The little things that add up – saving to travel the world

The bulk of my travel savings came from work and a commitment to saving for travel. But there were a couple of extra little bits I did to pad this out. These little extras are unlikely to fund your whole trip but may pay for some luxuries along the way.

Sell the stuff you don’t use
My cupboards were full of clothes I didn’t wear, broken laptops and unwanted gifts. I made an effort to sell as much of this as possible and more. I even sold my GHD hair straighteners! eBay is a good place to start. It amazes me what people will pay money for – half used make up and perfume seem to go for a good amount, as does anything electronic (even broken stuff). For books Amazon is my favourite place to sell and old uni books can usually bring in a pretty penny. I probably made an extra £500 ($715) toward my travel savings by just selling stuff I no longer needed.

Swagbucks
This is a website that allows you to generate income by completing questionnaires, playing games and watching videos. You’re not paid a whole lot but it does start to add up if you dedicate around 30 minutes a day. I usually did this while watching television – female multitasking at its best. You can earn cash through PayPal but your Swagbucks go further with Amazon vouchers. I bought some of my travel gear with these vouchers so it paid off well. I used Swagbucks for around 6 months before I left and earned about £200 ($285) – not a huge amount but I doubt I would have been paid to watch the television otherwise!

Turn the heating down and the lights off
During the two years I saved to travel I made an active effort to reduce my energy bills. This meant keep the heating off as much as possible – more bearable than it sounds with enough blankets and a good fleecy dressing gown. I also stopped using the tumble dryer which saved electricity and prolonged the life of my clothes – double savings! And of course turning the lights off when not needed. In the end I managed to get the monthly energy bill from £80 down to £45. The £35 saving a month went straight into the travel fund and effectively paid for my travel insurance.

A bit of overtime
I was determined not to take on an extra job or work much more than full time hours. Although saving to travel was important to me I wanted to maintain a good work-life balance as much as possible. But one weekend my manager offered me some overtime to spend the day clearing out the office with a colleague and I couldn’t resist. We had a good laugh and I made an extra £150 ($215).

With these extra bits and bobs I managed to save an extra £1000 – which was two months budget in India. So definitely worth considering if you are also on a money saving mission!

In one of my next posts I will talk about how I managed to put aside a good amount each month, and what sacrifices I made to do so.

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