When it comes to saving money, not everyone has a knack for it.
There will always be a momentary “need” fulfilled by a temporary pleasure. It’s when all those little moments accumulate that we realise almost all of our money has gone and we’re left to survive off water and noodles for the rest of the month.
There are easy ways to save money, it just takes a little bit of discipline.
Ways to Save Money For a Trip
Set A Goal
To start off, you need to set a goal. More than that, you need to give yourself a due date.
We know your goal is to save for a roadtrip around South Africa. As much as that should be more than enough motivation, with all the beauty that South Africa has to offer, you also need to set yourself a date by when you need to have all your money ready. And not a general date. You need to have an official date backed up by accommodation bookings that are non-refundable.
That way you have no other option other than to kick your saving skills into gear and work for all the money you need. Another good idea would be to have a physical savings jar or seperate account where you can actually watch your money grow and keep tabs on the progress you're making towards your goal.
One simple and easy way to save money on a weekly basis is to create a shopping list and, wait for it, stick to it! Avert your eyes from the unrelated shopping aisles that have nothing to do with the groceries you need for the week.
Those once off chocolates, chips, doughnuts, luxury night-creams and “goodies for the house” that seem to fall into your shopping cart everytime you hit the stores, are not going to help you on your money saving attempts. Write a list down and stick to it. It’s as simple as that.
Make Your Own Coffee
Vida e Caffè, Wild Bean Café, Seattle Coffee, Starbucks and any other coffee joint, does not need your money. There are enough coffee drinkers and spenders in the country to keep their business going. You can use that R25-R30 you were going to spend on a latte and put it into your savings pocket for your roadtrip.
If you don’t have time to make your own cup of coffee at home and really need your caffeine fix, find an Xpresso Café where you can get your cuppa for R10, or hunt around for a similar deal. Otherwise, make some coffee at the office, it’s really not that difficult.
You’re Old Enough to Pack Your Own Lunch
The same concept applies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Buy the ingredients you need for a salad or a sandwich or, better yet, make enough dinner the night before to have for lunch the next day. Place your lunch money in the roadtrip-jar.
A Friends Night-In
There’s no reason why you and your friends can’t enjoy a night in. Buy one box or bottle of whatever you want to drink for less than you would be spending at a bar or nightclub for two drinks (plus tip) and there’s no entrance fee at your place. Put some music on, clear some space for a dance floor and there you’ll end up enjoying yourself more than if you were out being bashed around by crowds of people.
If going out isn’t what you were looking forward to, there are websites to stream movies and homemade popcorn you can make for more than half the price of a movie and snacks at a theatre. You can also cook your own dinner or have a bring and share. There’s a dinner and a movie option that doesn’t break the bank.
If you stick with the friends who are coming on the roadtrip with you, they will understand.
There isn’t really much more to say here. Even if you stop on a temporary basis to reach your roadtrip goal or cut down significantly enough to save a decent amount every week, it will really speed the savings train along.
Used is How You Choose
When it comes to needing upgrades around the house and, well, a car for the roadtrip – used is the way you choose. There are plenty cheap used cars for sale that are in more than perfect condition to take you on this roadtrip and beyond in the years to come. Find something you can afford and have budgeted for and you won’t have to worry about unaffordable expenses leaving your account every month.
For washing machines, tumble dryers and any other appliance that is necessary for the moment, browse through the classifieds and find the used item you need in great working condition and a decent price.
There’s more you can do than just save money, though, you can also make a bit of money. Just as you went searching the classifieds for used goods, you can do a “seasons cleaning” and find things around your house you don’t need or use anymore that are still in a good-enough condition to be sold or repurposed.
And we say seasons cleaning instead of spring cleaning because, let’s be honest, by the time a new season comes around, you’ve accumulated more clutter and unnecessary items around the house that are better off being sold for cash to help you go on your roadtrip.
A little bit of savings goes a long a long way – possibly all over South Africa in your new used car.