Travel and millennials go hand in hand, like college and student loan debt — and while millennials are spending more on trips than they have in the past, they aren’t spending as much as older generations did for travel. This should come as no surprise considering the fact that most millennials are still trying to find their dream jobs, and because of this, they aren’t making as much money as their parents.
Fortunately, by establishing the right strategy along with great timing, traveling for millennials doesn’t have to feel like a far-fetched idea.
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Perhaps the biggest deal breaker when it comes to traveling, is cost. By signing up for loyalty points and programs, however, young travelers can plan trips without stressing throughout the journey. Travelers can also save on the two most costly components (flights and lodging) of the trip by participating in shared economy programs as well. Although not every strategy will work for every traveler, it never hurts to have more money than you anticipated before you began your journey. So, if you’re a millennial wondering how you could save for traveling, here are some ways to do so:
Become Financially Responsible: Most millennials typically have to learn about financial planning on their own, unless they studied subjects like finance, accounting, or marketing in school. Money management isn’t something that’s typically taught, but developed through experience, which makes it a learned skill. So, if you want to save money for traveling, then now is the time to revisit the basics you learned throughout the years.
Saving money for traveling, or anything important for that matter, puts stress on the soul and demands a lot of sacrifices. This could be one reason why few people succeed. But it all comes down to priorities, that’s what makes individuals financially responsible.
If you want to save for a vacation, then you have to start thinking about ways to cut back on your daily expenses. Do you buy coffee every morning before work, for example? Or do you enjoy shopping on the weekends? If so, these hobbies could take a toll on your personal finances.
There are other things to think about too along the way, like whether or not it’s cheaper to rent a home or buy one, or if taking on a car payment is actually worth the financial burden in the long run. While these things might seem like a no-brainer to some people, they can be difficult choices for others. However, with the right mindset, the goal can be accomplished as long as you make the right choice with your budget and stick with your plan.
Refinance Your Student Loans: Student loans can be scary, and you don’t need days like Halloween to remind you of it. The good news is, these loans don’t have to be frightening as long as you have a plan in motion. So, if you’re a millennial who’s eager to travel but have the student loan cloud hanging over your head (like most of us), rest assured knowing that there are ways to reduce your payments. One of the most common way millennials lower their monthly rates is by refinancing.
Refinancing student loans not only has the potential to lower interest rates, it can lower monthly payments as well. How does it work? It works by combining your existing federal or private loans into a single payment. This means that if you refinance, you’ll have one payment coming out of your account each month while dealing with only one student loan provider throughout your payment plan.
Remember, the ultimate goal when it comes to traveling is saving as much as possible. This, however, can only be done by minimizing as much activity as possible in your personal bank account. With most student refinancing programs, recent graduates are able to save up to $20,000 over the life of their student loans according to Forbes. This means the more you save, the more money you’ll have for your next vacation.
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Participate in Debt Forgiveness Programs: When the word “debt” is typically used, it’s usually associated with students loans and mortgage loan companies. What most people might not realize, however, is that debt comes in many different forms that range from student loans to medical debt. Millennials — like members of any other generation — face a number of uphill battles when it comes to debt, and medical expenses are no different — especially since medical debt is one of those things that can’t be easily solved.
That said, for individuals dealing with prolonged medical expenses, there’s hope. What kind of hope? Charities. Although they aren’t talked about much, there are a number of different charity groups out there that are willing to help young adults get their medical debt forgiven. The PAN Foundation, along with nearby health care clinics are just a few organizations millennials can go for help.
Why should millennials participate in forgiveness programs?
The answer is simple: to minimize as much debt as possible. Whether it’s “good debt” or “bad debt,” the truth is, debt of any kind can ruin a vacation. Stressed caused by debt doesn’t just affect your budget saving strategy, it also affects your emotional health as well; the last thing you’d want to do is go on a vacation worrying about your budget and missing out on an experience of a lifetime.
So, if you’re ready to make a change in your budget planning in order for you to enjoy traveling more frequently, then be sure to consider the strategies listed above. While not all techniques will work in your favor depending on your situation, as long as you take the first step towards exploring resources, your next vacation could be within arm’s reach.
Avery: Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves exploring the U.S. mountains of SW Idaho and examining human interactions with the greater world at large. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.
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