How do you finance your travels? This question is asked to me – every traveling person – more than often. My answer is always the same: working and saving. Everything is possible. What is simply said is sometimes not so easy to implement. It takes a goal to implement good strategies and the consequence of this every day in everyday life. My last big reward for that was a 6.5 month trip through India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, or my almost monthly getaways.
I did not have and did not have a secret sponsor, as many have guessed. In the meantime, I have cooperations from time to time. So far, they are the exception rather than the rule. Even the hoped-for lottery win did not appear until now. Just as being able to work as much as possible to make money is self-explanatory, my savings strategies are simple and logical. True to the motto “small stuff also makes a mess” put my savings here.
Table of Contents
- Tip 1: Reduce fixed costs to a minimum
- Tip 2: Make bulk purchases & plan purchases
- Tip 3: Pre-cooking and avoiding snacks in between
- Tip 4: Buy only the essentials – ignore trends
- Tip 5: Second Hand – Not everything has to be new
- Tip 6: Shopping on sale
- Tip 7: Change to reusable/sustainable products
- Tip 8: Collect coins – the famous cucumber glass
- Tip 9: Savings plan with the 52 weeks Challenge
- Tip 10: Cost-effective travel
Tip 1: Reduce fixed costs to a minimum
One of the most important items in saving is the certain fixed cost of living in a particular country. Fixed costs include continuous expenses such as rent, running costs such as electricity/gas, insurance, bank charges, mobile phones, internet, subscriptions and memberships. Almost all of these ongoing costs can be lowered through a regular review and a switch to cheaper contracts.
Subscriptions and memberships should be considered for their importance and, if necessary, terminated.
Before my longer trip, I changed, for example, to a bank with free account management, changed both mobile and Internet tariff, announced various club memberships and was looking for cheaper electricity and gas tariffs. Especially for electricity and gas tariffs, the campaign Energiekosten Stop by the Association for Consumer Information (in Austria) was a great help.
Tip 2: Make bulk purchases & plan purchases
Instead of shopping for groceries on the way home in usually more expensive shops, it is much cheaper to plan large purchases with a discounter in everyday life. For a basic set of food for daily needs is always taken care of, extra grocery shopping can be kept to a minimum. Tip 2 is not only of great importance for the reduction of food expenditure but also serves to think about the diet of the next few days/weeks.
A rough meal plan for the coming week should be prepared in mind (or in writing) before each bulk purchase. Why? – because of tip 3!
Tip 3: Pre-cooking and avoiding snacks in between
In Austria (and in most other countries as well) cooking is a lot cheaper than buying daily alarm clocks, lunch menus or various take-away fast-food meals on the street. Sometimes a quick bite here and then there – the amount of money saved by the waiver of snacks in between is not to be underestimated.
Two positive side effects also have the creation and adherence to a diet :
- less food is thrown away because nothing unnecessary is bought
- the diet is much healthier due to the varied diet
Tip 4: Buy only the essentials – ignore trends
If you want to save, Ade should say to continually change clothing trends and switch to a timeless all-time classic look. Fad? Does not necessarily have to be. Mathilda Kahls, for example, became famous because she radically sorted out her wardrobe and began to wear the same office outfit on weekdays: white blouse with bow and black trousers – suitable for any occasion. Three years have passed since she started this “action,” and to my knowledge, she still wears her “work uniform.”
What I mean by that: the idea is minimalistic, the implementation is simple. Even less, you can do more. Not every trend needs the wardrobe.
Tip 5: Second Hand – Not everything has to be new
New furniture, new dishes, always the newest bike? Does it always have to be brand new? My answer is clearly – no. Many commodities can be found and bought cheaply on various online platforms. Also, dress exchange actions enjoy great popularity.
Not every commodity is suitable for a second-hand purchase (e.g., mattresses I would not buy second hand), but the consideration should take place before every purchase.
Tip 6: Shopping on sale
If you buy ahead or wait, it is cheaper. If, for example, you already know that you need a new winter coat next year, buy it in the previous year’s sale or wait until it is sold off. The same applies to all things that are subject to seasonal use. Buy against the seasons.
Another tip: Some brands have special offer days with, eg, sales of products due to small production errors. Almost all of my beloved Waldviertel shoes have been bought so far.
Tip 7: Change to reusable/sustainable products
Soap instead of shampoos and shower gels (although always traveling, but not always in everyday life – now I am in the conversion phase), refillable bottles instead of disposable bottles, batteries instead of batteries, cloth carrier bags instead of plastic bags – there are many things with a small one-off investment over Months / years can be used.
My favorite example is the menstrual cup. Once purchased, it can be used for a long time, the cost savings of avoiding regular tampon purchases is enormous and best of all – no garbage is produced.
Tip 8: Collect coins – the famous cucumber glass
Collecting the famous cucumber glass for change is probably the most famous and popular of all saving strategies. Commonly known and used by probably 90% of the population regularly to dilute the wallet overfilled with change, is the coin-operated glass.
Last year, due to the separate change collection over € 100 have come together. You mean 100 € is not much? For $100 on offer days I get a ticket for a city trip. Or maybe a third of my plane ticket is already a long-distance trip.
Tip 9: Savings plan with the 52 weeks Challenge
Called by fellow travel bloggers this year, the 52-week Challenge has saved 1378 € a year. Each calendar week, according to the calendar week number, a certain amount is thrown into your money box. In the calendar week 1 1 € in the money box, in the calendar week 2 2 € are thrown, in the calendar week, 3 3 € is set aside. After 52 weeks – i.e., after precisely one year – you have saved the amount of 1378 €. Great, what?
Challenge accepted! The Travelpins provide the savings plan as an Excel spreadsheet. And even in both directions: either can be started with the low amount or the highest. The link to the Excel spreadsheet can be found at the end of her blog post ” How to save $1,378 for travel in one year “. If you like, you can read your exact explanation of the 52-week challenge.
Tip 10: Cost-effective travel
Depending on your income, your savings and your monthly expenses when traveling, traveling can be short and luxurious or longer and rather modest. The cost of living in the destination country plays an equally important role. Traveling to Asia is especially popular with backpackers because the price-performance ratio is usually in good relation. The most popular in Thailand, followed by India and Bali in Indonesia. Adventurous South America has as good low-budget travel destinations Bolivia, Guatemala or Argentina to choose from. Unfortunately never visited. Also, Africa, especially in the north has some cheap holiday countries to offer.
Still not saving enough?
The list goes on and on: Inviting friends and girlfriends better than going out (but I think that going out sometimes goes without a guilty conscience) or selling stuff and unnecessary possessions, for example.