Saving the money to travel can be a long and tiresome process. If, like me, you have rent and bills to pay and still want to have fun on the weekends it can get tricky when trying to put money aside for your next adventure. There are a few things that I like to keep a check on so that I’m still able to stash a little something away each month. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom while saving your pennies!
Budget weekly – I’m sure most people have a monthly budget that they stick to, but what I like to do is cut it down into weekly costs. Whilst at university I had a job that paid in cash and on a weekly basis, so it became very easy to keep back what I needed for the week, and put the rest away in the bank.
Once I moved on and started a full time job that paid a salary, once a month I suddenly had to make that money last the whole four weeks. With cards, and especially contactless cards it’s very east to fritter away money without really noticing. One of the best things you can do to keep on track is to head to a cash machine every Monday morning and take out a set amount to last you the whole week. If you have to use your card as well, then that’s absolutely fine of course, but make sure it’s not for multiple purchases of £1.99. They soon add up.
Check your bank account – It may be tempting to ignore what’s hiding in your account, especially if you’ve gone a little over budget, but it’s best to just get it over with. Have a look, reassess what you can realistically save and spend, then move on. I check my bank account pretty much everyday, mainly in the hope that a little fairly has deposited a surprise in there for me (no luck yet) but also so that I’m always aware of what’s going in and out.
Cut out unnecessary spending – When I started my full time job I was always slightly at a loss for what to do at lunch. Working in the centre of town, surrounded by all the high street shops may seem like a dream but it’s also a bit of a temptation nightmare. Most days I would find myself going to buy a coffee, until I realised just how much money you can rack up by that one habit. Let’s say a coffee costs, on average, £2.50. That’s £12.50 a week, or £50 a month depending on how you want to look at it. Overall though, if you cut out that one coffee on the weekdays it adds up to a yearly saving of £600!
Since realising this I now try to spend absolutely nothing on the weekdays. I walk to work, take my lunch with me and occupy myself at lunchtime to make sure I’m not tempted to pop into a shop or pick up a Pumpkin Spice latte.
Set up a Savings account that you can only access online – This was really the key for me. Keeping your savings separate from your main account can really help in the saving process. Not only can you see how much is adding up, which is an excellent incentive to keep going, but setting up an account that you can’t access by a card means it’s also quite tricky to spend. Having to log in to your account to transfer money around means that you really think twice about what your using it for. If you shop around as well you might be able to find one with a decent Interest Rate.
If you have anything left over save that as well! If you make it to the end of the month and have come in under budget it can be very tempting to spend that little leftover amount on whatever you fancy. But what I aim to do (aim to, because it rarely actually happens) is move any left over money to my savings account on payday. Of course it’s optional, you’ve already saved what you wanted to that month and maybe you want to spend the rest. But it can be really handy to start afresh with your next months salary by adding that little extra to your savings. The choice is yours!
These are a few things that I like to stand by each month to ensure that a little something is saved away each month. I get great satisfaction from seeing a little extra added into my savings account each month. What tricks do you use to save your money? Let me know in the comments below! I have also spoken a little about keeping on budget while your travelling in case your interested in that.