Introduction: 8 expenses to cut out for more travel
A recent survey showed that 60% of American’s plan to travel more this year than in 2019 – aka “pre-pandemic.” Many who are hoping to travel are not yet convinced that hopping on a plane or staying in a hotel is deemed safe, which is why RV purchases are skyrocketing. In fact, in Sept. 2020, RV sales increased 31.2% from the same time in 2019. Although sales in the travel sector are rapidly increasing, the data shows that 76% of people who want to travel opt-out because of financial hardships, which is why I put together a list of eight expenses below that you can cut out for more travel.
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
8 expenses to cut out for more travel
I know, I know. The “Starbs” caffeine jitters help you be more productive with your day. I’m not even gonna bring up the fact that Caribou Coffee is better than Starbs because that’s irrelevant. 😉
If you’re anything like me, you walk into your coffee shop and order all the add on’s to your Trenta-skinny-frappuccino-no whip-keep-the-caramel-drizzle-add-a-double-shot-of-espresso-blended-in drink.
I rarely go to Starbs, but when I do my drink is always over $6. This means that if I was buying coffee there every day, that adds up to $182 a month or $2,184 a year!
As an alternative, brew your coffee at home with a Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker or the Amazon Basics Espresso Machine, treating yourself only every once in a hot-minute to the coffee shop of your choice.
2. Eating Out Expense
The same about splurging on coffee can be said about going out to eat. Although many American’s wish they could cook more at home, they don’t because they either lack the cooking skills or can’t find time in their hectic schedule to meal prep.
Did you know that the average household cost of food is $3,935 per year for groceries and $2,667 per year on eating food outside the home, totaling a whopping $6,602 on food annually?!
The best way to save in this category is to eat home-cooked meals and meal-prep for while you’re at work. To me, time is money and I either don’t have enough time OR if I do have enough time I’ll end up unexpectedly making plans on a Sunday during my meal prep time…
…and then am doomed for meals the rest of the week.
I have found a couple solutions to this. One thing that I have done in the past is get my groceries from Instacart. Yes, I am spending money on the delivery or subscription fee, but I’ve found that not going to the store prevents me from giving in to my temptations of unnecessary spending when walking by the candy or snack aisle which helps my bank account AND waistline.
The other solution that I found is ordering from a meal-prep service to save money. The most cost-effective meal-prep company that I’ve come across is Freshly, where the meals are gluten-free and already pre-made.
All that I have to do is throw my meal in the microwave for three minutes and it’s ready to eat. I also don’t have a dishwasher so it saves me from having to handwash dishes if I eat them at home. I only order six meals a week and usually I bring them to work instead of ordering food to be delivered to the office or picking up take-out.
Meal prices range from $9.50/meal to $12.99/meal depending on what plan you sign up for. I pay roughly $286 per month for my Freshly meals, $50 per month for other groceries, and rarely go out to eat which puts my annual food expenses at approximately $4,032.
Meal prep service may sound expensive, but boy does it prevent you from splurging on eating out. If you decide to try Freshly out, use my affiliate link to get a $40 credit.
Admittedly, I can talk-the-talk on this one but I am guilty of not being able to walk-the-walk.
I think everybody has that one thing they will spend money on themselves for some self-love … and for me that’s nails. I will go to the ends of the earth to budget and cut back in every other category for my nails to look nice.
For some people, this is something they’re willing to cut out of their budget if they want to save to travel!
I get a pedicure once a month for $50 plus a $10 tip and get my nails filled every two weeks for the same amount. I’m ashamed to say I spend approximately $2,160 a year on my nails. Beauty ain’t cheap, Sista!
4. Other Beauty Expenses
I lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the women there are generally more willing to pay to upkeep their beauty. I have some friends who would color their hair, wax their eyebrows, and get a bikini wax every month, get eyelash extensions every other week, have a monthly tanning membership, get their haircut every other month, and get botox every three to four months.
