First of all, thanks to everyone who’s had a read of our budget travel series so far. We really hope you’ve picked up a couple of tips or been inspired to make your travel dreams come true, regardless of what your bank account currently looks like.
So far we’ve focused on saving for the big trips and how to strategically splurge when you’re at your destination, but to end the travel budget series we’ll look at the most important part – the everyday life that makes the travel dream all possible. It’s also probably the hardest part to crack when the travels are probably furthest away, but in rather suitable fashion, every little helps.
In terms of meal prepping and planning, Tesco home deliveries are the go to. We’ve dabbled with Lidl and Iceland but no matter how much more we may save by going to the real budget options, convenience has to be factored to some degree.
By planning a week in advance and having it all delivered on Tuesday evenings, it usually means we’re making more health conscious decisions, not being so tempted into buying “treats” and we can easily check through our cupboards and fridge for what we already have, as we go.
With Tesco, there’s a minimum spend of £40 and you can pay monthly for the delivery itself. We have the £3.99 option which gets you unlimited deliveries from Tuesday-Thursday. Again, another incentive to make the £3.99 worth it and do at least two shops a month.
A final point on food shopping is that sticking to a budget 90% of the time usually means we’re able to get out to a restaurant a few times a month as well.
This part is a bit London centric but the principles remain the same no matter where you are… think ahead about how much you’ll be using the tubes and buses throughout the month.
If you’ll be travelling more than normal, is a weekly or monthly travel card worth the investment? If it’s less than usual because you’re on holiday or maybe working from home more, consider topping up as you go. Always know what the pay as you go fares are, for peak and off peak and try to add up which way will be cheaper before purchasing travel cards or topping up.
Also, if you have a 16-25 railcard you can get a third off all off-peak journeys, meaning an off-peak zone 1-2 journey is £1.60 and zones 2-6 is just £1.
Once you’ve figured out how much you’ll be spending per week or per month, put as much away into savings as possible. By this we mean have a separate savings account or card you can transfer it to – out of sight, out of mind. If you have serious spending problems, one hack is to use Monzo. With their app you’re able to transfer money into pots and then lock it.
For example, we’ve been putting money away for New York into a locked pot that won’t open until the day we leave. It also has a target figure so we can continually track how our savings are coming along.
Let us know down in the comments what you’ve found most useful/surprising/different from our last few posts and where you’re off to next!
With just one week to go until the big trip, we’ll be bringing New York content very, very soon. Keep up to date on Twitter and Instagram and the blog will soon follow.