People are always asking me how they can afford to travel the world so I decided to write a two part series on ways that you can cut spending and increase your monetary income so that you can bring your dreams to fruition. You can check out Part 1 here if you missed it or you can check out my last blog post on how to make money while you are traveling. After you read these articles, you should hopefully no longer be worried about having money issues while you’re on the road!

1. Work Part-time:

No one wants to work more than one job, but in some cases you may have to if you want to go somewhere within a short period of time. That few hundred more dollars per week can get you to wherever you want to go within a few months since it will practically be all profit. Another bonus to working a part-time gig is that you can be more selective on where you work since you don’t need the money to pay the bills.

2. ATM Budget:

This is a really cool way to save money and it’s simple to do. Take out all of the cash that you plan on spending for the week and don’t let yourself use any other money until the following Monday. This way you will be extra motivated to not go over your budget goal. The downside to this is that you will not be gaining travel miles for these expenses, which may end up hurting you in the end if you planned on using them to get a cheaper or free plane ticket.

3. Review Your Trip:

Taking a second look at your trip to see what you can do to lower costs is one of the easier ways to save money. If it doesn’t matter what day you travel and you have selected a day around a popular holiday, it would be a good move to change the date. Look at where you plan on staying, your transportation method, your activities, and where you plan on going.

4. Separate Your Income:

This is one of my favorite methods to save cash and it’s even simpler than the ATM method. Create a separate account for your travel funds. Make a promise to yourself that no matter what impulses you have, you cannot draw from this account unless it’s going towards your trip. Each week (or whatever works best for you) put “X” amount of dollars into the account and whenever you have left over money from something else (i.e. 20 USD lunch budget and you only spent 8 USD) put that extra cash into the account as well.

5. Cheap Food Items:

This is currently one of the methods that I’m using to save money. Find cheap and healthy foods that are filling to use for your main meals. I’ll often buy potatoes, pasta, or rice to eat which is only a few dollars each and it can work as my big meal for the day. The only issue with those foods is that they have a lot of carbohydrates and starches, so you don’t want to only eat them. You can also buy Instant Noodles or Ramen, but the inner health nut in me cringes at the thought of eating those.

6. Simplify Your Life:

The more basic (and probably boring) you make your life, the easier it’s going to be to save cash rapidly. Do you really need to get highlights in your hair and pedicures? Or to go to bars and restaurants every weekend? While those things may be nice to have, they are worth cutting for the bigger payoff of travel. My guilty pleasure is buying clothing at Express, where each shirt ranges from 50 USD to 80 USD, so far I haven’t bought anything from there in three months!

7. Reduce Your Bills:

Companies that provide cable, phone, and internet services do not want to lose your business, so calling them to renegotiate your payment is a definite option. Tell them that you bill is too high and that you may leave for their competitor if they don’t change it. The odds are in your favor that they will lower the bill for you.

8. Have Smart Energy Habits:

Keeping appliances that are not currently in use unplugged and not leaving the shower running before you actually take one, are a few simple steps to lower your utility bills and it’s green! You can also take shorter showers, avoid blow drying your hair, hand wash dishes, and eat cold cut meals. The possibilities are endless!

9. Move To Somewhere More Affordable:

This is for serious travelers only who plan on traveling long-term. Many travelers who sell off their items will often move into a cheaper apartment or live with family until they leave for their trip. This will save you hundreds of dollars if not much more per month to put towards your trip.

10. Reevaluate Your Debt:

If you have small bills to pay that are accruing interest, pay them off as soon as possible, because interest is money wasted.  For big bills this is obviously going to not be very feasible, (damn you student loans) but if you have credit card debt, start with the card that has the highest interest rate or move that debt over to another card with less interest. Simple things like that can add up in the long run.

Do you have any awesome ways to save money? I would love to hear them!



  1. Do not be an impulsive buyer. If you saw something you really like, don’t buy it immediately. Instead just go back for it after a week. Then, you will realize you don’t need it badly.

  2. Great tips Clay. I’ve used some of them in the past before to help me save but Have never heard of number 2 before. It sounds so simple really but I think it could save you lots especially if like me your at the ATM every other day. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  3. Good tips Clay. I especially like the ATM budget tip. I actually try to do this while traveling on a budget but had never thought of doing it at home as a way to save for travel.

  4. These are all fantastic tips, Clay!

    I think at the end of the day you really have to ask yourself, “How much do I want to travel?” Do you want to travel more than you want that cup of coffee? More than you want to have cable TV? More than you want to not live with your parents?

    Also, re food – healthier is cheaper anyway! I know a lot of people complain about the cost of fresh veggies, but if you just go to a market and buy your food there you can get it at half the price. And if you’re filling up on fresh healthy stuff you won’t want the expensive, crappy, pre-packaged, unhealthy stuff anyway.

  5. Great tips. I use the ATM one myself for my weekly entertainment budget and it definitely helps to be able to see how much money you have left.A couple of tips I have is to do a weekly food shop rather than buying food each day as you are less likely to overspend. Also, become a Air BnB host if you have a spare room – it’s fun, flexible and a great way to make some extra cash

  6. Make new friends! When I was in University, one of my closest friends volunteered with our International Exchange program. She acted as a mentor to incoming foreign exchange students and would volunteer to take them to different excursions all over Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

    By the time we had graduated, she had made enough contacts through this program that she traveled around Europe for three months and was able to keep her accommodation costs very minimal (I think under like $2,000 CDN she said).

    This was in the early 2000s (i.e the days before Couch Surfing/Facebook), and purely done via email.

    So now that we have more social media tools available to us, volunteering with your local Rotary Exchange/International Exchange program is a great bit of advice for current University or College students who have a desire to travel after graduation or during summer holidays! Make those contacts now if you can.

    • I think those are awesome programs to go on. There is one at my university that offers a 3-week trip to China and i’m seriously considering it (especially because student loans cover it! That’s a really cool story how your friend managed to travel through those contacts.

  7. These are good ideas. I started cutting back on several things to help out with our travel budget and found after awhile I didn’t even miss them anymore. Now I always make coffee at home, shop at thrift stores for most clothing, always pack a lunch for work, cook all food from scratch, got rid of cable and just use online tv. It’s been great. And the savings slowly add up! 🙂

  8. The most costly I think are “The transpiration fee and dining out”. I have to commute by the subway back and forth for four days a week. Now, I eat steamed bun with a cup of milk for my breakfast mostly. : )