Travel while you’re young, they say. Take vacations from the hectic schedule once in awhile, they say. Life is short; YOLO, they say. Don’t worry about the money, they say; travel is the only purchase that will make you richer, they say.
Well, all of those are quite easy to say when you have a massive trust fund named after you since you’re not even conceived or you own trees that bear money, both are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For us, average peasants who live from paycheck to paycheck and actually pay our own bills (and others, too), a travel plan surely poses serious threats to our bank account.
Because we at CatchThatBus understand that life must go on, and in this case, you just need to satisfy your wanderlust, we list down a totally doable action plans to save your moolah to finance your travel plan. Hey, your next stream of travel selfies is not that far-fetched, okay?
- Prepare a budget and ACTUALLY stick to it
There’s a very famous saying that states “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Preparation is key to any plan; so write down all your commitments and expenses every month, and STICK TO YOUR PLANNED EXPENSES. I’m dead serious, RM10 for food per day is RM10 for food per day.
- Write down expenses and keep track
With that being said, allow for flexibility but always be smart about it. If you spend more than RM10 for food today, perhaps you can fast tomorrow, or get cheaper food the next day to make up for the extra expenses. Here is where writing them all down becomes handy, you can keep track of your expenses and improvise here and there.
- Be organized
By now, you already saw your actual expenses and you can be creative to cut costs in certain areas. For example, if you normally take three trips to get groceries every week, why don’t you be a bit organised. Write down all the stuffs you need for the week, and take only one trip to the groceries store this week instead.
- Cook instead of eating out
I really can’t stress this point enough. Don’t know how to cook? There are plenty of available and very helpful tutorials on YouTube and the Internet, or you can learn for free from your mom, sister or BFF. One all the rage trend in the Western is “meal prep,” and I myself have adopted that approach, tweaking them with Asian flavour here and there. Invest in good containers for this purpose. On average, a pre-cooked homemade meal should cost you far less than what you normally pay for the same one in the shops.
- Practice self-control, you’ll thank yourself immensely for it
Do you really need that new pair of shoes? Think again.
- Look for coupons, discounts, and good bargains
If you keep your eyes peeled, several stores give out coupons on newspapers or in their mailing list, if you’ve signed up for their membership, which is normally free-of-charge. I am also always on the lookout for great deals on websites like CatchThatBus, Groupon etc.
- Find cheap alternatives to everything you love
Be a bit patient and download movies instead of watching them at the cinemas; you’ll get to pause whenever you like and you can watch comfortably in your pajamas. Go for picnics and have potluck instead of organising gatherings at expensive restaurants. Get locally brewed coffee instead of the expensive ones. Buy good quality, brandless clothes instead of the premium branded ones. The saving possibilities are endless.
- Spend smartly
I’m going to say this only once, credit card is not that evil IF you know how to use it for your benefit. I used mine to gather points and redeem items. I also won some prizes by enrolling in the contests hold. Just make sure to pay your debts on time and avoid incurring the interest rate charges and be super careful about overspending.
- Save smartly and be disciplined about it
Some savings account offer better benefits and interest payments than another, be smart and save in the account that gives you the most return.
- Sell your preloved items
Do your closet (or room, or house) a favour with spring cleaning them. You’ll find that you’ve hoarded lots of stuffs that are only taking up space and collecting dusts. Earn some money by selling them on platforms like Carousel, Mudah, eBay or even set up an Instagram account for this purpose.
- Get preloved items instead of new ones
Some good quality pre-loved items are sold at a good price.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people (savings-wise, of course)
It’s easier to stick to your budget this way. You guys may also entertain the idea of borrowing and exchanging stuffs that you only use once or twice.
Happy saving and we hope to see you soon on CatchThatBus for your next travel plan!