The ability to save money is an important skill – and once perfected will set you up for a lifetime of hard-earned, well-worth-it vacations and overseas adventures.
As you look ahead to booking your next plane ticket and weighing your luggage, take a moment to scroll through our tips for saving money for one of the most important things your bank card can be used for.
1.) Ask yourself: Is this better spent today or on my trip?
If you read no further than this first suggestion, know it is our most successful tried-and-tested tool for saving. During the lead-up to any trip all travellers are met with temptation – temptation to spend money that should be going toward an upcoming trip on something shiny, pretty, delicious or high in alcohol content RIGHT NOW.
Resisting that temptation is not always easy, but there is nothing so effective as asking yourself whether it is worth spending $20 on a sale item at your favourite clothing store, or saving it to spend on 40 street Pad Thais, three pairs of traveller pants or too many 50 cent beers with your new and international hostel friends.
2.) Prepare your own food as often as possible
One of the easiest and most unnecessary means for your bank balance to trickle down is when you spend money on food. As the saying goes, a girl’s got to eat – and we think there’s some evidence that a boy does too – so naturally you are going to say goodbye to some cash in favour of filling your stomach. But, there is no denying we tend to spend more than we might need in this area.
A lot of social gatherings will involve purchasing food, and the lunch truck outside your office is a super convenient option with the bonus of loyalty stamps, but if you can shy away from temptation in this area you will see your unnecessary spending dramatically reduced.
3.) Choose free or cheaper social activities
It will make things a lot easier if your friends are on board with your saving and are willing to opt for cheaper outings. Life doesn’t need to stop completely in order to save a dime, but choosing to host a dinner party at home or celebrate your birthday with a picnic in the park will cost a lot less than the dinners, movies and shopping you might ordinarily do.
4.) Look at your transport options
Another regular item of expenditure is transport. Naturally you need to get from A to B, but is there any chance you could do it for less? If you drive, perhaps you could consider public transport. If it’s only a few stops to work and you usually take the bus, maybe you can walk. Most people will choose the easiest or fastest way to get to work, which may not always be the friendliest option for their bank account. A small sacrifice when it comes to comfort here could make a big difference to the number of zeros in the vault when you take off.
5.) Create a separate savings account
A separate savings account dedicated specifically to your travels is an ideal way to save. Once you see the balance of that savings account growing it will motivate your saving further – and you will feel way too guilty to withdraw any from that special account you look forward to using on croissants, tapas and pierogis.
Ask your bank about your options and you will find many have higher interest on savings accounts like this, including options for no withdrawals from the account to ensure you couldn’t touch it even if you wanted to.
6.) Set aside a portion of your regular income
If your bank allows, setting up an automatic withdrawal deposited directly into your dedicated savings account when your pay comes in will help remove the option of going wild and spending that cash on pay day. A lack of automatic withdrawal is a mild inconvenience, but if you are disciplined enough to transfer a set amount yourself every month this option works like a charm.
Thirsty for more money-saving tips? Find them here.
Author’s Bio: Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC.