I often get asked how I can afford to travel for so long and how I can save enough money to be able to just quit my job and travel the world. Some people think you have to be rich to travel long term, or even at all. But that is far from the truth. The truth is, I spend less money travelling the world, than I do living back home in Australia, working a full-time job, paying for a house, a car and a bunch of possessions that I don’t need.
Disclaimer: This post was written pre-COVID-19 so I am by no means encouraging anyone to quit their jobs to travel right now. Please do not take this as advice to do so, wait until it’s safe and we are permitted to travel again.
In saying that, what better time than now to buckle down and start saving for your next trip, because I have no doubt that when this is all over, global travel will live on and our economies will need the tourism industry more than ever.
Here are 10 ways to help you save $20,000 in a year so you can quit your job and backpack around the world
Make a plan and stick to it
Before you can start saving, you need first to understand how much you currently spend. Sit down and make a spreadsheet of all your current expenses and work out where you can cut them down. Make a new plan by working out how much you need for your daily living expenses, put a little bit aside for pleasure money and then put the rest into your travel fund.
Set up automatic transfers into a savings account
Each payday, decide on an amount that you want to have automatically transferred to a different savings account. If you can do it without incurring any additional bank fees, try and open an account with a different bank, but choose not to receive a debit card for it or don’t activate the debit card. If you live in Australia, you can open no-fee savings account with ING online. Keeping your money in a different account or different bank makes it a lot harder to access, and therefore there is less temptation to withdraw from it. Monitor your account and watch it go up. My biggest motivation to save is watching my account balance get bigger and bigger. It’s such a satisfying feeling.
Cancel memberships & subscriptions
Could you get rid of them? I’m sure you could at least minimise them.
Instead of going to the gym, do home workouts or use public gym equipment. Give up Netflix for a year. You’ll be surprised how much free time you will have. Instead, you could read up on destinations you want to travel to or start learning a new language. I bet if you were to add up all your monthly memberships, you are probably paying around $100 a month. Well do the math…100×12 is $1200 you could save.
Downsize or sell your car
How often do you use your car? If you live in the city, chances are you can probably live without a car for a year and use public transport. If that is the case, then I would suggest selling your car and putting all or some of the money you get from it into your travel fund. Think about the money you will save on fuel, rego, insurance, and maintenance too.
Now I know it’s not an option for everyone to sell their car, so think about ways in which you can reduce the running costs. Like downsizing, if you own a big car.
Sell your possessions
Time to do a spring clean and part with all those things you’ve been holding onto that you never use anymore. Clothes, electronics, household items, anything. It might be hard at first, but purging feels good. You’ll feel a whole lot lighter, and you will have a bunch of extra cash to put towards your travel fund.
Limit expensive outings to once a month
Instead of going clubbing every weekend (if that is something you do), cut it back to once a month and do things with your friends that don’t cost money like outdoor activities. Your bank account will love you, and so will you mind and body.
Quit eating out
Learn to cook at home on the cheap and take your lunch to work every day instead of buying fast food. If you live somewhere like Australia, to eat out for dinner generally costs you a minimum of $30, so cutting back on eating out can result in a massive saving.
Cut your living expenses down
Things like cutting meat out of your diet a few times a week, being cautious of household utilities like electricity and gas, carpooling to save fuel and changing to a prepaid phone plan are all good ways to cut down on your living expenses.
Don’t take any significant trips
As hard as it might be, don’t take any holidays while you’re trying to save money to travel the world long term. Just think about the end goal and how long you will be able to travel for if you keep saving that money. Instead, opt to take local weekend trips and become a tourist in your own city. I bet there’s a whole range of things to do and explore on your doorstep that you probably never knew existed!
Don’t buy any new clothes for a year
Do you think you need that new pair of jeans? Or would you rather quit your job and travel the world? I’m 100% sure you already have enough clothes to dress every day for probably a good few weeks. Let’s be honest, you don’t need more. Especially if you’re just going to get rid of them when you leave anyway. You can’t fit a whole wardrobe in a backpack!
Time to start saving!!!
So there you have it, 10 ways to help you save $20,000 in a year so you can quit your job and travel the world. What are you waiting for? Start saving now!
Have more tips for saving?
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