The biggest things stopping most people from travelling is the cost of it. Most believe travelling is to expensive, so they never even research or look at ways to travel for cheap or even save if they want to travel. The truth is, saving your money isn’t that easy. However we have created a great resource post to help you out. With multiple ways you can save money, and how much money you can save on each thing you cut down. It takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication and hard work, but trust us, when you’re soaking up the sun on an exotic beach in paradise, it’ll totally be worth it.
1. Cook at home instead of eating out
Nowadays eating out can easily cost as much as USD$40 for two people. If you eat out only once a week that equates to USD$1,920 a year!! You can eat out everyday for a whole year for that in Thailand, to put it in perspective. Finding great bargains at supermarkets is easy too. We are currently based in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and our weekly shopping comes to no more than USD$70. Remember that’s USD$10 for two people for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a few snacks too!
2. Cut down on drinking
Drinking every weekend will leave a dent in your bank account. The average drink on an night out depending on where you go will cost you between USD$5-15. Even if you only buy one drink on a night out, on a weekend that adds up to USD$240-720 a year! But be honest here, we all know that once we’ve had one drink it most likely will lead to a few more…and before you know it you’re paying the average USD$40 for a night out and all the other things involved like taxis. It’s obvious it’ll add up, so if you do want to go out, predrink at home and you’ll get drunk for the cost of a single watered-down drink at a club.
3. Cut the Starbucks/Costa Coffee
I know some of you will be cult lovers of Starbucks or Costa Coffee and you simply can’t start your day without it, but seriously this is one of the biggest expenses you can save on. You may not think that it’s slowly draining your bank, but that daily USD$5 coffee will cost USD$150 a month, and thats USD$1,800 a year! You can easily spend that on a months trip to South East Asia including flights and everything else!
If you really need your daily cup, just make a standard brew at home or a good old English Breakfast tea.
4. Open an online savings account
This is a great passive way to make a little extra money, whilst basically doing nothing! Find the best bank that offers the highest interest rate in your country. By doing this you can net a little more extra money to help fund your travels.
5. Don’t buy ‘luxury/beauty’ items for the sake of it
Sorry girls! But that new MAC product for USD$25 is just not worth it. Try to find a substitute, for example cheaper store brands for less than half the price of big branded products. This used to be one of Emma’s weaknesses, she would head out shopping and come back with bags full of new stuff, that really she didn’t need.
However, now we stay as frugal as we can, we say to each other, ‘just think: that new handbag could get us a week in Cambodia’, it makes us feel guilty so we don’t buy it.
6. If you must shop wait for sales
Most things eventually go on sale. While it’s tempting to grab that pretty new dress or suit as soon as you see it, you could probably get it for half that price in a month or so. Patience is key! For bigger ticket items (like TVs and other electronics), keep your eye out for big annual sales like Black Friday or Boxing Day.
7. Stop bad habits like smoking
Smoking doesn’t just kill you slowly, but it also kills your bank account and money. An USD$8 pack a day add up to USD$2,688 a year! To put it in perspective smoking is literally the same as getting a bank note and setting it on fire, what’s the point in that, when you can spend that on a great trip abroad?
Even if you’re unable to stop, being on the road abroad will keep you very busy and we’ve heard from a lot of people who stopped smoking because of having gone abroad! You just don’t need it that much anymore. And by the way, your airfare will be paid for after not buying cigarettes for two months while abroad.
8. Sell unwanted stuff
We all have those dusty boxes stored in some basement / attic that we haven’t touched in years. Go have a look at what you’ve got in there, most likely some of it you could sell on Ebay, Gumtree or your local equivalent of that. Even a garage sale might be an option! A little extra money is better than no money. And most likely you’ll have more than USD$100 worth of unused stuff lying around somewhere.
9. Keep track of your expenses
It’s to easy to loose track of your expenses, and how much you are spending. We use the App: My Finances – Personal Income and Expense Tracker. It should be available in most app stores, but if not then there are other options as well. We liked it so much we even bought the full version. You can set different categories and it’ll give you weekly, monthly and yearly overviews of how much you’ve spent, and for what sort of stuff. Which is good as you can realise what you should seriously cut down on and what doesn’t actually affect your finances that much.
10. Set a goal of how much you want to save
This goal will depend on how long you want to travel for, where you want to go, and what style of travelling you want to do. Obviously the longer, more luxuriously you want to travel the more money you will have to save. But having a rough goal, is great to encourage and determine you to save more and spend less.
11.Get a travel credit card (mainly for US nationals)
Although this is mainly for US nationals, as they have a wide variety of travel credit cards they can sign up for to gain free money, free flights and free accommodation. Have a good look around on the internet for your country, and you might be surprised what some credit cards can offer you. If you use your travel credit card for everyday purchases you can rack up miles and points to spend on your travels. This is great as you would spend this money anyway, and in return you can basically get part of your travels for free! It’s important to get these travel credit cards early, to make sure you can earn as many points as you can, once you decide you want to travel, get one.
12. Downgrade your phone subscription
Phone plans and data especially on smart phones like an iPhone, can be very expensive. We’ve seen monthly phone subscriptions at USD$80 a month! Find a cheaper phone plan, rely more on public WiFi, and socialise more with your friends face to face!
