Tag Archives: Saving

How To Save Money For Travel In 6 Steps

How to Save Money - Currency

How did you save £10K each? A question asked often. Mainly by asking myself ‘Canada or crap, Gemma?’ and executing Two Scots Abroad’s 5 S’s of Saving. This guide will teach you how to save money, rapidly. Scroll to see us share these tips with the Royal Bank of Scotland and STV.

How To Save Money For Travel

1. Separate Your Salary

Open three bank accounts. One for income/bills, the second for untouchable savings, the third for temporary savings that can be dipped in to.

Regardless of any travel trip on the horizon, wedding invites will still happen and gifts still need to be bought.

I get paid monthly. As soon as I get paid I move £600 into my house account for rent, bills, etc and £500-£600 into a separate account.

Initially, savings were put into an ISA but once we reached the £15k yearly allowance we moved the funds over to a second account which does not charge you when taking money out of ATMs abroad.

In the beginning, you need to work out what you can live off.

Make a list, calculate how much that list costs you, you don’t need a new leather jacket, doubtful you will wear it in Costa Rica, and minus that from your income.

Craig is self-employed so his wages don’t work like that. Every time he makes £1000 he banks it. He doesn’t recommend this way of saving but it’s the nature of his job.

For my birthday, Craig bought me a ceramic pot – one of those pots you have to break to get into. And it’s pretty so I don’t really want to break it.

When I initially stopped eating sweets (my vice) I put a £2 coin in every second day.

The pot can hold £1000 worth of £2 coins. Craig has a tin that he puts his £2 coins in, his last count was £206. Nice.

It really is a question of needs and wants – when I feel the urge to purchase I say to myself ‘Canada or crap?’

Now I know there will be times you need to spend money – birthdays (like my Mum’s 50th, Granddad’s 80th, all of my friend’s 30ths), weddings (all 6 of them) and the like, but gifts don’t have mean splurging.

Friends and family understand – it’s time to get creative!

 Here’s our guide to cheap but impressive homemade presents
Thrifty Homemade Gift Ideas

2. Sell Your Stuff to Save Money

What’s the point in buying things?

You will ask that question when you are selling off everything and making 50p on a top worth a tenner.

I’ve participated in two car boot sales at the (Greenside) Omni Centre in Edinburgh.

It’s actually an enjoyable experience but you need to be prepared to sell low and accept that punters want everything for less than £1. The first time around I made £95 and the second time I went for the ‘everything for £1’ strategy and made £83.80.

Shout out to my friend Shelley and my Mum who helped me at these sales!

Car boot guide: I’ve totally got car boot sales covered now, here’s how to execute

I was determined not to sell our DVDs for 30p to Music Magpie. It felt like such a waste but I only managed to shift one of three boxes over the two car boot sales so Music Magpie was the only option left.

You can download the app and scan the DVD barcodes which is easy.

You then need to box them (they have to be covered, we made that mistake) and leave them in a designated area on the date agreed for collection. It takes one month for the company to processes the cheque so you do need a bit of time.

Our total was £41.65 for 99 DVDs, two were deemed unacceptable, they keep and ‘recycle’ these!

I’m lucky because I have a great relationship with a pre-loved clothes shop owner of Glorious, formed through my shopping habits (addiction to second hand/vintage clothes)! This relationship has progressed from shopper to seller.

Twice a year I pass my beloved Top Shop goods on to Glorious, the owner decides what will sell and I collect funds from previous sales (£150 last time).

There are now apps like Depop which give you online space to advertise clothing sales. Check out local Facebook market and groups too.

What about a clothes swap party with friends?

Failing that there are shops that buy your clothes, bedsheets, towels etc but don’t expect much from it. I put in four black bags worth and got approx. £7.

eBay. Love it? I’ve never had much success selling on eBay.

Two items never made it to the buyer but Craig has made a fair bit – £200 on worky things kicking about the garage.

Remember eBay charges you at the end of each month. There are ways to save money on the road too, like swapping your skills for a bed and meal.

We did this, read about our experience here.

