How to Unclutter Your Finances & Start Traveling
It’s time to start traveling!!! And, with a few tweaks to your finances, you can!
Traveling is the single most valuable resource in the world. While material things break and disappear, a true cultural experience outside of your comfort zone has the power to stretch your mind and change you for the better. Such experiences are priceless and therefore invaluable.
So how does one financially prepare the priceless? The answer is simple!
Address, evaluate, and eliminate the financial clutter in your life.
Sure it is easier said than done, but here are 3 ways to get started….
What are you accustomed to buying that you really don’t need?
Do you have a closet full of brand new clothes and shoes every few weeks?
Are you dropping a few hundreds at the club or bar on the weekends?
Basically, ask yourself “what am I doing with my money??”
You’d be amazed to find that by paying attention to where your money is going, you will be able to see what matters the most to you. If you want to start traveling, you can start with looking at where you have been spending your money and then eliminate what is not truly beneficial to you, your growth, and your wellbeing.
What can you review?
-Recurring debits from your account
Monthly fees… Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, etc. add up. Take an inventory of the companies who have a hand in your bank account. My advice is to reduce your recurring payments down to a maximum of 5.
Remember that credit card money is still borrowed money. Try not to spend more than you can pay off in a month or two. If you have a credit card, you should have a credit card that rewards you with points that can be used for travel, discounts or offers you cash back. Allow credit cards to be a gift to you instead of a gift to the credit card companies.
Save for your trip!
The purpose of travel is not to simply go somewhere fancy and “ball out.” The purpose is to start traveling and embark on an experience that challenges what you thought you knew about the world. Decide what your spending ceiling is and stick to it. If you aren’t sure what to expect, you can always check out blogs that are specific to your destination.
Ways to save:
-Open a savings account at your current bank to stash away a few dollars each pay period. Look into high interest accounts with no fees, money markets, etc. When you’ve addressed your spending habits, transfer over the money you would’ve been spending elsewhere. For example, if you decide to cut out your daily $5 cup of coffee, transfer that $5 over to your new travel account daily!
-This may seem random but there are quite a few apps out there that will pay you! One of my favorites is Ibotta. Ibotta offers cash rebates for various purchases and sends you cash or a gift card after reaching a certain threshold. It’s a great way to create a soft income for “BS online purchases.”
Establish your budget
Once you’ve addressed your spending habits and started saving, establish a budget that will allow you to have fun, but not return home eating Top Ramen. Look for deals online that will allow you to stay within your spending ceiling. Focus on finding flight deals, hotel deals, and deals on excursions.
-After researching your destination, establish a reasonable food and drink budget and stick to it. Decide how much you want to spend daily so you can manage your funds throughout your trip.
-Beyond your budget, keep a credit card on hand in case of emergency! Be careful not run it up beyond your ceiling just because you’re out of town! The last thing you want to do is come back home struggling!
Once you have made the effort to address your spending habits and get intentional about saving, budgeting and swiping that card, you will be on the road to eliminating financial clutter and traveling freely.
To learn more about traveling wisely, check out my book Diary of a Traveling Black Woman: A Guide to International Travel!