How do people manage to travel the world so often? Thats a question we constantly hear and see across social media. At the end of the day, the main way the vast majority of people can afford it is support from savings, accumulated with the help of some simple money saving tips. To help all of you guys take the same leap we did, here are some of our best money saving tips for your next round the world adventure!
Without a doubt, the biggest motivation draining, bubble bursting, reality-checking part of any big adventure has got to be the financial requirement. As the saying goes, (and I’m sure you will all agree)
“If travelling was free, you would never see me again.”
And as nice as this is to daydream about, unfortunately it is not the case.
However, with some smart choices, simple organisation and a couple of our money saving tips, you will find saving the money for your next big trip not only realistic, but also a lot more enjoyable.
Currently, we are working our bums off trying to save enough money to leave this beautiful country on an adventure that will hopefully last a very, very long time. Neither of our jobs are very glamorous or indeed well paid, especially for London prices!; Gemma is currently working with the public services, and I (Campbell) will be working as an intern. Luckily, through years of penny counting and bargain hunting we have become top class savvy savers, and we are going to share a few of our pearls of wisdom with you. Here are 8 top money saving tips we hope will help you save the money you need for your next life changing trip!
1) Count those pennies!
First off, the most important thing to do is make a budget with all your incomes and expenditures. This will not only allow you to identify and keep track of what you are spending your money on, but it also lets you see just how much you can possibly save if you don’t fritter your money on fancy coffees and your tenth pair of shoes.
There are plenty of apps out there for you to download and keep track of what you’re spending, however I find it easiest to simply use an Excel spreadsheet. By spending a small amount of time it is possible to input all your known incomes and outgoings for each month and VOILA! you can see your total possible savings. You can download this spreadsheet for your own use right here!
2) Set a Goal
Now your budget is all sorted it is time to decide how much you want to save! I usually do this by considering
- Where I’m going
- The cost of living
- How long I want to go for
- What activities I would like to do
With all of this information it is possible to calculate how long it will take to save before you can set sail on your trip of a lifetime. It is also important to consider what type of accommodation you want and how much that will cost you. Usually, like most nomad wanderers out there, we would go for hostel-life when on the road. If you need convincing as why hostel-life is the one for you, then read our Ultimate Guide to Hostels!
3) Save wisely!
Now your bank account is on its way up, it is important to make sure you’re saving your money in the smartest way possible. A few tips for savvy saving are as follows.
Type of Savings Account
One way we are increasing our savings potential this year was by switching our old savings accounts to a newer, higher interest and greater rewards account. There are accounts out there that offer money back on bills and high interest rates, giving you potential for over £100 in a year!
Choose your Bank Account Wisely
Before you leave on your adventures abroad, you need to make sure you have picked the best bank card for what you will be doing. Easy to use, travel friendly and no hidden fees are just some of the many things you will need to look out for.
During our European Adventure, we trialled two of the leading digital nomad bank cards to see which would come out on top. You can read all about our trial of Starling vs Monzo right here!
Rewards cards are another must have! My wallet is currently fit to bursting with rewards cards that I flash as often as possible to bag those precious points and potential discounts. By also keeping that handy student card it is possible to get the odd lucky discount here and there (even when it’s out of date shh!).
Stash Your Change
Another area of savings that a lot of people miss out on is the gross potential of those little brown ones. It is estimated that Americans throw away $62 million every year in coins, just because they weigh a little more! Think of all the flights that would buy!
Don’t toss those pennies away, stick them in a piggy bank and crack it open before you go gallivanting. This way you have the amount you know you’ve saved plus a lovely little surprise! By doing this I saved over £100 in 6 months before my previous trip!
Do Your Research
Yeah I know, my tips are awesome! But there is an infinite amount of other blogs and sites out there with handy money saving ideas just like this one. Get surfing to find out other ways you can invest your money wisely. Our favourite go to guru for money saving is The MoneySaving Expert, where you will find loads of ideas, deals and basic advice on how to stretch your budget.
4) Become a MasterChef
Another way to save a lot of cash is by being smart about how you buy food. If you’re like me and your favourite hobby is eating, then the food bills can fair rack up if you’re not careful. When I’m not eating I’m cooking, and when I’m not cooking I’m thinking about eating, so food is a major part of my budget! You can find some of our favourite recipes over at our Food Corner. Check it out!
Luckily all this dreaming of food gives me plenty of time to spend on a big money saving tactic: Meal Planning. The best way to make sure your food does not go to waste is by making a list of meals for the week, breaking them down into ingredients and only buying those things! Don’t go to the shops empty-handed (or even worse HUNGRY) or you might find yourself with a shopping basket big enough to feed the 500!
