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Money may seem like an obstacle, but here's why it's very possible to save to travel, plus, three things you can do right now to start saving money for your dream trip
When I was preparing to travel, I was working in a job I truly loved. It was my career, and it was relevant to my college degree. But even so, I was constantly strapped for cash. Let's put it this way: I had to have an emergency medical procedure done, and I qualified for the hospital's financial aid because I was close enough to the federal poverty line. And this was as I was working in a legitimate career as a college graduate.
So I know saving money can be tough, and seem impossible. But if you want to travel the world, even on a shoestring budget, you're going to have to figure out a way to do it. And I'm here to tell you it's possible, and easier than you think. So here are three things you can do right now to start budgeting.
#1. Think long-term
When you're planning your travel timeline, the best way to save money is to plan ahead. If you think long-term, you'll be able to save more. Time is your friend here. For my first round of traveling, I saved for the better part of a year. I was growing impatient, but I wanted to stay firm to my timeline for a few reasons, and one was to maximize my savings. You don't have to have a ton of money in your wallet to get out to the door, but the more you have, the better off you'll be. So play the waiting game.
2.Start a separate travel fund
Physically start a separate savings account for your travels, a travel fund, if you will. It can be a literal savings account, a checking account, or a short-term investment account (I use all three). At the end of the day, you'll be taking all of your money with you on the road. But having a separate fund for travel right now is key, because the rule is, you don't touch it, and it just accumulates. For example, if you deposit just $20 into it every week for a year, you'll have an extra $1000 in your corner when it comes time to hop on your one-way flight.
I have some certain tools and tricks I use to maximize my savings. One I love is Ellevest, a micro-investing app geared towards women. You can add and withdraw money whenever you'd like.
#3. Prioritize and hustle
I guarantee you that you already make enough money to travel with, if you are working and earning an income. But the trick is to save it. And to do that, ask yourself, what are your financial priorities? Where is your money going? If you reign in your spending, and prioritize saving for your travels over other things, hitting or surpassing your desired travel fund will be a piece of cake. But you're going to have to start choosing to save your cash.
And if you're looking to save as much as possible, are you also maximizing your earning abilities? When I was getting my finances in order at one point, I worked my TV job, but was moonlighting as an ice cream scooper at a craft dessert shop. I constantly smelled like waffle cones (not nearly as fun as you would think), but it helped me get to where I was going. Hustling for your income will help you reach and surpass your financial goals much faster.
If you're looking to maximize your earnings in your freetime, check out this post I wrote on remote jobs hiring right now.