Since I started working in August, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for winter, spring, and summer break. With bills, classroom supplies and going out with friends, I quickly realized how fast my paychecks disappear! I definitely want to plan some epic trips for 2020, so I’ve started a strict budgeting technique to help me save for travel.
I get paid bi-weekly, so every other Friday I treat myself to Starbucks or Jimmy John’s before I take a look at my bank account. Why? Because I deserve that! Then I go to an ATM and I pull out $200. This is my fun money for the next two weeks. I can use this to go out to eat with friends, take a wine and canvas class, buy new clothes, etc. It doesn’t matter and I can spend every dollar if I want to.
Then, I take a look at what bills will be do in the next two weeks. This includes rent, groceries, car maintenance, utilities, credit cards. I make all of those payments. Usually once I do that I’m left with a few hundred dollars. Some weeks, I’m not left with very much, and that’s okay too!
Whatever is left in my bank account after I pay bills I immediately move into my savings account. I leave $75 in my checking account, enough that I know not to spend anything, but it’s there if I need it for something unexpected.
By Saturday everything is squared away. This really forces me to plan out what I want to spend money on and what is unnecessary. Since switching to cash, I’ve noticed how quickly my money goes. Paying the extra fees to have food delivered? Not happening. Browsing the $3-$5 section at Target? Skipping it. The little things really add up! I’m learning to cutout impulse shopping, and my life hasn’t suffered at all. In fact, I’m happy every time I look in my bank account.
I’ve already saved over $1,000 this fall that I can put towards my spring break trip. That’s huge! That’s my flights and hotel room, covered. I am also now saving my coins. When I get back $0.30 here and there, I toss it in a jar. Next summer I’ll cash it in and have extra spending money on my vacation!
The biggest obstacle to saving for travel is prioritizing it. When you realize how much extra spending you’re doing, you realize how much money you’re wasting that could be put towards a flight or group tour. Get in the mindset of keeping travel at the forefront of your priorities, and you’ll have no trouble skipping that meal out and cooking at home instead.