"How do you do it?" If I had a dime for every time I've heard this question.
So let me tell you, in fact, how I actually 'do it' and how my part time job(s) got me a flight to Australia and a 9 month backpacking trip through Latin America and Europe.
I stopped drinking.
Of course I still enjoy a drink here and there, but cutting it out of my life has been one of my biggest money savers. A drink in LA was on average $10 and my friends were going out at least 3 times a week. I would still go out with them, I would just skip out on a some drinks. Even while I was traveling, to make my money last I would skip out on the daily drink expense. I've found a lot of travelers go crazy when they see a drink is $3. So they get 5. Now your $3 drink has turned into a $15 expense which is one night at a hostel.
You really enjoy drinking though? Stick to happy hours or invest in a flask. That will save you so much money in the long run!
I stopped eating out.
Again, living in LA, a meal somehow always ends up being $20. And sometimes it's just for guacamole and a soda. But you can't live without the guac right? Well I started cooking at home and buying groceries. Even if your friends want to get together for dinner, give the option of cooking together. Then you're splitting the cost in half and spending some quality time together.
This also includes daily coffee! An average cup a day is $4-5. That's around $100 a month if you're only drinking one cup a day on the weekdays. Make your own at home! Plus, places like Starbucks and Coffee Bean are packed with sugar, so by cutting this coffee habit out of your daily routine, this will not only help your wallet but also your waistline if you're a regular customer.
I stopped wasting money on expensive material things.
Except bikinis (ok everyone has their weakness). But after losing my backpack with everything I owned (at the time) on a flight from Istanbul to Buenos Aires, I realized that it's pointless to spend lots of money on something I'll wear only a few times or that can easily be taken away from me. I also learned to only buy what I need and not to go fashion crazy. Styles come and go relatively quickly and that $20 flower crown you bought from Free People last year is now irrelevant. Plus a t-shirt costing more than $20 generally isn't worth it. If you're really into fashion, check out second hand shops and sales. You'd be surprised at what you can find.
I sold things on eBay.
Your trash is another man's treasure. It takes some work and time to list everything, but you'd be surprised how much you can sell. Especially when it comes to electronics.
I don't buy pointless items.
Living minimally will not only allow you feel less cluttered, but it will prevent you from spending money on unnecessary items. What will a vase do for me at this point in my life? Or a rug? Or cable? There's Hulu!
I didn't join a gym or fitness classes.
I go for a run or a swim outside. I practice yoga off YouTube videos. Unfortunately one pilates class is not going to get you in shape and you will have to keep doing it on a weekly if not daily basis to see results. Not only will I not keep up with that, but I feel way better working out outside than I do at a gym where girls think it's a fashion statement to wear make up and guys stare at each other (or you) through an angle of mirrors. Plus outdoor exercise is FREE!
I joined the mailing lists of STA and other travel deal sites.
STA found me a flight from LA to Brisbane for $800 roundtrip when Kayak and Skyscanner were telling me $1,500. Make sure you research all of your options before you settle on one flight. And by joining a mailing list, you won't miss out on the travel deals! Consider joining the mailing lists of STA, TheFlightDeal, or even Skyscanner, to get alerts on when prices are lowest for your desired destination. Also look into becoming a frequent flyer with an airline and rack up points that way so you can eventually fly for free.
I travel cheaply.
When I'm abroad, I'm not staying at hotels or flying with planes most of the time. I'm staying in cheap hostels and taking 25 hour bus rides to avoid the price of flights. It's not living lavishly, but it's making my money last. I've also had the luxury of time so I've been able to travel on days that are cheapest.
No rent, no worries
While living in the states, I was lucky enough to have amazing friends and family that housed me while I was in the U.S. This was a HUGE money saver for me, and if you have the opportunity to move back home for a little while just to save up, do it. That being said, don't overstay your welcome.
I worked my little butt off
Times when I'm not traveling, I was working at least two jobs, picking up all the extra shifts and overtime I could get. It definitely tires me out, but it's a work hard play hard lifestyle. So why not pick up some extra cash on the weekends with some side gigs like nannying, dog walking, or a nice part time job? Yeah it may be the last thing you want to do on your weekends or week nights, but it'll make your savings look a little better month after month.
Not into implementing these tips into your life but still want a sense of adventure? Explore your area. When I'm home and have a day off, I take a trip to a new beach, or go for a hike on a new trail. Take a camping trip or explore your city on your day off. Change up you're weekly routine. You could even try a new bar! A change of scenery is always good for the soul.
When it comes down to it, everyone has his/her wants and "needs," whether it's buying nice things, trying new foods, or going out. For me, I love to travel. That being said, I make sure I save up so when the opportunity arises, I can book a flight.