We moved out of our house exactly 1 year ago today. What did that teach me? Well, firstly that I had gathered WAY too much stuff. Let’s set a bit of a background. We have moved a grand total of 4 times in our 16 years as a married couple.
The first time being when Anton and I had nothing and we moved into our first rented flat after we got married. We then moved a 2nd time being 6 months after that when we moved into our first flat that we had bought, and we still had nothing. The 3rd time we moved was 3 years after that when we sold our flat and bought a house down the road (about 2kms away) and we used a moving truck to move the big appliances, bed and piano. That time we actually had boxes. Huge progress, except it wasn’t really. That was the first time we got a sense of how quickly stuff gathers to collect dust. The majority of those boxes went straight to the wendy house in the backyard of our house and wasn’t looked at again for 11 years. What a waste of space.
When we sold our house last year, things moved quite quickly. The new owners signed the papers on the 15th of January and needed to move in by the first of February. We wanted to get on with things so we agreed. Since we had been getting the house ready to sell since November 2015, we had already thrown out as much as possible to minimize the amount of items that needed to be moved around. And yet, we still had a mountain of junk on the day we moved out.
You know when you think every cupboard has been cleared out and you sit down with a bucket of soapy water to do a final wipe down, and you find a pile of mismatched plastic ware. That is exactly what happened when we moved the last time.
It made me think about how you can stop buying useless items and rather save your money so that you can travel. I hope that these budget tips aren’t too prescriptive and are rather helpful for those who would rather see the world than buy more things.
6 ways to save so you can travel
- Eliminate subscriptions – just because you are due for a cellphone upgrade, it doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself down to another 2 year subscription if you current phone is just fine. When you choose not to upgrade, you are simply paying from one month to the next and you can cancel your contract at any time.
- Leave the plastic at home – I find that I tend to spend more when I can whip out my credit card. Your credit card is handy when it comes to emergencies like a car that needs repairs or medical bills. Those fab new boots in the shop window don’t qualify as an emergency though – sorry!
- Use a wish list – I had made a wish list on all the online stores I like browsing on. When I feel the need to buy another DVD or gadget, I watch the prices on my wish list so that I can see when the item has been reduced. A wish list also means that I have to think about whether I really need to buy and I avoid buyers regret as much as possible.
- Have a saving strategy – whether it is placing all your coins into a jar at the end of the week or allocating R10 a week, increasing by R10 every week to a savings account, (e.g. Week 1 = R10, week R52 = R520), find some way of setting money aside. This saving strategy can save you over R18 000 by the way.*
- Plan ahead – I would love to just buy my plane ticket and go travel, but you will probably not be getting the best deal. Give yourself a planning timeline of about 18 months. That way, you can save enough and then watch for great deals on tickets and spend more money enjoying your holiday and not living on water and dry bread. (Especially if your travel includes having to worry about the exchange rate).
- Travel locally – not every trip needs to be one that requires a plane ticket and a passport. Explore your home town, suburb or country. Hope in your car and just drive. Not only won’t you have to worry about exchange rates but you will be helping to grow the the local economy.
In 2017, I will spend less time indoors (in malls and in front of the TV). I want to explore the world more often . Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t even have to leave your city. Ignite your wanderlust. Take a different route when you run errands. Take note of the world around you.
A photo posted by Tami, Anton and the Zs (@tazzdiscovers) on
Anyone who has tried to make some money by selling their unwanted goods at Cash Crusaders knows that you never get your money back after that impulse purchase. You may as well donate your items to charity than get offered 10% of what you paid for your item.
The simple solution, ask yourself, “Do I really NEED this?”. Yes, I know that it is anything but simple but it is a habit we need to get into. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment but just like eating your feelings, shopping away your sadness isn’t going to solve anything either.
- Saving strategy (mentioned above) for people who get paid monthly *
Since most of us get paid weekly, the whole R10 per week of the year idea is nearly impossible to implement, I worked out what that would mean on a monthly basis to make it a bit easier.
Monthly Savings Plan
52 week savings plan (broken up into months). This is the total you would need to put away in each month. Some people have suggested doing the months in reverse because putting away R2900 so close to Christmas is nearly impossible.
January = R150
February = R400
March = R650
April = R900
May = R1 150
June = R1 400
July = R1 650
August = R1 900
September = R2 150
October = R2 400
November R2 650
December = R2 900
Potential savings: R18 400