UNapologetically Angela

Budgeting for Vacation

– a short excerpt from Jes

Saving money is difficult. There are so many temptations that frequently come up – things we want or feel like we need. Instant gratification beats out long term goals more often than we would like to admit. So how do you save money so that you can go on that vacation that you’ve been dying to do for so long?

Well, the first step is to logically determine when you want to go. You can’t choose to go two months from now because that’s unrealistic. Give yourself enough time to save the money and purchase your flight and hotels in advance. Usually, if you purchase your flight and hotel two months in advance, then you will pay less than if you were to purchase them a week before. So planning ahead is key! To give you an example, let’s say we are planning a trip for nine months from now, in January 2020 to Sydney, Australia. Sydney has perfect tanning and surfing weather, as well as some awesome festivals and concerts in January. Sydney is the place to be in January!

Quick travel tips!?

When planning your flight and dates, keep in mind that the cheapest and most inactive days to fly are usually on a Tuesday and Wednesday. There may be some exceptions to this for holiday seasons but if you are able to plan your trip to leave and return on a Tuesday or Wednesday then you’ll likely save lots of time and money.

Okay, so you have your place and your dates set. Your next step is to mark your calendar for two months before. This is when you will purchase your flight and hotel. We know we need to get our flight and hotel paid for in November. We will need the funds to do this, so between now and November is the timeline needed to save enough to pay for these expenses.

That’s seven months to prepare!

(More than enough time to properly save for nearly any epic adventure.)

Our next challenge is to determine approximately how much is necessary to fund the entire trip. Using our Sydney example and the place where I live, Seattle, Washington, as our starting point, it will cost approximately $1500.00 for your flight round trip. If you want to stay in a 4 or 5 star hotel, then your total hotel cost will be around $1000.00. Finally you will need some spending money while you are there including taxi fares, food, and entertainment. If you take the average spending of a tourist in Sydney then you are looking at approximately $1300.00 for one week or $191.00 per day. Totalling everything up we will need to save $3800.00 for our incredible adventure. I am sure that total sounds daunting but we are going to break it down and make it 100 percent feasible. We have 7 months to make sure we have $2500.00 to book our flights and our hotel, and 9 months to make sure we have the $1300.00 for while we are travelling. Let’s get planning!

I find that breaking down my financial goals by month or by week, according to my check schedule helps me determine how much of my checks I should be putting away. Plus it sets up a timeline so if I am not able to save on a paycheck I can calculate how much I need to save later to compensate. For our Sydney example, I am going to say we get our paychecks monthly. To save the $2500.00 in the first 7 months we need to be putting $358.00 of our paychecks. Or for those of you who are commission-based or who are business owners, you need to be making $358.00 more in sales.

We also need to calculate saving the $1300.00 over the next 9 months. Don’t worry this is the last bit of math you will need to do. You are almost done! So, $1300.00 broken up over 9 months is $145.00 a month. You have a couple options to save this portion. You can add the $145.00 to the $358.00 you already need to save which will increase the amount necessary to save every month. For the first 7 months you’d need to save $503.00 a month and the last 2 months you would only need to save $145.00.

But there is another option as well!

To avoid having to save over $500.00 a month for 7 months, we can even out the saving per month over the next 9 months. If in the last 2 months before our trip we save 2.5 times the amount we determined monthly, then we would save $362.50 a month in those last 2 months. This option will reduce our amount to save for the first 7 months to $441.00.

If your living situation does not allow you to save these amounts then your other choice is to extend your planning time to more than 9 months to give yourself more time to save!!!

Remember, where there is a will, there is always a way!

You just have to want it badly enough to make it happen. Now if you are finding these calculations to be more difficult then we would be happy to assist!!

Email us the total amount you need to save as well as your timeline for planning your trip, and we will email you back with the break down of the calculations for your trip.

Don’t be afraid to dream big!

Sincerely Your Community Leader

– Jes

Budgeting for Vacation

– Back to Angela

Everything Jes said is right and true! It is possible to create opportunity to go on your dream vacation. But! Extravagant vacations aren’t the only way to do it. Personally, I’m a frequent traveler. I get restless. Every month or two, I get that itch to travel and I can’t stop myself. Whether it’s by train or plane or car or bus, I find a way to make it happen. Up until recent times, I wouldn’t say I’ve been a wealthy person, monetarily. I have collected experiences and memories that have brought me to magical places on this planet and in my own soul. I may not have had much extra money to spend on my day-to-day life, but I made it possible for myself to adventure often and impulsively explore and live spontaneously.

How?

First of all, like Jes said, the first and most crucial component is saving money. You can do this in a variety of ways. Multiple choices here for ya, guys. You have no excuses.

You can cut unnecessary expenses. Don’t say that you have none. We all have some. At least one. Do you have both Netflix and Hulu and cable TV? Is that really necessary? Do you even have enough free time to watch all of that? Is that really good for your brain and productivity?

