Was one of your New Year's resolutions to finally take that dream trip? Make sure you cross it off your list this year by saving up enough funds for the hotel, transport, and expenses you'll have while you're there. Here are a few easy tips that will help you see big savings'and pad your travel fund'in 2013:
1) Cancel your cell phone contract.
If you're nearing the end of your current cell phone contract, now is a good time to think about ways you can save on this monthly expense. Consider moving to a prepaid cell phone, especially if you're a light user, and move most of your communication to free web calling and social media services. If you can't fathom getting rid of your phone, save money by downgrading to a cheaper plan, utilizing free texting apps like Whatsup, or doing some comparison shopping to find the best contract rates available.
2) Cut down on utility bills.
We've all been guilty of turning the thermostat up a few notches in the winter months. But bundling up with an extra sweater or blanket instead can make a noticeable difference in your monthly bills. Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed to avoid letting heat escape from your home as well. Finally, look into switching providers to make sure you're getting the best local rates.
3) Look for part-time work'or turn your hobby into a steady cash flow.
If you're barely making enough to cover your monthly expenses as is, consider taking on a second part-time job or freelance work to bolster your travel fund. Cell centres, restaurants, and bars are always looking for new employees, and generally offer flexible schedules for their employees. If you've got a knack for photography, art, writing, or crafts, you may be able to score some freelance work or sell your creations on Etsy to help fund your dream trip.
4) Slash mortgage payments.
Coming to the end of your mortgage term? Educate yourself about the best rates available on the market today by doing some comparison shopping before you commit to another term. Mortgage calculator rates will help you better understand how much lower your monthly payments could be if you lock into a lower rate or extend the amortization period of your loan.
5) Control your entertainment costs.
Most of us take for granted the number of free or cheap things that are available in our local communities. Instead of heading to the cinema, paying a monthly Netflix subscription, or downloading books to your eReader, take advantage of the movie and book collection at your local library. Browse newspaper and online listings for free concerts and art exhibits, and sign up to receive deals from Groupon and other discount websites to help you better plan your nights out.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post