Photo from Flickr CC

How To Plan Your Finances For This Year’s Travel

Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.-Paulo Coelho

The excuse most people give who want to travel but don’t is that they can’t afford it.  I am here to tell you that you can.  It just takes a bit of planning.  You have to make traveling a priority and put all of your focus on it if it’s something that you want to do. Here are my recommendations on how to plan your finances for this year’s travel.

how to plan your finances piggy bank

Photo by Images Money/Flickr CC

1.  Compare Bank Accounts

It is  on my list of things to do to compare bank accounts in January.  January is when many banks offer promotions to try to get your business.  Some of them will even offer cash to get you to move your accounts over to them.  I would like to find a bank that offers cash back when I use my debit card.  You might as well earn interest on the money you are spending as well as saving, right?

2.  Have a Savings Account For A Travel Fund

Having a savings account for travel is a great way to plan your finances for travel.  My goal this year is to try and improve my savings account balance.  I have decided that when I receive money that I will put ten percent in my travel savings account before I do anything else.  This is a great way to build a travel fund.

3.  Make Your Coffee And Meals At Home

It’s so easy to spend $3 here and there at coffee shops, but did you know that if you do this every day, you can easily spend almost $100 on coffee!! What would happen if you put that in your travel fund instead?  You would have $1200 at the end of the year.  Eating out is also so much more expensive than cooking at home.  There are so many great recipes on the internet that you don’t even have to go out and buy a lot of expensive cookbooks to get started.  This is one of the greatest ways that I save money for travel and is a great way to plan your finances so that you are saving money each month.

 4.  Get A Credit Card That Gives You Cash Back For What You Spend

There are a lot of credit cards that will give you cash back for the money that you spend with them.  I actually make more money on the money that I spend than on what I save.  However to benefit from this, you must pay off your credit card balance every month.  When I use my credit card, I deduct the balance from my check register as if I’ve written a check.  I then have the credit card automatically deduct the full credit card balance from my checking account each month.  Do not fall victim to credit card debt!  So many people are in debt because they are paying interest on items that they didn’t really need in the first place.  When you spend money, ask yourself if you would rather have the item you are buying or a dream trip around the world?  You will find yourself spending a lot less when you think about each purchase before making it.

5.  Make Use Of Free Travel Apps And Travel Websites

There are a ton of travel apps and websites that can save you money for your trip and help you plan your finances. With these apps, you can find cheap airfare, hotel rooms, and discounted meals at restaurants. Don’t forget to consider alternatives to hotel stays such as couch surfing or house sitting.