We take a lot of long weekends and road trips and our friends often ask how we afford to travel so much. Well first, we couldn’t always afford to. We were irresponsible and racked up a bit of debt. Now we’re much smarter about our budget and have started using many of these frugal tips to cut back on our expenses and bring in some extra income so we can afford our adventures without breaking the bank.
CUT BACK OR ELIMINATE SALON MANIS AND PEDIS.
These can easily be done at home and if you’re going twice a month, you’ll easily save $80 per month or $960 per year.
BROWN BAG IT
Eating out for lunch every day can add up quick. Think $10 per day or $50 per week, conservatively. That’s a savings of $2600 per year if you pack a lunch from home.
MAKE COFFEE AT HOME
It may not be as tasty as that vanilla chai latte from Starbucks, but skipping the $2 – $7 coffee each weekday and using that dusty old coffee pot on the counter can save up to $1820 in a year.
CANCEL UNNECESSARY MEMBERSHIPS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
Prioritizing the things you feel you really need and cutting back on those you don’t can save you a bunch. Let’s take a look at how much some of the more popular subscriptions cost for a year to see just how much you can save:
- Netflix Streaming – $131.88
- Spotify Premium – $119.88
- Audible – $179.88
- Gym Membership – $480
SKIP THE BAR AND ENJOY A DRINK AT HOME
…or skip the booze entirely to really save. Who am I kidding… anyone who knows me well, knows I’m not going to skip the booze entirely. Seriously though, the markup on booze at restaurants is INSANE. You’ll pay three to four times the prices for that bottle of wine at a restaurant. Buy it at the store and enjoy it at home while enjoying your latest Netflix binge.
Don’t cut back here, just quit. At nearly $10 per pack, a pack-a-day habit is costing you $3650 per year.
CUT THE (CABLE) CORD
I need to practice what I preach with this one. Depending on your cable package, you could be spending around $200 per month (we are and I want to puke every time a bill comes in). That’s $2400 per year I could be saving.
Again, this is where priorities come in. I know people who would never think of shopping at thrift stores or buying generic brands. Not me. I’m cheap and I love my adventures. I’ll buy the Target brand toothpaste if it means I have a couple extra bucks for my next weekend getaway.
SELL ITEMS YOU’RE NOT USING
Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist make it super easy to sell unwanted items. It’s not rocket science and you may have literally hundreds or thousands of dollars sitting around your home. I’ve sold several of our old iPhones on eBay for $75 – $200 each and brought in a couple hundred bucks in one weekend with a yard sale.
PICK UP A SIDE GIG
This could be as simple as babysitting, driving for Uber or Lyft, or picking up a bartending shift. I work full time, but but had my consulting blog as a side gig, which brought in $200 – $500 extra every month until I sold it late last year.
GET A ROOMMATE
If you have the space, this one can be huge. I’ve rented out my finished basement several times over the last couple years for $500 per month. That’s an extra $6000 per year!
SHOP AROUND FOR INSURANCE
I try to do this at least once a year. You can easily get quotes online, and it only takes a few minutes to switch carriers. I switched last year and am now saving $82 every month. That’s $984 saved in a year.
Obviously not all of these tips will work for everyone. But implementing just a few of these tips could be enough to save for a long weekend away.
Check back soon for my follow up post on how to save money on travel, featuring my best tips for getting the best deals on flights, hotels, dining, and more.