Building the piggy bank

How the hell do you save enough cash to quit work for six months?

That’s the question I’ve been asked time and again since announcing I was packing up my life for a thorough investigation of North and South America. I’m no financial guru, but I can tell you saving the g’s involved making some significant sacrifices, which didn’t exactly make us Sydney’s hippest people.

But hey, at least we’ve stashed enough cash to get us by on this budget trip.. Here’s my top six tips for saving moolah:

1. Make your own pizzas – our weekly $25 splurge on takeaway was reduced to about $6. Bonus = it’s healthier.

2. Stop buying clothes. Altogether. Man it was hard to rock up to work in the same outfits day in day out, especially when you work in the same building as Vogue. Luckily Sydney’s weather leant itself to summer dresses with tights when the weather cooled down!

3. Set aside some “fun money”. I gave myself about $80 a week for socialising, shopping or vinos with the girls. Once bills had been paid, everything else went into savings.

4. Get a second job. I did so much freelance writing I was practically working two full time jobs. By the time our departure date arrived, I felt I’d earnt a decent break.

5. Make friends with Obikwa. This South African sauvignon blanc is 2 for $11 at Liquorland! Press play on some mellow tunes and get the girls around for a balcony session.

6. Read your shopper dockets. We got $2.95 movies all year from our local DVD store, which was heaven for two tightarses trying not to go out too much.

It’s not rocket science, but it worked for us.

Photo courtesy Flickr.