Even An Idiot Can Save For TravelPosted on Jan 12, 2012 | 37 comments
A few days ago I received this comment on a post I wrote long ago about saving $20,000 in a year.
What planet are you on? Most people can only afford to get by and were hoping for some decent ideas on how to stretch the extra $50 a week they have left over. Instead you come up with a whole bunch of ways to save cash by getting rid of luxuries most people don’t even have in the first place.
Please take my advice and don’t write another thread, you're obviously an idiot…..
Well, if you didn't know it before, then I guess you know it now - I'm an idiot. I give. It's official. I graciously accept my lowly lot in life.
But if an idiot like me can save enough money to travel the world, then why can't you?
You know the movie where the daughter gets kidnapped and the parents start selling everything to come up with the ransom? Or how about the one where the little boy needs a new heart and the dad starts working overnights selling credit card security plans from a call center to make the transplant happen?
When pushed; we respond. That's what people do. We step up at the very last second and get the job done, or else we fail. It's really that simple.
So when we sit back and we start to wonder why we don't have that Ipad, or that house, or why we aren't able to travel because we just don't have enough money, maybe it's just because we haven't been pushed far enough.
Saving money requires two things: The means to make it, and a reason to save it.
Pretty much all of us make money. Sure, some make more than others, but I don't think what one makes matters too much when it comes to saving. I know plenty of people who make a lot more than me and wind up saving a lot less. And I also know plenty of people who make next to nothing, but are so frugal with a buck that they have managed to save up a pretty nice rainy day fund for themselves.
Saving is a choice. It's a state of mind. You have to want it, and it takes time. You have to have something you're saving for everyday. It doesn't matter if it's one dollar or ten - save what you can.
I want to travel. It took me a long time to accept that fact. I spent a lot of money and time in my life searching for what I wanted, but now I know, and along with spending time with my family, travel has become my biggest goal in life. So when I choose to skip buying a cup of coffee, a pair of pants, a movie, a donut, an Ipad, or a drink with friends, I see it as rewarding myself with the opportunity to experience a churro, a day on the beach in Belize, a cup of coffee outside a cafe in Paris, a jungle trek with my family in Peru, or a dinner with friends in Thailand. Every dollar I choose to avoid spending now, gives me more time to travel later.
I know some may say that life happens now, and if I focus so much on saving now, then I will miss out on the present. But my present is filled with work and daycare and routines - I don't enjoy it much. My future is one of travel. It's not far away, and I am going spend every second of today saving for tomorrow because I now know what tomorrow brings.
We have talked a ton on this site about saving money and how cheap it can be to travel and how to minimize your expenses. But when it comes down to it, it's how you live your life today that will affect how you live your life tomorrow. If you know what you want, then start working for it today. Don't say can't. Don't second guess yourself. Just start. Start saving. Skip the coffee. Live as cheap as you can. Forget what you don't have and work with what you do. Go get that goal.
Now, back to me being an idiot.
People may get annoyed with posts like this because they make saving and traveling sound so easy. I know from other people's computer chairs the world may not be as rosy as mine right now. I know because I have been there. At times in my life I have definitely acted like an idiot - especially when it comes to money. I used to just throw money away. I never knew what I wanted. I made a million excuses to help me justify buying something I needed to have. At one point I lost everything we had and I put my family in debt. I wasted so much.
I started this website/adventure because I was so sick of everything and I had to change. It hasn't been easy. It's hard work. I don't always like saving every penny now, but I know it's the right thing for us to do. I know it. And I guess I am sort of an idiot to think that every person out there can someday own the same feeling of "knowing" just as I do right now, but . . . that's what I think. That's what I know.
It's buckling down time here for us. This is Step 7 of our Escape Guide and for the next 11 months I am not spending a dime. I want the world, and I am saving for it.
And please feel free to SIGN UP HERE and get all our posts and articles delivered via email.