If you are thinking of taking a gap year after graduating from matric or varsity, we suggest ways to save for it.
You have been studying for most of your life and feel the need to take a break from your hard work. But the pressure of ‘stepping into the real world’ after studying is a big reality for many. If you want to take a breather before applying for any job we unpack ways you can fund this experience:
Set your savings goal
Whether you plan to spend an entire year travelling or volunteering in a specific country, you will need money for food, accommodation and transport costs. Start listing what you want to do, where you want to go, how you will get there and link costs to each of these items. This way you will be able to determine how much you will need to save.
Open a savings or an investment account
Now that you know how much you will need to save, open a savings or an investment account, specifically for your gap year. Make sure you take the time to find an account that works best for you as savings and investment accounts have different features – consider when you will need access to your money.
Get a part-time job before travelling
Take up a part-time job, as you will need to earn money that you can put towards your savings goal. Depending on your current situation, you may be able to take up two jobs, not only will you earn more but you can reach your goal sooner. Working more hours will likely keep you from spending more.
Cut unnecessary expenses
Review your monthly spending by listing all of your expenses to identify where you can cut on things you don’t need. Things like convenience foods, daily snacks and treats. Less spending means more savings that you can put towards your gap year.
Consider volunteering or taking a gab year job
Take the time to research gap year programmes, where you still get to travel and explore different places and also getting paid or provided with food and accommodation. You can also look at jobs such as au pairing, which are available in most countries.
Get a gap year buddy
Partnering up with a close friend not only means you will have good company to share the experience with, but financially it can assist as you will have someone to share some of the costs with.
Set monthly targets
Set monthly targets, on a monthly basis aim to settle expenses such as costs related to acquiring a Visa, airfares, accommodation and travel bags. In this you will be able to settle major expenses before the trip commences.
Have you taken a gap year? Share with us your experience in the comments below
Words: Stephan Buys Head of Strategic Business Development at FNB Cash Investments