I am sure many of you must have clicked on blog posts which talks about how one can travel for free. They say that if you enroll here or apply there you or do this, you will travel for free. But hey do you really think so that it is that easy? If really traveling was free, do you think people would right now be working in their small cubicles? Obviously not! No one would. In fact, I feel everybody would have been today in some different corners of the world, either playing with Pandas in China or running around with Penguins in Antarctica or something like that. Agree?
Many people ask me the same question as to how do I travel so much or whether my profession is that of a tour guide or travel agent or something like that. But trust me I am none of these. I am just a girl who is determined to explore the world as much as I can. And my mantra is to minimize expenditure & to start saving. Travel is not free, believe me, but you don’t need to be rich to travel. By planning your day-to-day expenses wisely and also by saving money anyone can start traveling. Wanna do it just like me? You actually can, Here are some ways in which I started saving money for my travel adventures:
1) Create a Travel Fund
Remember when you were a kid, you would save Rs. 5 often in small piggy bank to use it later for ice-cream or whatever? Well that is exactly what creating a travel fund means. The only difference is that this time you don’t save the money in a piggy bank, because the piggy might not be able to handle it, but instead you actually deposit it in a real bank with good interest rates. If you are earning, make sure to remove a certain amount from your income and invest it in your travel fund. Investing in a travel fund means investing in yourself. Make sure to use this money only and only for traveling & not for anything else. Which means no shopping or no buying a bike with this money okay?
2) Stop partying out often & instead have a house party!
Partying outside often can literally create a dent in your income as the restaurants & bars charge quite a bomb for the food & drinks. Slowly you will finish all your money without actually realizing it. Well once in a year is fine but make sure not to just go out often. Instead have a house party with your friends and watch movies or dance like nobody’s watching. But make sure not to over do it. Some people have the tendency to think: oh! this is cheap so we can do it more number of times! *Danger Alert* it is in such cases that you often spend more without realizing that cheap does not mean free. Having party is good but only do it 2-3 times a year. You will save and travel.
3) Buy Second Hand things if you really need them otherwise don’t buy them at all!
If you absolutely need to buy something you can simply buy it second hand version. Be it phone, car or even furniture, nowadays I don’t feel there is anything which cannot be bought second hand. The best part is that you get the same product for a cheaper price. Second hand products cost way lesser and you actually end up saving more than 50% – 70% of the original price on these products. And where will this saving go? Of course in your travel fund. But if your cellphone is working just fine then why do you need another one at all? Then that is definitely an unnecessary expense right? Think about it! I can shamelessly confess here that the most of the things I have today is second hand & you know what – I literally don’t care about what people think.
4) ‘NO’ is the magic word
The biggest & the most important word you need to learn in this entire quest is to learn to say NO to almost everything which involves wasting money. Want to shop for unnecessary things? NO! Want to do some unnecessary activity that requires you to spend money? NO! The Magic Word here is NO, but before saying it to another person, you need to learn to say it to your own self first. I learned this word years ago, now it’s time you learn it too because this word is surely going to take you places, trust me 😉
5) Take the shared public transport
Take public buses, local trains, share taxis/cabs & share autos to go from one place to another within your city. This considerably reduces the cost of traveling within the city. Taking a share public transport each time will help you save thousands of rupees in a year and the same can be utilized for travelling. I have friends who have their own cars and they don’t go by public transport at all, but I do take share autos, cabs, buses, trains even today in Mumbai (where I live) and I save more than 50% each year. You will probably see me in a bus or the train if you are in Mumbai, just keep looking for me there 😉
6) Sell stuff you don’t need!
Have you seen an old object lying in some corner of your home which is just lying there since few months or years? If yes then now is the time to sell it off. In this way you are giving someone something they were looking for and you earn some extra cash. You had seen a thing, you bought it and now you don’t want it. It’s okay that happens with almost everyone! Make sure that this specific thing works properly and then sell it online and earn some extra cash to start traveling.
7) Track your expenditure with the help of various apps
Download an app from google play that will show you at the end of the each month as to how much money you have spent on small & on big things. All you have to do is each time you pay for something you need to enter the details of that payment and at the end of each month you get your expenditure statement which will show, how much you have spent in that month. This will help you to track down your monthly expenditure and also help in identifying the key areas where you can cut down and save some money. Be ready to get blown away!
8) Stay away from Over-spending friends
There are certain type of friends, which we all have, who are always on a money spending spree. They not only are spending their own money but at times these people try to influence others to spend money as well. Certain ways in which they do it is to talk good things about the product or just make the other person feel guilty of simply not owning that same product, exactly as if they are the salesman. You don’t need to give in to their demands & you don’t need to feel guilty as after all you are saving for your big dream – TO TRAVEL. Explain such friends why you don’t wish to spend and if they still don’t understand then simply distance yourself from them until their talks doesn’t make you feel guilty anymore.
Yes there are many more ways to cut down on your expenses depending upon your habits for example – You don’t need to go the gym instead it is better to workout in a park. Similarly, you can stop paying for Netflix and all the other subscriptions and save more money by watching movies online for free. The ones mentioned above are some of the ways in which I started saving money to travel and I do follow them even today and you can start doing it too. It can be hard in the beginning & yes there are times when we want to indulge in expensive things and there is no harm in it after all we are only humans, but we should know where to stop as we don’t want such indulgences to affect our priorities. So now that you know my secrets, what are you waiting for? Start saving today, travel tomorrow & lets meet each other somewhere in some city.
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