DESTINATIONS, ET CETERA, GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS, Motivational & Inspirational Quotes
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7 Lifestyle Changes I Made To Save Money For Travel

Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats), Bolivia

A high paying job has nothing to do with it. At least not for me. I’ve never really had a high paying job, at least not in Australian salary standards.

My husband and I have been lucky to have had travelled to so many countries over the years either together, solo or with our previous partners.

When we got together, it was clear from the get-go that I was the saver and he was the spender. Many of our friends would refer to me as a tightass but I didn’t feel that I had to justify my saving/spending habits to them – that’s still the case today. I had and still have bigger plans.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”

You could say that I was a late bloomer when it came to travel. I’ve always been brought up in a particular way, whereby studying and profession always took priority. It wasn’t until 2005 when I was bitten by the wanderlust bug and I have never been able to find a cure. Thank goodness.

Travelling is not cheap. Saving up and making sacrifices to build up a travel fund is where I had to practice discipline. Call it being frugal, thrifty or being a tightass, but I decided long ago to make certain lifestyle changes that would allow me/us to travel yearly.

Believe me, I did my fair share of research on how to’s and tips on how to save. Those are just guides and you need to find your own how to’s and tips that will work for you and your lifestyle.

I forced myself to be broke every month. The benefit of choosing to get paid monthly (rather than weekly or fortnightly) is that I can schedule all my direct debits on the same day/week and put the rest away in a savings account. I forced myself to live on a $100 a week excluding weekly expenses (eg. groceries, train ticket), which meant that there was no room to fine dine or go for Friday drinks after work.

I also signed up for a rewarding savings account with a high variable interest rate, $0 fees and loyalty bonus (if any). Basically, I get free money for saving!

Changing my social habits allowed me to save a minimum of $2,000 a month. Whatever I don’t use out of that $100 a week allowance, I would put back into the savings account. You don’t have to RSVP to every event that you get invited to. Sure, you’ll probably get a bad case of the FOMO, but wouldn’t you rather have that authentic parrilla in Argentina, or escargots in Lyon?

Those who know me well will know that I am useless without my morning coffee hit. A café-bought coffee would set me back $4.10 every morning or $82.00 based on a four-week month. So I stopped. Pre Nespresso machine, I switched to quality instant coffee. Sure it’s not the same, but my morning caffeine fix went from $4.10 to $0.40 a day, or better yet $8.00 a month. Now with the Nespresso, $0.68 to 0.78 per cup comes darn close to that barista-made coffee.

This closely ties in with homemade lunches. A simple chicken and avocado sandwich used to set me back $4.50 a day, or a sit-down meal up to $15.00. So I started making my own lunch, which worked out to be $0.80 – $2.00 a day. Once a month, I will treat myself to store bought meal. This is my version of ‘cheat day’.

Then there’s the shopping. Luckily, I’ve never really been into retail therapy. Heck, I still wear clothes from 6+ years ago. I like to shop online when the need should arise. I search for coupon codes, free shipping and special offers. Weirdly enough, I find it quite therapeutic researching for hours to compare prices browsing the WWW.

I admit, there have been instances when I braved the EOFY and post Christmas sales. Unless you’re a fashion blogger or consider yourself a bit of a fashionista, no one really cares that you are wearing clothes three seasons old. Seriously.

Moving back in with our folks for a few years was a bit of a sacrifice on our part. My husband and I were lucky that our folks didn’t mind us staying at their place, so we were able to save on rent. My folks have never been one to ask for rent/board money, but we gave them $100 – $200 a month to cover for our food expenses at least.

I don’t always succeed in saving the same amount every month, but being able to stick to a savings plan has allowed us to see the world one skip, hop and jump at a time.

How do you save money for travel?

Share your tips below.

 

Featured Image: Dancing on the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats), Bolivia 2012.

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70 Comments

  1. I love posts like these! Helpful and inspiring. I have the same mindset as you but my boyfriend (who I do a lot of my travelling with) does not. We have to make compromises for each other and it always works out in the end.

    Like

    • Ailene Rhea says

      Thanks for the feedback, really appreciate it. Compromises are always good & bonus when it works out – with travelling, anything goes =)

      Looking forward to reading your blog!

      Like

    • Ailene Rhea says

      Thank you so much! It’s amazing what giving up a nite out can do to one’s travel savings. Happy holidays!

