Do This If You Want To Travel More!

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We find that the one thing that holds people back from traveling is the perception that they can’t afford it. We always point out to our friends that we earn a median income with some of them earning far more than we do. It’s all about prioritizing travel. If you make travel a  priority you will be more willing to forgo certain luxuries in favor of  exploring the world. A few years ago that is exactly what we did. We swore to make it a priority to travel at least once a year. In order for us to achieve this, we knew we had to make some financial sacrifices. It forced us to take a closer look at where we were spending our money and examine if these expenditures were more important than our dream to travel. It wasn’t easy. Here are some of the ways that we managed to find over $1000 a month for our travels. 

We started by listing all our expenses. It is paramount that you understand where your money is going in order to make decisions on what to cut. Gather all your bank statements, credit card statements any cash receipts you may have and build a comprehensive picture of expenditures down to that latte that you simply can’t live without. When we did this here is what we found:

Dining Out:

We were spending over $500 a month on dining out! We enjoyed eating out. It was almost ritualistic for us to go out to eat at least twice a week, most times more. We work hard and this was our recompense, a nice dinner accompanied by some craft cocktails at the latest Los Angeles eatery. We also had a favorite local bar where we would watch sports and hang out with friends on weekends. Depending on the game, the bar tab was always upwards of $60. We knew that in order to make our travel dreams a reality, such superfluous expenditure would have to be eradicated. We pivoted money from this expense towards groceries and spent more quality time together in the kitchen exploring and perfecting recipes.  We also invested in a coffee machine which replaced the daily coffee runs that were costing us at least $50 a week.  Overall saving per month $400.

Cable:

Another expense that stood out was our cable bill. At the time we were with direct tv and they were demanding $140/month for their services and what was worse is we were under contract! We are sports fanatics. We watch everything from Formula 1 to Tennis, Football, everything! With packages geared towards sports heads like us, we had taken the bait and recently signed with them. After some number crunching, we figured that even paying the cancellation fee which was $175 it was still cheaper than paying their exorbitant monthly fee for another year. We found streaming services like Fubo tv or sling that were a fraction of the cost and provided most of the sports we wanted. A 10.99/month Netflix subscription coupled with Amazon streaming services that come with our prime membership was more than sufficient to cover shows we liked and movie nights. Monthly saving $100

Car Note:

We had two cars even though one of us took public transportation to work. This meant that one car was parked for most of the time apart from when we had divergent plans which was seldom. So we sold one car. Now, this may not be possible for most of you but you can still save money on your car note by trading in expensive high-end models for cheaper, more gas efficient options. We have an inside joke that we always quip when we are driving in Los Angeles where expensive cars are ubiquitous, we always say “I will drive my 12-year-old car all the way to Paris.” We also reassessed the insurance coverage we had and found that by lowering some benefits and increasing our deductible, we could save significantly. Please consult an Insurance Agent for expert guidance on this. Total Monthly saving $500.

Cell Phone Plans:

We found that we were paying for individual cell plans on separate carries which were costing us $180 combined. Getting on a family plan would save us $80/month. We resisted the urge to upgrade our phones and get locked into an additional $20/month/phone charge. Our phones still worked great despite being a couple of years old and upgrading them was unnecessary. Smaller cell companies are offering deals with a low flat monthly rate with everything included. Most times these carriers are using the same towers that the bigger carriers use so you would not be sacrificing much in coverage.  Monthly saving $80/month.

Membership fees:

We also found that we were paying gym fees for a gym we seldom went to. We nicknamed this bill our fat tax. But in all seriousness, while being fit and healthy is important, there are many ways to achieve fitness. For us, going to the gym was not it. We had the best of intentions when we enrolled but we weren’t maximizing its use so it was chopped. We preferred hiking LA’s numerous trails and walking along the California coastline anyway. We were also members of certain organizations that required monthly or yearly contributions. While some of this organizations were important to us, we had to weigh their importance against our end goal. Total monthly saving $120

Clothes:

So it turned out that one of us (name withheld for harmonious reasons) was a fashionista and was spending money monthly on the freshest gear (yeah I am old). Settling for off-brand clothes and limiting the size of your closet can be a great source of saving. It was for us. We even donated the less used clothes to charity for a sizeable tax deduction. Monthly saving $200