13. Skip the cinema
Nowadays the cinema is so pricey! In Australia the cinema can cost up to USD$40 for two people, it’s painful! Cut out the cinema, and instead use Netflix or iTunes to watch a move. If you go to the movies once every month for two people it can cost USD$480 a year!
14. Stop snacking
We can’t really talk because we’re not good at this at all. We love our snacks! But to put it in perspective if you spend USD$10 a week on snacks thats USD$520 a year! That can easily buy an intercontinental return flight on sale.
15. Drink tap water at home if possible
If you’re in a country where you can safely drink tap water, this will save you a whole lot of money. A lot of people buy plastic water bottles, not only does this harm the environment but if you consider each individual drinking 2 litres of water a day, this will already equal out to USD$365 a year roughly! Which is a lot if you can drink water almost for free from your tap!
16. Exercise outside or at home instead of at the gym
Gym memberships these days are SO expensive. We know that gym can provide you with a greater range of equipment, but the outdoors is a great place to relax and exercise. Here in Australia there are even free outdoor ‘gyms’ to use! You can even buy a workout DVD for when you want to work on core strength or flexibility, or buy some cheap gadgets like some weights to use at home. There are hundreds of ways to exercise without paying for it, and be it just a run through the nearby park.
17. Sign up for reward programs
If you sometimes stay in hotels or fly, especially if it’s for work so you’re not paying for it, definitely sign up for the reward programs that you can use. Don’t spend a lot of extra money to book with your reward program, but if you’d stay there or fly that airline anyway, why should you miss out?
Also, lots of supermarkets participate in some sort of program, and for the shopping which you’ll do no matter what, you might as well collect some points if it’s free!
It won’t feel like you collect much at first, but eventually you will receive something in return.
18. Reduce or eliminate your car usage
Cars are so expensive to own, not only are they pricey to buy but then the up-keep, fuel and insurance can be ridiculous. If you live in a city or an area that has good public transport, ditch or sell you car and take public transport instead. A lot of cities have a year travel ticket, which will save you a lot of money. If you live in a rural area, consider selling your current car and buying a cheaper one. This can also lower your insurance. Save your money and lose the car for public transport or better yet, your feet or bicycle. This will help you get in shape for your travels physically as well as financially. Alternatively if you really need to go somewhere no buses or trains will take you, just use an Uber, click here to sign up and receive up to two FREE rides! It’ll almost certainly be cheaper than taxis and by far not add up to what a car costs to keep.
19. Don’t always get the newest fanciest tech stuff
We know it’s a tendency to buy the latest gadget as soon as it comes out, but is it really necessary? It may seem like your item is outdated and crappy now but in reality, if it works perfectly fine, don’t swap it! We are guilty of always wanting the latest iPhone, but big tech purchases are so expensive (roughly USD$800 just for the phone) and unnecessary if what you have still works fine. If you really want it, just wait a year and then buy a good but used one for half the price.
Those new Bose headphones for 300 bucks look amazing? Think again, there are others almost as good for just 50, and both of them will be equally outdated in a couple of years.
20. Ditch cable TV
Do you really need over 100 TV channels? Stick to free channels or just watch a DVD or Netflix instead. If there is something you’re dying to watch, visit a friend with a tub of popcorn or head down to the pub to watch the football game.
21. Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions
With the internet being so advance these days, you can check online for news absolutely free. Websites like the Daily Mail, The Times etc are just as good as purchasing and buying the newspapers themselves. In addition, magazines are expensive and mostly filled with advertisements.
22. Keep an eye out for freebies
Who doesn’t love free stuff?! It’s crazy how much stuff you’re actually able to get for free. Besides samples from marketers/promoters, there are actually some people who have had success by writing to companies and simply asking for free things, we’re not joking! It never hurts to ask, and what’s the worst they can say? No.
23. Instead of gifts for birthdays or Christmas, ask for money to travel
Instead of asking for pointless gifts for the sake of it. Asking for money to travel or travel related items can help you save or use on your next trip! Remember: Every little counts!
24. Start a travel fund
We have been doing this for a while now, and it’s a great way to slowly save. We set aside money each month into a separate savings account, and once it’s in the account we are not allowed to touch it no matter what. This really helps you us from not spending money on pointless things, as once it is in there we have agreed not to take it out. If you do this you’ll slowly see your figures rising, and it can be a great feeling knowing this money will get me travelling very soon!
25. Rent your place on Airbnb
If you haven’t signed up for Airbnb yet, click here to receive £25 (USD$35) travel credit when you sign up!
If you’re out of town or even travelling, or if your place has a spare room or two, rent out your home or parts of it on Airbnb for extra income whilst travelling. This is a great way to earn a constant income, meaning you can travel for longer! It’s a win win situation!
So there you have it, our secret money saving tips and tricks! Cutting your daily expenses, being more frugal, and downgrading to a simpler way of living will allow you to save money for your trip around the world.
We know these tips work and can save you thousands of dollars because we have been using them for some times now, and our expenses have most definitely declined. They save money can’t buy you happiness, but travelling makes us happy, so i guess in this sense it does!
Now over to you ! Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any of your favourite money-saving tips out!