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How I saved thousands of dollars for a big trip abroad (Part 2)

After last week's post, I'm guessing you're completely inspired to make some simple lifestyle changes and reach your goal of becoming an international volunteer extraordinaire. So, here are some more super saving tips to pass along that I think you’re going to love.

  • Make smart entertainment choices. Nobody likes being bored. But there’s no need to dig deep in those pockets to get your weekly dose of culture. Instead of hitting up the movies every week, join Netflix or Hulu, and stream from their library of films. And while you're kickin' it on your couch, enjoy delicious -- not to mention affordable -- snacks by hitting the grocery store or whipping something up yourself. Buy a membership to the museum you love to visit, or better yet, check out if they have a “free night.” Offer to volunteer at your favorite concert venue; you get to see the shows for free and meet some cool new people. Average annual savings: 600 USD
  • Those boots were made for walking. This one is easy. Spend more time pounding the pavement and less time filling your gas tank. It’s good for you, it’s good for the environment -- everyone wins! Depending on what you drive and where, the savings can add up pretty quickly. Average annual savings: 1,700 USD
  • Trim the extras. Do you only break a sweat at your fancy gym once a month? Do you have vintage T-shirts that you never wear that could perhaps be sold on Ebay? Does your cell phone bill make you wince? Cutting out the all of the unnecessary extras in your life could add big bucks to your bank account. Average annual savings: 1,000 USD

Once you master all of these super-saving guru tricks, you could have around 9,100 USD to put towards your CCS program. That’s a seven-week program, airfare to the volunteer destination of your choice, and spending money for those weekend safaris, trips to Machu Picchu, and elephant treks. These little changes may seem tough at first, but when you see the smiles on the faces of the people you’re working to help at your volunteer assignment, catching the latest installment of the Twilight saga on your living room floor (instead of in the theater) will seem like no big thing.

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