While all these seem fairly straightforward on paper, we assure it was not easy. Cutting back takes willpower, discipline, and patience from all parties involved. We had to constantly remind ourselves of the end goal which was traveling the world. We found different ways of staying motivated like buying travel themed calendars for the house and putting up travel wishlists accompanied by gorgeous images in different rooms. We also held each other accountable and also served as therapeutic ears whenever one of us wanted to vent about the changes. The hardest thing to change by far was our mindset. To accept less (materially) when you can have more is counter-intuitive. Being okay with driving a 10-year-old Prius over a late model BMW or shopping at Payless shoes rather than getting those red bottomed heels you have been coveting is tough. If you can do this, the world is your oyster!

53 Thoughts to "Do This If You Want To Travel More!"

53 Comments

  1. Ola @ WanderWithOla on October 22, 2018 at 5:51 am

    This is such a list of great tips! That’s so true, cutting back takes willpower, discipline, and patience. I love how you getting creative in keeping yourself motivated. I believe that on top of cutting back some expenses, earning more can be another way to do it as well 😀 Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Cris on October 22, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I love traveling, and I would love to afford to travel more! You have some amazing tips here. I will make sure to follow them, so next year we will travel more 🙂

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      Hey Cris, we really hope that y’all get to travel more. If you do, please share with us your experiences. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Monidipa Dutta on October 22, 2018 at 6:12 am

    This is really good and informative. You have created the article very well. Many will be benefitted from it.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Monidipa, we hope you rip the benefits of saving more.

  4. Jessi Joachim on October 22, 2018 at 7:02 am

    We have done a lot of these to pay off debt and be able to travel more. No cable, reduced going out to eat and saving more. The little things really do many such a difference!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Very true Jessi! The little things definitely add up.

  5. Linda on October 22, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Such great, practical steps. That’s what I did as a college student…time to plan this right.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Hey Linda, thanks for stopping by. Going back to basics is the way to go!

  6. Joan on October 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I am so with you with saving, we never eat out and u can’t even drive and if u do, I know we will stick have one car no need for two plus u downsized and I am trying to have a minimalist wardrobe and have reduced on buying clothes. I don’t really think I need 50 pairs of shoes as much as I do love them.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      So true Joan! “live like you you don’t have money and you always will.”

  7. Amber Myers on October 22, 2018 at 11:31 am

    I’ll keep your tips in mind. I do want to travel more. Right now it can be tricky since the kids are in school and you can’t just pull them out. But I do love to save money!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Hey Amber! I hope you and your family get to travel more. Please share with us when you do.

  8. Laurie Gannon on October 22, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Wow!!! It’s amazing how much money you were able to trim to follow your travel passions. I would love to travel more but definitely fall into the “but the money…” camp. I need to examine my own finances so I can see more of the world. It’s what I really want to do. And I can give up some meals out and some other luxury items to do so. Thank you!!!!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Laurie. When we swore to prioritize travel, we found it easier to give up indulgences because we knew what was at stake.

  9. Vaibhav Mehta on October 22, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    So many simple yet effective ways of saving money which we ignore than can truly help us travel more in the long run..as a fellow traveller thankyou for this post!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Vaibhav! We prioritize travel and make sacrifices accordingly. Happy travels fellow wanderer!

  10. Joanna on October 23, 2018 at 4:36 am

    You can definitely afford to travel, it’s all about priorities, as you say. It’s all about choosing: eating out or cooking? Buying new clothes or wearing the ones you already have? Have a fancy car or drive an economical small one?

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Very true, short term sacrifices will pay off in the long run.

  11. TessaG on October 23, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Great tips – I know a lot of people who have 2 vehicles and only use the second one on rare occasions – this is probably an expense that you can save a lot of money on!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      That is true Tessa, it definitely saved us a bunch.

  12. Sarah Meh on October 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Some nice tips on saving money. We don’t consider these things and spend more money rather utilising it perfectly. Thanks for such a useful post.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks Sarah for stopping by. Hopefully the article will help you save some coins.

