This is a collaborative post.
A question I often get asked is ”how do you afford to go on so many trips every year?” and if I am being honest there is no magic secret, it is, in fact, a combination of different things.
One of the best ways, of course, is to save as much money as I can.
Having just come back from my recent Trek America trip, I thought I’d share my top tips when it comes to saving for something HUGE. Whether it’s a trip to Walt Disney World or six months backpacking around South East Asia, saving is a crucial part of travel.
In preparation for my last big trip, I had to do an incredible amount of saving. With New York, Disney World and a whole host of cities in between, I knew I needed A LOT of spending money to go with. Before I started being smart(ish) with my money I probably would have ended up borrowing money or thinking maybe a short term loan could help, but this time, I was determined to save for myself.
To find out how keep reading…
Put Money Straight Into Your Savings Each Month
Setting up a direct debit to go straight out of your account on the way you get paid is a really no way to get into the mindset that each month, that set amount of money is not yours to spend. If I didn’t have a direct debit set up, I’d probably forget altogether.
I know, I know. It’s a bit tedious and boring to sit there and create a spreadsheet detailing all of your incomings and outgoings but oh. my. god – it has made me so much more organised.
Okay, now that I am freelance and working for myself it is a little harder to know my incomings each month, but there is a set amount I know I will get and so I calculate how much of that I need for my bills.
Setting up the spreadsheet is super easy too, but if you’ve never made one before here is a handy guide I found online.
Switch Your Bank To Revolut Or Monzo
One of the biggest changes I have made when it comes to my savings is using Revolut as my main bank. Whenever I get paid I will transfer all of my disposable income into my Revolut, using it as a place to track how much I can spend each month. I have vaults that will automatically take savings out each week, allowing me to save without having to think about transferring money by direct debit. My cash accumulator also rounds up all of my transactions to the nearest £1, sending that money straight to my savings.
If you’re looking for something similar, I know a lot of people also use Monzo.
Cut Down On The ‘Luxuries’
I know how tempting it is to grab a hot drink whenever you’re out, to order a takeaway when you can’t be bothered to cook and to buy that dress from ASOS just because it’s on sale, believe me. Cutting down on things like that when I’m saving for bigger trips has definitely helped me – it’s actually amazing to see how much I actually spend on little bits and bobs when I do start cutting things out.
Use Apps Like Clue Or Loot
There are several different tracking apps that you can download that help you budget and track your income. I particularly love things like Cleo and Loot as they have a sassy lil’ bot that tells you when you’re buying one too many KFC (if that’s such a thing).
Cancel Memberships And Subscriptions You Don’t Need
I am a sucker for signing up to the free trial of something and then ending up with a million and one subscriptions I don’t actually use. I have Netflix, Prime TV, Now TV and Disney Life and in preparation for my trip I know I’m going to have to get rid of a few…
This counts for things like the gym too, if you’re paying for a membership you don’t use CANCEL IT.
Plan Your Food Shopping Ahead Or Start Batch Cooking
This is something I have been doing a lot of the last few months as I always found I would go way overboard when it came to the food shopping. Sometimes we could spend as much as £70 for just two of us in ALDI and I didn’t even think that was possible!
Now that I plan my meals in advance shopping is much less and I can be sure I have absolutely everything I need for the meals I’m cooking that week. It also means I can plan which food I need to use first according to the sell-by dates, as I find I used to be going back and forth to the shop as all my fresh stuff was out of date.
Batch cooking isn’t something I do, but I know it’s a great way to save money if you’re only cooking for 1 or 2 at a time. Lots of recipes serve 4 so there are always leftovers you can freeze for another night. I WISH I was organised enough for this but honestly, I barely want to cook as it is.
Sell Your Unwanted Items
Whenever I need a little bit of extra money I turn to eBay, Sphock and Depop to sell the things I no longer need. It doesn’t make a lot as I tend to start most biddings at 99p, but it’s extra pocket money, right?
I’ve even been known to sell my old clothes on Instagram once or twice, especially if I’m looking to have a big clearout!
What are your top money-saving tips for travel?