Travel With Your Job 5: How To Save Money for Travel

'Money doesn't grow on trees' a favorite line spoken to many wayward demanding children by their parents. If you never heard it either you were goody two shoes or you were damn rich. There are high chances though that your children will hear it from you, and if you start traveling the way you want to you will be hearing it from various people both related to you and plain strangers.

We are all constantly struggling to get our hands on money so that we can make our lives better. For some that could be the new I phone on the market or it might be that high end resort in Bali for a day or two, for us it is getting to travel a lot without feeling restricted at every step. We would love to go to those luxury resorts but we can't afford them, the best thing is that doesn't make us feel restricted. But thinking whether or not one of us can eat the food that they want to or having to think about getting one slightly expensive meal on our trip, does make us feel restricted.

All of 2013 we traveled within our regular resources, it did not matter much because
  • We were travelling within India
  • Our trips were almost all 3 days long
  • We were not paying for our home loan for long

As we traveled more our hunger to travel went up the roof and now we were looking for 7-10 day long trips to other countries or far off areas in our own. As we booked our tickets for Sri Lanka which were not really much, it was time to look for ways to build our nest. When you are working full time saving is just another way of how you dispose off your salary. If you are not saving a part of your salary you my friend are in great trouble, to start building a reserve you need to know and practice saving to the max.

What is a travel nest

In simple words it is a reserve of money that you have saved up to support your travels so that your regular income or expenditures are not affected. If you support a family there are chances you need a certain amount to maintain requirements like a roof over your head, food, health and school related expenses and much more.

No matter how unreasonable it sounds to you try explaining to your SO or parents that they can't go to the club they have been frequenting for years because you want to use that money to travel. There is even less chances of surviving with your heart intact when you tell your child there is not going to be a huge birthday party like every year. I know you are the person earning this money, but that is no excuse however unfair it might be. Like everyone else you have to work hard to earn your travels, and for that you need to build your travel nest.

There are multiple ways to get the savings started choose whichever one makes sense to you. I do however believe the first one to be compulsory if you want to travel in peace or do anything for that matter.
Before we go on let me introduce the Make Money Work eBook for whose who want to take control of their money. You might have seen the cover on the site for a few days. If you are my subscriber you get 7$ off the book making it less than a latte's cost at 3$.

1. Sort out your debts

Here we are talking about sorting debts not going debt free in a jiffy. That would require a lot of dedicated work towards your debts. For those of you who already have the book hop on to Chapter 7 and follow up with 8 to get he most out of your money. If you don't own and don't want to own it no problem, we are starting a email series soon.

Every month after our compulsory expenses our installment is our primary concern. though it has not happened till now I am sure we will forgo any trip if it could hamper our installments. The biggest trick to live life and get out of debt is consistency, consistency in paying them back and a resolve to get into debt only if required.

If you are looking to sort your debts there are some simple ways:
1.1. Automate payments to debt accounts.
If you do not own a bank account which gives you the liberty to do so sign post dated cheques, or create envelopes where you can put in designated money as soon as the paycheck arrives.
1.2. Do not forgo installments for anything else.
You wanting to buy a new car or a jacket should never be at the cost of your  monthly installments. If you don't have money to buy stuff after paying off your monthly dues you don't buy them. Would you give away rent money to buy a new car? I really hope not.
1.3. Know your limit and redirect only when you can.
You have selected a payback scheme which requires you to deposit some amount every month for a certain period. The way to get these years down is to put in extra payment and reduce your debt. Though it is a great way to get out of debt you should approach it carefully.

If you do put in extra, but end up getting in another debt, that is not going to help anyone but the banks. Also when you restrict yourself too much there are always chances of binging. A word we relate to food and booze can be related to money too.

When you clench your fist too tight there is a big chance that as soon as you get some money in your hands you would be like the springing clown eager to buy all unnecessary things you want. Know what you can sustain and only then pay extra, there is no fun to devoid your best years off everything good.

2. Cut off addictions and useless expenses

Have calculated how much those packs of cigarettes and crates of beer set you back by? We did along with a few of our friends and it was huge. Last month we totaled over 35000 in expenses and more than 11000 of those were us eating out. Yes there were a few bad lunch at office days and definitely going out for a nice dinner on Diwali makes sense. These were barely 10 meals in 21 days. Compare this to under 3000 we spent for feeding our selves for remaining 50+ meals over the same period of time. This total included all our indulgences like some high priced chips or some really expensive fruits, still we spent less than a third of what we spent eating out. Our new resolve not eating out till we go off for Chadar Trek. Not only will it save us some good money I might finally loose some weight.

Find out where you are spending money which you can easily cut back on, you do not need to go off outside food completely but just by reducing it to half will help. if it is 100$ you save put it in your travel savings or put it in your debt account, it will serve you better than being spent on candy or processed junk.

Realizing your limit applies to this too. If it is very important for you to grab lunch with friends every once in a while maybe you can cut in other areas.

The MAKE MONEY WORK eBook takes you from trying to figure out what you are doing wrong to getting exactly where you are spending and how you can cut it. It sells for 10$ but for my subscribers I have brought the price down to 3$, so sign up.

3. Learn to cook

It might seem tedious but it repays you more than double in benefits than the time you spend on it.
  • Not only you will be spending less by limiting your eating out days you will know what your are eating even if it is deep fried cheese.
  • Additionally it gets you some light exercise, if anyone has ever cooked for a party they would know.
  • If you know cooking you are laying a basis for long term travel or scenarios and places where you might not find readily available food.
  • Not only that now you can actually use the kitchen in your rented apartment when you travel
  • Try your hands at cooking local specialties or simply save money by cooking your self breakfast.

4. Get Proactive

People who respond to a situation usually perform worse than people who are prepared for the same situation. Here are some examples:
  • If you have no clue where you want to go and when you will never be able to use the 50% off on flights deal but if you have planned you know what to do when those awesome discounts kick in.
  • Similarly you want to get rid of baggage fees, get a weighing machine and weigh your bags before you go. Being prepared might not save all the extra baggage fee but it will not come as a surprise.
  • If your airlines charges for check-in baggage fee get rid of checking baggage and get to the airport with just carry on.
This requires you to not only know what you can do and to ask the airlines if you are not sure. We needed to know what emirates rules were for carrying insulin so we called and asked no point getting to the checking counter or security check and being turned around to give the expensive medicine back to family waiting for you.

5. Don't miss the opportunities.

We discussed how people forgo free travel because they do not realize the opportunities waiting for them all around. From air miles to heavy discounts on other activities. Though many of the opportunities are available online these days many more can be found by simply asking.

If you sit down for a meal in a restaurant ask them if they have tied up with a bank card for discount or offers.

There is a chance that it will slip their mind while charging you for your meal or you might not use the card which can get you 10-20% off. We ate at Pizza hut few weeks ago before going for a movie. Asked the staff if we could get discount on our credit card, and were told that our order and total that day did not qualify but we could get 15% on ala carte with a total over 1000. A few days later at an office get together we paid with our card, nobody complained because we got the discount plus we got ourselves some good miles.
You can go over and read the missed opportunities post of the series to get a better hang of what you can work to get yourself some free travel.

If you want to get some cool tested and tried money saving tricks from us sign up here to get them in for just 3$. I am selling the eBook for 10$ each for everyone else.

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