20 March 2017

Uganda: 5 Ways to Save for Travel

I'm your average 20 something year old. Big dreams. No stable income. And all these dreams are centered around, you guessed it....travel.

There are so many young people with similar dreams. You could be that young person who just wants to travel the world. You want to learn about new cultures and try different cuisines. Your only restriction is the weight of your wallet. Worry not. Your travel dreams are about to come true.

Here is a foolproof guide on how to save money for your next adventure.

1. Have a clear purpose for saving

Before saving, it is important to have a reason for doing it. Why do you need to put away money? Is it a travel fund, tuition or rent money? If it is for travel, write down your travel plans, and set aside the money with a specific destination in mind.

If you start saving without a clear purpose, you will lose motivation along the way. If not, you will end up spending on something less important.

2. Start with the amount you have

Over the years, I have learnt something important. We are all capable of saving. Whether employed, unemployed or transitioning. By simply changing our behaviours, we can immensely reduce our expenses.

You do not have to start with large sums of money. Start with what you have, and begin saving for that trip.

Put aside Shs10,000 per week (sounds like much, doesn't it? Wrong!). Instead of consuming pork and alcohol every weekend, save that money. As for university girls and boys, you do not have to buy a new dress and shoes every weekend from Kajja.

3. Store your money in different currency

This is a trick that I learnt during my university days. I ran a retail business as I attended college in Kenya. It generated about Shs 2.5m. When I returned to Uganda, I was afraid to spend it all. So, I kept it in Kenyan Shillings.

Months went by before I spent any of it. Since I was not always in the vicinity of a forex bureau, I could not easily spend it. So, I kept it. And the method worked, again and again.

Today, even though I'm based in Uganda, I still change my money to foreign currency, because I cannot spend it easily. But if this does not work for you, you can always open a fixed savings account.

4. Set spending limits and stick to them

This is effective because it allows you to be in direct control of your money. You need to set monthly, weekly and even daily spending limits.

On my recent trip to Rwanda, I had a strict weekly spending plan.

If I spent more than expected in a week, I made up for it by spending less than I was supposed to the following week. I always made up for the difference. However, if I spent less than expected for a specific week, I saved that.

5. Set up an emergency fund

I'm not talking about an exorbitant amount of money that you hope your children will benefit from one day.

I'm referring to a small fund that could get you out of a glitch at a moment's notice.

For example, if you got ill and needed medical attention, if you got robbed, if you lost your travel documents, etc. That is when the emergency fund is handy.

An emergency fund allows you to plan for the inevitable and stick to your spending limits, even when an unexpected situation arises.

You should keep this money somewhere in a bank or on a card. Under no circumstances should you use it up for anything less than an emergency. By the way, KFC is not an emergency!

why you need the money

Memories

Every traveller loves to share memories of the new place they visited. How else if not buying a souvenir from the same.

In case of emergency

You could be going to a destination, where cash is the medium of transaction.Money is the way out. However, avoid carrying cash in bulk and beware of the security as you could encounter pickpockets.

Uganda

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