Pile of dollars

3. Speak and Find Money Solutions

I’ve always been against speaking to my bank. I just assumed they wanted me to take out more bank accounts or loans but the meeting I had last year was really useful.

The adviser went through my accounts and cleared up any outstanding direct debits, not in use. She also pointed out that I had a whopping bill from Sky one month, two films and the boxing.

This made us really assess our spending, back to needs and wants list.

I am never against complaining!

  • Most recently I called to ask about closing my mobile account and I wish I had done this sooner as they moved me down a tariff! Prior to that, I made complaints as the online team kept telling me different things from the phone team, the phone team reduced my tariff and gave me a refund too
  • I complained to a bank as they kept sending me letters about loans – £50 cheque for my inconvenience
  • Cancel Sky, get Now TV. It’s a fiver a month for the entertainment package! Sky actually called us and offered Sky back for free since we had our phone line and broadband through them

Airbnb in La Paz

4. Searching Helps Save Money Too

Setting aside time to search online is worth the input but you don’t have to as I’m happy to save you time and share what we found out.

Why sell your soul to the car boot sale when you end up losing a chunk of cash when spend that hard-earned money abroad?

There are debit cards that do not charge you from their end and credit cards that you can accrue points which can result in flights and free hotel stays!

  Read more: best cards for travel

Searching for accommodation for your travels can really put in perspective how expensive a country is.

If you are travelling alone, consider hostels. If you are travelling as a couple, consider apartments as a cheaper alternative to hotels.

Naturally, the type of holiday that you are taking dictates the saving process.

If you are looking to laze for a week in the sun why not try for a last-minute deal? Avoid school holidays too, sorry fellow teachers!

Travel deals often advertise money off, kids go free, upgrades or extra days.

Off-season options can be a steal and keep an eye out for the increasingly popular Black Friday deals in November.

I’m a big advocate for buying experiences and avoiding ‘things’.

For my last birthday, Craig surprised me with a trip to Iceland.

If you are flexible with your flights you will benefit.

Use the ‘fly anywhere’ options for the cheapest routes.

Sign up for airline newsletters, join a credit card scheme which offers points for flights, avoid checking in baggage surcharges. Here’s a guide to carry on bag sizes for note.

A flight issue we’ve faced many times – cheap flights don’t always work out cheap when you arrive or leave during the night or very early morning.

This often results in an expensive airport hotel, often not even in the airport vicinity, taxi rides or car rental.

Pay a little more to arrive/depart at a reasonable time which allows you to use public transport.

 Research travel insurance: I’ve done it for you, click to read
Seljalandsfoss Iceland Waterfall Hike. Gemma and Craig kiss at sunrise.

5. Keep Planning Costs Down

Another tip for keeping flights cheap is baggage.

The budget airlines are really hammering down on the amount and style of baggage you can take on the flight.

For example, EasyJet only allows one bag – whether that be a small wheeled cabin bag, small rucksack or a purse style handbag. Regardless if you get through security with your wheeled carry-on case they will still target you are the departure gate.

I managed to get around this by taking my new Cabin X One which is a hybrid suitcase and backpack.

You just unzip the straps and cover the wheels with a discreet piece of cloth which is attached to the bag. It is really a great option for a few days of travelling or for those who pack light.

I spent months searching and making several phone calls regarding travel insurance.

I am one of those annoying customers!

We settled on True Traveller because the team answered my ongoing questions, they were reasonable for 18 months’ worth of travel that including winter sports (skiing in Canada) and they covered high altitude for our hike to Machu Picchu which many of the cheaper insurance packages did not.

We witnessed two members of our hiking group being taken away by donkeys (there is no transport until you reach Machu Picchu Pueblo) because of altitude sickness and poor health.

 Check rates for your trip: True traveller insurance search 

Click play to see our saving tips in action [with RBS and STV]

6. Sobriety – The Unthinkable Answer to How to Save Money?

Whhhhhhaaaaat? Seriously, stop drinking – it saves money and you’ll feel like a boss at gym.

Have you seen what South American girls look like in swimwear? I still drink, just not every weekend. We have too much to do to waste a day on the couch under the dark cloud of hangover guilt.

