But it’s totally doable and you won’t even have to sacrifice every social event, hair cut, gym membership or even the odd European break! Once James and I had flights locked in [which we paid just £49 deposit for] we had 11 months to save our target of £5000 each as well as pay off the flights. In that time we still went to two UK festivals, enjoyed nights out, celebrated birthday’s and even took a cheeky winter trip to Berlin.
In reality we ended up with more time to save after pushing back the flights 6 months [that’s when we decided we’d need a trip to Germany to ease the blow] and in the end saved closer to £10,000 each which was a bonus!
Sometimes it can be as simple as just starting. Saving for savings sake is difficult so once you have a goal, both a time frame and amount is best, you can review your expenses [essential vs luxury] and begin to put that money aside, even if it’s small amounts at first. As soon as you do it will only spur you on to save more as you watch that pot grow!
Bank Like A Pro
OK so you’ve checked your outgoings and factored in a little spending money for the luxury stuff, so that you don’t go stir crazy, and now you have an amount you can realistically save. So, set up those direct debits. Make sure the money leaves your current account the day or day after you get paid. That way you know what you have left to spend.
I found it helped putting that chunk away that I could see each month, that way it kept me motivated and encouraged me to be careful with what was left as I didn’t want to be pulling money back out of my savings! One great way to help with that urge is also to make sure you’ve got a savings account which rewards you for leaving your money alone. Some are everyday savers, some are long term savers. If you are saving for something big, chances are it’s going to be for 1 year+ so again go for the ones that will reward you properly like an ISA. You can compare lots of different cash ISA’s right here.
Take a step back and look at the way you spend, can it change? If you’re someone who has never really thought about saving before then chances are you’re a little accustomed to using all of your wage and those luxuries now feel like the norm. Trust me when I say you don’t need to spend it all.
Again, if you’re saving for something big then look at ways you can make substantial changes. If you’re renting somewhere that stretches your budget, think about moving to somewhere cheaper [provided you can end your lease] or if you already own, can you rent out the spare room? James and I moved in with each other as a way to save extra money in those last few months.
Travel is a big one too, if you don’t already take the train or walk to work then look into that, better yet a great option I’ve discovered is biking! If you own a car without really having the need for one then consider selling it.
Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneurial Genius
There are always extra ways to make money beyond that regular monthly pay-check, the obvious solution being to find a second job, but not every wants to work two jobs as that often conjures up FOMO and you can revert to hibernation and lose sight of your social life.
I didn’t work a second job, but if you think about it…that one waitress shift a week could pay for your weekly food shop or even a meal out as a treat so if it’s not coming out of your normal wage it’s almost as though it’s free, right?
The best ways to make extra money is to sell stuff. Sell your own stuff, the stuff you’ve had lying around and won’t need while travelling, but you could also sell other people’s unwanted things too, people are always happy for someone else to do their spring cleaning for them! [maybe keep it among family and friends though…don’t go rummaging through people’s bins!]
Get Deal Savvy
If you don’t want to give up on those pizza nights or still want the odd cocktail with the girls, then make sure you’re in the know about when and where to go. There’s always great food and drinks deals in the city throughout the week so adjust your habits and embrace the mid week bargain and keep an eye on Groupon!
Look out for supermarket deals as well and remember a night in with some home made tacos and [3 for £10] bottles of wine is just as enjoyable as heading out on the town so invite your friends over and save those pennies.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
Good things take time and when you get there, which you will, it will be SO worth the wait! Keep your focus and just remember that in a few years time, it’s not the few extra cocktails you had in that same old bar one night that you’ll remember…it’s the mountains you conquered, the white sand you walked on and the dreams you fulfilled!