It must have been 2 months after moving here, we said to each other we needed to book a holiday for when the Olympic madness is over, a holiday quickly became a working Australia holiday, and a working Australia holiday quickly became going half way around the world. The idea practically came out of nowhere, except that it was on my Bucket List. We had just forked out a huge amount of money to live in London could we really afford this.
Back in December driving home to Edinburgh we sat and wrote a list of ways to save money this year, something different each month this meant that although we had just moved to London we had £2000 already saved, in just one account. After working out finances and talking with STA travel we came to the conclusion we could afford this.
So we booked the flights and by the end of June they were paid off, now all we need is the money to take with us. After being told that the Australian immigration never check visa funds, I’m less worried about the total we need it’s more of a like now.
So how can we save this money while we are living in London?
- Walk – Instead of taking a bus to the tube station walk, instead of taking the tube take the bus the whole distance if you have the time.
- Buy an Oyster Card – A bus journey will cost £1.35 instead of £2.30 and the tube has bigger savings. If you don’t tap out properly or get charged for a journey you don’t make, Ring them they will refund it.
- Sell your Car – When I moved here I still had my car, but in a city this big and with such great public transport I didn’t need it. So a few weeks ago I sold it for £800.
- Lived outside of central London, it will bring your rent down.
- Put in a offer lower than what they are asking for (Yes, you can do this on rented flats in London), we get over £100 off the asking rent a month because we took the risk.
- Search for the cheapest providers; go for the limited packages – why do I need sky tv when I can just watch it online using my parents account!? Think about what you need before you sign up for the contract.
- Switch off. The lights, the heating, the hot water, the plug sockets when you are not using them – even something on standby uses electricity
- Write a list of what you NEED and stick to it – I tend to get groceries online so I’m not even tempted to look at anything else.
- Buy cheap ‘own’ brands, it will still taste the same.
- You don’t need new clothes so don’t buy them and certainly don’t look.
- Go without magazines or chocolate or ice cream or cakes. If you really want a sweet luxury make your own cakes or ice lollies.
- Write down everything you spend, put it up on the wall – trust me it makes you spend less cos you don’t want to see it.
- I get paid weekly so I’m very lucky – But each time you get paid take out as much as you feel you can afford to live without and put it in another account and don’t touch it. This will make you really budget your wages.
- Got nothing to do for the day, find something free and in walking distance, watch a film online, get creative, plan your trip – Don’t go to the cinema, don’t go to the shopping centre, and don’t spend money on an art exhibition when there are plenty for free.
By making the rules tough, you are always pushing yourself that one step further to be able to save as much as possible. I took a second job and added an extra £50 to my wages each week, I understand everyone is in different situation. But this is how we’ve managed to do it, hopefully some of these tips will help you to save.
My next savings idea is to start ebaying my stuff, seriously I don’t throw things away! I am planning to go back to my parents’ house and see what I can find that people will pay money for. I certainly know I have clothes I can sell – I can’t take everything I own in my backpack for 8 months. If anyone has successfully made money using E-bay I would love to hear your tips!