How to Cut Your Expenses and Save for Travel

I’m often asked “how do you do it?”
How do you manage to travel so much, do you have a money tree or even if I have rich parents who pay for my travels around the world.
Long and short answer: no. 
I have always lived by the work hard, play hard lifestyle… and that has been how I have saved (my own) money for travel. Budgeting is a job in itself, but once you get in a routine it can soon become fun to achieve and reset your savings goals. After all, the more you save – the more adventures you can have! Here’s how I’ve learned to cut my expenses and save for travel.

Cut All Expenses Not Detrimental to your Livelihood

Straight off the bat, my golden rule: if you want to save crazy amounts of money for travel, make it your priority. That means saying no to ‘a night at the movies’ or grabbing a Starbucks every day. But it can also mean cutting expenses like a gym membership, wardrobe refreshers, and even switching from expensive to cheaper brands on your supermarket goods (okay, not entirely necessary – you still gotta be happy in your every day life). But for sure, the easiest way to save A LOT of money REALLY quick is to cut all expenses not detrimental to your livelihood. That means you could cut back to the bare necessities: rent, power, food, medical expenses, transport to/from work and even get creative in ways like car pooling… the list is endless.

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Brutal Budgeting

No one likes the ‘B’ word… but budgeting can be fun if you become brutal with it and take it on board as a challenge to yourself. Create a budget, stick to it, meet your expectations, reset them, and watch the digits stack up in your savings account. Every cent you save goes toward another night away on your travels, another activity, another city stopover…

Work Hard, Play Hard

If there’s any secret ingredient you’re waiting for me to uncover, I would have to say that this would be it. I’m extremely fortunate to have lived my life in Australia where work is in abundance and the opportunities to have work have always been there. But of course it is always a choice! Since turning 14 and 9 months (the legal working age in Australia), I have had a part time job. I first started out working in a supermarket putting groceries into bags. It was mundane work, but it paid. I would work after school and on weekends and save the money I earned instead of spending it. Then a few years later I landed a job in hotel reception and began to work on average 30 hours a week. When one of the other hotel receptionist’s quit, I convinced my boss that I could handle double the workload instead of him hiring more staff. Before I knew it I was working up to 60 hours a week alongside my full time university degree, volunteering at the local hospital, still enjoying a semi-social life by attending regular dance + gym classes and travelling in my holidays.  It was a crazy year but I managed to save a significant amount of travel funds that I have since used for years.
*IMMEDIATE EDIT: Whenever I write about this year that I worked up to 60 hours a week I seem to attract a few non-believers. That’s fine, I don’t have anything to prove. But hundreds of readers asked me to answer how I saved for full time travel and this is an honest recount of how I managed to do so. The most I can say on the matter is:

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”

– THOMAS JEFFERSON

Gap Year Brooke Romania

Sell All Your Things

Then came the time in November 2013 where I graduated university and decided “this is it”. I’m going to travel the world full time. It seemed logical at the time to sell all my things as I wouldn’t be needing them, but I soon realised that this was also a great way to make some extra money. A couple of thousand dollars to be exact! I sold everything I owned and packed all I had left into a suitcase. I sold my car, my bed, my television… you name it. If I could get a decent buck for it, it was out the door. I found the most beneficial way to sell my things was online for the more expensive items and to take whatever I had left to a weekend market with an “Everything Must Go” attitude.

Cut Your Travel Expenses

Last but not least, its easy to get caught up in reaching your savings goals without considering how you can cut the spending costs! For me the biggest change in my travel expenses occurred when I decided to make travel my career. Now that I’m travel blogging full time as World of Wanderlust I have some great opportunities to travel around the world and be paid to do so – something I have worked at with a lot of persistence and determination! But I still must think of ways to cut my travel expenses in order to stay on the road longer. Some ways I save: Staying in cheaper countries for longer (Asia, Eastern Europe, South America), eating supermarket sandwiches for lunch and sometimes even dinner, meeting super nice people who invite me to stay or come over for dinner, and keeping an eye out for great flight deals by creating alerts. There’s plenty more ways to cut your expenses – what are yours!?
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