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Most of us (myself included, very often) get sucked into the cycle of social media, following people who seem to be traveling all the time – in fancy clothes and not having to live ‘real lives.’

 

It may seem that other people have way more money to spend on traveling than you.  And while that might be true (because they either just make a ton of money anyway, or were born with trust funds) — traveling should not seem as attainable as it does to you.

 

 

Friends come up to me all the time – saying that they wish they could travel more, that they’re jealous that I get to go to all of these exotic places instead of staying at home and having to work a job like everyone else.

 

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

 

I wasn’t born with a trust fund.  I’ve been supporting myself since I was 21 years old.  And the reason why I get to travel is not because I make a ton of money.

 

 

Here we go, are you ready for it?

 

  • The reason why I get to travel more is because I prioritize travel.
  • The reason why I get to travel more is because I spend less.
  • The reason why I get to travel more is because I budget myself on a daily basis.

 

And unless you are going through a very extreme situation currently, you only THINK you can’t afford to travel.  You actually may be able to.  It just takes a little change in perspective.  And it’s not always easy, but it’s possible and that dream trip is closer than you think.

 

And to give you a little bit of perspective, here’s how I managed to save up enough money to travel the world for 11 months.

 

 


 

I budget myself.

 

I was never good at math.  I will probably never be good at math.  And because I am so very self-aware about my not being good at math, I tended to stay away from having to do it.  Ever.  That is, until I had to get my sh-t together and start actually budgeting myself daily, monthly — in order to help me meet my travel goals.  And I used Mint to make budgeting a lot easier.

 

 

Mint is a FREE personal finance app that allows you to see your finances all in one place — that means, all of your bank accounts, credit accounts and whatever else are all under one secure account.   I use the app to create budgets for every aspect of my life, and it segments them to help you see exactly where you are spending all of your money.

  • Restaurants
  • Groceries
  • Bars/alcohol
  • Travel
  • Transportation

 

 

When you’re over budget, Mint will send you an email letting you know.  It does all of the math for me, and spits out pretty little pie charts to help me visualize where I’m spending my money every month.

 

These features have helped me cut back on unnecessary spending — spending that only ends up keeping me further away from booking another flight to a place on my bucket list.

 

 

On top of that, I use Mint to review and pay all my bills in one place.  They send me an email when my payment is due, and payments made through Mint are expedited, often payable in one day — which is faster than using a traditional bank in my case. No missed payments means no fees, no fees means more money for flights.

 

 


 

 

 

 

I prioritize travel and spend less.

 

Since I started traveling, certain priorities fell further and further down my list.  If you really want to travel, you have to do the same.

 

You have to prioritize travel above the other things that you may not be used to living your everyday life without.

 

How important is traveling to you?  Is it more or less important than the expensive snacks you get at the grocery store?  Or the new camera you were eyeing?  The super cushy soft toilet paper?  What about that new pair of shoes you just saw at a boutique?  Or the frequent dinners out?  Margaritas with the girls, or beers with the boys?

 

The money I would have spent on any or all of the above, got saved only because I prioritized travel.  I knew that the money I was spending at home, could be saved to help me extend my trip in Bali.  It could go towards to my flight to Thailand, or towards street food at a night market in Malaysia.

 

The fact of the matter is — if there are things in your life that you can go without — go without them, save the money you would have been spending, and over time — your savings will add up, and your flight will be booked.

 

 


 

So here’s the low down.  

 

When I’m not traveling, I’m actually doing the following:

  • I go grocery shopping and cook all my meals at home.
  • I don’t let my stomach do the thinking when I’m buying these said groceries, so I don’t end up coming back home with the entire store in my cart.
  • I tell my friends that I’m sorry that I can’t go out all the time (and yes, sometimes I watch WAY too much Netflix because I’m saving up for another trip).
  • I’m learning to live with less.  Less clothes, less clutter, less STUFF.  I only focus on getting things that will 1) help further my photography career, 2) are extremely functional and are compact enough to take with me on the road.

