What do you want to do in 2017? Finally make that OE happen? The overseas experience is such a rite of passage: awesome adventures, get some amazing work experience, maybe meet someone special... *wink*wink*
One thing you may not realise: The OE actually starts at home. Because you’ll need money. Lots of it. There are so many costs that add up quickly. Consider this:
- Flights out of the country are likely to set you back a grand, or two, or a few -- it all depends on how grand your plans are.
- Headed to do a working holiday in London? The UK requires you to have almost $4000 NZD in savings. Headed to Canada? You’ll need $2700 NZD in savings. That also does not cover the cost of the visa or other related fees.
- Where are you going to sleep? Rent in London and other major cities will test how far your budget can go. If you’re backpacking, how much will a bed in popular tourist spots cost? How much are you willing to spend?
So unless you win Lotto or have a lucrative reality TV contract, you can’t just up sticks. You’ll need a savings plan. Here are some tips for you to pad an OE savings fund:
- Change your living situation. Move in with your partner, move into a place with another flatmate (or two), or ask if you can room with family to save a few hundy a month. Sure, you would sacrifice your privacy temporarily. But you’ll have all the freedom in the world once you’re abroad.
- Sell some stuff on TradeMe. How much could you get for all those albums/clothes/DVDs stuck in the corner of your room? Clear out your room and make some money -- it’s a win-win.
- Find a way to cut down on your bills. Find ways to reduce your electricity use, and make sure you’re not paying more than you need to for your Netflix habit. Find out how much you could be saving if you switched providers.
- Start bringing your lunch to school or work. Those daily $10+ cafe lunches suck money out of your account fast. With $50 a week, you could make a week’s worth of sandwiches, simple salads and fruit and chuck roughly half the savings into your OE fund.
- Put your daily purchases on a credit card with great rewards. You gotta eat. (And pay for petrol. And pay for utilities. And pay for a cheeky beer on Friday.) Use a rewards card to charge those purchases, then pay off the card every week. You’ll could earn Airpoints or cash back to help pay for flights or other OE costs. (Explore which cards could work for you here)
- Do not spend your birthday money. Put it in your savings account. Do not touch it. Family and friends should shout you dinner and drinks anyway.
- Pick up a side job for extra cash. Could you babysit one night a week? Bartend on the weekends? Do some gardening for a neighbour? Pick up some gigs on Fiverr? Every little bit helps (and this experience could pad your CV if you do a working holiday).
With a little bit of discipline, you should be able to make those OE dreams a reality. When you eventually share your epic Instagram pics from afar, just remember the friends and family back home who helped make it happen. Send us a postcard!
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