I get asked a lot how I afford to travel so I wanted to share with you how I’m able to go on all these trips!
Sorry to disappoint but I don’t have a sugar daddy financing these excursions and my parents are not paying my way : )
The biggest thing I do is go on a financial diet when I’m home. I don’t have a large disposable income but I joined mint.com years ago for free and it keeps track of my spending and I can see where my weaknesses are in my budget (for instance eating out for me was adding up to be a lot so I joke about how I eat ramen noodles to afford travel.) I’ve been learning to cook more and it’s definitely saved some money.
I also realized I’d be happy sacrificing a few things to set aside travel money. I only get my hair done maybe 2 or 3 times a year now and pay to get my nails done rarely. I cut out my Starbucks habit and bring my lunch to work. Those things were adding up and while I enjoy them, traveling is more of a priority to me at this point in my life. I’d much rather have new experiences than go shopping. I also save money by having 2 roommates who are wonderful and have been so sweet to take care of Raja when I am away.
Whenever I get the itch to buy something, I ask myself, “how many hours would I have to work to pay for this item?” If someone came to me and said, “will you work X amount of hours and I”ll give you this in exchange would you say yes?” I spend less and even with a full time job I will gladly wait tables or walk dogs on top of that or whatever odd job comes my way to add to my travel budget.
Some of you have asked if I make money from my blog. Yes, I do but it is still a new blog (less than a year old) so definitely not enough to fully support myself yet and I don’t accept every offer that comes my way because I want it to be representative of me.
I work 12 hour days at my office regularly when I am in town so I don’t have much of a social life due to the schedule and my friends are so much fun but when we do get together I find myself wanting to spend way more than I should. To avoid overspending at an expensive place downtown, I invited a few girlfriends over tonight for a spa night at my place and it’s something super easy and inexpensive where I still get to spend quality time with them. As long as I work hard when I am in town, my boss is very understanding about my desire to travel and I’m so appreciative for that.
Traveling has also shown me how little you really need so I don’t have the same urges to buy new things. And it feels really good to rid of things and donate them. (I will admit I get more attached than I should to clothes – my denim skirts from high school are sitting at Goodwill as I type this).
I travel cheaply, too. I research a lot and if I can’t find a hotel in my price range, airbnb.com is my favorite tool to use when traveling.
I realize that everyone has such different priorities when it comes to spending but travel has become more and more important to me and after reading some comments, I wanted you guys to understand I don’t have piles of money laying around I just have to choose what I’m going to give up in order to make it happen.
*This post was not sponsored by mint.com I just really like using their tools and it’s helped me so hopefully it will help you too 🙂