In the last year, all of my travels were road trips or a $79 Southwest Airlines special; but regardless of the distance, traveling is can be expensive. I thought it would be fun to share ways I save money each month in order to travel more, and I would love to hear your ideas! This is also a way to motivate myself and stay accountable; so with that, I bring you to my very first edition of 5 things I did this month to save money for travel!
ONE: SOLD SOME CLOTHES
When we moved here, anything we wanted to keep but couldn’t fit in our car went to my mom’s basement. When I went home for Christmas, I was able to bring back a lot of my clothes (that I’d forgotten about, honestly) that I hadn’t seen in a year. When I started unpacking, I realized that I’d replaced most of those clothes already. I took that as an opportunity to clean out my closet and I made about $70 selling those clothes.
TWO: CELLPHONE DATA
I didn’t go over my cell data. This one might sound a little crazy, but for some reason I really struggle to keep my data use under control. We have an embarrassing amount of data on our plan already, so I refuse to raise it. Instead, I promise myself every month that I won’t go over; yet I do anyways almost every month, racking up ridiculous charges. This month, I “saved” $20 by not going over my data limit. A goal for the future is to lower my data use enough to reduce the overall data on our plan, which would save even more. Rumor at work is that we are getting wireless soon, which would make this goal very attainable!
A friend referred me to Shopkick. I was leery at first, because it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of payout, but I decided to give it a try. Essentially, it is an app that gives you points for walking inside a store, scanning specific items , or purchasing specific items; you then redeem those points for gift cards. I also make it a point to open the app every day because it usually gives you 1-2 points just for opening the app. It took me a while to remember to turn it on and use it in the stores but now it’s second nature. Today, I was scanning a bottle of wine at Target when another girl came behind me and scanned the same bottle – obviously she was using Shopkick too. I got a “kick” out of that (ha- get it?). I didn’t use Shopkick as much this month as I could have had I remembered to use it every time I went to the store so I didn’t make much, but I did earn $2 towards a gift card. Obviously this one won’t make you rich, but if you’re at the store anyways, then why not.
You can sign up here and we’ll both get extra points.
FOUR: BULK MEAT
While my goal was to make a whole freezer-full of meals that I can throw in the crockpot before work every day, I didn’t end up making the time to do that. We did, however, buy 10 pounds of ground beef. It’s cheaper to buy a tube of 10 pounds than it is to buy 1 pound packages. I cooked all 10 pounds, then placed it back into the freezer to pull out whenever I’m ready. Not only was it cheaper this way, but it will save time on weeknights as I’ll be able to pull the meat out of the freezer in the morning before work and throw it into whatever I want to make that night without having to cook it then! By buying in bulk, I saved around $6.50.
FIVE: LAZY WEEKEND
On the weekend that the northeast was hit with a massive blizzard, we got a little bit of rain and cold weather. We decided to take that as an opportunity to stay inside and watch movies; in other words, we didn’t leave our house at all. We ordered a pizza, but otherwise didn’t spend any money on gas, admission fees to anything, or drinks. Most weekends, we are driving somewhere at least 30 – 60 minutes away, paying for a couple drinks, having a nice dinner, and likely paying for some sort of entertainment as well. I estimate that we saved around $50 on the weekend we stayed home.
So that makes the total that I saved this month $148.50, almost $150! That would definitely cover a hotel for at least one night. It’s a good place to start!