I wrote this blog as a guest post for Sahara Rose Travels, Founder of The Travel Coach Network. Check out here blog here.
At the end of January 2019, I left my full-time job to go travelling. This post will look at how I have saved the money to travel full time, this post is obviously personal to me but I hope other people can get some tips and inspiration.
For three and a half years I have worked full time and since October 2018 I have also had a second job. I will continue in my second job until I leave the country, this will provide me with an income for the couple of months I have between leaving work and traveling.
My Mum thinks I am very odd! Within my bank account I have different savings accounts each one is saving for something different – Christmas, Car expenses, Travel, Holidays.
This way I can save for each event and I don’t dip into them for anything other then what they are intended.
I put money aside each month for traveling and have been saving for the past 3 years – I knew from when I started my job that I wanted to go traveling.
I put my travel savings into accounts that added interest after a year, I could have probably looked for better saving accounts, but I didn’t have the time to do this and was happy just putting money aside.
I love traveling and didn’t want to save for traveling and not do traveling so I also had a holiday account which I used to save for holidays.
If you worry that you will dip into your savings do you have a trusted family member that could save the money for you, or open a separate bank account / ISA and set up a direct debit each month, I would suggest not keeping the card for that account on you and not having internet banking so that it is not easy to access.
For me holidays and traveling are a priority, I go away as often as I can and try to see as many places as possible and have lots of different experiences. I get asked a lot how I can afford to go away so much, for me traveling is my priority, I don’t buy lots of new clothes or go out partying, I drive a cheap car and I don’t own a house.
I’m super lucky as I live at home so although I pay rent it is not on the same scale as it would be if I rented a room or lived alone. It can be super hard work living at home especially when you have lived on your own or away from home and are used to having your own space and not having to tell people where you are. But in terms of saving it’s amazing!
Housing on holidays, in 2018 I went on 2 surfing trips and both times I stayed in hostels, I know this saved me money and prepared me for my longer-term travels. Check out my blog on surfing in Lanzarote here. I haven’t tried Couchsurfing but know this can be a good way to save money and met locals, I also plan to use Work Away whilst I’m traveling.
Most bank accounts have an option for showing you where your money is being spent. Some of my friends have started using Monzo bank account, they have said that they have found it useful as it shows them where they are spending money and they can set themselves a budget.
You could create a spread sheet in excel or table in word this doesn’t have to be fancy, when I was at Uni I was on a tight budget and I had a monthly excel spread sheet to keep track of my spending.
A quick play store search has brought up many budgeting apps.
I’ve never been a big drinker or out every weekend, plus I hate being hungover and the older I get the harder they are!
If I go out for the evening I will often drive or try to get the last bus.
Don’t get me wrong I still go out and still have fun but your more likely to find me going out for dinner, then on a big night out.
Dinner – I look for places with offers, student discount or use voucher cloud.
Cinema – I generally go on a Tue or Wed when I can use a Meerkat voucher!
I wish I was a runner! Runners run for free (apart from good trainers, always buy good trainers!), if you run you can go when you want, where you want with no timetables to adhere to. Unfortunately, it’s just not for me, so I use Move GB.
I pay about £40 a month and can access I think 7 sessions a week, this can be in a variety of different gyms / yoga studios etc. I like this option as I’m not tied to a gym and can go to different classes depending on my mood.
I know that I need to go to at least 1 yoga session a week to even out the payment. You can suspend your payments for up to 4 weeks a year I believe which is great for holidays.
I slacked a bit over Christmas and was then unwell in January but generally I am strict with myself to make it worth the money.
There are also some really good apps you can use for free such as Down Dog which is a Yoga app.
You can find exercise videos on You Tube, there are some really good exercise bloggers that you can follow online and get free work outs.
Day to day saving
Coffee – I haven’t drunk milk for years, and I only drink decaf coffee so the best option is taking my own! I have a flask, and each day for work I take my reusable cup with a spoon of coffee and milk, then I fill it up at work.
Lunch – I have some specific dietary requirements that are hard to met on the small high street that I worked by, so I always took my own lunch to work. On the rare occasions I did buy lunch it was normally humous and rice crackers.
Water – Take a bottle and reuse it.
Clothes / Shoes / Bags
Do you need it? If I could change something about my budgeting it would be spend less money on clothes I didn’t need and put that money into my savings.
Until I leave, I am not buying anything unless I will use it when I travel.
Christmas / Birthdays
Utilise Christmas and birthdays, lots of travel bloggers made lists of Christmas present ideas for Christmas 2018. I went through the lists to look for recommendations of things I wanted for example a power pack and I added them to my Amazon wish list.
My brother and sister in law got me a travel wash bag and a padlock, my sister said it was the most random present she has ever bought but it was one of the best presents I had!
I want to buy a camera for my travels so will be asking for some money towards it for my birthday.
Another useful gift is to ask for vouchers for beauty treatments or hair cuts that way you can either have an extra treat or the money you would have used can go into the savings account.
I also love amazon vouchers as then I can buy all the kindle books!
eBay / Boot Sales / Piggy Bank
I have a bit of a funny relationship with eBay I think often by the time you put the time and effort into listing something then package it and take it to the post office it’s not always worth it. But leading up to Christmas I realised I had a fit bit that I can’t wear as they irritate my wrist, I listed it on eBay leading up to Christmas and with a small window of time I managed to sell it and get it to the post office in time for the last post. In this instance I made enough money to then buy myself a Cabin Zero bag.
Boot sales are another option but maybe wait for the spring!
I still have a piggy bank! All of my lose change goes in and then I change it using a coin star machine.
One of my top tips would be start saving as soon as you think you might want to travel, I started within a few months of starting my job and at that point I didn’t know when, where or how long I would be traveling for. Most of all do the traveling! You can always make more money!