How do you put together the finances for your travels, long-term or short-term? What do you sacrifice in order to save up the necessary cash? What's your best money-saving tip on the road? Share your money tips - and pick up a few - right here.

New Year's Resolution: Extreme Way to Save $$?

ord2rtw2013

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  • Added on: December 31st, 2010
Hello all,

I'm new to Bootsnall, and I'm so excited that there's a site like this for those of us with itchy feet! :lol: I was just wondering what some of your New Year's resolutions are for funding your next BIG trip. I haven't told anyone what I plan to do because they would think I'm nuts. "Nuts" because I've just joined the unfortunate age group that believes going out for margaritas in the big city and plooping down a wad of cash on a home entertainment system is normal. Apparently, when you turn 30, you're suppose to be settled into a specific kind of life, but that's another post I may start later. hehe

Anyway this is my plan:
1. Move into the YMCA or get a roommate to get rent under $400 and pretend it's my current rent of $690.
2. Give away 90% of my stuff to goodwill and use it as a tax deduction.
3. Open a 2 year cd that automatically takes out $200 every check and pretend it's a wage garnishment.
4. Dump those people that will only do things with me that cost money. Not really sure if I'm being too harsh, but a lot of people don't seem to have respect for what I'm trying to do unless it's in the "buy a house" category. They refuse to do anything free or low cost with me and it makes me feel bad.
5. Stay in for New Year's (haha, I'm doing that now)
6. Buy clothes only from thrift stores.
7. Get a second job while studying full-time and working part-time.

What do you think? This plan will allow me save enough for my RTW in June 2013. I'd love to hear some of the nutty things you're thinking of doing to save money.

Cheers from Chicago! :)

2wanderers

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  • Added on: January 1st, 2011
I must confess that doesn't really sound very abnormal to me. While I get the pressure to settle, buy a house, etc...I've never really encountered the friends that only do expensive things together. It seems like for everyone I know, a "night out" means dinner at a friend's house. Maybe because I've never been willing to do the expensive night out, so I just never formed those kinds of friendships.

When I think "extreme," I think of either big risks like putting it all on red (or penny stocks), or truly frightening steps like giving up any home at all and just sleeping on friends couches - or the street if need be - to save money. While I'll do a bit of stock market gambling, betting it all in hopes of the big score isn't my style.

Good luck achieving your goals. I've been trying to cut expenses this year as well, since we gave up one income to send my wife to law school. As a result they're more "new school year" resolutions, with a 4-month update. It's been difficult, but mostly it works out...our list:
- drive little enough to not have to fill the tank more than once a month (achieved easily...new target: six weeks)
- get a raise or change jobs for more money before the end of the year (I did get a decent raise since September, but am still looking to increase my income in 2011. Changing would be challenging, since it would probably mean dropping from 4 weeks of vacation to 3, which I'd need a big incentive to do, and no amount of money would convince me to move to 2 weeks vacation.)
- keep the total food budget for a month under $500 (this has been tough, only achieved it once since lowering the target from its previous $650 level).

Our housing cost is a fixed quantity, since we bought a condo several years ago, aren't in a position to sell, and don't have enough space for a roommate.

EMH

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  • Added on: January 1st, 2011
ord2rtw2013 wrote:Hello all,

I'm new to Bootsnall, and I'm so excited that there's a site like this for those of us with itchy feet! :lol: I was just wondering what some of your New Year's resolutions are for funding your next BIG trip. I haven't told anyone what I plan to do because they would think I'm nuts. "Nuts" because I've just joined the unfortunate age group that believes going out for margaritas in the big city and plooping down a wad of cash on a home entertainment system is normal. Apparently, when you turn 30, you're suppose to be settled into a specific kind of life, but that's another post I may start later. hehe

Anyway this is my plan:
1. Move into the YMCA or get a roommate to get rent under $400 and pretend it's my current rent of $690.
2. Give away 90% of my stuff to goodwill and use it as a tax deduction.
3. Open a 2 year cd that automatically takes out $200 every check and pretend it's a wage garnishment.
4. Dump those people that will only do things with me that cost money. Not really sure if I'm being too harsh, but a lot of people don't seem to have respect for what I'm trying to do unless it's in the "buy a house" category. They refuse to do anything free or low cost with me and it makes me feel bad.
5. Stay in for New Year's (haha, I'm doing that now)
6. Buy clothes only from thrift stores.
7. Get a second job while studying full-time and working part-time.

