The Student’s Guide to Getting Your Finances in Order for Travelling

No one wants to spend their youth cooped up in a classroom hearing about exotic places they may never get to travel to. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could afford to see the world for yourself? Getting your finances in order for travelling may seem a bit daunting at first, but this guide should help you fund your life-changing trip.

You Must Have a Travel Budget

Every good financial plan begins and ends with a budget. If you don’t know what your expenses are going to be and if you don’t know where your money is going, you are going to have a hard time getting your finances in order for a trip abroad. When you are interested in travelling, there are two types of budgets you will need: a personal monthly budget and a travel budget.

A travel budget helps you determine how much money you need to save to make your travelling ambitions a reality. You need to be sure to include all of the costs of your trip in your travel budget, like plane tickets, ground transportation, accommodations, food, activities, and extras. There are plenty of travel sites that can help you estimate these costs. Always assume each line item will cost more than you think. This will ensure you don’t get caught without enough money budgeted.

Start Saving

Once you have a travel budget, you can calculate approximately how much you need to set aside each month to meet your goal amount. But, the only way to save is to have a personal monthly budget. At the start of each month, you will know exactly where each dollar of income is going whether it is scholarship money, loans, or wages from a part-time job.

The money you put aside for travelling is known as your sinking fund. We recommend putting the funds in a savings account with a good interest rate. You also want to make it hard to access the money. For example, you might consider freezing your debit card in a block of ice and keeping it in your freezer, so you really have to work to use it. Also, set up automatic transfers from your main account so you will be less likely to spend your cash.

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Get Help Paying for Your Trip

There are several organisations in South Africa that help student fund their travels. One such organisation is South African Students’ Travel Service (SASTS). For 45 years, they have offered inexpensive travel opportunities for students throughout the country. They work with internationally recognised and reputable partners. Many of the trips are focused on students taking part in some sort of work programme while they are abroad. This provides an excellent chance to really get to know the local culture.

No matter how much money you have coming in, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get their finances in order to fund a travel adventure. The key is to have a plan and to find a variety of ways to cut costs. Happy travels!

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