Maybe I’m biased because I went to esthetician school and have an airbrush tanning company, but most of these services you can do yourself at home! Here is a list of the average prices of these services:
Bikini Wax: $35
Eyebrow wax: $15
Hair Color: $80
Hair Cut: $53
Basic Tanning Membership: $15
Eyelash extensions: On the low end, $150 for a full-set every six to eight weeks and $50 for a re-fill every two weeks.
Botox: $450 a session (one session every three months on average for upkeep)
If you are someone who take advantage of all of the services listed above, you have an average annual cost of $6,058 on beauty services. Add a 20% tip, and you’re spending approximately $7,270 a year. Do you know how many trips to N.Y.C. you could take with that kind of cash?!
5. Gym Membership
If you’re like most American’s, the struggle is real for putting on that “COVID-15” weight after being stuck at home all winter during a pandemic with no gyms open.
It’s ok, I let myself go for a while and am right there with you.
When the gyms closed due to restrictions, I decided to buy an exercise bike for my home for $35 off of OfferUp(no, I didn’t get the Nordictrack Bike even though I wanted to so badly). I would have even opted-out of spending money on the bike but I hear that running in -50 degrees in Minnesota isn’t great for the lungs.
The average price for a monthly gym membership is $58. By cutting this expense out and finding alternative ways to exercise, you could save yourself almost $700 a year.
To piggyback off that “COVID-15” thang, many people had to do some extra shopping this year due to going up a pant size. I can honestly say that I don’t remember the last time I paid full-price for clothes. I absolutely love going to second-hand stores like Goodwill or Plato’s Closet and digging through bins or racks to find brand-name, new items with tags on them still that people have donated.
I will also purchase items that have been used if the material is in great condition. Not only is it good for your bank account, but it’s good for the environment, too! The average consumer disposes 70 pounds of clothing each year. Globally, we throw away 13 MILLION TONS of textile waste every single year and 95% of that could be recycled.
Some people say they don’t feel comfortable with wearing clothes other people have worn and I honestly don’t understand that logic. You aren’t going to be wearing dirty clothes that came directly off of someone’s back right after they wore it, silly. Isn’t that what a washing machine is for?!
7. Monthly Subscriptions
Monthly subscriptions can be a huge waste of money. This fact made my jaw drop: On average, American’s spend $237 on monthly subscriptions.
I challenge you to go 90 days without some of your subscriptions to see if you can permanently cut some of these expenses from your budget. Here are some common subscriptions:
Netflix Premium: $17.99/month equaling $215.88/year
Hulu (No-Ads): $11.99/month equaling $143.88/year
Amazon Prime: $12.99/month equaling $155.88/year
Cable: $52.34/month equaling $628.08/year
Amazon Music Unlimited: $7.99/month equaling $95.88/year
Pandora Premium: $9.99/month equaling $119.88/year
Spotify Premium: $9.99/month equaling $119.88/year
Credit Monitoring: $8.99/month on low end equaling $107.88/year
LifeLock Basic Plan: $14.99/month equaling $179.88/year
DoorDash: $9.99/month equaling $119.88/year
GrubHub: $9.99/month equaling $119.88/year
Postmates: $9.99/month equaling $119.88/year
Massage Envy; $50/month on low end equaling $600/year
Shipt: $14/month equaling $168/year
Instacart: $9.99/month equaling $119.88/year
Writing this one hurts almost as bad as a hangover from hell, but one way to make you taller when you sit on your wallet is to pump the breaks on the drinking.
According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, American’s spend approximately 1% of their annual salary on booze. That means that every year, the average household is spending approximately $879 to get intoxicated. That’s $35,160 over a 40-year timeframe, assuming you never get a salary increase.
I know it’s hard to cut back on drinking festivities, but if you’re serious about more travel and are interested in making this happen, consider budgeting your alcohol expenses, try sobriety one day/week/month at a time, or find the best happy hour deals.
Conclusion: 8 expenses to cut out for more travel
If cutting back on expenses seems daunting, just know that that’s a normal reaction. As you pave the way to save money, keep in your forefront exactly why you’re doing it in the first place. In the end, it will be rewarding as you soak your feet into the sand of whatever beach you choose for your next travel destination.
Onward and upward.
Here’s another article you might like: Remote jobs for full-time travel