How to Save Money for Travelling
(without needing to sell your body)
Unless your grandparents invented the internet and are now happy for you to trawl the globe on their dime, travelling the world will inevitably require you to work hard and save some cashola before departing on an adventure. However, given that most of the things in this life that are fun (alcohol, DVD box-sets, ASOS) cost money, this whole “saving” business can sometimes be a little tricky.
Therefore, I have compiled a handy savings compendium which will allow you to simultaneously yell “YOLO” whilst earning some serious dollarmite points. (Note: I failed maths in year 10, so take no responsibility for any unfeasible financial advice).
Savings Tip 1: Find a good balance
There is a difference between sitting at home every weekend licking the remnants of tuna juice from a tin can that you threw out days ago and saying “yes” every time you’re invited out and throwing your credit card around like an over-worked businessman on a cocaine bender. Don’t get too keen and put away more money than you can afford, as there is no point saving up for something in the future if you end up hating life in the present. Compromise by going out one night instead of several and BYO booze in a hip flask. Finding that balance between saving and spending will ensure that you don’t end up blowing all your cash on an impulsive weekend because you were tired of sitting indoors re-reading Harry Potter for the eighth time.
Savings Tip 2: Don’t spend money on things that can be obtained for free
This doesn’t mean that you should start stealing shampoo from Priceline, simply that you should take every opportunity to not waste money while you can. If you have a gym membership, cancel it. Walking is free and running on a treadmill like a lab-rat costs valuable coin. If you run out of toilet paper, there is nothing wrong with “borrowing” a couple of rolls from your work’s bathroom. Same logic applies to tea-bags. You might feel as stingy as fuck, but when you’re sipping on your “borrowed” brew at home, you can feel content in the knowledge that the $3.99 you would have spent on tea will get you a couple of street-food meals on the road.
Savings Tip 3: Sell your possessions
Don’t go crazy and start trying to flog useless junk that nobody wants (such as your old kettle from K-mart that has depreciated in value), but do bookmark eBay and Gumtree as your new favorite websites. I can guarantee that if you spend a weekend wading through all the belongings you have accumulated over the years, you will find there is a plethora of money to be made. Be realistic, and try not to sell things for the sake of it. Selling your couch three months before you depart will only leave you with hemorrhoids, not dollars.
Savings Tip 4: Sell your skills
Unless you happen to be very good at and enjoy sex, don’t attempt to sell wristies behind your local Coles at night. Instead, work out what skills you have that can be marketed for a couple of extra dollars. Are you a math/piano/language geek? Start tutoring children dumber than you. Can you cut hair better than a professional but don’t mind doing it for 10 bucks? Coerce your friends into coughing up for a trim. Can you make a spoonful of sugar go down better than Mary Poppins? Make some flyers and start sitting on children every weekend. Everybody’s got something they could do for money: find your niche and work it, bitch.
Savings Tip 5: Every little bit counts
Coin jars are not just for five-year-old girls saving up for a slinky. Start putting all your small bits of change away and you will be surprised how quickly it adds up. It may take a while, but every gold coin you’re not spending is building towards a night’s accommodation or an alcoholic bender while away.
Savings Tip 6: Stop spending
I know – I can’t believe it either. But to save money, one has to actually stop spending it. This can prove tricky when ASOS is having a 70% off sale or there is a two for $20 wine deal at your local Cleanskin dealer. However, you can monitor your spending via aversion therapy. Pinch yourself every time you are about to open your wallet for something you don’t need, and if your hands are covered in scars by the end of the week, you’re doing it wrong.
While the majority of these tips seem absurdly simple and are perhaps easier to stick to than a Michelle Bridges 12-week body challenge, sometimes socking away large chunks of money at a time can prove a little difficult. However, taking care of your itchy feet doesn’t always have to mean saving for two years to get somewhere or saying no to every activity with your friends leading up to it. If you can work an Excel budget like a boss and be crafty when it comes to cutting down expenses, you will be strapping on a backpack stuffed with cash in no time and you’ll find you won’t have had to take your clothes off to do it.
Rowan still hasn’t finished War & Peace, but she did use it to balance her dinner once. Living in London, she’s steadily working her way through the Europe’s great cities and hopes to try every wine in England before her visa expires.