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Your Guide to Saving Money to Travel the World

I've been living in Germany for over a month now. I don't want to be cliche, but this experience has already been surreal. To keep you up to speed, my husband Michael and I spent a lot of time saving money and decided we should take the chance to move overseas.

What you need to know: I work for myself (I'm a full time blogger and looooove it. Emphasis on love.) Michael quit his job. We brought our two dogs. And two suitcases each.

So, when we moved abroad we had no one helping us through finding a place to live, opening up a bank account, applying for visas. Nope, it's all on us. The good thing? I've learned A LOT. I intend to keep my readers abreast of what I've learned and hopefully you can take these tips and tricks to your advantage.

Your guide to Saving Money to Travel the World

 

One of the biggest questions I get: how can I save money to travel? First of all, here's a virtual high five. Because traveling is the best possible experience and holds so much more value than clothes or designer handbags.

Here's my guide to saving money to travel the world:

Set a goal

No matter if I'm talking about blogging tips or traveling, I think it's important to figure out what you want. Figure out a goal and this will help you TREMENDOUSLY to stick to it. Don't just set one goal: I want to go to the Bahamas. Also, set a money saving goal. When we began the idea to move to Europe, we planned on needing at least $45,000 in savings in order to quit jobs and move abroad. That's not to say you need that goal, but it just needs to be something substantial so that you can really enjoy your time.

You can and should start saving towards your goal. It will add up and you'll thank yourself later! Click To Tweet

Get in the right mindset

This is so important. We all have goals, of course, but in order to stick to that, you have to have the mindset to keep it going. If it helps, add pictures of the place you'll be visiting to your planner or the background of your phone. Write down all the cool stuff you'll be doing. Sometimes it will be hard to not spend money on something fun (like a new bag) but in the end it will be so worth it. These little reminders will help.

Get a Travel Points Credit Card

A LOT of experts say to get rid of credit cards. But I paid for my flight in FULL with points on my card. I prefer the Capital One Venture Card (this isn't sponsored, I've had mine for a solid 4 years!). I get two points for every dollar I spend, and that all goes to travel. Just remember your mindset, and pay it off, in full, every month.

This is a great post on picking a travel rewards credit card.

Keep the Change

I cannot tell you how much a little goes a long way. I have a change jar at home and I use this little machine to count my change, sort it, and puts it in wrappers so I can send it to the bank. Every few months I deposit at least $150 or more in change!

Get rid of all debt

Before you can really start to save you have to get rid of debt. Now, I'm not talking about your mortgage, but if you have credit card debt- pay it off! Not only does this hurt your credit score, it will really hinder opportunities to travel and more. Remember to pay of your bills every month, in full.

Start a Separate Account

I have a separate account for travel expenses only. I like seeing it grow and I also like to know how much I have to spend. Plus, sometimes it's helpful to take money out of your regular account so you're not tempted to spend it.

What Can You Live Without?

Do you really need cable tv? That drink at a bar (when you could drink at home, like this one)? Those new sunglasses? We all spend frivolously. It is fun to spend, no doubt. But the more you don't spend the more you'll save and the more fun things you can do.

Make a list of what you can cut out. For me, I haven't had cable for more than 6 years now, and I don't miss it. I do not shop designer and I try to minimize my spending on food. Start writing down what you can eliminate and you'll be surprised at how it adds up.

Do A Financial Review

Have you ever really looked at what you're spending money on? You might find out you're spending way too much at the movies or on shopping. We found that our biggest area of improvement when trying to save was eating out. When we cut that down we saved $100s every month.

So take a look at your finances and see what you need to work on. Here is a great post on how to take a look at your finances.

Have fun cheaply

You can still treat yourself and have a blast too. There are always free events and things to do. Do a simple Google search of what you can do on the cheap, in your area. Here's a great resource on 16 things you can do for fun. Or check out my 45 fun, cheap date ideas.

Have a partner in financial crime

It is so great to have someone who really backs you up and helps you stay on track. Michael (my husband) is that for me. He reminds me of all the great things we can do if we just don't spend money on that.

I remember I got SO MAD when he didn't let me buy a margarita one time, don't worry he isn't controlling, but I got fired up. But we did manage to buy our home in just 6 short months (that post details how.)

Sell Your Stuff

Before we moved out of our house in Dallas and Nashville, we had garage sales. We also sold stuff on eBay and in just those few sales, made $1,000s of dollars. THOUSANDS! So get rid of the clutter and things you don't need.

Here are 10 tips to make bank at a garage sale.

Start a Blog

You can make money blogging y'all! Lots of people do, and it's a great hobby. This will help you tremendously with that. You can make a side income or you can make it your full time gig (like yours truly).

Here are my resources on blogging that will help you out!

laptop_hands_edited

Side gig

Dog walking, tutoring, house sitting, freelancing… etc! Having a side gig can add extra cash and that can go straight to your savings goal!

Also read: How to Find a Job Working from Home

Spare Room?

One of my best friends has made a killing on her AirBnB. (P.S. if you're in the Nashville area this is the best place to stay.) Now, this is her home, but you can do the same thing if you go out of town or have a spare room.

Stay Cheap

Going along with my point above, stay cheaply. Look at AirBnb's or hostels in your area to stay somewhere cheaply. Hostels are not scary (at all), especially in Europe. So look into those options before you travel.

Find the Recs

One of the best ways to find the best deals is to hear recs from friends and bloggers. But where can you find them all? That's where TravelEnvy comes in. It's an app and you can your friends and anyone you follow can recommend places to stay, eat, and do. Oh also, you get a small commission if someone uses your rec. So… double win!

