Going on a gap year isn’t just great for broadening your horizons, learning new languages and becoming more independent, it’s also good for your project management skills. The learning offered by a gap year starts before you even set off, because you’ll probably have to fund it yourself, at least in part. Saving up for your travels teaches you determination, scrimping smarts and deferred gratification.
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What’s stopping you? Dive in here and start your savings journey now!
Book your flights and trains now
That’s right! The sooner you book, the cheaper it’ll be, so you’ll already be a few hundred pounds ahead. You’ll also feel more motivated to save up for your accommodation and expenses because if you fail to meet your target, you’ll have wasted all that money!
Work as much as possible
Working a lot has two advantages; you earn more and you’ll have less time to spend your wages! Grab all the overtime you can at your current job, offer your services as a dog-walker at weekends, do a bit of baby-sitting and leafleting or see if your local pub needs extra help. You could even do some online surveys if you’re stuck for other opportunities – every little helps…
Cut out your bad habits
You should start with the obvious ones, like smoking and drinking too much. These are expensive pastimes and they’re also not great for your health. You don’t have to live like a hermit; just commit to saying no at least once or twice a month when people invite you out.
Stop buying bottles of water on your way into work. Invest in a reusable bottle, especially if it’s a fancy fruit-infusing one. It’ll cost a tenner or so, but it’ll soon pay for itself (unless you’re filling it with Densuke watermelon, in which case, shtahp!). If you’re a coffee drinker, then brewing up in the morning and carrying your precious brown cargo to work in a flask or insulated mug will save you valuable coins every day.
Aim to have two or three meat-free days each week or start to bulk out stews, soups and curries with lentils instead of mince or chicken. Meat is very expensive and so you can reduce your weekly and monthly grocery bills by hunting vegetables and pulses instead.
Ditch the gym and exercise alone
This doesn’t have to be as miserable as it sounds. You don’t even have to do it alone if you can enlist a few chums into a running group. There are also lots of smartphone apps that guide you through exercise routines and even yoga classes. At the very least, drop a few of your extra classes at the gym if they’re expensive and replace them with AI!
Move back home
This is one of the more drastic, but probably one of the most effective, ways to save up for your gap year. Rents can be eye-wateringly high, even if you’re sharing a place, so it might be an idea, in the final few months before you leave, to live with your parents. You’ll have to pay some keep, obviously, as well as do your fair share of housework, but you could be squirrelling away several hundred pounds a month!