Money, especially in the blogging community, can often be a taboo subject. Whether you have a lot of it or a little, money (unfortunately) is essential for living. It’s especially essential in order to fund a trip around the world, so with that in mind, I’ve put together my top tips to save money for travelling!
Cut Back on the Non-essentials
This is probably one of the first changes you should make when it comes to saving money for travelling. Cutting back on the absolute non-essentials will help you to save much more money than you could probably even anticipate. The first step you need to take is to assess and evaluate what you deem to be ‘non-essentials’. For example, your twice-monthly appointment at the nail salon that costs you £80 a month is probably ‘non-essential’ – could you find an alternative salon who offers the same service for cheaper or just cut it out altogether?
That new handbag that’s been winking at you in the Topshop display window might look fabulous on your arm, but can you really justify spending £45 on a bit of material that you don’t absolutely need? I’m not saying that you should cut yourself off from indulgent purchases altogether, but I would suggest reconsidering what you deem to be necessary and what money you’d rather save for travelling instead.
Cut Back on the Essentials
Now when I say cut back on the essentials, I don’t mean you should stop buying necessary household items such as toilet roll, toothpaste and you know, food. But, I do mean that you can cut back on the amount of money you spend on your essential items.
Instead of opting for the most expensive, lavish and luxury toilet paper money can buy, why not consider choosing the supermarket own-brand version instead? It might not be as ‘good’ or feel like you’re wiping your arse with the finest silk in the world, but it’ll be amazing for helping to you to save money for travelling. The smallest changes and differences can play a huge role in the amount of money you can save for travelling. After all, as the Tesco slogan goes, ‘every little helps’.
Shop Smarter – Tips to Save Money for Travelling
This tip is probably what allowed Matt and I to save so much money for our travels over the last couple of months. If you’ve been following our planning journey and keeping up to date with my food related posts, you’ll know that we discovered a new-found love for shopping smarter. Shopping smarter is definitely one of the best pieces of advice I can give you when it comes to saving money in general.
For months, Matt and I did our weekly shop at Sainsbury’s or Tesco and while it was fine, we realised that we were spending so much money on food, when we could get the exact same things for less at an alternative supermarket. Aldi became our firm favourite and shopping there even allowed us to spend just £13 on our weekly food shop; without scrimping on the essentials!
Have a Clear Savings Goal in Mind – be Realistic
Another great top tip to bear in mind when saving money is to have a clear and realistic goal in place.As I mentioned before, I’ve always been a good saver but having a time-sensitive goal in place such as going travelling really helped me to hone in on just how much I wanted to save before we left. I don’t want to divulge the exact amount, but I’m happy to say that I managed to achieve my savings goal in a year (from when I first starting saving properly to our leaving date).
Having a savings goal in mind really helps to motivate you to reach it; whether you set weekly or monthly goals of amounts you’d like to save, or if you know how much you’d like to obtain altogether before you jet off, make sure you have a clear idea of how much money you want to save.
Don’t Put too Much Pressure on Yourself
As I mentioned in the point above about cutting back on non-essential items, I seriously don’t think you need to cut every ‘unnecessary’ purchase out of your life altogether. By doing this, you’ll be depriving yourself of things you enjoy spending money on, which in the long run could result in you resenting your savings for travelling. The way I look at it is that I prioritise the things that I know I need to spend money on to enjoy life. Rent, bills and money for regular food aside, I know that I wanted to still spend money on things such as date nights and treats for my family as and when I could.
Putting pressure on yourself to save every last penny you make will only result in you resenting your efforts and you’ll likely cave in altogether. While I personally prioritised saving money for travelling over going out for cocktails every single weekend, I still made sure I had enough money to enjoy my life in the present, as well as ensuring I had enough to save money for travelling. Saving, whether it’s for one big holiday or for a much longer, round the world trip, really is all about priorities and of course, everyone’s will be different.
Cut Back or Make More Money?
My favourite books of all time are the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella; if you’re not familiar with the premise of the books, the protagonist, Becky Bloomwood, has a serious shopping addiction. When she realises that she’s in thousands of pounds of debt, she decides to make some monetary lifestyle changes; to either cut back or make more money. While we were never in extreme financial debt, it was a good idea to adopt this kind of approach when we decided to save money for travelling.
Cutting back is arguably the easier option of the two; simply spend less than you previously did. Making more money however, can be a slightly trickier option to adopt. Since becoming freelance in January, I’ve found it much easier to make more money as and when I need to. Freelancing certainly isn’t for everyone and it definitely isn’t easy but when it comes to making money, the more time and effort you put in, the more rewards you’ll be able to reap.
I’ve certainly had slower months and better months, even just in the last four months of working for myself, but I know that my efforts pretty much entirely reflect the rewards that I get. Making more money also doesn’t have to just be through freelancing; any skill that you possess could have the potential to make money. Whether it’s knitting baby clothes and blankets, excelling in pottery or artwork or simply selling your things on ebay, making more money can be done through a plethora of avenues.
When I think back over the course of the last year or so, I realised that Matt and I worked seriously had in order to achieve our savings goal for travelling. We didn’t sacrifice too much either, which just goes to show that saving money can really be achieved with a bit of hard work and determination!