I’ve spent the last few years lusting for and traveling to London. I have a deep desire to live there (that’s another story) but until then, I’ve made it a point to visit and spend a lot of time there. That transitions into a lot of dollars being converted over to the GBP – and trust me, it doesn’t go very far.
In order to live out my dreams and travel around in this super expensive city, I had to save. I saved a lot and made a budget that I could stick to. In the end, I had the best time ever traveling in Europe and living in London but I’m not the only person who can do this; you can too. I’m certainly not rich (I come from the projects in the Bronx) but I made it a point to save my money by remembering to practice simple savings techniques.
First thing I recommend, never ever take money out of an ATM that isn’t part of your bank. You’ll be surprised at the amount of money you lose by paying unnecessary bank fees. Just think $5 could go toward your travels rather than taking out some money. If you need cash, walk to your bank – you keep money in your pocket and get a bit of exercise.
Next, I recommend calculating your monthly bills and compare it in relation to your paycheck. If your bills even out to ⅓ or ¼ of your monthly pay, set auto payments to our savings from your checking to equal about ⅓ or more of your pay. This way, you add money to your savings account without even thinking. You won’t miss it because the money just automatically transfers over to your savings.
Another way to save is by bringing lunch. No one has money for $15 lunches every day. It’s not realistic and if you stop and think, you are spending at minimum $75 a week on lunch ($300 a month!). This doesn’t even include those nights you might go out to dinner with friends. By packing your own lunch, you give yourself extra money in your bank for travel. Think of it this way, 2 months of packed lunch can equal a trip to Europe!
One last trick is to set a goal. It’s not a trick per se but most people save better when they have something visual to look forward to. Start small, tell yourself you want to save $1000 in 4 months. When you start to save and hit your goal, it will make you more excited to keep adding to your pot!
Those are my tips for saving. They are simple but you’ll be surprised how the numbers add up.