Saving up to travel around the world is no easy task. Before we began really planning, we set ourselves the arbitrary target of £20,000 and also figure we’ll try to work as we go to build back up our funds.
We decided we were going to do this in mid-2017 and aim to set off 18 months from then. Yep, that’s right, 18 months to save up. You could probably do it a lot faster but Lauren still had her masters loan to pay off (couple of hundred euro each month) and also, we didn’t want to compromise on living our lives *too* much. You’re only in your 20s once!
Once the planning phase really truly began, we pretty quickly decided we’d have to up our budget somewhat to £30,000. This is the figure we worked towards for the rest of the planning phase.
- Salary savings – we’re putting away a set amount each month (usually a few hundred). It means less meals out, less shopping on ASOS and generally just thinking twice about purchases we may otherwise have taken for granted. Less shoes for Ben, less beer for Lauren… or maybe the other way around.
- AirBnb our spare room – Some months are busier that others but, even hosting only sporadically (it can get exhausting!) we made about £4k from this. If you have a spare room it’s really worth doing. In the UK, you can earn up to £12,000 tax-free between a couple within the tax year.
- Car boot sales – Ben used to run an online homeware business that he shut down a few years ago and had some leftover stock. We went to a couple of car boot sales and managed to shift it all for a few hundred. Moral of the story, people will buy junk if it’s cheap.
- Renting out our flat from July 2018 onwards – We’re lucky that we can move in with Ben’s mum for a few months before we leave. It should help us save money whilst still being close to work and also means we should be able to ensure everything is running smoothly with our tenants before we head off!
- Birthday/Christmas money – no more presents for us! It’s a bit embarrassing to start with, but people get it when you say “if you ARE thinking of getting us something… could it just be cash please?”.
- Supermarket vouchers and the 7pm dash – We always check the reduced aisle for any meat we can freeze and generally try to be smart about buying in bulk. It saves a couple of pounds every shop. We also religiously use Sainsburys vouchers and Nectar points. They build up so quickly if you’re smart about how you shop and use the multiplier voucher when you buy expensive items. More on loyalty cards later!
- Freelance online work – We’ve used Copify.com. it’s not big bucks, but every little counts! The extra bonus here is we can continue to do it whilst we’re away.
- Selling stuff you won’t need again – Bye, old clothes we haven’t worn since last summer. See ya, random house furnishings we won’t need. Even the laptops went, as we found tablets more conducive to travelling. Ben’s car also went via Autotrader which ended up helping to add just over £6000 to the savings.
- And any other money we can make on the side…