Since I was in my first year of university I have always consciously saved money where possible. Even if I’m putting 2ps into a pot a few times a week – every little helps. I wish I could say I cut down on getting coffee out, as this is a huge money saver, but I write this whilst sat in Starbucks, with a coffee. I’m working on it.
I’m going to run through some of the most effective ways I have saved money for travel so I can help you reach that target so that you can go on the trip you want. I hear people say, ‘I’d love to go travelling, but I can’t afford it’ etc but the way I look at it, if you want to do something/go somewhere then make it happen no matter what. You only live once, and you can always earn money. Yeah having to save money and live like a pauper sucks, but it’s so so worth it.
I first started saving change seriously when I was in my first year of uni, so I was 19. It was one of those ones that you can’t open from a pound shop, I couldn’t trust myself so this was a necessity. I’m much better with saving money now so I just use a jar with a lid on. So, whenever I have any change from a note, it will go straight in my money pot. Sometimes, if I have a note in my purse, I will even drop it in the pot if I’m feeling super motivated. But seriously, change adds up so quick. I’ve known people to keep all £2 coins they receive which is so so good. When the new £5 notes came around, I was saving all of these I received, then I was getting more and more when I really needed the money so I had to stop putting them in my pot. But doing stuff like that really helps. Change from a night out? Pop it in the pot! Change from lunch? Yep, pop that in there too!
So when I first opened my student account, I had a seperate account added onto the side that i’ve always called my ‘dip fund’. I’d just put my rent/bill money in there whenever I got my loan to make sure I didn’t spend it. I now use this as a travel fund. Every payday, I work out the absolute minimum of how much I can live on that month. Taking into account what I am doing in the next 4 weeks, what trains do I have to book, any lunch/dinner dates? I then put everything else into this travel fund and it stays there! It’s handy having a separate account for this as I know that money is for something different and then the money in my current account I spend at my leisure, knowing that I have comfortably put money towards my goals that month.
During uni, I used to try and budget my weekly spenditure as much as possible, especially with a low income and having plans what seemed like 24/7 and having to spend money quite a lot. Whilst I was saving for my first big trip in my first year of uni, it got to the point where I was living off £25 a week. I can’t even remember how I did this. I remember having a note on my noticeboard that said, ‘Kasbah or Europe’, (kasbah being the place we would go every Friday night). It actually worked and from what I remember I stuck to the budget as best as I could. I wouldn’t recommend living on £25 a week as that is hard and boring, (and I lived off crap food) but whatever you can afford minimum it really helps. It prevents you from wasting any few pounds here and there.
I hate shopping at the best of times, but when I need to buy something I will ALWAYS look online as it is always cheaper. I will scourer ebay and depop for second hand bargains and not forgetting the local charity shops. I’d say at least half of my wardrobe is second hand. ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and all that. I often pick up nice shirts for no more than £3 and I am so happy with this as opposed to £30 in Topshop etc. Especially when I get bored of my clothes and live in the same outfits anyway haha. I’ve never really been materialistic or been fussed about expensive designer stuff anyway so I don’t have to struggle affording expensive things.
I have been doing this a lot recently. Depop and ebay are my best friend. I’ve been having huge clearouts of my wardrobes and seeing what I can sell. I sell my clothes really cheap as I’m more likely to sell them than and make even just a few pounds. Another thing I would recommend is finding hidden gems in charity shops. In one charity shop visit I found a brand new Nike sweater and a Cotton Traders one, both £3 each. I managed to sell these the same week for £20 each. I know this is a bit naughty, but whilst I was getting back on my feet after moving back home, this really helped me financially. I purchased a film camera from a charity shop for £4 and sold this on for £30. Such good margins even if it is a bit cheeky!
Have any ways that you save some extra pennies for travel? Leave a comment and let me know!! 🙂