What do you think? This plan will allow me save enough for my RTW in June 2013. I'd love to hear some of the nutty things you're thinking of doing to save money.

Cheers from Chicago! :)


Sounds like you have some great ideas for saving money for your upcoming trip! A couple of thoughts:

1) You can only use the tax deduction for donating things if you itemize your deductions. And itemizing is usually only done if you own a house. Otherwise, you're best off taking the standard deduction. Not that there's anything wrong with getting rid of clutter in your life, just be aware that you probably won't benefit financially,

2) Most CDs don't allow you to add money to them. You'll have to shop around to find one that does. Otherwise you'll need to open a new CD every month.

3) I understand where you're coming with re: friends. What I do is to simply spend what I'm comfortable spending. When I go out to eat with friends, I'll order a relatively inexpensive dish and spend maybe $10. My friends will order an appetizer, a main dish, desert, and 1-2 glasses of wine and spend $50 a person. Then they wonder how I have the money to travel and they don't.
Follow my travels through Central and South America: www.talesofagringo.com

ord2rtw2013

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  • Added on: January 1st, 2011
Most grateful for the tips!!!!

Truth be told...I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to saving smarty, so thank you for letting me know about the cd's. Usually I just find a quick secong job, work 80 hours a week for a month or two and go wherever I want. This time I'm looking into the best short term saving option.

Last year I saved $100 off my taxes for donations and I don't own a house. My H&R Block rep. took care of it, so I'll see if they used the standard deduction.

Most of my friends wonder how I have SO much money to travel when in reality I'm quite broke most of the time. I tried to explain that I just get a quick second job and work like mad and go where I please. They don't understand this. They live in the suburbs and believe in materialistic happiness. It gets tiring explaining why I don't want to go out to expensive restaurants and such. A new semester's coming up, so I'll hopefully meet more like minded people.
[/quote]

Sounds like you have some great ideas for saving money for your upcoming trip! A couple of thoughts:

1) You can only use the tax deduction for donating things if you itemize your deductions. And itemizing is usually only done if you own a house. Otherwise, you're best off taking the standard deduction. Not that there's anything wrong with getting rid of clutter in your life, just be aware that you probably won't benefit financially,

2) Most CDs don't allow you to add money to them. You'll have to shop around to find one that does. Otherwise you'll need to open a new CD every month.

3) I understand where you're coming with re: friends. What I do is to simply spend what I'm comfortable spending. When I go out to eat with friends, I'll order a relatively inexpensive dish and spend maybe $10. My friends will order an appetizer, a main dish, desert, and 1-2 glasses of wine and spend $50 a person. Then they wonder how I have the money to travel and they don't.[/quote]

EMH

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  • Added on: January 2nd, 2011
If you really want to save money, do your own taxes! They're actually not that difficult particularly when you're younger and aren't making much money. Below a certain threshold, online companies are required to let you do your federal taxes for free. Then you can either pay to use the online software to do your state taxes or do them on your own by hand (state taxes are even easier to do than federal). I generally use Tax Act which I've found to be one of the least expensive online companies (I think state taxes are $19.95).

Anyway, I obviously don't know much about your personal financial situation but in order to use the tax writeoff for donations, your HR rep would have had to itemize your deductions. The standard deduction last year for a single person was $5,600. I have a really hard time imagining how someone who doesn't own a hone could have had itemized deductions in excess of $5,600.

BTW, my personal favorite way to save money is to track every penny I spend. It makes you REALLY aware of what you're spending.
Follow my travels through Central and South America: www.talesofagringo.com

2wanderers

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  • Added on: January 3rd, 2011
EMH wrote:Anyway, I obviously don't know much about your personal financial situation but in order to use the tax writeoff for donations, your HR rep would have had to itemize your deductions. The standard deduction last year for a single person was $5,600. I have a really hard time imagining how someone who doesn't own a hone could have had itemized deductions in excess of $5,600.
My wife used to work for the Canada Revenue Agency (the Canadian version of the IRS), and can tell lots of stories about H&R Block reps that seem utterly baffled by the simplest of tax problems. While I have no idea how US taxes work, I wouldn't put it past them to make a mistake that costs a lot of money.

