Some time ago I made a promise to myself that I don’t want to be that person working 40+ hours a week, making any amount of money in a stable work environment just to be able to take 2 weeks off tops to go somewhere every 6 months or so. And here are my 5 great money saving tips I discovered!
Let me break down my logic for you: If I lived in Europe and wanted to go anywhere further than Italy or Spain for holiday, the journey to South America or Asia and the following jetlag would surely take away 2-3 days out of my 14-day trip in the first place. Second of all – two weeks are not nearly enough to experience ANYTHING, not without rushing at least. If I work my as off for 6 months I don’t want a 2 week holiday I’d spend looking at my watch with fear.
This is not how I wanted to live my life. And this post is about how I managed to escape it.
Last year after coming back from Thailand, we moved temporarily to Wales for work. It was then that I made a decision to change my life. To start saving straightaway for another adventure and escape the 6-months-work/2-weeks-holiday kind of life.
My plan for the next trip was to go to the Philippines for three months tops. I wanted to make another dream come true. The money was the only thing stopping me. How I saved for this trip (and more)?
There was only one trick. I decided to avoid unnecessary expenses. And, boy, you have no idea how much it helped me.
It sounds easy, I know, but let’s take a detailed look at what I mean.
1. YOU CAN STILL SPEND MONEY ON ‘STUFF’, JUST DO IT RIGHT!
Now this is a very basic example of how this rule applies – I’m a gamer. But I used the way the gaming world works to save money on my hobby. Brand new games are usually about 40 pounds for a standard edition. It takes a month or two for the prices to drop down by 10. If you are willing to buy preowned games, that’s even better, you can get that same game for 20. I decided not to care if I had to wait one or two months after the premiere to play a game I was interested in, nor that it would be a preowned copy. Still the same game. But it saved me 20 pounds for each of them. How does your hobby applies to this rule?
2. HOW TO SAVE ON CLOTHES? SIMPLE!
Who doesn’t love a good shopping spree? But I decided to focus more on sales, online promotions, outlets, etc. It did save me a ton of money and I think a lot of people reading this would agree. Imagine every item of clothing you bought over the course of the last year was AT LEAST at 30-40% off discount. How much money would that save you?
3. CANCEL SUBSCRIPTIONS YOU DON’T NEED!
If you want to save money to go traveling, you will probably spend at least 40+ hours a week in work. If you add a slice of social life into the mix and a little bit of sleep then what you’re left with is not nearly enough to actually use all of your subscriptions. So cut down on your online game subscriptions, tv apps, magazines, beauty boxes etc. I cut down my phone plan from 13 pounds to 3,99 a month, I cancelled my Sky TV Entertainment and Movies subscriptions (if I remember correctly, about 11,99 a month for each), I cancelled Playstation Plus (5,99 a month), and left only good old Netflix for my long winter evenings. I never regretted cutting down on my subscription fees. And it all did add up to a pretty nice monthly saving.
4. BEST DEALS? FOCUS ON SHOPPING ONLINE!
I mentioned it earlier when I told you about the clothes thing. But it also applies to music, books, magazines, and games, too. The prices of digital copies whether it’s an album, a book (getting an e-reader was the best investment I made in my life) or a game, are honestly oftentimes more than two times cheaper than the ‘hard copies’. And online sales are a lot more popular in recent years than sales in stores.
5. FIND A JOB YOU ENJOY!
Now this speaks for itself and I know it’s sometimes hard to get a decent job or any job in some cases, but I honestly believe the time you spend working to save for your travels will be so much less painful if you don’t hate the job. I was lucky enough to work with great people and I was actually doing really well at the job, so working long hours and making sure that payslip bottom line was high didn’t feel like a chore, it was more like playing a game and achieving ‘points’.
I really want to add that I honestly lived my life to the fullest during my saving time in Cardiff. I made great friends with whom I socialised often in restaurants and bars, I bought a ton of clothes, games, I even bought a new Playstation 4 console and a tv, and yet cutting down on the above stuff, in 10 months of work average of 40 hours a week I managed to save up for a six month trip across South East Asia.
If I did it, SO CAN YOU!