View of mountains in Spain from the window seat of an airplane.

Financing wanderlust

Adam and I fly back from Latvia today and I’m looking forward to sharing our trip with you next week!

We decided before we left Australia that we would prioritise travel during our stay in England, and so far I think we’ve managed to do that.  Wanderlust is a wonderful affliction and something both Adam and I possessed before we met. Since we’ve been together, I think that desire to ‘see the world’ has only strengthened. Travelling with someone who loves exploring new places, experiencing new cultures and having their eyes, mind and heart opened by that, is truly life changing.

Looking down the Langdale Valley in Cumbria, England.

Exploring England’s Lake District in November.

However all those wonderful getaways come at a cost. You can’t go on holidays regularly without being smart about your spending. Adam and I are far from being well-off, and because we want to travel, and travel often, we’re doing a whole heap of little things to help save money for our next trip.

Coffee is a non-negotiable in our house.  We love and look forward to our one good cup a day. Instead of making a daily stop at our favourite Malvern coffee shop, we’ve bought a cafetiere and make a pot on the stove every morning. It’s an easy way to save and also means we’re able to sample the huge range of locally roasted beans on offer. Sure we still buy a coffee out once in a while, but then it becomes a treat, not something expected every day.

Hand holding takeaway coffee cup.

Take-away coffee is a treat, not a daily occurrence.

The same goes with bought food. It’s lovely to have lunches out when you’re doing a day trip or at work, but most of the time Adam and I bring something from home. The last few little excursions we’ve been on (to Wales and Ludlow), we’ve treated ourselves to a cup of tea out, and saved our pennies by packing a picnic lunch that we’ll eat on the road.

Even on holidays, we try and be smart about our food purchases out.  Most times breakfast is in our accommodation making use of the provisions left for us, or by purchasing supplies at a nearby supermarket. Another way to save on food while you’re travelling is to take advantage of lunchtime deals, which are often cheaper than the dinner alternative. When you’re sightseeing and doing lots of walking, a bigger lunch is always welcome and it means you often only feel like a lighter snack (and maybe a sneaky glass of wine or beer!) come the evening.

Basket of scones, bread rolls and eggs.

A basket of goodies left for us in the Airbnb we stayed in during our trip to Gibraltar.

Personally I’ve cut back on discretionary purchases since I’ve been in England. I’m earning much less than I did in Australia so simply can’t justify those ‘on-a-whim’ buys I used to make. Instead of treating myself to magazines to flip through, I read a variety of blogs and ogle at pretty pictures on Pinterest and Instagram. I opt for ‘drugstore’ brands when replacing my make-up supplies rather than heading to a department store beauty counter. In Wagga Wagga I had a regular eight weekly appointment at my hairdresser. I partly justified the expense due to fact that I was occasionally required to be on television.  I haven’t seen a hairdresser since I moved to England, and I confess, I haven’t missed it! My natural hair colour is emerging and instead of being horrified at it, I kind of like it. My ends will need a trim over the coming weeks, but with the few at home treatments I’ve done, I’m happy to report healthy looking hair.

I’ve also become pretty disciplined when it comes to buying clothes.  Apart from a warm coat purchased in November (which I lived in over winter), and a few things for my new job (which I got a staff discount on), I’ve been content with the travelling wardrobe I arrived in England with. To me it’s proven that if you stick to good quality basics that fit well in easy to mix and match neutral colours, you don’t need a lot.

Let the saving begin for the next adventure!

7 thoughts on “Financing wanderlust

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