The question I get more than any other is, “How do you have money to travel?” This question, of course, comes primarily from my parents but you’d be surprised by how many times i’ve been asked this. The truth is it’s all about being able to manage your money well and being able to stick to a strict budget. If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know that I’m a bartender and a full-time student. I don’t have some fancy career that enables me to spend money on whatever I’d like, and I’m definitely not spoiled by my parents, so I’ve simply worked out a way for me to easily save money.
My first tip is to get a jar. I use a 1 quart clamp jar; it doesn’t have to be big. As a bartender my primary income comes from my tips, and therefore I am walking out of my place of work with cash in hand every single shift. When I get home the first thing I do is put money into my travel jar. I try and put as much into my jar as possible while still being able to pay my rent and live comfortably every month with the rest of the cash that I deposit into my bank account. I know this may seem elementary, but believe me, it works.
The reason I use a jar instead of a savings account (although I have a savings account as well) is because it keeps the money “out of sight, out of mind“. If I’m not able to see the money or access it when I’m out and about then I can’t spend it. My savings account with my bank is for school funds anyways.
My second tip is to track your spending. This was very difficult for me when I first started saving. I would track my spendings on an iPhone app for a few days and then get bored of it and go out and spend a bunch of money without tracking it and then I would think that I had more than I actually did, etc. The easiest way for me to track my money is to just let my bank do it for me. I simply deposit all the cash that I don’t put into my travel jar into my bank account and then I always pay with card.
Recently, I’ve been spending on my AmericanAirlines OneWorld MasterCard to build points and then I just pay off the balance in full every month so I don’t have to worry about interest. This is a fantastic method for building points quickly and my limit has been bumped up twice in the past three months for managing it so well.
My third and final tip is to think about what you want to spend your money on. There are countless times where I see something that
“I can’t live without” and rush to grab my credit card, but the truth is, what I can’t live without is traveling the world. I don’t really need any of the materialistic stuff. What I want is to spend my money on is traveling to foreign cultures and experiencing lives that are far different from my own. Those experiences are worth far more than what my dollar can buy at any department store.
Cheers bloggers & happy traveling!