Everyone has financial ups and downs. It is perfectly normal to face such challenges, and the sooner you realize this, the better.
But even if you are struggling and you are on a budget, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go on vacation and have a whale of a time while you are there. We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time in order to get back to our daily lives.
Travel finances are always an interesting topic. Not everyone has the same opinion about how much money you should spend on your trip or how much you should save for it.
This is why we decided to list some valuable tips that will help you to save money for your trip when on a budget. If you read them carefully, you will see that funding your trip this year is much more realistic than you thought.
Earn more money
Earning more money usually means that you have to work more hours. Having more than one job is extremely difficult, especially if you have a family. Juggling two jobs will take a lot of your time and energy and if you are not careful, you will get exhausted very quickly.
However, many people manage to work two jobs for a certain period of time. This doesn’t have to last for years, just for a few months while you are saving money for your trip.
To earn more money, you can get another job, but it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can always find a side gig, a freelance job or work part-time at a restaurant. Think about your talents and aspirations and turn them into a money-making opportunity.
Also, working extra shifts at your current job is a great option if it pays a lot of money for overtime work. Sure, working night and weekend shifts is not attractive at all, but it can help you earn substantial amounts of money and fund your travel more easily.
Finally, you can always ask for a raise if you have been working at your position for some time. Or even better, if you do your job flawlessly, ask for a promotion. Who knows, your boss might like you after all.
Rent your place
If you have a spare room or two at your house or apartment, why wouldn’t you use them to earn additional money?
Sure, this can be a little weird initially, but you will get used to it over time. Choosing your roommates carefully and setting the rules clearly will prevent any unpleasant situations.
You can share a room or a flat with a couple of people for different periods of time depending on your financial needs. In case you live in a city or place which is popular among tourists, you can definitely make some money this way.
Also, you can make great friends with some of the people who stay at your place. As a traveler yourself, you should know that your kind is open-minded and friendly, so you will probably have no issues getting along with them.
Consider listing your property with Airbnb and renting out an extra room or your entire property on it as many people who regularly travel will check this website first. This will significantly increase your chances to get on the radar of everyone who wants to visit your city.
Live off one wage
Do you live with your partner? If you do, consider living off one wage and save the other one. Even though it sounds difficult, it is much easier than you think. If you bank one of the wages as soon as you receive it, you will not feel its absence so much.
If you decide to take this step, the first thing you should do is sit down and create a budget with your partner. Discover all unnecessary expenses, eliminate them and just focus on your basic needs. Decide whose wage will be spent and whose wage will be banked.
Make as many tweaks and adjustments as necessary to make living off one wage comfortable. And of course, always leave a little buffer just in case.
As soon as the other wage is received, put it straight into your high-interest savings account, which we will discuss a bit later. You may not be able to bank the entire wage right away, but don’t let this discourage you. Try increasing your savings each week and in a few months, you will find that banking an entire wage is actually a piece of cake.
Set your savings goals
Decide how much money you need for travel. Then, set a goal and a time frame to achieve them.
Set a specific date for accomplishing your goals and make sure you can actually do it within that period.
It is always good to set goals for saving and know what you have to spend money on. These are the costs that you have to cover:
- pocket money
It is important to save money in this order and break it down into increments. You will find it is much easier to save money and keep yourself motivated when you go step by step.
Also, if you are a tech lover, you can try using mobile apps that can help you save money on travel.
Use a high-interest savings account
You can find a number of savings accounts that pay good interest. Depending on your balance, you can earn more or less money.
Once you manage to bank one entire wage and put it into the savings account, you will be able to earn considerably high amounts of money through the interest.
With a high-yield savings account, make sure to look at the following factors:
- required initial deposit
- rate of interest paid
- compounding method
- minimum balance required
- handling deposits, etc.
Take your time to research your best options before you open a high-interest savings account in order to find the offer that can earn you the most money.
Automate your savings
Are savings your priority? If not, make them so and pay yourself first.
Make sure you set up an automatic transfer which deducts at least 10% of your wage on a weekly basis and have this money transferred into your travel savings account.
If you have easy access to all your money, you are much more likely to spend it. This means that you shouldn’t save your money in your everyday spending account. Instead, separate the saved money and put it in your savings account, maybe even the high-interest account you have opened.
You know what they say: Out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t see your money, you will probably not miss it as much and you will manage to save it much more easily.
