Set a goal.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend trip to Miami or a year in Bali. It could be to save $200 or $20,000. The principle is still the same. When you know where you want to go, you will make an effort to get there. It’s amazing how different you will feel when you are making strides towards your goal and can see the finish line. It helps to think about this goal when ever you’re about to spend money on something stupid. We have even been known to put up pictures to remind ourselves of where we want to be to keep ourselves on track.
For us, this meant closing our membership at the gym, turning off our cable (everything is available online anyway!), feeding my book obsession at the library instead of amazon, brown bagging it to lunch, and eating dinners at home. That alone saves us a few hundred each month. In addition, each week we put a portion of our paycheck into our savings. Every little bit helps. We understand that this can get quite challenging and everyone has a different budget, but these are small things you can do to make a big difference. Skipping a daily Starbucks alone could fund a trip. ($5 a day for 365 days? $1825! That is more than our budget was for Morocco.)
Don’t spend money frivolously.
This one is tough for us. How a person spends their hard earned money is personal and subjective. If a woman truly values beautiful purses, why can’t she spend her earnings on an expensive Coach? If someone wants to party every weekend, how can we judge them? It’s their money. I’m not saying we don’t participate in these activities every once in a while, but for us, we would rather spend our extra money on a trip. This may not apply to you, and that’s ok. However, if you are saving for a dream travel destination, creating priorities and avoiding frivolous spending is a must. That is why goal setting is so important. It makes it easier to find what is necessary in your life to make you feel happy and cut out the rest.
Sell extra junk.
We’re not saying you have to do it to the degree we did, but through this experience we learned that people will basically buy anything on Craigslist. Old hangers? Shoes you never wore? Someone will buy it. What’s the harm in listing your old stuff? You just never know. You could earn a few extra bucks towards your goal!