In the Black Friday and Cyber Monday aftermath, we thought this might be the best time to provide some money saving tips! If you are looking to pursue a career in TEFL, having some money saved aside is essential. Initially, you will have course fees, visa fees and flights to pay for (as well as spending money) so it is important to start thinking about how you are going to fund this. According to a recent Bankrate survey, one-fifth of Americans are currently failing to save any of their income – with 39% of survey respondents citing living expenses as the main reason for this. Considering this, we have put together 10 simple money-saving tips that will help you cut your spending and save for your TEFL adventure!
TEFL Org’s 10 Money-Saving Tips
- Plan – The thought of financing a move abroad can be daunting, however, there are little things you can change that will make a big difference! Firstly, it is important that you do your research to establish just how much you need to save. Next, set your goal – a good way of doing this is by giving yourself realistic targets – be strict, avoid telling yourself you will put away whatever money you have left at the end of the month as you are setting yourself up for a fail – be stringent!
- Utilize different accounts – Online banking is great for setting up multiple accounts. Every pay-day transfer the money you need to pay bills and your saving money into separate accounts, this way you won’t be put out by bills that come off later in the month, you will also be able to see clearly what money you have to play with each month.
- Budgeting software – It’s time to confront your spending face on! Budgeting software will do just this – popular apps like YNAB and Mint are worth checking out. These apps will allow you to track just how much money you spend on bills, groceries, eating out, shopping etc. Another great budgeting app is PocketGuard, this app shows you the money you have in your ‘pocket’ for everyday spending after considering your subscriptions and bills. A really great aspect of PocketGuard is the ‘Find Savings’ button which gives you the opportunity to potentially renegotiate your bills – this is done by working with third parties to find you the best deals.
- Make use of saving apps – There are a number of saving apps out there that can be really effective. Plum, for example, reviews your regular income, rent, bills and daily spend and uses this along with a very smart algorithm to calculate just how much money to save for you, the app then takes this money out of your account and deposits it into a saving account on the Plum app – you can easily access this at any time. Similar money saving apps are Chip and Cleo. Why not check out if your bank has a ‘Save the Change’ scheme? Bank of America for example, allows you to save money by rounding up your change, say you buy something for $4.60, your purchase will then be rounded up to the nearest dollar and your remaining change will be put directly into a savings account – a simple and effective way of saving.
- Minimizing Direct Debits – Come on, do you really need 3 different streaming subscriptions? Reviewing your monthly direct debits is extremely important if you really want to save. When it comes to energy providers and insurance, try and check out different providers to see if you can get a better deal – comparison sites can be useful here – however, remember that not all providers are on these sites for various reasons, so there may still be cheaper deals elsewhere if you are prepared to do your research.
- Bring your own! – Reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time! Daily meal deals can really add up, why not plan your lunches at the beginning of the week and take your own to work? Investing in a Keep Cup for your coffee can also save you money in the long run as many coffee chains like Pret and Starbucks now offer money off your coffee if you bring in your own cup! Also, stop wasting money on bottles of water and consider purchasing a reusable water bottle, this way you will save money and the environment!
- Become a minimalist – To prepare for your travels, you are going to have to learn to pack your life into a suitcase, so, what a better opportunity than to get rid of everything you don’t need? Gumtree, eBay, Depop and Facebook Marketplace are great sites to sell your stuff on! Once you receive payment, move that money into a separate account and watch it add up – you will be surprised by how much money you can actually save by doing this.
- Teach online – Already have your TEFL qualification? Great! Start making money now by teaching online. You can find out more about teaching online
- Walk more – According to The Rideshare Company, your average American spends a total of 18 days a year in a car – that’s 434 hours a year! Although walking may not be achievable for everyone due to long commutes to work, walking/cycling when possible can really help to minimize both your spending and your carbon footprint. Not only will the extra exercise do you good but avoiding bus/train/subway stations at peak times will also do wonders for the stress levels.
- Look into alternative digital banking providers – This is particularly important for when you move abroad, Revolut eliminates rubbish exchange rates and bank fees when you are withdrawing money abroad. All managed from the app, Revolut converts currency at an interbank rate and you can use it just like any debit card at home, however, there is an exception of a 2% charge if you withdraw over £200 per month. Similarly, Monzo offers a ‘coin jar’ feature but offers much more in the way of money management.