You don't have to have an extravagant savings plan to build a travel stash. In fact, I know that stumps a lot of people. Just think of a few things you spend money on frequently and try doing them less. I really hate when I read lists that I've felt like I've read a thousand times. So I'm gonna try hard here not to do that! At the root, you've decided you love traveling and need to sacrifice a couple things to raise money for it. Here's a handful of creative ways to save...
knock down your Christmas budget
Christmas can put a dent in your bank account, but it doesn't have to be that way every year. This year I really tried to limit my budget for Christmas. Trey and I postponed our honeymoon, so saving for that has become a bigger priority.
That being said, if you have a significant other that might go on this trip too, maybe discuss a smaller limit for Christmas. This way the leftover can go to your travel fund. I liked this because it helped me tune in better to picking meaningful gifts vs. expensive.
hit your town's dollar tree routinely
When I lived in a small town, we only had a Dollar General. (Where items are priced more than a dollar.) Though, after I moved to the city, we had a Dollar Tree right up the road. (Every item is actually a dollar.)
Those of you who live in small towns, don't scroll! You can order items online through Dollar Tree and I wiiish I would've thought of that years ago. They've been a life saver for wedding items! Their variety of glass vases are bomb and a dollar, like does it get better than that? I've just been spray painting mine and they turned out dope.
Other items I pick up there are trash bags, napkins, lotion, and toothbrushes. Also, for the longest time I used Sharpie fine tip pens and they get EXPENSIVE. At Dollar Tree, their Pro Max ultra fine tip pens are so close to the Sharpie brand it's insane. Did I say they come in a three pack too? Best find of the year.
try batch cooking
Recently, I found Large Family Table on Youtube and I fell in love. Jamerrill Stewart is a mom of nine and she posts the greatest videos for making freezer meals! I'm always on the hunt for cutting down my grocery bill.
Most of the time, when she cooks, she makes a meal for the night and then a few more batches to throw in the freezer. Now I know what you're thinking... uh freezer meals? No guys. These are not those mushy gushy noodle crockpot recipes. I've only started two so far, but these are so frickin delish.
Along with that, she has impressive tips for preventing freezer burn too! By making multiple meals in one sitting, you'll save money and time in the coming months when you need to make a dinner quick! My favorite meals of hers so far are breakfast burritos and pepperoni-pizza hot pockets.
order groceries from walmart
I've gotten hooked on ordering my groceries using Instacart. Having my groceries delivered is like the best thing ever, especially when Trey is working and I'm watching Trax. Although, I can tell the tips I've left people and the service fees, really add up. That being said, I want to switch back to ordering my groceries from Walmart. They don't charge for pick up (at least in my area) and I've always loved how smooth the process is.
I've never waited a long time in the parking lot and my substitutions have been pretty good so far. I know I'll have to plan my day a little differently to pick them up, but I'll save quite a bit compared to delivery. I'm sure it won't be possible every time I want to hit up the store, but I'd love to jump back into this.
Hopefully this post helps you walk into 2021 with a little extra cash! I know when I see these lists, I find it tempting to write down every tip and implement them all. There is no way I started doing each of these things in the same week. Think about one of them and strategize a plan to integrate it into your life.
Want to reference to this post later? Pin it here!
Looking for more travel tips? My bimonthly newsletter usually sheds the latest on the newest travel tips I'm learning :)
Have you ever wanted to donate around Christmas, but not know where to start? Sometimes not doing the research is what keeps people from giving. I'm guilty of it. I've had thoughts like, "Will it really impact a family this Christmas?" Because of this, I wanted to make a point of rounding up special donation ideas that I've had a connection with in the past.
I've been itching to have a better understanding of what my area needs most and I thought I'd share this list in case someone was looking for organizations to support during this holiday season.
When I lived on campus at University of Nebraska at Omaha, I was a part of Christian Student Fellowship (CSF). A few times a semester I got the chance to serve dinner at a homeless shelter, Siena Francis. The staff are so sweet and I've had such insightful conversations with those who've come to eat.
Their property is located in downtown Omaha and their goal is to provide a temporary safe place to sleep, while also helping individuals find their own housing. Today, they're in need of laundry detergent pods. They also post on their Instagram every Wednesday what items they need for the week. To support them, you can head here and make an online donation or head to their Amazon charity list to buy items on their critical needs list.
In 2018, our CSF group went on a mission trip to Houston, Texas. We were there to help with recovery after Hurricane Harvey. It had been about eight months since the disaster and many families were still without a home. This year, the South saw another hurricane. Hurricane Laura hit the coast of Louisiana this past August and Attack Poverty has already planned a response.
Attack Poverty was founded in Richmond, Texas by a missions pastor. He had noticed an underserved area in his community and wanted to pour efforts into delivering the resources they needed. Today, they need funding for providing basic needs for those who experienced great loss during Hurricane Laura. Click here to contribute to Attack Poverty's disaster recovery and help a family receive the necessities they need to survive this holiday season.
TIP: After hitting the link, select 'Disaster Recovery' under the donation designation section.
Lastly, I wanted to sneak in a place here from my hometown, Aurora, Nebraska. Jaime Hyde, who owns ELEMENT SALON + STYLE, is running a drive for the local food pantry December 1st through December 15th.
When you bring five things, you'll have the opportunity to decorate an ornament you see below and put it on their salon's tree! Donating ten or more things, will give you the chance to enter a giveaway too :) All items should be dropped off at ELEMENT- 1112 15th Street. Here's the link to extra details and ELEMENT'S page if you want to look around!
Thanks so much for thinking of others this Christmas... With full shopping lists and visiting family, giving elsewhere can fall on the back burner. Here's a gentle reminder that our world is hurting and covid has only magnified it. Praying for everyone's safety and health these next few months. Thanks for stopping by, I love y'all. Have a sweet Christmas!
If you want to save this post for later, pin it here! Curious what I'll be doing over the holidays? Stay updated by watching my Insta stories :)
Travel bucket list:
Countries visited: 5