The Pennies a Day Method of Saving Travel funds — Do you have pocket change? Then you can travel. Much of the information on Vagabond Journey.com is geared towards the traveling lifestyle. I know that any sort of lifestyle requires sacrifices that not every person is willing to make. Many of the how to save [...]
The Pennies a Day Method of Saving Travel funds —
Do you have pocket change? Then you can travel.
Much of the information on Vagabond Journey.com is geared towards the traveling lifestyle. I know that any sort of lifestyle requires sacrifices that not every person is willing to make. Many of the how to save money for traveling tips that I have been collecting on this site do not only require massive compromises in comfort, they require nothing short of a revolution in lifestyle.
This is what they are meant to do . . . though not everyone wants to live inside of their car like a homebum, scavenge every penny like a beggar, and work 70 hour weeks like a salary man in order to just travel like sad old Willie Lonesome for 2 years.
No, not every one who wants to travel, wants to travel absolutely. It is my impression that most people are a touch more moderate and want to have lives off the Open Road.
This travel tip is for these folks.
Actively Save Your Pocket Change and Travel
It is my impression that almost anybody from the USA, Western Europe, or Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, or another such high wage paying country could travel abroad every year regardless of income and with zero major changes to lifestyle.
How? Actively save your pocket change.
By actively saving pocket change, I do not mean just keeping your spare quarters and dimes in a piggy bank. No, I mean TRYING to get as many quarters, dimes, and nickles as you possible can.
How? By never spending any change.
If you always spend whole bills, never count out or pay with change, and treat your change as if it were mini remnants of a ticket to a far off land, then I say that you could go abroad for a three week vacation every year without regard to how much money you make, how much money you spend, or without any major change in lifestyle.
How to actively save pocket change
Actively saving pocket change means if your bill at the grocery store comes to $49.02, pay with a $50, and save the 98 cents.
Every time you fill up your car with gas try to go over a whole number by a few cents to collect the most change possible. So if you want $10 in gas, don’t let off the handle until it hits $10.01. Then pay with $11, and keep the 99 cents for traveling.
If you buy a 25 cent candy bar, pay with a whole dollar, and then stash the 75 cents in your travel fund.
Like this, you could save up travel funds without really ever missing the money stashed inside the piggy bank.
In an odd way, this saving strategy turns spending money into saving money. The more transactions you make throughout a day, the more chances you have for saving money to traveling.
I have a hypotheses that if a person was to ALWAYS pay in whole bills at every transaction they make throughout a day, kept their accumulation of change in a special pouch, and then deposited it into a jar at night, they could save at least a thousand dollars a year.
A thousand dollars is more than enough money for a three week vacation abroad — airfare included.
To fly from New York City to Costa Rica and back again this autumn would cost $263 on TACA air. This leaves $737 for a three week in Central America. On a $30 a day budget — more than enough for a dorm bed, food, transport, and a few beers in Costa Rica — you would come out to spending $630. This leaves a $100 buffer for more beer.
This travel saving strategy is meant to be an underhanded way to save travel funds. A lesson in self trickery.
It is true, you will not make any more money by doing this, but it is my impression that you should be able to save more by collecting your funds in such an inconsequential manner. Few people fret over their pocket change: it is almost disposable. By creating as much of it as possible and then saving it, I feel that you could save up your travel funds without ever missing a single cent.
The pennies a day travel saving strategy is a way to save money without even knowing it.
The pennies a day travel strategy test
I believe that this very simple strategy for saving travel funds would enable people to travel abroad each year without making much of a change in their lifestyle.
Though I cannot prove it.
I would like to be able to actively save my change for a few months to see how much I can get, but I am not a good example.
I don’t buy anything. I don’t go out on the weekends, I don’t go to bars, and I generally only do activities that don’t cost anything. Both Chaya and I often make no more than two or three monetary transactions a week: we buy groceries and gas once a week, and that is about it. We are both far too wrapped up in the “don’t buy anything you will not croak without” travel philosophy to be able to test this travel fund saving strategy properly.
I am looking for a few readers to test this hypotheses for me. I am looking for some people with more usual spending tendencies — some people who are not prone to saving every last cent and who actually spend some of the money they work for each week — to actively save their change for at least one month.
My hypotheses is not only that saving change could compliment other saving strategies — this is obvious, my mother has always save change to help pay for family vacations — but that it can be someone’s only saving strategy for a yearly bought of international travel.
I want to able to suggest a way to fully pay for a three week vacation abroad without incurring ANY real lifestyle change and does not necessitate any additional funds.
Any takers? Any one want to only spend whole bills in an effort to save as much change for traveling as possible? If so, send me an email or comment below and I will publish your progress reports at regular intervals on this travelogue.
. . .just looking for new paths through the woods, as always.
- Free Accommodation is the first step to saving travel funds
- How to save money to travel
It is possible
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii
August 22, 2009, 3:31 am
Have you ever been to Australia, Wade?
I know its a bit off topic, but I just wanted to know…
August 26, 2009, 1:51 am
August 28, 2009, 8:00 am
Interesting post, I like this story and have managed to find a lot of useful traveling tips and advices for myself. Great traveling strategy, indeed. Many thanks.
October 22, 2009, 10:21 pm
I like your website. It’s so cute. I was trying to get tips by way of the
internet for a trip across america to open mankind’s eyes for a need to love
and remember the very young among us and their need for love and to cherish
their young lives.
Hope to come to your neck of the woods and hug that cutie you got there, sir!
Blessed to you both.
July 1, 2010, 8:42 pm
“I am looking for a few readers to test this hypotheses for me. I am looking for some people with more usual spending tendencies — some people who are not prone to saving every last cent and who actually spend some of the money they work for each week — to actively save their change for at least one month.”
I’ll give it a try, although I’m just now seeing this post and it is nearly a year old. Even though I rarely buy things with cash, almost always with my debit card, my bank happens to offer a savings option that does exactly as you suggest. (Bank of America’s Keep the Change)
Oh my! Current terms are that they match the savings at 100% for the first 3 months, then 5% afterwards up to $250 per year. (Some fine print but I can live with the terms in my case.)
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