ExpatActually

No-Brainer Ways to Save for Travel RIGHT NOW

March 2, 2020

As I've said before, traveling is the lifeblood of living abroad. No matter what continent you have been plopped on, it's absolutely worth it to save the funds to get out there and explore! No brainer, you guys...no brainer.

Some folks who live abroad are blessed with an exceptional "expat package" making travel easier on the wallet. Those who aren't, have to make sacrifices just as they normally would back in their home country. Either way, there are super simple ways to save cash for travel funds.

Here's a quick list to tick off RIGHT NOW:

  • cancel subscriptions- gym, magazine, cable
    • free ways to work-out: Hello, YouTube!
  • say NO to impulse buys
    • make a list and stick to it
  • buy groceries in bulk when on sale (freeze extra)
  • use country specific Amazon to save boat loads on shipping
    • ex. If living in Germany, I wouldn't order something on Amazon.de and have it shipped to the States. I would create an account on Amazon.com and have it shipped from that website.
  • be your own stylist
    • hair, nails, brows, facials
  • in-source services
    • house cleaning, gardener, lawn maintenance
  • babysitter swap
    • exchange your time with a friend to watch their kids while they go out and vice versa
  • buy recycled or used items
    • FB Marketplace, Craigslist, thrift stores, various community groups all sell good quality items with lots of life left in them
  • free family activities at your finger tips
    • replace museums, movie theaters, and play centers with parks, hiking trails, playground, and bike rides
  • make your own coffee
    • nix the fancy five dollar cups
  • weekly meal plan and eat at home
    • ask your kids what they want and get them to help you shop
  • make a monthly budget (see my last tip at the bottom)
    • and stick to it!

Have you made notes? Created a plan to implement a few of the bullet points? Trust me. You will save boat loads by cutting the unnecessary crap. You'll be surprised at how quickly it adds up!

Long-Term Planning

  • reassess your living situation
    • is it a good time to sell your home? downsize? negotiate a lower payment with your landlord?
  • sell a car...or two
    • the monthly payment, gas, insurance, general maintenance all.adds.up
  • sign up for a credit card with travel perks
    • Put standing bills on there and pay it off every.single.month
      • (in the US, highly recommend Chase - amazing rewards - double points for travel-related purchases and sign on bonus)

Want $750 straight to your pocket? Copy the link below when signing up for Chase Sapphire Preferred
Click Here to Sign Up! Voila!

  • out with the lights/off with the water
    • it sounds trivial, but making sure they are shut off really adds up
  • open a travel savings account
    • commit to putting $20, $50, or even $100 in every month
  • two words - DAVE RAMSEY
    • this guy knows his stuff and put us on the straight and narrow during the first six months of our marriage

Reframing your mindset and aligning your priorities will drastically change the way you live your everyday life. This is our life. We follow this list. I make a grocery list and shop at Aldi. I love to cook and don't feel like I'm sacrificing quality either, even on the organic selection. It's tricky at times, but we have one car in our family. We have credit cards that provide us with sweet travel-related rewards.

I don't get my hair highlighted and usually get it cut once a year or so. 80% of the boys' clothes are hand-me-downs or from second-hand shops, even shoes and jackets. My clothes too! The puffy vest I wore to church yesterday was from the local thrift store, and the shirt underneath was easily ten years old. Almost all of our furniture has been previously loved, not purchased from a store. I also buy generic make-up and beauty products. Living in Germany is heavenly when it comes to exploring forests, parks, and mind-blowing playgrounds. Creating memories outside is free and fun!

I won't lie though...we are human. Once in a while that chocolate bar at the check out is more than tempting. I might splurge on that ice cream cone for the kiddos or the occasional family outing to the movies...or restaurant. Because, who doesn't like a break from the kitchen every now and then?

You don't have to completely deprive yourself of a colorful day-to-day life, but rid the excess. Be smart about the choices you make. Make a budget, stick to it, and save.

Lastly, make traveling a priority. If you don't put your eye on the prize and believe you can see the world on a budget, then the opportunity might pass you by.

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One comment on “No-Brainer Ways to Save for Travel RIGHT NOW”

  1. Okay so I am TRYING to be my own beauty stylist right now!!! It's hard though! I miss my manicures! Everything else I can live without!!

    My partner and I always stick to a weekly budget. We save our money first and then whatever is left is for us.

    When we were saving to move abroad we both sold our cars! Was a little inconvenient for a while but we got there!

    Great tips! SAVING = FUTURE EXPLORING! xx

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