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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saving For Travel

"You can’t accomplish anything worthwhile if you inhibit yourself.  If life teaches you nothing else, know this for sure: When you get the chance, go for it.” -Oprah Winfrey

When I think of travel, this quote resonates with me.  I have the chance to travel while I have health and strength, so I might as well go for it. Then the questions that comes up are, where do I want to go, and how will I pay for it.  And what I found out is that travelling doesn't mean breaking the bank.  Obviously there are costs to any type of travel. Transportation, food, and lodging are just a few of the major expenses to consider.  Rhonda shared with me some information from a blog reading that had a few tips for saving for travel.  Many that I currently use, and others I plan to implement. 

Open a dedicated savings account-name the destination and the time frame/year.
Think about what you're spending that you can slash- coffee and fast-food add up.
Put all extra money into the savings account- pocket change, work bonus, etc.
Get a side job- Whatever your talent, use it. In addition to maintaining full time careers, both Rhonda and I are pursing professional "side hustles" that we'll operate part-time.  I'm currently pursuing a real estate license and Rhonda a retirement financial specialist license.  We take our separate exams next month and the extra money from our "side hustle" will go towards the business, travel, and retirement accounts (ROTH, 403(b), etc).  We also want to "give back" in our community and help out family in need.
Connect to the savings- pictures, read articles and blogs. Keep end goal in mind.
Know how much it's going to costs- budget your travel in advance by writing it down, and sticking to it. Research destination and all identifiable expenses. Also consider an all inclusive package of 10 days or more. It often includes transportation/airfare, food, lodging, and attractions entrance fees.
Sell your stuff- Rhonda and I did this yesterday by selling our stuff at the flea market. We made enough to cover the table and a few "extra" bucks. A little adds up to a lot, and we have less clutter in the house! Yay!!
Keep track of what you make and what you spend before you go- use spreadsheets or sites such as  I've personally used to mark my credit card and loan payoff progress.  It keeps me accountable, and allows me to set goals.

The best advice I can give- Keep eye on prize, make sacrifices, and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE.

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