Trip Finance for the Frugal Migrant

Allocation of funds, see?

People ask me all the time how I afford to travel like I do. So I’ll tell you. It’s pretty simple:

I don’t spend money or time on much else, and when I do travel, I am as thrifty as I can be.

Everybody has their things that they like to do, and so those things end up being the sappers of money and time. This is totally fine. Better than fine! This is great. If you spend your money and time on things you like, then you are doing well, I’d say. It’s spending your money on things you don’t like which is absurd, but that’s a whole different story.

Some people are skiers. They spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on gear and ski passes each year. I look at them and ask them the same question! How do you afford that? You just bought a pair of ski bindings for 400 dollars and it apparently was no big deal. It was no thang. It was no big deal because skiing is what you like to do. Me? I don’t ski. I spend my winters reading and tinkering and hibernating.

Some people are concert-goers, routinely buying $90 concert tickets because, to them, it’s worth it. Some people are entrepreneurs, taking out loans and putting down big money on starting businesses. Some people are gamblers. Some people are mountaineers. Some people are this or that.

So that’s just it. Travel is my thing that I do. Travel is how I get my kicks. I have no qualms with filling my gas tank on long road trips, or blowing money on plane tickets, or buying drinks or food in crazy places because it is my pastime, because to me it’s worth it. It’s easy for me. Now I’m making travel even more of a force in my life by actively making it my lifestyle. So really, what else could I spend money on if I want to make that work?

I do have a more specific plan on financing my travels, however. I pledge to put ten percent of every dollar I earn from this point on into my travel fund. The money placed in this travel account will have no other purpose than to fund transportation, lodging, or emergency expenses. This plan will continue into my travels, such that as I find work here or there, I will gradually accrue monies for a-spending on more voyages. This percentage may increase as time goes on, but I feel like ten percent is a decent starting point.

In this way I know that as long as I am working, I am also making money to do my thing (travel!). Conversely, I know that to continue traveling, I will meet to work to earn the money, and so this will keep me looking for work to earn travel funds. Following this plan will make my travels possible. Sticking to it and being a cheap skate will keep me from going broke.

Making a commitment to your activities, like this financial one I have made to travel, will make your activities more attainable.  Of course, this may narrow your focus (I won’t be buying any concert tickets anytime soon), but maybe that’s okay. If you’ve got a passion, roll with it.

What do you save for?

3 responses to “Trip Finance for the Frugal Migrant

  1. Pingback: A Traveler Develops Professional Skills | The Migrant Experience

  2. Pingback: Kampala on Less than Two Dollars per Day | The Migrant Experience

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