It’s 2014. Woot woot!
What do you want to do this year? Travel more? (I hope so!) If that’s the case, take a second to reflect on what’s been holding you back thus far.
I bet I can take a guess: “I don’t have the money.”
Though that’s a good excuse, it’s still that: an excuse. If you really want to travel, if you really want to have new adventures and experiences, you have to make it your PRIORITY. There’s no other way. But how?
Well, first off: you’re not allowed any more wine that doesn’t come in a box. And no trendy craft beers either. It’s Franzia and Bud Light from here on out. With that tiny money-saving tweak, you may be on your way to Spain before you know it.
And secondly, you’re going to have to save money. I mean literally put it away. (Groundbreaking, eh?)
But we all know that budgets are hard. As are resolutions. If you want a shot at sticking to them, they have to be SIMPLE.
That’s why I’m so excited to share with you this Lifehacker post about how to save $1,400 in 52 weeks.
Its brilliance is in its simplicity. (Kind of like the movie “Step Up.” No, really. Have you seen Channing Tatum in his early days?)
With this plan, all you have to save is $1 the first week. And each week that follows, you save $1 more.
As you get used to saving (and watching your money grow!), you won’t even miss the money you’re putting away. At the end of 52 weeks, you’ll have almost $1,400 saved.
I know what you’re thinking: $1,400 isn’t enough to travel. Sure, it isn’t enough to travel everywhere, but it sure is enough for a road-trip to the beach, a camping vacation at a national park, or even a week-long trip to Nicaragua.
If none of those appeal to you, don’t give up. Here are a few more ideas:
- Get a miles-earning credit card and use rewards to book your flight. Now you have $1,400 towards food and hotels.
- Take the challenge with a friend or partner, and you’ll have $2,800. If you’re splitting hotel and transportation costs, your money will go a lot further.
- Follow this savings plan for an additional six months, and you’ll have, um, a bunch more. (Math is not my forte — sorry!)
- Get more aggressive from the get-go and start with $2.
The key here is just to start.
Put one dollar in a jar and tape a photo of your dream destination to it. Spend a few minutes imagining yourself there, and use that feeling to motivate yourself. Print out the Lifehacker chart and hang it somewhere visible. Take great pride and joy in crossing it off each week.
(If you want a more detailed plan of attack for traveling, check out this 7-step travel action plan that I wrote last year.)
Maybe you don’t want to save for travel, but you want to have an emergency fund (a great idea when you’re working seasonal jobs). Or you want to buy a new computer. Whatever it is, you are going to need a plan and a budget. And hopefully this simple process will get you there.
Once you start saving, the possibilities — and destinations — are endless. Again, here’s that link to the Lifehacker post. I’d love to know what you think about it!
Do you like this plan? What’s the biggest challenge facing YOU in 2014?