10 Ways to Save Money for Travel as a Student
written by myrra kate
If you’re a part of my #WanderingDreamers fam in my email list (which I suggest you should, love! Click here to sign up), you’ll notice that the first few emails you’ll receive are where I connect more with you guys and directly answer your questions. I appreciate and am grateful for all your responses and know that I read all of them.
One of the questions I’ve received last week is about the challenging part of traveling as a student where you’re mostly busy and you don’t even have enough money (see photo below). For this post, I will be tackling the latter.
So, as (college) students, how do we really save up enough money so we can travel?
I must tell you, love: it is really, really challenging. I, myself, find it difficult. But difficult doesn’t mean that to save money for travel as a student is impossible.
I honestly am not born from a family of millionaires or successful businesspeople, not even a family that regularly travels abroad for leisure. Perhaps just like you, I come from a middle-class family — also, a broken family, which means my Mom and my Dad provides for me in different ways and amounts. But really, there’s no shame in that.
Because what I believe is: When you have a goal, a dream, or something that makes your heart tingle, you follow it — no matter what, wherever it may take you.
Now, what I’m also trying to point is, *cliche phrase on the way* if there’s a will, there’s a way. If you really want something to happen – in this case, if you really, badly want to travel – you will always, always find a way to make it happen. Remember, we make our dreams happen, right?
So, are you ready and committed to save money for travel as a student? Read on!
10 Ways to Save Money for Travel as a Student
1. Set a specific goal.
Before anything else, know what dream you are chasing. Set a specific amount of money that you want to save and/or earn and write that goal in post-it notes or anywhere that you can always see. Doing so will keep you reminded of your mission.
However, don’t make the mistake of only following and thinking about the money you desire to have. To save money to travel as a student, you have to know your WHY. Why are you doing this in the first place? Why do you want to travel? What do you want to feel after saving/earning the money?
Answer those first to make sure that you’re not doing this only for the heck of it. Because if you want to save/earn money only because you’ve seen other people on Instagram traveling to Thailand or any other country, the chances of you achieving your mission are far less than if you set your goal of xx amount of money because you want to feel freer and happier.
2. Track your daily finances and learn how to budget your money.
Tracking your daily finances is not something you do for you to realize how much you’re still lacking. It’s all about accounting the money that you have and then, being grateful for it — whatever amount it is, no matter how many zeros there are in it. Once you are filled with gratitude, I promise, the money you need to travel will be enough (or even more) somehow soon.
We also track our daily finances so we can reflect every day about the things we are spending on. Say, you use a daily finance tracker app like MoneyLover or Mint, you can list down the things you spend on for the day and see if you’re spending way too much on Starbucks when you can instead make your own coffee.
3. Apply for a scholarship.
When I thought of satisfying my wanderlust, one of the top ways I immediately thought of is going on an exchange program. Besides traveling, I also really love learning. So, I said, why not study and travel at the same time?
That’s what I did when I became an exchange student in Italy (you can read more of my journey here). I applied for the exchange student program scholarship of our university and thankfully, I passed. Hence, I also got extra money to spend as my living allowance when I was staying abroad.
4. Use your skills to work on a side hustle or a part-time job.
I’m sure you have skills that other people will pay you for doing. It doesn’t have to be huge like blogging, web development or graphic design. It can simply be that you’re good with dogs so you can offer dog-walking services (yes, I’ve read case studies in business books where people earn a hundred bucks for this service! Someone even made a company out of it!).
Just whatever skill or talent you have, use it to your advantage.
5. Offer social media management services for small businesses near you.
There are countless small and startup businesses out there – most of them owned by people in the older generation – who may need your expertise on social media. Come now, I know you are an expert of some sorts. If you’ve grown your Instagram page’s following and engagement then I’m sure, someone will actually pay for you to do it for their account just because they’re paying for your time and effort.
If you haven’t already realized it, there is money in social media.
(Just make sure to take some time out of it to keep your sanity. Lol!)
6. Treat your savings like it’s a monthly/weekly bill.
Each time you receive your weekly allowance from your parents and/or get the compensation from your side hustle or part-time job, set aside a part of it like it’s a non-negotiable — perhaps 20-30%. Think of your savings like it’s a monthly bill that when you miss a month or two, there will be serious consequences.
7. Work as a student assistant at your university.
Before I went on exchange, I did work as a student assistant at one of the colleges in my university. I did some editing, transcribing, and administrating tasks and I go there whenever I have no classes (since we aren’t allowed to go to work when we have classes, which meant that our jobs aren’t compromising our studies). In the end, it was so fun, worth it, and advantageous as I also had connections with other professors and staff as well.
If your schedule allows you and your university or college is offering some student assistant jobs, then I suggest you take it so it can help you to save money for travel as a student. Just please make sure that it won’t compromise your health and your studies; if it does, know that there are still many ways to save and earn money.
8. Don’t spend anything on unnecessary things.
When you have a goal in mind and you’re really determined to save money for travel as a student, then your decisions on where to spend and how to budget your money will be depending on whether or not it helps you get to your goal of traveling.
Before buying things or spending on something, you may ask yourself, “Is this really important for me? Do I really need this?” If yes, then you can buy it but if you’re hesitant, leave it. After a week, if you think you still need it, then you can buy it. Remember, it’s all about priorities.
I think Dear Alyne’s Money vs. Travel is perfect for this tip. Watch it below.
9. Sell the things you don’t need anymore.
I also sold the books I didn’t like anymore and some of my clothes – preloved and new – before going abroad. I spent days deciding on which ones to sell and which ones I can’t let go (huhuhuhu) then package them in a way that my buyers will still love and appreciate them. I used an app called Carousell since it’s so easy to put my items on listing there and connecting with people who may be interested to buy.
If you have things at home that you’re not using anymore or haven’t even used, you should consider selling them so you can earn more money to help in saving up for your travels.
10. Always review your goal.
When you’re feeling a little unmotivated or are tempted to splurge on things you know you don’t really need, just come back to where you started, come back to your goal, come back to your WHY. That way, you know you’re always n the right track.
And of course, I have some extra 11th tip for you for getting this far in this post! *wink wink*
11. Work on your mindset. BELIEVE that you can.
If in the first place, you don’t believe that it is possible for you to actually travel with the money you worked hard to save and/or earn, there are fewer chances or it will perhaps take a very long time for you to reach your goal to save money for travel as a student. The more you believe that you can, the more that you’re training your mind to find ways to actually do something to get you there.
That’s something I strive to help you with! If you subscribe to my email list here, you can download my Wandering Dreamers worksheet which you can use to overcome that doubt at the back in your mind saying you can’t and won’t achieve your travel dreams. This is the one thing that holds people back from overcoming their fear of solo travel to actually taking action so they can afford to travel– sometimes, they just don’t believe enough. Sign up here or in the signup form below to download the worksheet.
It’s not all about luck, loves. We shouldn’t be waiting for our whole lives to win that lottery so we can travel when we have the choice in our hands to do something to get to our dreams. The correct mindset + commitment to your goals + action are the keys to that dream travel of yours.
It’s going to happen, love. You’ll get to Paris or Seoul or New York or any other country soon. Just believe, then do your best to make it happen.
I’m rooting for you!
I'm Myrra Kate!
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