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Saving money to go traveling does, of course, require a certain amount of self-discipline. You may have to go without life’s luxuries for a while but if you remember that every penny you save is going towards your trip of a lifetime, this may not be as difficult as it first appears. If you’d like to know how to keep your trip enjoyable and stress-free, read this post!
If you’re used to paying for everyday items with a credit or debit card rather than cash, it’s easy to overspend. At the start of each month or week, work out how much you need to spend on things such as food and clothing and withdraw that amount in cash. If you commit to spending only that amount, you can’t overspend.
Eating and Drinking
If you’re in the habit of buying expensive coffee from Costa Coffee, Starbucks or one of the other coffee-shop chains, it’s not difficult to run up an annual bill of £500 or more. Consider giving up coffee altogether, or brew your own at home or at the office. Similarly, if you’re used to buying sandwiches, baguettes or wraps for lunch, consider making your own at home. According to the British Sandwich Association, Britons spend anything between £55 and £114 a year on average on sandwiches.
Transport If you own a car, try to use it only for essential journeys to cut down on your fuel and maintenance costs. If you usually drive to work, consider car-sharing with a colleague or colleagues, public transport, cycling or walking as cost-effective alternatives. Similarly, you might be able to cycle or walk, rather than drive, to your local amenities. The cost of unleaded fuel in the UK remains over £6 a gallon, so every mile you can save means an extra 50p in your bank account, if you take into account depreciation, servicing and other motoring costs.
Smoking and Exercise
With the recommended retail price of cigarettes approaching £7 for a packet of 20, giving up smoking altogether, or at least cutting down, is one way of improving your bank balance, not to mention your health. If you’re a member of a gym you’re likely to be spending between £30 and £40 a month, which you could otherwise put towards your traveling expenses. You need not give up exercising altogether, but activities such as cycling, jogging or five-a-side football can provide cost-effective alternatives to a traditional gym workout.
When it comes to paying utility bills, such as those for electricity, gas and water, there are several ways in which you can save money. Contact your existing supplier and make sure that you’re on the cheapest possible tariff. If so, check with one of the comparison websites to make sure that you can’t save money simply by switching to another supplier.
On a day-to-day basis, switch off and unplug electrical appliances rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not in use. Take a shower rather than a bath, run appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines only when they’re full and use your central heating sparingly, if at all. These are all ways to save small amounts of money gradually over time. They do add up, though and you will find that after a few months you might have saved enough to cover the cost of your trip.
This guest post has been contributed by Zoe, a finance blogger who has written this post on behalf of price comparison site SO Switch.