At some point in our lives, most of us had a piggy bank as a child and if you’re anything like me, after a few months of saving you smashed the bugger open and went and blew it all on sweets and comics. As the years go by piggy banks turn into bank accounts, the pennies turn into pounds and the sweets and comics turn into other equally meaningless shit like designer clothes and jewelry. Ever noticed that no matter how hard you think you're saving, you never seem to manage to save anything?
I never could work out where all my my money was going, I mean I only went out partying once a week, bought the odd item of clothing and had the occasional meal in a restaurant because I couldn't be bothered to cook. I was hardly a big spender, or so I thought, until I actually sat down and looked hard at my monthly spending. Turns out that spending a little bit here and a little bit there actualy works out to be quite alot.
Here are a few standard costs that most of us will spend money on at some point each month. For the sake of argument, I'm just going to use some low ball figures for a few expenditures most of us will make on a monthly basis to put into perspective how even the smallest changes in your spending habits can really add up over a year.
3 nights out a month X $50 a night = $150 (£100) a month
= $1800 (£1200) a year
3 items of clothing X $35 each item = $105 (£70) a month
= $1260 (£840) a year
3 packs a week X $10 a pack = $120 (£80) a month
= $1440 (£960) a year
3 meals a month x $20 a meal = $60 (£40) a month
= $720 (£480) a year
Right there already is $5200 (£3500), that's how much me and Carly had for a 16 month trip and you could save just by cutting out some of the luxuries you habitually buy, don't don't need.
How much is your monthly phone bill? With wifi being available almost everywhere now and apps allowing text messages and calls to be made over the internet, do you really need to be paying that much? I've had a pay as you go SIM card for 2 years and I've only put £20 on it since I bought it. A hidden plus to this is that I can't spend hours mindlessly scrolling through shit on the internet the moment my mind isn't being stimulated. You see a lot more when you're not bent over a phone!
How do your stats compare? If I'm totally honest, my party budget was probably closer to $3000 (£2000) a year, but on the other hand I'd be surprised if I spent more than $50 a year on clothes. Either way, you can see how simple luxuries quickly add up.
If the party must go on, try and cut out drinking at bars and clubs and stick to house parties, or longer pre drinking sessions at home. Even just having a few drinks at a mate's and going out a
few hours later meant I managed to halve my party budget, giving my travel fund a good boost.
Sit down and work out your spending on ‘luxuries’ and i think you might find that your travel fund would be a whole lot bigger if you made some sacrifices. Would you rather spend your days doing a job you hate, so you can buy things that make you look 'successful' to impress people you don't know or don't like? Or would you rather be out sampling the wonders the world has to offer? At the end of the day it all depends on what life you want;
Do you want a life full of comforts or a life full of freedom, because you can't have both