Travelling is on your mind right now, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post so you’re probably asking yourself ‘How to save up for a trip?’. One thing for sure is… it has to start today. If you keep pushing the day that you want to start saving, the budget won’t be enough by the time you plan to travel!
Save First Before Spending
This is quite important. When you get your pay cheque, the first thing in our mind is to spend it (on bills, personal wants, etc.). This makes saving becomes the later thing that pops into our minds; so by the time we’re done spending, there won’t be much or anything to save. To not avoid this mistake you should save a portion of your money after receiving it (10% or more is recommended), then spend the rest. Doing this will guarantee a consistent growth in your travel budget each month. Unlike saving after spending, it is hard to predict how much you would lose to the temptation of eating out frequently or buying expensive gadgets; which means you don’t really know how much you can save each month. So it’s better to go with the option that can put you at ease.
Minimise Eating Out
We all know how expensive it is to eat out. A meal for one that costs £10 can buy you a kilogram of chicken breasts, pasta, and different kinds of vegetables that can easily last you 3 days or more. We’re not saying you shouldn’t eat out at all because restaurant food and atmosphere are so nice and kinda rewarding. If you’re planning to do a short trip for less than a month then minimise it to having 4 meals out a month (basically once a weekly) is a good amount to start with. However if you’re doing a one year trip or traveling as long as your budget allows then a maximum of 2 meals out a month is good. Although a lot of people who go traveling long term goes to the extreme that they refuse to eat out for a whole year.
You can be that extreme, it’s completely your choice.
Separate WANTS From NEEDS
This is SOO important and it separates a successful saving habit to a failing one. For anyone who hasn’t bought a car, ask yourself ‘Do you need it? ‘Do you want it?’. Taking public transports is difficult and inconvenience but it’s mostly cheaper than owning a car. You need to pay an insurance, which is already more expensive than buying a whole year bus pass, then petrol, maintenance, etc. That will eat up a budget for a 2 weeks trip to Italy.
Or when you’re about to spend £100 on clothes, ask yourself ‘Do I need to spend that much? Or is it that I want to spend that much?’. This will make a HUGE difference in your saving habit. Just do it for 3 months and you will notice the changes in your savings account and monthly spending.
Reduce Utility Bills
Again, you don’t have to do the extreme other long term travellers did or do. All you need to do is look at your utility bills and find ways to reduce them. You can also use the third tip of separating your needs and wants. For instance, you can ask yourself whether you need to have a TV turned on all night. Some actually leave their TVs on over night, this can be changed to lower your electricity bill (unless your rent includes all bills).
Do More Free Things Or Activities That Cost Less
Who says you can’t have a social life while saving! To save up for a trip, instead of going out drinking at a pub you can have a chill night drinking at home. It’s so much cheaper to buy your own alcohol from supermarkets than paying for each pint at a pub. Or instead of eating out you can organise a dinner at someone’s place, it’s nicer and better because home cooked meals are just as good as restaurant ones.
Another scenario can be a gym membership or subscriptions. Do you need to spend £7.99 on Netflix? Do you use it that often? Just like a gym membership, do you go to the gym that often? Is it cheaper to do it at home or go to a cheaper gym?
The most essential one of all is to start. now. You can’t keep saying ‘I’ll just start saving tomorrow’ because it usually doesn’t happen. If you do it now then you’ve at least done the difficult part. Once that’s done, just keep doing it every month and you can watch the saving grow!