This past year seems to have been a little rough on a lot of people financially. We constantly hear how people want to do a little something for themselves by going on a trip but they either “Can’t afford it” or simply just have “too many expenses”. So we thought we’d write up some tips that I myself and Mr. Panda use when we are planning on a big trip and want to be better without money. Every dollar saved is an additional dollar towards your travel fund so check it out!
CUT OUT BUYING COFFEE/SMOOTHIE
Stop buying Starbucks, Good Earth, Jamba Juice, Jugo Juice, Booster Juice whatever your choice of addiction is! You almost never just walk away with just the drink. You pretty much alway end up with a breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, lunch etc. It all adds up. If you spent $6 every day at 5 times a week for a whole year you would have spent almost $1600! You could book a trip to a pretty decent all inclusive resort to Mexico for that amount. So cut down on those coffee or smoothie runs or make your own!
This one is pretty self-explanatory and easy to do! Cut down the number of times you eat out in a week and we bet you can see some significant money saved. Let’s say you go out 4 times a week to eat lunch/dinner. Which is pretty conservative considering how easy it is to go out and grab a pizza or some pho! Let’s say you eat very conservatively and spend $15 a meal, 4 times a week for a whole year, you’ve just spent just under $3200! If you can get a ticket to Thailand around the $1000 – $1200 mark, you can easily go on a 2 week comfortable vacation to Thailand. Meal prepping is a good way to make sure no food is wasted and possibly better for your health if you are prepping responsibly! Either way you can’t lose! CUT OUT TV/CABLE
This is can be hard, especially if you are a big Hockey fan like Mr. Panda and live off sports channel. But if you are anything like me Netflix, Network websites (Global, CTV, ABC, MTV etc are my best friends. I watch everything online for free! I must admit this take a bit of planning though. Often TV network sites have their newest episodes expire when a new episode comes out so you just have to watch it before it expires! Netflix just recently upped their price to $10.00 a month so it currently costs me about $120 a year versus $840 a year ($70 per month). So if you can live without the sports channels there are some savings there!
SHOP AROUND ONLINE
I learned this tip from our good friend Lynda! She is a huge fan of buying everything online, mainly because her schedule is so busy so it saves her time. A huge bonus is that she often ends up saving tons of money and it gets shipped right to her house! Disclaimer: this does take some time so you have to be willing to look. The obvious sites to sift through are Amazon, Ebay, Kijiji and Craigslist! Mr. Panda and I just got a little puppy named Tony and we saved tons of money on puppy pads! Who knew they were so expensive? We were able to buy 2 brand new packages of puppy pads for $10 because owners no longer needed them. We saved over $90! Another fun and awesome way of saving money is buying second hand when you can. An amazing way of doing this finding community buy/sell and auction pages on Facebook. There’s always tons of stuff! Our friend Lynda is currently super obsessed with this! She’s found some pretty neat stuff by doing this.
SELL YOUR STUFF
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip! Sell anything you don’t need/use (old sporting equipment, handbags, books etc.) Your unused items could be something someone is looking for! Who doesn’t like making a little money on stuff that has been in storage for a few years?! Another bonus is that you get to de-clutter your living space…YAY! I find Kijiji is really good for this or those Facebook Buy and Sell groups are super awesome as well!
COUPONS COUPONS COUPONS
This is my absolute favorite way of saving money! COUPONS! Nothing is more satisfying to me than using coupons for the things I buy! I sign up for store emails for offers, look at the coupon board at stores, sift through flyers and good coupons all the time. The best part is that we always have a smartphone so it’s super easy to just hop on google and see if there are any coupons for the store you’re at. Yes, sometimes it takes a few mins to look but hey those few minutes could save you some major moolah! TIP: To de-clutter your email inbox, you can always create another email for coupons only to help with organization!
SKIP GOING TO THE MOVIES
Do movie nights by renting them on Apple or Netflix for half the price! Once you add snacks and drinks plus your tickets it can really add up! If you and your significant other or friends like to go to a movie once a month for a whole year that’s almost $400 between the both of you not including snacks. Or just make sure you go on cheap nights! Every dollar saved is 1 more dollar to travel!DRINK AT HOME OR PRE DRINK
Mr. Panda and myself luckily aren’t drinkers but many of our friends love kicking back and have a nice cold brew or a glass of wine on a weekly basis. So we highly recommend drinking at home or pre drinking if you are having a wild night out! It is much cheaper to drink at home/before heading out than at the bar. If you go out for a drink, it’s never just a one drink. It’s usually a few drinks, plus some wings and tip! You’re probably looking at around a minimum of $30 each time you go out. $30 once a week for a whole year is just over $1500. This could pay for lots of beer at home or better yet beers on the beach!
We hope this will help you save a little more $$$ in your travel funds!