Big Adventure = Big costs
Dreaming about a trip is the fun part, funding a trip is the difficult part. I am lucky I take after my Grandmother and not my mother when it comes to money (sorry mum). My Grandmother always voices her words of wisdom 'save some, spend some.' My Grandmother must know what she is talking about because she has had many great adventures.
For some of us, counting pennies does not come easy. At first I, too,found it hard to adjust my life style to my new budget, but stick at it like I did and you will succeed. Just picture your dream or the trip ahead, put down the Vogue magazine and that coffee you buy every lunch, and start saving your pennies! It is time to make this trip a reality, it is time to save. So, here are my top 5 tips for saving money for a long trip.
Start saving immediately
1. Start saving immediately, even if it is a small amount (that means right now!). Let the dream become a reality. Find a jam jar, milk pot, any thing that you can start throwing loose change into to start your travel fund. Write your goal on the front of the money pot to inspire you, it also might inspire others to donate a few pennies themselves (wink,wink). You will be surprised at how quickly the coins will build up.
Make a Budget
2. Create a budget, taking into account everything-- and I mean everything-- you will need to pay for that revolves around your trip: flights, daily spending, vaccinations, insurance, equipment, medicine, bug spray, rucksack, the new camera you need; even leaving drinks with friends the week before you go. Take your trip's estimated cost and work out how long it will take you to save that amount.
For my present trip, I realised my savings were rather dismal. I needed to raise money fast. I decided to sell my belongings and treasures at the vintage markets found across London. With great success I not only lightened my load but raised a fair few pennies--the extra copper I needed for my trip.
Perhaps, like me, you could sell your things, or even take on a second job in the evening. Along with the markets, I also opted to spin decks with my DJ partner Madeleine as often as possible to get closer to my cash goal.
Sticking to your target
3. Once you have your monthly target for saving, stick to it! Allocate a realistic weekly budget for yourself and try not to exceed that amount. Whenever I got tempted to over spend, I imagined what that money could buy me on a trip...say one Gin and Tonic (London price) could buy you a night's stay in India, or dinner for two at a street vendor in Cambodia.
4. Calculating your average daily spending is essential when budgeting for a long adventure, plus it keeps you on track when you are on the road. No one wants to come home early due to exhausted funds. I always slightly over exaggerate costs as some days you may pay out for long train rides, or treat yourself to some souvenirs and other days you may just spend your time with your head in a book. Once you have this daily average spend times it by how many days you plan to stay away, hey presto you have your overall total spending money sorted for your trip.
Being Money Savvy
5. I thought it would be hard keeping myself occupied without spending money, I mean before I had ever planned trips I was always out somewhere: shopping, seeing friends, venturing to exhibitions, and going to endless music gigs. What would I do to keep myself busy? It was easy I set myself projects, crafts, reading, researching, I hunted out free things to do in my area. Opted to visit friends at home or invited them to my place instead of the usual dining out, cocktails, or shopping trips. The more I saved the more I got better at tightening my belt, I became money savvy! I bought items in bulk to save money in the future, scoped out special offers on products that I new I would need, even travelled on the uncomfortable coach instead of the fast and luxurious train home to Devon from London.
B.H.Wolf India Money Jar
I am not sure many could take the king of saving crown from BHW, it is a true blessing to have a travel companion that is as dedicated to saving when an adventure is the goal.
That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest. - Henry David Thoreau
x HMS x