      Like

  2. Good tactics. I headed to Europe in ’79 thinking I’d saved enough for the year. The dollar dropped like a stone and gas/petrol prices spiked. Had to make more adjustments but wasn’t about to give up. It taught me a lot about setting priorities, how to adapt and barter and trade. One of the best years I’ve had!

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    • Thanks so much, I really appreciate you saying so. Travelling has no limit and I’m glad to hear that you will be starting your adventure soon. I once met a man who went skydiving…..at 94yo! I hope I will still be doing that when I’m his age.

      Have a fab day and I look forward to reading your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya…I’ve actually thought about doing that the next time we venture o/seas for a long period. More and more people are doing it and it’s awesome! We like to mix up our travel styles as we love the variety. Thanks for dropping by! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

      Like

  3. I’ve been making my own packed lunches and wearing nearly the same clothes for so long now that I even forget it all began as a way to save money to travel!!

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    • Packed lunches are the best! As for the same clothes, me too! hhaha I read an article last night that if travel is someone’s priority, one will do almost anything to fulfil their travel dreams =) Thanks for commenting =))

      Liked by 1 person

      • The article you read is spot on. I have a friend who once quit her job because they wouldn’t allow her to take the 3 days extra vacation time she needed to make her dream of going to Mexico true… Fine, a bit over the top and I wouldn’t advice anyone to do the same but hey, in desperate moments desperate measures are needed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • haha definitely! And I say good on her! There’s always a way to make money/find a job somewhere….but it’s such a big wide world out there and it needs to be explored…starting with Mexico heheh

        Liked by 1 person

  4. At the end it seems to boil down to what your true priorities are and where your passions lie. I really respect how much you’re willing to sacrifice for your love of travel, and while I don’t really consider myself much of a traveler, I can at least relate to the idea of sacrificing smaller interests for larger goals. Hope I can be as financially conscious as you are when I come out of college next year haha.

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    • Thanks Dan – it does take some getting used to that’s for sure! hehe I’ve read a lot of blogs where the saving-for-travel-fund is more intense!

      What have you got in mind after college? Good luck with it btw =)

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      • I might be working for a health-informatics-writing company in sanfran focused on diabetes and obesity management. So yeah, will definitely be in a financial crunch but at least the weather is great!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlie Marchant says

    Gotta say, staying with our parents saved us a whole lot of money. Actually though, working in Taiwan for a year, living in a super cheap apartment (like most apartments in that area of Asia) and not having much time for a social life because of the working hours was the main way which we saved money for our first leap into long-term travel. It’s not everyone’s thing, but I think it’s well worth it compared to switching down to instant coffee in the mornings :p

    Like

    • Gotta love the parents! haha

      I was just telling someone the other day that if travel is one’s priority, you will do just about anything to fulfil that dream.

      Here’s to more travels for all of us!

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  6. Me too, I forced myself to be broke every month and my friends always say they don’t understand why I’m so broke, because I’m renting a flat and I don’t have a mortage etc. But it’s good to force yourself to live with less, because you start to consumme less as well. Great tips ! And the coffee is the first step to save money indeed !

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    • haha So your friends gave you a hard time too huh?! Well, us travellers and wanderlust’s can stick together haha Thanks for the comment – really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So true there points! I have also lived with my parents to save for travels. it is actually quite easy to save up if you really want to, and a motivator like travels just makes it easier! 🙂

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    • Couldn’t agree more =) What other tips & tricks have you got up your sleeve to save for your travel fund? I need some new ideas heheh

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  8. I wanna be like you when I grow up! I love this strategy! I took my first international trip last year for work to Germany every month for six months. As soon as i send my daughter off to college this fall, my plan is to visit as much the world as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment made me smile =) Thank you so much. Living and working in Germany sounds amazing. Whereabouts did you work? It looks like I’m gonna want to be like you when I grow up – you will be travelling the world more than I will be hehe 2014 was a quite travel period for me and it’s looking like 2015 will be quite tame as well. Looking forward to reading about your travel tales.

