The Obsessive Planner’s Guide on How to Afford to Travel More!
How to Afford to Travel More… Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Doesn’t everyone blog about this topic? And the answer is yes. Ultimately, all of us have at least one post on how you can afford to travel more. Or, how we afford to travel more. Or, how to travel more while working full-time. Insert a new variation here. How to afford to travel has become the ultimate question all travellers are eventually asked. And you’ll find varied opinions–some hate this question–find it too invasive or personal. Others just smile and rattle off a quick response. I can understand the curiosity… Ask a random person what’s on their bucket list. Or, call up a friend and ask him or her to describe what living his/her best life looks like. Ten bucks that travel is featured in the response. No judgement–CLEARLY it’s in mine. Travelling the world has become the ultimate fantasy, a distant goal that nearly everyone has but not enough are actively making efforts to accomplish. But why aren’t more people trying to travel??? Well the top two answers are money and time. The ultimate fantasy has the unfortunate reputation of being quite expensive. Sigh…it’s really a bad (and quite unfair) rep. And this distant goal is also perceived as something taken in large quantities. So people never feel they have the free moments to indulge. So, the vast majority, if they travel at all, won’t venture out until they hit standard retirement age. I want to change that. Millennial travel is already on the rise…and companies are already changing and rebranding to cater to us. Why not travel more and pay less?? But I also want Gen X to travel more. I want Baby Boomers to travel more. I want the woman arranging her Pinterest board with vivid photos of her wish-list to travel more. It’s possible, I promise. And no, you don’t have to be rich… When people ask the ultimate question, what they really want to know is, how can I afford to travel more? They make secret comparisons, telling themselves that you are doing something crazy to travel so often. You won the lottery or you have a sugar daddy. Maybe you have a high paying job or someone is paying you to travel. I can assure you none of those choices are my life. But if anyone wants to be my sugar daddy or offer a high paying job…?? My truth? I can afford to travel 15-20 times a year. Comfortably. While working a full-time job. No magic involved, no secret wish. And I’m financially secure. I’m going to drop some of my tips on how I afford to travel more in 2019. Number One, and the MOST important: Treat Travel Like a Bill Truthfully, you could follow this rule alone and discover you can afford to travel more without following any of the other rules on the list. Why? Because once you make something a bill–a priority that you must save for on a regular basis in order to pay off–you will suddenly find the coins to make travel a reality. Travel is a bill just like your mortgage, your electricity, your car insurance. If you don’t pay off the debt–or pay for the service–you don’t have shelter, light, or a means to fix your depreciating vehicle. Travel is no different. I want to spend sooo much time on this particular tip. Because truthfully this is why more people don’t travel. Money. Finances. Security. But let’s just focus on a scary, but ultra powerful word: BUDGET. Create your monthly budget: Get out your pen and paper. Or cell phone. Or laptop. Write down what your monthly income is. Got it? Now write down EVERY bill you have to pay for on a monthly basis. Residence, car, light, gas, phone… don’t forget loans, grocery, even beauty (getting hair or nails done). Add your bills up and subtract from your monthly income. What’s left is what I call your “leisure money.” This is the fun money, the, I-can-do-whatever-the-hell-I-want-to money. And this is where your travel will come from. Now, pull bank statements from the last three months (or receipts). Observe what you spent the most of your “leisure” funds on. And ask yourself…did I really need three bags of Doritos last week? Why did I buy four pair of heels last month? Locate items you purchased that 1) you didn’t really need anyway and 2) you can comfortably live without. Travel is about sacrifice. All bills are. The only difference is Travel gives so much back to you. Once you figure out where your extra money is going, decide upon an amount you can comfortably save on a monthly basis. THIS is your travel fund. You should save money in this fund every month, no excuses. Use this money to either 1) pay for your trips as you go or 2) pay off credit used to fund trips