I remember my younger self getting all excited and saying “I want to travel the world” when I was asked what would I do if I had a lot of money. “What will you do if you had a million of dollars?” Almost everyone would answer this question by saying “I would go on a world tour.”
The only problem here is that the day never comes when you have a million dollars sitting in your bank account – the biggest reason those dreams only stay as dreams and never come to reality.
I am no millionaire either, but I promised myself that I WILL explore the whole world sooner or later, and I am glad to say that I have already begun.
You would say that I have a job that pays me huge amount of money. Maybe I am running a big bad business. Maybe I won a lottery, or inherited a fortune. Surprisingly none of this is true.
I am just another middle class guy trying to live life in his own ways. I know earning and saving a lot of money is the toughest part here. But if you REALLY wish you could save money for your first international trip soon, I have 8 simple tips to help you with that.
Travel tip: Saving money for an international trip isn’t a quick job to be done. It takes time to earn and save money. So start planning your travel a lot sooner – ideally a year or more in advance. This will give you enough time to arrange your money the right way.
1. Find a Job / Do Extra Job
Before you move down to actually saving money for your first international trip, you should start earning money. If you’re not doing a job yet, find one. Start working and making money. Once you start making money, you will be able to save it, right?
If you are already working but can’t save enough money, you can also consider taking up another job that will help you earn extra income. I know this isn’t easy, but keep your goal in mind.
Most people kill their dreams at this very first step, because they can’t leave the convenience of a 9-to-5 job behind. Doing more than one job is exhausting but it pays. You are doing all this hard work for your own dreams, right? So don’t lose hope and start/keep working harder.
Even if you are too young to start a job yet, there are other ways you can start saving money.
2. Open a Recurring/Fixed Deposit Bank Account
Once money starts rolling, you should start saving it. I suggest you open a recurring bank account and put a dedicated amount there every month. For example, you could put $100 every month in this account and after a year, you will have $1200 + interest saved in your account.
You can choose this monthly amount according to your earning and expense. List-down every monthly expense that is necessary (like utility bills) and deduct the total from your earning. Whatever left is your saving. If you think you can save this amount every month, go on an open an account with your bank.
You can also put a fixed amount of money in a fixed deposit. Say you have $1500 lying spare with you. Fix this amount for a year and you will get $1500 + interest after a year. Nice way to save money, right?
3. Use Piggy Banks
Piggy banks are not meant only for kids and if you think otherwise, think again. Every fraction of money you feed to your piggy will help you save some decent amount.
Every time you have some spare currency in a small amount, throw it in your piggy bank. Any amount helps. Keep feeding you piggy till the day you finalize your first international trip. You will be glad to see some good chunk of money which you would have used it somewhere else otherwise.
4. Remove One Currency Note From Your Wallet, Everyday
This is what I used to do when I was saving money for my first trip. I would open my wallet, pick one currency note – big or small – depending on the amount I had in the wallet, and put it away in a box. I would then totally forget about that money like it never existed. Poof, gone!
I did this every day until I booked my air tickets. When I opened that box, I had some really good amount of cash ready to surprise me.
This method works similar to piggy banks, expect that you put some money aside every day – whether you have spare coins or not. This method helped me avoid unnecessary expenses – which brings me to the next tip.
5. Make a Budget (And Stick to It)
This was the toughest part for me. I mean having money and NOT spending it on shopping? You got to be kidding me! I had never lived on a budget, bringing home anything I liked. Soon I realized that this habit was pushing me away from my goal and that’s when I made my first budget.
Making a budget is easy, sticking to it is the hardest part. Once you make a budget depending on your income, you better stick to it. Make sure you spend money on only things that you planned in your budget. My budget did not allow me to watch movies, eating outside, etc. It was tough cutting down on expenses, but I was able to do it. You can do that too!
6. Don’t Need It? Don’t Buy It
Shopping is a science. Shopping unnecessary things isn’t. You will see those lucrative sales going on around every day. But that doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend your money on things you don’t need. I mean, buying a winter jacket in summer just because it’s on discount doesn’t make sense, right?
This happens to the best of us. Every time we see something we like – especially on discount – we end up buying it. This is how ‘science’ of shopping works! But hey, we’re on a tough goal here, remember? We NEED to save that money. So stick to this golden rule: Don’t need it? Don’t buy it.
Fun fact: I avoided visiting shopping malls altogether for a whole year! That’s tough, I tell you!
7. Be a Smart Customer
Even after you have a budget and you start sticking to the rule of not buying things you don’t need, you still need to go shopping, right? I mean what about groceries and other necessary things? You can’t completely skip shopping.
So when it comes to ‘necessary’ shopping, you need to be a smart customer. Some smart-shopping tips include not buying unnecessary things (already doing that, eh?), shopping during discount period, looking for offers like buy one get one free etc.
Avoid purchasing cheap, unbranded products just to save money. Cheap products are cheap for a reason. If you need something then go for better quality. Cheap often turns out to be expensive (Goedkoop koop is duurkoop), so be careful. Buying products with better quality (at a slightly higher price) will save you from expenses often associated with cheap ones.
8. Change Your Lifestyle
To save money for my first trip, I stopped going to movies, eating outside, shopping, making useless calls etc. In addition, I switched to public transport and opted for the lowest tariff on my cellphone.
Good news is that I didn’t turn into a zombie! Another good news? I end up saving a LOT of money, and I mean it. Just avoiding shopping and eating outside helped me save some good amount of money, and every other change I made to my lifestyle added to it.
If you think watching movies, dining, clubbing, partying is the ONLY way of living life, you might want to think again. I know it’s tough, but well-rewarding. Try it!
Saving Money for First International Trip: Summing Up
Saving money for your first international trip is not really hard once you make a solid decision. It requires many compromises, adjustments and changes in lifestyle. But if you’re sure about achieving your goal, things will get easier with each try.
Once you successfully save enough money for your first international trip, you will find it a lot easier to save money for another one.
Al right folks, this is Parvez signing off. I hope you found these tips useful. If you have some more tips, please share them will me.
Related: All these tips can help you save money from what you earn. But what about making some extra income while at it? My next article will help you with that.