3 December 2014

10 top tips for saving money AND travelling the world

Sadly I'm not Angelina Jolie. I'm not married to Brad Pitt, blessed with gorgeous cheekbones, sashaying from from glamourous A-list party to A-list party or flying to the world's most exotic travel destinations as part of my every day life. But, as a regular adventuring Kiwi I've still managed to cross a fair share of red carpets, enjoy sipping the Brandgelina rosé, and - best of all - lucky enough to visit many breathtakingly exotic destinations with my own (Northern) Blonde husband.

We don't have any secret get rich quick schemes, but over the years have managed to glean a few (rather un-glamourous) ways to gather pennies (cents, rubles - whichever) together for cross-globe adventures, so when TSB contacted me about working together to spill a few of our favourite savings secrets, I couldn't really say no.

1. Budget and have a separate savings account for travel.
Know how much you can affordably save after essential bills, and pop it into a separate bank account to (hopefully) gather a little interest over the weeks between glamourous roadtrips around the countryside. I've even nicknamed my account 'travel' in order to discourage mischievous fingers from chipping away at the squirrelled away cash.

2. Simple things.
Knock that 5-a-week designer coffee habit on the head. By switching a hasty morning latte to a delicious tasting make-your-own coffee (mine is vanilla bourbon flavoured) and keeping the disposable cups as an occasional treat, you can save near on £700.00 a year (and help the environment). £700.00 a year. Then, don't get me started on cardboard-like high-street sandwiches you're grabbing in a hurry. Forget the fact that I'm jealous of your easy gluten-loaded desk triangles, and focus instead on the £1,200.00+ you're spending annually.

3. Treat yourself.
Nobody likes a Martyr, make sure you have fun. In fact I have a allocation in my budget for brunches, cocktails and delicious Flat Whites no matter what the situation. #YOLO.

I don't know who wrote the 'cat treats' portion of this, but I have my suspicions...

4. Research loyalty programmes that will be right for you.
Use the time previously spent queueing for a luke-warm coffee and dry sandwiches to investigate the possibility of frequent flyer programmes with airlines and travel deals - there is nothing wrong being savvy and using what you've got carefully. I'm pretty sure Angelina's Accountant would sagely nod in agreement on this one.

5.Work smarter.
If you have a big crazy trip coming up, why not look into picking up a few shifts at your local pub, or chatting to your boss about overtime whilst you're crossing the days off the calendar? Perhaps you could even research investing (a la the Bradgelina vineyards...)

6. Enter the occasional competitions.
This sounds a little bit random, but what have you got to lose (apart from 5 minutes) to enter the odd competition? My Grandmother always said that 'if you don't enter you're never going to win anything!' - she won a brand new car and all kinds of goodies over the years. Also setting aside hunting time for four-leaf clovers could be a great idea.

7. Start a blog and join Twitter.
You won't have any spare time to spend shopping for glittering dresses. Or shoes. Or manicures that will simply flake off. All of your time will be spent on a hobby that offers hundreds of incremental and touching rewards.

8. Know how you operate (aka setting goals).
Personally I need to have a goal to achieve anything long term (you've seen my crazy 101 in 1001 goal list right?) but if you learn to set them intelligently, and according to your own personality, anything is possible. Saving to come over to the UK under my own steam was all thanks to a little budgeting, and celebrate out the milestones I achieved each day.

9. Go for quality over quantity.
Make each and every experience count. Don't just travel to tick boxes, but make memories that will make have you reminiscing for years afterwards - and if you have a blog (see step 7 above) you will be able to share the breathtaking sights with everyone you love.

10. Explore your local area the same way you would a foreign country.
All that time you're saving your pennies, travel locally. Visit incredible State Homes, wander down cobbled lanes of mystery, sample local delicacies, discover surprising historical stories and be prepared to be amazed - all for the cost of a local fare and a touch of research.

Do you have any time-honoured tips?

TSB are a local ethical bank, and their mantra is to borrow well and be sensible with money. As such, their latest campaign is all about balancing your money for travelling and it’s other costs, whilst still paying for your rent or mortgage. They kindly sponsored this post in order to keep our travel fund topped up for future fun and blog posts coming your way.


