How to save money after you've been bit by the travel bug

We've all heard the famous quote by Michael Palin:

"Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidode, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life."

Once you've become addicted to travel, you start to think differently.  You stop blowing your money on things that before, you looked at as a need; they are now looked at as a want.

Don't get me wrong, I like nice things.  But my brain is now programmed to think experiences over materials.  I calculate numbers in flights.  New car? How many flights could I book with that.  How many countries could I go visit. That expensive handbag? Round trip to Central America please.  New pair of heels? Or a day trip to go snowboarding.

The tiniest changes in your choices can influence how much money you save.

So here's some of the easiest tips on how to save money to go traveling:

Tip #1- Beauty Services

Ladies, you may not want to hear this one, but, try to stop colouring your hair.  This may sound CRAZY coming from a used-to-be hairstylist, but it's the easiest way to save money, and it's better for your health.  If you are always complaining about how poor you are, yet have extensions down to your ass, and have to have your hair done every month, you're doing it wrong!

If you wanna save money, get something low maintenance done that doesn't need to be touched up. A nice ombre or some balayage will do.  Yes, that can cost upwards of $150 but if you match your top colour to your natural hair colour, you won't have to colour it for at least a year.  And that style will always be in -  in my opinion, its gorgeous. 

I haven't coloured my hair in a year and I used to go every 3 weeks being bleach-blonde. Let's say every time I went in this costed me $70.

Money saved in one year:  $1213.33

Next is nails.... which I also used to get done. Getting your nails done can cost around 50-80 dollars every 3-4 weeks.  My nails grew so fast, sometimes I would only wait 2 weeks! Letting your nails grow O'natural may not look as good, but your bank account will thank you.  Plus, breathing in that nail dust in is SO harmful to your little lungs!

 Let's say every time that I had my nails done it costed me $65 dollars (including tip)

Money saved in one year: $1126.66

Now I could go on and on about eyelash extensions, waxing and tanning, buuuuut I think you get the gist of it. I also don't want to bore any male readers ;) Just know that being a girl doesn't have to be expensive. Trust me, experiencing new cultures beats looking top notch, any day.  And you are beautiful without the beauty services anyways!

Tip #2- Groupon is a wonderful thing

I've been getting itchy feet lately and started googling volunteer work in Africa, Central America, anywhere I could.  I got looking at how much it would cost me to take the TESOLS or TESL training.  These are online certification courses that allow you to teach English abroad if you don't have a degree.  The courses can range between 400-2000 dollars.  

The Groupon I found is an express package for $89 and you are able to be certified and recognized globally with both TESOL and TEFL.  Its 160-hour course and includes video training.  PLUS, after you complete it you have access to job-placement information and other resources. I have a friend working in Vietnam who purchased hers on Groupon, so trust me, this is the real deal.  Make sure you click on the link that says "whats included". It should take you to a valid website.

The original cost of this package: $1009 dollars.

Money Saved: $920

Now, that's looking at the BIG picture and dreams of traveling.  I've used Groupon for yoga memberships, oil changes (35 dollar oil changes!) and a white water rafting tour this summer. YAY!

Be careful when buying physical products off Groupon though.  I tend to stick to using it for services after a bad experience attempting to buy a cheap activity tracker, similar to the Fitbit, and it looked NOTHING like the picture. Also it just didn't work.  At all haha.

Tip #3-Eating out and Going out

I LOVE trying new restaurants and I enjoy a couple glasses of wine with dinner.  One month, I wrote down every dollar I spent on food, alcohol and my favourite, chai lattes.

I was spending about $200 on outside food and beverages 2-3 times per week. I could buy organic groceries for 2 weeks with that! 

So lets say I only went out once a week now for food, and drank water or only had one drink with dinner. And lets say that I bought two chai lattes a week. That would be around $55 total for the week.

Money saved: $580 per month,  $6960 per year

HELLO, that's almost SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  I spent 4 1/2 months in SE Asia and didn't even spend that much!!!!

Try hosting dinner for a few friends and then take turns every couple weeks.  Or guys, have the game night at home!  You get the social aspect in, and that bottle of wine or case of beer is way cheaper from the liquor store. Even better? come to terms that you don't always have to drink to have fun :)

Tip#4-Take advantage of cheap Tuesday

This is something I wish I would have known more about when I moved to the city.  If you want to do some fun activities, try doing them on Tuesdays! Movies? Bowling? TACOS?! #CheapTuesday

*Much love,

-Jenny D

{Check out this awesome blog post for more ways to save money every single month!}