PSA: Come join us! We have Namaslay workshops lined up for Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as a fun workshop in Baltimore. And, our fall Mantra Box is available for pre-order and are selling out fast!
So you want to take that dream vacation or treat yourself to a long-awaited once-in-a-lifetime yoga retreat, but you don't know how to start saving -- and the price tag seems a little out of reach. We've all been there before and thats exactly why the entire YBC team put our heads together to come up with countless ways you can make your dreams come true without stressing tooooo much.
With our Kenya Safari Yoga Retreat coming up next summer, we thought it'd be a good idea to brainstorm ways to save. Here are several helpful tips for budgeting for that bucket-list vacation:
Being mindful of everyday purchases is the first step. Downloading a budgeting app or frequently checking your bank balance will show you where all of your money is going. We drop cash on things like fitness classes, $5 lattes, happy hours, bottled water and even chewing gum without a second thought. Once you see a detailed list of exactly how much you're spending on groceries or gym memberships or manicures or happy hours, it's easier to identify ways to trim the fat and cut back.
Set a weekly budget. Instead of mindlessly swiping your debit card throughout the week, withdraw a predetermined amount of cash every week (maybe each Sunday or Monday) and use that for your daily purchases. As the weeks pass, try to cut down on how much cash you keep in your wallet. So say you start off with $100 a week. The next week try and get by with $95 - and the week after with $90 and so on.
Make it public. Tell other people about your goal or just simply write it down around your office and at home as a daily reminder of what you're trying to accomplish. Tell your significant other, co-workers, close friends and even your kids. Telling other people will help to keep you accountable. I don't know about you guys but a little accountability really helps me to achieve what I'm working towards - especially if people are constantly checking in to see how I'm doing with my goals.
Get creative with alternative revenue streams. Look into old savings bonds, stagnant stocks or even unused valuables or collectors items you might have laying around the attic or basement. Have a yard sale. Sell unused furniture on Craigslist. If you're crafty, take advantage of sites like Etsy and Ebay. If those options aren't for you look into starting a part time gig like walking dogs in your local community. Offer to shovel driveways or rake leaves in the winter and fall. Offer private tutoring for students at nearby schools and universities.
Free entertainment. Once you start seeing where your extra money goes, it might be a bit of a bummer. No more girls' nights out? No more concerts and festivals? Think again. Check your area for free events. Libraries, universities, concert halls and YMCAs are all prime places to find fun, free entertainment. Many wine shops do free tastings, and local music and dance schools often have free community showcases. Not only does this help to save money, but it also gets you involved with your local community!
Cash, cash, cash. Instead of asking for tangible items (clothes, accessories, jewelry) for "gifting holidays" like birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas, ask for cash to go towards your dream retreat fund.
Hidden Steals & Deals. Look into programs like credit cards for travel points. Candace uses MileagePlus through United, and flies on points all the time. Set alerts on discount travel sites like Kayak and Sky Scanner, and when great deals to your travel destination are available you'll get alerted just in time to catch the deal! I'd also suggest calling up your cable/internet provider to inquire about any new promotional deals they're running - sometimes if you call saying you'd like to cancel service, they'll offer to lower your current rate by extending your contract. They'd rather give you a bigger discount then lose you as a long-term customer. OR if you can go without cable, cancel your service and depend on streaming sites like Netflix or HBO GO for a few months.
Save your change. Taking all of your loose change and putting it into a jar actually adds up - who knew?!
Be patient. Avoid impulse purchases. If you're out shopping, don't purchase something right away. Instead, think about it over the course of 24-48 hours and if that item is still lingering around your head, go out and buy it (or check a site like amazon for a discounted rate) - but if it's something you don't think about the moment you leave the store - it belongs there.
Tax Return. Find yourself wondering what you're going to do with that 2017 tax return? I know, put it towards your dream vacation.... (to Kenya!)
Remember that for every penny saved, you are one step closer to your dream vacation/yoga retreat. Let us know the ways you like to save down in the comments below!