Looking for a good and reliable way to expand your travel funds this year? In this blog post, we feature not just one, but over a dozen of great and sure-fire ways to increase your travel funds. Whether you are a lavish jet-setter or a budget-conscious backpacker, these tips will surely come in handy as you plan a trip for your next big getaway.
1. Take the 52-week save-money challenge
You don’t have to finish the 52-week challenge, but you can use its concept to leverage your travel funds. From my experience, this money-saving technique really works, even though I stopped practicing it at the 30th week of the challenge. It simple and easy, yet it can give you a load of cash for your escapades.
2. A separate savings bank account
Set up a different savings account under your main bank account. That way, you can easily organize your travel funds and savings. Furthermore, it lets you keep better track of your travel funds as well as focus on making the money on that bank account grow.
3. Reduce your utility bills with Telematics technology
Telematics technology is a high-tech innovation with a wireless hub that allows its users to control and connect devices and technology within the home. Through your smartphone and wireless hub, Telematics technology lets you manage the lighting, video, sound and energy usage in your property.
4. Quit smoking to boost your travel funds
Sounds like a cliché, right? Apparently, smoking is not only dangerous to your health, but it can create a serious dent to your savings too. On average, a pack of cigarettes would cost 10 USD, which means a frequent smoker spends over 3,000 USD a year on smoking alone. I’m not a genius, as far as economics go, but I’m pretty sure that giving up on smoking can drastically increase your travel funds. Even if you only smoke half a pack a day, you are still spending a fortune that may be enough for a long vacation in Europe or Asia.
5. Ditch the coffee breaks
Coffee breaks are small simple pleasures that silently drain your bank account and savings, without you noticing it. An average Joe spends around a hundred fifty dollars per month on coffee, meaning he spends at least 1,800 USD per year on these breaks. Did you know that you can spend a couple of months of exploring Borneo’s jungles and Thailand’s exotic beaches with this amount of money?
6. Money-saving apps
Impulse shopping can be quite a killer, as far as draining your travel funds and savings. Luckily, modern technology can be used to your advantage in this realm. Today, there are a lot of apps that can help you monitor your spending habits, such as
- Free Home Funds Calculator
In addition, there are heaps of apps that allow you to find the lowest rates and best deals for almost everything, including
- Retail Me Not
7. Gym memberships are a big no-no
A lot of people in the US spend around 50 to 200 USD a month for gym memberships. Of course, these people spend a great deal of cash to stay in shape, and more importantly, look cool and attractive. But the truth is, you can look as ripped as a Gladiator or Spartan by just working out at home.
Moreover, you can be as strong as a warrior without hitting the gym, with the right calisthenics training.
To workout and build muscles at home, all you need are a few pieces of equipment, including a pair of dumbbells, resistance bands, and a pull-up bar. As for your program, you may get some helpful hints from highly acclaimed fitness buffs and Youtube sensations like
For your cardio, you may jog around your block or do some jumping ropes.
8. Get an extra source of income at home
One of the best ways to increase your travel funds this year is to get a part-time job at home. From freelance writing to online English tutorials, there are plenty of home-based jobs available for those who seek extra income.
9. Cut the cord
Seriously, who needs a landline when you can have a mobile phone to make calls and send texts?
10. Cook your own food
Everyone loves to dine in a fancy restaurant, and indulge on an array of mouthwatering world-class dishes. But as we all know, fine dining and eating out come with hefty price tags.
To increase your travel funds, it is best that you skip the extravagant restaurants, and learn how to cook delectable dishes in your own kitchen. In 2012, a Harris Interactive poll suggested that more than seven out of ten people in the US were able to save money by cooking their meals at home, rather than dining at their preferred restaurant.
Not a good cook? With today’s sophisticated internet technology, you can now hone your skills in cooking, as well as learn how to cook tasty dishes that you would normally enjoy in a classy restaurant. For those are new to cooking, here are some great sources to help you get to the right path:
11. Sell your unused stuff
Do you have a plethora of stuff around your house that you have not been using for a while? Perhaps, you should have them auctioned at eBay, or sell them by hosting a garage sale. Who knows? Some of the unused things in your attic or garage may be worth thousands of dollars.
12. Donate to charity
If you can’t find buyers for your unused appliances, clothing and furniture, make sure to donate them to charity. Trust me, you can get some extra cash by giving back. Tiffany Gagnon, an editor from Men’s fitness magazine, says donating your unused belongings can give you tax savings. She said that a deduction for the property’s contribution to charity for its sale or use is allowed. She, however, warned that these deductions are only limited based on the kind of organization or group receiving the donation.
13. Review your mobile data plan
Most of today’s consumers pay for a mobile package with extras and features that they really don’t need. If you rarely make ongoing calls, and your package includes unlimited calling data, then you are practically paying for something that you do not need. That’s why you should review your current plan, and look for something that fits better to your needs and preferences.
14. Ditch the car
While the prices for fuel have gone down substantially, owning a car will still affect your travel funds in a negative way. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for your car’s repairs, insurance and maintenance. If possible, sell your car, and use your area’s public transportation, to make your travel funds grow.
15. Get rid of your cable subscription
In the age of free streaming TV like Hulu, there is no plausible reason for you to spend over 40 USD a month on a cable television subscription. Get rid of your cable subscription, and watch your favorite TV shows online.
16. Reduce your housing costs
Lowering the costs in your housing will lead to huge gains in your travel funds and savings. Bringing in a few roommates or selling your expensive apartment, is a sure-fire way to increase your travel funds. Likewise, you can move in with your girlfriend/boyfriend or parents.
17. Tap water over bottled water
Instead of spending a few bucks for bottled water every lunch, use an empty container and fill it will tap water at home.
18. Pay your items in cash
I know it’s hard to pay items in cash, but using your plastic credit card will likely lead to overspending. Also, don’t let the points and “Cash Back” offers of these cards fool you. By my calculations, you need to spend more than 10,000 USD just to accumulate points that are enough to redeem a 100-USD gas card.
19. Shop for second-hand items
Whether it is furniture or clothing you are buying, try to take a look at your local garage sales, charity shops and of course, eBay.
20. Replace your old light bulbs
Every year, you need to spend around 20 USD to operate a single regular incandescent light bulb. The operation for an LED bulb, on the other hand, only costs three to four dollars a year.
Being frugal, and living a simpler life can be downright challenging for any traveler. Still, it is road that you must take to help your travel funds flourish. Besides, it can make your dream vacation more like a reality and a lot less like a fantasy.