10 years ago I could easily live with only 50 euros a month, earned at a local supermarket. Yes, I was a lot younger back then and didn’t have any “real” expenses (except for the monthly phone bill)… BUT, looking back at that time made me realise how much money I have been actually wasting in the years that followed. Especially after seeing the annual report from my job… (OH-MY-GOD, the waste..) With new goals on my mind – YES TRAVELS – it was time for a change! So three years ago I started doing literally eve-ry-thing I could to save money again and found some things that actually worked! Since then I’ve travelled loads and always get asked how I do that. So today I’m sharing my top 10 tips for saving up effectively for your adventures (or anything else)!
1. Take a good look at your expenses
I’ve heard that putting all your expenses in an Excel document or apps such as Spendee works, but saving all my receipts and putting it all in a document every night just doesn’t work for me. What worked for me was to just have a look at the expenses that I had and where most of the money I earned went to (oh, the food). By doing that you can clearly see where you’re spending more than necessary. But even better: you can see what you actually do and don’t need. A subscription to the cinema, while you hardly ever go? A subscription to a magazine you don’t read anymore? An overpriced gym subscription? Unsubscribe. Immediately. It will save you loads!
2. Get cash every week, or month
A creditcard is the easiest thing ever. But, that little card makes it so much easier to spend money on stupid things. Especially that new paying method that doesn’t need a code… Getting out cash every week is just the best way for saving money, for me at least! Because seeing the actual money go and seeing exactly how much you have left, definitely makes one think twice. It makes it harder to go over your weekly budget and makes it easier to save the money that’s left on your bank account – leave the card at home.
3. Set goals
Want to get a new car, a special gift for somebody, a couch, travel, a new designer bag? Everything is possible! By setting goals you know exactly what you are saving money for: something you really really want or love. By setting goals and writing down exactly what you need to do to reach that goal you’ll get there easier or at least have a plan of action. We all want to reach our goals, don’t we? It’s one of the best feelings ever! Especially when you know you are the one that worked for it. Going on that amazing trip or getting things you don’t need? The choice is yours :)
4. Decide on your priorities
While saving up money is a great thing, we also need to live a little. Doing absolutely nothing because you just want to save up money will never-ever work. So decide on your priorities. What are the things that bring you the most joy? Good food? You go girl! A once in a while shopping splurge? Perfect! Just don’t exaggerate and appreciate the little things.
5. Sell your stuff
Now I do understand that we ain’t always got time for that. But do you really need to keep those books from university, those shoes you’ve never worn or clothes that still have their label on it, that jewellery you don’t like anymore (or just anything)? The point is that there are probably some things you can easily sell online. Even when you think no one wants it, there will always be someone that wants it! Markets are a great thing for selling things as well! Go with your friends, I’m sure you’ll have fun.
6. Make a list of things you need
.. and don’t look at anything else when you go shopping.
7. Live cheaper
There are always – yes always – ways to live cheaper. You can (for example) save money on accommodation by moving into a cheaper flat or even moving back in with your parents and renting out the place you’re currently living in. Even though you might not want it, if you really want to go on that trip of a lifetime or get that thing you’ve always wanted to have, it might be totally worth it. You can also save money on leisure things by using groupon or other coupons – because you have these things for literally everything and it can save you so much money! Dinner for 10 dollar somewhere?! Spa day with a discount?! Come to mama!
8. Get an extra job or work freelance
When you want to save as much money as possible, getting a fulltime job is the way to go! You’ll get a steady income which then will be the bulk of your savings. If you’re already working fulltime, sometimes getting an extra weekend or evening job can speed up the saving process. Even though it might be hard, it will get you to your goals quicker and will be totally worth it in the end! Otherwise, working freelance can get you that extra bit of cash! Do you have a skill? Can you bake? Make jewellery? Do it and sell it!
9. No unnecessary spending
Even when that 1 dollar you’re spending on that morning coffee or bus ride isn’t a lot of money at the time, it all adds up and is unnecessary – trust me. Transport is one of those things you can save a ton of money on: if you have time to walk or cycle, then do that – please. Also, coffee and lunch. Whilst taking a packed lunch and bringing coffee from home isn’t that nice, it will save you money! Prioritise!
10. Look at a way to earn money whilst travelling
Now this is something for the people who want to travel for longer periods of time, are already travelling or just when need to earn some money along the way. Nowadays there a millions of different ways to earn money whilst travelling. You can for example travel with a working holiday visa (hello Australia and NZ!) and earn money doing bartending, au pair work, barista work, farm work, cleaning or whatever! This means that you won’t have to save up for your whole trip in advance – awesome! There are also a million ways to earn money online: freelance jobs, teaching, video-editing, graphic design, copywriting and so much more. Now I’m not saying it’s easy, but the options are there and if you are motivated, they can definitely help you with reaching your travel goals!
These are the things that have worked for me and are basically the rules i live by! I hope these tips will help some of you fellow savers out there! Are you saving up for something and do you have some tips? :)