We also can’t justify a take away every weekend (ahem Craig). When you are headache-free there is more chance of going outdoors.

There is so much of your own country that you can see for free by using your legs! I did the West Highland Way last April and I am in awe of Scotland, she is such a beaut.

Here’s a biggy – quit your vice. Mines is sweets (chocolate, jelly sweets, just sugar in general, not really cakes bizarrely).

If I can go four days without eating sweets I am in control again. And it means more £2 coins for the pot (and pounds off the waistline)!

So that’s number five of The 6 S’s of Saving. Update – as of January this year I have not had any chocolate, sweets or cakes – it can be done!

Las Penitas, Nicaragua Coco Surf Cocktails

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Final Words

To recap – less Singapore ‘Slings means more kerching, use your searching abilities for more than just Tinder, seek out support, sell what doesn’t fit in a backpack, and lose it before you use it (to another bank account).

What are your saving tips?
Tell us in the comments below

How to Car Boot Sale in Edinburgh

Pile of dollars

Have lots of junk, need the space, and could do with a bit of extra cash? Cat boot sales (or garage sales in America) may be the answer. My partner in dime, Shelley and I have successfully car boot sales in Edinburgh, turning out crap into kerching. Here’s my tips for to get the best out of your early rise.

The Process Of Car Boot Sales

1. Arrive early to the car boot sale
(like 06:30am early)

In September, we met in Leith, decanted my products into Shelley’s larger car and were in the queue at the Omni Centre car park (where the indoor car boot sale takes place) at the top of Leith Walk for 06:40am.

Today we learned that they actually start letting cars in from 6am, I stayed at Shelley’s last night to cut out the decanting which meant we were in line for 06:30am, giving us the opportunity to get a decent space.

You pay your £15 to the organisers, they ask you to fill out your car details and address and to read a sign with instructions.

2. Choose a car park space

You want lights! There is a very dark end of the car park (right of where you drive in), because of the lack of lighting it feels cold, shoppers agreed.

This time we chose a space next to a pillar. The positive more space for our clothes rack. The negative – we could only access our stuff from the boot and the passenger’s side. We were told off for trying to rearrange the pasting table. Oops!

3. Go for a coffee

You now have an hour and a half to kill as no one is allowed to open their boot until 08:30am. If you need to hire tables and clothes racks, join the queue (rather you that me!) There is a well-known coffee shop at the top of Leith Walk for those who have a table etc.

4. The alarm

An alarm goes off at 08:30am. At this point (and only at this point) you can set up your pitch. I advise that you pack what you need first (table, clothes racks etc) as you will want them out first (for more tips see here). We pre-hung our clothes and tied them together with hair bobbles which was effective. DVDs were in boxes already and jewellery etc was placed on the table.

5. Beat away the poachers with a verbal stick

As you unpack people will try to rummage in your bags, peer in your boot, ask if you have mobiles phones, games, real jewellery etc. This can be daunting, just ask them to come back later.

6. Sell sell sell (for cheap cheap cheap)

People love the chat (we do too). I met a returning shopper who told me to get my own website for our travels (and here I am), he finally haggled me down to £1.50 for Gary Tank Commander box set (I was trying for £4 last time). Now I am being serious when I say, you want a £1, they want 50p. However some things do sell for more but not much. Today we sold clothes for £1 at the beginning then 50p at the end. There were a few pieces I was precious over (Levis jacket, Coast dress) so they came home. Shelley sold a coat for £10 but Uggs for £25, she wanted £30.

7. Car boot sale float

Lots of change is advisable. I took £13 in £1s, 50ps, 20ps, 10ps and 5ps and that was suffice

8. Keep your eye on the game

Know where you stuff is and watch your bag, we keep our in the boot (with the boot door open). A shopper asked me for my tie die T from Thailand, I was wearing it! She jokingly said but everything is £1. This is not the first time someone has tried to take the shirt literally off my back, it happened in Vietnam too!

