MONEY SAVING ANATOMY 101
This was the part where I wished I had prepared much earlier. There’s no denying that you will need money to travel for 12+ months. How much? That’s totally dependant on your travel style and where you go, but I budgeted my trip (being conservative) to be roughly $25k. If you want to see an example of how I calculated this, please leave a comment and I’ll share a doc with you privately.
The idea of the trip only became real to me when I told my manager a few months before D-Day, giving me just 4 months to make $25k. To make things worse, I didn’t have any savings large enough to even buy a round the world ticket. For years I lived by comfortably, going out, eating out, drinking heaps, buying things, without ever thinking about saving up, which I think is the symptom of being too comfortable. With the high cost of living in Sydney, plus a mortgage to pay in Melbourne, I don’t have a salary to net $25k in 4 months. Even as I type this I am nowhere near that amount. So how am I going to get it? I did a quick google search…
Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself
– J. Howes
Okay Mr.Howes, that’s inspirational but no where near rational. How about:
Make a plan, put them on a spreadsheet, and do it.
I did a bit of research into my cashflow and I was surprised how much money I could save by downshifting a few notches, and spending money on just the bare essentials (just like packing). Not only that, how much I could make by selling stuff, renting out stuff, or quite simply getting a part time weekend job.
Quite literally, that’s what I’m doing now. I’m not going out, not dining out, not drinking beer each night, stopped smoking, changed banks, selling heaps of crap and working a weekend job to save as much as possible to reach this target.
Another valuable lesson learned: Money is hard to make, so why not put as much hard work to save?
If you put my average weekly expenses on a scale of 1 to 10, I’ve shifted from about an 8 to a mere 2, and increased my cash inflow by about 15%.
If I carry on at this pace for 4 months, I may not hit it, but I’ll be closer than ever to reach $25k. One thing I forgot to mention was the extra cash you get from the annual leave/vacation/holiday pay out when you quit your job (which applies for most countries), and also things like the deposit/bond from your leasing property that you get back, as well as tax refunds (if you’re in Australia) where you can claim back a portion of withheld income tax.
Anyway, the point that I wanted to get across, is that things may seem out of reach at first and we often give up at that instant. But if we put our minds to it, persist, and explore every possible angle, there may be things that we’ve simply overlooked. Our mind is strong enough to come up with ideas, but only if we really wanted it to.
I think I’ve finally understood the true power of setting a goal and working towards it. I hear it all the time, but could never apply it until now. It’s a powerful stimulant to move you forward, as long as the goal you set is something that you really really want.
All these wonderful new learnings before the journey even started. Ernest Hemingway, you are one wise man…
[Now, let the Journey unfold..]