Travelling on a Budget – Part 1. Saving.

by cottontailsandcupcakes

After reading and browsing some fellow travel and lifestyle blogs yesterday I felt really inspired! I’ve decided to write two posts with regards to travelling on a budget; the first will be on saving money! Anyone who knows me well will know that on first glance I may appear to be a bit stingy and not much of a spender. There has been an advert on UK television recently that really sums it up (My other half is convinced it was written about me).

In the last 2 years I have been to Australia, Turkey, China and Jordan, as well as more local places like Scotland, France, and Amsterdam etc.  I have also paid for our next adventure already (Toronto and Central America – August 14). On first glance I may appear stingy but that is where my all money goes. I LOVE to travel, see new places, experience new cultures, eat new foods and pretend to be a dolphin in the ocean. So in fact, I’m not stingy I’m just spending my money on what’s important to me, I’d call that thrifty.

Everyone always says to us, ‘Oh I wish I could do that but I can’t afford it’. Little do they know…

I’m a staff nurse working for NHS Wales and my partner has gone back to university as a ‘mature student’ to complete his nurse training. We don’t earn mega money and we have learned how to live on a budget and be thrifty! Here are a few points to ponder upon and maybe you can be thrifty too and better more, see the world!

Take a packed lunch – It may not be glamorous, and you may have to get up 10 minutes earlier but two months and you’ll have a European city break. Imagine, you spend £5+ a day for lunch and drinks in work/uni, by taking pasta or rice salad or a homemade baguette/roll and a bottle of squash/flask of coffee and you can spend as little as 50p a day! That saves you around £90 a month! Two months and your off to Berlin.

Cut back on the ‘wants’- You say you can’t afford a holiday…but…that’s a really nice manicure and cut and colour on your hair. Oh. It’s not your hair…It’s extensions. Oh, nice Ugg boots too. Say £30 manicure, £50 hair treatment, £150 extensions, £80 Ugg Boots. You could have been stood under the Eifel Tower now, shame that! Go to a local training salon, it’s about a quarter of the price, you still get to have a little bit of what you want but saving for that nice trip to Paris.

Do you need to go out drinking four weeks on the trot? Say £30 – £50 (with taxis and food) a time?

Up to £200 saved there for that trip to morocco!

Supermarket Bargains – So these ‘Home Bargains’, ‘Pound Land’, etc shops are springing up left right and center at the minute. I can see the appeal. Toiletries, food and home wares that are at reduced prices. Your favourite shampoo, but in an older style bottle at a third of the price. Branded food items that only have a few months left on the shelf life. Today, Butterkist popcorn 19p a packet, ends April! Who can keep popcorn in the cupboard for over a month, not in this house. It’s gone. In the co-op one tin of fizzy pop, 79p, in the pound shop, 4 for £1.

We buy all our shopping at bang on 5.30pm when they put ‘reduction to clear’ on everything, lovely cuts of meat and fish that are up to 1/8th of original prices. I’ve got a pork joint and lamb steaks in mine. You’ve got a frozen pizza and ready meal in yours that cost the same.

Transport – You’re going to town, or the airport or London, do you really need to take the car. Probably not. The bus or train is your friend. Train into town £4 return, you can’t even park the car for £4 in town, never mind the fuel. Mega-bus to London as little as 50p and no parking. Driving, you’re looking at £60 fuel then trying to somewhere to park, and the fact you’ve just driven for 3 hours! Plus, your being eco friendly.

Home Wares – That’s a really nice table, vintage suitcase, cushion etc. Oh wait, here’s the same table in the charity shop for £40, half price! Oh and a vintage suitcase for 50p! There is an art to charity shopping but there is also a stigma for some reason. I can’t see why. You’re buying the same item you wanted, for half the price and the money goes to charity? It’s beyond me. Fair enough, I wouldn’t advise you to buy your knickers from there but a bit of furniture and a vintage dress?! The downstairs of my house I’ve spent a grand total of £99 on furniture (exclu. sofa) and I’ve got a dining table and chairs, welsh dresser, TV unit, desk and a shoe rack. It happens to all match but there is nothing wrong with being a bit quirky and giving something a lick of paint. I’ve got a table with a Map of the British Empire in 1929 on it. I love it, and that’s what matters.  If I had bought everything brand new it would have cost in excess of £500. Wait, there’s my flight to China! One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

There are just a few ways to save some pennies, and that won’t make you feel hard done by! With just those changes alone and all that money saved, you’ve got a trip to Berlin, a trip to Paris, a trip to Morocco and a flight to China!

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