For me personally I have always been a saver and not a spender. I am far from being materialistic but do enjoy my apple products that keep me connected to the outside world. I started working at the age of 14 and have been saving for “something” which just happens to be my trip to Paris. Here are some tips that I’ve been living by in order to save up as much as I can before taking my journey abroad.
1. Learn to live more frugal.
- Don’t buy daily coffee, pack your lunch, walk to work instead of driving, watch movies at home or go on cheap night.
- Get rid of the gym membership. Who wants to work out in a gym during a hot summer anyways?
- Shop at farmers markets or grow your own food in a garden! I started gardening last summer and have great success with my vegetables so now I’m in love with the idea of growing my own food!
- Start shopping at second hand stores. I find the majority of my clothes at a local second hand clothing store and it really doesn’t bother me.
- Give homemade gifts. I actually recently started giving food gifts in mason jars for Christmas presents and now everyone looks forward to them even though they are only 5 dollars to make!
2. Sell your belongings that you don’t need anymore
- I started selling my higher quality clothing on an online yard sale and actually both of my prom dresses that I knew I would never wear again.
- I’m in the process of trying to sell my car now because I know in a year when I return ( if I do) then it will be another year older.
3. Work multiple jobs. It will be hell for a short period of time but just think of the payoff in the end. I currently am working 2 jobs, every single day and 50-60 hours.
- I’ve become a workaholic and my daily schedule looks a lot like: Wake up, eat, work all day, eat, shower, sleep… And then do it all over again the following days. This may seem like complete hell but if you’re passionate about travelling then it won’t feel like work; it will be more of an investment.
- My second job is as a waitress for my parent’s local restaurant so I must admit the tips help A LOT. I have been putting my tips that I bring home every weekend into a little mason jar so I won’t be tempted to do anything with it and in the past 3 months I have over $2000 saved up!
4. Use travel incentive credit cards to build points while traveling!
- I got the CIBC travel rewards card which normal has a $120 annual fee but had it waived for the year because I have so many investments with the company. I received 15 000 points just for my first transaction on the card and 1 point for every dollar I use!
- Rack up those Air Miles! Every little bit helps and over time you may even have enough to fly somewhere!
5. Move back in with your parents for a short time if you need to.
- I had to do this for a few months after graduation while I worked at home for the summer months. It’s been tough coming back home but in the long run, look how much money I have been able to save without having to pay rent and for groceries.
6. Become less materialistic.
- Do you really need those new shoes or to dye your hair? I haven’t dyed my hair in over 3 years and I don’t plan on it again. I don’t want to be worrying about doing my roots while abroad and its way too expensive and unnecessary.
7. Do your research! Don’t just settle on the first flight or accommodation that you find because if you search around there’s a good chance of finding a better hidden deal.
- I looked at flights to Paris for approximately 3 weeks and actually found a site selling the same exact flight that another site had for $100 cheaper. Now this flight was with a company that didn’t allow for two free checked bags so I had to weigh my options.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Ask for money instead of gifts at celebrations.
- For every holiday that comes up when we receive gifts I always just ask for money towards a trip because for me, I would much rather spend money on experiences to create memories than materialistic products that I will end up getting rid of some time anyways.