It’s my dream to travel to (insert your dream location here) but I can’t afford a trip like that. How many of us have thought or said that? Expense and affordability are two of the top reasons people give for not taking their dream vacation. But what if I told you the money to take an epic trip could be found in your daily routine?
First off, let’s change the way we speak about our dreams. There’s a simple change in mindset that comes from saying: “How can I afford a trip like that?” versus “I can’t afford a trip like that.” The word “how” immediately gets your mind thinking about ways you can make it all happen. So whether your dream vacation is a safari in Africa or a helicopter tour around New York City, booking your trip of a lifetime can be accomplished with proper planning, discipline and sacrifice.
Sure, for recent graduates just starting a new job, families working with limited funds or retirees managing on a fixed income, budgeting for a bucket list vacation, can seem far-fetched. So the first thing you should do is create a plan.
How much money can you afford to stash each month? Can you get a set amount automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account each month, and then funnel that money into a savings account? What lifestyle changes could you make? What about your daily living expenses? Sometimes, we don’t recognize the routine spending habits “eating” up our paycheck each week. So make your money work for you. Small changes in your spending habits could lead to $100-$200 in savings per month.
Below are a few routine yet unnecessary spending habits to consider:
- Get rid of cable
- Stop eating out at restaurants
- Skip manicure/pedicure services
- Cut your latte/coffee habit
- Stop shopping for new clothes/accessories
- Skip visits to the hair salon
- Downgrade mobile phone usage. Additionally, if you have a mobile and landline, choose one.
- Cut monthly app fees
- Use public transportation
- Carpool to work
- Sell used items
- Give up full use of your apartment and find a roommate
- Cancel music, magazine or beauty subscription services such as Netflix, Tidal, Beauty in a Box, etc.
- Sell your car
- Skip leisure activities such as movies, bowling, happy hour, concerts, etc.