One of the biggest questions I got concerning my world trip last year was; How did you pay for it at the age of 15?. Well luckily I had a little help from wonderful parents, but the majority of it i paid for myself. I was 15 years old and in the midst of Year 10, so you could say there wasn’t to much opportunity for a large income. However with a part time job at The Fruit Factory, I juggled 30 hours a week of work along with schooling and sporting commitments. This was a pretty hectic time for me, although truly showed how much hard work pays off, I would swap lazing about after school any day with 8 hours of work, so I can stand on top of the Eiffel Tower. So here are my personal tips on how to save money for your next big adventure, whilst still at high school!
The best tip of all – Budget, Budget, Budget!! When you budget out the next month of expenses, you will have a clear idea on where you need to put the money and on things you may need to cut back on. If your budget is looking a little pricey for the month swap that movie ticket for a movie night at home. However if you look like you have a little extra to spend one month, through in one money for that dress you have been admiring – after all you have to indulge every now and then.
2. Work Hard
Following every cliche ‘You get what you deserve’, ‘Work hard, Play Hard’ quote – if you work for it and earn it, not only will you have so many more doors of opportunities open up for you but you will also appreciate the journey so much more. That feeling you get when you take off in a plane – you know you deserve it and you know you did everything you could to get there. Listen and respect your boss, try to not take off many days, offer to take shifts for others if they can’t do it, work quick and take initiative – all of these things add up to a great worker and positive outcome. Plus if you are a good worker and your bosses can see that they will be more generous towards giving your job back when you return from your travels. Last year I worked 5 hours after school 3 days a week and then another 10-15 hours on the weekend, plus school, sporting and sleep commitments (yes, sleep is a commitment) – I did not have more than two hours free each day. My bosses became like second parents and I made some incredible friends. Sure I may have had to pick up a rotten tomato or two (more like three thousand) but all that work paid off for a incredible and unique adventure.
3. Be nice
One word – Karma. If you are mean and horrible, it will bite you right back. However if you are nice and caring, it can get you a long way. First and most importantly be nice to your family. After all if you are travelling at a young age, they do give the final say on whether or not you can go. Plus when you do go, you want them to kinda miss you, not be like ‘ahh thankgod less dishes to do now’. There is more of a chance they will want to help you achieve your travel aspirations if you share the love. Not only your family though, be nice to teachers, friends, customers, or whoever you come across each day. You never know the opportunities that may open up to you, you friends Mum has a sister in Italy that would love to have you stay at hers – Hola! You just saved a lot of money on accommodation and many other aspects.
4. Piggy Bank
When I was 8 I got a little Piggy Bank, I named her Lizzie (from the Lizze McGuire movie) and I labelled it ‘Europe Money’. Sure it may have not have been my largest source of income, but it will surprise you how much it can add up to quickly. Drop any loose change in there, or money you have found in your brothers pocket when you did his washing (pfft what, I didn’t do that) and you will have enough to buy a pretty snazzy souvenir on your travels.
5. Write Down What You Buy
If you write down the item/s you buy, you will get a clear idea on how much money is being productively spent and how much should really just be kept in your account. Sure you may think you are just buying a chocolate here and there, but when you write it down you may realize how much money you are really loosing. This is the perfect was to get your budget focusing on what you need and what you want but don’t really need.
Swap the bus ticket for a bike, or just walk – either one you will be saving a large amount of money each week. Plus the bonus on top, it is great for your fitness and wellbeing. If you are going to work, see who else starts the same time as you and see if they want to walk with you – what better perfect opportunity for a gossip sesh.
7. Take lunch
The biggest waste of money in high school is the tuckshop. Don’t be fooled by their tasty icrecreams or aloverea drinks – this is burning your wallet into a million pieces. It may not seem like alot when you are buying it, but it all adds up very quickly and that money could be used for something even more tastier – like a couple of macroons from Paris. After all the whole point on this story is saving as a high school student – therefore you are living at home. Home is a beautiful place with food that you do not pay for and can be taken to school for lunch. Also if you have a job, try to take a snack for you breaks – rather than spending money at the shop. Sure, you may get a 10% discount, but 10% comes is still beaten by free.
8. Stick to it!!!!!!!
If you stick to the tips above and keep organised with food, transports and budgets and say Ciao Bella to your shopping spree in Italy.