How I Saved $1500+ In Addition to My Travel Savings
I knew I wanted to do a second summer-long backpacking trip about a year prior to my departure and had been slowly putting aside money into a separate savings account for the majority of that time. Around December 2016, I came up with an interesting concept to help encourage myself to put more money towards my trip. This hatched the idea of the Travel Motivation Jar.
I took an old wide-mouth Mason jar and started cutting some photos out of old travel magazines and a few Pinterest quotes and laid them out into a collage of my own travel dream destinations. With some masking tape, I sealed it to the front of the mason jar as my dedicated savings jar for travel.
For four months leading up to my summer backpacking trip, I put money in the jar for the following reasons on a weekly basis:
- Unused Weekly Budget - I gave myself $100/week to spend on gas, food, entertainment, etc. Everyone is different, so look at the average you spend a week and add a little more for entertainment/unforeseen expenses. Every Sunday I counted up every purchase on my credit card statement and subtracted that from my budget. Anything left over went into the jar. Some weeks, I was able to add $50, other weeks I went over my budget.
- Selling Things I Don't Use - This went hand-in-hand with my attempt to grow into a minimalistic lifestyle by taking things I never use which cluttered my room and throwing them into a box to sell on OfferUp, Craigslist or donate to Goodwill. Some things I sold include 2 backpacks, 2 guitars, and a box of books.
- Odd Jobs - I made the decision to dip into my travel savings to buy my first professional camera, a used Canon 5D Mark III off craigslist, which took a major cut to my backpacking funds. While I am very satisfied with my decision and have been growing immensely as a photographer over the past few months, I was still far setback on my savings goal. I started doing amateur professional portrait photography after my 8-hour days at my internship which was a burn-out but I net a couple extra hundred dollars this way and put every dollar from my gigs into the jar.
Sacrifices - Living at Home and driving a junker car
If you make a jar, I want to see it! Send me a photo and tell me your strategy or your travel plans!