1) Firstly pay off your debts where possible. You don’t want to start your travels with worries. Consider consolidating your debts into one plan that you can pay off monthly. Switch your credit cards to a interest free period account.
2) Set out a realistic budget per month. There are some great free apps to help you work out a monthly budget. If not use a good old pen and paper or create your own spread sheet. Your budget should consist of money for bills, rent/mortgage, debts, money for food, transport and a small budget for entertainment.
3) Open a separate savings account (an ICER gives good interest) and set a standing order up so the money comes out on your PAY DAY. This will stop temptation. Do some research on savings accounts on http://www.comparethemarket.com
4) Consider cutting up your cheque books and bank cards. I know it sounds extreme but this helped me loads. It meant I had to physically go into the bank every week which was a pain in the ass for both me, and my bank (sorry to the poor bank staff) but it forced me to stick to my budget. I once put my debit card in an empty ice-cream tub and froze it, so every time I needed my card I had to use my hairdryer to defrost the ice... I also once put a friend in charge of my budget every week so she held onto my card and I was only allowed it for an emergency. I once begged her for cash so I could buy a miniskirt on a night out…but she was adament this wasn’t an emergency.
5) You see your current wardrobe. Well sadly, ‘this.is.it.’ Say goodbye to new clothes, shoes and bags. Buy only what you need and use up all of your current toiletries and makeup to save on space and money.
6) If you can get rid of your car, that’s instance cash right there. Say hello to your new friend ‘Mr Bus’. My friend refers to the bus as the ‘peasant wagon’ but I actually love the bus and walking is instant exercise.
7) Work every hour extra that you can. This of course will help enormously. If you can, get a second job.
8) If you can move somewhere cheaper, move home or get a lodger.
9) Cut down your direct debits, such as, Netflicks and Spotify ect.
10) Get into the habit of thinking before you spend. You know the tasty coffee you treat yourself to during your morning commute, well sadly this is no more. Seriously I was spending at least £10 a week on coffee. £40 is at least five nights accommodation in a guesthouse in Asia (way more if you stay in a dorm), or enough to eat for over a week, or a couple of tours. Buy yourself a travel coffee mug and make a coffee before you go to work. You can also say goodbye to eating out and hello to your new friend, ‘Mr Lunchbox’.
11) Set out a weekend where you organise everything you own into categories; such as items for charity, items to give to friends, items to sell and items to throw out. Sell stuff online on Ebay, Craigslist or do a car boot sale. People will buy ANYTHING. I once did a car boot sale and people tried to buy my underwear….that I was wearing… Consider trading in your electronics, CDs and DVDs to cash on exchange shops. Some websites actually collect the boxes and provide you with a cheque.
12) Set up online shopping and go to markets for fruit and vegetables. This will save you so much money instantly.
13) Try to rain it in on the entertainment. This was the hardest thing for me other than giving up lattes. Invite friends over for movie nights or a barbeque. In the UK going out for a night out is part of life so go out for a few drinks occasionally but drink at home before you go out. Try and attend the important events only.
14) Cancle your gym membership and exercise indoors or outside.
15) Explain to friends and family that you are saving so won’t be participating in the buying of birthday and Christmas presents….bah humbog. If you really feel bad about this one, agree with everyone that all giving and receiving of presents, should have a budget of five pounds.
I hope these tips will help you the way they helped me. The faster you save and the more dedicated you are, means the faster you can go and explore the world.