Happy new year! Wow, 2020 sounds like a big deal doesn’t it? It feels as though this year should hold some big, life-changing events. That isn’t the plan for this year but who knows, maybe it will?
Before we move on let’s take a moment. 2019 was a great year for me, I spent most of it training to be a teacher. I then got a job and worked a whole term as a proper-full-time-real-life teacher, woah.
I spent the longest time on my bike ever, riding through Normandy at a relaxed and enjoyable pace for 10 glorious days. It really gave me a taste of what bike-packing is, and can be. I went back to France for the Further rally and then again at Christmas. France played a big part in the fun of 2019, but next year we’re thinking of going further afield.
We have a dream, C and me. We want to save up, sell our things, then travel the world by bike.
This is something that I had never planned on doing, it was never a dream of mine as a teen, I hadn’t even thought it a possibility, until it became a possibility. We have the ideas, the kit, the drive and the wanderlust. All we need now is the money. We have big plans, so that calls for some big changes. C and I love eating out and going on nice trips, but in order for this big dream to come true we need some rules. Keep reading to see how we’re planning on saving up for this trip of a lifetime…
Don’t Eat Out
As I said previously, we LOVE to eat out. We eat out for all occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays. We don’t need an excuse to eat out, it has become an expected part of our weekends. But no more! For us to completely cut eating out would be really difficult, it’s a major part of our relationship, we bond over new food experiences and thinking about our next exciting meal can get us through the week. That is why we agreed to eating out once a month. This is still going to save us a butt load of money, and means we don’t have to go completely cold turkey.
This is another huge outgoing for us (as you are starting to see we spend a lot of our wages on food!) Living in the city with apps such as Deliveroo and Just Eat has changed the whole take-away experience. There are unlimited options, depending on what you fancy, with wait times of as little as 20 minutes sometimes. Why would you cook?! Well, because it is cheaper. Take-aways are hassle free, but they’re not cheap. The meals are often more expensive than when you eat in the restaurants and there’s a delivery charge too – it all adds up! That’s why we are saying goodbye to take-aways completely. Instead we’re stocking up on easy meals, batch cooking and freezing, as well as tons of ramen noodles for those days where we can’t be bothered to cook. I also discovered I could buy 50 frozen spring rolls from the local Chinese Supermarket for only £3. These are a huge weakness of mine and often the reason “I need a chinese!” would be said.
Veggie at Home
We already cook mainly vegetarian at home purely because we get such a great local veg box. We have some brilliant cook books, that show interesting, seasonal recipes which we are enjoying working our way through. This being said, we would also buy the odd bit of meat to cook up. This is an expensive luxury, especially as we prefer to buy local and organic. So we have decided to not buy any more meat this year. This way we save money, cut down our meat intake, but also get to enjoy the roast dinner Mum has spent hours making. For us, this makes sense and will save us a little bit of money.
We don’t need Coffee
This is something that may take a while to sink in. We really enjoy going round to our local cafe for a good cup of coffee. It is sociable, gets us up and out early on a weekend and also, it tastes blooming good. We often meet up with friends for a coffee and this is how we prefer to start our weekends. But, coffee out is not a necessity. We can make good coffee at home, and invite friends over to ours to be sociable. This is an easy change that should help us save, little by little.
C is really good for this, he will spend hours in the kitchen on a Sunday making a feast to box up and eat for the week at work. I, on the other hand, am a little more lazy. Lunches aren’t exciting for me, and as a teacher I don’t have a load of time to make my way through a delicious meal. Grab and go is my motto. That being said, it is much tastier, and cheaper for me to make my meals at home. Now, all I need is some inspiration!
No unnecessary Luxuries
This can count as anything. Getting my nails done, buying new gadgets, getting your car washed. Whatever it is, we need to stop and think, do I need this? Could I be spending this money somewhere more exciting? (For example, in whichever country we travel to) 9 times out of 10 the answer will probably be, no I don’t need this. This is a conversation I will be having with myself a lot over the next year. I like to get my nails done, especially since I stopped biting them, but I have a whole box of nail varnish that I can do myself. So I’m going to be saving the £25 I spend monthly!
C and I don’t really ‘go out’ – except for food as you can gather. So staying in activities already include cooking, watching films/series, listening to audio books, reading, listening to music, learning languages, drawing, yoga, doing crosswords etc. We are just going to do these things even more.
Cycling to Work
A big outgoing could be the morning commute. Luckily C and I both work close enough to cycle so that will stay our main method of transport. Some days, when it’s dark and wet the bus could be tempting but I will wrap up and push those peddles. It’ll be worth it in the end.
My last point is to sell things. This doesn’t mean go completely minimalist, we’re still going to want belongings when we return from our trip. We will look through our things and have another long hard think, do I actually use/need/want this? Would someone else appreciate it more? I know Depop is a great platform to sell things, as well as Ebay and Facebook marketplace, among others and selling things is super easy these days so we will make the most of it.
The biggest thing for us to work on is our relationship with food. We need to go back to how food was looked at when we were kids. Eating out was for celebrations, or it was seen as a treat. Take-aways were rare and for big events and celebrations also. We are going to be having more dinner parties and breakfast mornings at our house so come on over friends and family, we’re looking forward to seeing you.