How to Save Money for FIFA World Cup Trip

Everyone of us has a bucket list and with each passing year, we try to mark “checked” against each item in that list. Many of us try to slog through our 9 to 5 jobs just to tick mark at least one of the wishes we put in that bucket list. In fact, this website is the outcome of one such wishes that I had right from 2014 when I was watching the then FIFA World Cup. People often say things like “Chase your dreams”, “Dare to dream” and motivating things like these. However, we often restrict ourselves only to dreaming and start having cold feet when the actual execution part comes in. The basic problem that lies in executing your wish from the bucket list is lack of planning. To be precise, lack of financial planning. Yes, I am sounding like those investment gurus, but just think of it. One might think of exploring a new place or watching a live sports event such as a football tournament for months. But as the day arrives nearer, the person thinks that may be the dream of going to that certain place was just too much to make a reality due to finances.

Let me tell you one thing. Bucket lists are meant to be fulfilled. That is why we make them. However, it is important to do some groundwork before actually making your wish come true. For football lovers, watching FIFA World Cup live from the stadium probably tops the list. But how to fulfill that without spending all your savings which you have made for the last three or four years? Let us help you with this situation. Today, we will guide you step by step on how to save money to travel for FIFA World Cup or any other major football tournaments:

Step One: Create an approximate budget

This is the most important thing to do when you are planning to go for a world sports tournament like FIFA World Cup, EURO Cup, etc. Just put down the numbers in a simple excel sheet or just use a pen and paper. The components that you should include in your travelling budget are:

1) Flight

One of the biggest expenses of your entire trip will be the flight tickets. The major factor for this will be where the tournament is being held. For example, this year the FIFA World Cup was held in Russia. Flight ticket from India to Russia is much cheaper than its tickets to Brazil (2014 FIFA World Cup Host).  The next step is to use websites like Skyscanner, Wego, Momondo, and Kayak to explore prices to flight tickets. Google Flights does a pretty decent job these days as well.

2) Match Tickets:

Find out what will be the cost of the match tickets. The exact cost is usually announced one year before the tournament. Therefore, you have quite some time to make up your mind on which matches you would like to see (you can definitely change your mind once groups are announced).

Usually, there are multiple categories for the same match and prices vary a lot with each category. The cheapest tickets are always in the highest demand and difficult to get. You can check out the prices of the previous year of the same tournament to get a rough idea. We bought four match tickets for 52,000 rupees. Check out the detailed article here.

3) Inter City Travel

This is pretty straightforward. If you are planning way ahead, you will probably not know which matches you will be watching. Just try to understand the travelling cost between major cities of that country which is hosting the tournament. Websites like trip.com, kayak.com etc. can help you with this one. But according to me, the best website is rome2rio.com

4) Lodging

5) Food

6) Intra City Travel

For ease of calculation, you can consider bullets 4, 5, 6 as one point. Next question is how you will find out what is the average cost of staying in a city for a day. Explore sites like lonelyplanet.com, budgetyourtrip.com, and thesavvybackpacker.com (for Europe Only). They will give you an idea of how much should it cost you to live in the city/country for a day.

7) Visa

For major western countries, VFS Global processes the Visa in India. You can visit their website and find out what are the requirements and fees. If VFS Global doesn’t handle the visa for that particular country you wish to travel, you will find information on the website of the Consulate. One thing is worth mentioning here is that for FIFA World Cup 2018 we did not require a visa. All tickets match ticket holders were provided with a FIFA FAN ID which was equivalent to a visa. On the other hand, 2014 FIFA World Cup visa was free, but fans still had to go through the process of visa application.

8) Insurance

This is very important. We were guilty of not buying insurance while visiting Russia for FIFA World Cup 2018. But we strongly recommend you buy a travel insurance. Moreover, many countries will not issue a visa without travel insurance. For Indians, you can use policybazaaer.com to find out the best insurance that is available.

9) Contingency

Trust me, you will be in situations where will end up spending money which you did not plan for. For us the rule of thumb is to add 15% extra to your total budget as a contingency. If you don’t end up using it good for you.

So, once you have filled in all the points and all line items are summed up, you have your Goal (Pun intended :P).

