Reduce Spending & Increase Savings

April 23, 2015

Having to save money is the downside of living the life of adventure. Unfortunately we all either have to make money on the road or base yourself somewhere for a while to get a job and earn some cash. If only travel were free…

I have been working in hospital admin; the money is great, the abuse you can cop is not!
No one really loves going to work, I mean there are few lucky ones – like Drew for example. He has been running his photography business (Drew Hopper Photography) for the past six years while working on the side for multiple publications including Australian Geographic. Every day I thank the universe for traveling; it give me drive, makes me work really hard towards simplifying my life and saving my dollars.

Saving money is hard, but the feeling you have when you arrive at the airport to head off on your adventure is one of the best, most rewarding feelings you will get to feel! Being tight with our money has granted us so many incredible opportunities. These are the ways I have saved to help us follow our passions and dreams!

START A TRAVEL FUND

Starting a travel fund is great, most banks offer separate online accounts that generally come with perks (mine has a fantastic interest rate!) The thing about having a travel fund is that you need to stick to it!
I know it’s tough, but put down that item. Have a think; do I really need this, if the answer is no walk away and put the money you would have spent on it straight into your travel account (it doesn’t matter if it’s $10.00 save it!). Take a moment to sit down and work out what percentage or amount of your wage you can afford to save. This is a fantastic way to help you save. I personally started off by saving $200 per fortnight pay. I have dwindled my spendings so much now I am most times saving $500-$1000 a fortnight. Set yourself a goal and pretend you don’t have that money there! I act like the world will end if I have to touch that account.

 

KEEP A SPENDING DIARY

As the photo above shows, I keep a spending diary. It makes me think more about my purchases. You don’t have to note every single grocery item, but try and keep it real. Note all your purchases so at the end of the month you can’t question how you spent $500.00 on things you can’t remember. This has been a massive help with our saving goals, it helps you to make a mental note of what you are buying/spending. At the end of the month, I am able to look over what I have bought and think what I really didn’t need to buy.

 

HOUSE SITTING

We have saved thousands of dollars by house sitting. We will look after a place anywhere from a week to six months, in-between we go back to stay with our families. This has been a fantastic way to stop our itchy feet, we love moving around plus the money we save on rent goes straight to our savings. We look after your home and pets so you don’t have an empty house or to pay for boarding your pet in return we get rent free living! We have been apart of House Carers for two years now, between using House Carers and word of mouth we are generally pretty booked out! I would highly recommend it, plus you get really good at living out of a suitcase!

 

SALARY PACKAGING

Find out if your employer offers salary packaging.
This works by: (taken from www.salary.com.au)

When you salary package, money is deducted from your salary pre-tax‘. You pay tax only on the remaining portion of your salary, not the salary packaged money. The salary packaging money is then paid to you (tax-free) each pay-day. As a result of salary packaging, the income tax you pay should be significantly reduced.

I have salary packaged almost a year now and love some of the bonuses that come with it. I pay almost no tax each pay period, I know some people look at pay-as-you-go tax as forced savings but by packaging you will receive what you would pay in tax straight into your account (which I save straight away). I also have a meal card with my packaging which I put $100.00 per fortnight on. This is great as it allows us to go out and treat ourselves without feeling guilty how much we spend!

 

SAY GOODBYE TO ALCOHOL

I must say we aren’t big drinkers but it all adds up, we have cut our alcohol right back. I now buy cleanskin wine it’s so much cheaper ($2.50 per bottle) and it tastes as good and sometimes even better than that $20.00 bottle. Drew only has a beer or cider every now and again. Remember everything is good in moderation! There’s always time to drink when you’re laying on the beach in Thailand.

 

STOP EATING OUT

Last but not least, stop eating out. This is my favourite one that has really been a cash saver. I’m not saying stop going out for a nice meal. I’m saying stop the junk food, no MacDonald’s, KFC anything that is sold to you as convince. Trust me it’s not convenient on your waistline or your wallet. We vowed to stop eating fast food over two years ago, and I would say we have saved thousands. ($25 roughly for both of us x 52 weeks per year =$1300 and that’s only one year!)

 

These are our ways we help our wallet. We hope they can help you save your dollars to fulfill your dreams too! If you have any questions on the topic please feel free to contact us we are always happy to answer your queries.

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