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Tips for saving up for a gap year abroad

Saving for a gap year is one of the most frustrating but fundamental parts of the whole experience. The more you save the more experiences you can have, but it does involve a bit of missing out before you go. Here are our top tips on how to save as much as possible to have the most epic gap year!

Before we get into how to save money here are some key things to decide on:

Set a savings target
Sit down and seriously work out how much you will need to have to travel to all the countries you want to, do all the experiences and pay for essentials. This could be £3,000 or £10,000 the only limit is your imagination.

Open a designated savings account
Don’t risk having your money accessible in a current account or a savings account that is connected to your main cash flow. Open a designated account that you can only access with a paying-in book so it is harder to dip into your savings early. Try and find an account with a good interest rate so your money multiples while you save. If you are a student, then make sure that you have the best student bank account available to you.

Ok, so now that you are ready for the savings to start piling up, you need to know how to save:

  1. Get a job

This is a no brainer. If you are finishing you’re A-levels or degree get a part-time job to save up money. If you are already working try and pick up another part-time job to subsidise your savings.

  1. Swap nights out for nights in

You don’t have to sit in on a Friday night alone in the dark, but instead of blowing £50 down your local invite your friends over - BYOB.

  1. Get an old, new outfit

Instead of buying your clothes brand new go on to eBay or Depop and see what you can get, sometimes brand new. Plenty of people (who aren’t saving for a gap year) buy new clothes and never wear them before selling them online, take advantage of this and treat yourself from time to time.

  1. Make a sandwich

That Boots’ Meal Deal or Pret salad is costing you a fortune! If you consider that buying lunch averages £5 a day, that is £25 a week, or £1,300 over the course of a year that you could be saving by making your own lunch.

  1. Ditch the takeaway

Not only are they bad for your health they are hard on your wallet. Ordering a takeaway on a Saturday night is an easy way to throw away £20. Try making your own take on your favourite dishes. It will be a fraction of the price and much better for you.

  1. Quit those bad habits

Cigarettes, your morning coffee and a bottle of water - that is nearly £15 spent on things that are all unnecessary. Your body and the environment will thank you for cutting out these vices and your savings will look much better for it to.

  1. Gym no more

Get rid of that over priced gym membership as soon as possible. Get outdoors; keep fit by running or playing sport, both of which are free.

  1. Get on your bike

Start cycling, walking or using public transport to travel. Sell your car to make some quick money to add to the savings pot and then reap the rewards of not having to tax, insure or MOT your car through the year.

  1. Cancel the phone contract

Having a contract phone is an expensive monthly tie. This is £40-50 a month you could be saving for your dream adventure. Swap to a cheaper SIM-only deal at the first opportunity. This will also be good forward planning for when you are traveling and can’t use a UK contract without incurring charges.

  1. Skip the salon

Change your hairstyle to something low maintenance, so girls no highlights and boys no fancy skin fades. This will get rid of the need to pay out for frequent haircuts. Try going natural with nails and tans and swap waxing for shaving. This will all suit the gap year lifestyle and save mega money.

  1. The gift of money

Christmas, birthdays, graduation, Easter, whatever the occasion from now on you only want money as a gift. To be extra sure that you will only use this money to travel ask for it in foreign currency that you can use as spending money whilst travelling.