If you want to go serious with saving money, first you have to understand your own consumption patterns. Take an excel sheet or notebook and write down everything you spend for example in one month. Very quickly you will start realising where your money actually goes. For example do you have the habit of daily venti sized lattes or after work drinks? Let’s imagine that in one week you use 50 euros for some coffee and cocktails. In one year that means 2600 euros. Where could you travel with that money? At this point some people might think that there’s no point of changing the habits that bring happiness to your daily life. However, this is exactly the point about making the decision. If you want, most likely there are some areas you can save in. Even if you aren’t looking to save for a trip this exercise might reveal surprising things to you.
Coffee and cocktails are just an example. People have very different kinds of habits and hobbies. The point is that take a look where you actually spend your money. Does the things you spend on really bring happiness to you?
- Start a savings jar for spare coins – We collected over 400 euros from spare change that most likely would have been spent on random small purchases.
- Look for alternatives – At the supermarket, choosing transport, getting insurance, and so on. Almost in all situations you have an alternative for your purchases.
- Get on your bike – Monthly transit cards and driving your own car each time you go somewhere become surprisingly large expenses quickly. This will also give you good exercise
- Buy high quality stuff – Paradoxically spending a bit more on your purchases will save you money. Spending more in order to get good quality that lasts longer, will ensure you don’t need to buy the same things over and over again
- Sell the stuff you don’t need – How many boxes of “junk” do you have stowed away in your storage room and garage? Well your junk just might be of value to many. A table at a flea market might make you a few hundred euros quickly.
- Just don’t buy it – We noticed we would spend 100-200 euros each monthly on small things like clothing, jewellery and other random purchases. We took a 3 month “don’t buy it”-challenge and saved over a thousand euros together.
Finally, start a “travel account” at your bank. Putting your savings into a separate account will make sure you don’t spend it. You will also quickly notice that the small savings you make each day, add up quickly.
What are your best tips for saving for travel? leave us a comment.