Not another year of sitting at home and checking Instagram to see everyone having fun in Europe, America or on a breathtaking island. I made it a point in my head to not let it happen again the following year, and this sparked my determination to save money to reach my travelling goals. Whether you are working full time or have a part-time job whilst you study, it is possible for you to save up for your perfect holiday. Get ready for your cocktails on the beach, or adventure holiday in the mountains; this is how to make it happen!
1. Savings Account
If you do not have one already, this is the time to open a savings account. Make a specific account for your holiday savings that you can track over time. Every time you get paid, allocate an amount to this account (I made sure it was at least 60% so it was always topped up). Accounts for short term savings usually involve excellent introductory interest rates, and you are less likely to touch the money once it’s in a separate account. Thus, a higher contribution is better; less money in your spending account means less temptation to spend!
2. Food Budget
Buying lunch every day at work can quickly add up, plus your morning coffee run! Try limiting how frequently you eat out at work, perhaps only going out once a week. You can meal prep on a Sunday as I did, and mix up your combinations so you do not feel like you are constantly eating the same things. If coffee is what keeps you going, do not give it up completely. Just skip the afternoon cafe run, and make an effort to drink coffee at home some days of the week before you leave. When buying groceries, never go when you are hungry! Make a list and stick to it religiously. I would limit myself to one indulgent item so I still had something to look forward to, but in general, try to cut down and buy more in bulk for cost savings.
3. Clothing Hacks
I did have a few events pop up while I was trying to save, in particular, a wedding. Dresses to wear to fancy weddings can be really expensive, and to avoid a major splurge, I recommend hiring a dress so you can still get the look you want for a much lower price. In terms of everyday clothes, I decided to dig through what I already owned and put some of the pieces I had not worn in a while to the front so I could either sell them or style new outfits. The more I did this, the more I realised how many plain black tops I had, as well as knits, and crop tops. Bringing out older, yet fashionable pieces remind you not to splurge on new clothes, and you can always find new ways to wear items, like layering turtlenecks and dresses.
4. Cut Down Subscriptions
Here is where it gets tricky, you need to cut out your subscriptions. Music, television shows, movies, gym pass; all are subscription-based services that eat into your savings every month. In the grand scheme of things, Spotify music with a few ads, or missing out on watching Suits will be worth it. For the gym, there are plenty of at-home exercises you can find on Youtube, Instagram and apps. Set an alarm on your phone to exercise, and even get a friend over to motivate each other. Yoga is also popular within applications, and are often free, unlike an expensive instructor.
5. Research for the Holiday
By saving well in the lead up to the holiday, you will not feel the need to hold back when you are away. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid paying for unnecessary costs, such as overpriced hotels and tours. Starting with hotels, services like Tripadvisor and Expedia are available to compare prices or bundle flights and accommodation so that you get more bang for your buck. Often the same hotel is listed on many sites for a variety of prices, so ensure you get the best deal. Where you buy tours can also affect the price, for example, buying an organized island excursion while you are on a cruise can be more expensive than just waiting until you get to the island and speak to locals.
Overall, it is possible to make your holiday aspirations happen. Whilst you may need to cut back in the lead-up, once you get there it will all be worth it. Do not get stuck on the couch for another year, grab some friends or a partner and encourage yourself to save efficiently.