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16 Ways We Saved $15,000 in 12 months for Travel

One thing we know for sure is if you set your mind to something that you really want, you can do it! We officially made the decision in December 2017 that we wanted to travel Australia in 2019 for 12 months or more.  With this decision made, we knew we had to get some serious cash savings happening. 

We were good savers but we also knew how to waste money too!  It’s something we reckon everyone is good at. We were being realistic, for us to take a life-changing trip  like this with no income coming in and commitments still remaining, we knew we needed to knuckle down on our savings and spending. It has taken us a full 12 months and we are pretty pumped with what we have achieved.

The below 16 tips are facts, it’s what we actually did and we know that you could easily do it too! Without further or do, here are our 16 Ways that we saved $15,000 in 12 months.  

Siphon into a Savings or Offset Account

With this option, you need to look at what works best for your situation. High Interest Savings accounts help accrue interest and this is one of the best ways to save money for travel. For us, as we have mortgages, we looked at Offset Accounts. An offset account is attached to your home loan account. It works just like an everyday transactional account however it does not accrue interest. The balance is offset against your assigned Home Loan. If you have a higher balance in your transactional account, this balance offsets your loan. This is where you will really see it work, as it will help reduce the amount of interest that you are charged which means you will pay your home loan off sooner!  We transfer cash every payday into our offset account and we have certainly seen our savings balance grow and our home loan interest reduce.


Setting Budget Goals

For us when it came to saving bulk cash, there were a few things we needed to consider. One of those for had to be, to have an idea on how much we would roughly need to travel Australia for and for our timeframe. We thought of a realistic figure and broke it down by the number of paychecks we would receive until our intended departure date.  This gave us a fair indication of what we could afford to save each payday. By breaking down our savings goals like this we were more accountable to ensure we saved that money every payday. 


Get the Piggy Bank Out

It’s pretty common these days that you can end up with a pocket or purse full of coins. We didn’t spend them, we put them straight into a piggy bank or in our case an ice cream container. You use what you can when you’re on a budget!! It really is amazing how much this can add up over time. However, I must say, Wayne would get extremely frustrated as he would go looking for coins to wash the car, but I would have already taken them and put them in our piggy bank! He wasn’t too happy with me! 

Evening up the Bank Account

This is one reason why I LOVE internet banking. One thing we have done continuously over the year is by making our bank account look even. How to do this, if you’re account balance is $153.95, I would transfer that $3.95 into our offset account. This has been an amazing way to see our bank account grow quickly. 


Car Pool to Work

This one is not normally common for us as we both travel for work and fuel is a big expense for us normally. But there have been days we have been able to save some cash by carpooling to work. When it comes to weekends, we have tried to limit the times we have been out and about, this is to save cash but to stop unnecessary spending.



Pegless Clothesline

Shop Savvy with Supermarket Specials

We always try to buy things locally when they are on special at our local supermarket. We found by being more prepared for our meals for the week, this would reduce the number of times we would go to the supermarket. This would limit the dreaded impulse buying that we were good at!  Our meal prep became so much better as Saturdays or Sundays became our main shopping days. If we were traveling on the weekend somewhere and we were near an Aldi store we would always try to call in for a quick shop. Let’s face it, that supermarket is the bomb as its cheap!


Have a Garage Sale

Much to Wayne’s disgust, we did have a Garage Sale and we utilised Buy Swap Sell sites on Facebook to make some quick and easy cash. By getting rid of unwanted things, not only was it a great way to help condense our house & storage unit it was a quick way to cash up the bank account. By decluttering we have made approx $1000 throughout the year. 


Friday Night Fun No More

This was key to our success, we knew our Friday nights at the ole local were a blowout for us. It was easy to spend at least $70 every Friday night on meals and beers. For us to forgo this treat, we substituted it by staying at home every Friday night by drinking our beers from the fridge and having the $6 McCain Pizza for the supermarket. That we refer to as Cardboard Pizza. There were still times we would treat ourselves to eating out and socialising with family and friends.

Making Money

We started up with Pure Profile Paid Online Surveys. Read about how we make money online here. We also sold firewood during winter to some of our local townsfolk. By keeping us busy, we found we wouldn’t spend money! We have also collected a substantial amount of firewood so when Winter comes in 2019, this will be another source of income coming in for us whilst we are on the road. 


Shop Around for Insurance

Don’t know about you, but we seriously fork out a hell of a lot of money in insurance. We have House and Contents, Investment Property Insurance, 3 Car Insurance Policies, Camper Trailer Insurance and Health Insurance. It pays to shop around as we were able to save $200 just on one policy! Sometimes they work out the same, but you never know unless you see what other companies are offering. 


Take a Cut Lunch

Being prepared for lunches is a key to saving money. It always pays to take a packed lunch so you’re not tempted to buy from a cafe. Wayne’s meal prep was perfect, he even stopped buying meat for his sandwiches as this was too costly!  LOL! Poor Wayno! While he goes without, I spend it! Food is my biggest weakness!


Never Win Lotto, well Give Up

You have to be pretty darn lucky to win big in Lotto! We gave up buying lotto tickets, as we hadn’t won anything yet so we decided to stop and put that money in the bank.


Power Costs

We haven’t looked at changing power companies or having our mobile phones plans reviewed but it is something we will look into before our departure.


Travel Journal

I Feel Pretty

We all know us women like to spend money on looking good! But I knew this was an area that I could save funds by cutting back on the luxuries in life! I was prepared to cut regular beauty treatments out but there was no way I was going to cut my regular hairdressing appointments.  The bleach blonde hair had to have regular upkeep and this was all in preparation for our wedding in March 2019! I did my best to put the hair appointments out to 9 to 10 weeks rather than the 7 to 8 weeks.


Loyalty Programs/Cards

Now some people love them and some hate them. With the market flooded there is a bucket load, BUT we love the Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer! WHY, because every time we fuel up at BP we get Velocity appoints and they can be redeemed for fuel or flights! Over the course of the year, we have picked up a huge number of points! We also cashed in all points on awards credit card and we picked up $350 BP Fuel Voucher.


Last Tip to Share

This is Wayne’s tips to share, it’s to marry a bank manager who has an accountant for a sister. It’s the best combo for budgeting and saving. Good on ya Wayno!

Well there you have it, there are the 16 ways that we have managed to save $15000 over the course of 12 months. Whilst we are pretty pleased with what we have achieved, it has got us closer to enjoying the taste of freedom to travel sooner rather than later. 

Do you have any savings tips you would like to share? Have you sat down and done a similar savings achievement, drop us a comment we would love to hear about it!


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