So you’ve made the leap and decided to jump into travelling the world next year, but there’s one thing that is essential for your adventure to run smoothly: the requisite amount of money. 365 days’ worth of saving may seem like a uneventful length of time. It needn’t be, however, as it is possible to have a good time whilst saving back cash. Here are some tips on how to save money for your gap year.
Buy cheaper food
Unless you’re lucky enough to be living with your parents and eating their top choice cuisine, you’re going to have to think about how much of your income is going towards food. Don’t worry, you can eat nutritious and delicious food, though, without having to worry about spending excessive amounts. Vegetables (even fancy ones) are surprisingly cheap; buying dried or tinned items in bulk can also help; and it doesn’t hurt perusing the reduced items shelf. Also, extravagant lunches may have to be cut back to a packed lunch, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a sandwich.
Stuff money away
Staring at your money at the cash machine screen on payday is not wise as you’ll start to think you can take a bit out, and then do it again. And again. And again until you’ve chipped almost all of it away.
Instead, you can open another account and plonk a chunk into it each month. ISAs are great because the longer you leave the money in, the bigger amount of interest you will make, which is a great incentive for not dipping in. If you really can’t resist taking money out of your actual bank account you can always withdraw it and give it to your mom to hide away.
Book flights sooner rather than later
Like most methods of transportation, if you book early you can get a cut-price deal. This is also true of the miracle of flight. So plan your journey in advance and you’ll be sure to make a killing.
Don’t say no to overtime
It may seem like you cannot be bothered, but if you’re offered a few hours overtime there’s no point turning it down. It’s just a few hours that you’d be out spending money anyway. When you’re sitting on a beach in Thailand, you’ll be thankful that you don’t have to deliberate whether you can afford another round of beers for your newly acquired friends.
Don’t move out
You have the urge to go it alone and get away from your folks, but cheaper rent (or free bed and board if your parents are super nice) will also help you stockpile a big chunk of your earnings. Also, do you want to jump in a house with people your age who have limited life skills or would you rather live with some people who have perfected the art of holding down a homestead.
Cut out indulgences
Some things you can live without. Cigarettes are costly and unhealthy. If you can remove these from your weekly allowances then you’re on to a winner. If you have a pricey gym member, why not switch to a budget one? You could even start running and working out in you bedroom, which wouldn’t even have to pay for!
Earn whilst you’re away
If the plan is to stay in one place for a long time, why not get a casual job while you’re out there? Getting bar work is generally easy to come by, especially if you can speak to holidayers in their native tongue. A TEFL accreditation could also come in handy, too, and teaching abroad would look great on your CV.
How do you plan to save money for your gap year? Let us know in the comments.