Tickets are booked and ready to go. So what’s next on the list? Getting my money organized of course!
I’ve set a goal of saving $6000 for my entire trip. This includes flight tickets, hotels, and the visa to get into Vietnam.
It was sure one hefty goal at the time since I didn’t have a regular income flowing in each month as I’ve just been laid off and was committed to save for my real estate investment gig.
Now that the 60 day countdown has begun, it’s time to get serious. (Well, I should’ve gotten serious right after I booked my tickets!)
Ever since being laid off 3 to 5 times in a span of 1 year, I luckily received a phone call back to work. Since then, I’ve been putting in loads of extra hours.
One positive habit I picked up while being unemployed was keeping my expenses low. It was no time to spend money and if I wanted to go travel Vietnam the following year, I had better change my current lifestyle.
It was hard at first but like anything, I got a lot easier. What did I start doing that made it easier? I kept envisioning my travels around Vietnam and that gave me the courage to say no more often.
I’ve been in that habit of tracking every penny that flows in and out of my pocket for a couple of years now. It’s a very good habit to pick up. I look back at my past spending and figured out what I can cut out. It sure wasn’t easy as there were some nights that I just wanted to go out with friends but knew I shouldn’t. It sucked then but with only 60 days left, I’m glad I said no.
While talking to friends and family that have travel extensively, I noticed one common pattern that they all seem to do. They sacrifice spending back home to enjoy themselves on their travels.
They don’t go out and eat every weekend or buy the latest gadgets each time a newer version comes out. They rather lounge around friend’s house and buy things when they really need it.
These things may not seem much at first but they do add up quickly.
- Let’s say you buy a cup of Starbucks every day and assuming its $5 per cup (likely more), that’s $140 per month!
- Now let’s assume you have 6 months before your trip. By the end of this 6 months, you could’ve saved $840 for your travels! And if you were going to places like Vietnam or others parts of Asia, that $840 would’ve been worth more!
Be aware if you’re taking on this practice as you may be known as the “cheapskate”. I don’t think of it this way at all.
I think of it as putting my priorities in line with what I want out of life. I would rather spend my money on seeing the world instead of material things. Neither way is right or way, it’s what you want from life. From past experience, I know that getting materialistic things such as a car will only make me smile short term. I’m in the process of looking for long term joy.
Create a plan
Back in August of 2016, we had a good idea of when we wanted to return to Vietnam in 2017. I knew the next steps were to get my finances in order after we booked the trip. I needed to create a solid plan.
Having travel around Vietnam once, I had a good idea of how much I would be spending if I travel the way I did in 2016.
I set a goal to save $6000 for the whole trip, everything included. This means from big expenses like flight tickets to the very tiniest items such as a travel toothbrush.
Having a plan helped me see the vision and the vision is what causes me to spar into action. The first few months were hard. Having an end goal, I knew how much I needed to save each month. As the months went by, I couldn’t reach these goals and therefore had to readjust and lower it while finding other means to increase my income. I wasn’t spending on material things or entertainment at all, quite the opposite actually. Most of my savings were going into my real estate account. I wanted to make both work but if I had to choose one, it was going into that account.
Luckily for me, I got a called back and have been working full time again. What has helped me was my discipline to say no to friends and family during those tough times, which has carried over while I’m working full time. Now, I’m able to keep my expenses low while having a bigger income causing me to save a lot more for my travels! I love it!
60 Days left
Am I going to reach my goal of $6000? Since the start of 2017, I’ve been working rigorously. Even though at times it can get a little bit stressful with being overloaded with work, I’m still grateful at the end of the day that I was called back in.
By the end of this month, I will reach my goals early and anything savings after will just be bonus money!