  13. Devyani Ray on October 23, 2018 at 10:15 am

    These are some great money saving tips! I am going to try some

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      Great to hear that Devyani! Let us know how they work out. Thanks for coming by.

  14. Anna on October 23, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Great tips here. My husband and I has been cutting back on a lot of things. We have been selling things that we don’t need, and sell clothes that we don’t use. Like everyone else we stop going out to eat, and instead cook meal at home. We definitely been watching our budget, there is a saying ” Lived you life like you don’t have money and you will always have money”. I think managing the money wisely can definitely help our goal of traveling.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      That is a great quote and great philosophy to live by. I hope you and your husband achieve all that you are striving for.

  15. blair villanueva on October 24, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Sometimes when we travel, we tend to overspend or save a lot. But the most awesome about travel is being with someone and enjoy every moment!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      Very true Blair, traveling together is the best part.

  16. Ola @ WanderWithOla on October 24, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Wow, what a list of wonderful tips! Cutting back the expenses requires discipline indeed. Also, on top of cutting back, we can always earn more money too. That will definitely help us to travel more as well! 🙂

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      Very true Ola, cutting back helps but so does earning more. If you can do both, you can achieve your goals sooner.

  17. Faneshia on October 24, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Yeah we stop dining out as much we try to limit it to once a week. Which is usually the weekends. I’m hoping we can cut back on phone bill next since we already cut the cable cost. Great tips.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Hey Faneshia, We made cooking at home more fun by exploring delicious recipes and doing it together. We actually prefer to dine in rather than eat out now, the food we cook is way superior to what we would have at most restaurants. Try it and let us know how it works out. Be sure to share recipes with us too!

  18. Anosa Malanga on October 24, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I couldn’t agree more on your point. I love to travel and it is my priority. I save money to fund my travel and avoid some unnecessary material things. Its really about how you prioritise everything.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      Very True Anosa, prioritizing travel is fundamental to making it a reality.

  19. David Elliott on October 24, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    These are great ways to put money aside and make sure you can do things you really want to do in your life. Too often we take short-term wants and it ends up with us not being able to appreciate other things we really want to do. Saving now for bigger things later is better.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Absolutely David, sacrificing short-term self-indulgences can go a long way in attaining long term goals.

  20. The Beauty flicks on October 24, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Great information for me because I love travelling but can’t afford it. Thanks for sharing.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Hopefully you get to travel in the future. When you do please share with us. Thanks!

  21. Eunice on October 25, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Love, love, loved it!!!.

    It truly is a “mind over matter” situation where you sacrifice the immediate to achieve an end goal.

    I needed to read this….

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Absolutely Eunice, short term sacrifice goes a long way in achieving long term goals. Thank you for coming by and your support.

  22. Kiwi on October 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    This is so true for people who feel like they cant traveling. I always say the way most people eat out is a plane ticket alone each more, definitly eat in more often and save!

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      So true Kiwi, we found that our dining out expenses were the highest expense category.

  23. Dalene Ekirapa on October 26, 2018 at 8:01 am

    You’re right! Many people avoid travelling just because they thought they couldn’t afford it. Me too sometimes back. Until I finally decided to take myself out. I think it starts from that mindset. After which, it becomes easier to plan on it.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      Absolutely Dalene, mindset is everything!

  24. stacey on October 28, 2018 at 11:58 am

    These will go a long way to more travel. But the first thing you have to do is make travel a priority. Once its a priority in your life, you will do whatever you need to do to make it happen.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      That is so true Stacey, prioritizing travel will put you in the mindset needed to make the sacrifices.

  25. Priyanka on October 29, 2018 at 9:09 am

    A very helpful article. Who doesn’t want to travel and explore more? But the only hindrance is budget. Your post gives that inspiration.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      Thank You Priyanka, we aim to inspire.

  26. Enriqueta E Lemoine on October 30, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Wao! I’m amazed about how many ideas to cut expenses you’re sharing here! Great post!

  27. Wanjiru on October 31, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Great read, informative. Thanks for the tips.

    • twosidedcoin on November 13, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you Wanjiru for coming through!

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