I have always been a good saver; I was never handed anything by my parents (to clarify I mean, all the extra things I wanted I had to work for: a car, makeup, all my overseas trips). I was always told to work for it and that is something I really appreciate. At the age of 15, I got my first casual job whilst being at school and I still have that casual job five years later. It helps that I am able to take time of work continuously to travel and that I do get paid quite well in that position.
However, it’s not just about how much you earn, it’s about how conscious you are of your money. I have friends that have proper full-time jobs, are still living at home, but I can still save more than them.
The trick is to have a goal and budget where your money goes.
Once I have a goal set for how much I need to save for a trip, I make it happen. Last year I saved $20,000 within 8 months for my Europe trip! I believe goal setting is probably the most important step because without a goal, what is the point in saving? Likewise budgeting helps you achieve that goal by knowing how much money you can spend for particular parts of your life each week.
For example, if I was to earn $500 each week, I know I have to pay $50 for petrol, $100 for food and $100 for rent, then that’s $250 you can put straight away in a different account you don’t touch for your trip. You may have another emergency account you put $50 in a week that’s accessible, but the only way you will save the money for your tip is by not touching that larger amount.
Here are some other smaller things to help you save:
- Don’t buy takeout.
Every time you get Maccas, or get lunch out when you’re working that money adds up, if you do it 5 times a week, that’s an extra $50-$80 you could be saving!
- Don’t waste money on snacks or junk you don’t need!
Do you really need that Mars Bar? You could be eating a Mars Bar in Paris in 6 months instead.
Since I started saving seriously, I hardly go to the shops anymore or buy anything because I already have everything I need and in my head it’s a waste of money.
- Limit eating out with friends.
This can be hard if you’re a social person like myself, so when I do catch up with friends I tend to always buy the cheapest meals, I don’t get add ons and I don’t get a drink… you would be surprised how much money you save!
- Make sacrifices.
I have some friends that love going to concerts, festivals or sporting games but if you want to go on that holiday you will need to cut back on other expensive interests you have to make that happen, even if it’s just for a short amount of time soy you can save for your trip.
In the end it’s up to how much you really want to go on that holiday. Crash at a mates or your parents for six months so you don’t have to pay rent, or stop eating takeout for six months. The only way you will be able to do it is to my sacrifices and be mindful of where your money is going. You don’t have to be earning heaps of money to save, it’s just about how you save.
See you in Paris!