5 Month Progress Update: Saving Up To Travel Doesn’t Need To Be Hard

One of the most common motivations I hear from people heading off travelling, is that they want to “live in the moment” or “seize the day”.

It’s as good a reason as any however, if this means years of sacrifices, budgeting and saving to prepare for a trip, then that doesn’t sound very much like living in the moment, does it?

I’m pleased to say, on Resfeber Travel Blog, we think there is another way.

Minimalism

Minimalism DocumentaryAfter watching ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Thingson Netflix, I’ve come to realise there is a different approach we can take, to preparing and saving for travel.

What if we could not only enjoy budgeting but enhance our experience during the time when we are saving funds.

How? The process of shedding personal belongings that we don’t really need can be liberating, as well as giving our travel fund a cash boost by selling these excess items.

Additionally, you are also reducing the space you’ll need to store things whilst you’re away. This saves you space, earns you money and is a great personal learning experience to.

Take a look at the ‘Minimalism’ trailer here to understand a little more about the process and benefits.

There’s nothing wrong with consumption, the problem is compulsive consumption“. In our desire for the next big thing, have we lost sight of what’s important?

Both Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn are regular folk, like you and me. They had the jobs, the nice apartments and fancy clothes. Then they decided they wanted something more.

A Moment Of Realisation

The most powerful moment in this movie for us personally, is when Josh explains the life events that led him to realise he needed to make some changes. Watch the clip here:

The Verdict on Minimalism

Minimalism is a great ethos to use, to sit behind your saving plans. Think of it as an attitude that can help you get into the frame of mind needed to enjoy and benefit from saving.

You can’t just rely on attitude alone however and you have to put practical steps in place to help you save up too.

Practical

Over the coming weeks (Starting September 2017) I am going to start the process of minimising my belongs and will write about the benefits and drawbacks here. Check back in for regular updates, to see how I’ve got on. The benefits and the challenges.

Tips: In addition to the above saving technique, I will be employing many other cash saving tips including:

  1. Streamlining household bills.
  2. Cutting out membership accounts like the gym and exercising outdoors for free.
  3. Changing from my fancy hairdresser to a low-cost barber.
  4. Joining my supermarkets points scheme.
  5. Making my own coffee to take to work instead of buying.
  6. Considering bringing in a lodger to my spare room.
  7. Saving spare change in a jar.
  8. Buying clothes from a charity store.
  9. Instead of getting a phone upgrade, taking a sim only deal and using my old phone.
  10. Changing credit card account to get an interest free balance transfer.
  11. Changing bank account to take a £100 cash offer and reduced fees.
  12. Asking for gifts to my travel fund for birthdays and Christmas.

Check back in for more tips as I go.

More: You can find further tips for saving money whilst you travel, on our post about the Bitcoin revolution here.


Five Month Update 

Saving to travel

So here we are, some four and a half months down the line from my initial post and I think it is time for an update. I’ve been working on the list above of saving techniques and have some successes and failures to report. Here goes…

  • Streamlining household bills.

I have changed my energy bills at home to a green tariff. This isn’t actually saving me any money but Kate and I really wanted to support green energy production, so this was our preferred choice. What is the point of travelling and appreciating the planet, if you are ruining it at the same time.

  • Cutting out membership accounts like the gym and exercising outdoors for free.

We have cut our gym memberships out and have been exercising outside except for in December to February, as the weather is challenging in Scotland during this time.

  • Changing from my fancy hairdresser to a low-cost barber.

This one was easy. Don’t worry so much about how expensive your haircut is. Looking simple on the outside is a huge sign of confidence and self-esteem. ‘Normcore’ is what fashion people would call it but it’s just about being comfortable in your own skin.

  • Joining my supermarkets points scheme.

I have joined the COOP and Morrison’s points schemes for rewards. These are my two locals supermarkets. I am a big fan of the COOP, as they select their products ethically and not only reward me but make charity contributions.

  • Making my own coffee to take to work instead of buying.

I really don’t want to keep using paper cups as they are not environmentally friendly. That made this much easier to do.

  • Considering bringing in a lodger to my spare room.

Kate and I have actually decided to downsize and get rid of our spare room. We are in the process of obtaining a smaller flat and will save around 20% of our rent as a result.

  • Saving spare change in a jar.

I have to admit, I don’t do this. I rarely use cash these days.

  • Buying clothes from a charity store.

I haven’t needed many new clothes in the last 5 months but will be buying some new shoes soon. Not from a charity store, just a regular one.

  • Instead of getting a phone upgrade, taking a sim only deal and using my old phone.

My contract expires in June when I will be doing this.

  • Changing credit card account to get an interest free balance transfer.

I transferred my credit card balance, to a card with free 12 months balance transfers. I then paid off the balance and have zero debt now as a result. By that I mean no debt anywhere and of any kind. It is a great feeling.

  • Changing bank account to take a £100 cash offer and reduced fees.

I have changed my bank and got a £100 reward but this was also an ethical choice. I wanted to get away from using the big five UK banks and use a more community minded one.

  • Asking for gifts to my travel fund for birthdays and Christmas.

We put limits on the gifts we sent and received over Christmas, to make it less expensive. £10 per person. That really got us thinking about nice, thoughtful gifts.

In addition to these saving tips, we have put up a calendar in our kitchen. We write what we’ve spent on it every day. Not rent or bills but just daily expenses. This helps us to be mindful of our spending habits and is working very well.

Travel Saving MoneyMore: We’ve also been looking at different ways of saving money, whilst you are on the road. Check out our post about Airbnb with a coupon code to get you a nice discount. Airbnb is one of the most efficient ways to get accommodation whilst travelling. We also have guides which show you best value way to obtain round the world flights here. 

 

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