 

And when I DO travel, I make sure that I spend less money during those trips.  Gone are the days when you have to spend thousands of dollars for a week-long holiday.  I actually spent less money traveling, then I had been spending while living in New York City.

 

That’s because I travel to cheap destinations on the most budget-friendly months of the year, and use miles to get flights for free.

 

And here’s more info on how I do it: 10 Secrets To Traveling Smarter, Cheaper and Longer.

 

 

 


 

 

Did you like / appreciate this post?  Pin it and share this article with your friends!

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this post.  Do you have any travel secrets?  Any awesome random stories to tell anyway?

 

P.S. Follow me on instagram @projectinspo for daily photo + motivational updates.  And join our awesome Facebook community here.

 

With love,

Jinna

 

  • I compeletly agree with you! Good tips!:D

    Another Lovely Blog!, http://letrad.blogspot.pt/

  • Thanks for the inspo Jinna, I’m finally starting my travel journey this spring and I’m so grateful for all the useful advice I’ve gotten from your blog.
    http://Www.eesome.co.ke

  • Kristina Maggiora

    Ahhhh this is so true. I know why I don’t have money to travel more – cause I spend it on getting new bags or tattoos. This year I’m saving to travel to Japan and I’m so excited!

    http://creepersandcupcakes.com

  • This is such great advice, I’ll definitely have to check out Mint it sounds like a good app.

    Abigail Alice

  • Victoria

    Awesome article. I’ve seen you post on IG and I notice someone has to have taken most of your photos. Btw, he/she does a great job. Does this person work for you or is this person a contractor?

  • Such a good idea! I have downloaded the money app to try and keep an eye on my spending!! Great post!

  • This is such a great post. Most people in my life say they can’t afford travel, but I have noticed that they can afford new clothing each season, expensive dinners out, and most shop at Whole Foods instead of a more budget friendly store. My husband and I do many of the same tips you shared. In fact, we were able to go to Paris for 5 days on just the money we saved from not having cable for 13 months! Travel is so possible. Thank you for sharing your tips 🙂 | http://ourpassportpages.com/

  • I agree and disagree (politely). Yes, one must prioritize and budget. On the other hand, there’s no point in pushing off friends in search of the goal of travel. Human relationships should be a priority, too. But you can change the terms–a cheaper bar/restaurant for drinks instead of dinner. Or invite friends over but keep it to something inexpensive (spaghetti and boxed wine?). Nobody will care what you served if the conversation was good, which gets to the point: real human connections should never get short shrift. In fact, travel itself should be about widening your human connections around the world.
    The #1 budget item to attack is housing. Downsize. Wherever you live, it’s probably way too big. Downsizing means (1) less rent, (2) lower utilities, (3) less stuff, (4) lower insurance etc etc. You can still have a crowd of friends if you live in a tiny apartment. Sacrifice space, not friends.
    And cut back on your clothing budget. Nobody but you notices what you wear.
    My first budget solution to traveling around the world was to join the Peace Corps. My parents had no money and I was broke. Fantastic experience. Very challenging (no running water, no electricity, no Internet, no phone, no vehicle). Best thing I ever did, and I would do it again in a second. It gave my life meaning. I saw the lives of other people on the planet, unfiltered. Then I flew home, but around the world. Eye-opening. Peace Corps isn’t the only option, either.

  • I’ve been going through a financial transformation of my own lately, after having gotten in touch with the Dave Ramsey program. It’s really given me a better look on my finance situation and I totally know what you mean here.. that traveling is possible if you make it a priority. I thin our society is teaching us to calm down, stress less, enjoy life… but the advertisement, the promotion, the tv shows, and the blogs.. all teach us the opposite. So it’s a constant struggle. But it’s taken me about 5 months now and I an ALMOST debt free. Once I am, I am going to pile up savings for things that I DO want, and get to do them with control, instead of doing them out of impulse and then being tied to the payment plan and be forced to pay for things I already enjoyed.

    Thanks for sharing this… it’s much appreciated!

