Working in the travel industry means you're privy to the best deals and might even score yourself an agent famil or two, but when it comes to personal vay-cays we all need to know how to save money for travel.
If you’re struggling to save or don’t even know where to start, follow these five simple money saving tips and you’ll be flush before you know it!
Be accountable for your spending
“Where does my money go?!” you ask. It’s incredibly easy to burn through funds with a tap here and a swipe there, and it’s not until you start being aware of your spending that you realise where all your green is going.
Download a free money tracker app and start logging everything you buy (yes – everything. Every drink, every bill, every vending machine indulgence). You’ll be amazed to see where your money is really going.
When it comes to saving, start small
Even $500 might seem like a huge goal, but what about $10 a week? That’s only two or three coffees a week (or one really, ridiculously good looking one from Starbucks).
When you break it down like this it seems so much more achievable, when in reality putting just $10 aside will give you $520 for your holiday fund by the end of the year.
If you want to start even smaller, try the 52-week money challenge: on Week 1, you only have to put $1 away; on Week 2, $2 and so on. After Week 51 you’ll have with $1,378.
Create a new bank account
Most banks have high-interest savings accounts where you can only make one withdrawal a month without being penalised, or need a minimum deposit each month in order to get the high interest rate (i.e. bonus money!)
Create a new bank account that is ONLY for your holiday money and don’t – we repeat, DON’T – touch it. Consider setting up an automatic transfer the day after your pay comes in; it will deposit directly in your travel savings account without you even noticing.
If you can’t trust yourself to have another account you can easily transfer money out of it, ask a (very trustworthy) friend or family member to set up a new account for you under their bank profile and transfer funds to them.
Set yourself some spending limits
There are always corners you can cut to save money, even if you don’t know about them yet! After you’ve been keeping track of your spending for a month, see where you can afford to tighten up.
Bringing your lunch from home everyday might be too difficult, but what about once or twice a week? Giving up buying coffee isn’t realistic for everyone, but what about cutting down to every second day?
If you’re incredibly dedicated to saving money you might go cold-turkey and give up these kinds of luxuries, but don’t go too far and sacrifice the things that make your day a little easier and more enjoyable; everything in moderation.
Don’t forget your goal
Saving money to travel isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be a soul-crushing endeavour either – think about that amazing end goal and don’t let those motivation levels wane.
Print it out and put it on your mirror; set it as your phone wallpaper; download a holiday timer; set yourself a weekly calendar event countdown. Do whatever you have to do to keep that travel goal top-of-mind and every dollar you’ve saved will be worth it!
TIP: don’t forget to check currency exchange rates regularly. You might need more travel money (or less!) depending on how strong the Aussie dollar is against foreign currencies and where you're travelling to. $500 here isn’t $500 everywhere.