18 January 2017

How to save £5,000 to travel in just 6 months

I love travelling, the excitement of going somewhere new, learning incredible things, seeing incredible things. What I don't love about travelling is sourcing the money to make it happen! I work in a minimum wage job, so spare money for savings is hard to come by. But after 6 months of making it work, I thought I'd share my tips on how I saved £5,000 in 6 months to go travelling. 

I've never been great at saving, I'm not one to want to skimp on gig tickets or going out to see my friends in order to put that little extra ££ away in the bank. But, when you want something badly enough, you'll do whatever it takes to make it happen! £5,000 in travel the world senses, isn't enough to be gone for particularly long, I'm predicting i'll only be away for 3 months and get to visit 3-5 countries. But I've only gone and picked 3 of the most expensive places to travel. Maybe, if in the long run, you're more sensible with your money, think visiting Asia (Thailand and Bali are the two cheapest places I've ever been) then you could definitely make your money last longer and strecth further. 

But I'm not here to tell you what to spend your money on, just how to get it...

Think Logically & Don't Go Crazy

It's easy to say "right, if I put £900 out of my £1,000 pay check into savings, then i'll make my target in no time!" I did! But you need to be realistic, how much money do you need to live, until your next paycheck hits your bank? What other commitments do you have? I'm very, very fortunate that my boyfriends parents only ask me to pay the bare minimum for rent but I also had to factor in phone bills, car expenses, lunch money etc. Then there's your social life to consider too. You'd be surprised how drastically that falls apart as soon as money is off the board.

"You will always live within your means"

Don't go bonkers, think logically about what you have and what realistically you can do with it! You will always live within your means, so if monthly expenses are accounted for, you can live on £100, then you will do it! You've just got to know your limits.

Where is your money going?

Do you know exactly where your money is going throughout the month? What about when? And specifically how much? Probably not, there's no way any normal brain can hold and access all of that information. Now, I'm sure if your serious about saving money, then this isn't the first "how to save" post you've read. And it isn't the first time someone has said "make yourself a spreadsheet." Dude, stop reading this right now and create one! Because my God does it change your life.

A spreadsheet will allow you to harness your inner organistational freak that is just waiting to be unleashed. Honestly. Firstly, write down your income. This could be the pay check from your full time job, any educational benefits you recieve, maybe you could even anticipate birthday money? Then start listing all of your outgoings; rent, phone bill, car insurance, road tax, life insurance, social engagements etc. I recommend organising these into monthly segments, especially if you have your life together enough that you can front your car insurance in one yearly sum. Then, decide if you can wittle any of it down, do you really need to go to the cinema every week? If so, is there a cheaper day you could go. My local cinema does discounts on Mondays and student discount for the rest of the week. Or if you bought your insurance through Compare the Market, there's always Meerkat Movies to think about!

Walk to Work and Take Lunch with you

It seems so simple, but I guarantee it'll make such a difference to your savings. Walking to work will save you money on petrol and parking. Taking lunch with you will stop the guilty trips to McDonalds on your breaks. This goes for eating out for dinner and even all those sneaky trips to Starbucks too.

If you're still unsure, try calculating how much you spend on these things in just one month. I'll bet you'll be shocked enough to stop altogther!

Open a Savings Account

I know, boring right! But I can't tell you how much easier it is to save when there's less money hanging around in your bank account. Sounds illogical, right? It's not though, at the beginning of each month, take that money you dedicated to save and pop it in your Savings account. Then your current account shows you only what you have left to spend. That way, halfway through the month when you're trying to decide whether you can squeeze a new eyeshadow palette purchase before payday, you don't get blind sighted by how much money you think you have. 

Don't forget about the 'Feel Good' Fund!

The 'Feel Good' fund is something I didn't think necessary in the first few months of saving. That's right, I went completely cold turkey; no cinema, no shopping, not even any new makeup. Did it work, not at all. I got half way through the second month of saving and felt so awful for neglecting 'me', that I went full shopping spectacular and blew most of the money I had saved so far! 

The 'Feel Good' fund is there to stop that from happening. When sorting out your money on your brand spanking new spreadsheet, put a little aside for down days. It doesn't have to be a lot, but factoring in for that tough week at work where you need a Friday takeaway to recharge or just a little 'well done' treat at the end of the month will have you feeling so much better. If you get to the end of the month and you haven't spent it, then amazing, that's £20 extra for your savings pot.

You know that jumper you haven't worn since 2 Christmas' ago, sell it!

I have been selling as much of my belongings as possible since I decided to go travelling. I have so much stuff that I havent used since I was about 15. Chances are your the same. What's the point in owning something that's not going to be of use to you when your away? Or something that you haven't worn/used since last Summer? It sounds dramatic, but what do you want more? Selling your car could get you to a new country, or an excursion somewhere tropical.

I have been pretty tight and stingy for the last 6 months, but I've got a nice sum of money to show for it and tickets out of London in less that 2 months time. And I don't think I'd have done it without these steps. 

Love always,

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  1. OMG Mel! Thank you SO much for sharing this, I was writing down what goes out of my bank each month with board money, phone bills etc. And figured out how much I can save each month. Thanks so much for sharing this again!

    Isobel x

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