H&R is an organisation dedicated to marketing itself, first and foremost. The actual preparation of taxes is a secondary concern, and as a result isn't necessarily their forte. It's probably good experience to do your own taxes at least once so that if you prefer to hire someone in future years, you can at least verify their work.

ord2rtw2013

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  • Added on: January 3rd, 2011
You're both right, but H&B Block does my taxes for free. My company has an agreement with them. I have the option of doing of my own taxes for free too, so I'll try that. I've got the year off to a good start. The first $200 in the bank. :lol: Now...how many thousands to go? hehe I'm definitely couch surfing aorund Europe.

Scritch

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  • Added on: January 4th, 2011
Make a budget.

Figure out your rent, utilities, phone, and any other expenses. Average out your food and entertainment expenses. That lets you see how much of your money is going where.

Direct deposit into a savings account is a great way to go, because you never see the money. I put about 25% of my paycheck into a savings account, and I make under $30,000 a year. I'm putting over $6,000 a year into savings, and I still live pretty decently.

Once you figure out how much you want to save (which also lets you set a savings goal and how long until your next trip), break down the rest of your income into those above categories, or others as you see fit.

The thing is, savings don't have to go with giving up everything and anything you enjoy in life, besides traveling. I budget out a certain amount for going out and other fun activities, maybe even a trip or two. Once that money is gone, I behave a little more frugally. Most good friends will understand if you can't always go out on the town.

Get rid of your car. Get a bicycle.

Definitely move into cheaper lodgings. Maybe the Y is a bit extreme, but if you look around you could just find a roommate. Move into a less trendy part of town, accept a longer commute, or something like that. Even "shotgun" living isn't so bad if you're working to a goal. Not sure what you call them up there, but we have houses/apartments in which a group of savings oriented tenants turn into cheaper living by turning what should be a living room or other such room into a bedroom. Sacrifices, you know?

Don't drink so much. This is my biggest vice. You could always just have one or two beers. I like to have ten.

You could just get a full-time job, instead of two part-time ones. I put myself through grad school with a full-time job. It's exhausting, but then again, you're too tired to go out and spend money. And almost anyone will understand that, as opposed to travel inspired austerity.

Instead of giving all your shit away at once, consider just not buying new shit unless you actually need it. The stuff you have? You've already invested in. Sell it if you can.

rhythm_blues

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  • Added on: January 4th, 2011
You might do these already, but here are a few ideas:

Pack your lunch rather than eating in a restaurant.
Cook meals at home rather than going out, getting restaurant meals delivered, or buying processed food (e.g. frozen dinners, pre-made meals, etc.).
Reduce or eliminate meat from your diet.
Invite friends over to play board games or watch free/low-cost movies rather than having evenings out.
Borrow books from the library rather than buying books.

I thought about suggesting the reduction or elimination of coffee and alcohol, but that would be too extreme for me!

ord2rtw2013

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2011
Thank you!!!!! I just set up an automatic deduction into my ING savings account. I was hoping to open one with Ally, but since I'm in the Chexsystems due to refusing to pay $200 in overdraft fees, I cannot open an account with them. I just started taking advantage of my company's 401k since they will match my contribution dollar for dollar. If my money's out of sight, then it's out of mind.

I know the types of group apartments you're talking about. I used to live in one, but people kept eating my food and a few of my things went missing, so I didn't stay there long. Apparently my local YMCA is booked and I'd have to get on a waiting list! I'm just going to move into a studio w/ all utilities inc. which save me another $200 a month.

Anyway more info than you needed, but putting this in writing really helps.

I'm quite lucky in regards to my job, so I'll be with them until 2013. I've got a couple of interviews set up for part-time telephone researcher work. Economy must be improving somewhat because when I applied for additional work last year I didn't get a single answer. Yay!!!!!!!

P.S. I'm working on writing down everything I spend. I'm on my way to work nd don't have time to proofread this, so I apologize for the mistakes!

Scritch wrote:Make a budget.

Figure out your rent, utilities, phone, and any other expenses. Average out your food and entertainment expenses. That lets you see how much of your money is going where.

