I’ve recently celebrated the beginning of my 19th and last month on the road as a part-time traveller and full-time dreamer.  For this important milestone, I’ve decided to come back to Bali, where my wanderlust kicked in exactly 5 years ago. Little did I know back then that in five years I would have been able to come this far. And become so free. Little did I know I could save money to travel for so long.

The question I get asked more frequently and about 453570820248058 times a day is:

“how the f>(* do you do it?”

I no longer get annoyed at the people who tell me “you are so lucky!”, “yes, but I can’t” or “I wish I could”. At the beginning, I used to get frustrated with people who seemed to think that I won the lottery or that my parents were funding my adventure. But after almost two years travelling and having met half a million of this I-wish-but-I-can’t kind of people, nowadays I just nod and smile.

I smile and nod.

And think that I need to get a new passport because I only have two pages left in my one.

I nod and smile.

And let them envy/dream my lifestyle because the power to change is all in your attitude, as Henry Ford once said:

And this is valid for anything, including saving money to travel the world. So if you think you’ve got what it takes…well, hello explorer! Welcome to the Wanderlust Club.

Here are my top tips to save (a lot) of money so that you can come on board and explore this beautiful planet we call home.

Essential Notes:

  • I am no millionaire
  • My parents have never funded my travels (nor my education, my clothes or whatever else since I was FOURTEEN years old).
  • Yes, I had a good job in London.

Here’s your practical manual to save money for travel and how I did it:

- Coffee & Co

I reduced the number of £3.5 coffee I would get per day and turned to the espresso machine my parents bought for me instead. I’m a caffeine addict so cutting down from 3/4 to 1 per day made a huge difference to my bank account (yeah, also my health, sleep and nervous system). You might dislike coffee, but you might love fizzy drinks or take away sandwiches or whatever you get every day on the way to/from work. JUST STOP IT.  [ saving: £420 per month ]

{ #caffeine + work } . This weekend I've started exploring the coffee scene here in #Bali - another DNs' heaven and, since I've lots of time here and I immediately rented a scooter, I'm aiming to try at least a couple of places per day in between surfing, running and yoga. [ see details at @digital_cafes, where I collect all my fav coffee shops - with wifi - around the world, to help other #digitalnomads to get stuff done ??‍???‍?]. . I'm so excited about being here, the final destination of my long, long, long trip. I've already rented an apartment and, as usual, I already feel at home. Home, like happiness, is a state of mind. And I feel at home in the world. Everywhere is my home. Home is inside me. ?

A post shared by s a b r i n a ANDREA s a c h s (@the_storyteller) on May 15, 2017 at 12:34am PDT

- Home-cooked lunch & grocery

Plan a rough weekly menu and buy only the grocery you really need. Less waste = more money for your trips. Then cook your lunches ahead at the beginning of the week to save time, money and, also, eat healthier. I even managed to lose weight by eating better, home-cooked food [ savings: £100 per month in grocery and £175 per month take away lunches ]

- Dine in

I love cooking and I am a pretty good chef too so I had long queues of friends waiting outside my home for home cooked meals and I eventually opened a restaurant. Nah, only kidding, but I can make a few Italian dishes and my friends loved sharing those with some wine that they would bring to my place. If you don’t know how to cook, there are thousands of free tutorials online, you can find many recipes in magazines, ask your grandma or pay me to teach you! Another advantage of this solution is having your friends around instead of trying to have normal conversations in a crowded restaurant or pub.

- Public transports and/or Fuel

I love cycling, getting around London – or any other big city – can really have a hit on your monthly salary and so I decided to cycle everywhere. In fact, I started that long before I decided to start travelling and saving as I wanted to find a way to stay fit without having to spend my time in a smelly gym. Later on, I realised it was also a great way to save money AND stay fit for free.  [ saving: £148.70 per month – based on a 1-3 travelcard in London ]

- Sell everything!

A few months before taking off, I decided to sell all the things that I didn’t use and almost all the things I couldn’t take on my 14kg backpack. I still have a few boxes of books and home stuff at a friend’s house in London, but most of my things are gone. I sold my old camera, my sofa, my speakers, my Mulberry and Anya Hindmarch handbags, a Valentino coat and a Chanel dress (yeah, I used to be a posh Londoner a looooong time ago…..) [ made ca £2000 all towards my trip ]

- Cancel your subscriptions

Netflix, Spotify, gym, magazines and all the other entertainments that are essential in your life. On one hand, if you remove these distractions, you will realise that the days are longer and you will have much more time for yourself. And if you need to stay fit, then dig out your sneakers and start running outside. If you want to keep yourself informed and learn, you’ll be amazed by the amount of free knowledge that is available at the reach of a fingertip [ I never had many subscriptions so probably I only saved 50£ per month on this ]

- Find new ways to make extra money

This wasn’t as planned as the others, but while I was still working full time, my Instagram account grew exponentially and soon after I was bombarded with offers of sponsorships and collaborations. Some were excellent, others very bad, but I managed to create an extra channel of income alongside my salary. I am not saying you should try to do the same with Instagram, but maybe try and find a way to sell your skills on the side of your actual job. Or maybe rent that spare room. When my ex left me (for the 143254th time), for example, I rented out our room at weekends to make ends meet and be able to pay the rent. [ initially, it was maybe +100£ per month ]

- Turn off the lights…

…the A/C or whatever you always leave on when you leave your house. You can’t believe how much money you can save in bills just spending a couple of minutes turning off all your electronic devices. [ my daddy has always been very strict on this one so my bills have always been at minimum ]

- Downgrade or cancel your phone plan

Depending on where you live you could most likely rely solely on free wifi with a double benefit. A) save lots of money B) have lots of free time to be in the real world, aka: read, meet friends, explore, exercise, go on a hike, like real life, do you remember it?
[ saving: £40 per month, I changed provider for a new one which offered me triple data for a fourth of the bill!! ]

The above are approximations for my monthly savings [ tot:  £1,133 / month = £13,596 enough for over 12 months around the world!! ]. Obviously, we are all very different and we have diverse salaries, needs and lifestyles. You might need your TV or your National Geographic every month. Or you might want to quit smoking for the sake of your health and your bank account. Or it might take you longer to save enough money but the main idea is that by paying close attention to how you spend your money you can also see where and how you can save money.

To keep track of my expenses, I use a super cool app that makes this annoying task super simple, you can download it here.

So now when people ask me how do I afford to travel so much my answer is quite simple:

It’s how little I spend rather than how much I make.

And I keep nodding and smiling. While I stare at the ocean view from my pad here in Bali.

{ let me know when you're tired of Indonesian #sunset } and I will stop. ? ? ❤️

A post shared by s a b r i n a ANDREA s a c h s (@the_storyteller) on May 15, 2017 at 10:47pm PDT

Good luck and enjoy the road!