In June of 2017 Kayleigh and I started the WANDERWALKERS Youtube channel and this travel blog website. We created the Youtube channel as a way to showcase our travel adventures and the blog as a way to empower and advise people of travel and photography related tips, tricks and share our knowledge of travel to others. One of the ways we want to do that is to share some of the ways we saved money. This post is going to talk about exactly that, how we saved enough money for a three month overseas trip in only six months.
The ways in which we saved money was by no means anything special, the things we are going to talk about below can be copied by anyone. We made this trip the main priority and we did it with discipline.
We recorded a video and posted it on our Youtube channel, you can watch the video here:
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How we saved enough money for a three-month overseas trip
High savings bank account
The first thing we did was open a new bank account with a high-interest savings account. All banks in Australia offer these kinds of services. Every month we were depositing a minimum of $500 each into this account for maximum savings.
Raiz is an app that rounds up your purchases on your debit or credit card to the next dollar and adds those funds into an investment portfolio of your choice. For example, if you spend 90 cents on something, the app will automatically round your purchase up to $1. That remaining 10 cents is then invested into your portfolio. This app also offers the opportunity to make voluntary contributions. Using this app, we saved nearly $2000 between us, within six months.
If you decide to Join Raiz (previously known as Acorns) with the link below you will receive $2.50 when you sign up with my link:
To make a bit of extra cash on the side, we would regularly complete surveys online. Our favourite survey website was Pureprofile. With Pureprofile you can earn quite a few dollars a day just by completing some questionnaires. The surveys do vary in length of time, from 2 minutes to 35 minutes, and the amount you will be paid ranges from 10 cents to more than $5.
I also use Octopus Group, they claim to offer the “largest cash reward rate in Australia for your opinions” with “80% to 400% more cash rewards than any other survey panel company in Australia.” Doing a few surveys each day won’t make you a lot of money, but if you want a few extra dollars per month, then this is an extremely easy way to do just that.
Saved my tips
This was another thing that helped me to earn a lot of money by the end of 2017. This is a really easy thing to do and it could also help a lot of you reading this. I was working in a hotel as a luggage porter, there I would regularly earn tips from guests. Whenever I received tips, whether it was 50 cents, $5 or $20 a day I would keep them and put them in a jar I had at home. I could have easily spent those tips at lunch or on after-work drinks. But, instead, I saved them because going travelling was more important to me than buying an overpriced lunch meal.
Another really easy way to save money is to use cash instead of a card. Using cash automatically limits the amount of money you are able to spend. We would often pull out some cash and use that. Any change left over from the purchases would be kept and then, just like my tips, would be put into a jar. A few dollars here and there can add up over time.
Didn’t buy clothing
During 2017, neither Kayleigh or myself went shopping to buy clothing, except on a few, rare occasions. This wasn’t overly hard for me, but it was definitely something Kayleigh had to work really hard at. By avoiding shopping malls and online sites, we were able to save a lot of money. Rather than buying the latest fashion, which we didn’t really need anyway, we were able to use that money to pay for flights, hotels and experiences.
Ate less meat
When we moved from NSW to Melbourne we cut down on the amount of meat in our diet. This was for three main reasons. One reason was for health reasons, the second reason was for the environmental effects it causes and thirdly, the price of meat was well out of our budget. We found that by sticking to a plant-based diet our money could go a lot further when purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables, compared to meat.
Purchased inexpensive coffee
If you are anything like us and you love coffee this could be hard at first. But we saved quite a lot of money by limiting the amount of barista-made coffee we purchased. Instead of buying $4 coffee on a regular basis we would opt for instant coffee, or $1 coffee from 7Eleven. If you buy just one $4 coffee every single day for 180 days (which is roughly 6 months) it equals $720, that is more than $1400 a year, just on coffee. We don’t think cutting the expensive coffee out completely is doable, or even necessary, but limiting the frequency of purchasing one is achievable. We would still treat ourselves to a good coffee, however, instead of six or seven times a week, or more, we would do it only once or twice a week.
Didn’t dine out all the time
We love eating out, we love trying new restaurants, we love trying different cuisines and new foods. But eating out constantly is a drain on your bank account. Limiting the number of times you eat out will save you lots of money. This is a very practical tip for saving money. For most of the week, we would opt for home-cooked meals and would go out on a Friday or Saturday night to destress after the workweek. We didn’t cut it out completely, but we limited the number of times per fortnight we ate out. Again, like buying coffee we didn’t not go out. We don’t think it is possible to cut these sorts of luxuries out completely.
When we did go out, we opted for cheaper, casual restaurants. Instead of paying $25 or $30 per meal we would opt for a $10 or $15 meal. Instead of getting an entré, a main and a dessert we would only purchase a main. Often we would order a share plate meal. We didn’t go out on weekends and drink and party and go to clubs either. On occasion, we would have a drink or two together with friends, but never excessive.
Used our cars less
Owning a car is a huge expense. You have to pay for registration, insurance, service and fuel. My car was really expensive to fill up from empty, depending on the price per litre, it was often more than $100. By limiting the amount we drove our cars we were able to save a lot of money. Instead of driving everywhere we would often walk. I also used public transport to get to work every single day, it was much cheaper than paying for Melbourne city parking.
Thank you for reading how we saved enough money for a three month overseas trip in only six months. These are the exact things we did to save money, they are all easy things that anyone can do. As you can see there is nothing special, we didn’t win the lotto or have to sell all of our belongings. We just made travel a priority and stretched our money as far as it could go by saving in several small ways.