How To Save Up For An Extended Trip -Part 2

Posted on October 26, 2012

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Since last week’s post on how I was able to save up for my trips was getting a little long, I figured I’d just do a follow-up.

Last week I explained that to live the lifestyle I wanted, I had to make some drastic changes in my habits and behavior, like:

  • Creating a budget
  • Selling my stuff
  • I stopped buying things I didn’t actually need
  • I quit smoking (any smoker will understand how hard this one was. I’m still going strong, hurrah for me!)

So today, I continue on this subject, with more tactics I used to save up enough cash.

 

Dexter

Sorry Dex, I’ll be watching you online from now on.

QUIT CABLE

Seriously, who still watches cable TV? Most of my friends have it, but it’s hardly ever on and when it is, no one’s really watching. Spending over €20 a month for a service I never use seems like a waste of money to me, especially when you take into account that almost anything can be found online. Without commercials!  €20 will buy you a bed for the night, 2 full meals and at least two beers in Thailand. That to me is worth more than another re-run of Friends on a Sunday afternoon. I’ll get plenty of opportunity to that in Laos.

GET A ROOMMATE

That’s right, another one. Our house is getting crowded. For the past 2,5 years I’ve shared my humble home in the middle of the Netherlands with one of my closest friends, Wendy (Check out her work at OhShoot! Photography), which has been absolutely fantastic. But as from December, someone else is going to join in on the fun: the best boyfriend ever is moving in! Not only do I get to share my home with my two closest friends, I also get to save an extra €100 a month. Talk about a win-win situation.

FIND AN ADDITIONAL STREAM OF INCOME 

No matter how small. It doesn’t have to be a 20-hours-a-week job, although it’s fine if you’re able to find and do just that. What I mean is that even a small job that you can do from home can make a huge difference after a couple of months. I took up writing for 2 other websites. Since I just started out, it doesn’t pay much at all, but those few extra euros make sure I will be able to do that jungle trek in Luang Namtha. I also take up gigs I normally wouldn’t do, like dinner shows and company events. There are other options of course; I considered volunteering for paid medical research and clinical trials a while ago. There are plenty of organisations offering relatively high compensations for a few visits or a short stay. It may not be your first choice but it certainly pays well.

Cocos Amsterdam

Ribs n Burgers at Cocos Amsterdam. I would bust my budget for this ANYTIME…

SHOW OFF YOUR COOKING SKILLS

Eating out is expensive, even when you opt for more budget-friendly restaurants. I could spend an extra day in Burma for the price of one decent meal back home. Learning how to cook is not only fun and healthy, it’s also economical. My trick is to cook large portions and store half of them in the freezer to eat later that week. Because of this, I’m able to keep the costs low, spending no more than €30 per week. I still have my occasional splurge though, a girl shouldn’t be too hard on herself.

 

Though these changes may have been hard in the beginning, watching my balance grow exponentially was more rewarding than I expected. After a while I grew accustomed to my new spending habits. It no longer felt like I was sacrificing anything and it became normal, even pleasant, to live with less. By just a few simple changes and living cheaply on the road I was able to afford my trip through the south of Spain, a short vacation in Egypt, 2 weekends in Barcelona, 4 days of music and fun at Rock Werchter and save up over €2000 for my trip to Asia.

What do you do to save up for your travels? I’d love to hear your thoughts; let’s have a talk on Facebook tweet me up or leave a comment below.

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Posted in: Travel Tips