Every year, hoards of young people embark on a gap year to see the world, make friends and learn invaluable future life skills. From the moment I turned 18 I was packing my backpack and grabbing my passport heading off in to the world for adventures across the globe.
There was never a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t go on a gap year, and from the age of 16 I was saving all of my pocket money and pay cheques from my weekend job in order to book that flight and head off to Asia.
These days, often a gap year can seem so far out of reach, but it doesn’t need to be. It is possible and it’s super easy to save the money you need for a trip. If you want to do something badly enough you can raise the money.
Therefore I have pulled together this quick guide to working out a budget for your gap year, getting a job and earning money, raising cash through hosting events, and everything in between. Read through these top tips and you’ll have reached your target in no time.
Set your target and be realistic
The word budget is one of the most boring words in the English dictionary, but it’s so important when you are saving for your travels. You need to make Excel spreadsheets your best friend. You need to sit down and write a list of all your travel costs and how much you expect to earn and spend before your trip. It can be messy and approximate if you prefer, but it’s important to think about the finances realistically.
Get a job
Obviously, you need to have a job to earn money, but once you have a job – it’s time to take working to an entirely new level. If your job allows, ask to work more hours. Not only will you earn more, but you’ll also be less likely to spend money if you’re working all the time. If your job can’t possibly give you any more hours, get a second job, freelance or help out in the neighborhood. Keep earning that money!
Sell your unwanted stuff
This is a super simple one – I do this every time I head off on my travels – I go through my wardrobe or boxes and sell everything I’ve grown out of or no longer need. The last time I did this, I managed to sell £500 through ebay, just getting rid of old clothes! DO IT!
Host an event
If you really want to make some money for your adventures, then why not plan an event whereby you keep all the profits. This idea comes with a lot of work and may be more a risk than other options but it could also pay off. Why not team up with your local pub, arrange a friend’s band to come and play and host a quiz on the evening. All proceeds could go towards your travels!
Be careful if you borrow money
I was lucky to earn enough money to fund my travels through savings, but not everyone has this opportunity and may have to borrow money. I do not recommend borrowing money for a gap year as it’s very easy to find yourself in difficult and potentially unmanageable debt if you don’t make the repayments on time. If you do find yourself struggling with debt, whatever you do, don’t ignore it! Seek help on how you can manage your debt from someone like Creditfix. They can help you work out a payment plan to get things back on track and avoid further debt mounting up.
*This is a collaborative post.