Do you indulge in a shopping spree more frequently than you probably should? It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes, but when you don’t have enough room in your closet for your clothes, it’s probably a decent time to chill out on the purchases. I know it makes you feel good in that moment, but that vacation will feel so much better.

Do you go out every weekend? We know it’s fun. We know you don’t want to miss out. But you won’t be. Staying home sometimes isn’t a bad thing. You’re not a square. You’re an adult. Buy a bottle of wine and cook dinner and invite some friends over to your place. Good times are all about the quality of the company, not necessarily the extravagance of the experience. Plus, this way you get to choose the music, or the movie, or the meal, or the men. It’ll save you money, too.

Work smart, not hard. Don’t cut yourself short because you are afraid to ask for what you deserve. Don’t limit or lessen your worth. If you are good at something, utilize that power. Someone out there wants someone like you. Find that hustle and work it hard.

My roommate recently told me how she saves money because she’s planning a few trips of her own. Her method? She breaks down each paycheck into categories.

50% goes to bills

30% goes to spending

20% goes to saving

(you can also swap out spending and saving, according to which applies to your lifestyle and habits)

It seems to be working for her! Try it!

Other ways to save money on your travel dreams? I have more inside information.

Frequent Flyer Miles and Airline Rewards!!!

I personally swear by Southwest airlines. Experience has taught me that they are the best. Why? They give you 2 free checked bags, first of all. Most (if not all) other airlines will charge you to check your bags. Some of them give you one free and every extra after that is charged, but if you’re like me and you have a tendency to over pack, you’re going to need that extra free bag. SW also allows you to bring on one carry on bag, along with one personal item (aka: backpack, purse, etc). So that’s 4 bags total, FOR FREE. People often think that they are getting a good deal from the cheaper airlines, which offer tickets for much less. But it’s a scam! They charge you elsewhere (bags, beverages, even picking a seat!) and it ends up costing you more than if you were to fly with an airline that actually takes care of you.

If you are also like me in the way that you sometimes spontaneously decide to change your travel plans, SW has your back. Most airlines do not allow you to cancel or change your flight at the last minute without charging you a fee or making you forfeit the money you spent on the original flight. SW allows you to change or cancel your flight (even the same day!) with no penalties. I have been on countless trips where I have felt that my 3 days off needed to be 5 and I did not lose a penny from my impulsive decisions and my overpowering love for staying in San Diego.

In addition, they compensate you for your loyalty and your business. One time, I was on a trip where my flight was delayed for over 8 hours. It was not ideal. SW not only got me out of there quicker than the other airlines at that airport, but they also gave me free drink tickets and a $250 credit towards any future flight for my troubles.

If you have somewhat decent credit, you can apply for the SW airlines Chase credit card. When you sign up, they offer you a free 50,000 frequent flyer miles. For every dollar you spend on flights, hotels, or rental cars, they give you double points towards miles. For every dollar you spend elsewhere, you get a point. It adds up quickly! Not too long ago, I went on 9 trips in one year and every single flight was free!

Even if you don’t want to get the credit card, or you are unable to, you can still sign up for the rewards program. They give you points towards flights for every flight you take with them. It takes more time to accrue the points needed for future free trips, but it is better than not getting credit at all.

Once you find a way to get to your destination, how do you afford your stay?

There are a few ways.

Hostels are one of them. They usually cost about $30 per night per person. They have private rooms or shared rooms, where there are usually bunk beds full of young travelers from around the world. There is a shared kitchen and usually a recreational area. They are in most major cities across the WORLD. They are safe, clean, and filled with adventurous souls like yourself, just searching for cheap ways to see the world.

Some of my friends have told me about their experiences with the Couch Surfer site. I have not utilized it myself, but they have always come back with good reviews. Couch Surfers is a place where people offer up their couches or spare rooms to travelers in need of a place to stay at a discounted rate. They probably even feed you! But don’t quote me on that one.

If you aren’t planning on going on a trip to somewhere far and just want to getaway for a few days, try the Amtrak or Greyhound. Amtrak is a train with routes going all over the US. Greyhound is a bus that does the same. They are very affordable, especially if you purchase your tickets a decent amount of time in advance. If you think you are too good for these methods of transportation, you should probably rethink things. They aren’t bad. They are actually awesome. You get to sight-see from comfortable chairs with chargers and lap tables sometimes even beverages. I’ve booked business class train tickets multiple times and they provided me with an adult lunchable containing fancy cheese and crackers, cookies, and wine. Not too shabby. And that only costed me $45 for a 5 hour train ride.

So, you see? You have no excuses. Don’t spend your life just working to pay bills and die. Spend your days working hard so that you can enjoy the beauty and magnificence of this world. Life is short. Don’t waste your time or your money.

Go see the world. GO VACATION!

Remember –Today is beautiful and tomorrow can be better.

-Your Friend

Angela


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: