Lots of people seem to think I’m rich or have indispensable money and I don’t. I make choices when budgeting to be able to travel more because it means more to me than the below things. Here’s what I’ve given up in my life to travel more.
1. Living Below My Means
As my salary went up, my budget stayed the same. I didn’t upgrade to a new, higher cost apartment or buy a fancier car etc.
2. Not having a car and relying on public transportation
Pre-pandemic I worked close to where I lived so public transit was a great option and Ubers were very cheap since I didn’t commute far. Since I work from home I don’t need or have a car and save lots every month by not having a car payment, gas or insurance costs to pay for. If I want to go somewhere I have friends to carpool with or take road trips with and we split gas/parking.
3. Living in a small studio apartment
Could I afford to upgrade to one with more room? Sure. Would I rather save that extra 500-600 dollars a month and stay in my rent controlled, tiny studio? Yes. Also, this means my utility bills are lower as well which is great!
4. Limiting how often I eat out and do takeout
I give myself a budget to eat out and grab a coffee or a drink out once a week. I also shop cheap at my dollar/budget grocery store and don’t buy a lot of expensive foods.
5. Limiting beauty treatments
I pick and choose what beauty treatments mean the most to me. I don’t do my nails and hair every month and do all of these treatments. I do my nails at home if I want them done and color my hair maybe twice a year and do a balayage so it grows out better. My skincare I do splurge a little on though because I value investing in good skincare.
6. Choosing to be a freelancer vs. working a full time 9-5.
I sacrifice a steady paycheck and health insurance to be able to take as much time off as I want between contract jobs. I don’t get paid in between jobs nor do I have paid vacation time but I am fortunate enough to work well paying gigs that I can take longer breaks in between if needed.
7. Random Shopping Sprees and Impulse Buys
Living in a small space limits how much I can own so I don’t go on random shopping sprees or spend frivolously on designer items or clothes. I own a capsule/basic wardrobe and wear what I have until it needs to be replaced. If I want something bad enough I also don’t put it on a credit card nor do I carry any debt. I also don’t spend a lot of money on events or concerts or movies.
8. Upgrading technology every year
I don’t upgrade my computer and phone every year and I don’t buy expensive, fancy tech items like Google Home, Alexa, speakers for my TV, etc.
As you can see I sacrifice a lot to be able to travel and that’s okay with me. The trade off for me personally, is worth it.
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