Save tax refunds, bonuses and windfalls
Nobody likes income tax, not only because filing all tax documents is a painstaking process but because you have to give up part of your hard-earned money. But when you get a tax refund, things don’t seem as gloomy, right?
When you receive your refund check, treat it as a bonus and save it right away. If you can manage to live decently off your net salary, then your tax refunds can be invested into your travel. It will be much easier to do this if you consider tax refunds as the money you have been saving all year and put it straight into your travel fund.
In addition to saving your tax refunds, you should also try saving all the bonuses you receive at work. Moreover, do the same with windfalls, birthday and holiday money.
In the beginning, it may seem like it is too difficult to give up all the extra money you get. But little by little, when you see that this significantly contributes to your travel savings, you will want to put all the money you can on this stash.
Cut back on your expenses
We live in a consumerist society and we often buy things we never use. In the best-case scenario, we use them a couple of times. But the point is that we tend to buy products we don’t really need.
Ask yourself when was the last time you bought something you didn’t need at all. But be honest when answering.
If you want to spend money on travel, which is definitely more fulfilling than buying material stuff, then you have to give up on some things in your daily life. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of things to survive. None of us does.
Instead of buying branded goods, buy the less expensive ones and buy them in bulk. Ditch the labels and expensive price tags, top-shelf drinks and fancy restaurants. All this will be worth it when you set foot on the streets of the city you have dreamed of visiting for so long.
Take out a personal loan
A great thing about personal loans is that you can use them per your discretion. Nobody will ask you why you are taking out a loan and you can use it for home renovation, car repair, travel or anything else.
The lending market is becoming more and more flexible, and the reason for this lies in the fierce competition among banks and lenders. They all try to offer the best terms and you, as a borrower, can greatly benefit from this, especially if you have good credit.
However, although you can find affordable loans easily, you should be careful and pay attention to a few things:
- always do your research to find the best offer
- read the loan terms carefully in order to avoid any hidden fees
- never allow yourself to seriously harm your finances because of your travel
After all, you are an independent and financially responsible individual. Don’t do things that will make you regret later on.
Use your credit card
When compared to personal loans, credit cards have both advantages and disadvantages. They offer warranties, purchase protection, rewards points, travel benefits and so on.
These features make credit cards (especially those designed for travelers) perfect for financing your trip. Air miles, hotel discounts and other types of bonuses ‒ all these make travel credit cards very attractive.
On the other hand, credit card interest rates are usually significantly higher than those on personal loans. In addition, you can borrow much more money using a personal loan than a credit card.
But your best option may be to use your credit card while on vacation and take out a personal loan when you come back in order to consolidate your credit card debt. This strategy is used by many people as it does wonders for all travel lovers.
Combine all of the above
If you can apply a few of the tips that we have mentioned, you will be more than happy with the money you manage to save for your dream holiday.
However, why not combine as many strategies as you can? If you succeed at that, you will become a master at saving money for your travel.
Creating multiple streams of income is always a good solution. If one of them fails, you will always have other sources to turn to.
This means that you can combine having more jobs, renting your place, making a detailed savings plan, cutting back on your expenses and using a loan or credit card to finance your travel.
However, rather than trying to implement all of these strategies, focus on a few of them and stay persistent.
Bonus tip: Stay away from payday loans
Our final tip is very brief and clear as day: Never use a payday loan to fund your trip.
Payday loans can easily get you into a debt cycle. Their APR is around 400% and if you fail to return both the loan and the rates on your next payday, your lender will charge you only the rates. However, on your next payday, you will have to pay not only the loan but the rates as well.
This is how a lot of people get into a debt cycle ‒ they pay rates over and over again, so they never manage to pay off the loan. You definitely don’t want to get a payday loan to fund your vacation. It would be absurd to spend ten days in heaven on earth just to be welcomed by financial hell once you are back from your holiday.
There you go. We gave you twelve valuable tips on how to fund your trip when on a budget. You probably won’t be able to use all of them, but implementing even a couple of them will get you far.
Each traveler is different. Not all of us have the same priorities, life circumstances or desires. Some of us will be ready to implement only a couple of the mentioned tips, while some will try to save as much as they can.
Analyze your financial situation, your destination and anticipated expenses. Then, see how much time it will take you to save the money you need.
Giving up your daily impulses to buy unnecessary things may be difficult in the beginning, but it will all disappear once you get off your plane and start enjoying your holiday.