Taking a break from studying can be one of the most inspirational things you ever do. The particular kind of knowledge you can get from traveling that just isn’t available on a college curriculum. One of the only downsides to traveling for a year is finding enough money to support yourself. Even if you plan to work while you’re away, there may be times where there are gaps in your employment, and you’ll need money to fall back on. If you’re planning on taking a year out, here’s what you can do to add to your savings fund.
Get a Job
It sounds simple enough, but working while you’re still in school can be a challenge. If you want to go on a gap year, you should start a savings fund at least a year in advance. There are also times when students only apply for jobs they think they’ll enjoy. Apply for anything and everything. It doesn’t matter if your crush sees you working at McDonald’s. You don’t need to ask yourself, ‘Will I enjoy it?’. The only question that’s important is, ‘Can I do it?’. You need to remember that the job is temporary and its way of getting the money you need to have the time of your life.
Do You Need It?
That’s one question you should ask yourself before every purchase. If you’re still living at home with your parents, you’ll be lucky enough to have few outgoings. That means that you could save up to 90% of your earnings. It’s difficult to do when you’re a student because you’ll always have the temptation of going out on a Saturday night with your friends, taking a trip to the cinema, or going out for a meal. However, when you think about it, the money you spend on a movie and food could last you a few days on a sunny beach in another country. Which do you want the most?
Make Your Own
Have you ever thought about how much money you spend on lunches and coffee breaks? If you just stopped buying coffee and making your own instead, you could save a significant amount of money every month. It’s not convenient to make your lunch every day, and if you’re studying and working at the same time, you probably aren’t going to have the energy. However, you may be pleasantly surprised by the amount of money you could save just by changing a few habits, which should spur you on to muster that extra energy.
Learn to Budget
If you’ve never had a job before, it can be tempting to spend money once you start earning. But, this shouldn’t be an excuse to splurge. When you’re traveling abroad for your gap year, you’ll need to use your money wisely. There may be times when you have a few bucks to your name, and you need to make it stretch. You should do the same while you’re at home. Allocate yourself an allowance for each week and try to stick to it. Put the rest of the money away in a savings account. If you’ve never had it, you won’t miss it, and by the time you’re ready to go, you’ll have a nice pot of savings to take with you.
A loan should be a last resort when you need money for a gap year. However, there are times when students decide to travel last-minute. If you haven’t had a chance to save over a significant period, a loan may be your only choice. Most students don’t have a history of good credit, so you may have to do some research on bad credit loans. Just remember that you will have to pay the loan back fairly quickly, so it’s important you try and make contact with employers at your first destination to secure yourself a job while you’re away
If you need to come up with money quickly, selling some of your belongings could be the ideal way to get it. It’s likely you’ll have some valuable belongings that could sell before you leave. After all, you won’t need them for a year, and you can always repurchase them when you return. If it takes too long to sell things privately, you could always take them to pawn shops and find out what sort of price you can get. It may not be full value, but you’ll certainly get something to take with you.
Saving isn’t easy, but if you’re determined, you’ll get there.