When you enjoy fashion, travel and doing new things, it can be difficult to afford all your ambitious projects. While some people might be happy to run up debt without a care in the world, a more sensible approach is to start managing your money well enough to fund your lifestyle without too much strain on your bank account.
Whether you have grand ambitions for a once in a lifetime trip around the world or you have more long-term plans for eating out regularly and enjoying yourself, money management is crucial for achieving your goals. The key is knowing what to prioritise and deciding whether it is worth living simply now in order to reap incredible rewards or whether you want to live in the moment and spend more consistently.
Either way, knowing how to manage your money to achieve the lifestyle you want is crucial. You must learn to save and figure out ways to earn the extra fund you need as and when it’s necessary.
How to Fund a Big Trip
Travelling the world is a big ambition but it can lead to some incredible experiences. Travel is the best way to learn about new cultures and people, to see new things and make new friends. The only problem is that if you want to throw yourself at your adventure completely, you probably won’t really want to work very much along the way.
There are a couple of funding options available to you depending on how long you are willing to wait before you go traveling.
The first option is to take out a loan to fund your travels. Guarantor loans from Buddy Loans could be a good option as they are usually a little cheaper in the long run. This is because your loan is secured by a third party so it is less risky for the loan company. Taking out a loan might sound irresponsible but actually, as long as you can make the repayments on time each month, it is a good way to go on your adventure on your own timescale.
To ensure that you can make your repayments, you might consider renting out your home and other assets while you are away. This is a good method for ensuring you get a monthly income regardless of whether you take out a loan or not! You might also consider doing some light freelance work while you are away. There are lots of jobs that only require a laptop and an internet connection that won’t take a lot of time out of your day.
The second option is to save up. This will take a lot longer to achieve but if you are willing to make a few sacrifices, you can save intensively for a shorter period of time. According to this blog, there are 104 ways to save more and earn more and just skimming through the suggestions might give you an idea of what you could do.
However, there is a simpler method: analyse your monthly expenditure and look at where you can cut back. For example, you might be spending £20 per week buying lunches when you could make your own for less than £10. This might not sound like a big saving but you will likely find lots of areas similar to this. It all adds up!
Earn a Little Extra on the Side
To speed up your saving processes and to earn a little extra to fund your current lifestyle, you might look to your assets. Airbnb has revolutionised the way we visit new places and if you are willing to let a spare room, you could make a fair bit on the side without investing too much. The other great thing about doing this is that you can make some new friends along the way.
There are all kinds of side hustles you might like to try. Given that you are looking for extra cash without spending lots of time, you should try to focus on hustles that you will enjoy doing and won’t add a lot of hours to your working week. For example, hosting a blog could be a lot of fun if you are a keen writer and only want to work for an hour or two in the evening.
Crafts are also a great side hustle and sites like Etsy are ideal for selling your wares. If you are a budding artist or enjoy making things anyway, there’s no harm in selling what you make for fun. The more easily your hustle fits into your lifestyle, the more likely you are going to feel it is worth it.
Of course, you don’t have to set up your own business to earn a little extra. Lots of people enjoy a weekend job or evening job which provides some extra income. Hospitality and retail are both industries filled with casual workers and you are very likely to be able to work just a few hours a week to boost your income. These options are also good if you are particularly sociable as talking to people is one of the main side effects!
Earning a regular income like this will also make putting a little extra into savings more simple. You could easily set up a bank account specifically to receive the money you earn and put it all directly into savings. Which brings us neatly onto…
Save Regularly and Automatically
Whether you are earning a little extra on the side or you are simply trying to save as much as you can, you must stick to your plan as much as possible. There will always be other temptations when it comes to spending money so keeping your eyes on the prize is vital for your success.
Start by deciding what your savings goal is. So, if you are planning a trip, you will need to work out how much the travel costs will be, how much you will require for accommodation and what your daily budget should be including any activity costs or spending money. Add all these costs up and then add a buffer of about 10% just to be sure and this is the amount you need to save.
From this point, you can either work out how much you will need to save each month to reach your goal in a set time period, or you will need to work out how many months it will take saving a fixed amount. This should give you an idea of how achievable your goals are and whether you need to cut some costs to get there.
Saving is always the best way to be able to afford things as you won’t have to worry about any interest rates or struggle to pay bills later on. And the best way to save is by automating payments from your bank account to your savings account each month. This way, you don’t have to remember to move the money and you will simply get used to not having it in your account to spend.
Try to save around 10% of your earnings each month if you can, but do feel free to adjust this percentage to suit your lifestyle and savings strategy. You should also try to save windfalls and any extra earnings you make from your side hustle to speed the saving process up.
Regular Budgeting for Little Luxuries
If you like to spend on little luxuries like fashion and restaurants, you should add these costs to your monthly budget. This is important because you don’t want to risk getting into unnecessary debt just because you are having fun! Balancing your needs and wants is crucial.
Just as you should plan for savings, you should also plan for spending. Knowing how much you plan spend each month on these luxuries will give you an idea of how much you need to earn to sustain your spending, or if you need to make cuts elsewhere in your budget. For example, if you like eating out and regularly spend £100 per month on restaurant bills, you will need to find that £100 from other areas of your monthly cost. Switching energy providers is usually a good place to start but there are all kinds of ways you can save.
Even if you are using your extra earnings to fund a more luxurious or fun lifestyle, you should continue to save frequently. This is for a few very sensible reasons: first, you never know when you might need a safety net to fall back on and, second, if you do come up with some more exciting (read: expensive) plans, you will already have a foundation to start building on.
Money and lifestyle are intrinsically linked but this doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your goals. Smart spending and saving is always about prioritising your needs. If you are willing to work hard and save hard, you can afford the lifestyle you want. Admittedly, it won’t be easy but a determined person like you will surely find a way!