Travelling cost money, it doesn’t matter how you do it, whether it’s camping or staying in luxury hotels, it will cost you.
Lots of people think they can’t save for travel, it’s out of their reach. But if I, as a single mum, can do it so can you!
In this monthly series, I will give you tips on how to save in everyday life for your travelling goal!
Tip 1: Weekly Budgeting
If budgeting was a four letter word it would be the dirtiest swear word that you could think of!
Most people hate the idea of a budget, hate the thought of being restricted in how they spend their money and hate the feeling of “missing out” because of it.
But here’s the thing…. It doesn’t matter whether I have been in a relationship with duel income or single with only my income to rely on, if I haven’t stuck to a budget than I have not been able to save any money for what I love…. Travel.
For a budget to work, you need to have a goal your are working towards. What are you saving for? This for me it is nearly always Travel. I have specific travel goals and general travel goals and all are being save for through my budget. My goals help me save.
Sticking to a budget takes a lot of work and dedication. It’s take planning, sometimes sacrifice, and commitment. But if your goal is travel, then you will have something not only to work towards but also a reward at the end, that will fill your life with memories that will last you forever!
To start a budget it’s best to start a spending diary. This is a diary in which you write down everything you spend your money on as well as all other ongoing expenses you have, eg: utilities, food, rent/ mortgage, entertainment, car etc. If you duck into Coles and spend $2 on milk, write it down! If you buy yourself a $1 frozen coke….write it down! Once you have done this for about a month then you need to analyse where you spend you money and what on! Write down the total costs for each area, you might be shocked at how much you spend on certain purchases such as take away coffees, new clothes, toys for the kids, eating out and frozen cokes! Think about these expenses. Are these areas you might want to cut back on? That’s something to look at in your budget.
Next you have to write down how much you NEED or WANT to allocate per week to each area of expenditure.
Write down how much for rent/mortgage, food, petrol, insurances, utilities, car upkeep costs, loan repayments, school expenses and anything else you NEED to spend money on each week.
Then find the difference between what you EARN and what you NEED to spend. At this point if what you earn doesn’t cover what you NEED to spend, you are in trouble! – look at making major cutbacks or earn more money… Now!.
Hopefully you have extra money, what I call “play” money, and you can allocate these funds to the budget to what I would describe as WANTS eg: entertainment, new clothes, presents for birthday /Christmas and TRAVEL. The wants area is where you might seriously look at what you are spending your money on and if you could make cut backs. Also don’t get disheartened if you can only put away a small amount each week for travel, it will add up, and as you start to use your budget you may find extra to put in.
It is important that you write this down, list on paper what the money is for and how much. I find that writing it down makes you more accountable and more permanent? ( I don’t know why, but it does!)
Put it up on the wall so you can see it and look at it everyday, till you know exactly what you have to spend on each area. I don’t have to look at mine anymore, I know how much I have to spend on fuel, food, bills and how much I put away for TRAVEL etc without looking at it.
There will a period of time that you will need to tweak your budget, moving amounts around from section to section till it fits, covering each of your area of NEEDS and WANTS, balancing with your income. Take this time to get it right and a perfect fit for you.
Now, you need to know how this all works in reality….. But you will have wait till my post next month!
But thats ok….it will give you time to do your spending diary and work out your budget!!!