Travelling has to be one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do; exposure to new cultures, different climates and more often than not, the challenge of having to compete not only with a language barrier, but a cultural one too.
For those of you who haven’t been, for example, immersed in the middle of a jungle, climbing up a waterfall in Thailand with your best friend (who remembers she hates heights nearing the top); I can tell you that it can be a tricky situation to master. In the end we just had to find our way back by ourselves and convince our host that we definitely did not want to trek back through the jungle and up the waterfall. But we survived with a great story, it’s all good fun!
So what was I saying? Ah yes – it’s life-affirming (or ending depending on your footing, but let’s hope not), it needs no condiments or frills… it serves to strip you back, wake you up and challenge all of your senses which, if lain dormant for too long as a result of city life, can be shaken-up pretty abruptly. It lets you roam free with no ties, no template of who you should be, no pressures of life back home – with its mundane routine of paying bills or making lunches for the week. No bedtime or alarm clocks, a place where Fridays are equal to the rest of the week, with each day’s potential as fun and alluring as the next.
So why on earth do so many of us struggle to save?
1. You’re distracted
Yes, it’s hard to remember that the sun is shining behind those grey clouds sometimes. It’s harder still when you aren’t reminding yourself why you need to save money to go and chase it. Change your lock screen, remove your cat’s fluffy little face from that photo frame and replace it with that turquoise ocean and white sand or snowcapped mountains. Then remind yourself that not before long (once you actually start saving money) you’ll be standing in that scene having a wild adventure.
2. You aren’t sharing your goals
Why not tell people you’re saving, rather than feeling obliged to join in on an expensive birthday present or frequent nights out? Talking about it helps accountability, it could even earn you some excited or perhaps jealous feedback from friends to help drive you towards your goal.
3. You’ve got a few too many expensive habits
Coffee, fast food, shopping for little luxuries – these are all things that have huge impacts on our pay slips and they reap huge profit margins, which can be tough on a budget. These seemingly minor daily habits make weekly and monthly dents (craters depending on your indulgences) in your wallet. Add up roughly how much you spend on treats, impulses and convenience purchases in a week and multiply that number by 52… Then take a look at how much your flight costs! You might, in fact, be eating and drinking your holiday away!
Instead, try making your own fresh coffee… you can minimise and make huge savings on homemade coffee and lunches. What about the impulse things you buy – do you really NEED these things or do you just WANT them? Ask yourself if it’s going to improve your life as much as what you’re saving for… the adventure of a lifetime!
4. You haven’t done the research
Why aren’t you spending your energy researching the places you wish to visit? Start planning what you’re going to do, where you can save pennies, dollars or baht, find out the what’s what and who’s who of the area so you can spend your savings wisely and make the most out of the time you have, rather than arriving unprepared – at the very least, we all know how expensive airport taxis are!
5. You’re not hiding your money from yourself
Are you trying to save money in the same account you spend it from? Why!? How can you pretend you’re on a budget when your bank account keeps suggesting otherwise? The adage, ‘out of sight out of mind’ is key here, to save money successfully we need to forget about it, or at the very least make it difficult to access. Open an online savings account and pop a monthly standing order in there that goes out the day you get paid. That way you can budget for your month realistically from the start, rather than trying to scrimp at the end. Making you less likely to dip into those savings you’ve already hidden.
6. You’re handing your hard earned cash to the wrong bank
Make your savings save for you by putting them in the right place.
There are plenty of savings account options available with great interest rates. Martin’s Money Supermarket has some good advice on top savings accounts here, just be sure not to get a locked one if you’re planning on saving for less than a year… and let’s be honest, if you follow these six simple tips, it might not take as long as you’d thought!
Good luck and let us know if you have any other great ideas for money saving tips!