A lot of bloggers write about how you can travel affordably, by demonstrating through the way they did it.
Like the majority of normal people who lust after travel, but have weakness for good food, beers and possess minimal will power, I wanted to help YOU guys!
The me’s of the world, the one’s that are of a higher percentage than the travellers who live off this mythical $20 a day, especially in a country as expensive as NEW ZEALAND.
I get it all the time.
People asking me how I managed to afford travelling around New Zealand for 3 months in a camper car, and how I continue to plan and save for future holiday destinations and large travel trips.
It’s easy to money manage if you have five key elements of personality wired in naturally-
- Common sense
All of which…I don’t.
My honest truth and the best way for me to describe it to you?
It’s like someone who wants to buy a house.
You slave yourself to the point of that dream becoming a possibility, generating a goal and a mantra everyday until, eventually it’s your reality.
So, the same applies for your travelling fund, you work over time, you sacrifice going out with friends and blowing £80 on a night out that the next day, through gritted teeth and a dejected attitude of not having fun with them, you feel revitalised when seeing that your savings haven’t dropped in price.
See for me, the initial savings part of the travelling was the easiest, because I was unhappy with where I was and how I was living, I did nothing but crave and desire to be in another country.
So, I worked extra hard to make that my reality.
-Every little help’s-
Some weeks I was so despondent putting away only £25-50, but it’s still adding to it, as long as you create it in your mind that your savings are IMPOSSIBLE to touch, then you will hopefully have the will power to continue to add not subtract.
But I went passed that stage, I turned into a green eyed money gremlin who for the last few months, the main weekly excitement was to see my £4500 go up to £4800 and so on, until I hit my savings target of £5000.
However, when I was away my secret to affording was quite simple…
Because I’m rubbish at money management and have none of the traits mentioned above.
Every day is different, some days you add on really expensive activities, others you need to buy more items because your situation of living has changed, and then usually the main one, you meet great friends, and when having eaten out of your car for the past 2 weeks on a pure tuna tinned and chickpeas diet, you suddenly feel you deserve the $40 dinner and drinks, and that’s the thing, you do!
Whilst trying to budget to make sure you can stretch your money far enough, just remember you are also living for that moment and everything you have saved was to go towards living in that country, seeing that view and also having some giant burger for the fact that you can afford it!
We try and budget so much that sometimes we forget what we were saving for. This!
That in itself is a victory, you bloody worked for that burger!
I can’t stress enough how the whole point of travelling is to not have a structure and any rules and regulations, especially in a financial aspect.
So, here’s how it all starts.
In reality you spend a year to two maybe grafting within work.
You cover shifts and do doubles in a pub over the weekends, whilst all of your friends are getting drunk in town and making memories back here.
You start to realise very quickly that you have no time left, and for all of those people who say, “but Beyonce has the same 24 hours in her day, everything is possible”, I agree with you she does, but if you’re working 2-3 jobs that are scattered hours throughout the week, the time you have left is to sleep.
Because, when you’re saving you are constantly worried and thinking about money, what’s going in, what’s coming out, how much you need for what countries etc.
So, sleep is the only logical way to turn off that annoying sensation of a buzz… not forgetting you’re knackered 24/7.
Travelling is always affordable, it’s just sacrificing what you want in life and if you want it, you will find a way to be able to afford it.
So, then it’s about how to afford it when you actually have the money.
Life is amazing, you have a few grand in the bank, the flight is booked and you are more excited, nervous and anxious than you have ever felt before but, you’re going!
All that hard work, slaving, time lost and money gained is about to have its positive comeuppance as you escape to beautiful parts of this earth to relax and thrive in the environment as a backpacker; a beer in one hand, your foot draped off the comfortable hammock on the beach, this is now your leisurely lifestyle.
A few days in and you’re loving life, but then all of a sudden you check your bank account whilst drawing something out, and to your shock horror you see it has…
A huge realisation hits you there and then that every single penny or cent you have dedicated the last year or so to working for is going to bit by bit be deducted from your account, until there’s nothing, you start again from scratch.
This was one of my most anxious moments I’ve had when I realised this, but don’t panic, at this exact second is when you need to turn it around and flash back to being in that office, pulling those pints, doing that DIY, all the shitty jobs you filled in to do for extra cash and all the hours you’ll never get back, you need to revert back to when you stopped in your tracks on that day for a moment and thought “I’ll get there one day”, and here you are now, living in the reality of that wish.
I started off my travels so gingerly, every day watching my bank account like a hawk and repeatedly having one meal size split into three a day, because I was so apprehensive I was spending my money to an extremity.
Then, towards the tail end of my travels, I flipped the scene by haemorrhaging my money like it was connected to a water tap.
However, I went from both spectrums and I got so stressed out.
I still had 8 days to go before I moved to Australia only possessing $230 dollars to my name, (they advise to have almost $6000 in the bank for a reason…) this was for the transportation to get me to and from airports, accommodation, food and everything in-between, not forgetting when I actually got to Australia I needed an auz sim card in order to get work easily and my RSA all before I got a job to help replenish the funds.
I had no idea how long it would take me to get a job … so what did I do after my mind went into a stressful overload for 5 minutes? I treated myself to breakfast. ($30 later).
Just BOOK that flight! Everything will become reality then and will motivate you to work even harder.