After I left University, I decided almost straight away that I was going to travel. I also decided that I would not work, I wanted to be free to explore wherever and whenever I chose, not financially tied to a place.
My job after uni was entry level and it took two years of hard saving before I was able to go. Still, the long process was worth it and I’m now whizzing around Southeasia happy and free. You can read about the start of my adventures here.
If you have decided that travel is for you (yay!) but you’re struggling with the overwhelming financial aspect, here are a few tips I’ve learned to help you reach that goal.
1.) Decide on a monthly sum.
Early on, you need to decide on your monthly saving goal. You also need to make sure that your overall financial goal is enough to support you for your time away. For example, places like Australia and Europe are far more expensive than Asia, so you will need more money. For me, I worked out what was the minimum I needed to live on each week then banked the rest. Most weeks I managed to bank £200. Do it this way and you’ll reach your goal in no time!
2.) Budgeting is your friend.
Whilst it’s important to set aside money each month for your goal, it’s just as important to set aside social funds. Allow yourself a budget each week to cover the basics, including socialising, and stick to it! If you live at home still this will be easier, but it’s still achievable if not, you just need to be strict. Do you really need that dress? Can you afford to go on that night out or would you rather put that £100 towards your trip. Don’t buy lunch, make it with what’s at home then treat yourself once a week. Put that Starbucks money into your pot and take coffee from home – it helps the environment and saves money.
If you struggle, download a free budget planner online or through the App Store and keep it with you on your phone.
Online templates can be found here
If you prefer Excel, have a look here
The App Store has hundreds of free budget planners, choose one that suits you which you enjoy working with.
Budgeting is a discipline but worth it when you’re on that trip.
3) Sell, sell, sell!
If like me you struggled on a low income, utilise sites like eBay, Spchock and even the Facebook Marketplace to sell unwanted items. Obviously there are some things which are just not appropriate to sell, but have a look through your cupboards and house and see what can go; an unworn dress, that side table…It’s a great way to declutter and earn some money at the same time. Just make sure the cash you earn goes into the fund…
4.) Birthdays and Christmas
Chances are you will have at least one or both of these events before you go. Utilise this gift giving day to ask your friends and family for things you need for your trip so it saves you the expense of buying them later on. Make a list of key things you need, divide it up between people and see who can buy what.
Adding on to this, keep an eye on sales. Rucksacks can be expensive but after Christmas the prices come down. If you can wait, I would strongly advise this. My rucksack should have been £80 but I purchased it for £45 in the Christmas sales.
I hope these 4 tips are helpful. Saving such a sum is an uphill battle and takes time. Don’t be disheartened by slow progress – will reach your goal eventually. Go at your own pace, put aside what you can where you can and it will slowly start to build up. Always keep the end-game in sight. The rewards for such discipline are magnanimous and you’ll soon be on that plane having an adventure of your own.