Every day, be it Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social platform we are bombarded with images and posts of amazing travel destinations and influencers constantly jetting off to remote locations.
Let’s be realistic, that’s not you or me, just yet (a girl can dream). Just because we don’t earn money by travelling the world doesn’t mean we can’t be frugal and have plenty of amazing holidays too.
This is my breakdown on how I save to travel, let’s see if I can help you travel often but still keep the full-time job, we need to earn money somehow right? Without further ado here is the list…
1. You need to have a monthly budget
This one is a big one and most of you think its obvious, but I can guarantee you, a lot of people are not tracking their spending (let’s be honest here, we don’t judge in this circle).
Here is the thing you can’t save money if you don’t know what money you have. Ever open your bank account a few days before payday and realise how broke you are? Then question as to where all your money is going, yea I thought so.
I have made it easy for you and made you a pretty spreadsheet to keep track of it if you put in your name and email below, I will send you the password to the online resource that will contain all the attachments discussed here.
If spreadsheets are not your thing, there are other ways. There are a ton of apps the one that I like the most is Yolt and Cleo. It’s really straightforward to use initially it takes a bit of time to go through your previous purchases and group them but once done it is a breeze.
Yolt is also a few of the only ones I have found that links to your bank account/s safely and securely. You can set up a monthly budget and it will track your spending and tell you how much you have left to spend for the month.
Cleo connects to your facebook messenger and interacts with you like that, you link up your accounts to it and can then request for an account and spending summaries, it’s quite in depth and responsive too but Yolt is my favourite as Cleo can get a bit annoying as it sends you random messages about your spending or general updates.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re earning vs. what you’re actually spending and on what, you can have an honest look at your finances and set yourself a budget. The hardest part about this is sticking to that budget, but give yourself some time, push your boundaries and be mindful of your spending. Soon it will be like second nature and you will be spending less without having to force yourself to.
Deciding what to cut on spending is a very personal choice and only you can decide what to spend less on because if the motivation doesn’t come from you, you’re less likely to succeed. Sorry guys, you have to do some self-reflection here. I know that sounds scary but it’s not as serious as it sounds. think about that beach you could be laying on right now.
2. Have multiple bank accounts.
I have found keeping track of my money in one bank account is very difficult, so I have 3: a current account, a savings and a bills account.
My current account is where some of my direct debits are set and my salary comes in, the bills account is where I transfer all my money to that has been allocated as an expense. Essentially the money that is spent already I just keep it in a separate pot until it gets deducted from my current account and I then transfer it to there. My final account is self-explanatory and you should really have two of these ones for in case the shit hits the fan and the other for travel/misc.
Do some shopping with bank accounts as you can actually earn some money from them, I have an account that I pay £9.95, steep I know but there is a point. With it, I get phone insurance, AA assistance and European travel insurance for two.
These perks have saved me multiple times, so I stick with it, however, they are better deals. Some banks will pay you just to switch or give you cash back because you have x amount of direct debits coming out your account.
The best perk to look for is a low or no commission for using your card abroad. The best place for finding these deals is moneysupermarket.com or comparethemarket.com if you are in the UK if not Google is your friend.
3. Have a cash back debit or credit card or a points accumulator card.
This one makes the most sense, you’re spending the money so why not earn money or points on it.
Debit cards- They are a little bit harder to earn points off of but it’s not impossible. Banks are always in competition with each other to win our business so look out for the deals. The best way is to see who your bank partners with as they normally have cash back deals going.
Credit Cards- the first rule for this one know your credit score if you’re in the UK join Clearscore. It’s free and easy to set up and they have a fancy app
4.Join as many loyalty schemes as possible
Simply put the more you join the more likely you are to earn points. When travelling always sign up for the airline’s schemes, the points although not a lot do accumulate and can help you with massive discounts in the future or even an upgrade. Hotels are much the same with you getting perks just for joining like free water in your room or upgraded wifi or even an upgraded room.
Hotels also treat their loyalty members a bit better because there is more of a chance of you being a repeat client and bringing more money to them (I have some insider knowledge here, so trust me on this one). Hotels.com give you a free night once you have booked 10 nights. Expedia have quite an extensive loyalty scheme too
Loyalty schemes are not only for when you travel, think about when you buy groceries, toiletries or even your morning coffee. These are things you are guaranteed to spend money on and with a little bit of effort, you can get it cheaper or even free. Here are some examples (sorry if you’re from outside the UK, but this is where my expertise applies)
5. Use cash back apps or browser plugins
When you are spending your money, look to see how you can get the best deal or cash back, but because people are essentially lazy, there is an app for that. These kind of apps are everywhere, finding the best one is tricky, I use the following and recommend them all. for a browser plugin, I use something called honey
The point of this post is not to lecture you about how you can save your money, this is my route and it works for me. I’m not going to tell you to stop having your morning coffee( who knows, it might turn you into a right b***h) or stop buying lunch, or going out on the weekend. Life is stressful enough why take the little joys out of it. Don’t get me wrong you will save money by doing it but I feel that’s to the extreme. I work hard for my money, if I want a cheeky cocktail on a Friday I want to enjoy it, not feel guilty. (Rant over, I promise)
Once you have done all this head over to my post about how to find a cheap weekend getaway.
At the end of it all, if there is an amazing deal that you just can’t pass up on there is no shame in putting it on your credit card. Think of all the points you will earn. You won’t always have the money but that’s ok if you feel confident that you can pay off your credit card balance then do it. Just don’t make excuses. If you truly want to travel then do it, but do it responsibly.
Tell me all about the ways you save to travel in the comments below, I want to learn!
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