How one woman saved $17,000 in 10 months while living in one of the most expensive countries in the world


Nina Ragusa Berry Springs Australia

Nina Ragusa

Just because you're living in an expensive country doesn't mean you can't save big. Pictured: Nina Ragusa in Berry Springs, Australia.

In early 2016, travel blogger Nina Ragusa set a lofty goal for herself: Sock away $15,000 (or more) in savings.

And she did it - boosting her savings account by over $17,000 in just 10 months.

Ragusa, who chronicles her adventures on her blog, Where in the World is Nina?, has been traveling the world for over five years, and she recently spent a year living in Australia with her boyfriend on a working holiday visa.

Despite Australia's high cost of living, Ragusa was determined to use the time to save up for future travel - she could always visit the country again as a tourist - and spent 10 months looking for ways to cut back her spending and stretch her paycheck.

Throughout her savings challenge, Ragusa implemented two basic rules:


  1. Work as much as possible.
  2. Don't spend any more than necessary.

From working 70 hour weeks to living on less than $3 per meal, here's how she was able to save over $17,000 while living in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Note: All dollar amounts are in USD unless otherwise stated.