People often ask me how I make my travel dreams possible. They either assume that my dad supports my travels or that I am independently wealthy. Well, to honestly admit it, I am not independently wealthy; and no, my dad doesn’t contribute anything to my travels.
Though you can call me a little lucky, for I’ve been travelling for almost two years now, and without having any steady source of income. But I’ve worked hard for it. Over the years, and especially while I was working, I saved every bit of my income. I later used the same money for the initial years of travelling (and blogging) until my blog started generating revenues!
Just like with any business, becoming a digital nomad needs some investment too. Whether you’re into freelance writing, blogging, selling photographs, you need to have some money saved in your bank account so that you can travel for a few months, generate some content, and then sell and make money.
So if you’re looking forward to making travelling a full-time career, save some money before you actually start. Full-time travelling demands being money smart, and it demands it before you even hit the road.
Related Read: How I afford my travel.
Here are 4 proven, self-tested and effective ways to save money before you start travelling:
1. Avoid Eating Out
Love your local restaurant? Well, that local restaurant loves your money. Avoid it. Restaurants and takeaways are too expensive nowadays. I mean I get sticker shocker every time I get the bill. “You need how much for a meal?” I lose my heart as I hear the figure in reply.
As an advantage, I know cooking, and managing quick and easy meals is no hard task for me. I sort of learned that art while studying abroad. Similarly, if you’re serious about saving money, you need to start cooking.
I’ve seen people around me spending most of their monthly paycheck in just eating out at fancy restaurants, and I’ve never understood the fascination behind it. I mean if I’ll ask any of them what benefit have they reaped out of spending 1000Rs for dinner when they could eat healthier food at home for 100 bucks, I am sure they won’t have a justification to make. Yet they do it, unknowingly, wasting their hard earned money. I can understand eating out or ordering home-delivery for meals if someone is extremely wealthy or busy, but eating out just to feel good about it is kind of addiction with no long term benefit!
So avoid eating out and save money for travel!
The same thing applies while you’re travelling. For example, whenever I am on the road, I either rely on local cuisine, or I cook for myself. If I am travelling in a budget backpacking locations, say somewhere in Thailand or Vietnman, where food is cheap and street-food is common, I eat out. If I am travelling in an expensive country, say somewhere in Australia or in Western Europe, I buy groceries from the supermarket and cook. And how do I cook? In a backpacker hostel. If you don’t know, backpacker hostels come with a kitchen (equipped with a microwave, refrigerator and other necessary things for cooking). This helps me save money as I travel.
2. Ditch The Car
Now you would say that you run your car on CNG (as most frugal, new age hipsters do in New Delhi, to make it economical). So let’s understand this using a sheet of paper and a pen…
Write down all the money you’ve spent buying it. Add it to the figure you’d hopelessly donated to insurance companies so far. Then write an approximate for all the fuel and repairing cost till date. After taking a deep breath and adding the last two figures as well, see what did you get? Probably a large sum of money. I am sure you could travel another continent with that money.
So forget the idea of owning a car.
During my entire life, I’ve never owned a car, and neither did I drove (and spent crazy money in fuel) my father’s car, because in the world of amazing Public Transport if I ever wanted to visit somewhere I booked a bus/train ticket and saved money.
3. Buy Second Hand
Okay so here’s a simple equation: why pay full price when you can pay half, or perhaps much less than that? You can get all kind of second-hand material used for travelling on dedicated websites like eBay as well as on Facebook groups. One of the Facebook groups is how I recently had got my hands on a second-hand Pannier for my motorbike with accurate measures.
So don’t rush to the nearest digital store, next time you find yourself hooked to the idea of buying a Kindle or an iPad – give these channels a try. The Internet is there for a reason.
4. Create A Recurring Account
Despite never being addicted much to the idea of money hoarding, I opened a simple recurring account while I still had a full-time job. I used it to deposit about one-fourth of my earnings, each month, for almost a year, and this helped in two ways. I learned how to spend less and by the time I quit my job to travel, I saved a lot of money and felt financially secured.
I personally feel that binding yourself in something like this helps you save a lot of money, which is otherwise impossible.
AND A BONUS…
Learn How To Make Money Online
Saving your for travel is indeed important. But if you can invest in yourself and learn how to make money online, there’s no stopping you from being on the road indefinitely.
For long-term, full time travelling, you need a source of income, and as I know it, the internet can give you heaps of it.
Is it writing or photography or digital marketing? Find out where your interest lies, identify your skills and put them to use. Reinvent your working style and become location independent.
Corporates all over the world are looking for internet experts nowadays who can work from home. See where you fit. And if you can manage to build a successful small business on your own, just like I did from my personal blog, it is even better!
Have you been saving money for travelling too? Would you like to add any tips? Spill, in comments below!
Further Reading: Different Ways of Making Money From Blogging