Last week, we shared 24 sneaky ways to save money for travel that didn’t involve hibernating until your Uber’s waiting outside to take you to the airport. Now, we’re dishing up even more tips.
Soon enough, you’ll be the master of budgeting – and then you’ll be able to travel like the queen that you are.
Ready, set, jet!
1. Pay yourself rent. Do you live at home? Put all the money you’d typically be paying in rent into a separate savings account. Thanks Mum and Dad! And if you live out of home, be brutal with your expenses – turn off the lights when you’re not home, unplug your appliances, have shorter showers and get rid of Foxtel. And dream of [insert holiday destination here] while you’re doing it. #pleblife
2. Become a member. If a supermarket/store/airline offers you a complimentary membership, take it – and abuse it! Businesses love loyalty, and they reward it with discounts and freebies from time to time. For example, you have to grocery shop, so do what the other jetsetters are doing and head to Woolworths, where the rewards card is linked to Qantas points. It’s almost too easy.
3. Shop once a week. Try to do your groceries all in one go, instead of popping into the store every night on your way home. Write out a list of everything you think you’ll need and stick to it – that way, you’ll be less tempted to buy the entire supermarket. Plus, it won’t test your patience as much. We all know what it’s like to be waiting in line for the self-service checkout, starving and about to slap that one person who should have left it to the experts.
4. Opt for no frills brands. Speaking of supermarkets, you can save money by switching to non-name brands for certain things. There’s usually very little difference between the ingredients in the generic store brand and the big brand with commercials splashed all over TV. So keep buying your European dark chocolate and plush toilet paper, but go for the cheaper versions of cleaning products, spices, and toothpaste.
5. Make your way to the farmers market. In-season fruits and veggies are much cheaper than those that are out of seasons, and the best way to stock up is at your local farmers market. Most markets are held on Saturday or Sunday mornings, so expect to see lots of glowy people in activewear wandering the stalls piled high with colourful produce. That could be you. Oh, and when the markets are wrapping up, the farmers tend to slash the prices even more to avoid schlepping the produce back home.
6. Embrace Meatless Mondays. Meat’s pretty expensive, so if you can skip it once, twice or three times a week, you’ll save some serious cash. Your body needs protein for energy, but don’t worry: there are plenty of vegetarian sources to choose from. Think eggs, tofu, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas, beans and green peas.
7. Use coupons. These aren’t restricted to suburban mums – even Lady Gaga, who’s flush with cash, loves coupons! Scour supermarket flyers and magazines for coupons and cashback deals, or if you’re not ready for that, download the Honey extension on Google Chrome. Whenever you shop online, it searches for discount codes and automatically applies the best one so you don’t have to. It’s addictive.
8. Go out for lunch instead of dinner. Social butterflies can’t be caged. When you’re trying to save money to travel, ditch eating out for dinner and do lunch instead. Most restaurants offer lunch specials and lower-priced lunch menus in an effort to get people in the door. The dishes are always similar, if not the same, as the dinner ones, so you can enjoy the restaurant experience at a deeply discounted price. #winning
9. Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. Tell yourself you won’t buy bottled water from now on – especially at the movies, where it’s a massive rip-off. Instead, invest in a water filter (like a Brita) and fill up your bottle before you leave the house. Pop it in your handbag, and you’re good to go. And the more hydrated you are, the less you’ll have to spend on fix-me facemasks and skincare prods. Just sayin’.
10. Freelance. Outsource your skills and earn some extra money – check out our guide to successful freelancing to find out how. Otherwise, sign up for extra shifts or offer your tutoring or babysitting services. This is a double whammy: it’ll keep you busy on the nights your friends are out and losing wads of money (and possibly their dignity). It’ll be your turn soon. 😉
11. Pay with cash. The money you’re spending seems much more real when you pay in cold, hard cash. One minute it’s there, the next it’s not. Plus, the very inconvenience of withdrawing cash from an ATM means you might have second thoughts about your purchase. When your trip is right around the corner, take it up a notch and only keep $20 in your wallet at a time. Try it!
12. Save as much as you spend on fun stuff. This is a nifty little trick. Say you spend $50 on new make-up, or a cute dress. Deposit the same amount into your savings account. That way, you’ll have a treat waiting for you when you travel.
13. Create a savings chart. Set a daily savings goal – maybe it’s $2, $5 or $20. (To put this into context, if you want to save $10,000 in a year, you need to put away around $28 dollars a day). Then, grab your diary or calendar and physically cross off every day you hit that goal. You know how good it feels to highlight tasks on your to-do list as you complete them? This gives you the same vibe.
14. Sleep on it. Spotted a pair of shoes you must have? Add them to your cart, and then close the tab. If you can’t stop thinking about them the next day, or a couple of days later, then it’s a genuine want. If you’ve already forgotten about them, you just avoided an impulse buy!
15. Delete your card from file. If you’ve saved your credit card details online, it’s dangerously easy to click ‘buy’ without having to go through the hassle.
16. Bring work into it. Ready to step it up? When you’re on a saving mission, think of everything you buy in terms of the time you invested. In other words – how many hours did you have to work to buy this? It’s scary how motivating this is!
17. Check out the library. Books are officially trendy, and chances are, your local library is stocked with everything from bestsellers and chick-lit to mysteries and biographies. And it’s free! You can also dabble with an e-reader (like a Kindle), which usually sell books for a few dollars a pop.
18. Make your accounts even. There’s something so satisfying about a round number. I don’t know what it is. Look at your two bank accounts – the ‘everyday’ one and your savings – and try to keep your regular account at an even number. For example, say you have $1025. Transfer that $25 into your savings so you’re left with a nice, round number, $1000. This is a sneaky way to save without realising!
19. Use the parent trap. Do you have a parent who’s encouraging, a tad frugal, or both? Enlist them to help you to save for your adventure. When you get your pay check, transfer a portion into your trusted parent’s account so you can’t touch it. You can even set up a direct debit. Then when it’s time to jet off, you’ll have another source of cash.
Words by Katia Iervasi