Two weeks ago I revealed how I spent less than $1500 on sale flights to various countries in 2015. Considering I live by myself in NYC on a graduate student fellowship, $1500 was surely not money I had laying around. While $1500 IS quite a bit of money, I believe it’s much easier to save by cutting down on a few things here and there over the course of a few months. Here are my suggestions for how to save 1500 for travel in 2016!
1. Do your nails by yourself
Ladies, if you get a basic $20 manicure every two weeks, you’re spending $520 each year on pretty nails. Add a monthly $40 pedicure and you’re up to $1000 in nails every year. This number easily jumps up if you opt for French manis, gel manicures, designs, or acrylic! By saving manicure visits for special occasions, and stretching your pedicures to 6 weeks, you can save at least $500 on nail care, which will get you a sale flight to Europe. Step up your DIY nail game with Qtica quick dry drops and a strengthening nail coat like OPI Nail Envy, and you’ll be shocked you’ve been waiting for a manicure chair to free up all this time!
2. Make your own lunch one more time per week
You probably spend about $15 for lunch each day, so if you brought lunch to work just one more time each week, you would be able to save over $750 a year, which can score you a sale flight to an African country. A crockpot can make your one extra lunch meal so much easier – just throw some chicken thighs in with 2-4 different vegetables (think carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc), some herbs and spices, and eat it throughout the week with salad, rice, or as a soup!
3. Do your major shopping only twice a year
I used to go to the store every weekend just to browse and kill time, but I inevitably would walk out with something that cost at least $20. That’s $1000 every year just right there! Now I save my bulk shopping where I refresh my wardrobe to twice a year – and they coincide with Zara’s winter and summer sales (even though they’re trifling and racist, I’m such a sucker and they do employ lots of people of color… I digress). Especially since I’ve gone through my wardrobe with the Marie Kondo method and gotten rid of all the clothes that don’t bring me joy, I’ve realized that shopping does more harm to my closet, bank account, and sanity than it needs to! For the rest of the year, I try to shop for needs that are also classics – for example if I’ve run down my white button down shirt, stained my denim jacket, or need a new size of jeans – then I’ll buy those as needed. Committing to buying only one item at a time helps curb the overspending! If you can manage to save between $500-$1000 on clothing purchases all year, you can even afford a flight to a dream destination like Bangkok or the Maldives.
4. Learn how to do one protective hairstyle
Whether it’s crochet braids, Havana twists, or even a flat twist updo, learning how to do one protective style that you would normally head to the salon for every few months can save you anywhere from $100-200 per session. If you get crochet braids 3 times a year, doing them on your own will save you $300 – just enough to catch a sale to South America! I’ve figured out how to do Havana twists, but I’m going to learn how to cornrow in 2016 so I can do my own crochet braids!
5. Plan your travel around sales
The biggest mistake people make when looking for travel deals, is they obsess over going to one specific location. You may dream of going to the Bahamas in March, but if you see a sale for Turks and Caicos instead, JUMP ON THAT! There is currently a $400 sale to London that includes a stopover in Iceland, so even if you’ve never thought about going to Iceland, you might as well see another country for the price of 1! Being flexible with your travel plans is a sure way to save lots of money on flights.