THE BLOG
10/12/2016 11:58 pm ET Updated Oct 13, 2017

How Becoming A Minimalist Helped Me Save Money To Travel

Saving money to travel can be tough. There are plenty of methods out there and about a million articles spouting tips for pocketing more money to save for trips. However, all of the little tips and tricks are not always so feasible. If you really want to make a financial difference in your life, try becoming a minimalist and see how far you will go.

I adopted a minimalist way of life after meeting a couple of digital nomads while living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The digital nomads (people who travel around while working online) were able to achieve their lifestyle by scaling down their lives, ridding themselves of unnecessary possessions, and only investing in items that truly improved their quality of life. I saw people traveling around the world with only one small backpack and never felt like they didn't have exactly what they needed.

After spending a significant amount of my savings on traveling around the world, I returned back home to pick up the pieces. I started to think about different ways to save money that didn't involve working multiple jobs. It then dawned on me that I could take from the teachings of my minimalist friends who were traveling the world. I began to do a bit of research, watch some videos online and personally contact people to see how I could scale down my life in an attempt to scale it up.

Taking a little bit of advice from a whole host of people, I began to test the waters of this new way of living and thinking. There was a ton of trial and error but I eventually realized what was most necessary for me to live a high quality of life while saving money and still being comfortable. I started with my closet and decided to donate all of the clothes, shoes and accessories that I didn't wear or use. I did the same thing in every room of my home including my kitchen, bathroom and living spaces. I got as much of the clutter out as possible to help me think and act with a clear mind that was free of visual distractions.

After getting rid of what wasn't needed, I looked deeper into the things that I used on a daily basis and looked for ways to improve them. I spent some initial money on upgrading what was most important to me. Instead of having three sauce pans that were just OK, I threw them all away and invested in just one that was top notch. I did this with my mattress so that I could give myself the quality sleep that was needed to have the most energy and productivity in my day and even bought some high end clothing items that would last me years longer than the cheap ones that I kept buying.

It took a few months to get everything just right but I can say that I feel a whole lot lighter and able as a person. I don't feel weighed down by my things anymore and I stopped spending money on stuff I didn't need and replacements for low quality things that I kept purchasing. I have been able to save much more money with each paycheck and already have a travel fund that seems like it could take me far. If you haven't looked into going minimalist yet, I would highly recommend it to anyone out there looking to travel.