Learning how to budget when you leave home is a valuable skill to learn. It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves because we have access to our own money, but if you don’t keep a lid on luxury expenses, you’ll have issues staying afloat. Whether you’re traveling for work, leisure, or moving into your first apartment, use the following budget tips to help you keep most of what you earn.
If you’re traveling or living in Australia, you must consider the many home insurance options available. Travel insurance, car insurance, and business insurance should also be included in your budget. While insurance is an initial cost, it can save you thousands.
For example, if you’re traveling and a flood happens in your home, most home and contents insurance will cover the damage. If you’re conducting business in another country, travel and health insurance will cover hospital costs, while car insurance can be used for rental vehicles.
One of the biggest expenses you’ll have to pay for while living away from home is rent and hotel rates. Living in an apartment by yourself is expensive, but you can slash what you pay for rent if you find a roommate. You can also save by renting from places that don’t require a deposit.
If you live in a house, you can negotiate your mortgage amortization period or refinance your loan to receive a better interest rate. Business travelers should research hotels that offer corporate rates. Some hotels will let you negotiate your rates if you stay frequently.
Avoid Eating Out
Eating out can become expensive very quickly, even if you decide to pick up the food yourself to save on delivery. Make sure you dedicate one day a week to grocery shopping and write a list to avoid impulsive purchases. Stick to cheap, nutritious foods, like potatoes and onions.
While away on business, eating out may be your only option unless you stay at a hostel or hotel that provides you with a shared kitchen. We recommend eating 2 large meals at a restaurant or eating most of your meals out of your hotel-room microwave; just don’t eat too much ramen!
Capsule wardrobes are a genius invention because they provide you with a week's worth of outfits from only 37 pieces. This includes coats, shoes, bags, and accessories. If you buy high-quality clothing staples, you won’t have to spend extra for a special occasion.
At the same time, those going away on business won’t need to pack several pieces because their wardrobe lacks consistency. The less you pack, the more you save on hotel rates, as you’ll need a small closet. If you pack correctly, you’ll only need to travel with a carry-on.
Necessities (and Extras)
While creating your home and apartment budget, always place your necessities at the top. These include utilities, toiletries, insurance, public transit, hair cuts, loans, retirement, among other things. However, it’s important to have a bit of fun, so put some aside for entertainment.
On your business trip, you’ll likely want to explore the town and eat local foods. In fact, we recommend it. You never know when you’ll return to France, China, or Egypt, so you might as well enjoy yourself. Just don’t go overboard with entertainment; stick to one or two things.
For example, if you enjoy getting a morning coffee on your way to work, place that expense in the “extra” column. If you want more money to spend on going to the museum, clubbing, or eating out, take away your cup of Joe and save for other types of entertainment instead.