Before I start this blog post, I want to share my story… I grew up in a single-parent family, we don’t have much, but love is abundant. Traveling the world has always been a dream of mine. So when I started working at 18, my mindset was like this, “I’m going to work so hard and save a lot of money for travel.”
My first real job was working in a call center. Most of my monthly income would be spent on clothes and travel. My friends and I would go out of town to places like Boracay, Baguio, etc. and I always end up zeroing my bank balance.
I literally live from paycheck to paycheck. Whenever I try to save money in the bank, I always end up withdrawing the full amount to buy the latest trend, gadgets, and other stuff that I don’t need. In short, I don’t have financial freedom.
I got burnt out in the call center industry and switched to a digital marketing industry. While working for a Swedish company, I learned about digital nomads. I got hooked reading their success stories so I started to read more about it online.
Traveling the world while working on your laptop? How cool is that?! Damn, I wanna be like them! I wanna have that kind of lifestyle. I’m the type of person who won’t give up. If I want something, I would really do my best to get it.
With the help of my mentor (now my husband), I built my first online business. I did freelance jobs on Fiverr/Elance and worked as a Virtual Assistant for some entrepreneurs in Australia and the US. After three months, I tripled my income.
I quit my day job as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) assistant and focus on growing my online business. Fast forward today, I’m still doing the digital nomad lifestyle and I will never go back to regular 9-5 job. Never, period. Don’t get me wrong though, I admire people who still do 9-5 jobs, it’s just not for me.
Anyhoo, here are some useful tips you can use to make your money grow and save money for travel:
1.) Track your expenses
There’s a lot of apps you can download for free to track your spending. Mint, YNAB, QuickBooks Online, Shoeboxed, Expensify and so on. With the help of these apps, it lets you know if you’re going overboard on spending and pay attention to your budget.
If you know where your money is going, it will stop you from making unnecessary purchases and save a few hundred dollars a month. And also when you track your expenses, you’ll think before you buy before you write it down as expenditure.
Tracking your expenses also means that you have to stick to a specific budget. It gives you a warning on where to cut down your cost on something like food, leisure, etc. Next time you go shopping with your girls, you’ll spend consciously instead of buying stuff you don’t really need.
2.) Meal Planning
Meal planning is not only good for your budget, but it also helps you to save time and eat healthily. Set aside about 30 minutes each week to plan your meals for the next fourteen days. Try this The Super Effective 2 Week Diet & Weight Loss Meal Plan.
Shop for all the ingredients in your rest day, cook in advance and store your healthy meals in your fridge. Just pop it in the oven or microwave once you’re ready to eat. You’ll save tons of time and money because you’ll be less tempted to eat out.
Adopting an effective meal plan and cooking several meals at once can alleviate the stress of cooking and help you track your calories, expending and saves you tons of time. And also, stick to your grocery list when shopping and don’t allow yourself to fall for impulse buys.
3.) Cancel subscriptions and memberships you’re not using
If you have an active lifestyle, you’re probably spending money on at least one subscription service you’re not getting a lot of value from. Maybe it’s magazine subscription you barely read, gym membership you don’t really use, or a meal delivery service.
Whatever unnecessary service it is, cut it so you can trim down your expenses. Review your credit card statements and look for recurring payments. Ask yourself if you really need that service, is it really worth it? If not, then it’s time for you to unsubscribe from these services.
4.) Plan free activities for a no-spend weekend
You don’t have to cut the fun out of your life when you cut spending. There are several ways to enjoy the weekend with your family and friends. It could be going to free concerts in the park, play video games at home, do some gardening or simply go for a walk around your neighborhood.
Focus on doing free things instead of scheduling activities that will force you to spend money like eating out and shopping with your bestie. Entertainment that costs nothing will help you save money than buying stuff you don’t really need.
5.) Institute a 24-hour rule for purchases
You know what Marie Kondo always says, it if doesn’t spark joy, don’t buy it. Spending a lot of money on something that doesn’t bring joy to your life is a waste. To stop the guilt and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, institute a waiting period of at least 24 hours before making a purchase.
24 hours is enough time to sleep on it before you make a decision if you want that new iPhone 11 or you better save that money for something more important. Force yourself to delay before buying things you don’t really need.
These tips are proven because I still use it myself. So be frugal, stay simple, cut down your expenses and make other sources of income to save money for your travel fund. If I can do it, you can do it too. All you gotta do is change your attitude towards money and be grateful for what you have. Turn your traveling dreams into a reality.