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      • Yay! My good deed for the day is done. 🙂

        I travelled to Frankfurt, lived in Mainz, and worked in Ingelheim., every month since July 2014 for two weeks at a time!! It was awesome. I may get one or two trips again tis year before my contract ends but I’m not sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, I am truly impressed! I wish I could be as strict as you! I have this lousy spending habits on camera gears 😀 – arrgh..maybe I should stop. Thanks so much for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Indeed, one’s lifestyle can be altered, so that more traveling becomes possible.
    And you can do it even if you’re a casual traveler, one doesn’t have to become a nomad, nor mad 🙂
    So much can be achieved with slight adjustments to personal finance and our basic habits.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I honestly don’t think there was a single particular thing… but a number of things.
        It’s important to shrink daily expenses and then it’ll be easier.

        These are my tips to those who have the smallest incomes…
        http://www.escapehunter.com/planning/poor-mans-saving-tips.php
        …even people who have small incomes are able to save for trips. Yet, I’m amazed to hear from so many with high incomes… “I can’t afford to travel”. But they earn heavily and spend a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are absolutely correct! This “I can’t afford to travel” biz is just in the mind. I’m jobless right now but hey! Found a way to road trip for a few days hahah

        I will also RT your saving tips on Twitter if that’s ok =)

        BTW, apologies for the delayed response – have been road tripping the last few days & playing catch up as we speak =)

        …and you unfollowed me on Twitter?!! *sad face* hahah

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  11. Great post! We’re doing many of the same things at the moment saving for our next travels. The initial change is so hard, but knowing that eventually we’ll be putting the little sacrifices towards amazing experiences definitely makes it easier. Admittedly though, I did just invest in a new DSLR camera & lens 😉
    We’ve also found that saying goodbye to alcohol when going out for dinner/drinks has made a huge impact… Even a couple of glasses of wine add up quickly! Good luck with the saving! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck to you guys as well, although I reckon you will kick ass & save enormously for your trip – I’m jealous by the way haha

      Which DSLR did you end up getting? Would love some tips as I’m shopping around for one at the moment & can’t decide.

      Oh no! You can’t give up wine! haha How about I drink an extra glad for you guys?! hehe If you guys venture out to Sydney, let me know! I love meeting fellow travellers & bloggers.

      Like

      • thecommonwanderer says

        haha deal! As long as someone is getting to enjoy some wine! I think we’ll still have the occasional sneaky bottle at home 🙂

        We ended up getting the Canon 70D and a 15-85mm lens. Having played with it a little last night I can tell you it’s a beautiful camera!! I’m in love 🙂 What are you thinking of getting?

        Absolutely, always great to meet fellow bloggers! Likewise if you ever head to Melbourne

        Liked by 1 person

      • *gasp* Ok first travel envy, now camera envy! C’mon guys you’re breaking my heart haha What a great choice & great lens too! I’m thinking of going for something more compact like the Fuji Fujifilm X-T1 or Olympus OM-D E-M1. Spoke to many camera “experts” & these two models were the common ones mentioned. *face palm* I sound like a nerd now *exit stage left* hahah

        We were in Melbourne last June – you lucky Aussies! Melbs is so much better than Sydney I tell ya! And everyone is a lot nicer & into their food.

        Like

  12. Hi Ailene! This is some great trips! I had to do some of the same sacrifices, especially on change social habits I found to save a lot of money. Especially since my country Norway is so expensive. And I also make home-made lunch.
    Great article! An inspiration to save more for travel more!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment. And speaking of inspiration……so we’re saving up to *cross fingers* hopefully visit Norway, Finland & Sweden in Feb 2016. We were going to go December but I’ve read in many blogs that Jan-March are the best times. Being a Scandinavian local, what are your thoughts? You know what, I’m going to search your blog now for tips!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Really!? That is so nice that you are travelling there 😀 I might be in Norway at that time, so let me know. The time it is best to go, depends on if you want snow and winter or summer? I think that in Jan-March you will most likely get crappy weather. It is cold and dark. March/April/May/June I think is the best times to go. In Match and April you can still find snow but it is getting warm and the weather is usually better. In May and june it is usually warmer and you still will be before all the other tourists come in the summer holiday. At least this is what I think…. Sorry that there is nothing about this in my blog. Maybe I shoudl write an blog post about it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad I’ve inspired you to dedicate a blog post on Norway =) That would be amazing if you did write a Norweigan’s point of view. When would be the ideal time to see the famous Northern Lights? And where is the best spot to see them? I’ve read Megan Starr’s blog also (www.meganstarr.com) and she has some handy tips there. I like asking different bloggers on their opinion because every answer i get is different heheh So it would be great to have your own take on it – and perhaps I can reblog it on my blog to =)

