“The Goal Isn’t More Money.
The Goal Is Living Life On Your Own Terms.” ~ Chris Brogan
They used to say that travelling the world is a rich mans hobby – well not now.
Travelling has always been my calling, whether it was travelling around my own country, watching endless documentaries on far off distant places or studying maps. I had a yearning to see the places from the beautiful pictures in real life, wanting to talk to the local people and eat those delicious foods.
I wanted to do all this but feared that I would never been in a financially sound place to allow me to do it long-term. I read endless blogs trying to find ideas and inspiration from these amazing people, who had ‘quit jobs to travel the world’ but it still didn’t help. They all had high paying careers, I was working as a travel agent basically earning minimum wage.
How on earth am I ever going to be able to do what they do?
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle was the only option. To cut back on all the ‘wants’ and focus only on the necessities.
Cut back on the Costa and Starbuck’s of the world. Seriously, if you go everyday and spend $5 on a coffee, that’s $35 a week which is $140 a month! And that’s just a small coffee. Buying Lunch everyday? Stop that right now. Seriously, how much do you spend, at least $20 right? Bring in lunch from home, this will save you $100 a week! You will probably end up eating a lot more healthily too! Clothes. Go through your wardrobe right now and take everything out you wear regularly. Like, your favourite tops, jeans, that one pair of leggings and your favourite cardigan and jumper. Now look at what you have left – if it’s anything like me, a lot – you don’t need any of what’s left so sell it. Ebay, Gumtree, Craigslist, Trade me are awesome websites to earn a quick buck. Not confident online? Look out for shops offering you money for clothes i.e. Recycle Boutique, poundperpound etc. I made £150.00 ($300) selling clothes I didn’t wear online.
Now you have sold them, stop buying them. You have the basics and basics can go a long way and made in to both going out and staying in outfits, with a little imagination. Save that $50 on a T-shirt for the weekend, invite friends over and steal their clothes for the night – just don’t spill your drink – This way you will always have something new to wear. On that note, why not try staying in once in a while? Everyone likes a night out and I will be the first to say, don’t become a hermit to travel the world. Instead of always going out, have cocktail nights at home, invite everyone for food, Netflix and chill night (literally, only Netflix and chill) or why not go camping, go for hikes, spend time with your friends exploring your home town and be a tourist where you live, before you leave? If you stop going out every weekend and spending (on average, based on me) $50 – $70 a week that could be an additional $200+ a month saved!
Bite the bullet, I know you’re an independent 20-something-year-old but maybe moving back in with mum for a year is ok, if it means travelling the world, right? I sacrificed my own apartment (and freedom, kind of) to move home, but not only did I save on Rent. I saved on monthly bills. No longer did I have council tax, electricity, internet, cable TV (which if anything, you should get rid of) and weekly shops. So how much I saved? $600 a month rent, $50 a month cable and TV, $100 a month shopping and $25 a month on Council Tax so all in all, moving home saved me around $775.00 a month, at least. I understand not everyone may be in the situation to move home so at least take a look at the spending. Cut out cable TV, I mean, think about it, how many of those 100’s of channels do you watch? Can you count them on one hand? Then get rid of it. Everything is basically on Netflix anyway and what’s not, well, we all know of ways to get it online – but you didn’t hear that from me – you will save anything from $50 – $100 a month depending on your package!
What about that mobile phone package? Do you use those calls and all those texts? Do you have WiFi access in work and home, then why do you need data too? Cut it down. I dropped my package from almost $70 a month to $50 a month by cutting out unlimited calls and reducing my data. Saving $20 a month, easy!
Finally, let’s talk about cars. How often do you use the car? Are you in the city where you can walk/bus/cycle/subway to work, friends and fun? Then maybe you should think about selling the car? No. Well if you drive to work, why not try car-sharing. It will save you money on fuel and you will quickly see you visit the Gas station less and less over the few months you have left. If you are planning to go away for a while (i.e. one way ticket) sell the car before you leave. Get that injection of cash to help you boost your travel spending money, better than the car sitting there for the next however-long.
This is something I did not do, as my car went back into the family before I left however, reducing the amount I went out, into town on shopping trips etc I saved a lot of money on Gas and Parking.
So there you have it. I’d say most of these things are easy to put into practice, but if your anything like me, temptation still lurks and it is hard work. So what else did I do?
Probably, my most successful tip is put all your money in your savings account and don’t touch it. This way, you have no money in your debit/credit account, which also means, whenever you ‘want’ something instead of touching your card and making a payment without thinking about it, you now have to log online to actually transfer money. And this makes you second guess your decision and gives you time for your conscience kick in.
So tell me, did any of these techniques help you, would you use them?
What money-saving techniques have helped you along the way?
What tips and tricks would you tell your friend, to save money?