Even More Ways to Save Money For Travel

I was laid off in the beginning of the recession and was unemployed for a year. Man, that was tough; all of that free time I’d been craving for and finally got but no money to spend the time on. The irony was killing me…

Anyway, when we were in college we picked up some tips and tricks on how to get by on very little (we also picked up a coffee addiction, liberalism, and a nudist friend). Since we were only about a year or so out of college, out of habit, we were still living like we were on college.

Even our nudist friend was still around…

I’d like to think that those habits helped us weather the storm such that we were not off track on our savings goal too much, even with only one income.

  • No cell phone plan. Jill has not had a cellphone plan for years. Data plan costs about $80/mo and it adds up really quick.
  • Get a Google Voice account to save on phone bill even more. With a Google Voice account you can make free VoIP calls, send and receive SMS’s for free. Landline? What is that?
  • Have only one car. Having one car is headache enough. Living close to both of our works allow us to carpool every day. You end up saving on car maintenance and car insurance.
  • Don’t have cable TV. With Neflix, Hulu, and all popular TV shows available online…why would anyone?
  • Avoid the malls at all cost. You can’t avoid to NOT spend money at a mall. Unless you’re a super person with uber awesome self-control. But I’m just a mortal.
  • Don’t buy clothes/shoes until your friends and relatives start donating their old clothes. Then you have all of these free clothes/shoes. Score!
  • Bring own lunch. Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds of times before, but if I tell you that it’ll save you about $2200/year would you start doing it? I did. I know what some of you who know me are saying, “But Jill, you wouldn’t know what to do with a kitchen!” Ah ha! Trader Joe’s comes to the rescue. Those Indian meals that come in microwavable pouches? $1.99!
  • Volunteer. It helps to fill your free time wisely (see item #5).
  • Buy used stuff. Or borrow (check out NeighborGoods). I’m a big fan of Craigslist. We don’t buy a lot of stuff. And when we do, they’re usually technical stuff that we shouldn’t buy used anyway (like climbing gear). But for furniture, household stuff, and other junks… Craigslist is the way to go.
  • Foster, don’t own, animals. This is for the animal lovers out there. Rescue organizers almost always cover medical expenses. Some would even include supplies. So you’ll end up with a bundle of fur to love and cuddle with minus the vet expenses or food bills. But if you do decide to get an animal, know beforehand who’s going to take care of it while you’re away on your round-the-world trip. Don’t even consider giving them up to a shelter or I will hunt you down myself.

Here are some other sites that would help you get started saving for your dream trip (or for that dream car, or whatever):

So, the nudist friend moved back to our college town, and we started drinking better coffee… can’t really say we still live like we were in college. But I think that’s a good goal for us to have.

In the meanwhile, having said all that, I have a wedding to go to in December. Anyone got a pair of shoes I can borrow?

26 Replies to “Even More Ways to Save Money For Travel”

  1. These are great tips, Jill! Especially the one about making your own lunch – it's so easy to do, but not many of us take the time to do it. I occasionally buy lunch from the Mother's Market near my work (I like to eat healthy), and it very easily adds up to $15 for a hot dish and salad – yikes! Have to cut that habit! I also love Ashlea's tips about "beauty" maintenance – I get natural-looking highlights, so I only have to get my hair colored every six months or so.

  2. These are great tips, Jill! Especially the one about making your own lunch – it's so easy to do, but not many of us take the time to do it. I occasionally buy lunch from the Mother's Market near my work (I like to eat healthy), and it very easily adds up to $15 for a hot dish and salad – yikes! Have to cut that habit! I also love Ashlea's tips about "beauty" maintenance – I get natural-looking highlights, so I only have to get my hair colored every six months or so.

  3. These are great tips, Jill! Especially the one about making your own lunch – it's so easy to do, but not many of us take the time to do it. I occasionally buy lunch from the Mother's Market near my work (I like to eat healthy), and it very easily adds up to $15 for a hot dish and salad – yikes! Have to cut that habit! I also love Ashlea's tips about "beauty" maintenance – I get natural-looking highlights, so I only have to get my hair colored every six months or so.

  4. 5 and 6 are surprisingly easy.

    I find it gets way easier to save the closer we get to our trip. At about the 6 month point, we are putting all our effort into selling all of our unneeded items. The last thing I could fathom would be wanting to buy more stuff. And now that I'm forced to get rid of it, I can't really recall what drove me to waste money on half the stuff I bought before.

