perjantai 17. maaliskuuta 2017

Money Money Money

Apart from business trips, traveling isn´t the cheapest way to spend your leisure time. Well, at least compared to a holiday spent at home watching Netflix... Life is full of choices and if exploring the world makes you happy, then you should go for it. Unfortunately if you are not particularly wealthy with lots of free time, saving money for traveling is essential. My tips for saving are not that unique, but I have found them quite functional. They are tips which suit for my life, which consists of me, myself and I. So no children or boyfriend with combined living costs to think about.

Travelhack

Indispensable living costs. With them I mean monthly rent (in my case mortgage), maintenance charges of my apartment, electricity, water, incurances, gas for my car, food, housekeeping facilities etc. I make sure they all are the best for me and also that they cost as little as possible. For example, by comparing insurance companies on a regular basis I have saved hundreds of euros per year! It is up to me how much I use my car, so sometimes I use my bike to get to grocery store. Quality of food is something I usually don´t want to bargain for, but if I want to save some extra euros I may skip restaurant lunches at work and eat bag lunches.

No impulse shopping. After paying the bills, my current income fortunately allows me to do some feel-good shopping as well. Sometimes I certainly am capable of spending money for clothes and accessories, but I still do that in a controlled matter. If I know I have to save money for a trip, I will not buy anything I really don´t need. If I know I will be traveling to a place with huge shopping malls, I simply save my shopping cravings till there.

Several bank accounts. I have actually three accounts. One is for daily use and to other accounts I transfer my savings on a monthly basis. In addition, I have acquired a small fund unit to which I transfer 50 euros per month. So far it has been profitable, but the aim is to keep it as a long-term investment so I don´t plan to use that for traveling.

Goals. If I want to save money in a certain time, I simply make a goal and act accordingly. If I want to save 600 euros in six months, I know I need to spend 100 euros less per month. If I want to save the same amount in two months, it will require more effort. So far I have been able to stick to all my saving plans without enjoying life. The key is to be reasonable and set realistic goals.

I think the most crucial thing to save money is to be truly honest to yourself. Do I need to buy several designer clothes for myself/son/dog/niece? Do I need to get my nails done or could I do that myself? Could I use cheaper cosmetics instead of Dior? Do I need to get a new dress for every party I go to? If you live from paycheck to paycheck without anything left to save and are not willing to downgrade any of your not-so-necessary expenses, that is your choice. I have heard comments like "it´s useless to save 50 euros per month" or "100 euros buys basically nothing". I don´t think 600 or 1200 euros are that useless after a year... it´s only a matter of persistance and further outlook.

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