Snapshot Of Our First Budget Excel Sheet (All Amount In INR)

Step Two: Spend as per your income

Just before you continue here, there is a disclaimer. Not everybody’s situation is the same financially. We have written this keeping in mind other middle-income youth like ourselves.

This is going to sound difficult. But trust me it is possible.

If you want to save up money for an expensive tournament like FIFA World Cup, reduce unnecessary spending. There is a proverb that each drop of water makes an ocean. The same applies to savings as well.

  • Cut down pub hoppings: Yes, we all love night outs with our friends. Many of you do it every week. Once in a while is fine. A night out will cost you at least Rs.1500. Now you do the maths here. For saving, cut down on alcohol & Cigarettes (they are harmful anyways). Yes, we are guilty as well. If you feel like having a beer or two, while watching a match, do it at a friend’s place who has the biggest TV. You don’t have to go to an expensive sports bar for that. Avoid eating store bought food for lunch. Carry homemade food to work.
  • Choose public transport: For the daily commute, use the bus instead of uber, non-AC bus instead of AC bus in the winter. Ride a bicycle or even walk if possible (It will also improve your fitness).
  • Work Hard – If your workplace has an option for overtime, do it. Work hard so that you get better bonus money at the end of the year. If you run a small business, try to find out ways you can improve your earnings.
  • A second source of income: Try to build a second source of income If you are good at something, start coaching classes in the evening or weekends. Try to buy a small rental property or start an online business to earn that extra amount so that you don’t have to touch your investments for going to an international sports tournament. There are numerous options. You have figure out which one suits you best.

One of Arindam’s Rare Nightouts With Colleagues 

Indians, especially Bengalis (we know because we are Bengalis) have tons of things in their home which they never use. Sell them you and will be surprised with the amount of money this will bring home.

We literally saved pennies for our trip to Russia. If we can, I am sure you can too. Start taking these little steps today it will go a long way in fulfilling your dream of watching your favorite player on the pitch.

Step Three: Invest in the right tool

Before you start planning to attend an international tournament, divide the goal in you have set in step number one by a number of months left for you to achieve it. Try to save and invest that amount every month. You should try to reach your goal at least 8 months before the tournaments begin. Because that is when the first round of ticket sales begins.

This will depend on what suits you the best depending on your sources of income. If you are a salaried person, you have a regular source of income. But if you are a small business owner, chances are that your income/cash flow is quite sporadic.

Be Patient Your Investments Will Bear Fruits

If you are a salaried person

So, if you are a salaried person you have basically two main options. First, invest in a Recurring Deposit (RD). This is a tool where a certain amount of money will be deposited into your RD account. Carry on this until your goal is reached. The other option is similar. Invest in mutual funds through Systematic Investment Plans. In this plan, a certain amount of money will be invested in mutual funds every month. So, what is the difference? Returns of mutual funds are market dependent whereas RD is not which gives you a fixed return.

What are we going to suggest?

If you have started saving long before the tournament, let’s say 3-4 years (If you are planning for 2022 FIFA World Cup) go for SIP. The reason being, in the long run, mutual funds are likely to give you a better return. However, if you have started saving one year before your travel, it is best to go for RD since one year is a too short time for you to depend on the market. For more information on mutual funds, you can visit mutualfundssahihai.com.

If you run business

So, if you own a small business and don’t have a fixed income every month, you can opt for Flexi Recurring deposits. In this, there is a minimum amount of money that you must put in your Flexi RD account every month. Let’s say, you can afford to keep aside Rs.1000/- every month. And whenever you have lump sum amount, you can put that into the Flexi RD as well. Usually, it has to be the multiple of the minimum amount you have selected for. The other options are fixed deposits and lump sum investment in Equity-linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) based mutual funds.

Our suggestion is to invest in lump sum ELSS. It has a lock-in period of 3 years. If you manage to choose the fund wisely, you will get good returns by end of 3 years. Moreover, it will have a lock-in period of 3 years and you will have the money ready to buy tickets. The added advantage is there are fewer chances that you will spend the money on other things due to lock-in period of 3 years.

So, guys, these are the steps you can take to manage your finances for going to any tournament such as FIFA World Cup, EURO Cup etc. Even though we showed you the steps to save money for football tournaments, these tips can be followed for fulfilling any of your wish that demands big expenditures. Start saving today so that your goal can be achieved sooner. Happy dreaming.

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