Budgeting in daily life so you can save up and travel the world can be quite a challenge but it is not impossible, you just have to make a few alterations to your daily spends and focus and commit to achieve your end goal.
With the following tips you could be taking your dream trip/living your dream lifestyle sooner than you may think!
Keep a diary of your spends
Keeping a diary of everything you spend can really help when you are trying to save for your trip around the world. Take a notebook, a diary, or simply use the notes section on your smartphone to jot down everything you spend each week.
Be realistic about your expenditure too. If you have monthly outgoings of £500 and you commute to work by train daily which averages at around £150 per month then include that too. Also, don’t forget your food allowance, your toiletries allowance, and then a budget for miscellaneous items (e.g. make-up, a winter coat, shoes for work etc.) and so on.
If you are unsure how much you spend on each of these areas per month, conduct a trail month first. Jot down everything you spend and categorise as above. Then, tally it up at the end of the month and take a moment to reflect on your spending habits.
You might be surprised at how much money you waste on pointless things, or how much that daily trip to the overpriced corner shop is costing you, which might make you think twice about where you are buying your food/snacks while trying to save (another key point to reconsider – switching supermarkets!).
Prioritise and learn to live minimally
This is really about identifying your needs and your wants. Yes, you NEED food, clothes, toiletries etc., they are basic living essentials for the life you are living right now. But, do you really NEED an extra pack of cookies? Do you really NEED the same pair of shoes in two colours? Do you really NEED another handbag so you have a change of style?
The answer is probably no. You have to learn how to live minimally. Sure, treat yourself now and then, life is too short not to. But if you are serious about your travel plans then you have to prioritise your needs and your wants and decide what is more important.
Avoid browsing in shops (physical and online!)
If you are a shopaholic trying to save for your trip of a lifetime, it is probably best to stay away from the shops at all cost. That means no browsing online for fun on your lunch break and no strolling down the high street “just to see what is out there/if there are any sales on”.
When you are getting a million and one retailers flooding your inbox on the daily, be strong and do not open them. It will only lead to impulse purchases and a reduction in your hard earned savings.
Keep a memo on the background of your phone if it helps. It could be anything from “Stay Strong!” or a picture of your idea of paradise. Each time you are on the verge of spending, take a moment to think of the life you could be living or the trip you could be taking if you could resist a new outfit.
Bring your own supplies to work
Bring your own coffee and milk to work if you have a kitchen and eliminate the need for your morning Starbucks. Even if you don’t have a kitchen at work to make a coffee, invest in a good flask and take that with you to work each day. You could save over a £1,000 more per year just by making this one small change to your daily routine.
The same goes for food. Eating out every day you are at work, grabbing a coffee or two, adding snacks on top, and then topping all that off with a dinner out each week…well, you can see how this has all begun to add up can’t you?
Preparing your own meals can save you a fortune. Take some time at the weekend to prepare a few meals for throughout the week. You can even cook a large portion of your favourite hearty wholesome dish and freeze portions that you can take with you and heat up at work. That way, you can ensure you are eating nourishing foods while working and probably avoid that mid -afternoon snack.
Preparing your own meals is also a much easier way to ensure you are getting your 5-a-day and limiting the amount of salt/sugar intake that comes along with processed foods that you may/may not be diving into while you are out. Heck, that is one easy change that will not only save you money but will get you beach-body-ready!
Focus and commit!
Finally, you have to focus and commit. You have to REALLY want it. If you don’t, you are wasting your time. After conducting point one above, you can calculate a realistic amount you are able to save each month and from this you can calculate how long it is going to take you to save up enough money to take your desired trip.
Be realistic with yourself and each month put away the specific amount of money into a savings pot and each month as it grows you will be one step closer to your goal. You could even try breaking it down into smaller chunks and put a couple of pounds away per day. That way, you will feel like you are one small step closer each and every day.