We get asked a lot how can we afford this.
We both have steady income, and are lucky enough to be financially independent, which is nice. To be honest, we did also get some nice cash for our wedding. However, we had to make saving a second nature after we realized we will be hitting the road again and (although not the plan) would not necessarily have any income for some time. Here are some tips we know to work well for us to save some much needed travel money.
- We both have a separate bank account for the travel money. There is no debit or credit card attached to these accounts, to decrease the temptation to withdraw cash.
- Every month, we move a certain amount of money to our savings accounts, right after paying bills and rent.
- This may only apply to me because I am a bit insane, but I reuse my teabags at work. Yes, I use the same bag throughout my whole shift, just adding some hot water on it on my coffee break. At home I am a princess and quite often use even as many as two teabags in one day (gasps in shock).
- We also reuse less weird stuff. We never buy separate bags for our biodegradable trash, but fold free newspapers to make them. Here is how (Warning! A commercial link!).
- We usually opt for store brands instead of name brands, and look for 30% off groceries. They are easiest to find early in the morning, but note that all the aggressive grandmas and grandpas are looking for the same items so prepare to fight for your right to purchase cheap discount milk.
- We drive very little. Instead, we walk nearly everywhere. It is free with the added bonus of excellent exercise; I walk 3 km to work and back nearly every day.
- I try to use mostly skin friendly, fragrance free products, but unfortunately they seem to be quite expensive. I have saved a load of money by getting ALL the free samples I can. When I go to get some medication at the drug store, I always go around and collect all the free little bags and pouches. I do it at make up stores, as well. Gotta catch ’em all!
- I love sports clothes, and to be honest have invested an unacceptable amount of money in them. However, when I pay for quality, it lasts, too. Some of my favorite clothes have been bought in 2012 at Decathlon in Shanghai. The past six months, I have also paid a lot of attention to buying only products I will be able to use when we travel. So, I did not buy a new winter jacket, but instead got myself a waterproof light jacket which I will take with me when we leave. It was expensive, but very nice looking, washable and super good quality. And on sale. Oh and did I mention it also looks really nice? And that it was 30% off?
- We do not eat at restaurants, or consume junk food. It is expensive! I drink coffee, but brew it at home. This has been especially easy for me after I taught the engineer to make the coffee for me ♥…okay, fine we do eat junk food. But only on certain rare days after staying up too late and drinking a bit too much.
- Our household is full of items that are nearly broken or work only occasionally. Like our washing machine (it literally needs to be manhandled every now and then in order for it to work), but we are opting for either fixing them ourselves or just living without. Duct tape has become our new friend.
These are just some examples, and not all of our incomes and savings come from these little things. But in the end, over time, you can save a huge chunk of your travel money by making really small choices everyday.
Bonus tip: We have a piggy bank where we throw our spare change. Well, I guess it is more of a glass jar, but it has picture of a tortoise glued on it, which totally changes everything.
How have you been saving for your great adventure? Let us know in the comments!