“Travel makes you modest, you see what a small place you occupy in the world” – A Wise Man
Many of us dream of travelling to a famous European city or chilling at world’s most beautiful islands. But the reality is travel costs money, a lot of money sometimes. And money is not an unlimited resource. We work hard to earn every penny and we need to work equally hard to save every penny we earn. So I have made some of the smartest ways to identify, save and invest for your travel.
1) Decide on where you want to travel
Before saving money you need to be able to answer following questions.
a. Where do you plan to travel? Like domestic or abroad.
b. Mode of transport? Bus, Train or Air
c. How many days are you planning to stay? Like 10 days
d. Do you have any specific activity that you are planning? Like skydiving, watch a football match etc. because these additional activities also decide your budgets.
If you have answers for all these then move to the next hack.
2) Make a budget of your travel. Don’t forget to add following things
a. Bus/Train/Flight tickets
c. Local transport
d. Food expenses for breakfast, lunch and dinner
e. Entry tickets for museum or a zoo or any activity
3) Record all your monthly or daily expenses
I use ETMoney App to record my expenses but there are many such apps based on your choice and convenience. I record every small expenditure and investment. It can be a tea worth ₹10 to my credit card bills of ₹10000. This will help you understand where you are spending more. Some of the insights which made me realize where I am wasting my money.
a) I used to spend ₹5000 for my clothes in a month, then my aim became to make it to zero from next month.
b) Are you spending ₹1000 every time you go out and you keep visiting malls and shopping complexes quite often or every weekend? Then it’s time to cut down on it. Try making it to every 2 weeks or once a month.
If you have started to track your expenses now you can move to the next hack.
4) Cutting down your unwanted expenses
My biggest expense has been on food which I ended up paying a lot every month. Whenever I eat out I used to shell out 150-300 bucks for every meal. I realized this when I started following my 3rd hack I mentioned above. Following things helped me to cut down my expenses.
a. Learning to Cook – Cooking is a kind of a hobby. If you find time it creates a soothing experience. Slowly you will start enjoying it. It can start from making a maggi to cooking a biryani. Anything made at home will be healthy and saves a lot of money.
b. Cut down on Tea or Coffee intake. Once a day is fine. This saves on your cost and keeps you healthy. Also always have tea or coffee at road side shops or there are some good restaurants which offer these beverages at ₹20 to ₹30 instead of going for Starbucks or Café Coffee Day.
c. Eating with friends as part of socializing and does this create a big hole in your wallet? Then you can have a house party where you can cook together. This way you don’t compromise on socializing and at the same time you will have fun. Trust me this way its better than going for a swanky looking pubs and restaurants.
d. Cutting down on Netflix monthly subscription
e. Use 2-wheeler wherever possible instead of cars (Will help you cut fuel). Use Rapido (2-wheeler travel aggregator app) rather than Ola or Uber.
f. Walk yourself if it is smaller distance. This will keep you fit as well.
g. If you have taken a gym membership as a new year resolution see if you can cancel it and save money
If you have already started to follow some of what I have mentioned you can move to last hack.
5) Start a dedicated travel fund. (It can be a mutual fund or simply parking some amount at regular intervals)
We have talked enough about how to save money and cut some unwanted expenditures. Now we will discuss how to put good use of that money which you saved or planning to save.
Open a travel fund. This statement is easier said than done. Now let me put a financial adviser hat to explain this in detail. Just go back to 2nd hack to know the budget and when do you want to travel. Simply put amount required and time you are left with decided how much do you need to invest to your travel fund. Let me explain with an example.
On a hypothetical situation you want to travel to Australia for T20 World Cup in Nov’2020 and you have 15 months. Let’s say your entire expenditure will cost you 3 lakhs along with your match tickets. On an average you have to save 20k per month and start putting the amount every month into this fund.
We also need to be aware that we will have to book flights and accommodation in advance. You can use the same money from your travel fund to fund for your bookings.
ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR TRAVEL!!!
P.S :- T20 World Cup in Australia is a trip I am looking for in year 2020. I have already started saving for it. So start saving right now.
P.P.S :- Do let me know if I have missed anything important.