Traveling is an expensive hobby, there’s no way around that. Travel fares alone, whether by bus, plane, cab, or ferry, can add up really fast, not to mention food and room expenses on top of that. For those like me though, that still aspire to travel even while living on a budget, there are plenty of sneaky ways to save up and be able to accomplish your dreams! Here are a few small ways that will allow you to save up for your travels without having a huge impact on your daily life!
1. Skip the daily coffee house trip.
A lot of people depend on their daily coffee to function at work every day, and I used to be one of them. However, buying gourmet coffee every day really adds up by the end of the month. A cup of coffee is usually priced anywhere from P100-P200, and if you’re grabbing a cup five days a week as you head to work, that adds up to P2,000-P4,000 every month–which is already enough to purchase a local flight ticket! Instead of spending P100 or more on coffee every day, try out different alternatives that you can make at home that will save you money.
2. Only use your credit card for major purchases.
Credit cards can be really convenient to have on hand, in fact, sometimes they are just a little bit too convenient. Even if you don’t have the cash on hand, it’s easy to rationalize unnecessary purchases when you have a credit card, telling yourself you’ll just pay it off at the end of the month. The problem with this is that when you aren’t able to keep up with all of your purchases by the credit card deadlines, you end up spending more than anticipated in interest fees. Make an effort to only use your credit card for major purchases or necessary things such as appliances, bills, and groceries, and avoid using them for anything else if possible. If you can only afford to eat out or buy a new outfit if you use your credit card to pay for it, then you really can’t afford it. Stop throwing away money on unnecessary interest fees and save your money for travel memories that will last you a lifetime instead.
3. Take jeepneys and buses instead of cabs or cars.
No matter how you get to work each day, no one is going to deny that getting around in the Metro’s traffic sucks. Whether you take a jeepney or a cab, you’re going to be stuck in the same traffic as everyone else, so why not take the option that will save you some money? As with coffee, the daily expenses may not seem like much, but by the end of the month they really add up, and taking a bus or jeepney instead of a cab will save you hundreds of pesos, if not a couple thousand. If you happen to have a car, consider not taking it every day as well. Not only do you have to pay for gas, but parking on a daily basis can get quite expensive as well. Let’s say your parking garage charges P40 for the first two hours, then an additional P10 for every hour after that. If you’re there for a nine-hour work day, and that ends up being P120 or more! Having your own car is pretty convenient, but consider leaving it at home at least two days a week and commuting instead–you could save 240php a week to add to your travel fund!
4. Hang out at home instead of at the mall.
In Manila, there’s practically a mall within walking distance no matter where you live. They are everywhere, they’re air-conditioned, and they seem like a great place to hang out with friends at on the weekend, right? There’s nothing wrong with hanging out at the mall a few days a week if you don’t spend any money, but the problem is that it is way too easy to spend money when you’re at the mall. If you’re there for a couple hours, chances are you’re going to get thirsty and spend P30 on a cup of iced tea when you could just make a whole liter at home for P8. You’re probably going to get the munchies as well, and spend more money on either a cheap snack or a whole meal. Before you know it, you’ve spent P500 without even realizing it. So, instead of hanging out at malls all the time, invite your friends to just come over to your house.
5. Evaluate your television habits.
Just about everyone has cable or satellite television these days, so people look at my husband and I like we’re a little bit crazy when we tell them that we don’t. Cable TV is a pretty normal household expense, but maybe you should take a look at your TV habits and decide whether it’s really worth it. Do you spend more time just flipping through channels then you do actually watching TV, or you’re just using it primarily as background noise but not actually paying attention to what is on? If so, is the P500 per month cable bill actually worth it? For my husband and I, it was an easy choice. We get our news from the internet and most of the shows we like to watch we can stream online. So, since we’re already paying for internet, having an additional cable bill was totally unnecessary. If you do find cable TV necessary though, are you paying for more channels than you actually watch? Consider downgrading to a cheaper package to save on your monthly bills.
When it comes to saving up, there are so many seemingly minute ways to avoid spending needlessly and cutting back on costs. When you’re in your 80s and looking back on fond memories of your younger years, what are you going to remember the most –the amazing sights you saw while traveling, or how many channels you had on TV?
Featured Image from stokpic.com via pexels.com