How to Save Money to Travel as a Student

Being a student in school is exciting and enriching. My love for school is comparable to my love for travel. But unfortunately, I’m not made of money so it is extremely hard to travel while taking a full-time course load in university. Over my past four years during my undergraduate degree, I’ve discovered some tips and tricks to help me save money thus allowing me to travel more frequently. 

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I realize not everyone can just get up and sell everything they own, so I focused on other aspects that you can incorporate into your daily lives to help fund your travels. In the bigger picture cutting down monthly expenses, earning extra cash and putting paycheques into a savings account you will be able to save enough to travel.

If you stick to these helpful guidelines soon enough you’ll be able to pocket enough away for a trip abroad. 

1) Create a savings account.

Every penny should go towards your travel fund whether it’s your paycheque or birthday money. If you are motivated and have a goal in mind stay as focused as you can and don’t touch the money until the trip. 

2) Give up shopping and spending habits.

Shopping can be fun but it can be one of the worst habits. Sometimes you’ll end up spending a fortune unnecessarily. To truly save you’ll need to stop shopping. In general, that means no online shopping or buying something for the sake of a sale. Instead of new clothes, shoes, accessories, or books, think of the experiences you can enjoy while travelling.

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3) Earn some dough

If you have a job you’ll need to put a good chunk (the entire difference) of it towards the bank to help you save for your trip. If you have to pick up a second job or search for freelance positions. If you have others ways of earning money then by all means keep that up.

4) Find freebies

I know my university is constantly giving away free things to students year round. At the beginning of the year, there’s a sidewalk sale with dozens of booths giving students free food, goods and coupons. During the holidays, there’s free gingerbread workshops and at the end of the year a free carnival with snacks. If you scout around your campus you’re sure to find something free.

5) Stop buying university books

This sounds a bit weird but it helped me. I haven’t bought a university textbook since my second year in university as books cost a fortune. Of course I’m not trying to flunk so I’ll find other ways of accessing the book. These include finding a copy at the library, university course reserves, lending off a friend or the teacher. In all cases its worked out well all while saving some money!

6) Cancel your gym membership

Going to the gym is a costly expense. If you cancel your membership you could be saving $20-80 per month which is basically equivalent to a night’s stay in South East Asia. Instead exercise for free by doing basic cardio outside or using household objects to help you workout.

7) Cancel entertainment subscriptions  

Yes sorry, this includes Netflix. Cancel your subscription and instead entertain yourself by renting movies and tv shows from your local library for free. Pick up your favourite childhood board game or get back into reading. Better yet, you’ll have more quality time to hang out with friends and family.

como8) Say goodbye to morning coffees and lattes

If you’re an avid coffee drinker this will take some time and dedication. Swap the Starbucks or Tim Hortons coffee in the morning by making one at home instead which not only saves you money but also time. Win win!

9) Stop eating out at restaurants and make meals at home

Buy groceries more often and cut out restaurants to help save some cash. Learn new recipes online and create your favourite meals from your kitchen at home. As well, don’t forget to ditch the alcohol! Liquor expenses are crazy in Canada, especially when dining out. In general, avoid it to help you stash away some travel money.

10)  Have a local garage sale or sell your belongings online

This is an obvious tip: sell everything you own! From textbooks to unwanted gadgets you can definitely earn some money by selling things you don’t necessarily need anymore. For clothing head to a local consignment store and for electronics try online classifieds. You should be able to earn hundreds of dollars if not more.

11) Move out and stay put

If you can move back home do it as rent will take up a large chunk of your income. Same goes if you have a car which is expensive as it includes insurance and gas. If you really want to travel for a short period of time you may need to give up these things such as your own apartment.

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12) Carpool or use public transportation to get to school

If you commute to school find some friends or local students to hitch a ride or carpool with. There is tons of different ways to travel to school if you’re eager enough to look. Public transportation can definitely come in handy when commuting to school. My university includes a bus pass in the tuition in which every student pays for. For over $100 I might as well put it to use. This will save you tons on a car, gas and insurance, in which now you can put towards your travel funds.

13) Utilize student discounts

Students can receive discounts at certain grocery stores, entertainment facilities, banks, hotels, flights etc. with special student cards (for example, SPC- Student Price Card) to obtain sweet deals. Always shop smart if you need to make a purchase by utilizing these discounts created just for students. You can usually save between 5-30% on purchases. 

8 Comments

  • Dominique January 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Seriously great tips! I try to curb online window shopping too.

    Reply
  • Leslie T. January 7, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Those are great tips and from remembering my days as a student, I used a lot of these and some of these I wish I had implemented into my life. I am doing some of these now, but will be adding a few more to save more my next trip!

    Reply
  • Liz W. January 7, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    These are great tips! Many can be applied to every phase of life 🙂 We all need to work on saving up for the things we really want! And I would love to do some traveling this year!

    Reply
    • My One Big Planet January 10, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Ya these tips they can be used for anything! Thanks so much!

      Reply
  • JT January 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Love your tips and can’t agree more with cutting the gym and entertainment subscription advice. These are recurring savings, which adds up to a whole lot.

    Plus, if you’re planning to travel more, that gym will be unutilized (I.e. a waste of money).

    Reply
    • My One Big Planet January 10, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Every penny helps right?! I have saved a good chunk from this!

      Reply

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