Money is one of those subjects I seldom talk about, with anyone. To me, it seems a little tacky to be telling people how much money you have, how much you’ve saved or how much you earn. It must be the British in me that just cringes every time the subject of money comes up. I’d rather talk about sex than money. However for today’s blog post, we’re not talking about sex, we are indeed talking about money. More so, How I saved over $10K whilst travelling… and how you can too!
Grab a snack, the tea is hot, we’re going in!
I’m going to break this down into 4 sections. Comply with the four sections and you will be on your way to saving yourself a shed load of money. I would like to preface this by saying everyones stories are different. Everyone has a different walk in life, different priorities and not everyone will be able to commit to the level of saving I have. I had a huge goal in mind. I have this big trip in Aus coming up and I know I’m going to be out of work for a while. So for me, it has been so important to make the most of the income I have, while I still have it.
// How I Saved $10k – Increase Income \\
This one is for sure the most obvious, but in order to save more money, you’re going to need to look at ways of increasing the income you already have.
- Ask for a raise – If you’ve been in the job a while, you’re working hard and you have a genuine argument for a raise, then ask for it. Know your worth, value it and don’t be afraid to ask for more.
- Promotions – Always look out for promotions. With promotions come higher income.
- Side hustle – Do you have a passion project outside of your 9-5? Something that can make you a little extra money? If you do, hone in on that. Abuse it, make it work. Do anything you can to bring in a little extra money each month. It all helps.
- New Job – If the raise doesn’t work, if you’re unsuccessful in your chance at a promotion then it’s time to look for something else. Don’t feel like you have to stick in the company you’re currently in. There is plenty more out there and if there is something that’s going to pay higher, then you have to look after yourself and seek that out.
There are probably thousands of other ways in which you can increase your income. These are just a few that come to mind and couple of these have worked for me. I started at the bottom in the restaurant I currently work in. Now, I manage the entire restaurant, I manage the social media for the restaurant which is something I get paid separately for and over my time there, I’ve received several promotions which in turn, come with several pay increases.
// How I Saved $10k – Optimise Income \\
So you now have your income, you’ve received your promotions or your pay increases but now It’s time to make it work harder. This is where it’s all about working smarter, not harder. So now we’re going to look at the different ways you can optimise your income.
- Revenue Streams – This sort of straddles both increasing and optimising your income. But look at different ways you can source revenue within the company you’re already in. Like I said, I also manage the social media for my restaurant. I’m already at work, I’m not giving any more time that I would’ve otherwise, I’m just optimising what’s already in front of me and using it as a way to make a little more money. Seek out the different ways you stretch income out of your current employer.
- Savings Interest – Whether you’re settled down at home or whether you’re on a month long road trip around New Zealand. Wherever you are in the world, make sure you have a savings account paying you interest. Look around, do your research and make sure you’re getting as much out of your bank account, as you’re putting in.
- Tax – This sounds like a bit of a stupid one but you wouldn’t believe how many people are on the wrong tax coding… especially travellers. I came over to New Zealand knowing absolutely nothing about the way the tax coding works here. Make sure you figure it out quickly so your employer doesn’t put you on the wrong code, resulting in you pay more tax than needed. If you discover you’ve been on the wrong code, apply for a tax refund. I did the same and received a cheque for over $400! It’s worth looking into.
Like I mentioned, you’ve now got the income you require, it’s time to look after it. Stretch it out, make it go further and constantly be looking at different ways in which you can optimise what you already have. Never settle.
// How I Saved $10k – Decrease Outgoings \\
This is my all time favourite thing to do when it comes to finances… this and budget planning! I know, what an exciting life I lead. But this is where the biggest gains can be made. Looking into your outgoings and seeking out ways in which you can decrease them.
- Shop around – You want something? Don’t just accept that it might only be available in one store. Search around, look for the best deal. Be smart about your purchasing. You can always find it cheaper somewhere else.
- Weigh up what’s important – Before purchasing, have a think. Do you really need it? Have you already got something similar? Will it be a waste of money? Are there better things your money could go towards? I’m not saying deprive yourself of anything but just make sure if you are going to make a purchase, think about the importance beforehand.
- Flat Share – Most peoples biggest outgoing is their rent or mortgage each month. Look at ways in which you can reduce that. Get a flat mate or lodger to contribute towards your rent each month. Look at getting somewhere cheaper or getting somewhere with a friend. Having someone else carry the load will help massively in your savings goal.
- Use your job – I’ve been so fortunate to work in a restaurant as for me, it’s meant I get free food on a daily basis. Use something like this to your advantage when searching for a job. Working in the restaurant has meant my food bill has instantly been cut in half, saving me an absolute fortune each week. Do the same. Use your job to not only increase your income but decrease your outgoings.
Focusing your attention on your outgoings is just as important as your income. Seek out ways to decrease it and you’ll be flying when it comes to your savings. You’ll soon see the benefit and appreciate the leftover money you have each month… and with that left over money, you’re going to put it straight into your savings!! Don’t get tempted by it… save it!
// How I Saved $10k – Budget Planning \\
Now this is where we get to my favourite bit… Budget planning. When I first sat down and did this about a year ago, I was completely and utterly shocked at just how much money I was letting go to waste. It’s not until you write everything down that you really realise just how much further your money could be going.
- Simple Calculation – I must’ve let this secret out the bag once before on here, but I’ll let it go again. See below for my simple calculation on how best to arrange your budget planner.
Income – Outgoings = Surplus
That’s it. That’s the calculation. You take your total income each month (if it varies, average it over 3 months), subtract all your outgoings and the remaining figure, is what you should have left over each month. This figure, without a doubt is going to shock you. It’s always higher than you think and if it is, then welcome to where I was over a year ago. Shocked at the amount of money I should have left over and disappointed in myself at the amount of money I actually have left over. With that surplus figure, I halved it. I saved half then used the rest as spending money. For me, this quick & simple calculation changed my life financially.
- Savings Goals – Figure out a savings goal and when you want to achieve it. Let’s say $10k in 10 months. That’s $1k to be saved each month. So figure out your goal and stick to it. Make sure you’re putting in the effort to add to your savings account each month and really work towards that goal. Mentally, once you’ve set a figure, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach.
- Revisit The Budget – Make sure once you’ve done your budget planning, you don’t just leave it. Stick to it, revisit it, track it and see how things are going. If anything needs changing or amending, then do so. But don’t do the planner once and leave it. It’s going to take constant work.
There we go, I said she’s going to be a beefy one… I wasn’t wrong. A whole 1600 words in one blog post. But there you go, a little insight into how I saved over $10k whilst travelling. As you can see, you don’t need to have the highest paying job in the world to achieve such goals… you just need a little organisation and a lot of will power.
This will be the only blog post this week as I really want it to work. I don’t want this post just to get lost in the archives of byharrison.com. I’m going to let it sit here, pretty for a week, doing it’s thang and to really be used as a tool for people to achieve their financial goals.
I hope it’s helped. If you have any further questions on anything or need anything clarified, drop a comment below & I’ll be more than happy to help!
| By Harrison |