Saving money…it’s not for all of us. However, there are definitely ways anyone can save money before heading out on the road. My mom (my inspiration for this post) had always nagged me about the way money adds up quick, but of course it wasn’t until I started paying my own bills that I realized how right she really was. So a little strategy I’ve learned over my years of traveling is to take her ‘money adds up quick’ speech and apply it to my saving-for-the-road mentality. Yes, sometimes saving is a little easier said than done (and even harder to admit she’s been right all along) but the end effect is truly satisfying. I’ve put together my own list of ways I save before a big road trip (since that is my favorite way of exploring) but of course these ideas can be used for any upcoming trip you’d like to save for.
This is a big one! Normally people spend about $5 a day (sometimes more) at Starbucks or some type of coffee place just to keep energized throughout the day. Now I know you can’t just altogether stop having coffee but making your own coffee in the morning, replacing caffeine with some good vitamins or even just simply going to bed earlier and you will save over $100 a month! Now if you think about that with a road trip mentality that $100 can fill up your car quite a few times, depending on the type of car you have.
Cut Down the Phone Bill
As technology becomes more and more advanced, so do the prices. I don’t know about you but I was spending $80 a month (plus tax and insurance) for a cell phone plan and that is just way too much for the amount of non-talking that I do. So my advice is to take a look at how many minutes you are really using each month, how many people are you talking to, what times are you talking to them and finally do you really need internet on your phone? Now this all depends on your carrier and what is available to you but I went to my local cell phone store and asked about the different options for a plan. I cut my minutes in half since I only texted mostly anyways. I then got the plan where everyone with my carrier is free and selected people were free as well during the day, bumped up my nighttime calling to 7pm. I did keep the internet because I like to stay on top of my emails. So with just a little negotiating my cell phone bill dropped down to $50 a month! Now if you are going overseas or a long-term journey it may even be best to resort to a prepaid phone. This way of saving really depends on you but if you can find a way to cut down that cell phone bill, do it!
Coupons are Your Friend
The coupon business, although sometimes overwhelming, can really save you some big bucks! Just browse through your local newspaper ads and you are almost bound to find coupons on products you use all the time. In fact, even if you don’t have time to grab a newspaper there are plenty of websites where you can simply type in what you’d like to save on and BAM there’s a coupon for it! There’s no need to become an ‘extreme coupon-er’ but collecting some coupons will definitely save you some big bucks. Websites to check out: www.CouponMom.com and www.Coupons.com are both really great and even when you go online shopping try Googling discount codes.
Evaluate What is Most Important
Going out with friends is great, but when it becomes an everyday or even weekly costly adventure you need to evaluate what is most important to you. There’s no need to stop being a social butterfly but just pick and choose which spots are really worth it in the end. If you want to really be shocked just look at your bank statement and see all the random here and there eat out costs and how much going to the bar adds up to be. In the end it will totally be worth it and you will have much better memories on your big road trip or vacation than having a burger at your favorite restaurant.
I am still working on this trait but the times I have been prepared are the times I have saved the most. After all there’s that saying, “The early bird gets the worm”. This really goes for everything; start saving early, start getting your documents prepared, hotel accommodations should be booked in advanced, all these things and whatever you specifically need for your trip should really be prepared beforehand. This way you know how much money you have for your trip and if you need to save more. There have been times I completely forgot a simple bill that was coming up and I had to reevaluate how much money could be spent on the trip. So stay organized and prepared and you won’t need to be frantic about money during your vacation.
These are just a few key money saving tips I do when planning a big road trip. I hope this helped better your saving mentality for whatever big trip you plan on taking. And if you’re a master at saving money or have some additional tips for saving money I would love to hear them! Comment below and let me know :)