You have finally decided that it’s time for you to take an epic adventure. Maybe you even have the desire to travel the world for a while. Problem is, you think you don’t have enough money and resources to do it. If you believe travel is expensive, think again.Every time I tell a story or show somebody one of my crazy adventures, the first question they always ask is “How do you afford to travel so often?” I used to think that travel was always expensive. The more destinations I visited, the more I started to realize how affordable everything really was. The process of budgeting correctly towards travel is a combination of a mindset and a variety of methods.
I know that there are so many social pressures. We are constantly bombarded by marketing. Our willpower is lacking. We make up excuses and constantly lie to ourselves. Others may have additional roadblocks: supporting family, paying back student loans, chronic disease, or a lack of job opportunities.
If that might be your case, remember it is ALWAYS possible and may just take longer to reach your travel savings goal.
1.) Live Below Your Means
Take the initiative by tracking the amount you spend on each segment of your life. Create a spreadsheet and budget for monthly expenses such as food, transportation, rent, and extracurriculars. There are several fantastic apps and books out there that can help manage this all for you. One of the books I highly recommend for budgeting resources and taking control of your lifestyle is 4 Hour Workweek.
2.) Eliminate Vices
Ask yourself, “Do I really need another Starbucks coffee, another drink at the bar with my friends, that new video game, or the latest in fashion? If you really desire an item, is it worth giving up for the sake of travel? ” You would be surprised by how much saving an extra 5 bucks a day goes in the long run – a month from now that could be your next plane ticket!
This becomes easier if you approach saving with the right attitude, always keeping an end goal in mind. Look at your daily, weekly, and monthly finances and think – “This is where I am, and this is where I want to be.” JUST DO IT – Trim the fat off your lifestyle.
Keep an end value in mind that you absolutely need to travel on and keep thinking every dollar saved is one step closer to that adventure in Thailand.
3.) Lifestyle & Pre-Trip Budgeting
First of all, you need to work out how much your trip is going to cost you. If you know what you’re doing, your travel budget can be as low as $40-$50 a day.
This amount will vary depending on where you want to travel, and how frugal you are.
As an experienced traveler, for long-term travel, I recommend planning to spend at least $1500 per month.
Now the big kahuna… how are you going to hit that target?
Create a running budget, assigning strict numbers to your recurring expenses. Some expenses are fixed, for example- rent.
Other expenses are more flexible, like the money you spend on food every month, or that drink at the bar. The trick with these is to make sure you always know how much of your budget is left.
Going shopping? Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend. Going out with friends? Withdraw cash, and leave those credit cards at home so you don’t blow your budget.
This kind of budgeting is being financially intelligent. When you have complete control of your money, your confidence will increase ten-fold – and you will work even harder towards your target goal!
4.) Want & Desires
Take out a notepad or make a Google Doc and create two columns. One for wants, the other for desires. For example, how much do you really need that subscription to Netflix? All it does is numb your brain and take time away from doing the things you really want to in life. If the product or service doesn’t directly increase my health or further my ability to get ahead in life, I bang it to the curb! Your life is not going to end without these things. It’ll be enhanced.
Once you’re finished, look at the “DESIRES” column; write down how much they all cost, next to each item. Total them up. That’s how much you can instantly start saving every month if you cut it out of your life.
5.) The Ultimate Creation of Habits
The previous points all add up to the final creation of a lifestyle mindset that will become habit. Before you know it, by practicing these habits, the travel-set mentality will become ingrained in your brain.
Stop Going Out As Much, You Alcoholic
Instead of spending too much money on boozing, get outside and go on a hike.
Learn the art of cooking for god’s sake. Buy low-cost, healthy ingredients, and cook your own delicious meals at home.
Did you compare prices while grocery shopping last week? Are you shopping at places like Costco & Amazon?
Ditch Your Cable
TV is a huge waste of time. Stop paying to live vicariously through shows, and live your own life. The internet is full of free entertainment!
Slice & Dice Your Shopping Expenses
No, you don’t need the latest smartphone. No, you don’t need new clothes every month. No, you don’t need five different shades of lipstick.
Turn down your air conditioning and use a fan. Wear a hoodie. Unplug electronics when not in use. Take shorter showers.
These are just a few habits that directly assist in being able to frequently travel. Sure enough, you will become that savvy traveller that everyone wants advice from because you travel non-stop!
“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like.” -Will Rogers
Ready to adopt these travel habits and book your next trip?
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