Of all the questions that have come my way since telling the world about the upcoming trip to Europe, the number one question is “how are you going to afford that?” I get it. It’s a pretty common thought that in order to travel the world you need tons of money; however, that’s only partially true. Money? Yes. Tons of money? No.
There is no denying that in order to explore Europe for two months straight Aaron and I will be saving some dinero. However, we have not given up our home (yet) or sold our souls to the devil in order to make this happen. Rather, we have made some minor changes to our spending habits that have, in turn, provided some substantial savings.
I am the queen when it comes to spending money on absolutely nothing. Don’t even try to argue with me on this, I already take the crown and you cannot have it. I should have cut this bad habit years ago after looking at bank statements and finding a gazillion unnecessary transactions that added up to a few hundred dollars a month. Well, I didn’t. I continued to rack up charges month after month with little to show for it and I cannot imagine what my total damages have been over the years. Somehow, once we set sights on getting our asses out of the U.S. for a few months, I magically gave a shit about this missing money and have been tracking every swipe of my overused debit card since. Once I started looking (and caring) about where my money was going I realized just how much I could be saving and I swear I shed a tear when I saw the amount.
Listen, I am a coffee snob. I know it and I own it. I refuse to drink anything at my desk in the morning that is not in a white cup with a green label. Don’t give me directions to a Dunkin’ and don’t even think about telling me to drink that dirty water from the break-room. With this being said, I realize that my $2.69 day, 5 days a week means I am putting almost $55 into my snobby coffee habit each month. That money could be used towards a train ticket from Naples to the Amalfi Coast and for that reason only, I have put a halt to most of my frivolous spending. While I treat myself to Starbucks on occasion, I try to drink tea for my caffeine fix instead. I have also started taking the train to work rather than spending (inset amount I will not admit) on toll and parking in center-city Philly. Just curbing these small costs has me saving a lot of money each month. Whether it’s Starbucks or iTunes, holding back from those ‘little’ purchases will really add up.
This is currently my favorite way to save money because it does not involve me sacrificing anything, but some time. No matter what it is that you have – clothes, furniture, old electronics – any of this can be sold and I promise you, there is someone out there who wants it. For me, it’s clothes and jewelry that have been sitting in our walk-in, unworn, for far too long. I decided to start selling my things on Poshmark and I was shocked at how quickly I started making money. Who knew that people would want perfectly good clothes with tags still on them… You can also sell your things at yard sales (including the virtual yard sales they have on Facebook) and on Tradesy. It is the perfect way to de-clutter and earn money towards your travels.
This little tip right here has made the biggest impact on my mindset and my spending habits. Pausing for a split moment before purchasing something and considering what that money could buy elsewhere has saved me hundreds of dollars. Example: I love makeup (you know this) and the other day I was browsing Sephora’s website and stumbled on this stunning contour book from the ever amazing Kevin Aucoin makeup line. This item cost $65 which in my makeup-loving-mind isn’t that bad. Now, check out this incredible apartment from Airbnb that is perfectly located in Rome, Italy. This entire apartment is only $42/night. See where I am going with this? That’s living arrangements for day in Rome plus $23 leftover for gelato. Point made.
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