One of the most common things we hear from friends and family is they can’t afford to travel. We want to talk about some of the things we do to save enough money to travel abroad. Here’s how to start saving for an overseas trip, one year from now.
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How much we made in 2017
In 2017 (I’m going to talk about 2017 because we saved money that year to go travelling in 2018) Kayleigh and I made a combined total of around $70,000. Just think about that for a moment, it really isn’t a lot of money. The average salary in Australia for an individual is around $65,000.
With that $70,000 we had to pay for our rent, (which equalled about $20,000 over the year). We also had to buy groceries and pay utilities. Not to mention fuel, repairs and insurance for two cars. We also ate out on the odd occasion and went to the gym and went shopping for new clothes and necessities from time to time. I’m sure there are some other things that I have forgotten.
Saving money can be hard and that’s why I think it is important to start small. If you try to go too hard, too fast then you’re just going to become overwhelmed, stressed and think it’s too difficult and then probably quit.
Put $50 away
Start by setting a goal to put just $50 of your weekly pay into a savings account. If you do this every week for one year you will have $2,600 saved.
Depending on your expenses and how much you get paid you can always increase this.
Total savings so far = $2,600
Sign up for Raiz/Acorns
Rebranded as Raiz in Australia, also known as Acorns, this app is a great way to save money. What this app allows you to do is micro-invest your money. The way it does this is by rounding up your expenses to the nearest dollar. Let me give you an example. If you use your card to buy something worth $3.50 Raiz will take the remaining 0.50c to make it $4.00.
If Raiz/Acorns rounded up five transactions a week, all worth 0.50c each, over the course of a year you would have $130 in your account.
There are more features to Raiz than the roundups feature that we also employ to save even more money. If you are interested in signing up then you can use our special link below and receive your first $2.50.
Total savings so far = $2,600 + $130 = $2,730
Withdraw money as soon as you’re paid
We all have to pay for things during the week, coffees, fuel, groceries and more. I recommend pulling enough cash out of the ATM when you get paid to pay for all these things. Withdrawing money from the ATM automatically limits how much you can spend each week.
Any remaining cash at the end of the week should be put into a piggy bank or jar.
If you withdraw $100 each week and you have just $10 left at the end of each week you will have $520 at the end of the year.
Total savings so far = $2,600 + $130 + $520 = $3,250
Save your coins
I also recommend putting all coins away immediately. For example, if you pay for a $3.50 coffee with a $5 note then keep that leftover change. Put those coins into the same jar as above. If you keep the coins in your wallet you may be tempted to spend them before the week is over. All those coins will add up and you may even be surprised at how much you accumulate in a year.
If you kept just the $1.50 from the coffee example above and did that four times a week, you would have $312 saved.
Total savings so far = $2,600 + $130 + $520 + $312 = $3,562
You can now see that the savings are starting to add up very quickly.
Cook and meal plan
If you want to start saving for an overseas trip then you might want to cut down on eating out and buying takeaway food. Everyone loves spending time with their friends or loved ones over a meal, but it all adds up. We’re not saying you should never go out, that’s impossible. Reducing the amount from even once a week to once a fortnight will decrease the amount you spend in one year in half. We were definitely guilty of eating out a lot in previous years. But we knew we wanted to travel more so we started cooking more.
We invested in a couple of cookbooks which were less than $10 each and we started cooking most nights. To coincide with cooking more we started planning our meals for the week ahead. Planning our meals stopped us from going out and buying food or ordering pizza delivery. We always knew what meals we would be having each night of the week.
I recommend cooking more than enough, at least one to two times more. You can either save what’s left for the next night’s dinner or, what I like to do, take it to work the next day for lunch. Taking a packed lunch will stop you from buying a meal.
If the average price for a main meal and a drink at a restaurant is $25 per person we would have been spending $50 a week, if we only went out once.
Over the course of a year that $50 would be $2,600. Going out just once a fortnight instead would, therefore, be $1,300.
Total savings so far = $2,600 + $130 + $520 + $312 + $1,300 = $4,862
Use public transport, walk and ride
Cars can be expensive, there are so many ongoing costs associated with them. If your car was purchased through finance then on top of that you have fuel, repairs and maintenance and insurance.
In 2017 Kayleigh and I had a car each, but we eventually decided to downsize to one and share it. I sold my car and I was immediately saving money. We started catching the tram and train to work and we would walk anywhere that was close enough.
Catching public transport may take a little longer than driving, but it will save you a lot of money. I was spending, on average, about $60 a week on fuel, or $3,120 per year, not including repairs and insurance.
Investing in a bike would also be a great alternative to driving a car. Riding everywhere will save you even more money than catching public transport.
Total savings so far = $2,600 + $130 + $520 + $312 + $1,300 + $3,120 = $7,982
How to start saving for an overseas trip one year from now
Thanks for reading about how to start saving for an overseas trip one year from now. We truly believe these tips will really help and allow you to go on that overseas trip you have wanted to do for a while.
As you can see from the examples above, when you save small amounts and cut out unnecessary spending you can save a lot of money in a year.
Let us know in the comments how you start saving for an overseas trip, everyone has their own methods and we would love to hear them.