I love when people ask how I save up money to travel. I’ve had people ask if I’ve inherited money from a dead relative, joined the Mexican Cartel or even gave up my first born. But really what it comes down to is that right now, traveling is my priority. It is easy to save money for something when you make it your priority.

Saving 10 grand in a year is do-able. I know because I’ve done it, more than once. It’s not easy, it takes a lot of determination and a WHOLEEEEEE LOTTA willpower. But it can be done and this is how.

  1. HUSTLE HUSTLE AND HUSTLE

I’ve realized that if you want something bad enough in life that means you have to work for it. God damn do I work for it. It’s not uncommon for me to work 4 or 5 different jobs with no days off for weeks at a time. Some of you may be reading this thinking “Yeah no I’m all set with that”. But as hectic as it may be working that hard, I literally get to not work AT ALL for MONTHS at a time. YES. PLEASE.

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This is what not working for 2 months looks like. Train to Prague. June 2015.
  1. Side Gigs

I’m all about having a couple of side gigs here and there to bring in extra cash. Hostessing, waitressing, babysitting, freelance work, “glorified” taxi driver, I’ve done them all. Granted these aren’t life changing career moves but they pay me well and it’s all money that goes toward my bank account so I’ll take it.

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That awful waitressing job will be a distant memory when this is your view. Machu Picchu, Peru. September 2015.
  1. Yard Sale

Growing up my family weren’t the yard sale type. This may have to do with the fact that my mother will not get rid of ANYTHING. Seriously though, she still has my 3rd grade report card. Luckily, the backpacking lifestyle has snapped me out of that mentality.

Every time I’m about to head back on the road my lady and I will PURGE our stuff. Haven’t worn it in a year, yard sale. Collecting dust, yard sale. No sentimental value, yard sale. It’s a great way to minimize my belongings and I make a KILLING. NO joke, last year my girl and I made OVER $1,500 just selling stuff that was sitting around my room.

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  1. Eliminate Frivolous Spending

Do you buy a coffee every morning? Do you opt for take out over cooking a meal? Do you go to Target and buy things you don’t really need? Do you rack up a hefty bar tab every weekend?

If you answered yes to any of these then it’s likely you’re spending frivolously. It’s mind blowing to see how much money you save from eliminating these habits from your everyday routine. Believe it or not things add up and they add up quickly (Coffee @ $3.00 everyday, that’s $21.00 a week, that’s $84.00 a month, THAT’S $1,000 A YEAR, ON COFFEE). Next time you are about to purchase something ask yourself is is REALLY something you need or just something you want. If it’s just something you want but don’t really need opt to not buy it, you just put a little bit more cash into your savings account.

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  1. Prioritize

Like I said, right now my priority is to travel. This means I can deny the temptation of the adorable expensive shoes. I can deny that temptation because instead of seeing adorable shoes that would totally look great with every outfit I see a plane ticket, or a travel day’s budget, or a kayaking excursion in the Adriatic. By having a larger plan in mind I can focus my priorities so that they align with my plan. This alignment acts as my blinders so that I can save save save and not be tempted by random purchases.

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Port Santo, Portugal. July 2011.

These money saving methods can be used to save money for anything. It doesn’t have to be travel, hell it can be your kid’s college tuition, a mortgage on a house, that course in carpentry you always wanted to take (ONE DAY!). All it takes is finding what you’re passionate about, making it your priority and busting your ass to get it.

Have some tips on how you save money?! Let me know in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “How I Save Money to Travel

  1. Spot on kiddo. Well, except for the coffee thing. A girls gotta have her coffee. Nothing like that first iced coffee when returning to the country.

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  2. It’s like you crawled into my brain, girl! All of these, a tousand times yes and yes. I get the same thing from my friends, even my cousins, like “must be nice to be an only child”. THANKS, but I paid for this myself and it’s not my fault you spent your tax return on a motorcycle and now you don’t have any money. I’m able to travel because I would rather work 20 hour days for three months of the year and then jet off to do whatever I please than 8 hour days 365 days out of the year. PREACH! ❤ it. Cheers to being nomadic, chica.

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    1. Yessssss!! 👐👐👐👐 Amen sister. I couldn’t have said it better myself. People are like “oh it must be nice to have the money to travel” like hell yeah it does, when I BUST MY ASS to get it.

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  3. Also. My mother won’t ever throw anything away either. It drives me crazy. I think she has 10,000 in just fucking GARDEN DECORATIONS collecting dust in their garage. Seriously.

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    1. Isn’t it the worst?!? Like “Mom why do you need these 30 blankets that nobody has used in years. Might be nice to use this closet sometime.” “Oh Chantel we save those just in case.” STAAAPPPP I CAN’T 😂😂😂

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