If you’re following me on Instagram or Snapchat (@thequirkypapple), don’t be fooled by the pretty pictures or my snaps, because in actuality, I don’t have much of a social life. Most of my days I spend working during the morning, coming home and derping/checking social media for my blog, doing chores, and afternoons are spent in private lessons and more blogging/chores. Having a social life is not on my priority list; so while many of my coworkers meet for tapas and drinks on Thursday nights, I usually choose to stay in and work on my blog.
Traveling is one of my top priorities. I don’t have a different savings account for my travels, I don’t deprive myself from simple pleasures and leisure activities, but I know that I am more conscious of how I spend my money because I would rather spend it on travel.
Ever since I made the decision that travel was one of my top priorities, my expenses started to change. Besides splurging on luxury items (i.e.: Starbucks), I would start to make my own coffee, cook meals at home, not go out to the bars as often, and find activities to do that were free in my area. I also started to cut back on my spending on clothes and unnecessary items. Although living in Spain is fairly cheap, compared to the United States, continuously going out a few times during the week for a few drinks and a few tapas would add up.
Here’s how I make travel a priority and how I am able to fund my trips! No, I don’t only eat pasta and potatoes (that’s a bit depressing) and I don’t cut back on things that are necessary. If you’re ready to make travel a priority, I am more than happy to help you!
Cut Back on “Luxury” Things
Drinking Starbucks, I would say, is definitely a luxury. Although I do love a good mocha frappucino or a delicious gingerbread latte, I gave those things up when I decided that traveling was more important. To be honest, I never drank Starbucks very often, only when I’m back home in the United States. Here in Spain, there aren’t many Starbucks in the smaller towns which makes it much easier to avoid! Making my own coffee or buying coffee from other cafes is much cheaper than buying a Starbucks coffee every single day!
Let’s do the math. This is to say that you’re not just ordering an Americano or drip coffee, but one of the fancier drinks, like a chai tea latte, a vanilla two-pump soy latte, or whatever concoction Starbucks has now invented! I’m going to choose a Starbucks Tall Mocha Latte, which costs $3.45. If you buy one everyday, this adds up to: $103.50! If you buy one twice a week, this adds up to: $27.60! With these prices, you could save the money and in a few weeks, have enough to buy a plane ticket somewhere! Not to mention, in Europe with budget airlines, $103.50 could buy you a round-trip ticket to France or Portugal!
Is Happy Hour Really Necessary Everyday?
I might be a bit biased because I am not too big of a drinker, but is happy hour really necessary everyday? Although drinks are cheaper than they would be during normal hours, it quickly adds up with the price of food and tipping. I am not saying y’all need to cut happy hour out of your life! I definitely enjoy a good drink and chat with my friends every now and then, but regularly during the week? This all adds up at the end of the month!
Going Out to Eat Less
I love date nights with the boyfriend and I also love going to new restaurants and trying something different. I used to go out to eat all the time with my friends during the summer, which quickly made my credit card bill very high and my wallet very sad. I still love going out to eat and enjoying a dinner or a lunch where I don’t have to cook, but now I only go out to eat once or twice a month.
Most of the time, I stay home and cook my own meals. This can be a bit of a pain, especially when I’m feeling lazy, but in the end I’m saving so much money by not eating out all the time. There are days when I may have a strong craving for pizza, so I indulge on my food craving and treat myself to a giant pizza! It’s all about moderation and being aware of how much you’re deciding to go out and eat.
Quality Over Quantity
When I was younger, I shopped at stores like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, H&M, etc all the time. I used to buy a lot of cheap clothes that would last me a few seasons and then be faded, torn, or they would shrink! As I’m getting older, I’m noticing that I am spending less on “trendy” items and cheap clothing, and instead opting to save a little more money and buy the higher quality item. It pains my wallet a bit to be spending $50 on one thing, but in the end, if I invest my money into higher quality clothing, they’ll definitely last me longer!
Not only higher quality clothing, but clothing that is fair trade, ethical and sustainable is better for the economy and for the long run. I am still guilty of sales, however, but I’m getting a lot better at not buying impulsive items that are really unnecessary!
Overall, if your excuse is that you cannot afford traveling, please read over this post again! Seriously, traveling is possible! Traveling doesn’t need to be expensive, nor does it need to cost you an arm and a leg. If this is one of your priorities, then you must take the necessary steps to do it! I’m not saying cut back on everything, there are some things that are completely necessary. I splurge very often on shoe purchases or lots of pastries, when I don’t need to. But in the end, I’m aware of my spending habits and am conscious of how much I spend monthly. It’s all about moderation!
If you’re looking to travel more but aren’t sure how to set your goals or go about it, my boyfriend and I can help you! Check out our Travel Coaching services at Map It Trips, and contact us to set up a consultation! We’d be happy to help you figure out how to make traveling a reality, help you start planning your trip and make the most of your budget.