9. Plastic bags

Have a few, the shoppers tend to bring their own and I reckon they will do more so now the 5p charge law is in place

10. Snacks

There is nowhere to eat unless you want to buy sweets from someone’s stall. Build your immune system up by eating your sandwiches with your money dirty hands (like me at 10:30am, it was lunchtime according to my stomach).

11. And the alarm goes again at 1pm

This is when mayhem breaks loose. Cars begin to reverse, shoppers still want to buy, the organisers begin cleaning up. We kicked back and ended up making a win. A man asked how much we wanted for what was left on our racks. Dubious at first, I swiftly protected our bags but turns out he was decent. He let us keep the desirable and he took the dregs and gave us a fiver each (equivalent of 50p at item).

12. Count your car boot sale earnings

I made £104 minus the £7.50 (£15 between us) entry and £13 float, leaving me with £83.80. Although less than last time, we did pretty much shift everything which was my aim and would make Shelley’s partner, John ecstatic (it wasn’t getting in the garage again). Shelley made £79 minus £10 float.

Attending a couple of car boot sales definitely helped Craig and I save for our long term travel trip around the Americas and Europe. It meant storing fewer belongings we wouldn’t want to go back to while making a bit of dollar.

Car Boot Sale in Edinburgh

For more information check out the Omni Greenside Car Boot Sale Facebook page. Addicted? Click here to see all car boot sales in Edinburgh.

Super Saving Tips

Saving money? I can help you. I’m a super saver, yes the stereotypical tight Scot! Browse the following articles for more tips.


What car boot tips can you share?

Car Boot Sale Tips – Save to Travel

Pile of dollars

If you are planning to make space and making money these car boot sale tips will aid you to car boot sale success! I am a super saver, a stereotypical tight Scot who likes to save every penny and travel the world. For whatever reason you are selling your stuff, this article will outline what sells, what doesn’t, and what to take.

For a rundown of my first car boot sale experience read here. For tips on how to save to travel car boot style stay here…

The Highs Of Car Boot Sales

The people and rush. The nice lady behind us said it was addictive. We could see why. A wee boy was so chuffed at getting an Xbox game, made my day. The three Norwegian men collectively buying a soft porn calendar for £2. The wee elderly woman buying central heating cleaner for £3 after bartering me down from £5 then coming back at closing time to try and get the two other tubs for £1 each. We’re convinced she doesn’t even know what it is.

The Lows of Car Boot Sales

People really want things for cheap cheap cheap. I mean you say £2 for an item and they will try and get it for £1. Biggest sale was a TV for a fiver. A man came around asking how much for DVDs and games, he told me he sold his games for £3.50, if I didn’t shift them to go and see him at the end. I went for a wander and turns out his games are all individually priced, some at £8. People are friendly but you need to be sensible.

Car Boot Sale Packing Guide

  • Pasting table packed last (or hire)
  • Take clothes rails if you can (or hire), others had clothes horses
  • Lots of hangers
  • Plastic bags (now 5p in Scotland)
  • Use boxes as displays – this worked well for DVDs
  • Sellotope came in handy
  • Marker pen (wish I had this to write out DVD offer)
  • Bumbag/bag with float
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Chat – some customers just want a wee conversation

What sold?

  • DVDs – I went for £1 a film then 6 for £5 (no one went for this)
  • Xbox games – £5 or £3 depending on what/who
  • Clothes, Shelley sold more than me
  • Electronics (Ipod radio; photo frame; TV; Ipod doc)
  • Mirrors and pictures in frames (Shelley)

What didn’t sell?

  • TV Boxsets (but I’ll hang fire on that one) <– eventually sold to Magpie.com
  • Comedy DVDs
  • Clothes over £3
  • Shoes

Car Boot Sale Tips

I would definitely recommend doing it. We plan to go again in February just before I leave (we met a seller, girl going to Oz, who sold everything last February, she was disappointed in her sales today). We picked this weekend as it was the post payday weekend and end of summer, turns out October is a hot month.

Super Saving Articles

I’m a super saver! Here are more tips on how to save for travel, weddings, rainy days.

What tips do you have to help us save?