Updated: Jul 25
"HOW DID YOU DO IT?!"
This is without a doubt the #1 question we get asked, and our answer is always the same. It's a lot more achievable than you probably think...but that doesn't mean it's easy. We sacrificed, saved and developed other revenue streams to help us achieve our dream. It might seem like the monetary equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest right now, but there are tonnes of ways you can save what you need. If you want to travel, go on a luxury holiday or even make a large purchase like a house...we've done it all and are here to share exactly how.
I believe that this ultimately comes down to priorities. If you want something enough you will make decisions that lead to that specific outcome essentially. There's an element of manifestation here, but I don't mean just wishing for something to happen. It's about having a goal at the forefront of your mind and taking action to achieve your target. The Growth Mindset discusses how true belief can be a huge factor in driving people to put in the hard work that leads to accomplishing a goal.
Before going any further I would like to stress that neither Danielle nor myself are financial advisors. These are simple steps we took to try and think differently about money. For further financial advice, you can see some books at the end which we've read that make great starting points.
START EVERY MONTH WITH A BUDGET
This is incredibly important and deservedly sits at the top spot on our list. This was all Danielle's doing on our part, as I lived a lot more frivolously in the past. It's simple and works wonders.
Take your monthly income and subtract all outgoings you cannot control i.e. rent/mortgage/bills/food. Take what's left and subtract a set amount you agree to save each month...then just live on what's left. For us, we would split all bills and food etc. and put that money in a joint account. Then we would give ourselves £100 per week each to live off and put everything else into savings. It's important to remember to transfer all money into the correct accounts the second it comes into your bank. Don't just save what's left at the end of the month. Once that money has gone into your savings leave it alone! If you dip into it once for the night out or meal at a nice restaurant, then you'll find yourself doing it again and again.
Being the wiz with spreadsheets that she is, Danielle has put together this very easy-to-use and super helpful money-saving tracker. We've used it to help save for trips, and it works well. It lays everything out in front of you, is fully customisable for your plans and budgets, and it's the cost of an average lunch. Once you're able to go on your trip then there is a section for budgeting while you're away. This is great to stop you from blowing all your hard-earned money at the start!
CUT OUT NON-ESSENTIALS
This is what helps to stay within the budgets that you've already set at this point. Not buying that Starbucks on the way to work may not seem like much at first, but things add up fast. When you combine that with making your own lunches/ breakfasts you soon find that you're able to live on a lot less than you thought. We didn't lock ourselves away and do nothing though. We would still go out on a weekend or for a meal every so often, but we would factor that into our weekly limits. If you have plans for the weekend then eat at home throughout the week.
Move onto a sim-only deal when your contract expires. Cancel subscriptions you don't need or use. There is a tonne of non-essentials we can all cut out, and they add up to make a big difference.
MAKE THE MOST OF FREEBIES
Life throughout lockdown taught us that you don't have to spend money to have a good time. There are picturesque walks or hikes you can take through mountains, forests or lakes that don't cost anything. I would be confident that wherever you are there is something interesting and free to do. Short-term pain was always outweighed by the long-term gain in our eyes. We made sure to do whatever we could to save as much as possible...and now we get to do all the amazing things we always wanted to while being away.
If you're active on Social Media then I'm sure you've seen all sorts of side hustles. It's anything that can create extra income on the side. Some free side hustles we used are:
Premium Bonds: This is a risk-free way of storing your savings. We don't make life-changing money from it, but it's more than any interest you'll get from any bank. You can earn up to £ 1 million...although unlikely, it can happen.
Sell what you don't need: I was shocked at what people would buy on eBay or FaceBook marketplace. It's easy to accumulate stuff over the years, so sell anything you don't need. We've sold BBQs, old tech, clothes and make-up. If you don't use it, get rid!
Matched Betting: This system takes advantage of free bets online bookmakers use to attract new customers. It's a little admin-heavy, but as long as you're careful and click the right buttons then it's foolproof. Profit Accumulator have a piece of software which takes care of all the hard work, and they have a free trial so you can see if it's right for you.
Investments: Approach this with caution. Jumping straight in without any knowledge or a plan then you will likely lose most, if not all of your money. Danielle and I have a small portfolio which we are trying to add to as best we can. It's not something that we're making money off, it's one for the future.
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DON'T TRY TO GET RICH QUICK
I don't feel this is mentioned enough, but it's something I believe in wholeheartedly. If you aim to get rich quick then you'll likely end up in a much worse position than you before. As Robert Kiyosaki says "it's not about how much money you make, it's about how much you keep". If you don't know how to keep your money, budget, and live within your means then you'll likely lose everything you make. Once it's gone you're left with outgoings that exceed what you had before and you're unable to make house, car or credit card payments. It took years for Danielle and I to save and put enough together to go on our trip. If you want to do something similar then you have to be prepared to do the same.
If you're serious about learning more about money then some books we started with are:
We hope these tips can help you achieve any goal you have. It's a marathon rather than a sprint, but it's worth it in the end!