It hasn’t been very long since I have started earning a living on my own. Introduced to this life of financial independence, initially it did feel like “I am the king of the world”. I did what any new earner would do: ate where I wanted, bought what I liked, in short SPENT IT ALL. With time raises came my way and led to more spending than saving. I realized I have turned into a shopaholic. With merely no savings in hand, often I struggled to pay for my travels; took loans and supports from my mom. I had successfully drowned myself in humongous credit card bills and debts. Not until recently did I finally manage to cut down my expenses, planned it right and now saving fairly enough to finance my travels. I would not say I am a shinning star in this, but I am trying and putting baby steps towards saving. Here is how I am doing it.
Decide where you are going
Place sets a goal. Post a picture on your desk or even as your laptop background at work. I carry a picture of it in my wallet to remind myself that I am en route to this beautiful place. This stops me from useless expenditure.
Set a date
Give your yearning a time frame. Setting up this alarm will prepare your mind with a plan on how to reach your saving goal within time.
Give yourself a figure
Find out an approximate cost plan for your upcoming trip. Do some research, read blogs, search online or even ask people who have been there already. Once you have an approximate number in your head, you know how much to put away from your earning or allowance.
Put money away
Money that you have not seen will not call you to be spent. Put a portion away before it comes in your hands. You could open a separate account for only travel savings. You can get one of those monthly deposit schemes if you wish to plan a year ahead and save over a longer period of time.
Make yourself a money jar
Money jars are the modern version of piggy banks and for us Bengali an updated version of our very own “maatir bank“. What I like about making something like this is the excitement of filling it up as soon as I can. Add a picture of your destination on the jar. This will also set a visual reminder for you in your room. Come on now, get creative!
Pay off your credit card bills
Now this is a mistake I made- piling up my credit card bills with hopes to pay it tomorrow. But that tomorrow took a while to come. Before anything clear your bills. Piling it up for months will not only add on a good extra charge/interest but will also be tough on you with the large amount of money you will need to pay at one go. Stop procrastinating, be free of debts.
Minimizing added expenditures
The place where I am from does not have many places for people to meet except restaurants and cafés. I realized a lot of my money went downhill with restaurant bills. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not motioning towards saying “don’t go out or eat out with friends”. What can be done is to find a way to minimize this added expenditure. May be you do it twice a month. I know many of you reading may term this as “cheap”. But if you have set your mind and goal in traveling and are independent with a minimum fixed income, I am sure this will make sense to you. There is no shame in trying to save to live your dream.
Stop going to shopping malls
Now this is something I am working on as well. Truth be spoken I am a spender myself. I have recently unfollowed so many online shopping sites/pages, just to keep my mind away from seeing things and ending up ordering them. Now if you are a shopaholic like me, this will take some time. Be determined. Remind yourself each day how beautiful that destination must be. What you have not seen will not lure you into buying it.
Although there are times I splurge on to get rid of depressions or just honestly because I cannot help it. I do buy gifts for my family because that is something I will never give up no matter how hard it gets for me. They are the reason I am able to even dream of traveling. Hence when it is for them, no compromises.
Gifts on saving
If your family and friends know about the travel bug in you, another option may be to ask them to give you money instead of the next shalwar kameez,punjabi or saree they are planning to buy for you. While I know that this may sound weird and may look like I am stooping low, but if you are really into saving every bit you can I see no reason why you cannot opt for this. These are the people who are closest to you. If they don’t understand, support or encourage you, I don’t know who else will.
Focus on your goal and stay inspired by travel
It is very easy to derail from this plan of financial organization. Trick is to stay inspired. Go through photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Keep reminding yourself about what lies ahead of this struggling times.
The art of saving does not come naturally to many of us. This process of saving up is quite a struggle. But I am reminding myself each day and night of the reward I may get at the end of this. Travel does reward you in the most divine ways. The more effort you put in, the more you will get out of it. I hope these tips and tricks will bring some contribution to your travel plans. Please share your tips and ways with me in the comment section below. Until next time, Ciao Bella!
Images of this post have been downloaded from Google and Tumbler.