Okay, so you've decided you want to travel. Maybe it's going to be Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia? But travel costs Money and you're already working flat out and it still seems hard to get enough money together. Are you ever going to have enough cash to quit work for two months and enjoy your vacation to the max? Here are some small changes that could help you save a few dollars that will soon add up enough for your plane fare. And please be honest when doing the sums.

What have you been buying?

It's certainly easy to lose track when spending money.

However, with tap and pay cards becoming more popular and available in the United Kingdom, I've been able to keep a close tally on my spending for the year. I, myself, decided that I wanted to go traveling, and I was desperate to find ways to save cash. Here are the results of my findings and my countermeasures to stem cash leakage.

I'm going to let you in on a secret. The following tips are based on things which were making me hemorrhage cash. See if you have any of these same bad habits that I did, and let me know if you come up with better ways of saving money.

1. Movies and television shows

I love Blu-ray. In fact, I positively adore Blu-ray movies. I love pay per view television even more. But visual entertainment fees can soon add up. I worked out that in the previous year, I had spent the following on visual entertainment:

  • Going to the movies: $86.00
  • Buying Blu-ray movies: $315.00
  • Buying pay per view television shows $118.00

That all adds up to a whopping $519.00, but if I don't pay for these services what am I going to watch?

Well, I certainly don't believe in illegal downloading and I'm not about to start doing that now. However there is an awful lot of stuff to watch on the internet which is free and legal. For starters, "YouTube" has thousands of movies which are free and in the public domain. Add to this some brilliant creative content including movie reviews and documentaries, and I realised there's no reason to be blowing cash on home entertainment.

2. Music

Again, this was an expensive indulgence for me. I added up everything I'd bought on "iTunes" and "Google Play" and it came to an eye-watering $125.00. So, I decided to do a little research on streaming apps that supply music, free of charge, and I stumbled on "SoundCloud". I like using the app as it gives a platform to a lot of talented new performers who would struggle to get airplay elsewhere. You can also search categories of music and make your own playlists. I use the app everyday and feel there's no going back.

3. Stopping for snacks

At the end of each working day, I used to pop into my local convenience store.

I'd grab a bar of chocolate and a soda of one kind or another. Even though I knew a dinner was waiting for me at home, I couldn't resist something to munch on while on my way home. However, the munching was actually costing me a lot more than I thought.

Currently, in the United Kingdom, a bar of chocolate is $1 and a soda is also around a dollar. That's $2 a day, which when multiplied by at least 260 days comes to $520.00 a year. To save cash, I now wait till I get home and have a glass of cordial with my dinner. Sounds boring, but it saves cash.

4. Buying cheaper brands

There are some things I won't buy cheap such as clothes, and my whisky of choice will always be "Jack Daniels".

Yet there are a lot of supermarket own products which are just as good as the market leaders and sometimes half the price. This can be anything from detergent to soda. I worked out that in just buying the supermarket brand of soda, I could save $430.00 in a year.

5. Having a side business

If you're creative, there's an ever-growing business market on the internet waiting for you. I was at a party eight years ago when I first heard about it. I met a lady who lives in Thailand and she was making me hungry telling me about all the wonderful food and drink there. I asked how she managed to stay there for months at a time.

She explained she designed costumes for an online role-playing game. She only had to sell a few costumes a day to live like a queen in Thailand. If you have a similar ability, or like to write, find out if there's a way you can make some money on the side. Let's say you get at least $20.00 a day selling on the internet. That adds up to a staggering $7000.00 a year.

What works for you?

Perhaps you have your own ideas on saving money such as not buying coffee as you walk to work? It's worth thinking about, isn't it? In this article, I've shown how I saved at least $1600.00 in one year. We also saw the possibility to make an additional $7000.00 a year.

That's $8600.00 in total, more than enough to get you started for that big vacation.

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