The science of saving money for travel

2 years prior to my travels

Copyright: GIPHY

1.5 years prior to my travels

  1. I set a specific target — this will not only give you an overview of where you stand, it will motivate you as well.
  2. In addition to my already existing accounts, I opened a savings account where I could only deposit money, but not withdraw the funds.
  • Limit the number of coffees you buy;
  • Learn how to prepare a fresh Mocca or cappuccino at home. Even if you include the electricity and water you spend on it, it will be still cheaper than buying a cappuccino every single day on your way to work.
  • Start cooking and bring your own lunch to work;
  • Start practising meal preps; besides saving some money, you will also learn how to eat in a healthier way.
  • Start making a grocery shopping list; trust me, it’s not that kind of a thing only old people do. How many times do you walk into a shop without having any idea what you want to buy, plus you’re hungry. The result is that you end up buying tons of very tasty, but unhealthy, crap lacking nutrition. You end up eating it all at once and then you need to go shopping the next day. With a proper shopping list and a plan that outlines the dishes you want to cook, you’ll really buy only things you need. Plus, this type of planning will help you limit food waste. How many times have you ended up forgetting what you had in the fridge and found it later on only to discover that it’s past its expiry date? Hello trash.
  • Start cooking dinners & brunches for your friends at home instead of going out all the time. It will be cheaper and you’ll have more fun.
ϵ 10 brunch for 2 people at home
  • Immediately remove your credit card number from all food delivery services. Do it now!
  • Test your internet research skills. Sign up for discount alerts, register of Groupon type websites & deals. Here are a few recommendations: Groupon, nudeal.nl, socialdeal.nl, check Foursquare for recommendations on where to eat cheap but good food. Don’t want to miss out on a Michelin star experience either? Just wait for Restaurant Weeks and get your dinner for half of the original price.
  • This will be straightforward — just limit what you spend on clothes! Do you really need to buy a new pair of jeans or shoes every month?
  • Organize your closet. How many times did it have you found a bunch of new clothes you’ve never worn? Or forgot you bought new clothes so you bought some new pieces? Do a big clean up and sell the clothes you don’t wear on Facebook or a second-hand market. You’ll get rid of unwanted stuff, receive some extra cash & feel more organized.
IJ-Hallen market sales
  • Shop in second hand stores or during the sales season (50%–75% off)
  • Fix your clothes rather than tossing them out straight away.
  • Set a rule of not buying any new clothes for a few months unless you really need them.
  • Which ones you actively use and which ones you don’t?
  • Cancel the subscription you don’t use regularly. During my last year in Amsterdam I ended up paying 19 euros for a monthly cinema pass which I used only on a couple of occasions so I decided to cancel it.
  • Do not forget to cancel all your subscriptions prior to your travel. You can always renew them once you return.
  • Plan your travels in advance (more than 6 months in advance);
  • Be smart about your trip bookings; use discount codes, limited offers, look for error offers (you might end up flying to Rome for 1 euro, no joke), set up email notifications for price dropdowns;
  • When travelling, choose Airbnb or hostels over hotels. Hostels offer a number of private and low-cost rooms that are pretty well equipped. In case you are a first-time Airbnb traveller, you can get a 30 euro voucher to make your stay cheaper.
  • Never take a taxi from an airport. Try cheaper options such as UBER (or similar depending on a country you are travelling to) or public transport.
  • Look for free or cheap activities to do. Set a daily budget for yourself.
  • Cheeky option (also limited to those who have this option); be smart when travelling for a business trip with your company. If you end up going to your ‘bucket list country’, ask your boss for a few extra days and turn it into a holiday. Your flight will be covered anyway, so you’ll only need to take care of accommodation and food. Yeah, there is no shame in my game. Why there should be? At the end of the day, you work hard, so why not to combine it with a little bit of pleasure? Treat yourself.
Make your business trip your holidays and see the world

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Ada Ubrezi

Ada Ubrezi

I enjoy researching different topics, occasionally, I’ll turn them into articles.