If I got a penny every time I’m asked “how can you afford so much travelling?” I’d be pretty rich by now. I’m used to that question even if it’s not the nicest one and well, I don’t ask others how they get money for whatever they want to spend it for (new clothes, new car, new gadgets, partying till morning…). And no, I don’t have rich parents, I don’t have a gangster boyfriend or any family member’s inheritance. I work hard for myself and even if I don’t earn half as much as everyone probably thinks (judging on how much I do in my life) I am still able to travel a lot.
First thing that needs to be said here is – travelling isn’t as expensive as everyone thinks! Probably people who criticize me for my lifestyle don’t truly realize how much it costs to go for a weekend trip – no matter if around Poland or abroad. All my costs together equals an average shopping spree or a good Saturday night out in the city. But people make it sound like my way of spending my free time is worse, like I’m doing something really bad… If I’m lucky with cheap flights I can get to the other side of the world for almost nothing (taking into account the distance I’m travelling) – and if I can do that so can everyone else.
If you want to travel the world yet claim you don’t have enough money the most important thing is to make travelling your priority (this goes to every other passion too). I did it mine a long while ago and so I’m now where I am – travelling more and more with each year! And here are some tricks how I can afford all these trips:
* a while ago I opened a saving account only for the travelling purpose. A friend who knows the banking world helped me to find the cheapest one so I don’t need to have any extra costs. Every month when I get the salary I write down all the expenses for the month (all the bills, money for food plus a little extra to be able to go out couple of times, if I need to buy an extra pair of shoes etc it goes to that money too) – the rest is transfered right away to the travelling account and it has to be enough till the next salary. I know that’s the only way I can save this money, if the stayed on my regular account I’d spend them without really realizing. I’m letting myself use travelling money only when I have travel-related expenses (i.e. when I see some cheap tickets to the place I want to go to), the rest must be made from the money I have left from my salary. Of course if an emergency happens I’ll use this money but so far I didn’t have such a situation and I’m hoping it’ll stay like that.
* whenever I’m able to earn a little extra (and believe me, there’re lots of such opportunities that are available for everyone, just look around you) this money goes straight to the travelling account. So does money from every bonus in my regular job.
* I don’t spend money on unnecessary things. I do grocery shopping once a week, in a bigger and cheaper shop than the one I have nearby. And always with the shopping list that I try to stick to – this way I can avoid unexpected expences and things I don’t need. When shopping for clothes I prefer sales, outlets, second hand shops or shops abroad (that tend to be cheaper than in Poland) – not that I buy clothes all that much. My only weak point are books… but I’m working really hard on that, especially that I don’t have much space left on my bookshelves ;) This year my goal is to buy not more than 5 books and read more of what I borrow from friends or find in the library. And even when I buy books I do it in a much cheaper online store.
* I do meet friends out in the city but since these days almost every person watches we don’t spend all that much. It’s not that hard to eat out and not spend too much money and when it comes to drinks – there’re happy hours almost everywhere. If I want to go to the cinema – I go, I just avoid weekends and go on Monday instead when tickets are twice cheaper. If I want to go to the theatre – there’re cheaper tickets on worse seats too. And I’m not going to concerts that often so when I have to spend some more twice a year on a good gig I don’t really mind that.
* I don’t have a tv, I don’t buy newspapers – I read them online instead.
* when at work I eat food that I prepared for myself and brought with me – at least I know what I’m eating
So this is it, some really simple and easy things I do that eventually lead me to travelling more than the average person working full time. I don’t want to sound cheap, like I’m saving every single penny, thinking twice before buying the basic item because it’s definitely not that way. I just spend my money wiser and believe me, it’s been a while till I got to the point where I am now. But at least travelling isn’t such a big sacrifice to me anymore.
Do you have any tricks how to save money?
And before you start asking me about day off, how I do that – go here :)
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