This one weird trick to save money for travel – which isn’t what you think – was invented by a mum, will restore your faith in humanity, and your doctor doesn’t want you to know about it
A few weeks ago, Æ emerged from the study in a great flap of excitement asking if I knew how much money was in our bank account. I glanced at the calendar and estimated $X, because it was just after he’d usually get paid, but before I’d got around to doing anything about it.
“I don’t remember them paying me that much!” he said. “When did they start paying me that much?”
And I said well, don’t get too excited, because within the next twenty-four hours I was going to spend almost all of it on rent, tax, food, utilities, school fees, mortgage payments, and miscellaneous sundries. Then before he could rush around the house switching off lights, ripping up Christmas lists, and asking the kids if it was really strictly necessary for them to eat all of those vegetables, I brought him up to speed on his monthly beer budget and the conversation petered out.
All of which was somehow supposed to form a smooth segue into my advice about saving money for travel. Let’s pretend that happened.
One Weird Trick To Save Money For Travel
Lots has been said about this, but nothing I agree with more wholly than what The Snarky Nomad said. In order to save money for travel, you have to have disposable income. Now I know there are people out there saying they “can’t afford” to travel who just haven’t really tried, but it’s best to start frankly and admit it’s easier if you can spare enough cash each month *coughnotforbeersecretsavingsaccountcough* to bring your travel plans to fruition within a year or two, without having to wilfully neglect your pets and/or children.
But neither earn more money nor have a coughnotforbeersecretsavingsaccountcough are the weird tricks I want to reveal to you today. They’re more or less just ordinary tricks: be comfortably well-off; pay bills and squirrel away money for known expenses so quickly your husband doesn’t realise how much he earns any more; make sure you include “travel fund” under “known expenses”. Plain old.
This Is The Weird Trick
Whenever I really want to control expenses for something big, like our ski trip to Japan, I start carrying a notebook and pen around with me everywhere I go. And every time I open my purse to spend cash, I write down what I’m spending it on.
I do this because a few years ago I went through our outgoings and realised that most of the money we waste is wasted in cash. I’m generally pretty happy with how I use my credit card and what I’m buying with direct bank transfers, but I often don’t get my money’s worth when I open my purse and do it the old-fashioned way. Using a pen and paper to itemise cash expenses as I go halves my monthly cash spending quite magically and I can’t even think what I’m missing out on (although it’s probably mostly tea). This allows us to reach our savings goals sooner, so we can go abroad and spend it all on who-knows-what.
Bonus Weird Trick
Check to see if you’re accidentally hoarding any ringitt.
If I had a dollar for every weird money-saving trick out there I would probably know more tricks by now, on account of having so much more money to save. But rather than give me a dollar per tip, why don’t we cut to the chase and you can just give me the tip itself?