I read not to long ago in a travel blog that you should try and compare every dollar you spend to what it would cost in the country you are going to. Where our (surprise) location is the USD to there money is a big difference. USD can go way further as long as you are frugal.
This is a hard lesson to keep reminding your self, trust me I would know. As everyone knows we are selling our house and all the shit in it. I had a lot of funk that we sold… like so much! Well we went to IKEA to go shopping for the new camper. I had this MASSIVE list of things to get and was so excited to (waste) spend all this money. Before hitting IKEA we stopped by an REI (camping store) to look for the gear we will need for our trip. After a super fun and inspiring hour and a half in there I didn’t want to spend anything at IKEA! It was the hardest shopping trip I had, had in a long time! I was so indecisive, I didn’t want to spend the money but I wanted NEW junk. Which is crazy since I had just worked so hard to get rid of all my OLD junk. I knew that we were leaving in a short two months for a 6 month long travel adventure. Why would I waste so much money just for two months on “cutesy” stuff?!?!? Well good news I literally bought 4 things off of a list with 20+++ things on it.
And FYI people I am CHEAP! Yes very very CHEAP and I was having a really hard time! So remember it happens to the best of us. It’s hard in our American culture to not spend all of our money on stuff we don’t need. Then later to just throw in a closet or the trash. It’s defiantly a flaw in our society and we just need to work on being more minimalistic.
7 Tips to help you spend less and save more for travel:
1) ALWAYS! Have a budget for every dollar.
This keeps your spending down from the start. Personally I still suck at this. I do great for a couple months and then fall off the wagon. But just give it a go it can’t hurt. Check out Dave Ramsey and the Everydollar app for some inspiration.
2) Compare the amount you want to spend to what you could buy with it in another country
Example: We spent $225 yesterday on furniture for our camper (chairs, storage, trash can). For $225 in another country I could have rented us an apartment for a MONTH. AND we could have gone out to eat 2 times a day for 10 days!
3) Ask yourself “how will this really change my life to buy this?”
Most of us get that shopping high when buying something. Consider this -is this “thing” you want to purchase really worth all the time you put in to make the money to buy it? How many working hours would it take for you to purchase that “thing”? Especially clothing- remember we only wear about 5-6 shirts out of our closet anyway. Don’t buy that really cute shirt that you might only wear a handful of times.
4) Try and shop at discount stores if you do NEED stuff.
We switched from grocery shopping at Giant each week and spending $130. Now we shop at Aldi and spend about $70 a week and get more food then we did at Giant. Prices are cheaper and they have their own brand, which actually is AMAZING! Everything I have tried that was their brand tasted exactly like the overpriced versions.
Examples: any kind of chip taste exactly the same, ranch dressing, cookies, and organic things.
5) Try to be a minimalist
-This is hard I know. Compile experiences instead of things. Just always keep that in mind.
6) Window shop.
For some this works others not so much. Anthony and I can do it easy! We walked through a mall yesterday for 4 hours and he only bought a hat and I bought nothing.
7) Quality instead of Quantity
Do not think that I mean that you can go out and buy a pair of $1000 stilettos or a $1000 TV because it’s the best quality! NO! I mean buy one good pair of sandals (teva) instead of 13 (old navy) pairs. Buy one good thing that is multipurpose that might cost a little more and is good quality. Don’t buy a bunch of cheap crappy stuff (myself included) instead try to buy smaller amounts of things and do research to make sure it’s good. Examples tvs, shoes, electronics, ect!
For example I need want a good camera for our trip. Instead of buying a nice camera for a big cost. If I decide to get anything it will just be an upgraded iPhone. Since I have the 5 it’s pretty old and it’s more bang for my buck and way less stuff to carry.
8) Check prices online!
When we were looking for our travel backpacks we went to REI. Going there was very helpful we got measured asked for advice and found the ones we liked. The packs we liked were $189.00 each so ever saving helps. That night we came home and found the same ones for $40+ cheaper online on another website for $141.
P.S. We aren’t perfect.. The only things we do splurge on is eating out more often then we do but only at frugal places. We don’t go out for a 4 course meal. We usually share a meal to cut down on cost and then can have a snack later if we’re hungry.
Featured image source: Come Fly With Me (Ireland) (Image source: Insomniadict)