“Wow, you’re traveling so soon already!?” Why, yes. Yes, I am.
“Wow, you’re visiting another country again!?” Yes. Yes, indeed.
“Wow, you must be rich!” No… sadly, I am not.
And that is a typical conversation/assumption between many acquaintances and I. Unfortunately, they don’t always realize the effort I put into saving most of my money in order to have the luxury to travel often.
So, how do I save my money? Quite simple actually.
1. Plan paychecks
I get paid biweekly, so that means I receive two paychecks a month to make good choices. Since most of my bills are due within the first two weeks of each month, I set aside my second paycheck of the month for bills of the upcoming month and other important necessities, if any. My other paycheck, the first one I’d receive, I try my hardest to save completely. How? I act like it doesn’t exist and transfer it straight to my savings account.
2. Chose the right cellphone plan
I pay for my and my mother’s phones- so it was crucial for me to find the right plan. Unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, unlimited data, free upgrades, and (here comes the best part) unlimited global data. Having free global data is super useful in order to use the web whenever I need to, wherever I am, and not have to worry about spending too much data. I’ve often heard from friends and fellow travelers how it’s such a hassle for them to add another plan to their phone in order for them to comfortably use their phone while traveling or having to owe too much money to their cell provider. My answer: T-Mobile… in case anyone is wondering.
3. Ignore advertisements
It’s literally impossible to simply ignore advertisements, since they are everywhere. BUT YOU CAN DO IT! My strategies- act like I didn’t just see anything, if I don’t need it then don’t buy it, just acting like I’m broke.
4. Avoid going shopping
I rarely so ever go shopping and when I do it’s usually only twice a year with a fixed budget and a detailed shopping list. Speaking about wardrobe, of course. Other than that, I only make stops at stores if I NEED something. I’m best off avoiding shopping malls, shopping plazas, online stores, and Target (only God knows where my money goes in Target).
5. Cancelled my gym membership
I cancelled my gym membership after realizing I personally didn’t need it. Staying fit and healthy didn’t exactly mean I needed a gym to accomplish that. I try to eat healthy (most of the time), I do stretches at home, and go out for a run or a walk- all for free.
6. Eat home cooked meals
I don’t go out to eat unless I’m invited or I’m rewarding myself over something I’ve accomplished, which I limit myself to anyways. I have a wonderful mother who loves to cook meals, so that saves me a lot of money from having to go out to eat.
7. Act responsibly with credit cards
I only use my credit card when making big purchases, which usually consists booking airfares, hotels, and other travel related activities. I always pay my full balance by the following month, and if the balance is too big (which is bad, but it happens sometimes) then I’ll pay it off within two months. It’s always such a relief being debt free and I highly encourage it, too!
8. Say no to expensive outings
I’ve become an expert to saying no to people who would want to hang out and do costly activities that I’m not too interested in doing. I maintain a very limited social life, so I’m basically just picky on what I choose to spend my money on.
9. Use my car only when needed
Since I don’t usually go out, I only use my car when I need to. I love driving, and my car saves great on gas, but only driving when I actually need to saves a lot of things actually. Gas, miles, time, and money.
10. Watch movies at home
I do not watch TV, but I do love great movies! However, I’m not always eager on spending about $13 for one movie at the theaters, unless it’s a movie I’m dying to see. Other than that, I’ll just watch movies I already own or search up movies on my laptop.
11. Finish all my necessities before buying more
Necessities as in toiletries, lotion, perfume, make up, etc. I hate owning a lot of stuff, so I always make sure that I completely finish my current lotion before buying a second one. Trust me, I’d go crazy owning two lotions at the same time… It’d feel like a lifetime until I’d finally finish both of them away. Having less of materialistic items lying around in my house has me feeling like I live a simpler life.
12. Carefully choose the right bars
Whenever I do decide to join in on a girls night out, it’s important to choose the right bar where I’ll be able to score free drinks. Because let’s face it, drinks are expensive. At least I’m a beer girl, so that’s a tad bit cheaper… not really.
13. Stay preoccupied at home
Being able to happily stay at home without the need of feeling like I need to go out is what saves me money the most! I keep myself preoccupied at home, whether it’s surfing the web, reading, or just hanging out with my family. I love it!
14. Choose my friends carefully
I used to have a lot of friends who, I didn’t realize it in the moment back then, but would only be my friend because of the money I had. I would constantly pay for them, until one day I decided to leave them because they weren’t worth my time and money anymore.
I try to live a very simple life in order to be able to enjoy my travelings when hard work pays off. It’s not easy saving money, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. It’s all about prioritizing your money with whatever it is that you’re after. Me? I’m after the world!
What motivates you to save money?