When I travel I do not want to miss out on anything at all – who does? I don’t want to have to say no to something and then get home and regret it for the rest of my life. Before I leave for my trip I spend months in ‘super saving’ mode in order to give me the best chance of experiencing what each country has to offer.
You read a lot of things online as to how to save for your next holiday, but how practical is it for you? Most people talk about moving back home with their parents, selling their car etc. but not everyone is able to do such drastic measures in order to save money. I do not live at home, have a full time job, a car, and a whole heap of bills – and I’m sure that relates to a lot of people – and I couldn’t imagine uprooting my life to move four hours south of Brisbane to live with my parents just to save some money. It’s just not realistic! I still manage to save for my adventures regardless of my circumstances, and I am going to share my secrets as to how you can do so too.
- Stop buying coffee: like seriously, stop! I know you have heard it all before but you could potentially be saving $25+ a week – is your coffee that important to you?
- Bring your own lunch to work: when I was younger I would always buy lunch instead of bringing it with me, and the costs were insane. If you think about it, an average lunch meal costs $10, do that at least five times a week is $50 – you have just saved $75 a week by cutting out your coffee and lunch which is nearly $4,000 towards your holiday over a whole year! The way I do it is just cook a little bit extra the night before at dinner, then you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
- Stop buying things you don’t need: when you are out shopping ask yourself ‘do I need this or do I just want it?’. Sure it is great to buy new clothes and electronics but you have a whole closet full of fantastic clothes and a phone or laptop that work perfectly fine.
- On your days off do activities that don’t cost anything: like going to the beach, hiking, climbing a mountain, exploring somewhere new. You don’t always need to spend money to have a great weekend.
- Cook meals at home: with your friends rather than going out to dinner. Get everyone to bring a plate around, or chip in for a meal you can all cook together – it’s more personal, a great laugh, and you will still have a fantastic time.
- Make a money box: for where you can put any excess coins in your wallet, you find on the street or around the house, or any cash you are given – that way you are guaranteed not to spend it as it is locked away, and every cent counts! The last time I opened my money box I have $480 in there.
- Pick up extra shifts at work: it may suck working on your day off but think about the big picture – those extra hours you work during the week add up to quite a bit of money over the long run (only if you are on wages not salary).
- Bring cash with you: when you go out, because let’s face it you can’t stay hidden in a money saving bubble forever. If you only have cash on you then you are limited to what you can spend. Leave those debit and credit cards at home so you aren’t tempted!
- Or be the designated driver: you don’t need alcohol to have fun, and a lot of pubs give free soft drinks to those driving their friends home.
- Shop at Aldi: honestly from experience it is much cheaper than Coles or Woolworths, and just as good quality. If you have it nearby then utilise their cheaper produce!
- Cook from scratch at home: buy potatoes instead of potato chips, or pastry instead of pies, and you make it yourself! Not only is it healthy but you will save a lot of money. A 3kg bag of potatoes is about $4 when a bag of potato chips is around the same and only 700g…
- Buy meat from a butcher: and buy in bulk. It is cheaper than supermarket meat, better quality, and if you buy a lot you are more than likely to be given a discount. Break everything up into portions, freeze it, and you won’t need to buy meat for a long time!
- Or eat less meat in general: that way your bulk buy will last extra long, you’ll feel healthier, and vegetables cost next to nothing!
- Take advantage of free WiFi: and save money by not going over your mobile data.
- Always look for the best deal: whether it be for groceries, flights, cars… whatever it is, always research before you buy!
- Utilise public transport: it generally costs less than petrol and parking costs over a week period.
- Ditch the gym membership: and get outdoors instead. You are paying $20+ a week to walk on a treadmill when you can easily go for a walk around your neighourhood.
- Sell things you no longer use: I have made a whole heap of extra cash through selling things like old phones, lamps, furniture, clothes etc. on websites like Gumtree and Ebay.
- Keep receipts for anything work related: so then when tax time comes around you can claim it back! This includes things like clothing, shoes, parking costs, stationary, electronics… Dependant on your job you can claim a few things back. Also research into what you could potentially claim too as I’m sure there are a bunch of things you may not be aware of.
- Pay all your bills on time: otherwise you will be left with big late fees.
- Secret Santa at Christmas time: was a fantastic idea for our family in 2015. It was so easy only worrying about one person, and with a limit of $50 I wasn’t getting myself in to debt at the end of the year. Christmas is about spending time with family, not what presents you get anyways!
- Borrow books from friends: something that I often have trouble with (I have three bookshelves filled with books) but an average book is $20 each, and you read an average of two books a week. It does add up!
- Write a shopping list: during the week so when you go shopping you know exactly what you need and don’t double up and buy things you don’t need.
- Dye your own hair: rather than spending hundreds of dollars in a salon.
- Write down your goals: the most important tip of all. If you don’t remind yourself what you are saving for then it is easy to fall off the bandwagon and start spending all your hard earned cash.
I hope these tips help you save for your next adventure! There’s nothing worse than saying no and having to miss out on experiences. If you have any extra tips please share them in the comments below.