To save as much as we can before we head overseas, we have been following these “rules” reasonably religiously.
Feel free to add any of your own ideas and suggestions.
1. Live in Share Housing:
Although not for everyone, and not without it’s annoyances sometimes, share housing can really be great!
Rent and bills are super cheap in comparison to living alone, meaning you can save more money instead of paying off someone else’s mortgage. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends!
2. Cook at home instead of eating out:
We’re not the best when it comes to following this rule, but we have improved immensely since we began saving. We usually eat out a couple of nights a week, but we eat cheaply (around $10 per meal) – our reasoning is that it can sometimes work out to be just as cheap to eat out, and you don’t have to wash up!
3. Shop at the markets instead of the supermarket:
We hate shopping at the supermarket.
We shop at the local markets and the price difference is unbelievable. The quality and range of produce is so much better, and it’s a great experience to just wander around the bustling markets. Going towards the end of the day means there are even bigger discounts.
Every bit we save means the more we can do while overseas.
4. Stop buying coffee:
Although we haven’t stopped buying coffee out completely, we’ve cut down on it A LOT! Jake buys coffee beans and makes his own, and Em has a ‘keep-cup’ she basically carries at all times. $3.50 here and there might not seem like a lot at the time, but in the long-run it adds up to a huge amount. Making your own drinks saves you so much money, and you don’t miss out.
5. Stop buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff:
We don’t buy anything really unless we need it these days. Our “big spending” in the last 6 months has been on plane tickets, immunisations ($280 each for Japanese Encephalitis…ouch!), travel gear, visas and insurance… There’s simply not anything we need, and as our focus is travel, fancy shoes and other things don’t seem as important.
6. Go to Free events:
We live in Melbourne, which means there is ALWAYS something on that’s interesting, fun and free.
We still pay to go out to shows and gigs occasionally, but cutting down and choosing to go to a select few means we enjoy and appreciate our outings more. Going to free events means we experience things we might not have otherwise if we weren’t consciously making an effort.
7. Have a budget:
We really are not great savers. We don’t have a weekly budget or put away a specific amount each week… But in saying that, we knew from the beginning, roughly what the bare minimum amount of money was that we could depart Australia with.
From there, we knew how much we had to work towards, and we decided to put away whatever we could each week. We’ve saved a lot more than we were aiming for already, and we’ve still enjoyed luxuries and treats like coffee and concerts along the way!
8. Know the Worth of your Dollar:
We know how far one Australian dollar can stretch in the countries we are going to be visiting… And it can stretch a bloody long way. A $5 drink is one or two nights accomodation OR meals for both of us OR transportation to another place OR a fair few beers. Knowing the worth of our dollar makes us realise that even small amounts of money we ‘waste’ can make a real difference to our trip.
9. Use what you have:
We have everything we need, really. We haven’t bought new clothes this year – last years clothing is still perfect. We are using to the stuff that has been sitting in the back of our pantry, instead of buying other foods. We use things for longer, and have also started using things we’d put away for a “rainy day.”
10. Cut down on alcohol:
We’re not big drinkers in the first place, but buying alcohol in Melbourne bars and pubs can empty your wallet really quickly! We drink very occasionally, and when we do, we usually buy it at a liquor store and take it around to a friends place. It works out so much cheaper and we still have a great evening. Our friends and us also do other things together instead, that don’t involve drinking alcohol.
All these simple things make a bit of a difference to our savings, and combined they have allowed us to save a great deal without compromising on our lifestyle.
What we save now, we can enjoy while abroad, and in the end, that’s our main goal.