Budgeting

Adventures On A BudgetThe great thing about travel is that you can choose your own adventure. You can travel in four-star hotels and max out your budget. Or, like us, you can travel on-the-cheap and still have a grand adventure. We know that it’s hard to imagine ahead and figured out expenses if you’ve never traveled overseas before. It’s nice to have at least a ballpark estimate of how much you can expect to spend. We’ve included an expense calculator below to help you estimate your expenses, and we’ve given you an example of how much we spent on our last trip.

Packing List for Overseas Travel

Expense Calculator
Interactive PDF (for computer)
JPG Image

Expense Chart Ireland ExampleBudget Example
JPG Image

How To Save MoneyHow to Save Money for Trip

Saving money can be easier than you think. Most times, you end up spending waaaay more than think on extras like fancy coffee and expensive eye-liner (guilty). And we’re not saying that you shouldn’t splurge. But if you want stockpile funds for your traveling, you need to cut back somewhere. We dare you to try some of these and see how much money shows up in your wallet.

1. Cut back on gourmet coffee, soda, wine

Notice we said “cut back” here and not “destroy” it. Do you drop five bucks on a mocha frappuccino every day? How about making coffee at home most days and treating yourself to the expensive coffee on Fridays. (Or Mondays….we all need help then).

2. Reduce your cable package

Cable was our number-one waster of money – and we had moderate cable packages. Kinda was only paying $58 a month for cable….but that equals….(wait for it) $696 a year! She cut cable back to the basic $19 a month package for a savings of $468 a year. Which is more than half the amount she paid for her last plane ticket to Europe. Plus, she doesn’t zone out in front of the TV as much watching places she’d like to go.

3. Call every service provider to ask for promotions or loyalty deals.

Even if you don’t decrease your service for cable, internet, phone, etc., you may still be able to get better deals! Just call and ask if there are any promotions, if they have better rates, or if they have special loyal customer rates. Kinda called her internet provider and asked what was available. They saw she had been a loyal customer and cut her rate in half…for the same service! You never know until you ask.

4. Barter for Stuff

Now on this one you have to get a little creative. You’d be surprised what you can come up with! Trade babysitting for a haircut and color. Our friend recently got married and swapped housecleaning services for cake decorating and photography for the wedding. Smart move.

5. Have a clothing swap

This goes in that “it sounds weird but it’s cool” category. We have a clothing swap about once a year – ten or fifteen girls bring their extra clothes and accessories to a get-together. We put all the clothes in size piles and then draw numbers to see who chooses first. We all go home with new (to us) clothes and jewelry to wear….free! Less shopping=more saving.

6. Stop shopping for clothes/shoes for one month

That’s it – just one month. Put the money aside for overseas shopping. See how you do and go from there. We have friends who have pledged to do this for an entire year. We admit it…..we don’t think we can last that long without shopping.

7. Keep track of what you spend

Just knowing is half the battle. Once you actually see how much you’re spending, it’s easier to get motivated to cut back.

8. Use the dollars-in-envelopes approach

Dave Ramsey made this one famous. You budget out what you need to spend for shopping (groceries, clothes, etc). You then put cash for each of those budgets in an envelope. When you go to the store or restaurant, onlytake that envelope, no credit cards. It’s harder to spend cash because it’s easier to notice when it’s gone. And besides that, once you run out, it’s gone.If you don’t like carrying actual cash around, there’s now an app you can download to put virtual cash in envelopes on your phone.

9. Leave your spending credit card at home

Going shopping with the girls? Don’t take the credit card. Our friend Anna did this on a shopping trip recently – she actually gave her card to a friend to hold for her while she was in the store. Did she want to buy stuff? Yep. Did she? Nope.  (Just make sure your friend is trustworthy before you go passing her your credit card to hold!)[/expand]

10. Have a yard sale or Craigslist sale

Clean out all of those extra clothes and trinkets you aren’t using.  Let’s be honest….half of that stuff you’ll never wear again. Wouldn’t it be better to trade it for a trip to sunny Italy? Sell the nicest stuff on Ebay or local consignment shops. For the rest, you can have an actual yard sale or list the larger items on sites like Craigslist. You’d be amazed at what people will buy! Every year we make hundreds of dollars simply by cleaning out the items that we don’t use anymore.