Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Like most, we didn’t have the money available when we decided to travel the world but we didn’t let that stop us. Instead of thinking ‘we can’t afford it’ we changed our mentality to think ‘how can we afford this?’ – thanks Robert Kiyosaki ;) (we recommend you buy his book)
First we broke down how much we would need (see our blog on the cost of travelling) which gave us the magic number of £18k.
This gave us a target.
This figure may cause different reactions. Some may see it and think ‘is that it? I poop that much’ and for others it may cause severe heart pangs but the purpose of this is to set a target. First look at where you want to go, for how long and work out roughly how much your magic freedom number is. This number is now crucial, this is your goal, your target and what you will be building your plan around. ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’ - Antoine de Saint-Exeperary.
Right now for how we did it… below is our 7 point plan 18 month plan of how reached our figure. Hopefully there are some ideas in here that will help you ;)
Step 1: Plug the holes in your bucket
Do you do a month-to-month budget? If not, you should. A budget is like a bucket. You have to mend to the holes in it if you are going to stop money from leaking and you will be shocked at how much money is leaked each month. There is no point in trying to raise extra cash and save money if all you are spuffing it away. We managed to save over £600 a month, by reallocating our spending, cutting shit out we didn’t need and finding a better deal. Here our some examples:
Eating out. We would eat out once a week for £60 a go. We restricted this to once a month and instead had a ‘special meal’ at home for ¼ of the price - monthly saving = £180
Phone contract. Instead of getting a brand new phone when our contract ran out. We kept our phone (which works perfectly well) and reduced our contact to £15 a month each - monthly saving = £70
Unused gym membership – self-explanatory really :o - monthly saving = £50
Sky contract – went from all bells and whistles to playing board games and enjoying each other’s company more – try it ;) - monthly saving = £50
Clothes – Simple really. We became more frugal and only bought what we need. We also carefully picked where we shopped, when we did ‘need’ something - monthly saving =
Supermarket – Swapped Sainsbury’s and M&s for your Aldi’s, Lidl’s and Home Bargains - monthly saving = £120
Car – we went down to one car (only includes insurance and car tax) – I know not always possible - monthly saving £40
At first, you may find it difficult. We did. We had moments where we were like ‘o no, how am I going to cope without new outfit for wedding’ or ‘I can’t be arsed to cook, let’s go out for a curry’. We weren't perfect, I admit it, we’re only human. But when you have a greater purpose, a target and a dream to aim for (especially when it’s joint), it is amazing what you can achieve. In fact, my wife will be first to admit it, she enjoyed saving money in the end 😊 It became rewarding, we started to think ‘if we didn’t buy X then we would be able to visit the Amazon’ – now if that isn’t enough to spur you on, I don’t know what is!
12 month savings = £7,800
Step 2: Sell your crap (Earnings = £2k)
Right now, after looking at what you’re saving each month, you should have the bug. The other side of the coin to saving (sorry couldn’t help myself) is earning. How can you earn more money to help saving because clearly £7k is not enough. One way is to sell your crap… let’s face if you don’t need it now, you definitely ain’t going to need it when you’re washing Elephants in Thailand plus if you sell it now, you won’t have to pay storage later. We sold everything inflatable canoes (£200), Shoes (£100), Power tools (£100), DVDs, computer games, board games, jigsaws (£100) and the list goes on.
By selling all our unused and unwanted stuff we made £2k, which will go towards creating memories that will last a life time – a great investment in my opinion.
(running total = £9,800)
Step 3: Take on a lodger or rent your house out
Have you got a spare room in your house or flat – if so take on a lodger. This can even be done if you are renting, you just need consent from your landlord. The best thing about this is the UK government’s rent a room scheme which means you can earn upto £7,500 tax free (click here for more details).
We have 2 unused bedrooms and for 6 months we made £1,000 a month and the best thing was, we didn’t have to do anything for it. All it costs is a bed, desk and a wardrobe and you’re away (all can be bought on Gumtree for under £100)!
Along the way we also made some great friends with people from all around the world – which is potentially free or discounted stay if you ever drop by! We picked up 2 lodgers through Air bnb. If you're thinking of doing this then Airbnb is a great place to start, as you don't have to commit to anything long term and can make £30-50 a night (depending on location) As a bonus, sign up through our link
and not only will you make money but you'll save £34 in travel credits to use for your future travels.
(running total £15,800)
Step 4: Invest
I am not going to teach you how to invest a) I'm not qualified and b) there are much better resources out there to find out how to do this. The point of this is to show you the benefit and give you a starting point. Read Tony Robbins’ ‘ Unshakeable ’ – a motivational and easy to digest plan on investing. After that register an account with Vanguard and get going! We invested £5k of our savings in here over approx. 9 months and made an extra £600 for our pot (represents a 12% return on investment). NB. This no quick win, there are obviously risks, so make it part of a long term strategy.
(running total £16,400)
Step 5: Extra job
I think this is an obvious one. You maybe put off reading this but honestly, when you have a goal and you want it enough, it will be a breeze. For motivation, I used to think of what I could so with the extra money – for example – one-night stay in a hostel in Rio is £9 a night. You do a 3 hour shift and suddenly you have a short stay in Rio 😊.
I picked up a gig doing lecturing and earned an extra £1,500
(running total £17,900)
Step 6: Clever with money – credit cards and cashback
Very similar to the first point, but once you’ve cut down your spending, you can then be more intelligent with the money you have to spend. First recommendation sign-up to cashback websites like Topcashback and Quidco. These sites give you cashback on items you buy through the site. You can get it on essentials like electricity/gas suppliers, car insurance, breakdown cover, house insurance etc. Over one year we received an additional £400 across the 2 sites. On top of this, there are several cashback cards out there. At the time of writing American Express have the best offer (5% first 3 months and 1.5% thereafter). Again, use this for your essentials, shopping, petrol etc. We gained an additional £200 through using this method. That's £600 cashback on essential items.
(Running total = £18,500)
Step 7: Little bit on the side
The final point. Setup something small on the side. The benefit of this, is you might be able to still do it whilst travelling. I won’t teach you how to do it but there is a world of opportunity out there on the internet, so be creative, work out what your skills/strengths are and see what you can offer. Here are some examples:
Dropshipping – see Shopify for example
Matched betting - Using bookmakers and betting exchange to draw profit out of bookmakers offers. This is not gambling, if followed correctly it is 100% risk free - visit TeamProfit.com for more on this.
We setup ‘abit on the side’ and it drew in an extra £1,500. The best thing is, we can do it on the road if we want and estimate we can make around £400 per month to topping up our travel pot.
And there you have it - our grand total £20,000!!!!!!
Through team work, hard work and creativity we managed to reach our goal in under 18 months – we also rented our house when we were away, to gives us abit more of an income ;)
I hope this shows how accessible travelling is and if you want it, you can achieve it. Any questions on the above please get in touch 😉
Thanks for reading. The JCs
Want to find out where we went first on our adventures? Maybe you'll start your own adventure here
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