Friends and acquaintances often make the mistake that we’re well off because we’re traveling the world and are “jet-setters”. The reality is that we’re not well off and still have more than $40k in student debt! However, one thing we have done in the past is budget, save, and spend smart.
We have been lucky to each have a normal job that allows us to do what we do and save, but most of the people that say we’re “rich” probably have a higher income than both of us combined! The key for me is to control your spending habits. Before I met Sara, I used to be a person that would go into credit card debt if the experience was worth it, spend on useless $100 shoes, buy drinks for friends with over $150 bar tab, or go to expensive dinners where it would come out to $40-60/person. Initially I would resist being more responsible with my spending but little by little I’ve learned to control the need to spend more and more.
I’m not advocating for not spending and limiting yourself from buying that daily latte. I’m not that crazy. But I am advocating for smart spending. If you plan to buy something expensive, save for it and include it in your financial goals. If you really enjoy food and expensive dinners, include it in your budget and make sure that it won’t cut into your financial goal.
To finish, here is a list of good advice I’ve received:
- Analyze your spending habits for the last 3 months, and you’ll realize that you’ve been spending more on random stuff than on your basic needs (clothes, eating out, electronics, etc…)
- Prioritize your spending. If you want to take a trip that will cost you $10,000, then don’t buy the newest iPhone and “sacrifice” with a pre-paid basic smart phone for a year (this alone can save you $1,000)
- Utilize credit rewards and miles. We just booked a flight from LAX to SFO for $5 for 2 people and 9,000 miles!
- If you’re saving for something, resist from buying alcohol during meals, drink water instead, and then go to happy hour or make drinks at home. Dinner last night was double the price because of some drinks. You’ll realize that doing this will save more than you can imagine
- and there is more to come…
For now, just know we’re not rich or well-off and you too can travel the world without the need to be a millionaire. We’ve just prioritized our spending habits! =)
NOTE: The picture is me fanning out 100,000 bills in Indonesia. Here, I am a millionaire!