Firstly, it is important to have a rough estimation of how much money you will need to save for the overall trip, before assessing your finances. Remember to factor in for how long and where you will be visiting, plus general food and transport costs, travel insurance etc..
Setting a goal + plan
This is where setting the goal comes in. Start by writing down your income verses your weekly or monthly expenditures to help you view where your money is going and any areas of your expenditures you may be able to cut back a little on. By doing this you can create a realistic goal, whether be short or long term, as to how long it might take you to save enough.
From here, you can create a savings plan to help you get there. This could mean gaining an additional income or setting yourself a strict budget to cut back on unnecessary spending.
Prioritising your expenses here is key, and undoubtedly the most difficult part. Have in the back of your mind what your money could be going toward instead of what you are spending it on mindlessly. You would be surprised that all those little $$ add up!
Reassessing your goal and plan is important as time passes. After a while you will be able to see if you need to implement a different saving strategy, or if your spending habits or income has changed. It will allow documenting your progress and making changes to it, if necessary.
Below are some suggestive tips and ideas of ways to save some money:
Pack lunches to work
Bringing your own lunch to work doesn’t have to mean boring old ham sandwiches and stale cheese crackers. There are millions of tasty and healthy lunch’s ideas you can make at home to take with you to work. Consider setting aside time to prepare your lunches for the week so that each day you can just grab them out of the fridge, or if it’s easier, make larger dinners each night so that you have got leftovers for lunch for the following day or two.
If you sat down and added up the cost of buying lunch in total for the week, it really does add up! It you spent $15 each day, that would make $75 each week….Think of that money used elsewhere..
Cut back on beauty/grooming treatments
If you can, try going a little longer between treatments, for e.g instead of getting your nails done every week, do your own touch up at home or leave your hair a week or two later than you normally would. Alternatively, you could suss out salons near your area that do great monthly hair or beauty deals that suit you plus save you a whole lot of money.
Get a money jar
Buy a cheap money jar or use a jar you have lying around the house and use it as a coin jar. Any coins you have loose in your wallet or laying around just pop it in the jar. This can seriously add up after a few months.
De clutter your closet…
and sell your stuff! Getting rid of anything like clothing or just things that you no longer need, use or want anymore, can not only make more space around the house or in your wardrobe, but more importantly, give you that little extra pocket money for travel funds. So instead of throwing things straight out, hold a garage sale or invite friends over and they might score themselves a good bargain.
Instead of shopping at expensive clothing stores, ask yourself can you get something similar elsewhere that will cost cheaper? Or alternatively, instead of spending big $$ on full priced items, head to the sales rack first and you never know, you might nab some great buys. Also, there are many online boutique stores that always have online sales with free shipping. Worth a shot right?!
Invite friends over instead of going out
Staying in on a Friday and Saturday night doesn’t have to be boring and mundane. Instead of heading out with friends on weekends, invite them over instead. Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out, plus everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and you can still enjoy some drinks and food.
Move back home
It comes as no surprise that rent money is a major killer for any keen saver. While living out of home has its perks of freedom and independence, considering moving back in with your parents, if the option is there and your parents don’t mind, could be an option to consider. Doesn’t have to be a permanent adjustment, just for a short while.
Learn to cook and cut back on eating out
Eating out every night is costly and will burn a hole in your pocket very quickly. Learning to cook simple, yet delicious dishes at home are a great way to save money, and chances are you will then have leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day.
And if you have social events on frequently, snack before you go out so that when you are out, you can get by with something smaller and less costly than a big main meal.
Use vouchers and coupons
Those cheap deals you find on the back of shopping dockets or with any junk mail you receive in the letterbox can save you money on food deals, while hoping online to scoopon.com or groupon.com have discounted specials in various hair and beauty treatments, dinners, travel, shopping items plus even more! It is a great way to still enjoy some luxury without breaking your budget or spending too much.
Stop buying books and magazines
Make use of your local library and hire out any books you have been thinking of buying. Also, if you buy gossip magazines each week, consider heading to your nearest library for the latest ones and hire them out instead. Money well saved!
Give up expensive habits
It’s a no brainer that giving up on expensive habits such as drinking, smoking and partying will save you a lot. Instead of heading out to party on the weekends, consider catching up with friends elsewhere for e.g through the day to go to the beach, walk your dog or even visit a local park for a picnic.
Downgrading your phone bill, cable TV or gym membership for something cheaper
Gym memberships can be expensive, especially if you aren’t going frequently enough to justify having one. If you love going to the gym, but the cost of going is adding up, shop around for perhaps a cheaper gym nearby that also fits your needs? Or are you motivated enough to quit your membership altogether and do home exercises or outdoor training?
Furthermore, downgrading to a cheaper phone plan can save a lot of money per month. Something to consider particularly if there are any parts of your current plan that you pay for but don’t get the usage out of..
Take advantage of Cheap Tuesday discounts
Cheap Tuesdays are generally good nights for cheap movie tickets, DVD hire and pizza deals. Nowadays many bars/ restaurants offer great affordable deals too. This makes a great night to catch up on socialising you have missed.
Create a bank account sorely dedicated to travel expenses
You can easily set up an account with your bank that will transfer a set amount of money each week to your ‘travel fund account’ before you can touch it. This is great if you are a mindless spender or if you consider yourself hopeless at saving. By doing this, money will just accumulate into your account and before long you will see your travel funds increasing.
Keep an inspirational picture or something that reminds you of your goal and it will constantly remind you of the holiday you are striving and saving so hard for!