Saving money for anything is a challenge but if you want to go on the trip of your dreams you don’t have to live like a hermit even if you are broke AF. Any amount of money you save counts no matter how big or small so here are some tips on how you can make it a reality.
“Want” versus “need”
Every time you buy something new ask yourself, are you buying it because you want it, or do you need it? Most items we buy are not necessities but we enjoy spending money on them. If you’re unsure about whether it’s want or need, try sleeping on it for a couple of weeks and you might find that your interest has dwindled.
Go through your bank statement and analyse where you can cut back on your spending by applying the want versus need question. Sure, bills are a necessity but do you really need to spend money on lunch or a Starbucks every day? Although seemingly insignificant, a Starbucks a day starts to add up. Cut the cost by preparing your own coffee and lunch at home.
It’s unavoidable that you will have to spend money on shopping but when you do, write a list of what you need and work out a budget so you don’t deviate. Never go to a supermarket hungry because you will only be tempted to spend money on excess food that you don’t need!
Adapt your social life
Saving money doesn’t mean you should pack in your social life and spend the rest of your miserly time as a hermit. Instead, adapt it so you can see your friends and save money at the same time. Pubs, clubs and restaurants eat up a huge amount of money, especially if you’re going every week.
Rather than getting anxious about whether you should buy another drink or not, adapt your social activities to suit your budget. Suggest a few drinks at yours or a friend’s instead of the pub. Have a house party or cook a meal and let everyone pitch in. Finding creative ways to see your friends without spending a fortune is fun. You don’t have to give up your social life just because you’re on a budget.
Have a dedicated account for your travel savings
The best way to save money to travel is to have a bank account that is separate from your everyday spending. It puts you in more control of what goes in and out. Set up a savings account and have a goal to put in whatever you can afford every week, month or whenever you get paid. Don’t touch it under any circumstances unless it’s related to your travels.
Consider setting up a savings account that does more than collect your money. Investment accounts may seem a little intimidating but these days it has never been easier to set one up. Apps like Moneybox round up your spending to the nearest pound and then invest the difference. You don’t even notice you’re saving. You can control your investment strategy and put in as much or as little as you like. It’s fun to watch your savings grow and see a bit extra get added. It also takes two weeks to take out any money so you won’t be as tempted to spend it.
Commit and don’t give up
The hardest part about saving money for anything is keeping it going and it’s never going to be easy. If you’re serious about saving money you can’t go on a spending spree with your payday cheque. It can be tough when your goal is far off but every time you feel like giving up, visualise what you’re saving the money for. Remind yourself of your travelling plans and inspire yourself by planning your itinerary. It’s much easier to save money when you have something tangible in mind.
Draw up a realistic savings plan alongside your travel itinerary so you know exactly where you’re money is going. If you’re not planning to travel for a while then set up a monthly savings goal and it will motivate you to maintain it. There’s no race when it comes to saving money for travel but the next time you contemplate buying another drink you could be spending that money on a cocktail on the beach!