So you’ve decided you want to travel but you need to come up with the funds. It can be difficult to know how to save money for travel, especially when there are so many things to pay for. Since when did life get so expensive? Carry on reading if you’re after a few tips!
Make a Plan
This is without a doubt THE most important point. It’s your starting point. And when setting goals it’s important to be realistic about it.
Think about how much you’re able to set aside each month out of your salary alone. To do this draw up a spreadsheet and list all your monthly expenses. These will be bills going out by direct debit but also factor in the things you normally pay annually. Do this by dividing the annual cost by 12 and including this as a ‘monthly cost’. Once you know what your ‘fixed expenditure’ is, and by that I mean the stuff you HAVE to pay, you’ll be able to work out your surplus. Work out a reasonable sum to put towards food and fuel for the month (your gal’s got to eat!) and you’ll have a rough amount left. Obviously you’re going to need a certain amount of what’s left over for luxuries and unforeseen expenses but try and save around 80% of that end figure.
Stick To It
Commitment is key here. If you have a really good month try not to reward yourself by going overboard the next month. Remember the ultimate goal here is to save money for travel. That is going to be your reward. If it helps stick a few photos up somewhere you’ll see them everyday to reenergise you. Or buy a map and some pins and start planning your route.
Again, this is why it’s absolutely vital to set realistic goals in the first place. If it’s not achievable you’ll only get disheartened and most likely give up.
Check Your Progress
Taking stock of your progress is vital for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure you are actually on track. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re doing really well and 6 months later finding you’ve done your math wrong and you’re not where you thought you were. Secondly, checking your progress and seeing your results will spur you on.
You may need to monitor your results and re-evaluate your plan if your results aren’t what you were hoping for. Consistency is key so make sure you’re hitting your goals month in month out.
Open A Savings Account
I am by no means an expert when it comes to financial advice but if you’re serious about saving money you’ll want to do some shopping around for savings accounts that will give you some rewards. Interest rates are pretty dire in general, and have been for years, but there’s a few accounts out there that will give you around 4% at the moment. Best thing to do is to hop on over to Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis for some real advice.
Depending on the kind of account you go for, having a dedicated savings account will enable you to clearly track your progress.
Shop Around For Utility Bills
This one was a massive one for me! When I first moved out I didn’t even know you could choose your own energy provider. (Oh the days of being blissfully unaware and completely ignorant!) When I did a search on a comparison website and realised I’d been paying way over the odds it changed my life. Ok, bit extreme maybe but I was super happy to half my bill!
Re-evaluate Your TV package
There are so many people paying an absolutely ridiculous amount for Sky TV, movie packages, sports packages and bundles they don’t even use. They get hooked into contracts and let them renew year upon year. Don’t be one of those people. Think about what you use and what you could live without. Look into whether you actually a TV licence any more. If you don’t watch live TV, don’t record TV and don’t use BBC iPlayer you don’t need one! You can still watch other providers like Now TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime without!
Ask Yourself ‘Do I Really Need This?”
Asking myself ‘do I really need this?’ changed my life. I do it with small purchases as well as big purchases and it’s the little ones that add up. Before you buy that pack of chewing gum at the check out or that packet of sweets in a petrol station think to yourself ‘do I really need this?’ 9 times out of 10 you’ll put it back. Thank me later.
Smoking has always been an expensive habit so if you’re wondering how to save money for travel it surely should be one of the first things you cut out. Plus, think of the health benefits. This is a no-brainer. You don’t need a blog to tell you to quit smoking so I’ll leave this one here.
Pack Your Lunches
Lunch used to be one of my biggest expenditures throughout the week. Those £3 meal deals sure do add up and they don’t even give me any pleasure. Buying lunch out when you’re working or on the move is purely for convenience. Take an extra 10 minutes in the morning to make a few sandwiches, or, even better, batch cook in the evenings so you’ve got leftovers to take with you the next day. Just £3 a day on lunch is costing you over £60 a month you don’t need to be spending.
Stop Buying Takeaway Coffees
The same goes for takeaway coffees. These really are luxury purchases that can easily become a habit. Say you currently get 3 lattes a week, costing an average of £2.45 each – that’s £382.20 over the course of a year! More if you’re buying them from service stations. Cut them out and you’ll soon notice the difference they make to your bank account. Plus, you can make nice coffees at home!
Limit The Use Of Your Vehicle
This is definitely easier said than done, especially if you commute to work, but fuel is so expensive! And you don’t get anything for your money other than arriving at your destination. Look into the possibility of using public transport as a cheaper alternative.
Try to also be a little more organised with your journeys. If you’re doing a grocery shop for example try to do one big weekly shop rather than driving back every couple of days to replenish the cupboards.
Stop Eating Out
Eating out is a fun but expensive activity. Recently I’ve been satiating my cravings for Nandos and Wagamamas by making my own at home. I’ll admit it’s never quite as good but I’ve had fun trying and the reward is all the travelling I’ll be able to do in the long run.
Think of Budget Friendly Date Nights
We all want to spend quality time with our partners but this doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sure going to the cinema might be nice but if it’s also going to cost £20 why not set up a cinema night at home. Rather than go out for dinner, cost a meal together and have a go baking your own dessert. This might impact the short term sure, but remember your long term goals.
Cancel Your Gym Membership
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we can all do semi-okay without a gym membership. Invest in some weights and resistance bands, go for runs and regular walks. If your gym efforts are only normally a bit half hearted then save yourself some dollar and have a go exercising at home.
How To Save Money For Travel? Problem Solved!
Use these tips, stay consistent and you’re sure to achieve your goals.
Now you’ve got your money saved up you’re ready to begin your adventure. But make sure to make the most of it and be frugal! Check out my next post ‘Tips To Book Cheap Flights‘ when you’re ready for the next step!
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