In my past life, before this blogging malarkey funded my crazy lifestyle, I actually had a job for a while. During that time I understood how imperative it is to get your finances in order and start building that backpacking fund as quickly, and as big, as possible.
So as you sit at home, hunched over your facebook profile while slowly crying to yourself as you stalk all your friends’ awesome traveling pics, start changing your ways and make that dream a reality. Here are 5 tips to help you save money when you’re still at home:
During our school days noone wanted to be the dude with the crap, cheap packed lunch, well my friends, we’re not at school anymore and with traveling on the horizon it’s suddently become a lot, lot cooler to be that dude. Make your sandwiches the night before or ensure you make a little extra pasta and sauce to bring to work, either way say goodbye to sushi or pub lunches. Cutting that shit out will safe you a fortune.
I did this for 13 months and by my reckoning it saved my almost $2000 in a year! That’s two months in South East Asia folks, no one is cracking jokes about the dude with the cheap lunch while you’re lounging on a beach sipping a Mai Tai.
An alarming amount of our disposable income comes on this delicious, wonderful poison realistically no one is impressed that you managed to rinse 15 double vodka redbulls and throw up on yourself again (it was only three times, gimme a break). Anyway, my point is to reel it in folks. Once a week maxium, once a fortnight if you can manage it. That means no more Thursday nights, no more mid week beers, but your waller (not to mention your body) will love you for it.
Remember, it’s all a means to an end, so stick with it, however difficult, and you’ll reap the rewards in the future, although the rewards are likely to come in some sort of South American beauty eyeing you up as you wander the beaches of CopeCabana. Good trade.
In a nutshell, down purchase anything. This 3, 6, 12 month trip you have planned will have no need for a $200 handbag, or an xbox 360 so forego those luxury items and keep your eyes on the prize. Cut out all unnecessary purchases, make do with the clothes and items you have (you probably have too many anyway) and put all that excess money in your piggy bank. The only thing you folks should be buying is a nice backpack and a oneway flight to Thailand.
Fritter, fritter, fritter. “Where did all my money go this month?”. If you wanna hear the brutal truth, you probably wasted it, frittered it away and have nothing tangible to show. Cut out those impulse buys, say no to the highstreet, buy 1 get 1 free is still a waste if you don’t need either. If you’re on a date, choose somewhere charismatic instead of classy, if you’re feeling peckish get into the habbit of having a snack in your bag, don’t fritter the cash away folks, it’s so easy to say yet apparently so difficult to do. Always keep your mind on the bottom line, you don’t have to be like this forever but while you’re dreaming of foreign shores, never forget the bottom line.
Keeping up with the Jones’:
Ah the old western concept of one-upmanship, don’t you just love it? Ahem, no. Absolutely not. While most of the western world concern themselves with having the latest clothes, gadgets, haircuts only to be outdated withing a matter of months, stand aside and let them go crazy in their consumerist haze. It’s not big or clever guys and at the end of the day, who’s gonna remember their time more. The dude who bought the new season Diesel Jeans (a snip at $199.99) or the guy who sky dived in Australia, bungeed in Macau or went on Safari in Kenya. Be smart and remember the long game.
There you have it guys, the 5 golden rules to actually affording your trip. To put it in context back in my working days I earned less than some of more experienced friends, yet we did the same things, partied the same nights, went on the same holidays but somehow I managed to put $30k+ away in a year when they seemed to end up with nothing. Stick to these 5 tips and you’ll snapping the sights of the world in no time. Happy travels!