HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY FOR MY CAREER BREAK?
One question we get asked a lot is ‘how can I save money for my career break’. They’re lots of ways to finance your break, here’s a few ideas on how to save money.
Travelling costs money. Staying at home to study or re-train costs money. When it comes to money and a career break, however much you think you need, double that amount because you’re going to need it.
So the question is how do I save money to go travelling? or how do I save up the money so I can re-train and try out new ideas?
1. Open a Savings Account
The first thing I did was open a savings account. The second thing I did was destroy the ATM card when it arrived. When you’re in the bar or club; handing over your career break cash card to the barman for another round of mojitos at 5am is a great idea, but it won’t help your escape plan and you will kick yourself in the morning….or afternoon…or whenever you wake up.
2. What are you blowing all your hard earned cash on?
When I first started saving, I realised I needed to work out what I was spending my money on. If you know what you’re spending you’ll work out how to save it.
Ask most people where their money goes and they’re say food, evenings out, car, utility bills etc, but we need to break this down even further.
Are you blowing £200 every Friday evening? Are you spending £7 at work on food each day (that includes all the muffins, chocolate bars and coffees)? How much do you spend on shopping? You can’t just put a finger in the air and estimate. Look at your bank statements because what I thought I was wasting was a lot more in reality.
There’s loads of ways to save money but before we can even try to start saving money, it’s important to firstly identify exactly where money is being spent.
3. Food Shopping
If I do the shopping once a week, at the end of the week I throw about a quarter of it away because it’s gone off. When Robert goes shopping he buys what he needs, but then a magical tractor beam sucks him into the Ben and Jerry’s isle and he blows a fortune (It’s a good job he goes to the gym 4 days a week). Basically we both waste money on food.
If we wrote a list and stuck to it, we’d save a lot more money.
4. Taking your Lunch to Work
I’m rubbish at taking lunch into work, but if I did, I could save myself about £25 a week (£100 a month).
5. Those little ‘must have’ luxuries
Think twice before you buy. Do you really need those gorgeous shoes? Of course you do, BUT, if you’re going travelling you won’t be taking them with you and by the time you get back you’ll be bored with them and they’ll be out of fashion anyway, so don’t buy them.
6. Scale back your Social Life
I’m not saying you have to become a hermit. Instead why don’t you occasionally have friends round to yours instead of going out. Meet friends for lunch instead of the more expensive dinner or drink less when you are out (I know, that ones a toughie).
7. Change your Mortgage
If you thinking about renting out your home it may be worth speaking to a mortgage advisor about switching to a interest only buy-to-let mortgage. If you’re renting out your home you will need to speak to your mortgage company anyway to check you can rent it out.
8. Utility Bills
Check out price comparison sites to see if you can make savings on your gas, electric, broadband, phone etc. You may be surprised how much you can save.
9. Don’t take the Car Everywhere
Walking or taking the bike will save you money on transport so why not try it for a while. Not only will you save money but it will help you get that beach body.
10. Car Insurance
Again, check out price comparison sites to see if you can get a better deal. Also ask yourself if you really need a car.
11. Write down what you Spend
Yes I know it’s boring but once you know how much you spend and what you spend it on, write it so you can start looking at reducing it.
No-one wants debts hanging around their neck on their career break. Try and get rid of the bank loans and credit card loans before you take your break.
13. Create a Savings Plan
Once you have worked out how much you can save, start doing a savings plan. Work out what you think you can save (forecast) as well as the actual money you save at the end of the month, so you can check you’re on track.
14. Will your employer pay you during your Career Break
There are some forward thinking employers out there who believe that career breaks and sabbaticals are a good thing for the moral of the work force. Even better, some employers will pay you during your break. CA-CHING!!! Find out what your companies policy is, if anyone’s taken a career break before and will they pay you. Check out your companies HR handbook and see if they have a career break policy. If not, don’t fret, they may still negotiate your career break. Check out Career Break Legislation, Law & Policy
15. Check out Travel Blogs
Travel bloggers are generally a thrifty bunch, therefore check out how they saved money, for example Katie Aune How I Financed My Career Break
16. Making Money
Lastly, think about ways to start making money. This is really important.
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