Well, we keep mentioning why it is important to take a gap year and what lessons you'll get to learn while traveling abroad, but before all that, the primary matter of concern is - Where will the money for this adventurous gap year come from?
While you can find several ways to save money, here are a few simple tips from our side that might help you have enough savings before you decide your destination and set sail for a gap year abroad.
1. Work a little extra!
There can be no better option than to work a little extra and earn for yourself. If you are a student, it's best to look for part-time jobs in a cafe/ restaurant. You can also take up freelancing jobs on a daily payment basis. You can also be a home tutor, that way you can polish your skills and also earn a few bucks. For those who're already working, go for overtime options if available. Otherwise, look for available work options in the neighborhood which will pay you. It'll be tiresome, but rewarding - after all. this hard work is to pay for your upcoming adventure.
2. Have a savings bank account
If you have the money in hand, there's a possibility that you'll end up spending it! Hence, the best way is to have a savings account where you can keep all your money. Plus, you'll be getting an interest on it as well! Don't opt for a Debit Card or Cheque Book for that account. You can also take help from someone and make some investment that might turn up to be lucrative. Keep depositing all the money that you’ll get as gifts (for birthday and other occasions) in that account as well. Keep peeping into the account occasionally, and the balance that's rising might just motivate you.
3. Eat all your meals at home
Keeping a tab on your diet is a great way to save money. Oh, and it's an even more amazing for your health! Have your breakfast at home, take packed lunch for work/ classes and return home for dinner. Skip those expensive weekend meals with friends. You can call your friends home, and serve them delicious food made by mom, in case you wish to have a gathering. In case you are living on your own, then another way to save is cut down the consumption of meat - just go vegetarian and it'll help you save a few bucks extra!
4. Reduce your travel costs
Before you travel abroad, it's a good idea to cut down your travel costs! Walk to your college/ office every day if the distance is less. Otherwise, you can cycle down the road or opt for carpool options. Go to the market once a week and buy groceries that would last for a week - that way you can save the transportation cost. Ask for a lift from a friend, or tell dad to drop you to your classes before he heads for work. On an average, we spend at least 20$ every week on commuting, so if you start saving now, you'll end up having 80$ when the month ends.
5. Sell the things that you don't need any longer
I understand that it's difficult to let go, but if there's something that you haven't used in the last 6 months, it means that you'll no longer need it. So you can just sell it and earn a few dollars! On a weekend, try finding out old books, showpieces and other things that are worthy to be sold. Sort them and then organize a sale - you can also do it online! Tell your friends about it, make use of your social media networking. Your belongings can help you fulfill your dreams of traveling abroad.
6. Ditch the idea of shopping for some time
If you think you don't have enough clothes to wear every day for your classes/ work, then don't hesitate to borrow clothes from your siblings, cousins, and friends. They won't mind at all, in fact, they'll be happy to share with you, and you can lend them your's as well. And it's not just about clothes, you can borrow their bags and shoes as well. Try not to shop for some time. Stay away from all the shopping sites and apps, and focus on your savings, your gap year plans and how beautifully these little sacrifices can pay off.
7. Organize a fundraising dinner for the elders
Invite your family members, friends and their families for a small dinner party. Cook everything by yourself. But most importantly, prepare yourself to make a speech in front of everyone - tell them about your gap year plans, about the social service that you wish to do during that period, and other small details that you think will matter. Ask everyone to be a part of the journey by contributing whatever they can. Rest assured, everyone will be proud of your decision and you'll get to add some more to your funds.
8. Start planning early and book your tickets
If you make the booking early, you'll end up getting better deals. Hence, I would always advise you to decide your dates and book your tickets in advance. This will not only help you to save money, but you can also prepare yourself before setting out for a considerable period of time. Sometime, going alone might cost you more, and organizations like GoDiscoverAbroad are there to provide planned gap year travel and volunteer programs for affordable prices. In case you have your dates sorted, you can check out our programs and tours, and go ahead with your planning.
And last, but not the least, opt for work and travel options abroad, so that you can keep earning while exploring, and your account never runs dry!
For a 20-something-year old, it is indeed something worthy of a thought about how to get enough funds that’ll help you to sustain for a year and I believe you aren't going to pressurize your parents to fund while you are out there, exploring a foreign land!
Thus, it becomes necessary to have an adequate saving so that you can go wherever you wish to and do whatever you feel like.
A little help from the family will surely matter but you must manage your finances well, before you plan to take the break from the classroom or the cubicle and set out for experiencing life, differently.
If you have any other idea, then don’t forget to mention it in the comment section below, and help other readers know about your creative ideas.