Last year, I wrote all about my first backpacking adventure and how I saved money to make it happen. Have you read it? Check it out here.
Here’s so more ideas to get you on your trip quicker!
Hair and Beauty
- Keep an eye out for discount vouchers or sale coupons
- Apprentices always need hair models, if you’re game, sign up!
- Likewise, beauty therapy students are always looking to do nails and other treatments
- Choose hairstyles that are simple and easy to manage, and doesn’t need too much product. If you have to pay to have it styled too often, you better look for another category to save in 😉
- Learn to straighten or curl your own hair.
- Practice on your friends if you have to. It’s a good way to bond and have a chat. I used to cut my friends hair. Don’t get excited, they were getting #3 all over.
- Do your own hair removal. Slow and steady when it comes to eyebrows. Or if you’re dedicated to saving, au naturel.
- Buy your cosmetics and other products from supermarkets, and discount pharmacies or beauty stores (such as Priceline). No one will know you’re not wearing Chanel, if you don’t tell them!
- Online stores can also have great discounts. Get recommendations from your friends and family. *Practical tip: If you’re trying any new products, please go easy and test it on your wrist first before smearing it all over your face, hair, and so forth.
- If you’re conscious of chemicals (or just owning too many possessions), look for products that are made of natural ingredients, are multi-use, or go into your kitchen cupboard (and lather yourself up with honey, oatmeal, coconut oil, salt, coffee, etc)
- If you don’t have a regular doctor, visit a bulk-billing or free clinic
- If the pharmacist asks if you want the generic brand of your prescription, say yes (99% of the time they are cheaper)
- Shop at warehouse or discount pharmacies
- Prevent poor health, eat healthily (I’m told vegetables are good for you!)
- Some fresh vegetables can be a bit pricey, eat what’s in season. Or buy frozen (they’ve not lost any nutritional value) 🙂
- Stretch, go for a walk, do body weight exercises (such as pushups, squats, situps)
- Evaluate your health insurance policy; does it still meet all your needs? Is it the best value? Have you selected all the right ‘extras’? For example, if you are a bespectacled nerd like myself, can you claim glasses? Or have you selected acupuncture and have never used it?
- Claim your glasses on your health insurance. Pick frames from the fully-claimable section. Your optometrist will point the ones you won’t need to pay a gap-payment. Don’t worry, they’re not grandpa-style.
- Saw a dish that you want to make? Don’t buy the cookbook, just Google the recipe
- Or check out Pinterest for inspiration!
- Cheap Tuesdays at the cinemas
- Are you a student? Keep an eye out for discounted days everywhere you go. Clothes, books, meals, movies, music, etc could be offered cheaper to students! Give that student ID a workout!
- Listen to the radio – scan for a station you’ve never tried out!
- Swap books with friends and family. If your workplace is anything like mine, people are always keen to give books away! There might even be a small collection that you can borrow from in your lunch room.
- Or better yet, hit the local library – they let you borrow books, dvds, audiobooks, boardgames, etc for FREE! Sometimes, they even have free internet and activites, as well as free online learning programs. Have a look at the WA Public Libraries Digital Collection here.
- Rewatch dvds you already own. Brings back the nostalgia. I watched School of Rock last night – such good memories. I can’t believe that movie was released 13 years ago!
- Are you a bit of a writer or like journalling? Check out the Journey app – really simple to use and keeps all your thoughts in one place. You can password protect it, access anywhere in the world and create your own tags.
- If you’re not sure what to write about, or why: have a look at our post here.
- Can you sing, play an instrument or some other amazing talent? Think about busking. It’s fun, a great way to meet people, and who knows you could talent-spotted, become famous and never have to save like a dirty backpacker again! Do check if you need a permit from the local council.
- Evaluate your mobile phone/internet plans. Do you get access to the internet on your mobile phone? Do you need a separate connection at home? What’s faster? How much can you download? Maybe a combo deal might give you better rates or discounts, if you combine everything into one bill from one company? *Practical tip: Don’t be afraid to approach your telco and ask for a better deal. Sometimes, they can do better than what’s advertised. You can’t get a ‘Yes’, if you don’t ask.
- Minimise your account fees, have one account (or accounts with no fees)
- Shop around for the best deals. Some banks have no foreign transaction fees or will offer you freebies for your loyalty.
- Pay all your bills before savings. It’s not a saving, if you have a debt.
- Evaluate your credit card interest rate. Can you pay the entire balance monthly? Is the credit limit suitable for your circumstances? How much is the annual fee? Weigh up the pros and cons of frequent flyer points, etc. *Practical tip: Ask your bank if they’d be willing to reduce your interest rate, I’ve got friends and family who’ve negotiated 20% interest down to 14%. That’s a huge saving, and you’ll be able to pay off your loan quicker without additional fees
- Do your research on cards that are easy to use overseas, and don’t charge extra. Email us if you’d like to know what we use 🙂
- If you’re particularly ‘grown up’, do a yearly/monthly/weekly budget. Do it by pen and paper, spreadsheet or app. Doesn’t matter how, but I swear, a visualise makes it much easier.
- If you want to see where you’re spending unnecessarily (and freak yourself out), record every dollar (cash and card) you spend daily. Yes, every single dollar. I guarantee you’ll notice trends in your spending habits and will know exactly where to cut back. Yes, I’m looking those who never make their own coffees 😉
- Google ‘free things to do in [insert your city here]’ – there are always free activities. Try something new today!
- Visit local galleries and museums. Their permanent exhibitions are usually free or a gold-coin donation.
- Get your spiritual self realigned with the universe, and do some mindfulness meditation. The Smiling Mind app is amazing. Check it out here!
- If you’re not sure what to do, Youtube ‘guided [insert activity name here]’
- Visit a church, temple or mosque – full of history and learning
- Go for a walk around your neighbourhood
- Spend time with friends and family
- Read a newspaper
- Make origami or paper planes
- Most parks are free – Explore the local bike and hiking trails
DISCLAIMER: I advocate for saving money on luxuries (caviar, anyone?) to achieve travel (or other life) goals, but not at the compromise of personal safety. Please exercise caution, or talk to a responsible friends if you are very capable of doing silly things.