So in order to travel to Australia for a year, I needed to ensure that I was saving money. As part of your Working Holiday Visa acceptance you need $5000AUD available to you upon entry. Exchanging this into GBP it works out to around £3,100 however you should continue saving once you hit that target to save yourself stressing over gaining employment straight away.
During this year I have been working as a supply teacher so the income isn’t guaranteed and you are not paid for any holidays meaning the summer holidays is 6 weeks (minimum) without pay.
I knew this before I started so I knew I’d just have to be smart with money. I couldn’t necessarily save the same amount each month, I would have to adapt.
First I downloaded the MoneyBox app from the App Store. I bought the premium for £2.99 (I don’t usually purchase apps but this one was worth it for me) which meant that I could input as many outgoings that I needed to save for as I needed. The free version meant you could only have 2 goals at a time.
I knew that I needed to see everything that I needed to pay out in the year as well as having the overall minimum entry to Aus target in my savings account.
My wages on supply are different each week as I am paid weekly for the work I have done the week before, e.g. one week I might do 3 days teaching and 1 day as a TA, then I would get paid the following Friday – but the next week I might work 1 day as a teacher, 1 as a TA and 1 in a nursery (all of which are different rates of pay) so my wages would be different.
I decided that to efficiently save, I needed to split my wages into 3 sections. 1) Cash – £10 per work day, for things such as petrol, food, general spending and I was not to go over my limit. 2) Current Account – I kept 2/3s of my wage (after deducting cash) in my current account for things such as paying off flights, phone contract, paying keep, spotify, travel insurance etc, things that needed to be paid for throughout the year. 3) Savings – 1/3 of my wage (after deducting cash) all building up to the overall minimum needed to enter Australia.
I had to work out how much that equated to each week to ensure I wasn’t saving too much and not being able to afford petrol.
Once I had enough in my current account for all of my outgoings I changed the percentage to 50/50 instead of 66/34. Some weeks this meant I was saving £45, some weeks £60 and on my best weeks working 5 days as a teacher I could save between £107-£114 in just 1 week.
However, I knew that just splitting my wages wouldn’t work, I needed other ways to save and change my spending habits so I started saving every £5 note. At the start of the year the government had introduced the new £5 note so I would save every one I received in change instead of spending them. This technique helped me to save £765 from January-End of April which I would have just frittered away had it just been in my purse to spend. On average now, I save around £80 a month by not spending £5 notes.
Another saving challenge I started on 1/1/17. It was the 365 money saving challenge where each day you would save an extra penny than the day before. So on 1st January you would put £0.01 in your money box, 2nd January £0.02, 3rd January £0.03 and so on every day until New Years Eve when you would put in £3.65. By the end of the year, this ensures that you have saved £667.95!
At the first opportunity each month, I put all of my £5 notes & coins (bagged into appropriate amounts) into my bank splitting it so that half stays in my current account and half goes straight to my savings. Each month, it works out to an average of an extra £60 in each my savings & current account which is invaluable!
Using the 2 money saving challenges (not including my wages) I can save at least £170 extra a month which works out at over £2,000 across the year.
Have you got any tips that you use to save money?