I am planning a trip right now, that is huge! I am hoping it is going to last a long time! In three months, I am planning on taking a National Park extravaganza for approximately four months or more. After that, who knows what will happen. I just know I want to keep going.
When I started planning this trip, I had nothing saved, zero, zippo! This is about two months ago. I set my priorities straight. I realized traveling was now, my number one priority. It wasn’t before. It was always something I had in mind, but it was not my number one mindset. I went out to the bars, went to concerts, the movies, went out to eat, a lot. I had fun! But, I spent money.
First, I made a list. I took a piece of paper and literally wrote down everything I spent my money on. All my expenses!
Gym membership, Car Insurance, Car Payment, Gas, Groceries, Credit Cards, Loans….
I then split it up into two categories. Wants and Needs. Food is a need, a gym membership is a want. So I have this huge list of all my expenses split up between all my wants and needs. Everything on my want list…. Gone! I did keep one category on my want list, my Friday nights, you have to keep some sanity. Then I looked at my needs list. There are some things you can not alter, which are primarily your bills; car insurance, cell-phone bill, etc. If you are really trying to save, make sure you are getting the best for your dollar. I recently did change my car insurance because I did get a better offer from a different company. So, even on my needs list, I cut those bills down substantially. My groceries, I was spending around 80-100 dollars a week on food. I cut that down to $30. I drove less to cut down on my gas. And lets say, it paid off.
Most people in this world, do not go after their dreams because of money. If you want something bad enough, go for it! You can make it happen if you want it bad enough. Pick up extra hours at work. Get a second part-time job. That’s what I did. Took up more hours, and started a small second job on one of my days off.
Right now, and I do feel bad for my friends, I am not spending any money. I do feel bad! My friends will say, “hey Shell, you want to do this?” “Sorry, I can’t, I’m saving.” It does suck, but if your friends are really your friends, you guys can make it work. There are so many things you can do for free! And that is exactly what I suggest. No, I cant go to paint night with you but, one day after work this week, we can make food, have some wine and watch a movie together. Or we can go for a hike, go disc-golfing, whatever. There are so many options.
This past year, I worked at the same job I am working at right now. I saved 0 dollars by the end of the year, which was just 1 month and a half ago. $0. I have saved 2 grand in 2 months this year! I am not leaving for 3 months, so if I keep this up, I will have over $5,000 for this National Park adventure.
Some of you might be saying $5,000 for 4 months of traveling. I don’t know if that will be enough. Well, I don’t know for sure either but, I am going to be livingonthedirt! The most expenses I will need is food and gas. Other than that, maps, hotel rooms once every 10 days. I do need to shower! But, I’ll figure it out. Basically, when I run out, I’ll find a seasonal job somewhere, work again for a few months, and then head off again. I figure I’ll spend about $1,000 every month. Keep in mind, I am still paying bills when I do this adventure. After 4 months, I will hopefully still have $1,000 for a safety net to find another job. I do like feeling safe. I love adventure, but I want to be safe about it.
If you have a dream, my best advice to you, make it your first priority. If you don’t it will take you a lot longer to accomplish your dream, and in the worst case scenario, you may never get to live it. Adventure and traveling is more important than money in my eyes. Live your dream first, worry about money later. Money will always be there. It isn’t going anywhere. Your dreams on the other hand, you never know what will happen in your life. Take the chance when you have one, and don’t hold back.
Keep in mind, in order to save money, you have to change old habits. That is key! Good luck and never give up on what you believe in!
Thank You for reading!