    Jessica || Cubicel Chic

  • This was an amazing and informative post! People complain about not being able to travel but they don’t know how to save and don’t seem to want it enough. I had a friend post about how he wanted to travel but couldn’t because of money. I told him to think about how much money people could save by eating out less, not needing the newest iPhone (just get a cheap prepaid phone) and so many other things that could save people so much money over the years for their dream trips. Of course it was casually dismissed, but that attitude is why people are stuck where they are.

  • Very helpful and inspiring post! I just started reusing Mint to help me stay on track with my budgeting goals and yes, denying those night outs with friends will definitely pay off in the long run!

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

  • Amazing tips! With budget airlines and websites like Airbnb it seems like the world is becoming a smaller place. I just wish Mint worked as well over here in Ireland, but if you really want to budget something then you shouldn’t let that stop you!

  • Great post and interesting to hear other perspectives on this topic. I look at a lot of travel blogs and social media accounts and it always appears so glamorous but in reality not everyone can afford to travel all the time or in such luxury so it’s important to discuss how it can be done on a budget!

    Looking forward to reading more from you:)

  • Love it! These are awesome tips. It’s all about that self-control.

  • Well said, it’s possible to travel even when you have a limited budget!

    http://www.blog.anywhere.to

  • I am in the process of learning to live without some things because I would really like to travel more in the near future. I have downloaded the MINT app as a start to proper budgeting.

    I love shopping but as you said, the people who travel a lot gives priority to that. I really appreciate you for sharing these tips.

    http://www.travelbeautyblog.com

  • From one blogger and travel obsessed girl to another….I love this post! I think you hit some great points. Make it a priority and save, save, save! I travel as often as I can but it comes at a cost (well depending on how you look at it!). Thanks for the reassurance that if you WANT to travel you can….you just have to adjust for it! 🙂 -check out some of my travels on http://www.Behindtheplates.com !!

  • This is really helpful. After I started traveling and had that euphoric feeling over traveling, I made a pact with myself that I will never spend on anything invaluable, Oftentimes when I go to the mall, I spend money on almost everything I see that are cute , forgetting that I don’t need it or them at all. I also started a business, a clothing business, to have a little side money. I subscribed to a few airlines to get newsletters about their flight promos and I joined this DIY and backpackers group on facebook and from then, I learned so much when it comes to traveling.

  • Great tips!
    I also think Alcohol is an absolute killer when it comes to your bank account. Cutting down on drinking is the easiest way to save money if that’s something you frequently do!
    I have never been much of a drinker, and thankfully that has allowed me to travel much more than any of my friends X

  • Rachel

    I hate when people who make much more than I do whine about not having enough money to travel. I only make 37k/year yet I still take a 2 week International vacation every year. It’s all about priorities. I hate clothes shopping, I don’t drink coffee or alcohol, I don’t have cable, and I drive a beater so I have no car payment.

  • Diana

    I took a three week trip to France that took me 20 years of waiting, and 2 years of saving up for. Have an automatic deposit out of your paycheck into a savings account. You won’t see it or spend it. It is the best way to put aside even a little money for travel. Sign up for Million Mile Secrets and The Points Guy blog to learn how to earn frequent flier points to fly for free. My trip to France, I flew business class for the first time for free. I paid the taxes on it and that was it. Even if you can’t get an airline credit card, you can still get points from using their shopping portals, using their partners, and even doing surveys. For lodging, there are sites like Couchsurfing.com that you can stay at for free. Where there is a will, there is a way. It is time consuming to plan a major trip like I took, but it was life changing. I am now saving up for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It will take another two years to plan but it will be worth it.

  • Some really great tips! Thanks for sharing them with us <3

  • As if I didn’t already know ALL of this! But thanks for putting it in black and white and reminding me that I need more discipline in my life. I need to get it together. And I need to make it a priority if it’s going to become a reality.

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  • I definitely want to go travelling more often! Will take these tips on board!

  • Jason Mraz

    You need to change “attainable” to
    “un-attainable” in the beginning of the article.

  • I love this! I’m like you and prioritize travelling but all my friends keep asking how I do it and then they go out partying every weekend. Eating and going out were my biggest money problems!
    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog
    xx