Live beneath your means.
Regardless of your travel style, rambling the world takes some amount of cash. So, you can’t escape an element of saving.
This advice is important for any financial goal, travel related or not.
Consider where to allocate an annual raise, bonus or partner’s income. Many people ramp up their discretionary spend on short-term comforts; a larger home, a new vehicle and weekends full of entertainment.
My challenge is for folks to critically consider what they really want out of life. Push aside social norms and perceived expectations – what do you want? Think of which activities give you a boost of energy or an exhilarating feeling of satisfaction. Those are the buckets where I recommend you allocate any discretionary income beyond food, shelter, retirement savings and other basic needs.
If in a dual income family, consider trying to live off the value of one person’s income and save the other person’s earnings.
I can hear the groans, but this exercise will payoff. Track where you spend your money for one to two months. Looking back, it’s easier to discern how much value you still associate with where your money went. There will be some things that you had little choice, some which still stir feelings of satisfaction and others which have faded. This last group is where you can easily reduce going forward. Push your creativity buttons.
Tweak your mindset. Focus on what you are working towards, not on what you are ‘giving up’. Its important to keep focused on what you want to achieve. Perhaps having a friend for dinner rather than meeting at a restaurant will allow one more day to spend amongst Tikal’s Mayan ruins. This vision will drive your motivation and help to make decisions easier.
Be transparent with those close to you. Talk to your partner or close friends about what you are aiming for. Hopefully, your partner buys in with a similar goal of their own. Its far easier to change your behaviour when those close to you understand your rational and can support your choices.
Nancy O'Hare has lived and worked across five continents and travelled to over eighty countries. Her writing shares insights from her travels and musings about the world around us.