How to Save for a Yoga Retreat

So you decided you are going on a yoga retreat to an exotic locale, and you are not going to put one penny of it on your credit card. Good for you!

But how are you going to make that happen when you make $30,000/year, you've got rent to pay and said credit card bills, and the yoga retreat is going to run you at least $3000, once you factor in the retreat, flights, taxis, food, souvenirs, attractions, etc?

Full Moon Party on the beach
Author at the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Here's all the ideas my friend. How do I know? Because I was in your shoes and I did it. I scrimped and saved and sacrificed, and I went to Greece, Austria, and Turkey for two weeks in 2015, and then Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia for two weeks in 2017, all while making less than $40,000/year at my full time job.

{All of the ideas below are based on a savings goal of $3000. Adjust for your trip and circumstances.} Take what you need and leave the rest.

1. Start planning early. It's a lot easier to save $38.50/week for 18 months than it is to save $115/week for 6 months.

2. Get a part time job. Already have a part time job? Get a side hustle or gig. What does that look like? Look for your local "Brand Ambassadors" group on Facebook. Lots of brands are willing to pay $100 under the table if you give up four hours of your Saturday night handing out flyers at a concert. Do that ten times and you are a third of the way to your goal.

3. Color your own hair, do your own nails, lose the eyelash extensions. Ladies, this one is for you. Balayage, highlights, gel manis, eyelash tinting, etc. are all "Wants" not "Needs." Trust me, you get the hang of coloring from a box after a few tries, and hot stone pedicures in Thailand are way better than in your neighborhood nail salon.

Still don't believe me? Let's do the math. The average woman spends about $80/month on her hair and maybe $60/month on her nails. (Notice I said average. I'm well aware that not all people can afford these services to begin with. But not all people are planning to go on a yoga retreat either.) That's $140/month. Since you're saving for 18 months for your trip, that's a savings of $2520. Add that to your side hustle, and you've made it on your trip.

Relaxing in Bali, Indonesia

4. Give up cable. If you still have it, this is a waste of money. (If you have roommates who absolutely do not agree with this, make them color your hair for the next year in exchange for you to keep paying the cable bill.) The average cable bill is $85/month. That's $1530 over the next year and a half towards your trip. You can still have Netflix and/or Hulu, as you are likely paying for all three now anyway. If you must have internet at home, you can still cut your cable bill in half by getting rid of the TV portion, and save $700+.

5. Give up Starbucks and other expensive coffee runs at least twice per week. Make your coffee at home!

6. Stop eating out. If you eat out more often than once per week, or order in more often than once per week, and you are trying to save money, you are doing life wrong. I don't care how many meals are served by leftovers. I promise, if you make that same dish at home, it will cost less, and be healthier. Bonus.