The appeal of taking a gap year after graduating high school or university is growing as youngsters seek to explore both the world and themselves.
Finances will play a role in your gap year plans, regardless of how small or big you want to go. Stephan Buys, Head of Strategic Business Development at FNB Cash Investments, provides a few tips on how to best save towards your year of self-exploration:
- Set you savings goal. Whether you plan to spend an entire year travelling or choose to volunteer at a specific organisation, you will need money for food, accommodation and transport costs. Start listing what you would like to do and where you’d like to go, as well as how you plan to get there and link costs to each of these items. This way you will be able to realistically determine how much you will need to save.
- Open a savings or an investment account. Open an account dedicated specifically to your gap year fund. Investigate the features of different account types and determine which one will give you the best access to your money.
- Get a part-time job before travelling. Earn money that you can put towards your savings goal by taking on a part-time job or two. The more work you can put in now, the more you can put away for your trip and the less you’ll spend while you’re trying to save.
- Cut unnecessary expenses. Review your monthly spending and eliminated the things you don’t need (like convenience foods, daily snacks and treats) to loosen up more funds for saving.
- Think about volunteering or taking a gab year job. Travelling is great, but why not research the existing gap year programmes where you can work for travel money or accommodation, such as au pairing or waiting tables.
- Get a gap year buddy. Partnering up with a close friend allows you to share the expenses and the good times with someone.
- Set monthly targets. Aim to settle any major expenses before you leave for your trip; make sure the tickets and accommodation costs are paid up and your credit card has been settled.
It is possible to take a gap year without incurring debt if you plan early, and stick to this plan. Bon voyage!
Source: FNB. Image: Pixabay