Saving up for the trip of a lifetime can be a daunting process when you have rent, bills and a car to pay for. But don't despair, it is possible to save by simply understanding your finances. Follow our trip saving tips and you'll be on that plane in no time!
Many people hinder from making their dream trip due to financial difficulties. Or perhaps you're currently trying to earn money for your trip but finding it a slow or impossible process to save as much as you'd hoped! Firstly the key to saving is to understand what your money is going on:
Number 1 Expense - Rent:
Moving back to your parent's house generates the most savings, however it is not always possible to do so. If you have an extra room in your flat or house, consider renting it out for an extra income. When the time nears to leaving for your trip, advertise the other room (yours) for while you are away. This not only helps to pay off your mortgage but provides you with extra funds while you are out travelling.
Number 2 Expense - Your car:
A lot of money goes in to maintaining and running a car - insurance, MOT, tax, new tyres, repairs, car parking charges and with the rising cost of fuel this can eat up your money very quickly. Have a look at previous bank statements and add up the total cost of running your car over the last year to see just how much money you could save!
Find a cheaper alternative to driving by either walking, cycling or catching the bus. It may not be as convenient as driving and you may have to get up a little earlier in the mornings, but think of the long term saving and if you chose the greener option you're getting exercise too!
If you have space on the driveway or an empty parking space, why not consider renting it out for an extra income?
Number 3 Expense - The gym:
Are you one of those people who are paying for a gym membership with the intention of going but your feet never get to touch the treadmill? A lot of people sign up for the gym and start of well by going on a regular basis, but then time or lack of motivation becomes an issue and the visits stop.
Consider cancelling your membership to save an average of £40 a month, and by cycling or walking to work this can serve as a gym alternative.
Number 4 Expense - Luxury items:
It can be hard to say no to the takeaway, turning down your friend's offer of a night out, or a trip to the cinema but these can really eat away at your money quickly.
The trick is to firstly find your weakness - is it clothes shopping, expensive nights out or buying a coffee every morning? If you can identify the main cause of your luxury spending habits, you can gradually begin to cut them down or even eliminate them completely.
When going for nights out, consider if you really want to go out or simply because of something to do.
Here is an excellent savings mantra to keep in mind - 'Would you rather have the bagel now, or the baguette in Paris?' This can be modified and applied to your own destination.
Number 5 Expense - Mobile phone:
How many of us actually use up our allocated data packages? Do you really need unlimited calls when you prefer to text? Could you lower your data package?
The best money saving tip is to switch from your contract to a pay as you go sim card. That way you are only paying for what you need.
So we've identified the main expenses but what is the best way to save for your trip in the long run? Read on to find out:
Saving on payday:
A firm favourite is to decide how much you would like to save on a weekly or monthly basis. On payday, transfer the decided amount, such as £50 or £100 in to your savings account straight away. That way you have already met your savings target.
At the end of the week or month, the day before your next pay day, complete a second transfer of any money left over from your account. This will give you a sense of accomplishment as you've effectively saved more than your target (even if you transfer as little as £1).
On pay day, put £50 or £100 in to your savings account again and repeat.
Try using this method and you'll be surprised as to how successful this way of saving can be.
Get a change jar:
Choose a certain coin, such as a 50p or a £2 coin and vow that whenever you come across one it will be placed in to the jar. This can be a great way to get in to a habit of saving by 'collecting' your choice of coin.
Alternatively, empty your purse or wallet on a weekly basis and place any leftover loose change in to the jar.
Freeze your card:
If you have a savings bank card or a normal card for that matter, withdraw the amount of money you need for the month then wrap it up, put it in water and freeze it. This aims to make you more aware of your spending and to consider your purchases first. Think about whether you really need something or not (Chances are you won't as you already withdrew the amount of money you need!)
This may be a bit cliché, but look for any extra income you can make. Sell any unwanted items or things that you haven't used for a period of 6 months or longer. Boot fairs or online auction sites can be a great way of making money.
Some additional ideas to save money could include:
These little changes to your habits and lifestyle can make a big difference!
These tips might have you living sparingly for a while, but it is important to remember your long term goal. Make a visual scrap book of your destination to motivate you.
Remember that saving is hard and it is important to set a realistic and achievable savings goal as well as rewarding yourself when you reach your savings milestones - this doesn't have to cost the Earth but must be something to look forward to.
When saving for your trip, don't overlook the importance of travel insurance! Alpha Travel Insurance can provide cover for your trip under our Single Trip, Multi Trip, Longstay or Wintersports policies.
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