With this meal plan don’t be afraid to get exotic with your food! Meals are meant to be enjoyed and when you go travelling you will most likely be having a lot of homemade meals to stretch those pounds further. Cooking now will give you lots of practice for you to perfect those chef de cuisine skills for the road. While at home, buying those work lunches will soon rack up, with my current works discounted lunches costing £4 A DAY! One weeks lunches would add up to a luxurious days spending in South East Asia!
Cook in Bulk and Freeze Leftovers
If you do not enjoy cooking, or are such a hard worker you barely have time for sleep, then an excellent time saver is to cook meals in bulk! Dinner today can be lunch tomorrow (and the next day and the next if you’re as lazy as me). All you need is some handy tupperware and a freezer! Sometimes some excellent tetris skills are required to fit it all in after a big cook, but you will be glad to come home to a nice cooked meal with minimal effort. If you are stuck for ideas, our favourite website for inspiration is PinchofNom, which offers hundreds of healthy recipes for whatever you fancy.
Don’t turn your nose up at some discounted food! Majority of the time supermarkets are forced to discount perfectly fine food that will last another week, simply because of the “sell by date”. Buy the food and stick it in our best friend Mr. Freezer. I can never understand why my friends will buy the full price version of a product, simply because the “sell by date” of the discounted one is the same day, even though they’re eating it tonight?! Madness!
5) Cut out the Small Luxuries
Now I know this isn’t going to be fun, but when saving for those life changing trips, you need to remind yourself daily just WHY you are not spending money. That means when you are craving your daily coffee or the vending machine is giving you the eyes, you need to think to yourself – “Would I rather have this coffee, or an ice cold beer on a beach somewhere”. This is what I constantly asked myself when I was saving for my Fijian dream.
Admittedly, I found the coffee cut-backs quite difficult. Especially since my time in France had converted me to a coffee snob, turning my nose up at our instant rubbish. I soon found however that by investing in your own cheap percolator (I got mine here), you can make a fresh brew of happy juice for yourself every day without breaking the bank!
By saying no thanks to those sugary drinks and having tap water instead, both your wallet AND your body will look and feel healthier! So stick to water now and you will be grateful when you’re soaking up the beach rays.
6) At Home Date Nights
When scrimping and saving becomes a long-term lifestyle, it is incredibly easy to become demotivated and lose sight of why you are doing it, especially when it means saying no to the social scene majority of the time. Cheap date nights are a way of staying social with your other half without breaking the bank. Plenty of fun can be had with a delicious meal, some candles and a cheap, cheap bottle of wine!
Even if you are not in a relationship, nothing is more impressive than a creative date with a fantastic, home-cooked meal.
7) Shop Smart!
It is still possible to treat yourself on the odd occasion while saving those pennies. Our favourite way of treating ourselves on a budget is by visiting the old charity shop for a new book, movie night choice or even a new pair of jeans!
If you ever do need a meal out or a big treat, then you can always rely on discount websites such as Groupon and Wowcher! These have seriously become our main money saving tool, as we are quite partial to the odd curry night. My favourite part of shopping on these sites is they force you to go to different places than you would usually choose. Normally when I try to think of where to go to dinner, every restaurant in the world escapes my mind apart from Nandos or Mcdonalds! However, with the help of Groupon we are steadily making our way around every curry-house in London.
Another money saving tip we try is signing up to get freebies for testing products! By being a consumer guinea pig for big commercial brands such as Tesco and Boots, you can receive free products for the small price of writing a review every now and again.
Keep an eye out for extra points opportunity on your receipts as well! A review here and there can help build your point payback.
8) Less is More
The final tip I will give you is that sometimes the minimalistic life is the better one. When I moved to France for my four-month university placement, I took 4 t-shirts, one shirt, 2 gym sets and one pair of jeans, as well as whatever luxuries I could carry on my back.
This time away really made me realise just how burdening a materialistic life can be and from this I swore that my next trips luggage would consist of nothing more than one week worth of clothes. Read more about how we manage to pack light for our adventures over in our Hand-Luggage Only packing guides!
It really doesn’t matter how long you are travelling for, whether it is one-week or 6 months, a weeks worth of clothes will last. Even now I am home I find myself wearing the same 6 t-shirts week after week anyway, so what is the point in having more than that?
Sell Off that Extra Luggage
With this is mind, a fantastic money making idea is to sell whatever possessions you have before you leave for a little extra pocket money! During one, 5-hour stint at a local car boot sale we made £70 PROFIT by selling our old clothes! If you are planning a trip of a lifetime then you are not going to need the clothes you leave at home for a long time, after which you may not even like them.
So with these tips in mind, get planning your next adventure! With enough practice, these tips soon become habit and a way of life, so stick in there and you can reach your goal!
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