Money Saving Tips to live a life of Adventure
If I had £1 for every time people asked me how I afford to go away so often I’d ... well I’d probably add it to this post as a funding option. The reality is I’m probably away a lot less than it seems but with a desire to see the world I’ve also become pretty great at making my money go further and because I get asked about it a lot I wanted to share how I make it work. Whilst there are other options to fund adventure - Adventure grants, charity fundraising, sponsorship - this post focuses on methods which individuals can do for themselves without having to owe anyone anything or have a large social media following to make it work.
Here are my top tips:
1. Save weekly - it might sound pretty blooming obvious to suggest saving your money but changing HOW I save my money with a structured weekly plan has actually been an incredible way for me to fund adventures. Each week I put £25 into a separate account called ‘Adventure Fund’ and use that to book my adventures. Whilst £100 a month feels a lot in one go, £25 is so much more doable and purposefully moving it out of my current account helps too. Saving £25 a week means you’ll have £1,300 to spend on adventures over a year, that’s at least one adventure every 3 months maybe more. Plus, the act of saving the money every month helps to keep focussed on making the adventures actually happen.
2. Cut back and cut out - no-one likes being super thrifty and I certainly don’t live my life like that or recommend it to others particularly but instead I have made changes which allow me to save a good sum of money every month. Cutting back on one coffee a week does add up but one huge saving I’ve made is to ditch the gym. Whether or not you need a gym will depend on exactly what you’re training for but
3. Take adventures that are free - not all adventures have to cost a lot of money. Adventure is a really subjective thing and to some a whole day hiking is an awesome adventure whereas others may consider it needs to include certain elements like a challenge or overnight somewhere. Either way the boxes can be ticked without spending a single penny.
4. Get savvy on the big ticket items - the four biggest costs for adventures are travel, accommodation, food and equipment. Here’s a few ideas on each:
a) travel - you don’t have to go far to have an adventure. It’s a common mis-conception that you need to go abroad to find adventure. If you’re based on the British Isles then Wales, Snowdon and the Peaks and Lakes have stunning scenery and are full of adventure but if there’re a little far then challenge yourself to explore no further than an hour from your home. If you do want to travel you can get great deals travelling by train, especially if you book in advance and there are two of you. A Two Together railcard costs £30 and will give you and the person you travel with 1/3 off fares. Or better than all of that grab a bunch of mates pile into a car and split the cost of the petrol.
b) accommodation - bivvying is cheap as is camping (if you have the equipment). I really love Airbnb for adventures. You find fantastic deals, take the dog and it can be a bit of a treat if you don’t really fancy camping, which not everyone does and that’s fine.
c) food - preparing food in advance will help to save money. Sometimes there is nothing better than a butty at the top of the mountain but equally nothing beats a pub lunch half way through a long hike. If you’re going on an expedition rather than a weekend trip you’ll need to give this a little more thought. For example, take porridge to make for breakfast and your own trail mix for snacks to allow you to spend where it counts (plus I love food so I am never going to advise that you dont eat out)
d) equipment - contrary to popular belief you don’t need a lot of equipment for an expedition. A weekend hiking can be done in activewear with good shoes/boots (and a waterproof if you’re in the UK). If you do need a few pieces of equipment I would recommend checking out Wiggle. I worked with them earlier this year as they launched their outdoor category. This post isn’t connected to them in any way but one reason why I wanted to work with them is because they stock my favourite brands - The North Face, Osprey, Jack Wolfskin, Merrell - with awesome discounts. Keep equipment to a mandatory list only and if you’re on an expedition with friends then not everyone needs everything. Hiking in particular can be done with hardly any equipment so don’t let not having all the gear stop you.
I’d love to know how you fund your adventures and if you give any of these tips a go.