It’s no surprise the first thing people ask me when I tell them I’m going travelling with my boyfriend for a year is – How? How could we possible afford it, and all whilst living in Sydney?
If you’re reading this in the U.K or U.S.A or farther afield, please note: we pay $10 for a small (in my opinion), overly fruity beer in Sydney. Breakfast out ranges from $40-60 for two people and dinner? Don’t even think about it being less than a $100 especially if you expect to feel satiated afterwards.
So how did we do it?
For me: Discipline. For Moo: Strategy.
We did some research and before we knew it, the cash was coming together and now that we’re so close to departure – it’s still coming in! Read on…
Without disclosing how much we’ve saved so far, we originally had budgeted for $100 AU per person, per day. We knew that some days we’d go over and some days we’d be way under, but that was a safe number to assume we could last up to a year.
For the record, we don’t have $365,000 saved.
We’ve used the $100 as a marker for more ‘expensive’ countries and averaged that out for countries where the Australian dollar is more favourable.
I made a list with ten things that helped us massively save for our upcoming trip to all of these amazing places, and no, I didn’t include “find a job that pays more” although that would have worked favourably for my part. Part two will be published next week! So here goes:
The Barefoot Investor
I bought the barefoot investor and I never looked back. Scott Pape knows how to make finances sexy and truly, I can’t say I ever thought I’d read a book about finance in my life. I’m unsure whether it’s worthwhile if you’re reading this outside of Australia, but if you are, BUY THIS BOOK. I have to be honest, I didn’t follow his theory throughout (I didn’t sign up with ING, I didn’t get all the cards, and I didn’t buy the pillow – sigh) but I did pretty much everything else.
Refine and Reuse
In the lead up to our departure, I refined my spending and pulled right back. I’d aim to see friends in an active sense rather than an alcohol themed activity. Going for a surf, a walk, even a game of tennis saved me big bucks in what could have been a boozy night leaving us both feeling dusty and misheard. I also used this opportunity to find all those sample bottles, half empty toothpastes, soaps and shampoo’s and use them up instead of throwing them out.
Home-Made Rather Than ‘Take-Awayed’
I started brewing my own coffee each morning and I stopped buying so much food out – particularly lunch. Lunch was an easy one to skip and I saved almost a hundred dollars extra per week.
PAY OFF YOUR CREDIT CARDS
I put this in capitals because credit card debt has haunted me for literally ten years as I frivolously overspent with no plans to pay it off. I was so bad with money and I genuinely didn’t care. It just kept accumulating more and more. Deep down, I knew I would never be able to save until that was paid off. I paid of $10,000 of debt in three years and cutting up those cards was the best Christmas present I ever bought myself. I know credit works for some people – just not for me.
I will say this though, I did play the system a little…Once my interest free period had ended on one card, I’d change providers (what’s the point in paying off $100/ month when you’re getting charged $50 in interest?) as I did that, I accrued as many Qantas Frequent Flyer points as possible and while I’m not in the points game anymore, it has served me well (more on this later).
We Moved Out Early
We moved out of our apartment seven weeks before actually leaving, we’ve been staying with friends and house sitting through the website Trusted Housesitters (if you’re interested, let me know, we both get a discount if I refer you!!) saving us about five thousand dollars in what would have been rent. THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY.
I hope my tips help should you be planning something similar or perhaps you’d just like to be a little more in control of your finances.
Tune in next week for Part Two of this blog, the best is yet to come.
This is sadly my last post from Oz, from here on, we are citizens of the world and as of next week we will be coming to you LIVE from Athens, Greece. If you’re not following on IG or Facebook, don’t miss out on the action!
Until then, sojourn farewell xo
Images via Unsplash.