You’ve just graduated, or maybe you’re taking a year out before you start university, and you’re planning your gap year. The chances are that you’ll need to save up the money to fund this epic journey and you’ll need to save up quite a bit, too. You should have a target of £10,000 to £12,000 for the year, more if you can manage it. This is no mean feat, so you need to start now!
Look at your income and outgoings
This is the boring part, but it’s the most important. You need to use a budget calculator, like the one on Credit Fix, to work out how much you have coming and, more importantly, how much goes out. What you’re looking for is the things that you should stop spending so much on and the things you should cut out altogether. All those takeaways, coffees and other impulse purchases add up and you don’t even need most of them.
Cut out your vices
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional coffee and cake combo when you’re out and about, but there is something wrong with drinking too much and smoking at all. Just stop now – see your GP for help with smoking cessation if necessary – and try to restrict alcohol to weekends and special occasions.
Go vegetarian or vegan
Meat is expensive, so if you’re looking at your grocery bills and wondering why they’re so high, then your steak habit might be part of the reason! Even if you can’t go completely meat-free, then try bulking out stews, curries and pasta sauces with lentils to reduce the amount of meat you use.
Take on some overtime or find a second job
If you earn more, then you can put the money straight into your travel fund – it’s as simple as that. There’s lots of freelance platforms you can get assignments from if you can’t fit a regular second job into your schedule and these can bring in extra cash.
Start thinking about what your money will buy
If you’re about to spend £70.00 on some new boots in the sale, you might be really pleased with the discount. However, you should also think about the fact that a week in a beach hut on a Vietnamese beach costs around that much. A fiver on a cocktail? That’s a day’s food – if you’re going posh! Of course, sometimes you’ll have the cocktail anyway, but sometimes you won’t and that’s when you transfer that fiver into your savings.
Have a yard sale
Or, if you don’t have an actual yard, sell your unwanted items on an online selling site. You’re going to be living without your usual possessions for a year anyway, so why not start a bit earlier?
Ask for holiday money instead of presents
If your birthday or Christmas fall shortly before you set off on your trip, then you could ask friends and family to make donations into your travel fund account instead.
This is a contributed post.