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How To Make Your Travel Jar A Success


I have had a travel jar since I was seventeen years old. When I got back from a high school trip to Italy with my mom and grandma, I knew that I wanted to spend a lot more time traveling. It started out as something I just threw my loose change into at the end of the day and has grown into a full-blown method that is a major part of how I save for all of my trips. I have been explaining my methods to Matt, and he decided to take on the travel jar challenge while I was in Southeast Asia for 101 days and the results he had were so awesome that it really inspired me to write a more detailed post on what makes my travel jar successful and I even have Matt to prove it!


⋙ The How To:

» Get an actual jar or tin- Being able to physically see it fill up is honestly a rush!

» Create a method of “paying yourself” that works for you- What’s that vice you’re ready to give up? Eating out daily? That Starbucks coffee you can’t start your day without? Now’s the time & what a better motivation to quit spending that money than to pay yourself each time you choose the budget option?

» What’s my method?

» I still pay cash for just about everything and put my loose change in the jar everyday.

» I put $1 in the jar for each meal, snack or coffee-type beverage that I prepare myself.

» Matt and I will be implementing a new one that each date we have for $5 or less we each put $1 in the jar.

» I put 10% of my paychecks into the jar – this came a little later in my travel jar escapades, but it definitely makes that money add up quickly.

» If I use coupons, I put the money I saved into the jar.

» When holidays or birthdays roll around I put as much of that money from my grandparents into my jar as possible- usually it’s all of it.

» If you sell something on Craigslist or in a garage sale, put at least half of that money into your jar.

(All of this may seem like a lot, but to be honest, once you start you don’t really miss it & it just becomes part of your daily routine.)

» Be sure to track your progress- Choose whether you want to add this up weekly, bimonthly, monthly, whatever! But be sure to add it up. Matt and I add ours up on Sunday nights – a tradition he started when I was in Southeast Asia. It feels good to see those totals and how close you are to your next dream trip.


Speaking of Matt, he was truly the inspiration for this post. We had a conversation the first day of my trip about my travel jar, and since we’re planning on trying a RTW trip in the next year or so, he decided now was the time to start our travel jar. In the 101 days I was gone Matt saved up $564.41! I am so proud of his dedication to our trip and I asked him which of my tips he used to save this money. He said for every meal he ate that was less than $5 he put $1 in, he started using cash more often and putting his change in at the end of the day and he sold a couple of things he didn’t use anymore and put that money in as well.



How cute is my fiancé rockin’ the travel jar?!

It’s amazing what a handful of change here, a few dollars there, and doing simple things in your life to cut back costs can allow you to save in a short amount of time!

I hope these tips will help inspire you to start that travel jar (using any of these ideas or creating your own) and stay motivated to finally buy that plane ticket, plan that road trip or take that getaway.

* A special thanks to Matt for taking these photos and being awesome!

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Through Pines and Willows
    August 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Yes! I love this. I’m a student biologist working for the government so I make next to nothing after bills. I will have to try this when I’m not pinching quarters for laundry, lol!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 22, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      I feel your pain there. I know how hard it was while working off student loans and paying bills! I hope your penny pinching goes well and you’re able to explore far and wide! Biology could take you anywhere, right?

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