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  13. Ha! Oh no, forgive me! My family are a bit photography crazy so mum managed to convince me that I did really need the 70D and a new lens haha…The Fujifilm X-T1 is a beautiful camera – one of our friends uses it and swears by it. So easy and light for travel too – definitely a winner! Oooh surprising that you liked Melbourne in June – cold, windy, rainy is normally on the weather menu. We definitely agree we’re better than Sydney though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gotta a love a photography crazy family hahah It’s the best! Well then that settles it, Fujifilm it is LOL.

      Look, just don’t tell other Sydneysiders that I prefer Melbourne. You know what they do to Melbourne supporters here? LOLZ jks.

      Like

  14. Great read, Ive been saving for a year now, I have been on very low income for that year aswell.. about £400/£500 a month :/
    But I managed to make changes which meant i was still saving at least £200 a month! I gave up having a contract phone, gave up my car, sold stuff and now, with just 2 months left before we leave for Australia I have managed to reduce my outgoing bills to zero! (dad has left me off rent for the last few months)
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is even more amazing!! Are you excited to be coming to Oz? If you venture out to Sydney, let us know – we love meeting up with fellow travellers & bloggers when we can. We can suggest things to do in Sydney that goes beyond our lovely Opera House & Harbour Bridge hehe And also sorry for the delayed response – it was Australia Day long weekend here so it was quite hectic =)

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      • YEAAA! We cant believe its finally getting so close 😛 And yea fo sure, we land in Melbourne end of March and will be there for a week or so, then we will move onto Sydney. If you are still there we would love to meet up and get some suggestions 🙂 No worries, hope it was a good one!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. You will LOVE Melbourne. Sydneysiders will probably crucify me for saying this but…..I prefer Melbourne any day hahah I live in Sydney so yep, definitely get in touch.

    Are you staying in Melbourne city, or exploring outside of it? I know you’ve probably been told this so many times but Great Ocean Road is tops!

    How long are you guys planning to be in Sydney?

    Like

    • Haha! Well we are staying just outside the city, using Airbnb we are staying at thier Ýoga beach retreat’ which sounds amazing 😀 We will probably be in Sydney for a week or two, our main aim is to get out of the citys and onto the east coast aha 😛
      Ive made a note to get in contact when we get to Sydney 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely! Travelling in whatever form makes you realise that a lot of the material stuff you own if just that. Material stuff. As for dining out, it’s ok to rest yourself once in a while – as reward for saving hehehe

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  17. Mariecrz says

    Great post and tips! I to get labelled “cheap”, but my savings go towards tuition, for now anyway. I also learned to ignore when my friends label me in such a way, everyone has different goals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I can give you a massive high 5 in person, I would =) So here’s a massive virtual high 5 instead =)))) You do what you need to do to reach your goal. At the end of the day, you will be better off & sooooo much happier for it.

      Like

  18. I love your tips! I’ve followed many of them myself- and have always been a bit surprised when friends complain they don’t have money to travel… while nursing a Starbucks and munching on takeout 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha I know what you mean! I have friends that always think I have a lot of money..errr simply not the case. I just choose not to buy every trendy outfit or dine out at fancy restaurants every week hehe

      I’m glad that to hear that you also have a similar saving process. It’s good to know that there are others out there with the same end goal =)))

      Like

  19. Now that is a pretty awesome post!
    Thank God I also don’t need to buy clothes as a therapy… but rather, a plane ticket!!
    I am impressed by the amount of money you are saving with coffee, wow! I don’t like coffee, so there is one more thing I dont need to spend money with 😀
    I have been doing the same as you when it comes to the savings account… it really helps!!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog Ailene, I am happy you did, so now I will look forward to following your travels too 😀 Have a great week!
    Allane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Allane! What a lovely feedback. I agree with you – I’d rather buy a plane ticket. Coffee is one vice that’s hard to give up heheh

      I’m also glad I found your blog & Twitter feed. I found you through another travel blogger recently.

      Safe travels.

      Liked by 1 person

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