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5 Simple Ways To Save Money For Travel

5 Simple Ways To Save Money For Travel

Travel planning is not an easy task. Aside from picking where to go and choosing the best place out of a thousand other choices, you also want to make sure that your travel choices will give the best deal out of your money. Thankfully, because of the internet, finding good travel deals, booking plane tickets and hotel reservations can all be done within a few clicks.

But the stressful part does not stop there. On the other side of choosing your vacation destination is making sure that you have the money to spend for your trip, and enough money left in your bank account after your vacation. Nobody wants a week of paradise followed by a week of drought when you are back to the real world. And neither would you want to be skimpy and make drastic changes to your lifestyle before your vacation.

Luckily, there are simple ways to save money on little things that we are used to doing daily.

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1. Let go of the morning coffee run

Maybe it is just mental that you need coffee from a certain well-known coffee shop every day to make you a functioning human being. Or maybe you really do need it. Whatever the case may be, there are other ways of getting your daily supply of caffeine instead of buying it from the coffee shop where aside from paying for the actual caffeine, you also pay portions for their employee’s wages, upkeep of the shop, rent, and much more.

If you are planning a trip and want to save up, I recommend utilizing your coffeemaker that is sitting on your kitchen counter and bringing your own coffee to work. This could save you at least $100 per month.

2. Use couponing or store apps instead of paying full-price

Everyone needs something from the grocery. Whether it be food, toiletries, or decorations, we can all find something in there to use. Why not use apps that could show you what products are on sale at a certain store? Or why not download store apps that you could use for discounts?

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An example for a store app that can give you discounts on your purchases is the Target Cartwheel app, and the Flipp app for showing you flyers from stores within your location.

3. Bring lunch to work

Eating lunch out is expensive. Especially if you are planning a trip. Not only is it expensive, but you really only have 30 minutes to an hour while at work for your lunches every day. That means you really don’t get to enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant you are at for longer.

Also, most of the time, you have to hurry to get to your last spoonful because you are afraid you would be late back to work. So why not just bring your own lunches? This saves you half of what you would normally pay if you buy lunch out. Think of how much this could save you in a month if you do this on a daily basis.

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4. Skip on the unnecessary stuff.

They say that you should not go to the grocery when you are hungry because your brain will send you signals to buy every food that you pass by to satisfy your hunger. Or not to shop when you are sad because you will buy a lot of stuff to make you happy temporarily.

What I am trying to say is that we always buy stuff that we do not really need. How many times have you bought something only to realize three months later that you have never even taken the product out of the bag or box?

5. Be minimalistic

During this period of wanting to travel, you need to make some small sacrifices to make your dream of traveling come true. Part of this would be to stick with the basics and the necessities.

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Do you really want three colors of the same shoes or shirt? Or do you really need to order soup before your main meal? Or dessert after?

Traveling is an opportunity that we should grab when presented to us. But when it is not presented to us, we need to find ways to make it happen. And the first step is to have enough budget and resources to make it happen.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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