We all want to find ways to make our money stretch that little bit further – but how do you know which money saving tips are right for you? After five years of budget travel, I've become a bit of an expert at cutting corners and finding ways to squirrel away a little bit more dollar for that next big trip. The important thing I've learned is that it is possible to save no matter how much you're earning – it just take determination and a willingness to make a few small sacrifices. And the good news? There are a few small tools and money saving tips I can share that could make your life a whole lot easier! But first? Honesty time.
The truth is, travel can easily flush out your finances if you're not careful – life sneaks up and asks for money just about a hundred times a day when you’re exploring strange new places. But as much as I wish I could claim that my bank account is a bottomless pit of endless free money, the harsh truth is that your savings can soon disappear if you're not careful. I’m often asked how I afford to go and see and do so many things, and whether I have a secret money tree, or even a sugar daddy. That’s why I thought I’d share my top tips on how to make every last penny stretch just that little bit further.
Stay on top of money matters with online help
Debt is tempting. Buy now, pay later. Zero percent interest rates for ‘x’ amount of months. Follow your dreams now and pay us back down the line. You know the type of thing. The only problem is that eventually debt does in fact need to be repaid, and if you’re on a budget, any plans that you may have had may be shelved for month after month while you try your best to save up again. This website offers a debt calculator that could help you to gain perspective. If you’re juggling monthly payments and if you feel like you never seem to be getting anywhere with your debt, a debt calculator can be an extremely useful tool in making a plan and finding your way out of the debt maze.
Browse the supermarket lower shelves
This is a strange one to mention but I feel like so many people don't take advantage of it! Picture the scene. You’re in the supermarket picking up some washing machine tablets, some pasta for this evening’s meal, and a birthday gift for a family member - let’s say a book from the books-and-magazines aisle. What do you do? Looking at the shelf full of goods in front of you, do you scan across at eye level and choose brands and items you’re familiar with? You may well do - and that’s the problem. Look to the lower shelves for off-brand and lesser known goodies that do exactly the same thing as the more expensive items, but come at a fraction of the price. As long as you’re happy walking away with much more plain looking packaging rather than the bright and colourful items you’ve seen advertised, you could save a small fortune.
Make Use of Well Wishers
This is personal skill I have developed over the years. Never waste a birthday or Christmas or any other reason that people can find to put their hands in their pockets and buy you things. Save your own money by asking for what you need - from backpacks and footwear to asking for a donation towards a plane or train ticket, I’ve been cheeky enough to ask for it all (and it works!). People would much rather buy you a gift that they know you will enjoy, as opposed to adding one more candle to your ever growing collection of candles from people who think you love candles.