8 Ways to Save for a Trip on a Part-Time Budget
It’s hard to go on a vacation when you don’t have that much money to start out with. At one point in high school, I worked two part-time jobs along with multiple babysitting gigs in order to save up for my vacations. It was a lot of work, but that’s how badly I wanted to travel. Since then, I have learned some tactics and found jobs that allowed me to travel along the way. If you are trying to fund a trip on a part-time budget, here are 8 ways to save money for your trip.
Buy Cheap Clothes
Instead of saving up to buy high-tech gear and super cute outfits for your vacation, opt for clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting trashed and eventually thrown away afterwards. I tend to stock up on clothes at Old Navy and H&M, or buy cheap clothes while I’m on my trips. The best part is if you need to throw away any clothes at the end, you’ll have more room for souvenirs!
Set Aside Your Tips
Restaurant workers tend to make enough tips in a night that it could easily fund airfare after a month of work. For coffee shop workers, a month’s worth of tips might cover the food budget. I set aside my tips every week and save them in a special travel jar. This might only work for people in the service industry, but if you get bonuses or commission you can apply this idea to that sort of payment.
Find Online Deals
If the location you are going to has local deals on Groupon, Livingsocial, or Amazon Local, you can find activities, meals, and lodging for steep discounts. Maybe you’ll come across great deals of surf lessons in Hawaii, food tours in Sydney, or wine tastings in Woodinville! Just keep checking deal websites for a few months before your trip, and also make sure the deals will still be valid by the time you need to use them.
Split Your Paycheck
Each time my paycheck comes in I split the money between my checking, savings, and travel accounts. For example, if I get $460, $200 goes into my checking account, another $200 goes into my savings account, and $60 will be put into my travel jar. Maybe this sounds like an obvious idea, but it also helps me to not tap into my savings.
Sell Your Textbooks
We all know that colleges cheat students of money when it comes to selling or trading back textbooks bought from them. Did you know you could sell your textbooks on Amazon too? There is an option on Amazon Marketplace to create a seller’s account and get back money in cash or in Amazon gift cards. Just make sure to choose wisely which books to sell and for how much, that way you make money instead of losing it in shipping and handling charges.
Use a Super Cheap Phone
This may be a hard one to try for those addicted to their smart phones! Hear me out though! I save lots of money every month by choosing to use a pay-card slider phone instead of racking up data charges on a fancy smart phone. If I don’t need the phone while traveling for a long period, I can choose not to pay for those months. I balance this with using an iTouch, so I can still access WiFi spots and use internet then. My iTouch also serves as my camera and music players. Basically it is the one thing I can’t live without on my vacations because it serves many useful purposes!
Use Only a Carry-On
More and more airline companies are starting to charge for check-in luggage and the fees can add up with the more bags you bring along. Try to just bring a carry-on bag, which saves on fees and makes it easier to travel around with than a bunch of heavy bags. I like to use Space Bags to be able to pack in more clothes in small luggage.
Take on Side Jobs
If all the money you make from your part-time job goes to other expenses, think about taking up some side jobs for extra money. Even working 2-5 hours one night a week can add up after a while. Look into yard work, babysitting, tutoring, or errand gigs. Also see if your current company is looking for small part-time work in another section of the company.
Save Your Holiday Cash
During the busy holiday season, you might work more hours or be given larger tips. Save them! This extra money is how I come up with the most of my travel budget in a fast amount of time. Also set aside any gift cards you may receive as presents from family and friends.
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