There are new posts on ‘budget travel’ popping up around the web daily. I’ve been there, wrote it, got the t-shirt. Whilst it’s great to know how to scrimp in order to stay on the road as long as possible how do you even buy the three figure plane ticket or afford to get to the luxurious islands on your Instagram feed? Well no fear my wannabe backpackers, I’m here with some real life truth of how I can afford 14 months of travelling, job free.
I read something once that shook me to my core and hasn’t left my mind since, ‘There’s no way I was born to pay bills and die.’ That quote scared me into the realisation that 90% of the population live by the 21st century robotic routine of; get up, go to work, cook dinner, watch TV, go to bed, pay the bills, grow stressed and tired, occasionally have a holiday, repeat. That has been my way of life up until now. Break free from the chains of society and chase your dreams.
Truth number 1. Dreams aren’t free.
Oh wait… I need to pay for my ‘dreams’ and they don’t come cheap!
Yes you’re going to have to work hard for a while, the thing is when you find your real passion in life you will work your BUTT off to make it reality. Actions always speak louder than words my friend and you can sit on your booty claiming you ‘want’ to travel the world every single day but YOU are the only person that can make that happen for yourself. *Unless you win the lottery, lucky sh*t!
Save. Save. Save.
So you’ve got the job, whether it’s finding freelance work online, working behind a bar or picking up tips in a restaurant. Maybe you’re working 9-5 in an office like me, now it’s time to put that hard work to good use… in a savings account.
Truth number 2. Dreams = Sacrifice.
Just like Olympic athletes have to sacrifice boozey nights out or trying every flavour of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer aisle before competing, you are going to have to sacrifice some daily luxuries too. Here are some suggestions for saving every penny;
Eat in. Pack food.
Drink in… don’t drink as much. Buy supermarket basics, not branded packaged foods. Walk everywhere. Use discount codes where possible. Cook with cheap ingredients like rice, potatoes and fresh veg. Stop getting takeout everything, including coffee, you realise for the price of 1 cup in Costa you could have 50 at home! Live with your parents for as long as you can. Learn to love your clothes, you wont be getting any new ones for a while – The way I think of it is, for the price of that Forever 21 shirt you could get at least 3 nights accommodation in Thailand!
Truth number 3. Budgets are actually useful.
Now I’m not saying you should get out the spreadsheets because…
But the fact is, numbers don’t lie and you’re going to have to keep track of those casual Uber payments and Starbucks orders at some point. I don’t allocate any amount of money to spend on groceries or bills per month because you shouldn’t make ‘goals’ to spend but more goals to keep. At the beginning of the year I figured out how much I’d need to put away per month to triple my savings and since then I’ve been putting that amount away without fail. If I have a little money left before payday that all goes in to. It might feel boring now but it wont when you have spare cash to get to that secluded island all your friends are talking about. I track my outgoings on my mobile banking app and would HIGHLY recommend you do the same. *make sure your savings account has the max interest rates, I got £70 from this alone last year.
Truth number 4. Dreams take time.
I got my first job when I was 14, sure it was only on Saturdays and during school holidays but I’ve only gone 3 weeks without a job since that year. It taught me from a young age how to handle my money. Yes, my bank account has been drained a few times since then, first when I was 15 on a pair of GHD straighteners, then again when I was 18 on my first car, then when I was 19 and went on 3 girly holidays in one year. Now at the wise old age of 21, priorities have changed and no new dress or material object is worth compromising an extra night in a far away land.
Truth number 5. Goal-digger.
No, I’m not suggesting you bag yourself a rich man or lady to achieve your dreams but I am suggesting you surround yourself with where you want to be, until you’re there yourself. For me this is all visual. Every morning I log onto Instagram I’m slapped in the face with successful travel bloggers or fellow dreamers living the life I want. It’s a little reminder of what lies ahead if I continue to work hard. Nothing reiterated this dream more for me than watching Jay Alvarrez on YouTube, I always have a huge smile on my face when I close the video and know that my hard work is taking me to paradise in just over 100 days!
So change that screensaver, save those Tumblr quotes and keep the dream in mind, it will drive you to work harder.
The truth… Hard work. Unfortunately there is no 1 miracle answer or easy road to live endless days on white sandy beaches, believe me, I wish there was. But damn, it sure does feel good when your hard work pays off and you truly EARN your own dream life. Keep it up babe, you’ll get there soon!
Leave me a comment if you’re living the 9-5 to get where you want to be!
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