Saving For Your Trip
Planning for any trip no matter how short or long it may be will require money. The amount of travel blogs I see online saying just do it, quit your job and go is insane. Its all good and well if you have parents who can back you up with funds for the majority of us that isn’t the case.
It is really important to know how to save so that you can be as comfortable as possible whilst you’re out there living your adventure. You don’t want to be that one person who hasn’t got enough to do everything they want to do.
Think about it.
You’ve scraped funds together for your flight. Awesome! You’ve landed where you want to go! Brilliant! You may have even sorted some accommodation, but your funds are already starting to get low. Hmmmmm not great. You get to your hostel/hotel/wherever and start making friends. This trip is epic! And that’s when they start inviting to all these cool places and activities, but wait….you didn’t budget for this let alone food etc on top. Not great.
Here are 14 ways to save:
1. Cut unnecessary expenses
The best way to do this is to get a bit of paper, tablet, material of some sort and start writing down all your direct debits first (Rent, Mortgage, Bills, Transport, Food, Drink, Living etc) and total that up.
Next think about all the little things you like to buy like Costa Coffee/Starbucks, cinema, cigarettes, pub, concerts/gigs/festivals, snacks, and other similar things and total that up roughly working out how much it is monthly.
What did you get? Probably quite a large outgoing from your monthly wage.
The key is to cut these down. Obviously things like renting and bills are going to be hard to cut out, unless you have the luxury of moving home for a while to save on those costs.
But things like a pound here a pound there soon adds up really quickly. Is there a favourite snack or drink you ‘always’ have to have at work or when you’re out? Cut it out and go without. Those odd pounds will soon add up quickly.
I personally found that I spent an obscene amount on Costa Coffee, cinema and gig tickets, snacks, books, DVD’s, petrol and clothing. I decided that if i truely wanted to save and have as much money as possible then I needed to cut down entirely on all of these which currently is saving me a small fortune.
Next, look around the room you’re in, whether it is a bedroom, living room, garage or attic. How much clutter do you have lying around that you just never use? I did this and noticed things like:
Books, old game systems, CD’s, DVD’s ornaments, electrical items, skateboards, speakers, clothing, pictures, bikes, tents, and just general rubbish I didn’t really need any more.
I’ve put most of these onto E-Bay and Gumtree with most of it selling well earning me a fiver here and a tenner there. It all adds up!
The rest of the stuff I will be taking to car boot sales. Its unbelievable what people will buy. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say.
3. Eat In
Not hard and pretty self-explanatory really. Eating out is expensive. I mean like really expensive! Even those cheap take always soon add up pretty quickly and lets face it, cutting that stuff out of your diet is much better for you anyway.
Learn to cook if you haven’t already (YouTube is great for this). Avoid supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsburys and go to places like Lidl and Aldi instead where you can get just as much if not even more food for half the price. It’s brilliant! A monthly shop in Tesco/Sainsburys would have usually cost me about £60-£80 whereas in Lidl/Aldi I am now only spending £30-£40.
This is also a great tool to have when you’re travelling and cooking your own food. Having a few culinary skills never hurt.
If you are fortunate to own your own property then it is always wise to rent out that spare room to earn some extra cash and reducing housing costs.
Again, if you can move home to family or friends then that is always worth looking into to save that extra cash.
It soon adds up!
Get rid of things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky, Virgin etc. These cut down monthly costs dramatically!
6. Mobile Phones
Search for a cheaper deal. Not always possible but if you’re nearing the end of your contract then its always worth to try and find the cheapest possible deal. I found that if you kept your phone, ended the contract and got a Sim Only contract I ended up paying about £10 a month. Bargain!
7. Credit Cards
I am always a bit dubious about these and have never liked having one. But if you can work them to your advantage then go for it!
It certainly helps for paying with large sums like flights, insurance and visa’s etc. Just make sure its a 0% interest and you have enough time to pay it all back before it runs out. Websites like MartinsMoneyTips are brilliant for comparisons.
8. Savings/ISA Accounts
If you haven’t already set up one of these.
I have two bank accounts. My regular account is with Natwest where my wage gets paid into and then I have an account with Barclays. Every time I am paid £280 goes into the Barclays account which I then put into an ISA earning me a percentage of interest. I got rid of the card and forgot the PIN number so I cant access it and now it is steadily growing. Obviously I kept the online banking details so I can access it when I leave.
Search around and find the best deals for interest etc!
Goes without saying really. Use them where you can.
10. Stop Drinking Alcohol
Impossible you may say! That is your social life.
Sure but alcohol is SO expensive when you think about it. By cutting this out not only will you feel healthier but also saves you a ton of money.
I still go out with my friends to the pub but instead I just order a pint of water with a lemon or lime and still have a great laugh! This seems a bit boring I know. But just think about it. How many years have you been going to the pub with those same people for the same conversations and gossip? You can still go, not drink and have the money to try some authentic foreign beers sat on a white sandy beach with your new friends before you go out partying or jumping on that boat to explore an island.
I know what I would much rather do…
11. Quit Smoking
I have never smoked so I have never had this problem.
But from what I understand it is a huge drain on funds and again…health!
By quitting this can save you up to around 4/5k! Imagine using that to ride elephants, go diving or jump out of an airplane instead. Much more worth it! Buy a vape and cut those costs down.
12. Buy a water bottle
A great way of cutting costs down. I bought a water bottle and just reuse it with filtered water from my tap. Sorted.
You can also buy metal bottles which are good for the long run as well.
If like me you drive a car on finance it may be worth selling and buying a cheaper one.
However I personally am torn on this. I can see the positives of selling a nice new car and shifting that large cost every month on finance. But buying a cheaper older car you run the risk of having unexpected costs springing up like the clutch goes, or it needs 4 new tyres. This adds up quick and will drain you just as much as having a brand new car.
One to think about, but for me, i’m keeping my nice new car until nearer the time I leave.
Another option to keep petrol costs down is to walk, cycle, public transport or blag as many lifts as you can off friends and family.
Drive to work? Try sorting out car sharing if possible.
14. Get another job
Always worth a go. Even if its just babysitting, house sitting. Or a better paid job altogether. I just put my CV on Reed and got a job with a new company earning an extra £1500. Sorted! I have been making a tidy little profit from other people asking me to sell their stuff as well earning a fiver here and a fiver there.
At the end of the day it is entirely up to you how hard you want to push yourself and save as much as you can, Its all about those sacrifices to benefit later you down the line when you’re exploring a new and exciting foreign country.