You’ve read a blog post with this title before, haven’t you? It’s okay, we have an open door policy here. You’ve seen it, you’ve clicked it and you’ve read it thinking there’s some secret ingredient to how people travel often and comfortably.
Sorry, I don’t have that. It doesn’t exist.
I’ve had several friends say to me before, “you’re totally the experience type”, “you’re not the one that spends all their money on clothes and things.” Nope, I am, I am a normal female that spends their money irrationally. I’m normal.
I’m normal and I travel.
BUT HOW. THERE’S NO WAY. Yes, I promise you. It is. Will you travel every month? No. Will you jet set away first class across the world? Probably not. But, will you be fulfilled and proud of yourself and establish boundaries to achieve your travel goals? Yes.
Here’s how I saved to travel to Europe the first time:
1. Look at your finances. I mean, really look at them. Look at the last 2 weeks of your spending habits. It’s rough, you always spent more than you think you do, you always pay more at Starbucks than you think about that avocado toast- don’t get me started. From here, you will instantly see what you can cut back on. I promise you, it will be noticeable as if it jumped off the screen at you. For me, it was H&M. Take that friend, who doesn’t think I buy clothes! I just have bad style, OKAY.
2. Write it down. This comes in two waves. First, write down you GOAL. Physically write down “I want to travel to ______ in the next ______ months.” Write it everywhere; in your planner, in your notebook, decorate it, share it verbally. Next, write down every mandatory bill you have and subtract it from your gross income. By gross, I mean the amount that is put into your checking account every pay period (so really, if you’re getting technical, it’s the weird middle child between your net and your gross income. After taxes, etc but before subtracting your bills…just go with it). This leaves you with your true net income every month.
3. From here, set the amount to save. Save first, spend second. By putting away your savings amount immediately when you receive your check, it’s like you wont even miss it.
4. Manifest it. Okay, this is the best part, because it’s very “Secret” shit but it absolutely works. I promise you, the more you verbalize ANY of your goals, the more you’ll believe it, the more you’ll work through the kinks and the more you’ll believe in yourself. This has actually worked in my life more than you think. In 2 different scenarios in my career, I’ve interviewed for jobs and thought in my head the amount I would settle for to take the job- and have been offered that exact amount. I’m. Dead. Serious. I wish I wasn’t.
Here’s the exact spreadsheet I made when I was figuring out if I could even afford to go to Europe. Download it for yourself; it can truly work on anything you’re hoping to save for. You’ll be surprised.
But how much can I safely save?
It depends on your spending habits, but I say start at 5% of your net income. Just start there, see how it feels. Then, possibly subtract one unnecessary thing you purchase (I said possibly, don’t get rid of the avocado toast...ever) and put that in savings too. It’s entirely up to you!