First Stress: Cash

Unless you are made of money (which we are not..) the number one stresser for a trip of this magnitude is going to be finances. Much of that stress comes from the unknown expenses we are going to encounter. I realize that many of those questions will be answered as the months go on and as our plans get more solidified, but the fact of the matter is, no matter what we do, it’s going to require cash. And quite a bit of it.

I have the wonderful luxury of working from home and in doing so have the ability to work virtually anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection. As much as I would love to take an entire year off from work, that’s simply not possible, so I do plan on working while we are away to continue to bring in money and keep my company running.

Even though I intend to continue to work from the road, we are going to need some “seed money” to get us started and keep us going. My monthly income is not enough to fund 5 plane tickets each month to fly to a new destination, etc. So, we are now in saving mode. It’s been quite amazing actually.

My wife and I are not conservative spenders, nor are we extravagant spenders. We fall pretty much in the middle but lean toward the extravagant side a little bit. After a long planning session this weekend, we have decided to approach our spending from a different point of view this coming year. We basically have a series of questions that we are asking ourselves each time we buy.

1) Do we need this NOW? Can we wait till after the trip to buy it? Can we live without it at all?

2) Is there an alternative to this item/event? Can we get something almost as good for less money?

3) Would we rather have “this” or rather put that money into our trip savings account?

In addition to putting more thought into spending, we are also examining our monthly and annual expenses to see where we can save money there. None of these changes are going to save a ton of money on their own, but they will start to add up quickly over time when used in combination with many savings like this.

1) We’re cutting our cable bill to zero. We’re in an HD world now and we are lucky to have great line of sight to the HD television towers in Denver, so we are getting rid of cable completely and we are going to go straight over-the-air. This should save us upwards of $125 a month.

2) We are cutting non-essential services like Milk Delivery.

3) We are eliminating or reducing the frequency of services like house cleaning, massages, hair appointments and such.

4) We are cutting our “dining out” budget by 1/3 and allowing ourselves to only go out to eat (or carry out) once a week.

And a bunch of other things like that 🙂

I also plan on taking any and all money that we have left over (or earn on a good month beyond normal) and putting it directly into savings.

I know this won’t be enough to pay for a trip around the world, but we are confident that with careful spending and my plan to continue to work around the world we should be able to pull this off. It sure would be nice though to have a hundred thousand dollars in the bank “just in case”. Maybe on the next trip around the world? !

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