Money: Funding my travels

Anyone who knows me IRL (in real life) will have heard me moan about how broke I am. Like always. It’s not to say that I’m on a pauper’s wage at work, I’m far from it, but I’ve made tonnes of poor financial choices in my twenties which I’m still paying for now! I don’t have a massive disposable income, but I do love travelling. In fact, if I had it my way, I’d be a complete digital nomad and travel constantly whilst working on the go. If I manage to save enough to get off the ground, who knows, maybe I will be one day. But for now, short trips to new places will have to keep my wanderlust satiated. As I mentioned in my last post, it’s a myth that travel bloggers travel around for free.

So, how am I funding my travels?

1. Cutting food and drink costs

I am becoming super savvy when it comes to weekly food shopping, sticking to meal plans so I only buy what we need, making use of leftovers, taking in homemade lunches to work rather than spending £5-£10 each day on lunches in the nearby restaurants. Oooh and the coffee. . . . coffee used to be a daily treat on the way into work and maybe another one during the day. So let’s say £3 a cup, at a minimum of 5 times per day, over a month is 3x5x4= £60. YES – £60 per month on my liquid crack, otherwise known as caffeine a la Starbucks and Pret. That’s £720 per year that would have gone to coffee which can now pay for flights! Let’s put this further into perspective. My flight to Lisbon was £40 return. My flight to Copenhagen was £62 return for me AND my daughter. So my coffee abstinence could potentially pay for a year’s worth of European plane trips! Suddenly, forgoing the freshly ground coffee and sticking to the instant stuff in the office doesn’t seem such an ordeal.

That’s £720 per year that would have gone to coffee which can now pay for flights! Let’s put this further into perspective. My flight to Lisbon was £40 return. My flight to Copenhagen was £62 return for me AND my daughter. So my coffee abstinence could potentially pay for a year’s worth of European plane trips! Suddenly, forgoing the freshly ground coffee and sticking to the instant stuff in the office doesn’t seem such an ordeal.

 

2. Socialising at home

Cinema with friends is great and all, but at £13 (central London) per ticket and then probably another £10 on top for snacks, just a few trips a month soon adds up. Particularly because we always realise we have soo much to catch up on, so head out for drinks and a meal to fill the munchies the drinks created, quickly pushing up our quick social to at least £70 per head each time.

I’d rather spend that money, perhaps with the very same friends, on an ice cold beer, whilst lounging on a rooftop, watching the sunset in a historic town somewhere I haven’t explored before. When you think of the opportunity cost of your actions, it’s so much easier to give up a night out. By inviting my friends and family round to my home, I can make a great meal, catch up with them for hours on end and not have to worry about catching the last train home! Even better, an entire night’s entertainment may only cost me £40 in provisions. Awesome!

 

3.Keeping luxury purchases to a minimum

Your idea of luxury may not be the same as mine. For me, anything you don’t need to keep you alive, sheltered or fed is a luxury. So for example, the coffee from point one above is a luxury. I don’t need coffee – though it feels like it some mornings. Another example would be clothes. Nope, I don’t walk around naked, but I don’t keep excesses of clothing clogging up my wardrobe, instead opting for more of a capsule wardrobe of key dresses and stuff that I actually wear on a daily basis. It’s the same approach I take for packing when I go away. I take some key items which can be worn in multiple environments, rather than tonnes of outfits for multiple changes throughout the day. I’m there to explore, not to put on a fashion show, after all! I think I save myself hundreds of pounds each year by only buying new clothes when I need to as opposed to when I want to. Even then, I tend to wait for a sale. My skin doesn’t mind wearing something that is ‘last season’, it just wants to be covered and comfortable! Sorry fashionistas, I can hear the disbelief and perhaps even disgust as you read this, but for me, as much as I want to look lovely in what I wear, there’s no way I’m forking out to update my wardrobe each season!

Another example would be clothes. Nope, I don’t walk around naked, but I don’t keep excesses of clothing clogging up my wardrobe, instead opting for more of a capsule wardrobe of key dresses and stuff that I actually wear on a daily basis. It’s the same approach I take for packing when I go away. I take some key items which can be worn in multiple environments, rather than tonnes of outfits for multiple changes throughout the day. I’m there to explore, not to put on a fashion show, after all!

I think I save myself hundreds of pounds each year by only buying new clothes when I need to as opposed to when I want to. Even then, I tend to wait for a sale. My skin doesn’t mind wearing something that is ‘last season’, it just wants to be covered and comfortable! Sorry fashionistas, I can hear the disbelief and perhaps even disgust as you read this, but for me, as much as I want to look lovely in what I wear, there’s no way I’m forking out to update my wardrobe each season!

 

4. Planning

I don’t know about you, but I find that whenever I do things last minute, I spend unneeded money. If I don’t have plans for the weekend , then decide on a whim to take a drive to a local attraction, we’re likely to end up paying full price for tickets, eat our meals at the closest restaurant to us when hunger strikes and generally spend a small fortune. When I plan ahead, I’ll probably find deals on tickets, research a list of family friendly, pocket-friendly places to eat and save some money, whilst most likely having a better time than on the impulsive trips forged out of boredom.

I’m all for living at the edge of your seat and doing things on an impulse, but right now, it’s all about saving money so that when we travel somewhere new and exciting we can choose to be impulsive there!

I’ll probably add to this list as I go along. Perhaps I’ll find more ways to save up for my travels soon. For one, I’m considering freelancing though I’m not sure how I’d fit the hours around the jobs I do at the moment, but every penny counts when you’re trying to fund your long list of travel wants!

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2 Comments

    • I’m trying to be Kate! I had so much free coffee at the conference I went to today to make up for all the coffee I no longer buy!
      Yup, it’s the little purchases we don’t even think about that can really mount up! : )

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