The prospect of saving for a big trip can be pretty daunting. But don’t be put off with the initial thoughts. Saving for travelling is entirely possible if you really want it.
I find the best way to save is to set myself a goal. This could be a monthly goal, or a total goal. Once I have my mind set on something I will try as hard as I can to achieve it. I know that once I have reached my goal, it will feel so good and I also know how worthwhile it will be putting in all the effort. It all pays off in the end.
So, I’ve got my goal. Next up is how to reach it. Well, people that know me may say I’m somewhat of a workaholic. I disagree, I am currently a travelaholic, and to be able to live out my travel dreams I need to find a way to fund them. So I work, and I work, and I work. BUT, I still have fun. I see the people that I enjoy seeing, I still eat out (albeit alot less) I still go to festivals, buy my family gifts at Christmas and birthdays, I still go to gigs (but only my favourite bands now). I do work which may not always be great fun, though often is, make friends and make money. Living at home helps, as I’ve no mortgage to pay, just a bit of rent. I also don’t drive, I am instead an often pitied, public transport user. I try to avoid being out of work; if I am in a seasonal job, I will try my hardest to find something for when the season is over. So far I am doing okay and am half way to my target, and have many months left. Should you have trouble finding a job, there are other ways to make money. Perhaps be creative and sell your items, use ebay and sell half the stuff you own that has been sitting in boxes and has been unworn in your wardrobe for years. You may be surprised at how much people will pay for your stuff. As the saying goes, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure (that might not be quite right, but you get the jist).
To cut down on your spending, do what you love doing, but do it less. In my younger years (yes, I am only 22, but I’m talking my late teens) I used to spend alot of my money going to see bands and going to festivals. This was quite a costly hobby, partly due to the fact that I live on the Isle of Wight which means an expensive boat ticket is needed every single time. When I discovered my passion for travel, I cut down. I still go to gigs, and probably more than others I know, but only to my favourite bands. Whilst some people say you should cut back on everything other that anything of absolute necessity, I simply don’t agree. If you love live music, then you should continue to nurture that love. Just do it in a way that won’t impact too much on you reaching your goal. I used to go to four or five festivals in the summer, now I go to one or two. I still get to do things I love, but in moderation. Again, with eating out. I am my father’s daughter after all, so I love food. Eating out is one of my favourite pastimes. Now, eating out is saved for special occasions or a little treat. Instead of always going out, I eat with my friends and drink copious amounts of tea at various houses. This is just as social yet so much easier on the belt. Saving doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom!
With regards to buying things, I don’t really buy myself a great deal. Sometimes, if I really need or love something, I splash out. When I say splash, that might not be an appropriate term since I do not buy expensive things. But for me, splashing out is buying something brand spanking new. Otherwise, I use ebay and charity shops, along with my trusty washing machine. There is nothing wrong with second hand stuff, I tend to find it means I can walk around without seeing 70 people in the same getup.
So, after changing my spending habits, alongside working, I have been able to save a fair whack. I am a graduate, so I am also paying off a hefty overdraft. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t put all your money into your savings. If you are able to cut back yet still allow yourself the odd treat, whilst not losing sight of the other things you love aside travel (other things, really?!) then you will reach your goal. Be patient and you will get there. If you need it quickly, work 2 jobs. Just don’t be miserable by forgetting all the things in life you care about.