Well, I have to say I am a little late off the mark… I have been trying to save since the start of this year but I guess I haven’t fully committed to it. I have still been going out for dinner maybe once a fortnight, buying coffees, I even got a pedicure! So let’s just say I have been failing pretty bad at saving for my 6-7 month trip to the USA and Canada because I have been irresponsible and ignoring the fact that later on, I may not be able to eat because I got caramel and honey tones through my hair and a strengthening treatment!
Table of Contents
- So, what changes am I making?
- How to stay committed to saving – think of me.
- Eat a stranger’s leftovers
So, what changes am I making?
1. Put away your pay
I have set up a direct debit to transfer half of my fortnightly pay into a high-interest bank account (one without ATM’s so it is more difficult for me make withdrawals)
2. Cut back on coffee
I am buying one coffee a week. It will be hard but I think I can do it. And I am only buying coffees from places with those coffee cards where you get one free after you buy 5 or whatever.
3. Avoid buying food
I never buy food for lunch at work. ALWAYS make it the night before.
4. Avoid buying clothes
I try to avoid the mall at all costs because I know I will get tempted…and borrow my friend’s clothes if I have nothing to wear (luckily last year I went crazy shopping so I have a reasonable amount of clothing to choose from, just nothing that you get the “Yay I just bought this, I can’t wait to wear it” feeling from.
5. Fill your car up when it’s cheap regardless of whether it’s empty
I fill up my car on the cheap petrol days, even if the petrol light isn’t on yet
6. Go out less
I have given up on going out on the weekends and am trying to get into the life of a hermit… although parties with bar tabs/free alcohol are the exception.
7. Milk it for all it’s worth
Wherever possible I will scab of the parentals. They are pretty big believers of “learning the hard way” so I do not rely on them forever… but I am a supplementary cardholder for one of their credit cards (yes they do check the statements) but can use it to go grocery shopping… let’s just say there are other things you can buy in a grocery store than just food (think make-up, beauty products, etc)… and I always scan my “Everyday Rewards Card” to get fuel discounts
8. Work even more
I have asked for more hours at my casual gym reception job. Yesterday I worked 7:30 – 4 at my full-time office job and then 4:30 – 9 at the gym. No breaks. It sucked but it’s ok because I am now committed to my goals.
How to stay committed to saving – think of me.
The thing that really motivates me is that I remembered yesterday when I was at my lowest of lows with money. I was living in England at the time and my roommate and I took a trip to Bluewater, the largest shopping center in Europe. Retrospectively, it really was a stupid idea that we didn’t think through, seeing as we didn’t even have a penny between us and we both love fashion and shopping…
It was horrible, walking past all the expensive stores with beautiful coats and stiletto suede boots, knowing that we could never have them staring into the shop windows and being bashed into by shoppers with their hands full of bags overflowing with new purchases. But we wouldn’t leave until the end of the day because it was such an effort to get there and there was absolutely nothing to do at the cottage where we lived, in an isolated, cold, town of the elderly and chavs.
Anyway, we eventually made our way to the food court and had not eaten that day and for the last four months of being deprived of anything having flavour, Emily and I decided to leave our dignity behind, (and our cleanliness) and made the decision to… wait for it….
Eat a stranger’s leftovers
We sat at a table in the food court, casually scoping out the hungry shoppers stuffing their faces with a delicious takeaway. I spotted an overweight family sitting at a table covered with KFC wrappers, skidding their chairs away from the table, and getting ready to continue shopping. I pointed them out to Emily and she nodded. They were locked in.
As they walked away we looked around to see if anyone was watching, picked up some trays (with empty burger boxed on them to look like we were just normal people about to eat some fresh yummy burgers at a messy table), set them down on the KFC table and stealthily put some of their half-eaten food on our trays. “I can’t believe we’re doing this!”, “Never tell ANYONE!!” she whispered back…. Oops!!
And that, my friends, is what made me motivated to save. I hope it helps you too.
What keeps you motivated to save? How do you save for your travels? Comment here!