Why is saving money SO.DAMN.HARD? On the face of it, putting a little away each month sounds simple. But in reality, even without huge purchases, most of us have lots of little cash leaks that quickly add up. Meaning we’re more likely to dip into our overdraft at the end of the month than have spare coinage left over to squirrel away.
If that sounds like you, maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper into your day to day routines to see which pennies you can pinch to get that travel nest egg up and running. Here are 4 lifestyle changes that will help you save a fortune to travel.
Learn to cook
Being able to cook decent meals, from scratch, using real ingredients is an absolute game changer when it comes to saving money. Ready meals and even pre-made sauces and the like are all hugely overpriced and cooking from fresh is simply the cheapest way to eat.
You don’t need to aspire to Michelin star levels. A small repertoire of just 7 or 8 dishes that make use of overlapping ingredients will allow you to save a tonne on your shopping bill. Create a meal plan for the week so you can plan exactly what ingredients you’ll need and avoid heading into the supermarket every evening to browse the aisles.
Track your spending
When I say track your spending, I don’t mean sit down at the end of each month with your bank statement. I mean literally document every penny you spend, as you spend it. There are plenty of apps that allow you to do this and categorise your outgoings into different sections.
Make a habit of putting each outgoing in as you go. After the first month, you'll have a far clearer picture of exactly where your money is going. Seeing it in black and white helps realise the places you could cut back and certainly makes you think twice before you buy something.
Get a bike
If you rely on buses, trams, metro systems or trains to get from A-B, getting a bike is the easiest way to instantly take your transport costs right down to zero. For a small upfront investment you can save money on getting around for the rest of your life.
There’s no need to go wild and start looking at lycra outfits and expensive accessories. You can pick up a decent second hand bike for a snip on ebay or gumtree, pay a few quid for a service and you’re away.
Cancel (or reduce) Your Subscriptions
If you want to save money, there’s no two ways around it, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. Subscriptions have a sneaky way of keeping us paying for products and services even when we’re not using them. So when you add up all of the money that automatically drains out of your account each month you may well be shocked.
Do an audit of all of your direct debits to check that you’re getting real value out of them. Obviously there are some subscription services that you will need to keep. In these instances look into ways of reducing them instead. Call your providers and actually ask what they can do about bringing down the price, or look online for cheaper alternatives.
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