Knowing how to budget in general is an important life skill. If you have a case of wanderlust like myself, knowing how to budget, will make your travel goals attainable. Budgeting for me was not always easy, but once I started, it got easier and easier and now I simply love looking at my budget and watching my travel fund grow. These are my tips on how to budget for travel.
Set your goal. Set it in stone. How badly do you want to travel?
When the travel bug hit me, I looked at my money and my heart sank. I simply did not see how I could start a travel fund. I wanted to do something that I had never done before so this automatically needed some rearranging of where my money was going. For me, I had never found enough motivation to assess my financial situation until I needed to start a travel fund. This was my BIG GOAL, and it was unshakeable, nonnegotiable, and it was going to be my way of showing to myself that my dreams matter. Knowing WHY you are saving money is half the battle won. Trust me. And it will make the following steps easier.
Look at your money. Really closely.
Oh boy! I remember when I did this for the first time… it was so scary and it took a couple of tries! When I wanted to start traveling, I had debt, I THOUGHT I was living from paycheck to paycheck, and I also wanted to start saving to buy a condo. How was all this going to happen?! I realized that:
a. I could manage my debt with a monthly payment but I didn’t have to pay it all off before living my big dream. Making a payment per month has a way to let you feel that you are taking your responsibilities seriously without compromising on your dream! Adulting + Self Care = Look at us WINNING!
b. I set a budget and I started recording every expense. This made sure that I didn’t go over my set budget and that I wasn’t spending more than I was making – which is a downward spiral and a recipe for disaster! Don’t fall into this trap – please Please PLEASE! Use a budget template which helps immensely. Here are some examples of spreadsheets you can use. Even better, if you are savvy with Excel, create your own!
c. Alongside my travel fund, I set up a down payment fund for my condo, which followed the same principle.
d. Starting small is better than not starting at all. My first deposit to my travel fund was $50! That doesn’t even get me a bus ticket to the mountains! But hey… I created the space for it.. and then I started finding other ways to add to it – BOOM! Just like magic it started growing! One of the things that helped me immensely is working a part time job! My day job covered my expenses and my part-time job all went into saving for the things that were important to me – and before you know it, my travel and condo fund started growing. Just wait to see how amazing this will feel.
Do not compromise. Your travel fund is a non-negotiable fund.
This brings us back to setting your goal and setting it in stone. If clothes shopping is important to you set a budget for it, but do not go into your travel fund because you saw a cute dress that you simply must own because what that screams is: I want to travel, but I want that dress more! Having said that, emergencies do arise and this may be another perfectly good excuse to go into your travel fund. If it’s an emergency, it’s an emergency, right? WRONG!! Set up an emergency fund and go to that in case of emergency. Please don’t sell yourself and your dreams short! Pretty please!! <3
These tips should be enough to get you started. Do you have questions, comments, feedback? Please comment below – I love your comments! Do you have tips that worked really well for you? Share those too!