If you were like me overwhelmed and wondering how people afford to afford and asking where do I begin? This is how I have afforded to travel full time (pre-pandemic of course). In honesty I have always been really good with money however I am a shopaholic. Through experience, I have become very good at budgeting and saving money for upcoming holidays. I also love to shop (far too much). Here I show you guys how you can save money for travel and still be able to shop.
How much do you need to save money for travel?
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
Where you want to go?
What would you like to do whilst you are there?
How long do you plan to travel for?
Where you want to go is a really big factor when deciding how much money you need to save for travel. London and New York are going to be more expensive than Thailand or Indonesia.
What would you like to do whilst you are there? Is there an activity or place you really want to do or visit? Plan this out by researching how much it is going to cost you and if it is seasonal or not. This will ensure that you have enough money for it and so you can plan what time of year is better.
How long do you plan to travel for? Usually, the longer you travel the more money you will need but this will really depend on where you want to go. If your plan is to backpack Southeast Asia your money will last you longer than if you plan to travel western Europe. It is just something to consider while you are planning and budgeting your travels.
Travel is and will always be my number one priority. You need to know what yours is before we even start. Would you give up a night out so you can save to travel? Maybe not drink alcohol for the weekend? I know it may not sound like a lot but it all adds up.
I very rarely drink and when I say rarely I probably have had three alcoholic beverages this year and I’m not even exaggerating! I don’t usually fancy it and living in London, it costs a lot anyway. I think I could have a really nice meal or experience whilst I am abroad with this money.
You really have to know where your money is going and if you really want to travel, you will save money and you will go travelling. I highly recommend budgeting and tracking where your money is going. Also how you can save money by haggling at your utility bill.
Live at home
Moving back in with your parents is not the best however it can save you a much-needed dollar on your travels. Plus if you are travelling for a long period of time you don’t particularly want to be paying rent as well.
Find a flexible job
Jobs such as waitressing or retail are great to save up that little bit of money. I have done both these jobs for many years and have saved a lot of money. I prefer waitressing as you get the same basic wage as retail but you get tips on top. These tips really do add up in the long run. Once I worked a double shift ie lunch and dinner and earned £300 just in tips alone!
Set a budget with a Travel Savings Account
Nowadays most banks have a savings pot where the spare change you spend on your card automatically goes into your savings account. This is a great way to save money for travel if you are not very good with money. I personally save a certain amount of money every month to go into my travel savings account. Make sure that this is easy to access in case of an emergency you can always take some money out without having any penalties.
Top Tip: Keep your money separate. Have a separate savings account just for travelling. That way you won’t be inclined to spend it (unless you are travelling of course).
Instant Saver Account
I would suggest getting an instant saver account and putting money towards it every month. I do this at the beginning of the month to avoid me spending it during the month. Instant savers are great as you gain a little bit of interest and you can always withdraw money (if you are desperate).
The amount you put in will vary depending on your financial situation. If you are not sure about how much to put in, put in a little bit and add more. That way you won’t need to take any out. There is no worst-case as if you do need the money you can always withdraw it at no additional cost.
Have a financial diary
Get yourself a diary and write down every time you spend money and what on. I then have categories such as bills/groceries/entertainment and make a list of how much I have spent in each category. Believe me, the first time you do this you will be shocked! I was and I have learnt a long lesson about where the majority of my money is going. (Let’s be honest it was mainly on clothes and eating out). I use the app Monefy to budget my spending.
It categorises your spending for you in certain categories and you can even change payment such as card/cash. It is free however the categories are limited, I have however made it work as I didn’t have a need for the paid version.
Some banks even categorise your spending for you. Handy right? When you purchase an item it automatically goes into a category and if it’s unsure you can place it in a category yourself. It has the amount in your bank at the top and then how much you spent in each category below.
I personally use the Curve Card for budgeting as it does it all for me. It categories your purchases and even tells you the time in which you purchased the said item. The Curve Card is also super handy as you can add all your debit and credit cards to the mobile app and only take the curve card with you on shopping trips. This means you only need to remember one pin!
There is even a go back in time feature where you can change the card through the curve card if you accidentally paid with the wrong card. Curve even offer you 1% cashback on three retailers. I use Aldi, Lidl and Primark to get my cashback but there is a long list of retailers that offer cashback. Click here to get free £5 just for trying Curve.
I have recently been looking in a lot of charity shops and I have found some fantastic bargains. This is a great way to save you money and to help the environment. Ask yourself do you need it? and do you want it?
Being a traveller you are bound to have either forgotten an item or thought the weather was going to be better than it is. Whatever the reason, if you’re staying in a hostel ask if anyone has any clothing that they do not need and potentially do a swap with them. There may even be a lost property box that has the item you need, you will have to do a wash first but you’ve saved money!
Borrow or rent items that you know you will only use once. Ask friends or family if they have what you need. I went skiing and borrowed my friend’s ski gear as I was unsure if I would like it. Turns out I did and next time I go, I will definitely buy my own.
Did you know that an estimated 11 million items of clothing are dumped every week? See article.
Haggle at your bills & compare insurance
If you have to pay any sort of utility bills, make sure you use comparison sites and haggle. I have saved so much money by doing this and I highly recommend it to you. Look at your phone bill, could you get a lower tariff or perhaps downgrade your mobile. Every little bit will help towards your savings goal. Comparison sites to look at are moneysupermarket.com, confused.com, comparethemarket.com and gocompare.com.
If you have a car I would advise looking at the comparison sites above so that you can get the best deal. Also, phone up your current insurance and haggle to get the price down. I have saved hundreds by doing this every year.
I use both Top Cashbackand Quidco to get cashback on items that I need or want. I simply log in to the app and search for the retailer I would like to purchase from. I check the cashback value and then purchase through their link. I check out both of them and see which one is better. It may surprise you how much money you will get back. These are particularly good for insurance too. I saved £60 cashback this month from going through cashback sites just through buying insurance.
Quidco are now offering you £5 to sign up for free! Click here.
I hope that this has given you ideas of some ways that can help you save money for travel. All of these tips I have used and still use to this day. Let me know if this is helpful and what you like the most and I shall see you next time.
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