  1. I'm definitely a big promoter of quality over quantity! x

  2. These are fantastic tips, Emma! We follow most of them, except the budgeting for cat treats, of course.

    I know this won't be for everyone, but part of the reason we have found the money to travel is because I've given up all the girly things I used to do for my appearance - I no longer have my hair colored and I only get one cheap haircut per year, I only wear makeup on very rare occasions so that it lasts the whole year, also, no manicures, pedicures, or skin treatments. I know it sounds extreme, and sometimes it feels that way, but you want to know how much it saves us per month? Over $250. It boggles my mind to think I used to spend that much before we moved here! The trips we could have been taking in the US! Silly me!

  3. This is such a great post, Emma. I love the thought of travelling, but the financial aspect always puts me off. These tips make it seem so much more manageable!x

  4. I really dread to think how much I spend on coffee...I also have the expensive habit of buying porridge from Pret every day for £2 which is the same as a whole box of Quaker oats...oh well it's one of those little pleasures in life....

    Lots of love,


    SilverSpoon London

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Wonderful tips. I love my take away coffees but this is enough to make me put them aside. (I adore that little kiwi pie chart...I hope it makes many future appearances including with cat commentary...) Bravo my dear xx

  6. Great tips. Designer water is also a huge cost, fill a bottle from the tap or buy the cheapest multi pack from the supermarket. We are saving about £25+ a week by having given up alcohol (wine), don't miss it at all.

  7. Great tips Emma, we have a few little adventures planned for 2015 & you've given me the boot up the backside to go & open a separate account to divert funds to every month. Thank you :)
    Janie x

  8. Great tips, very good article! I am using most of the tips already, but there are some new (#5 and #6) of which I did not think before. Thanks for them! :)

    Happy Travels! - Andrea
    Green And Turquoise

  9. I'm so pleased Andrea - I hope they help in some way!

  10. Fantastic Janie - weirdly have a separated fund really can help (I hope one of those trips are London-bound!) x

  11. That is an epic call - bottled water is SO expensive!

  12. Just pop them aside for a few days - I'll have to introduce you to my favourite brand...!

  13. But that's it, you have to enjoy life as well - and those wee pots are so handy!

  14. They're just my humble little offering - travelling really is such a wonderful experience and worth every single penny!

  15. It is incredible how much girly upkeep can cost - and I bet in the long run your skin is much better off!

  16. Yep - it makes so much sense when you consider it! x

  17. Some great tips! I love my "Travel" account and calling it that sure does help to keep me focused on the wonderful reward coming when I've saved enough. Also people really do win those trips so yes do enter away! Several years ago I actually won a trip for myself and 13 other people (yep 14 of us!) . It was with an educational tour company (EF Tours and they were great!) and I got to go to Rome, Florence, Paris, and London. It was such a great trip and maybe even better because it was free!

  18. Great tips Emma, I defo have the travel fund (which last week became the treat yourself to purple cashmere gloves fund).

  19. Great tips! The little things really do add up and I try and focus on not spending much of my budget on those little things. Food is one the most expensive things for us in Iceland so meal planning on budgeting for that saves us extra money we put towards travel.

  20. Fab post! I'm terrible for buying my lunch every day, I spend anywhere from £5-£10 every single day on food, my new years resolution for 2015 is to make my own lunches at the weekends to save money and be a bit healthier! Until then I'm gonna enjoy them ;) haha

    C x
    Lux Life Blog

  21. Great tips!!!! Especially the one with coffee - it is great idea to start making my own, rather then pay lots of money to someone! Great idea would be also to switch from the car to public transport or to the bike!!! In total i would say that every cent worth traveling.
    Great post


  22. That's incredible!! I bet you couldn't believe your eyes when you won - or your luck when you boarded the plane!

  23. If it's as expensive as Norway, I don't know how you guys survive (though everyone who lives there seems to be rather slim which must be a great bonus!)


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