If you’re looking to change your life and head off on a brand new TEFL adventure, chances are you’ll be looking to save money along the way. But we think too many of these ‘how to save cash and alienate friends along the way’ articles tend to suggest ways to save that might not necessarily apply to your lifestyle:
‘Oh you know, if you normally go to Starbucks every day and buy a great big latte and muffin and a sandwich every day – just don’t do that anymore. If you stop buying that then you’ll save like a million pounds and hey presto! Now you can go off travelling!’
OK. But what if you didn’t buy Starbucks in the first place? Where will you get your millions of savings from now…?
Here are some practical ideas to REALLY save/make some serious cash (without going stir crazy inside the four walls of your bedroom because you can’t afford to socialise before leaving the country):
1. Work out how much you’ve ACTUALLY spent on ‘crap’. Your monthly wage disappears faster than water down the plughole some months, and although you’re convinced that your account has been hacked, when you sit down and REALLY look at it… it’s you. YOU spent all of that and what have you go to show for it? It won’t be the most exciting time you’ve ever had, but taking a look back over the last three months of your bank account activity will shock you in to saving.
2. Get selling! The internet is full of people who never even knew that they wanted the crap you have to get rid of, and they’ll pay money for it. Money that you can put towards your new adventure! Have a car boot sale (still very popular) or even better, throw a swishing party! *Sorry, what!? What is a swishing party?!* A swishing party – you charge admission, ask everyone to bring a bag of clothes/shoes/accessories that they were planning to give away to charity. Everything goes into the middle of the room and everyone can swap and help themselves to a bag of new clobber in return! (Just don’t you dare take more away than you came with, that is NOT the idea!)
3. Change the way you shop. Switch to cheaper brands – of everything! When you go food shopping, write a list and STICK TO IT. Do not go food shopping when you’re hungry, you’ll only end up with a trolley full of Pop Tarts. Try online shopping; that way you can check your cupboard to make sure you actually need that item you’d otherwise put in your trolley. Plus, the delivery charges can cost less than petrol/bus fare anyway. If you eat meat, try going vegetarian for a few weeks or at least a few days to count the difference to your shopping budget.
4. Feel the squeeze. Have you squeezed down all your outgoings as much as possible? Could you be on a cheaper mobile phone contract? Do you pay for anything you don’t need, such as TV channels, store cards? Have you cancelled any direct debits you have? Does anyone owe you cash?
Hopefully you found these suggestions helpful; we’ll be back soon with even more!