Direct deposit into a savings account is a great way to go, because you never see the money. I put about 25% of my paycheck into a savings account, and I make under $30,000 a year. I'm putting over $6,000 a year into savings, and I still live pretty decently.

Once you figure out how much you want to save (which also lets you set a savings goal and how long until your next trip), break down the rest of your income into those above categories, or others as you see fit.

The thing is, savings don't have to go with giving up everything and anything you enjoy in life, besides traveling. I budget out a certain amount for going out and other fun activities, maybe even a trip or two. Once that money is gone, I behave a little more frugally. Most good friends will understand if you can't always go out on the town.

Get rid of your car. Get a bicycle.

Definitely move into cheaper lodgings. Maybe the Y is a bit extreme, but if you look around you could just find a roommate. Move into a less trendy part of town, accept a longer commute, or something like that. Even "shotgun" living isn't so bad if you're working to a goal. Not sure what you call them up there, but we have houses/apartments in which a group of savings oriented tenants turn into cheaper living by turning what should be a living room or other such room into a bedroom. Sacrifices, you know?

Don't drink so much. This is my biggest vice. You could always just have one or two beers. I like to have ten.

You could just get a full-time job, instead of two part-time ones. I put myself through grad school with a full-time job. It's exhausting, but then again, you're too tired to go out and spend money. And almost anyone will understand that, as opposed to travel inspired austerity.

Instead of giving all your shit away at once, consider just not buying new shit unless you actually need it. The stuff you have? You've already invested in. Sell it if you can.

ord2rtw2013

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2011
I like what you said about reducing meat from your diet. I've dratically reduced the types of meat I'll eat and prefer to eat cheap meat. Hehe...that sounds funny. :lol:

I have only one true friend that has traveled a lot and understands what I'm trying to do. She's up for anything free and cheap. The others...well...we both agree they're just too d*mn materialistic. Anytime I suggest something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, they don't want to do it and can't understand why I must spend all of my money on travel. Okay it really looks like I'll have to start a separate post for this.

Thank you for the tips!

rhythm_blues wrote:You might do these already, but here are a few ideas:

Pack your lunch rather than eating in a restaurant.
Cook meals at home rather than going out, getting restaurant meals delivered, or buying processed food (e.g. frozen dinners, pre-made meals, etc.).
Reduce or eliminate meat from your diet.
Invite friends over to play board games or watch free/low-cost movies rather than having evenings out.
Borrow books from the library rather than buying books.

I thought about suggesting the reduction or elimination of coffee and alcohol, but that would be too extreme for me!

travel droppings

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2011
Its a funny way for some people to think that if something is expensive, it must be worth doing...

Anyway, I would say drinking and eating are my two big expenditures. Especially since I got a taste for Pinot Noir over cheap Merlot, and prefer craft beers over Miller Lite. To solve this, I am going to try to do more work online and work on my photography. That should replace some of my drinking time.

As for food in the states, it is just so much cheaper to eat unhealthy crap than to eat nice fresh food. That is a huge problem over here. So I do my best and cook at home when I can.

Best luck to you!
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ord2rtw2013

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  • Added on: January 11th, 2011
Eating and drinking are my biggest expenditures too, so it's a challenge limiting them...especially when people are always inviting you out to eat and drink. Well I guess I'm lucky...I could have no one inviting me out. Ahhh..the things I complain about seem pretty sad. :o

Healthy food staples like beans, fruit and vegetables are cheap. The unhealthy crap is always on sale, but I never buy it. My taste towards wine is less discerning. I can drink a $3 bottle of wine.

I wish you the best in saving! I have the perfect set up, so I'll be able to save for my 2013 trip with minimal effort. Automatic deductions rock!


travel droppings wrote:Its a funny way for some people to think that if something is expensive, it must be worth doing...

Anyway, I would say drinking and eating are my two big expenditures. Especially since I got a taste for Pinot Noir over cheap Merlot, and prefer craft beers over Miller Lite. To solve this, I am going to try to do more work online and work on my photography. That should replace some of my drinking time.

As for food in the states, it is just so much cheaper to eat unhealthy crap than to eat nice fresh food. That is a huge problem over here. So I do my best and cook at home when I can.

Best luck to you!



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