The countdown is on.
You've locked in those dates to escape from work to forget about your everyday life for a little while and enjoy some well hard earned chillax time. But after a quick look over at your bank balance, you freak out just a little!
After Xmas and a very social December, January can often leave your wallet looking skinny and scare you off all those awesome New Years resolutions you've set to travel the world.
With a little bit of planning and some will power to keep you on track, saving for your big trip in 2016 really isn't out of reach.
Here are some tips from the Koda crew to help you start saving today!
Cut down your costs!
Now this is the hard part. This is the part where you need to make a plan and stick to it. Having a travel buddy to keep you in check is always a big help.
Time to cut back on going out. It's not forever, just for the next few months or so. It doesn't mean you can't be social. Instead of eating out and having pizza then going to the movies, why not invite your friends over for a homemade pizza making challenge and a DVD. A lot more fun and you're saving $$$$
Home will always be home so don't have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Just think, for every night you don't go out here at home, that's an extra night you get to enjoy on your trip.
Can you give up your obsession with shopping for shoes for this?
It's going to test your will-power but the rewards are there.
Time to get out the spread sheet! Mark up a few basics like how much you think your trip will cost including spending money. Then work out how many weeks until your trip and how much you need to save per week to get to your goal. Now STICK TO IT!
Make a list of all the things you spend your money on in a month. - Rent
- Repayments (car loans, insurance etc)
- Transport (Petrol, metro tickets etc)
- Gym membership
- Phone plan
- Nice stuff (nails, hair, waxing etc)
Now have a look at that list and see what can be cut back or even better, cut out. Put some values per month next to them and see what they add up to over 6 months. Seeing how much you spend on these small things might be a shock as you think they are nothing but in no time they can add up.
When stacked up next to what you earn, this will give you a realistic figure of what you can achieve if you stick to your plan. You may even have to take up a second job to get to your goal, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Tips on cutting back:
Bring your lunch to work. Leftovers from last night or a homemade sandwich can save you $10 a day. Over 6 months that's $1300!
Cut out that morning coffee. $4 a day = $520 in 6 months. If you really need that coffee, get yourself a second-hand Nespresso machine for home (pick up one for as little as $50) and buy your pods for less than $1. This option will save you close to $400 and you still get that morning coffee!
Quit smoking! If you're a smoker you know how expensive this habit can be. If there was any time you needed motivation to quit, this is it!
Buy generic brands. They don't taste that different really. Just think of all the amazing food and flavours you will be eating when you get over to Europe, that'll get you through this one!
Every time you see something you want to buy, just stop and think to yourself "is this a WANT or a NEED?" If it's a want, you can defs do without, for the next 6 months at least. If you really can't stop yourself, how about giving yourself a monthly splurge budget and stick to it. Then each month cut it back. Just remember the reward is more shopping in Europe!
Pause that gym membership. $20 a week to run on the treadmill and lift a few weights. How about running at the local football oval and doing push-ups, sit-ups and a few pull-ups on that monkey-bar in the playground. Doesn't cost anything to do a few squats in the kitchen while you wait for that coffee machine to pump out that coffee! This will save you $500 in just six months.
That phone plan you're on, is it really necessary? There are so many great pre-paid deals out there at the moment, it's time to shop around, especially if you are out of your phone contract and own you're phone outright. Phone companies such as Amaysim have great data plans for as little as $20 a month. If you're still in contract, contact your provider and see if you can cut back on your plan for the next 6 months while you're saving.
Doing all these little things add up. In fact these alone add up to a saving of around $2500-3000!
Now there's your flights and a bunch of extra shopping money sorted, all with hardly any effort at all.
Saving is hard work, so reward yourself when you hit a big milestone (eg: the cost of your flights). Sometimes you need small things to look forward to along the way, otherwise you'll get bored.
With February just around the corner, there will be some Europe travel expos coming up which means you'll have that last chance to snap up a great airfare deal. Do your research before you go so you have some ammo in your pocket to make sure that travel agent gives you the best deal available.
Check out websites such as www.momondo.com that not only search for flights, but also have some snazy infographs outlining best days to travel around your selected dates. This could save you a few hundred dollars if you're lucky. Travelling between Tuesday to Thursday will usually cut some costs.
If you're not too fussed about luxury, then go that cheaper airline. Do you really need to pay an extra $500 when you're most likely going to be asleep most of the flight?
Flying to Europe doesn't mean you have to fly into London Heathrow airport. Europe is very well connected and flying into cities such as Rome, Paris or Amsterdam might be a cheaper option. Once there you may pick up a cheaper connecting flight to your destination with discount airlines such as easyjet.com or ryanair.com
If you are planning to fly into Croatia for your Koda Sail trip, you may want to look at flying into Rome and then getting a cheap flight with EasyJet. They do have luggage restrictions though, so keep an eye out for that.
Getting those extra bits of cash together:
Sometimes you need to be a little creative and a little lucky and that extra cash you hadn't thought of will fall in your lap. Here are some handy ones to think about.
Got a birthday, Christmas, graduation or any other event coming up, how about asking for cash to add to your trip fund rather than presents?
Open a high interest savings account to place your weekly savings into. This not only will hide the money away from you so you're not tempted to spend it, but you can gain a few extra dollars in doing so.
If you can, pay extra on your credit cards. It's a different way of saving, as you will have this money on the card to spend while you are away on your trip.
eBay! Have a look through your wardrobe. Surely there are items in there that you haven't worn in ages, but they are too good to throw away. So don't throw them away, sell them! You may not get big bucks for them, but you're getting something for clothes that you weren't using anyway.
And if all else fails...ask your parents!