How do I… save for a trip without saying goodbye to my social life?
We all love travelling and yes, it may be the most important priority in your life, but it may not be the only one. We all know those people who work and live solely towards their next trip overseas and hey, more power to them, but for those of us that also want to maintain some kind of thriving social life, saving for that next adventure can sometimes feel a little daunting.
But worry not – with a few easy tips, you could find yourself half way across the world without having missed a single birthday party…
Keep a money diary
First things first, if you want to be living your best #wanderlust life while also maintaining an enviable amount of fun at home, you need to keep track of your finances. Most of us literally have no idea where most of our money is going so keeping a money diary is the first step to a healthy savings account. It can help you notice spending pitfalls that could be redirected straight towards your trip.
Set up a direct debit to your savings
Transferring money as soon as it hits your account makes it seem like it was never there, which is a godsend if you’re trying not to spend it. The old ‘out of sight out of mind’ mantra is so true here and if you’re being paid $600 weekly, $60 could be going to your savings direct. That’s $3120 over one year going straight towards your next trip, which is nothing to be sneezed at.
Invite your friends over for dinners in, instead of dinners out
There is one huge saving factor here – alcohol. That $20 bottle you splurged for in a bottle shop is suddenly $80 in your favourite restaurant. Sink a few between you and the girls and you’re looking at a pretty hefty bill. Having a dinner at home together is a quick way to cut out a major chunk of socialising budget and redirect it straight into savings. Bonus points if you break up the food costs too. Most of the time, you’ll actually have more fun!
Read ‘The subtle art of not giving a f*&k’ and then implement it to your life
There is absolutely ZERO point in committing to social events that you have no desire to go to. That acquaintances birthday that you feel obliged to attend could end up costing you the equivalent of one night’s accommodation in Greece. That’s a solid no from us, thanks.
Make like Grandma and embrace the coupons
Whether you purchase the Entertainment Book app and visit restaurants where you’ll get a good saving or sign up to emails dedicated to discounts, take advantage of savings where you can. Just make sure these deals don’t tempt you to spend where you weren’t going to.
While you’re at it, embrace the special
Plan nights out with your friends on a Monday or a Tuesday (rather than exxier Thursdays, Fridays or weekends). Restaurants, bars and movie theatres are all looking to put bums on seats earlier in the week when things are a little quieter, so they often have amazing special deals (two for one Tuesday anyone?). It will make your week that little bit more exciting plus you won’t be tempted to take the wines a little too far. Hey, it is a school night after all.
Break impulse purchasing habits
Buying your tenth black top may seem important in the heat of the moment, and yes it may look so different to all the rest of them, but that little lunchtime purchase could be a nice dinner out with your besties or tickets to a show on Broadway when you’re in New York. You probably have more than enough clothes so it’s an easy cut to make.
Make money by selling things you don’t need
‘I give myself a goal of earning an extra $100 a week just by selling things I don’t need’ my friend tells me with pride, and she should be proud. An extra $100 a week can go straight into savings, and we did the math before, we know just how much it adds up. You’ve probably got tons of clothes you never wear or technology you never use that is just begging to be sold.
Ditch public transport and walk to work (if you can)
Now we know this may not be a possibility for everyone, but if you live close enough to work that you can walk (even if it’s a bit of a distance) it’s a big money saver. It also may save you your gym membership if you do have to walk a little further.
Catch up with your mate over a walk rather than brunch or dinner
You’ll have more time to chat without that fussy waiter giving you the side eye for lingering at your table, plus you’ll again be slotting in some extra exercise – hello European summer body!
Find the freebies
One word, Lululemon. They run free yoga classes, run clubs and even HIIT workouts all throughout the week. And that’s just one brand. There are tons of free activities in your community (that are actually non-cringeworthy and fun) that you can sign up for.
While you’re on the free activities, why not do one that gives back (as well as cementing your savings). You and your mates will feel so much more fulfilled spending a night serving food to the less fortunate than you would spending tons of cash on a dinner.