Dreaming about travelling to countries on your bucket list? As much as it is a priceless experience to travel, alas, everything has a price. While exploring the city centres and experiencing the wonders of nature can be fruitful and life-changing, saving up for a one-week trip can take up months or even years for some.
Instead of dreading saving every penny you earned, why not make saving an enjoyable experience as well? Muslim travellers, here are some creative ways to save up for your dream vacation (or maybe that highly-anticipated umrah)!
With constant dedication, a systematic way of budgeting and keeping track of your daily expenses, you’ll definitely be able to save at a quicker rate.
1. Cashback websites
Saving up doesn’t necessarily mean quitting spending. There are plenty of websites and apps out there that can really help you save a few bucks on things that you were already planning on purchasing. Some offers on these websites allow you to get back a percentage of what you spend at the shops or brands. There are also other offers like coupons and promotions, so keep a lookout!
#HZTip: Look out for point redemptions at your frequent supermarkets or malls. Accumulating points over time can add up to tens of bucks!
2. Open a dedicated savings account
Whenever I check my bank account and notice a few extra bucks on top of my intended savings, I would automatically think, “Oh, I should reward myself with a bit of shopping!” Anyone else feels the same way? To solve this situation, open a separate savings account specifically for travelling. The point of this account is that the numbers should always be going up and never down, so don’t bring your card out!
Having an account dedicated to travelling also helps keep you on a budget during your travels. You can keep an eye on your balance as your trip progresses. With this trick, it guarantees that the money you set aside for your travels is the amount you actually spend.
3. Automatic transfers monthly
After you’ve set up the dedicated travel account, set up an automatic transfer at a regular interval, most conveniently at a monthly frequency. You can decide to start off small or as big as you want, and still have enough to spend comfortably throughout the rest of the month.
It’s easy to set this up without having to manually transfer it yourself. Having a consistent rise in your travel savings without the conscious thought of saving lingering at the back of your mind is a small weight off the shoulder!
4. Sell your stuff
It takes a little bit more effort, but it sure beats throwing them away. Browse through your closet and cupboards, and set aside the things you feel like you haven’t used in a while, or won’t be using again. Put it up for sale! There are loads of channels to do this. If setting up a physical booth is not your cup of tea, sell it online on websites and apps.
If you don’t feel like doing all the heavy-lifting yourself, there are companies that take in second-hand clothing and items and pay you for it. Do a little search online for companies like this in your area, bet there are loads for you to choose from!
5. Vintage over couture
Why let your saving plan affect your need for new clothes? Taking out shopping from a busy work week or month kills the fun, and you deserve to treat yourself once in a while. But instead of entering that luxury boutique on the main street, pop by that hipster street and take a peep into the vintage and second-hand stores.
Instead of getting the latest fashion, why not get a one-of-a-kind jacket for cheaper? Experiment a new style while you’re at it. You’re doing the world a favour as well, by giving these pre-loved items a new life and promoting upcycling!
6. Change jar
Oh, the classic change jar. What a nostalgic feeling. Probably one of the oldest tricks in the book, but never underestimate the power of change! Get an empty jar, and ever so often drop your loose change in it. Over time it accumulates to a decent amount of extra savings, you’ll be surprised!
7. Bento lunches
Most of the days in the week, we’re all either at work or school. Believe it or not, most of our money is spent on lunch meals (and dinner meals for those of us who are hardworking enough to stay overtime). Instead of constantly paying a visit to your nearest food court or convenience store for takeout, change it up a bit by bringing a homemade lunch.
Not only does it save a bit of cash, but you’re also sparing yourself from the rush hour queues! A few extra minutes of relaxation time before heading back to work (or school for our knowledge-seeking readers).
8. Pick up cooking
Take this opportunity to pick up a new skill that may potentially save you a ton. Look up easy recipes online, or give your grandma a ring and ask for a family recipe. Make yourself a decent dish at home for dinner instead of eating out. Ingredients at the supermarket are cheaper than a whole meal at a restaurant. Plus, at the end of it, you’ll be a masterchef!
9. Cash over card
A pretty common routine for all of us that we may not notice is paying by card instead, and overtime realising the amount you spent that week was way over your budget. Try this out for size: take out a sum of money you’re expecting to spend that week, and go card-less (not cashless) instead. Doing this controls your spending power and helps you keep an eye on your expenses that week.
10. Weekly spending limit
While going card-less is the first step to controlling your spending, the next step is to set a limit. Only take out a specific amount once a week, and keep your expenditures to only that.
It may be hard to get a hold on things for a while, but it’ll all be worth it thinking about that big trip you’re saving up for. Who knows, you might even end up having extra cash from the week and that’s a load for the change jar (or extra spendings the following week, it’s up to you).