“Please tell me your money-saving tips because I NEVER have money for anything!!” Definitely, a question I hear all too often from people desperate to travel but with zero funds in their account. No one taught me how to budget, when you’re 19 living in London with 10 pounds to last you the week, you teach yourself how to survive. I’ve normally got a notebook handy with a written out budget for each week, monitoring my spending and making sure I have enough for everywhere I want to go.
I’ve worked it out that this year alone I’ve spent over R60 000 ($4 300) on travel. Trust me, I nearly passed out when I read that, and then I realized that travel is my life and I slept beautifully that evening. People don’t often realize this about me, but I work ridiculously hard, and I work this hard to be able to live the life that I’ve always dreamt of. I could easily spend every cent that comes my way, but then I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love and I doubt I would be happier with a bunch of stuff rather than memories.
Here are some of the money-saving tips I’ve used over the years:
- Draw up a budget
Budgets aren’t limited to accountants and your ass needs to learn how to firstly, draw one up effectively, and secondly, stick to it! Start by documenting where your spending goes, and don’t leave anything out. Starbucks anyone? I worked out that whilst in London I would spend an average of 60 pounds (R1 000/$70) a month on coffee alone.
- Cut down on the socializing
This may be next to impossible for some, but this is where a large chunk of your money goes to every month. If I hear somebody moan about not having any money to travel and then blowing a thousand bucks in a night, I get seriously irritated. I used to spend an average of R2 000 a weekend on socializing, that’s R8 000 a month. My recent flight to India cost R7 700, and I now have a happy liver after a month of detoxing.
- Start investing in yourself – in the right way
I don’t think people understand how important it is to invest in yourself, who else will do that for you? A dedicated yogi, I’ve wanted to do my Yoga Teacher Training for the last few years and in a couple of weeks, my dream will be coming true. Instead of buying new clothes or getting my hair done, I set that money aside for my course. You can always invest in yourself by finally going on a dream trip, and that can happen if you stop with the day-to-day spending on yourself. Let’s break it down:
Nails @ R400 x 2 (per month) x 12 = R9 600. So, just by not getting your nails done for a year, you can basically buy your ticket.
Clothes per month @ R1000 x 12 = R12 000. Oh look, your accommodation and spending money.
These are treats we give ourselves because they make us feel better, so I would recommend having a conversation with yourself about what means more to you – a quick fix or your ultimate adventure?
- Passive streams of income
The Internet is alive with opportunities to make passive forms of income and it comes in serious handy when saving for your next trip. I’ll write for a company I found on Upwork and the $250 I receive that month will go straight into my savings for my trip. I’ll never see that money and continue living off my ‘day job’ funds from other clients. Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to live this life of travel, it normally means working outside of a 9-5 structure.
- Watch what you eat and where you eat
This includes the restaurants you pick and the shop you decide to shop at. For example, I love the takeaway sushi from my local and it costs around R85 a pop. On top of that, I normally have a smoothie and fresh juice in the morning from another store that is also about R80. Now, I’ll pick a salad from the store for R40 and I’ll purchase my juices from a supermarket rather than a market for R20 each rather than R40 per item.
Total savings = R85 per day of the week.
R85 x 5 workdays x 4 weeks of the month = R1 700 x 12 months = R20 400.
You see what I’m saying?
Now collectively, these might seem very restricting and I understand it may seem near impossible for some, but start with one or two of the above and watch your travel fund grow!
Do you have any money-saving tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below!