Tag Archives: job

How To Save Money For Travel: My 5 Top Tips

There are plenty of posts similar to this out there on the interwebs, just about every travel blogger has a post dedicated to the best tips and tricks of how to save money for travel.

I'm not going to lie, the way I have saved for travel is nothing new.

Here's my tips and tricks as to how I have saved enough money to travel for an entire year on a NZD $50 a day budget (you do the math!). While I've been saving I've also managed to fund a 10-day road-trip around New Zealand's South Island and a two week holiday in Costa Rica. For the record, I have a fairly entry-level marketing position i.e. I am certainly not raking in the big bucks.

Can't wait for views like this again!

Can't wait for views like this again!

1. I stopped spending money on unnecessary items. Yup, super basic. I stopped buying new clothes, new makeup, buying my lunch, basically anything that wasn't essential I have completely cut back on. I work in a department store, so this hasn't been easy! However, over the course of the year so far I'm surprised that I no longer feel any desire to buy anything new whatsoever. While I am now totally unfashionable and have no idea what the latest trends are, I'm pleased to not actually care at all which is a very freeing feeling!

2. Kind of an extension of #1, I started relating any spending to what I could buy when I was travelling with that amount of money. For example, why would I spend $4 on a coffee, when I could buy 10 pad thais on Bangkok's Khao San Road for the same amount? It really starts to put the expense of things into perspective. Why buy a $6 sandwich from the bakery when that could pay for an entire nights (or even two!) accommodation in Laos?

3. Selling all of our belongings. We (Alan, if I'm going to be honest) have been selling our belongings on TradeMe for weeks now (for non-New Zealand readers, TradeMe is NZ's equivalent of eBay). I'm honestly surprised as to how much we have been able to sell! Even if only for a few dollars, when you are thinking on terms like Tip #2, just a few more bucks can add an extra day or more to your trip! Xbox and games, Nintendo and games, random toys, old clothes, a box of timezone tickets (!?) all sold for a profit on TradeMe. We are also selling our "big" stuff (washing machine, fridge, etc), and are in the process of selling our cars. We plan to leave barely anything behind - which is a thought that I am very scared and nervous about but also extremely excited about the freedom that will come with it!

4. I made a budget and stuck to it. I planned out exactly where every dollar from my pay check would go each week (rent, supermarket, gym, petrol, power) and how much I could expect to save each week. Usually some sort of unexpected expense would arise however it definitely worked to give me a good gauge go where my money was going, and it definitely stopped any frivolous spending pretty quickly! I definitely think that the closer you are to your money makes you want to continue to keep it close and not spend it.

5. I got used to instant coffee instead of fancy, cafe coffee. In my office we have a morning tea break together each day, and I was stuck in the bad habit of buying a coffee as we sat in the cafe for our daily catch ups. Thats $4 per coffee, 5 days a week, every single week. It sure adds up! I simply brought a reusable takeaway cup from home and started making my own coffee in the staffroom instead (coffee = free). Yup, I'm the awkward person who brings their own coffee to a cafe and sits there with my muesli bar, but as long as I'm saving money I don't mind if I look silly!

One of the unexpected expenses - a last minute invite to watch the Crusaders play rugby on a beautiful evening

One of the unexpected expenses - a last minute invite to watch the Crusaders play rugby on a beautiful evening

With about six weeks to go before we head off, we still have plenty more belongings to sell,  a few more pay cheques to bank and a few more lunches to pack from home for work, we are on the homeward straight now!

What are your top tips for saving money?


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5 tips to stay healthy when you have a desk job

Like many of you, I have a desk job, which means that I sit in front of a computer for the majority of my day. It is easy to fall into bad habits with a desk job, which not only means that the pounds can pile on quickly, but your attitude can take a dive bomb and you can end the day feeling completely exhausted.

Here are my five top tips to stay healthy when you have a desk job!

1. Go for a walk on your break. It is so important to get outside during the day, for some fresh air and a shot of Vitamin D. Vitamin D, combined with a little movement will do wonders not only for your physical health but also your attitude and mind set for the afternoon. I aim for 30 minutes walking in my lunch break every day – which adds up to 2.5 hours of walking a week!

2. Hold back on the coffee. Don’t let yourself become addicted to coffee! And if you are, wean yourself off it. Coffee will dehydrate you and eventually leave you feeling even more tired. That’s not to say don’t have any coffee at all – I love (and look forward to) my coffee first thing in the morning to ease myself into the day, but limit yourself to no more than two a day. When you do have your coffee, sip away at it slowly and savour the taste. It is meant to be enjoyed, not gulped down in five seconds flat!

3. Keep a water bottle at your desk. And actually drink it. Aim for 1.5 litres during the work day.

4. Eat right. Guys, this is not new news. Pack a balanced lunch (my favourite is to bring leftovers from the night before), and bring a couple of snacks – maybe a piece of fruit and some nuts. Stay away from the vending machine!

5. Make time for yourself after work. Being happy at work is not only about being at work. What you do to maximise your happiness outside work hours will positively impact your mood overall. I often think about what I have planned after work and it puts me in a good mood all day. Plan to meet a friend for a drink on the way home, plan a date night to look forward to, or imagine how nice it is going to be when you get home and can make some cheese & crackers, plant yourself on the couch watching the Ellen Show…or whatever!

6. Smile. Even if it’s the day from hell, just smile. Having a positive attitude can make such a difference. Fake it til you make it, right?

Are you also a desk-dweller? Do you have any further tips to stay healthy when you have a desk job?


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