“DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO UNTIL YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO” – OPRAH WINFREY
I know we all want to win the lotto or find a way to grow our own money tree, but the reality is nothing comes that easy! Travel is all I think about, so saving money quickly is a priority for me – but that’s what happens when you fall in love with exploring the world.
I’ve had to save for all of my holidays without funding from the bank or my parents, and at times without a full-time job. I honestly believe it comes down to – “if you want it bad enough, you’ll do what you can to get it, if not, you’ll make an excuse”. So, if you’re ready to start saving, here are 10 great ways to get the ball rolling!
1. BYO LUNCH
This is one is a hard one for me because I absolutely love food! But if I want to travel at least twice a year, I know I have to stop buying my lunch at work (did I mention I work in one of the foodie capitals of Sydney? FML) and pack my own lunch from home.
If lack of time is an issue, make an extra serving of dinner the night before, and put it aside to take to work the next day. You can twist this to be a health kick as well – put an hour or so away on Sunday afternoon and meal prep for the week. This could help shed a few kilos before the next big trip, and you’ll feel and look amazing!
2. GET THE BUS!
When you have the opportunity to walk, train or bus it somewhere – TAKE IT! Petrol is one of the biggest money eaters and you’re bound to save $$$ if you can skip driving when you can.
Even car-pooling to work with a colleague or hitching a ride with your parents will help put those extra pennies in the piggy bank!
3. DO YOU NEED THAT DRESS?
Online shopping is a trap! Change your passwords, send all the discount codes to your junk mail – you don’t need that kind of temptation in your life. You know you’ll only wear it once and you can use that money for a hot stone massage in Santorini.
Actually, now that I’ve brought it up, all those outfits you’ve only worn once, the one’s that you spend top dollar on and can’t possibly wear again because you already have photos of it on Facebook? SELL THEM! If you won’t wear them again, someone else is bound to snatch them up. Selling clothes is an easy way to get cash in your holiday fund!
4. HAVE DINNER WITH THE FAMILY
Save money on take-away and have dinner at Mums! You’ll save money and it always tastes better anyway.
The same goes for friends as well. Rather than go out and spend $40-$60 on dinner, invite friends over for a home cooked meal. No need to worry about your order being misplaced or not cooked the way you like it – you get to be in control, and you can make it just the way you like it!
5. NO MORE LARGE SOY CAPPUCINOS
You can save at least $5 a day (depending on how much caffeine you need to function) if you make your coffee at work or bring your own thermos from home – I know it won’t taste as good as your large-triple shot-soy-caramel-latte but saving over $50 a week will go a long way for your holiday savings – just think, that $50 can buy your train ticket from London to Paris!
6. STOP GOING OVER YOUR PHONE BILL
I can’t stress this enough. There is free WiFi everywhere for a reason! Stop going over your mobile data and racking up a phone bill of $500+ a month! Anybody in a similar situation as me can connect to the internet at home (which you’re already paying for) and in most cases at work too – if you’re that desperate, hang out in McDonald’s. A 30c Soft Serve is a small price to pay when you’re reaching deep into your hard earned money to pay for your phone bill.
I know it can be hard on public transport, but you can withhold from scrawling through your Instagram for the short train commute to work, I BELIEVE IN YOU! Listen to music, read a book – you don’t need to pay an exorbitant amount for your phone bill each month.
7. QUIT SMOKING
I know in Australia specifically, a pack of cigarettes can cost you anything north of $25, and if you’re a pack a day smoker I can’t even begin to imagine how much money is being literally being burned away.
A few of my friends and people I have met in my travels who smoke tell me they want to kick the habit but it’s easier said than done. If you need motivation to quit, how does a week in the Maldives sound? I can assure you, with the money spent on buying cigarettes, you could be doing that a whole lot sooner than you think – and your body will thank you for it.
8. TRAVEL SMART
If you like to organise your trips through a travel agent, always get a second opinion, or compare prices yourself online. In most cases, a travel agent will cost more than if you book it yourself, but you may be able to get your prices matched if you find cheaper flights or deals online.
If you’re booking with a friend or family member, don’t let the airlines trick you into paying for a seat if you book with someone, you should be seated next to each other – it might not be a window seat, but you won’t have to pay for it.
Unless it’s already included, don’t pay extra for food and in-flight entertainment, you can bring all that with you. Buy some snacks at the supermarket to help get through those mid-flight-munchies. As for in-flight entertainment, depending on how long the flight is, read a book, listen to music, upload movies to a tablet or laptop, or my personal favourite, sleep!
9. STREAM ONLINE
Going to the cinemas can be an expensive ordeal if you’re not careful! Unless you have a free ticket and can BYO snacks, I would try and avoid the cinema like the plague. Instead, stream movies online (legally of coarse…).
Even better, invite friends over and make a night of it! You’ll save a bundle, you can make as much noise as you want and you’ll have a great time.
10. PARTY AT HOME
This would have to be one of the EASIEST ways to save money! Not only do you save money from not buying an outfit for your night out on the town, you don’t have to worry about taxi fares, food, accommodation and the big money waster, alcohol. You can have a handful of friends over your place for the weekend, everyone can BYO alcohol, and you can wear your PJ’s! You’re bound to have fun and you’ll feel better on Monday knowing you didn’t just blow your entire weeks pay on one night out (you can make up for it when you’re partying with your friends on a Junk Boat in Halong Bay anyway).
So there you have it folks! It’s not as hard as some people make it out to be. So pick your destination, whether it be New York, Paris, Tokyo or Fiji, set a goal and make it happen; it will be the greatest adventure of your life!
Be sure to follow my adventures on my Instagram!!