How I managed to save nearly £12,000 ($18,000) in under a year!
December 4, 2014|Posted in: Advice
After announcing that I’ll be heading off on my travels, I’ve had numerous people ask me how I can ‘afford’ to do so. So I thought I’d try to explain how I managed to save nearly £12,000 (or over $18,000 to you yanks) in under a year.
I think the best way to explain it is that once I decided to save – I set an amount I could plausibly do and stuck to it. Every month, on payday, a large sum of my income went out of my current account and into my savings. And there it stayed. Now, I had originally started saving, not for travel, but to put a deposit on a house or something of that ilk. So, that idea took a bit of a U-turn!
I budgeted the remaining money from my salary on my car payments, rent to the parents (thankfully not too much), food, petrol and social events. There were some months that I spent more than I had planned (like in August when I spent most of the money on getting drunk in tents over 2 festivals). But to be honest, I didn’t mind. The memories I have from them are pretty amazing so it more than makes up for it!
So what did I give up? Not much. To be honest, it’s been mostly alcohol. And eating out. But, that’s fine by me. I’m not MUCH of a drinker (yeah, yeah…). I have, however, become a bit of a hermit at the weekends, binging on a lot of TV series… (thank you very much, The Walking Dead!) I also haven’t bought any new clothes in at least 7 months. Although I’m not much of a clothes shopper, so that wasn’t too hard.
This amount of money will obviously be much harder to achieve if you don’t have a full time job, or more expenses than I do. I luckily live with my parents, which saves a lot of money (thanks mother-dearest!)! I also don’t smoke or drink expensive coffee (unless it’s free), so this is also something that others may think to stop to save money. If you think, grabbing a Starbucks coffee every day at £3.20 a cup equates to £16 a working week, £64 a month and so that’s nearly £768 a year you could save! Little things like that make so much difference. I also gave up eating anything interesting at work for lunch, opting to buy a loaf of bread to last the week (mmm, Marmite on toast) or soup…Yummy.
So here I’ve written down my (average) monthly outgoings, to see how things sort of added up!
Rent (to parents) = £200
Car loan = £165
3 Mobile (Samsung s4) = £31
Phone Insurance = £5.99
Car Insurance = £35
Petrol (approx..) = £40-£50
Social (approx..) = £40
Food = £30
Total = around £557 a month
This left me with enough to put around £700 away each month. Not too shabby.
This hasn’t included things I’ve paid for with the buffer I had set. So last month I renewed my passport (£79), in September I bought my backpack (£90) and this month I bought myself a netbook to take with me to keep in touch/blog from (£279).
I actually started saving only £500 a month, but when I realised things like my travel insurance would cost me nearly £500 (damn you allergies!) then I upped the payments to account for things like this as well as making sure I have enough to show the Australian authorities that I have sufficient funds for my working holiday.
So, here are my quick tips to helping you save for your trip!
- Start a savings account specifically for travelling. Basically put money in then DON’T touch it.
- Make sure you calculate what you can afford to save. There’s no point putting too much into savings and then finding yourself in your overdraft every month
- Don’t sacrifice everything. Just because you’re saving doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. It would suck to not see or do anything for the time you’ve planned to save.
- Sell your stuff. I made nearly £200 from selling my treadmill. Every little helps, so things like clothes that you aren’t taking or old electronics are a good way of making quick cash.
- Think: Do I NEED this, or WANT it. Always a great place to start. Seen a pretty dress? Go through, is it a necessity or not. The guilt usually wins that one. The amount of things I’ve picked up, tried on, then put down because my brain is screaming that I don’t NEED is now uncountable.
So there you have it. Saving money to travel and following my dream has required sacrifice, hard work and willpower when it comes to money. Have you got any money saving tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments below!
Amy is the founder of thewanderlustadventures.com. Currently residing in Reading, UK with a love of adventure travel, writing and photography - she pretty much writes about whatever the hell she wants!