Now that I am in the planning stage, money is a hot topic. I second guess every purchase, for two reasons: first I want to get out of debt and second I often think, will I need those jeans in China?
I haven’t really discussed my travel plans with a lot of people, just family and a couple of close friends. I spoke last month that I am really in debt & had zero savings, so I thought it would be fun to post every three months about what I have saved and how I added money to my savings.
First a few kudos: I am fortunate enough that I have a supportive family, and they are use to my ideas and always support me no matter how outlandish the idea may appear. My mom even mentions spending mostly out of support “I thought you were saving money” SO thankfully when I am feeling impulsive I have a fall back voice of reason. 🙂 I will have to buy my family lots of gifts during my travels. On another note, I can’t express enough how much my life has changed since I only allow positive people around me, I am so much happier. It is making this entire planning experience very enjoyable.
The number one question I have been asked, since announcing this plan. How are you going to afford that, isn’t that going to be expensive?
The answer is yes it is expensive, in a sense. Saving 1000s of dollars is a LOT, but once I get on the road it will often cost less than what I pay now to live in Texas. It is going to take saving money and living tight, but I know the end will justify the means. Plus I want a virtual diary of how I did it, so I can tell them… remember when??? No. Go read the blog posts.
More than anything, I want people to understand YOU can do this too. If I am doing it, believe me so can you! No matter how much debt you have, how little money you make…. you can do this, especially if it is your dream. You may not be able to go tomorrow but with time and dedication, you can accomplish any dream. (Personally, my target savings number is high, so I do anticipate this being a long process for me. It is a marathon NOT a sprint. I have to repeat this mantra every single day.) I also know that if I wasn’t such a travel junkie I could go that much quicker but it is nearly impossible for me to turn down trips… nearly.
Lucky for me, I was expecting this question and when I explained that I was going to save, save & more saving. A few of my friends were skeptical, and would follow up with travel is so expensive, but good luck. I will address that aspect when I get on the road, but for now I will prove you can save money for a dream goal, no matter what it might be.
I want to stop the skeptics and prove with time, determination and a little planning, any dream is possible. I have also decided that when I do travel I am going to to give you break downs of what I spent.
So today is the first of many “What Jen Saved” posts.
To date for my RTW trip I have saved…
Go ahead and laugh, when I looked at my travel account I did, I even debated waiting to start these “savings posts”. Yes I know that number is laughable but a girl has to start somewhere, right now most of my money is currently paying off debt and I am trying to save as much money as possible but I am having to start off slow to get rid of dept that I have accumulated. I also had some extra money come in this month & I immediately saved $1,000 in my emergency fund. I do not want to have to dip into my travel fund if I have an emergency. I also plan on building my emergency fund to the point that I have 3-6 months expenses. Having to pay almost $15k for unexpected eye surgery, will certainly teach you a lesson about savings. This is the first month of rearranging my life to pursue this goal, and I want to let you know, I have reduced my debt by over 2k, I have done this in ONE month. One short month, a few changes & I have made dent in my debt & started the savings process.
I was shocked at the money that was leaking away to random things. So the first step that must happen if you want to do this is track your expenses and make a budget. You can free up money believe me before I started this I was pay check to paycheck with 0 in savings, I would often get down to less than $10 before my next paycheck and even overdraft if something unexpected hit my account. So don’t think for a moment that you are the only one that is living tight.
I really just want to be as transparent as possible throughout this entire process no I didn’t manage to save $1000 overnight in my travel fund, but I started it, and that was the real purpose of last month. I also decided that all eBay profits & sales would go directly into my travel fund, especially since I have a pretty solid plan for paying off debt. I have also started to purge 32 years of accumulated stuff, I am a bit of a hoarder and I am selling my stuff off slowly.
So where did this money come from?
$50 opening deposit into Ally bank.
$50 in direct deposits from my pay check. (I am planning on bumping this to $75 per check next month)
$200 in transfers.
$22.37 in eBay sales
Well everyone, I will check back in October, with my new savings update! I have a pretty solid goal in place for my post, I am hoping that I have saved over $1500 in my RTW account by then & paid off two more debts. I am setting some pretty serious goals right now because the real goal is to get debt reduced significantly by the end of the year because once that is done then I can really save money. The hardest part about this is the boredom because believe me I am pretty bored on the weekends. I will write a post soon on some fun ways to cure boredom this month.
What do you do to save money? How did you cut expenses for your RTW travel fund? What advice can you offer?
Feature Image Credit: Picturesofmoney.org