If your money doesn’t grow on trees and you have the burning desire to travel, you definitely need to be conscious of what you’re spending your money on in order to allow for travel.
I wrote last month about 5 steps to save money to travel, and now I’d like to expand on the part about expenses, or rather, our “non-expenses”. Now, those not used to the type of lifestyle we lead might think that we are just depriving ourselves or that we don’t have any fun, but we have actively chosen to live this way because we have simply prioritised travel. As well, “fun” can be defined in a multitude of ways. What’s fun for us may not be fun for you and vice versa, and that’s okay!
I’d also like to point out that this post does not have to be limited to travel. This can apply if your priority is to save for a house or your wedding or honeymoon. Keep in mind as well that this is not an exhaustive list of what we don’t spend money on, but a few major points that we believe end up making a big difference! Let’s dive in!
1. No Car
Having a car is a huge expense. I know this because I had a car when I lived in Vancouver. If you’re financing your car, then you’re making monthly payments on top of having to pay for petrol, insurance, and maintenance.
We have absolutely no need for a car in Edinburgh, especially when we live within the city boundaries and we have no kids. The bus system is fabulous in Edinburgh (especially compared to Vancouver!) – there are tons of bus routes that go everywhere we need to go. Keep in mind that it’s also better for the environment if you don’t have a car (unless you have an electric car, I suppose)!
2. Limited Eating Out and Takeaways
While I understand the convenience of simply ordering a takeaway or going to a restaurant to eat rather than spending time cooking at home, you just end up spending way more money than is necessary.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Of course we eat out on the occasion (especially special occasions) and we order a takeaway once in a blue moon, but these are usually monthly occurrences at the most. We also almost never buy our lunches when we’re at work. What we always do when cooking dinner is we make double the amount, and the leftovers are tomorrow’s lunch.
It is by far cheaper to cook your own meals, not to mention healthier for you too! It may take more time, but it’s worth it, for your body and your wallet, especially in the long run.
3. Limited Partying and Going Out for Drinks
Again, this is something we may do once in a blue moon but definitely not on a weekly basis. I understand that for some people, this is their primary way to socialise and hang out with friends, but we prefer to meet up with friends in more “civilised” circumstances, like going for a coffee. Yes, money would still be spent, but it’s incomparable to how much would be spent on a night out.
If we want a drink on the weekend, we prefer to cosy up at home with a glass of wine (for me!) or a bottle of beer (for Arek!) and watch a movie.
4. No Impulse Shopping
As I mentioned in my initial post about this topic, we don’t need much to live after our basic needs are met. It’s so much nicer to live with less stuff (read: clutter and junk), and especially so if your living space is not huge.
Take clothing as an example. We have all of the necessary clothes for all of the seasons, so there is no need to buy an additional pair of jeans, or another jacket, or one more dress. (Plus, it’s better for the environment to not promote fast fashion!)
Of course, impulse shopping can relate to anything. The most important thing to change is your mindset about buying and the desire for more and with that, change will come.
Do any of these points ring true for you? What else do you not spend your money on? Let me know in the comments!