    TV and phone are harder to cut off. We've got ourselves stuck with contracts and horse trading. For example we pay half the TV bill, but get free internet in exchange. The google voice option works well, we use it for free long distance calling.

  5. 5 and 6 are surprisingly easy.

    I find it gets way easier to save the closer we get to our trip. At about the 6 month point, we are putting all our effort into selling all of our unneeded items. The last thing I could fathom would be wanting to buy more stuff. And now that I'm forced to get rid of it, I can't really recall what drove me to waste money on half the stuff I bought before.

    TV and phone are harder to cut off. We've got ourselves stuck with contracts and horse trading. For example we pay half the TV bill, but get free internet in exchange. The google voice option works well, we use it for free long distance calling.

    1. I've been using google voice and had not had a cell phone plan for a year now… it's easy when I'm in front of the computer 80% of the time. And you're absolutely right, now that we're 2 months away, the idea of getting more stuff is unthinkable, really. And it's so sad to see the pile of stuff that we're getting rid of… what a waste.

  6. Trader Joes Indian food is the best thing that's ever happened in the whole wide world. I swear I could live off of them for forever.

    Love the idea about getting rid of a car – I got rid of mine and it's made my life so much easier, not to mention help me save tons of money!

    1. I agree!!! Their paneer tikka masala is to die for 🙂 Jack and I are lucky that we work in the same office complex so getting by with one car is totally do-able…

  7. Trader Joes Indian food is the best thing that's ever happened in the whole wide world. I swear I could live off of them for forever.

    Love the idea about getting rid of a car – I got rid of mine and it's made my life so much easier, not to mention help me save tons of money!

    1. I agree!!! Their paneer tikka masala is to die for 🙂 Jack and I are lucky that we work in the same office complex so getting by with one car is totally do-able…

  8. Trader Joes Indian food is the best thing that's ever happened in the whole wide world. I swear I could live off of them for forever.

    Love the idea about getting rid of a car – I got rid of mine and it's made my life so much easier, not to mention help me save tons of money!

    1. I agree!!! Their paneer tikka masala is to die for 🙂 Jack and I are lucky that we work in the same office complex so getting by with one car is totally do-able…

  9. Aaaw, having pets is the best. Not being able to have our own menagerie of dogs/cats/birds/rabbits/rats, etc is, dare I say, the greatest sacrifice we've made for this trip to happen.

  10. Ugh, I fail at so many of these…haha. I think the hardest one for me to change is #10. During a trip to Italy about 3 years ago, we decided we had to get a dog and that was the first thing we did when we got home. Needless to say, I'm probably more attached to him that he is to me, and know that there won't be any long-term travel while he's around (though that does give us plenty of time to save!).

  11. Ugh, I fail at so many of these…haha. I think the hardest one for me to change is #10. During a trip to Italy about 3 years ago, we decided we had to get a dog and that was the first thing we did when we got home. Needless to say, I'm probably more attached to him that he is to me, and know that there won't be any long-term travel while he's around (though that does give us plenty of time to save!).

    1. Aaaw, having pets is the best. Not being able to have our own menagerie of dogs/cats/birds/rabbits/rats, etc is, dare I say, the greatest sacrifice we've made for this trip to happen.

  12. Just buy all the necessary stuff. Avoid wasting your money on unnecessary stuff. If you do it for a while, you'll able to fund your RTW trip. You can also work while you’re travelling and earn money. I gave English and Spanish classes and earned enough money to go on.

  13. Just buy all the necessary stuff. Avoid wasting your money on unnecessary stuff. If you do it for a while, you'll able to fund your RTW trip. You can also work while you’re travelling and earn money. I gave English and Spanish classes and earned enough money to go on.

  14. Great list! I wish we knew we were traveling before we got ourselves locked into 24 month cell phone contracts – not a good idea, we'll only be 14 months through when we leave for our RTW! Cars are also a major drain on finances, but unfortunately they're a necessity for us.

    Good luck with the saving… it's not easy making so many sacrifices but it'll be worth it in the end!

    1. Hi Kieron,
      Thanks… I'm always leery about entering a long-term contract (even our apt is month-to-month). We luck out because we both live about 2 miles from where we work, so only one car is enough.

  15. For girls, if you're high maintenance and do the whole $200 on your hair every few months plus maini/pedi, and weekly tanning then just go back to your root colour and forgo the other extras. You can't keep up with that away from home anyway. Let your hair grow into an easy to maintain style that won't look ridiculous without styling.

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