How to Save for Your Ultimate Adventure
So you've been searching the internet non-stop, looking through millions of travel photo's and you've created your dream travel route...The only things left to do is to save money for it now. For some this can be a difficult process and for others it can come easily. This guide should hopefully give you the best tips and guidance for you to save money for your ultimate adventure.
Fortunately for us as a couple we are great savers and are motivated enough to save for our travels. Our first travel journey was back in 2014 and for it we saved £19,000 between us in a year. You can do this too by reading the advice below.
1. Be committed and make a goal
Before you even begin saving you need to set a goal of how much you want to save and stay committed! If you aren't committed to your goal you might as well give up now, because you will never reach it. Having a target date can help with the motivation to reach your goal amount as well as help you to commit.
To help with the motivation constantly remind yourself of how bad you want something. Have a picture of your bucket list on your wall and have a reminder in your wallet/purse of your dream. Having a visual reminder each day can help you to double think decisions and keep motivated and focused to save money.
2. Write a shopping list for the week and don't go shopping again
Write a list of all the meals you are going to eat for the week (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks) and set a day of the week to go food shopping (say Monday for example) and only buy what is on your list for that week. Eating vegetarian can also help with savings. For us as a couple we shop at Lidl and spend £40 a week for the both of us - we eat vegetarian meals and have fish once or twice a week.
3.Cook from scratch
Ditch the takeaways and ready meals and start cooking from scratch. It may be a little more work, but it will totally be worth it! A sweet and sour with egg-fried rice ordered from the Chinese costs you about £8-10 for one. Yet if you make your own this will cost just £1- £1.50 per serving. If you are a busy person you can also make meals in a large batch (like a curry) and then freeze all your portions - we find this to be a great way to save time as it only means you will need to cook that certain meal every six weeks if you make 6 extra portions for example.
4.Pack your own lunch
Packing your own lunch doesn't take that long and it certainly more cost effective. Buying lunch out costs about £6, whereas making your own sandwich to take with you to work costs about 40p. If you bought lunch five days a week for a whole year while at work that will cost you £1566. You should already have the correct ingredients also from when you planned your weekly shopping list - so know need to pop out to the shop and get some bread or cheese.
5.Stop going out drinking
This one always gets us! why do people go out every weekend and spend fortunes on drinks for a night they probably won't remember? Most people on average spend about £80 for a night out in the UK and in some cases for some it is lots more. If you did this once a week for a whole year this would cost you a whopping £4600 - think of where this could take you in the world? So the next time your mates ask you to come out for a night on the town, think twice, is it really worth it?
6.Stop with the expensive coffee and tea takeaways
Whenever we go out for the day we always take a flask of tea or coffee with us to save us spending a ridiculous amount of money on a takeaway one. A takeaway coffee on average costs about £3. If you purchased one of these 5 days a week whilst at work for a whole year it would cost you almost £800, whereas if you made your own at home it would cost you just 6p for a cup of tea, or just 3p for a cup of green or herbal tea.
7.Only treat yourself once a month
Do you really need to go out for that meal? Do you need to spend £10 to watch a movie at the cinema? Do you need to go to the pub for a few drinks? There are endless things you may do in your free-time and doing them is fine, just not every week or more. Try and limit yourself to a meal out, or a movie just once a month. Stopping doing things you love all the time can put a downer on your life, so it is important to do things you enjoy. Try and take up free hobbies also. Create romantic meals at home with your loved one, go for walks in beautiful areas, have a picnic, have movie night at yours or a friends.
8.Sell everything you don't need on things like Gumtree, Ebay or Carboot sales
Plan a day to go through everything you own and make a decision as to whether or not you really need it. If the answer is no, then time to sell it! If you haven't used or bothered with the item for over 2 years, then you probably don't need it. For items not worth very much Carboot it. For items worth a little more, Ebay or Gumtree it. Simple! You will be surprised of how much stuff you realise you don't need and how much money you can actually make from this. If you sold 10 items for £10, then that's £100 in your pocket already.
9. Work your butt off
The obvious way to make money is to work, work, work. Before we saved for our first long trip we both had two jobs and spend a lot of time at work. It meant less time to spend on other things and although was grafting, was totally worth it for the memories we made. When your boss asks you if you want some overtime, take it. Yes you probably don't want to, but just think of you relaxing on an exotic beach or climbing a beautiful mountain, or whatever it is you're dreaming about doing. Whilst your at work and you wish you wasn't, just remind yourself why you are there.
10. Stop buying things you don't need
We have always been called 'as tight as a ducks-ass' by our family. They are absolutely right, but this makes us excellent savers. Before you go to buy something, just think to yourself, do I really need it? Most of the time you will probably realise you don't. You might not be in with the latest fashion, phone or other gadget, but you will be much better off and at the end of the day you are going to have some amazing memories to show for it. If you are the type of person who keeps offering to pay for your friends, then stop. Just pay for yourself, don't lend money and don't give money away.
11. Walk or cycle to shorter distance places you need to be
It may be a slower and more difficult way to get to where you want to be but this is also free, and not only that, but also a great way of keeping fit and healthy before your travels away. On average, you can save about £700 a year (Based on £3 transport per day four-five days a week). Obviously, savings will vary depending on how close or far away you live from where you want to get to.
12. Stop smoking
As well as smoking being bad for your health, a pack of 20 cigarettes costs £8. If the average male smokes 14 a day and the average female smokes 13 a day, then over a year this will cost £2044 (males) or £1898. This could actually pay for almost a year of accommodation in South East Asia.
13. Put your money in an ISA and don't touch it
One trick we always follow is to earn money and then put it straight in the ISA and don't touch it, in fact we pretend we don't even have it anymore. Not only will you manage to save lots of money by not allowing yourself to touch it, but you will also gather interest on your account. If you have a savings account with an interest 1% with £1000 in the account then you can save £100 a year. Make sure you shop around for the best ISA deals at the time you set one up.
14. If you can, move back in with family or a friend
I know this can be difficult for some, especially if you have been living independently for a while. Not something that can be a permanent situation, but for short-term, you can save a lot of money on rent and bills quickly. If you pay £600 per month on rent and then £100 more on bills you could save £700 per month! It might feel more crowded and less independent, but it will help you to save for your ultimate adventure.
15. Cancel your gym membership
If you use the gym more than 4 times a week and it is a great passion for you, then this option might not even be an option for you. But if you hardly use it or all you do is run on the running machine then you should definitely cancel it. £40 a month or £480 a year for little or no use is not worth this expenditure. There are plenty of other ways you can stay fit and healthy, such as going for runs outside, going for a bike ride or even doing workouts on Youtube or DVD's.
16. Consider a working holiday
For some, saving money is difficult and not always possible for every individual. By doing a working holiday which includes accommodation and food it can help you to save a lot of money as well as see the world. All of these countries provide working holidays - Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Vietnam.
That is a long list with so many options and places to visit. Obviously different places will offer more money such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, but these are more expensive to travel. Places like Uruguay, Vietnam, Costa Rica and Malaysia will pay a lot less but are also cheaper travel.