Travel Budgeting:

How To Organise Your Finances



Travel Budgeting: How To Organise Your Finances

For us, organising a budget for our upcoming adventures is a huge part of trip planning. Knowing how much money you’ve allocated to each category in your budget will give you that peace of mind and enable you to enjoy your trip in its entirety without worrying about whether you’ve overspent, or if you’ve got enough funds to last the rest of your trip.


We get it, budgeting sounds like an absolute chore and not an enjoyable task but we promise your trip will be so much more enjoyable when you’ve got a solid plan and you stick to it (as much as you can of course)! Embrace the idea of budgeting, have a clear idea of how much money you’ve got coming in, how much your expenditures are, how much money you've got to spend on travel and once you get into the groove of it, you won’t know how you ever lived without a budget. A great online tool to use is Pigly.


This article will talk you through how to create a budget by starting with a goal, being realistic, discuss the 50/30/20 rule, identify your priorities, help you decide how much money to put aside for travelling, as well as touching on saving and investing. 

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1. Start with a Goal

To quote Zig Ziglar, renowned author and motivational speaker, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have a clear goal in mind – whether it’s a shorter-term goal to save enough of your income to go travelling 3 months a year, or a longer-term goal to put aside a proportion of your income into investments so you’re ready to retire by the time you’re 50. Define your own budgeting goal, and you’ll be so much more likely to succeed at it. A good starting point for writing your goals depends on how much your monthly income is.

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2. Be realistic

It’s good to try to cut down on certain categories of your budget if you feel like you can, but don’t try to overdo it. For example, if you have been spending £70/week on your grocery bill and feel like you could cut out some unnecessary items and aim for perhaps £60/week instead that would seem reasonable. However if you decide that you now want to spend £35 pounds on your groceries instead, you’re likely to struggle a lot more with sticking to that and you’d be back at square 1! Start with smaller adjustments and you’ll find that making further changes will be more manageable and less drastic.


3. 50/30/20 Rule

The 50/30/20 rule is simple – you can allocate 50% of your after-tax income to your needs (grocery bill, utilities, accommodation, medical/healthcare, insurance). Using this Pigly personal budget calculator is a great way to get a better idea of how much you should be spending in each category.

Then, limit your wants to 30% - such as gym memberships, shopping, subscriptions, eating out, travelling and any of your other hobbies.


Importantly, set aside 20% for saving, paying off debts and building your emergency fund  


One thing to note about the 50/30/20 rule is that as your income increases, you don’t necessarily still need to be spending 30% on your “wants”.  You could consider allocating more of your budget to savings and investments instead and think about your future retirement plan.

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4. Identify your priorities

If your priority is travelling, then you might consider cutting down on certain aspects such as going out, drinking, shopping or buying that extra coffee from Starbucks that you don’t need. When you realise how much you could be saving or putting towards your travelling budget by just avoiding that extra brunch a week you don’t really need or cutting out that unnecessary Amazon prime subscription, you’ll wish you had done it sooner! Obviously if having that brunch a week is your priority, don’t stop doing it!

As in the table below, you can customise what percentage of your income you want to allocate to various categories, to give yourself a really helpful breakdown.

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5. Size of travel budget

Sticking to the 50/30/20 rule, not more than 30% of your income should be spent on travelling. The more passionate you are about travelling, the easier you’ll find putting that money aside.

How much you spend totally depends on what you see travelling as – your expenditure can range hugely if you’re going on a low cost camping trip or if you’re going on a luxury holiday with no expenses spared. The bottom line is you can spend as little as you want, or as much as you want, depending on how much you budget for it.


Identify your big ticket items – mainly flights. The key is to be flexible here – you could try to travel slightly off peak, and our top tip is to type in “everywhere” into a flight search website and you can even compare ticket prices throughout an entire month. This way, you’ll be able to choose the cheapest flights available. Having said that, this really only works if you’re flexible with.


With accommodation, it adds up quickly and generally airbnbs are a more cost effective option. If you’re spending most of your day out and exploring a new destination and not spending much time at the hotel itself, we don’t feel it is necessary to splurge on an expensive one!


Other things to think about with regards to your travel budget include food, travel/health insurance, entrance fees to attractions, car hire, fuel costs


↠ Check out a great way to reduce your travel expenses: How to travel the world for free.

6. Remember to save and invest

On a final note, definitely remember to set aside at least 20% to save and invest – start by building up an emergency fund (at least 6 months of expenditure), and then  you could think about growing your money in the stock market – for example through exchange traded funds.

↠ Check out the principles to follow if you want to become a millionaire.

Calculate Savings


As John Maxwell, a renowned speaker, author and pastor has said, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”. It’s never too late to start on a budget, so create one today – record all your income and expenses and figure out where your money is going. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be in a much better position to start to figure out how much money you actually WANT to be spending on different aspects of your life, and you’ll be much happier for it.


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