Money, money, money! You are probably thinking, how in the world are we funding these travels? You need those dolla bills to get anywhere, y'all! Remember, our travels have been years in the making. Read our full story here.
Also, we have an accountant on our tag team. Adam Pierce Nubern, CPA is his name and numbers are his game. He is the brains and brawn behind our finances. Need some number crunching, budget help on your team? Check him out! He has started his own accounting business while we started traveling at Nuventure CPA.
To shed some light on our plan, here is our strategy:
PRIOR TO TRAVEL: Debt Free, Savings & Budgeting
While we were dating, we both independently saved for our travels.
Once we got married, we decided it was important for us to have freedom and being debt free was the way to get there. So, we put a plan in place.
First, we followed Dave Ramsey’s principles. This sounds lame, I know, but we would listen to his financial lessons on our long, Sunday drives back home from our Rocky Mountain weekend adventures.
HERE ARE DAVE'S STEPS WE TOOK:
1. Budgeting each month and implementing the "envelope system"
- Our goal was to live below our means by living on one of our salaries and putting the other's salary entirely into savings
- This isn't a bad way to start off a marriage with savings habits just in case job loss, kids, or crazy, unplanned situations happen in the future
2. We tracked our spending each month with mint
- We sat down together each month and worked through our spending to keep us in check
3. Successfully paid off our debt of student loans and a car payment.
- We still have our house, but renters are caring for it
4. Intentionally saved money for our "emergency fund" just in case...
- The unknown expenses will happen, so be prepared for them!
5. Before setting off on our travels, we saved:
- Enough money equalling a full year's salary to travel with
- Six months worth of expenses for when we return home to allow us time to find jobs, if needed
On the road: Budgeting
- We currently budget $50/day and try to spend less
- We sit down together and analyze our spending at the first of each month with mint.com
- How do we keep to our budget with food, accommodation, transportation and having fun? Read more here.
Credit card points
Like I shared earlier, before traveling we implemented Dave Ramsey's envelope system. After seven months of success with this habit, we changed our strategy. We saw friends travel to Mexico solely on credit card points. We wanted to hop on that train! So, we kept our budget going but started using credit cards to pay our normal expenses and built up our points for flights, hotels and car rentals.
We had to be careful. It's known you spend more with a credit card than with cash in your wallet. So, we still sat down regularly to go through our spending habits to stay accountable. It was all worth it! Now after traveling almost a year, we have had a few amazing perks along the way:
- Flew from Atlanta to Hawaii for $10 total for both of us!
- Flew to Australia, Singapore and Thailand for $220 total!
- Have had several "free" nights at hotels using points!
YOU CAN DO IT, TOO! Here is how:
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Warning: Before you get started, make sure to read Million Mile Secrets Beginner's Guide!
We weren’t planning on working on this trip (remember we wanted freedom), but life is a journey and you adapt to opportunities, interests, desires, ideas and needs. Thankfully, we have had opportunities to make money on the road:
Adam started accounting for a friend before we started traveling and his business has grown into Nuventure CPA.
Social Media & Blogging
Lindsey worked part-time the first three months on the US road trip til her former employer found someone to fill her position. She has jumped onto social media and blogging opportunities as well.
Working Holiday Visas
The day before jumping on a plane to New Zealand, we applied and received a working holiday visa!
Are you under 30? Jump on your opportunity to get a Working Holiday Visa to work and travel New Zealand for a year! We were payed to help sheer sheep and house/pet sit for animals through trustedhousesitters.com!