Canada is a beautiful country, but sometimes people just feel the need to burst their comfort bubble and embrace new experiences on foreign lands. If you’ve got the travel bug, you might crave reaching new heights in Nepal, dirty dancing in Havana, watching the sunset on a beach in Greece and meeting new people from all over the world. The problem is you can’t really afford it. Maybe you don’t have the best Aeroplan credit card yet, a high-paying job, or a savings account. But don’t despair! There are many money-saving tricks that you can master in order to fulfill your dreams.
Think of it this way: if you save a dollar per day, in two years you will have more than $700. If you save two dollars every day, you will have about $1500. Maybe it’s not enough to go to Singapore for two months, but it will certainly get you out the door. If you are willing to pay the price, travelling is a much closer reality than you realize. All you have to do is put n a little bit of effort. Just remember, these tips are not one-size-fits-all, but they will definitely give you some much-needed insight:
Wanting and Needing
Wanting something does not necessarily mean you also need it. Learning to distinguish between what you want and what you need can make a huge difference, especially when you are trying to save money for your dream vacation. Start by making a list with all the things you spend money on during a week. Divide them into two categories: needs and wants. Then start crossing off the wants and don’t be afraid to get brutal. After all, those wants are not as important as your new wants. Starbucks coffee will never beat having a coconut cocktail at sunset on a beach in Bali.
Replace luxury with modesty
When you start seeing the bigger picture, you will come to realize that all these materials possessions you spend money on can give you instant gratification, but fail to provide long-term happiness. Society is encouraging you to buy things you don’t really need, like a different outfit for each social occasion. Try to see buying new shoes and jeans as a luxury, not something you can’t live without. Buy used items from charities, trade with your friends, borrow something from your siblings.
Plan your meals
Although food is necessary, it can also be time-consuming and expensive. You can try cooking in bulk and bringing your own food to work to cut back monthly expenses. Plan your meals before you walk into the supermarket, and stick to your shopping list instead of emptying the cookie shelves. Avoid the most expensive supermarkets. Sometimes a cheaper version of the same product can have the same quality.
Banking and finances
If you don’t have a savings account, consider opening one that is connected to your checking account. Many people who struggle with putting money aside find it helpful to move money into a savings account immediately after they get paid. After you calculate how much money your dream trip costs, set a monthly target for saving money. Next, establish a weekly or monthly budget for everyday purchases and be strict about it. If you decide you can only spend $10 per day, don’t go over it. If you spend less, you can use the money you saved for the next day. Reward yourself with higher daily spending on weekends.
Fly for less
Nowadays,saving moneyon plane tickets is easier than ever. There are lots of online search engines that can give you great deals on international flights if you search in advance. The more flexible you can be with the dates, the higher the chance to save more money on plane tickets. Another great idea is to get a rewards credit card, such as the Aeroplan credit card and accumulate points that you can transform into flight miles.
Don’t get distracted
When temptation is knocking at your front door, remember to keep your eyes on the prize. Even if you see this gorgeous pair of jeans or the latest smartphone, think how much it would cost in terms of travel. Maybe this simple pair of jeans will cost you one week of street food in your dream destination, or maybe one night in a decent European hotel. Is it really worth it?
Change the way you socialize
It just happened recently that millennials have discovered that going out sucks. More and more people are choosing to stay at home instead of going out, especially in big and expensive cities. The whole Netflix and chill plan doesn’t sound so bad when compared to spending $100 in one night of binge drinking and waking up with a terrible hangover. Redefine fun and get creative about how you spend your free time. Invite your friends over and cook for them, make popcorn at home and watch a movie together, get some drinks from the supermarket. When you do go out, have three glasses of wine instead of 7. Your wallet will be grateful and so will you when you are sitting on an exotic beach sipping that coconut cocktail!