TIPS TO SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR TRIP
In this post I will share with you a few tips and tricks from my personal experience and will tell you how I managed to save 16.000$ in just 5 months.
WHY THIS ARTICLE?
In the past few days I went for my last vaccination shots (5 in 1) and I also requested the international driving licence for my crazy motorbike runs in Vietnam and Indonesia.
In both places, when I explained my plans, they asked me for how long was I going to be away and where.
As soon as they realized my plan to stay away for so long, just for the sake of travel, they probably thought I just won the lottery:). They paused, eyes and mouth wide open..and stuttering a bit they asked me ” Do you travel just like that?”
Their mind probably couldn’t contemplate 2 basic concepts:
1) You don’t need to be a millionaire to travel the world.
2) Work or study are NOT the only reasons why a common person decides to travel extensively.
After the first moments of confusion, they were really happy for me, and with a longing voice they said ” I WISH I COULD DO THAT TOO! YOU ARE VERY LUCKY!”
Oh really? am I lucky? I had to explain to them that to be able to leave I decided to quit my job and that I was going to use all my savings to finance my dream trip. At this point their curiosity was aroused big time. They wanted to know the one million dollar question:
HOW DID I MANAGE TO SAVE 16.000$ IN 5 MONTHS?
Was I a prostitute? (how charming). Were my parents financing my trip? Did I inherited uncle Gustav’s flock of sheep? Well none of the above is correct I’m afraid.
In this post I’m going to share my “secrets” with you. Because so many people ask me this question and I thought that it could be interesting to give you the details:
MY ACTION PLAN IN DETAIL:
Good news: Everyone can achieve similar results. Unless you have 10.000$ debt or similar. Other than that, it is possible to save this kind of money.
Bad News: It takes a LOT of sacrifice and planning ahead (or you have your personal Uncle Gustave in your pocket!)
Below I wrote down the details , split by category, and the total savings in GBP and USD:
- RENT: London is crazy expensive and my biggest monthly expense was the rent (around 800£), so I asked my good friend,and soon to be travel mate Paolino, if I could stay at his place. He agreed and I paid him 300£ per month. This way I was saving more than 500£ per month in rent, and I was also helping him saving his bit for the trip. A win – win situation! Ok we lost our independence but it was also a very good test for our resilience during the trip!
TOTAL SAVINGS : (600£x3 months =1800£) ——>2800 USD
- SELLING MY BELONGINGS: I put all my stuff in 4 boxes: To sell, to give away, to keep, to ship back home. It took me more than a week to sort everything out. In the end I catalogued the “selling stuff” , I took pictures, created a Power Point presentation with prices on it, and put together a separate price list in excel. I sent it out to my friends and acquaintances, explaining my project and asking to help me out. It worked! 🙂 It took a few months and a lot of patience, but the response was incredible. In addition to this, I sold the remaining items (dresses mainly) on eBay.
TOTAL SAVINGS (in 5 months): 550£——->865 USD
- REDUCING MY GENERAL EXPENSES: For 6 months I forgot about going out for drinks, eating out, movies, shopping, expensive care products and accessories (unless it was something I needed for the trip). My only expenses were: RENT, FOOD, TRANSPORTS. That’s it. Was it hard? not for me, my dream was so big that these “sacrifices” were just a way to reach my goal. But if you foresee less than bearable suffering I suggest to either take more time to save or to splurge once in a while with a couple of drinks or a movie to keep your own sanity!
TOTAL SAVINGS (in 5 months): 700£——>1100 USD
- CREATING A SAVING ACCOUNT FOR THE TRIP: I already had a saving account, and as soon as my project was definitive I devoted it to the trip entirely. This implied that every 25th of the month, when I got paid, I transferred a fixed amount of 1400£ into it. No exceptions. I could not touch it for any reason. This was my biggest saving income. I was very lucky as my job allowed me to save that much every month. I’m aware that not everyone is that lucky. Reading other travelers experiences, when they didn’t earn this much, they make more sacrifices (I.e find a second job) or delaying their departure until they reached their ultimate goal. Doesn’t matter how long will it take, it is so worth it!
TOTAL SAVINGS: (In 3 months): 4200£——-> 6.600 USD
- COMPANY SHARES PLAN: Even before planning my crazy trip, I set up a monthly saving scheme with my company: every month they deduct a fixed amount of money from my salary to buy company shares at a discounted price. They were blocked for 3 years so I couldn’t sell them, but I had the option to collect the money if ever I decided to quit my job.
TOTAL SAVINGS: 1400£—->2200 USD
- UNPAID HOLIDAYS: When I quit my job I had many days of vacation left and by contract they had to pay for them.
TOTAL SAVINGS: 1700£——>2600 USD
GRAND TOTAL: 16.165 USD
Part of this money went into the “pre trip expenses” :
- Flight to Thailand
- Flight from London to Sardinia
- Travel gear, and travel gadgets
- Travel insurance
I’m leaving with around 14.000USD, which I hope will last enough to fulfill my travel plans!
I hope this mini guide can be useful for those of you in the process of saving for your own super adventure. As you can see, I’ve been there too and I though that I was a LOST CASE, since my family could not help much, and I had considerable monthly expenses to cover.
My story only proves one thing: when you really want something, you will find a way and creative solutions you’d never considered before.
I think it all boils down to your priorities and how badly you want your dream to become true! I know of people who spend 600/700 $ per months in drinks alone, or dresses, shoes and so on. Nothing wrong with that.
I understand that not everyone has my set of priorities. What I’m saying is that if you have the travel bug like I do, Saving the money for your trip is POSSIBLE.