Open a brand new savings account, and consider it the official adventure jar. These savings should be reserved for your trip and kept separate from your other accounts. Look at it, contribute to it, love it – just don’t spend it.
Think of that adventure jar as a bill you have to pay, just like water or electricity. Every month while you are paying your normal bills, deposit a certain amount of money – that you can actually afford – into the travel account. Or, to make things even more cut and dry, set up an automatic transfer of a small and manageable amount into the travel account each payday. That way, by the time you look at your paycheck deposit, you’ve already set the travel money aside and won’t factor it into your expendable cash.
Got a skill you aren’t putting to use? Try out bar-tending or waiting tables, babysitting or putting those macramé dolls you secretly love to make on Etsy. While chances are good you’re already working enough, the occasional “odd job” can ease the burden of syphoning money from your paycheck to put toward future travels, and might actually help you prep for making cash while on the road. If you can give private lessons after work now, you can do it in Laos, too.
Start prepping for minimalist living now by beginning to shed those unnecessary belongings. Nobody needs three Metallica t-shirts. (It’s arguable even having one, to be honest.) That car in your driveway won’t get driven while you’re away. If you finally clean out that dresser of junk in your bedroom, you’ll probably be able to sell the thing anyway once it’s empty. Be honest about the value of the material belongings you don’t use – are they worth more than a hike to Machu Picchu?
Minimize your spending
It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to spend less, but following through is a whole other story. Here’s a tip – spend a week writing down every single purchase you make. By the time that week is up, you’ll probably already have started spending less, because the mere act of acknowledging every purchase made can shine light on unnecessary spending. Once the week is up, review that money journal and start identifying purchases that can be cut out.