If you want to travel you’re going to have to find a way to pay for it (unless you have a money tree or two, in which case… let’s be friends!)
As with any savings goal you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. If it’s REALLY that important to you, you will find a way to make it happen. If travel is a priority, make it a priority. The same can be said for a deposit on a home, a new car or a fancy handbag. The following are some ways you can save money with reasonable ease.
Cut back on coffee/alcohol/soft drink
I’m anticipating getting a bit of hate for this, but coffee, alcohol and soft drink are not needs. They are wants. You can easily get through the week without them. Water is free and if you’re feeling fancy you can add a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprig of mint.
Coffee can make the working week much more manageable for some people and if you fall into that category that’s ok. But rather than spending $3-$4 on a coffee (at Sydney prices) consider making your own coffee at home and bringing it to work with you.
Similarly if you feel like having some drinks with friends think about inviting a group around for a few glasses at your place. It will save at least a little bit of money when compared with prices at bars.
Bring lunch from home
It can be very tempting to head to the café for an overpriced sandwich when your lunch break comes around. But most of the time it’s overpriced and not even that satisfying or nutritious. Bring leftovers from home to have a meal you know you’re going to enjoy. If you’re spending $10 for a café lunch every day of the working week that’s $50 you could be putting into savings towards your goal. Get some tupperware containers and get organised!
Meal plan and grocery shop wisely
It is so easy to overspend on food. Especially when you make the mistake of going to the grocery shop on an empty stomach and without any idea of the meals you are preparing for.
The key is to get organised! Set yourself a weekly budget for groceries, plan out the meals you want for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and ONLY buy the items you need for those meals. Cooking in bulk on a Sunday for the week ahead is a good way to get lunches organised and out of the way. You can still get variety and save money if you plan ahead and use fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Replace movie tickets with a Netflix night
As fun as it is going to the movies, it really has become unbelievably expensive. Although deals like cheap movie Tuesday knock a couple of dollars off the price of a ticket, it’s even cheaper staying at home with good old Netflix.
Invite some friends around for a binge watching session. It’s even cheaper if you’re splitting the cost of your Netflix account with housemates or family members.
Do free activities with friends
Swap an expensive restaurant meal or a café catch up for a walk through the park or a picnic with goodies from home.
Have a spa night with your girlfriends with home made face-masks and DIY manicures. Take satisfaction in knowing you’re saving oodles of money whilst still pampering yourself and having fun.
Think outside the box for things to do and you’ll be surprised at the wonderful things you’ll come up with. If you’re really getting into the meal planning and bulk cooking from point 3 you can even have a group around for a bulk cooking session and each take home a couple of containers for the freezer. Delicious and a bargain!
Set up a bank account for travel savings
If you’re the type of person who is really going to struggle cutting back on daily expenses then consider setting up a savings account purely for travel. Have an automatic transfer in place so that every time you get paid a certain amount is deposited into your travel account. If you really want to challenge yourself get your parents or your partner (make sure it’s someone your trust) to change the pin to access your account until an agreed upon date. That way there’s no risk you’ll self-sabotage and spend your hard earned money.
Move back home
This isn’t an option for everyone, but if moving back in with your family is an option for you, TAKE IT! You may still like to pay a small amount for rent and groceries but it will likely be nowhere near as much you’d pay in your own rental.
Alternatively you might offer to tutor a younger sibling or help out with other household tasks to earn your keep.
Walk or take public transport
Keeping a car running is costly. By the time you add up costs of petrol, registration and insurance that’s a significant amount of money you could be putting towards other things.
If you can, sell your car and try and walk or take public transport. It is a bit more inconvenient but the incredible savings you will make will be worth it.
Stay focused on your goal
There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of booking tickets for a trip you have been dreaming about for years. It can be very easy to feel like you’re missing out when you’re counting every dollar but try to remind yourself how worth it it will all be when you finally get to go on your dream trip.
Put pictures of the destination you’re aiming for on your phone, your fridge or your mirror. It will serve as a daily reminder that you’re making sacrifices for a good reason and will help keep your eyes on the prize.
Join the discussion! What are some of your tips for saving money? Leave a comment below!