HOW I SAVED $10K FOR AUSTRALIA (PART I)

Saving up for a trip can be one of the hardest tasks when it comes to traveling. It was a bit trickier for me because when I first moved back home from the UK, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I thought about continuing with my previous job as an Event Planner. After a few months I changed my mind and thought about going back to school for my Masters. I took another few weeks to research the various fields of psychology I could go into, followed by another month of networking and conducting informational interviews, and so on and so on… My point is, I was unemployed for over six months. And since I didn’t know my plan for the future, I couldn’t commit to anything long term. Below are some commitment-free ways that can help you make some extra money to go towards your savings (for travels or not!).

RECRUITMENT AGENCIES

I worked for a few temporary employment (temp.) agencies and it allowed me to have an income without committing to anything long term. I had the freedom of choosing my own schedule, type of jobs I wanted to do, and which company I wanted to work for. The type of jobs vary, but reception cover, admin support and data entry are very common in offices, as well as general labour and warehouse support in factories. Most jobs with temp. agencies in Vancouver pay anywhere from $13 to $25 per hour, depending on where and when you work (stat holidays are x1.5!). I signed up with over 10 agencies in Vancouver and I had a few favourite ones:

    • EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS: with 3 offices in BC (Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Victoria). Reason why: their staff is very friendly and most of their jobs are local, so great for times when I didn’t have access to a car.
    • NASCO STAFFING SOLUTIONS: Reason why: I got over 10 job offers everyday from NASCO. They have a great automatic text system that sends you job offers straight to your phone. It explains the hours, location, pay rate and dress code in the text and you simply reply with a yes or no and you’re booked!
    • AVIA EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: with 10 offices in greater Vancouver. They’re not a temp. agency but they were an excellent source of support while I was looking for a job. Job seekers get paired with an employment counsellor who’s there to help with everything to do with career searching. They also hold free workshops on anything to do with employment, including resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, labour market, and NETWORKING! Which brings me to my next point…

NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK!

While I was unemployed I told absolutely anyone and everyone that I had all this free time on my hand. I met a lot of people who were happy to pay good money for things that I really enjoyed doing! I worked for a therapist who needed someone to organize her business, from filing to the office itself, I did it all!

SELF-EMPLOYMENT

I also made a profile on a few websites to offer my help as a nanny/babysitter. My favourite one was Nanny Services but I also used My Best Helper and Canadian Nanny. Through it all, I got to meet some amazing families and networked my way to house-sitting and dog-sitting gigs which were a lot of fun – who wouldn’t love getting paid to take a staycation in a new home and hang out with a furry friend?!

Also, I couldn’t help but to share some of my favourite moments nannying these little munchkins this past summer.

GO ONLINE

Of course, nannying, house-, and dog-sitting may not fit everyone’s personality but there are tons of websites out there for literally any interest! Here are some examples of ways to make money doing what you love:

    • TUTORING in any subject and level you enjoy 
    • DOG WALKING click here and here
    • TRAVELING NANNY
    • And the father of all freelance services: FIVERR where you can register to help with anything from digital marketing and proof-reading to web design and relationship advice!
    • You can also use your social media or network in person to spread the word about any other services that interest you, such as organizing, snow plowing, gardening, watering the plants, window cleaning, … you get the point.

SELL UNWANTED ITEMS ONLINE

I used to use Craigslist to sell unwanted items but it was never too successful for me. I did a bit of research and found LETGO! With a very convenient app, LETGO has allowed me to post unwanted items online in less than a minute – contributing to my savings has never been easier! I made an account with them so all I had to do was take a photo of anything I didn’t want and it would even suggest a title for me. The app has a “popular near you” page which is like a Facebook newsfeed, making browsing a lot easier. Sellers/buyers can contact each other right on the app and rate one another after they’ve had an encounter (which made meeting strangers from a website a little bit more comfortable).

SELL HANDMADE ARTS, CRAFTS, AND JEWELRY

Use Facebook fan page, Instagram, and word of mouth to advertise your talent! You’d be surprised at the income you could generate from your hobbies!

GARAGE & CAR BOOT SALES

Joint garage sales in the summer are my absolute favourite! You can make money sitting around in the sun with your besties while the public browse through your second-hand items. Make sure to advertise online and offline well in advance!

FLEA MARKETS

For those higher-end second hand items or if you’re a collector, selling your vintage goods at local flea markets can be a fun way to make some money! Jo-Anne at Second Hand Savvy has put together an extensive list of all flea markets offered in Vancouver year round! 

I hope this list has been helpful 🙂 What are some ways you guys save up for travels? Leave a comment and let me know!

xoxo
Sara

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