Cook at Home

Not only is cooking at home way cheaper, it's also usually much healthier. I have sworn by emeals for YEARS. It's a personalized meal plan and you can pick your preferences and they send you a grocery list for the week, every week. It's just $7 a month. The very best part? It's planned around YOUR grocery store sales, so you save even more $$$. It's planned around what's in season, on sale, and will have the best price. Win-win-win. Try it 14 day for free here.

Shop Online for Discounts

Chances are, if you do some digging, you can find the best price for things online. Stores like Amazon and Walmart pride themselves on price matching (plus who can beat the almost instant gratification of Amazon Prime?!)

You can also make cash back by shopping online at Ebates. You can find coupons and discounts on things you'll already buy, PLUS get cash back.

Stay in

Rather than going out to dinner, have friends over to eat. We do this all the time and it's so much fun and makes for a more relaxed (and cheaper) night. I especially love having girl's nights in so we can have a fun girly movie on in the background.

Also read: How to Save Money in Your 20s and 30s

Save Money on Things You Buy

I love to buy makeup and clothes, that won't change because I think of them as essential. But I try to use coupons when I go to Ulta or buy things on sale. This is a great video that shows you how to save money on the makeup you buy. I also started painting my own nails and doing my own at-home gel nails.

Pack Light

When it comes to actually traveling, take less stuff! I am a huge fan of using only a carry on (even for long trips) and you aren't going to pay as many fees- or have to wait for your bags.

Here's how to fit everything in your carry on.

Make More Money

Have you thought about asking for a raise? Most people lack the courage to just ask to be paid more, especially when they totally deserve it. Outline why you should get more money and then go for it. You aren't going to get fired for asking for more money.

Then, once you've saved up, DO IT. I was scared and nervous and felt all the feels but I can tell you right now, moving abroad was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, it will be different.But traveling teaches you so much more than any frivolous purchase ever will. Click To Tweet

I hope this post encourages you to travel more, save more, and live your best life ever. It's too short not to enjoy it.

If you liked this post, pin the image below:

22 Ways to Save Money and Travel the World

Want more? Read: How We Saved Money to Move Abroad

Don't forget to grab your free budget planner below!

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This is the exact planner I used to save over $45,000 in less than a year!

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Download a free budget planner! To help you save money where it counts!

Guillermo laptop

This is the exact planner I used to save over $45,000 in less than a year!

Powered by ConvertKit
Comments

Helene, I love this post! I’ve had a terrible case of wanderlust all my life, and very rarely am able to travel because of finances. But you’ve given me a lot to think about with this post, and I think I’m definitely going to set up a new bank account, separate from my regular one, so that I can get serious about saving! Thanks!

Kayleigh x

girl yes!! reading that makes my day!

Such great tips Helene! I used to put all my money towards clothes and materialistic things as soon as I moved out of home and got a job while being at uni, but mid-20s I realize none of those things matter. Travel is truely the only thing that makes you richer!

All great tips! I love to travel and there’s definitely an art to saving up to make it happen!

This is so full of great tips, Helene! I don’t know if we would ever consider actually MOVING abroad like y’all (SO many props to you!), but definitely traveling. You’re so right…traveling and experiencing the world ends up being SO much more beneficial than many frivolous purchases and things!

Coming Up Roses

I so much get the point of MOVING ABROAD. We just did it the other way around. Last year from Germany to Montreal. In just 4 month we organised it!!! It was worth it. If u want some German lessons online let me know! Now I take my chances and started blogging. Enjoy my home country ?

Yes yes yes, such great tips and some of them I do, like packing light, I am not an over packer like Tim and I always search online for bargains

I admire you so much for moving abroad, Helene! I don’t know that I ever want to live overseas but I do want to start traveling again. I did in my 20’s, but travel has been on the back burner in my 30’s! I need to start again, and your tips on saving money to be able to are great!

Serious #goals. Easier said than done, but totally worth it!
Ashleigh | Mermaid on the Move

this is great helene, just goes to show that you can do something like this if you put your mind to it. i am horrible with money, but KC is great, and he’s made me much better and i’m so glad i didn’t marry someone like me.. that would be so horrible, no money saved and spending it all on stupid stuff haha. we have the southwest cards and absolutely love them. it’s so nice not to pay for flights – well, at least in the US.

I need to convince CB that we should ditch cable. I think you would literally die if you saw our cable bill — we also have NFL Red Zone. I will tell you, we have been actively talking (as in just yesterday) about when we are coming to visit you. I’m not just blowing hot air here.

do you understand how exciting that is to me?! but seriously cable is so expensive.

I’m in the process of saving up for some trips, and this is definitely helpful! We’ve cut out cable as well and I don’t even miss it. Another tip – set up an auto deposit into savings…I have $20 deposit from my checking into my savings every week! Some banks will also deposit $1 into your savings account per debit card transaction. I save an extra $50-60 a month doing that, and hardly realize it 🙂

that’s a good one! We put $500 (each) nto our roth IRA automatically every week and move 50% of our income into savings each month!

I love these tips! When you’re in Europe, tutoring can make you a lot of money! I made 15 euro an hour to tutor while I was abroad, and with about 4 hours a week, it really helped for going out or being able to go on more excursions!
xoxo
Ashley

That is so awesome and definitely a good idea for picking up some extra cash! Did you use a specific company?

No, I found my job through a local university! If you have one near by I would try that, or your local schools as well. My cousins in Germany has an American tutor when they were younger that their school set them up with! Even the town hall might have flyers looking for tutors (the Spanish town I was in had that!)

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