Budgeting, Finances, Travel

The World Travelers Plan of Action

Lately my husband and I have been known as, “The World Travelers” among our friends and family. Our recent adventures around the world have left many of the important people in our life asking, “How do you guys do it?”

The answer is complex yet so simple: We budget. I believe that my husband and I do well for ourselves, but we have bills just like everyone else. My secret is that I have a detailed budget for each of us and we follow that budget 98.5% of the time (sometimes you have to be flexible). Some people find budgets restricting or overwhelming, I find them liberating, reassuring, and empowering. A budget allows you to see and understand where your money goes each month, and it also allows you to set up a plan of action for whatever financial goal you want to accomplish.

For my husband and I, we have decided that we want to travel. Each month we put money into a vacation savings fund, even if we don’t have a specific destination in mind. That way, when we do decide on our next vacation, we are already on our way to making our dreams become a reality.

There is also a magical phenomenon that happens twice a year, known as the “extra paycheck.” 🙂 Typically, at least part of this magical phenomenon is dumped into the vacation fund as well.

One of the most important components of our world travels is the fact that my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to traveling. If one of us didn’t enjoy it as much, it would be much harder to save, rather than spend, the monthly vacation fund. We also agree on the amount saved each month. Sure it leaves us with less spending money, but we are willing to sacrifice the material possessions in order to create life-long memories with each other.

Side note: Savings is a major factor in our budget. Not just “vacation” savings, but our “rainy day” fund, as well as our 401K retirement funds. If our savings happens to dwindle too low, increasing that would come first and foremost before our world adventures. You can never be too prepared, in my opinion.

Do you have a magic trick when it comes to your “vacation money tree”? Please share!

9 thoughts on “The World Travelers Plan of Action”

  1. We sure have had a lot of great memories and seen a good bit of the world in such a short time and we couldnt have done that without budgeting. Most people would be surprised to see where they could go if they just didn’t eat out, or didn’t need that new pair of jeans and instead saved. You never know when life is over (i know this all to well after my near fatal car accident) and lying there in the hospital for nearly two months left me with a lot of thoughts and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I really hadn’t seen or done nearly as much as I would have liked. Then I met you and we have done more (sometimes on a college budget which left us with not a lot) in 5 years than I have in my entire life and this includes trips all over the country and almost six years living down south in Georgia. Thanks for all your hard work and 75 more days and we will finally be making the trip back to Kauai where it all started when you answered yes when I asked at sundown on the Na Pali coast.

  2. Your insights are dead on. My husband and I make travel a priority, too. I’m lucky to have married someone adventurous. We’ve raised our kids to love travel and adventure, too. This year was funny: we decided that we would take two small trips and spend some money on much-needed home reapirs instead. But we couldn’t stick to it. We just tightened our belts in other ways so we could still get some trips in. What can I say? That’s what we want to do.

    1. When we have kids, I want them to be able to see the world as well. I think it’s important to introduce them to other cultures at an early age. 🙂

      And I don’t blame you, even with the home repairs I would want to get in as many trips as possible. Traveling is addicting! There’s always more to see and do.

  3. Always be prepared for the future but remember life is very short and can be changed in an instant. My thought process is that we should do, go, and see what what we can while we are able (keeping ourselves within our means) and healthy. I know so many who have held onto everything waiting for retirement and when that time came, time and life had a different plan!

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