12 Ways To Cut Your Costs, Increase Your Cash Flow, And Travel Like a Boss
I want to start this blog post with a little warm up. Get out a piece of paper or open up a Google Docs or if you use Microsoft Word then that’s fine too. Write down all your top of the mind expenses: Rent/Mortgage, Car Payments, Cable Bill, Cell Phone, Insurances, Education Debt, Groceries, Transportation Costs, Tally them up.
Then write down all your discretionary spending. This is what you spend on food, restaurants, movie nights, drinks, shopping, coffee shops, cigarettes, gym memberships, daily snacks, etc.
Add that all up – What did you come up with? Probably a large sum of cash. And I bet there will be plenty expenses you never realized were there. As you can see a dollar here and a dollar there quickly adds up. Just think about for a second the amount of money you would save if you decided to meal prep instead of eating out all the time.
You may wonder what does this have to do with travel? One simple reason you think that “I can’t afford it,” and for the most part you probably are right but if you find a way to budget yourself better than you can’t even imagine the potential you now have!
Now let’s get to the good stuff and shed some light on what it is you need to potentially cut to get this travel going.
Cut the Coffee – Love your Lattes or Frappes? Well, Starbucks loves your money. Coffee is a daily expense that drains your bank account as a silent killer. Just imagine a typical drink there costs you $5 and at a daily expense that is $150 a month and $1,800 a year!
That’s a two-month vacation in Southeast Asia. Just ask yourself next time what’s more important a Cup of Joe or the experience of a lifetime in another country?
Start to cook – We all are humans and our desire to be lazy is inevitable but there are certain things we cannot be lazy about and that is cooking. Just think about it for a second you go to a restaurant or out to eat with a friend you probably spend $20-$50, now you take that same money go to the grocery store buy some pasta, rice, chicken, and veggies, you just turned $20-$50 into a 1-2 Week spread!
Cut the cable – In the age of Netflix and free (legal) streaming sites, there’s no reason for you to commit to a $50 per month on cable television. Get rid of it and just watch everything online.
Ditch your landline – I honestly don’t know anyone who uses a landline anymore, since most people only use their cell phone for pretty much everything. So ditch it an avoid paying unnecessary expenses.
Downgrade your phone – Sure having an iPhone is nice and all but what is not cool about having one is the fact that you pay $85+ per month. Just downgrade and get a prepaid for $30-$35 a month and that alone saves you $50+ a month!
Open an online savings account – While you save you can enjoy an interest rate of about 1-2% to have some steady growths. Good online US banks include:
- Discover Bank: Interest rate 1%, no fees, $2,500 USD opening deposit
- Virtual Bank: Interest rate 1%, no fees or monthly minimums, $100 USD opening deposit
Get a Charles Swab account – Charles Schwab bank refunds all your ATM fees and has no account fees. With this card, you’ll never pay an ATM fee again.
Ditch name brands – Why pay full price when you can pay half? Use generic brands for clothing and go for stuff on clearance to save yourself a ton of money.
Sell your stuff – Before I went overseas, I looked around my apartment and saw just a lot of stuff I had no need for anymore: TVs, couches, tables, DVDs, bed, clothes, books. I decided to get rid of everything and sell it so I can have more money to travel.
Skip movie night – I don’t know about you, but movies are crazy expensive here in New York. It can cost you up to $15 for a ticket and that doesn’t even include the popcorn, candy, and drinks!
Stop drinking – Alcohol is pricey. Cutting down the amount you consume is going to make your bank account really happy. Simply drink before you go to a bar or don’t drink at all or just cut down the amount you have when you’re out and keep in mind it’s for a good cause.
Quit Smoking – Smoking kills not only you but depletes your wallet. A $10 pack per day amounts to $3,650 per year. That money could be better spent on bringing you more happiness and exciting adventures in the world.
Buy a metal water bottle – Plastic water bottles are not only harmful to the environment but also your wallet. Just think of the amount of money you spend on water bottles or drinks when you go out every day.
Want to share your tips and advice? Got questions? Comment below to ask questions, get answers, meet people, and share your tips!