Financial literacy and how to travel comfortably: how are these related? Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, but all who are hasty surely head for poverty.” This verse may not always refer to money, but the point is, those who plan ahead has a better chance at being successful than those who don’t. As we are diverse as the stars in the sky, we have different preferences, different upbringing, different opinions, and different ways to do things. People may put labels on people of certain types, but sometimes, what works for one won’t work for others, considering different situations.
We were in some ways doing our own way of spending, albeit not considered “properly”. Then we stumbled upon this article “14 invaluable habits you can do with your money,” which you can read here, and it inspired us to also write down the things we are doing (from the list) and others that aren’t on it that can be related to travelling. Read on.
Be Financially Literate
Financial literacy refers to various important financial skills and concepts. It is the ability to understand and effectively use such skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. Financial literacy is basically, the bedrock of one’s relationship with money.
To start off, knowing the more important skills under financing like household budgeting, learning how to manage and pay off debts will prove beneficial. Being able to define words that and how things work may give people a better chance to make financial decisions and not go broke.
Trading and evaluating the tradeoffs between different credit and investment products, debt consolidation, and checking accounts are some that could fall under the more complex terms and concepts. These skills often require at least a working knowledge of key financial concepts, such as compound interest and the time value of money and even how debit and credit card works. We do believe that financial literacy should also be taught in school.
For many, saving up comes after there’s a surplus of money when all bills have been paid. This works but most of the time there is just little that goes to your savings account or piggy bank. What we did was set an amount that goes to our savings account automatically every first day of the month. This ensures that we’ve already have something for the rainy days.
You can also have jars or money boxes, piggy banks to put money in for different purposes. A jar for 20$ bills that you can spend something on after a year, a jar for your expenses to travel comfortably, a jar for your donations, and a jar for investing. Why donate when the purpose is to save? It never hurts to be kind, and you’d be surprised how much you get back from sharing.
Live within your means
This is something we learn early on in life. We can’t buy a 1$ candy if we only have 0.50$! So before spending, always know that there is a limit to what you can spend. This method of living also keeps one debt-free.
It’s a good thing to see where your money goes. While you can track your spending on you bank’s app, or credit and debit card bills, you can use old school Excel too where all the money goes. When you lay out what you spend on everyday, you will see what seems to be “needs and wants.” This will also help you budget your salary. You can see what you spend on bills, on food, on clothing, and when you know how much is left for saving, you can make informed decisions before buying stuff.
A cup of Caramel Macchiato once in a while is alright, but if you spend 5 bucks every working day that sums up to a 100! Again, it’s not bad to have once in a while, but if you have saved those 5$ then you can spend it on other needs than wants.
Sure, it’s your money so you can go and buy whatever you want, but this small spending can affect your budget more than you think.
Eating out specially when out with friends and on such busy days seem to be an easy way out. But what you eat can be a big factor too. Choosing food that costs less but is nutritionally not enough or not as filling as a steak may seem ok, but you will be hungry sooner, so choose what you spend on – eating smarter also saves you bucks.
Go for Discounts
Who doesn’t love to buy things for less? There are many ways to get things for less, obviously by waiting for discount dates, then there’s couponing, and spending reward points. Yes, you can become a member for particular brands and get discounts too via newsletters.
With all these tips laid out, we hope you can see that everything trickles down to having to spend your money allotted different things wisely, this goes for travel as well. If you know how credit card works, then you will be see the importance of budgeting your money for travel, and that overspending can cause trouble later on.
With a mindset that you can travel comfortably without splurging, you can easily save up. Here are some ways:
- Plan in advance: visit airline and ticketing websites for promos and discounts.
- Shop on duty free stores or get advantage of the promos and discounts.
- Go for slower transportation. (Local transportation, hop-on buses, instead of taxis.)
- Cook while on vacation. (And learn local cuisines.)
- Stay in cheaper hotels or homes, search in advance as well.
It is a good thing if one can travel without having to think of money, but it’s not always the case, so being money-smart is a way to go. With finance’s importance in our society, lacking financial literacy can be a disadvantage to many and a good weapon for those who know how to use it.