Saving has never been my strong suit, mainly because I have always thought I don’t earn enough to even save and my spare money usually got spent on gifts for other people! So when we made the decision we were going travelling and we plucked the £10,000 each figure out the air… we had something to aim for. This meant serious cut backs and I hope to explain in some kind of organised way how we cut back and made more money in the run up to our Round the World Trip.
Firstly, I would start with figuring out what big items you can sell. You’re not going to need your car while you are travelling the world. It’s best to work out how much a similar car, with similar mileage and condition is selling for on AutoTrader for a good estimate. Minus this chunk of money off your total and you will know what you have left to find (£7500 in my case).
Minimise your outgoings
What’s your housing situation? If you are in rented accommodation, could you downsize or move back home with your parents? This is what I did and honestly, without my mum and dad hosting me rent free I don’t think this would have been possible. Actually, they deserve a big shout, I love you both to pieces! If you have a mortgage and spare rooms, why not rent out a room for an addition £250-£300 a month that can go into your savings. This could also be a source of income to top up your funds while you are travelling too.
Take a good look at your bank account. What outgoings do you have? I stopped paying the gym especially as I didn’t go anyway and moved to home workouts – good old Joe Wicks helped me out! I realised I was paying insurance for random items I didn’t own anymore, so cancelled them too.
The weekly food shop can cost a crazy amount and this is something we really cut back on. We wrote out the food shopping list for the exact meals we wanted to cook (using up whatever was in the cupboards first). We did not deviate from this list and really shopped around for the best buy. Aldi and Lidl are often the cheapest, but Home Bargains fresh food section had even better buys. We even tried going to the Butchers and a Green Grocers and although the quality was better and less plastic packaging, it was still more expensive. We are both meat lovers but it can be expensive, so we have found more veggie and vegan recipes to minimise the cost. Swapping chicken breasts for chicken thighs is also a good saving too.
Socialising! Nights out became nights in. For some this might be a struggle but when you have such a big goal to aim for and you know what amazing adventures lie ahead, missing a piss-up in town your not really too bothered about. We still went to big occasions, like weddings and christenings but I drove and didn’t drink and spent less than usual on gifts. Our friends were more than understanding and we had great nights in with board games and a bottle of wine!
So you know you have say £7500 left to find and you have minimised your outgoings. Do some simple maths and divide your total by how many months you have before you leave… say 12 months. You then know what you have to put away each month (in this example £625). Now you have minimised your outgoings, work out each month what your essential payments are (direct debits, fuel, food) and minus that from your income. Be realistic and set aside money for any occasions that month and try to get the £625 covered from your wages. For some people this might not be possible so you can top up the savings with what you sell that month and extra earnings (see below!)
Sell, Sell, Sell
You can’t take everything and the kitchen sink with you. You have a backpack and that’s all so it’s time for a major clear out. I have sold all my house furniture to friends or on Gumtree. I have sold all the clothes I’m not taking with me on eBay (apart from a small box of favourite clothes!). Our families and friends have also given us items they were going to throw away or give to charity shops for us to sell too! Although it is time consuming and some things may sell for a measly 99p, every penny really does count. A month before we go, anything that had struggled to sell online we will put on a car boot!
‘I need a dollar, dollar, dollar is all I need’
Time to get your thinking cap on, and brainstorm ideas about how to make more money! Do you have any hidden talents? Are you really creative? Are you a budding entrepreneur? For me I taught myself how to make Handmade Soy Wax Candles and upcycled any jar I could find. I set up a little Facebook group with all my local friends and sold to them. I was honest about where the funds were going and people were more than happy to support us. I have known people do a ‘charity’ event, sell their artwork, upcycle and sell items… what could you do?
As I mentioned with the renting out your home, having a reoccurring income while you’re away will really help if your savings just don’t go as far as you intended. I have begun this blog and I am gradually learning ways to monetise it for additional income (happy to hear any tips!). I’m also fortunate to have a social marketing business that can be built while I travel the world (just need WiFi which may be a struggle at times!). It is important to have multiple income streams set up prior to leaving home. These will give you flexibility, more choices and help sustain you for longer than the year, if you so wish!
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£10,000 sounds like a lot but by breaking it down, keeping track every month and being super committed to the cause, what may seem impossible can become possible.
Go the Distance,