First and foremost, I want to make it clear that every trip I have been on has been funded by myself, from money I earned. When I first started travelling the world alone at 18, people would always ask how I could afford to travel and assume that I had rich parents who gave me money. This is FAR from the truth. I have NEVER taken money from my parents to fund my travels.
So how can I afford to travel?
I have ALWAYS been a hard worker and money saver. For as long as I can remember I have had a good old fashion piggy bank, saving up my birthday and Christmas money. At the age of 14 and 9 months I got my first real job in a café and since then I have not stopped working. I can easily say I worked more hours than any of my friends throughout high school, which meant I missed a lot, but ultimately allowed me to travel the world. During my degree I was always working multiple jobs, studying full time and completing internships simultaneously. On top of this, I have sacrificed a lot.
The key to saving is to make a budget and stick to it. Work out your expenses and how much you can afford to save each week, transfer it to your saving account and leave it there like it doesn’t exist.
The short answer to how I save money for travel: I work my butt off. On top of that there are a few things you can do to save faster:
- Switch that daily $5 coffee for an instant coffee or tea
- Pack your lunch, every day!
- Eat out less.
- Do 1 big grocery shop each week. Do you ever run in for bread and milk and end up spending $50?
- Meal prep
- Cut back on activities that cost: Nights out at the movies, bowling, putt-putt golf etc. Go for a walk on the beach, a hike or a surf instead.
- Switch cocktails to beer or wine.
- Stop upgrading technology, IE your iPhone every 6 months.
- Carpool where possible
- Rethink non-essential direct debits: Health insurance, gym membership, Foxtel/ AUS star/ Cable TV
- Get a cheaper phone plan.
- Ladies: Stop going to the beauty spa, do your nails etc yourself.
- Stay away from the shops if you don’t need anything.
- Stop buying new clothes, you won’t be able to take them all with you anyway.
- Turn off your lights and PowerPoints before you leave the house.
- Rent out your spare room.
- Stop upgrading household products that work just fine.
- Overall, stop being a consumer!
Some of these may seem ridiculous to you, but if you really want to save to travel, you will do whatever it takes. Just remember that a little bit of money now can buy you a few extra days on the road later.