I’m a strong believer that budgeting and tracking are among the most important skills you can develop. Simply because to be in charge of your destiny you have to know what’s going on and what the plan is. Having access to good numbers is often the hardest part (running a business, fitness, health), but fortunately tracking personal expenses couldn’t be easier.
Since childhood I’ve been a a bit OCD about tracking money. I still remember the investing pamphlet my dad gave me around age 12 about saving money and compound interest. You know the one: clean little graphs illustrating how $1 saved a day will miraculously become $1,000,000 by age 50.
Skill in tracking and saving is what ultimately allowed me to save $15,000 for travel during my first job out of college.
Being a business owner takes the budgeting OCD up a notch. It’s a much bigger deal when the numbers don’t add up when you’re talking employees and cashflow. Continue reading >>
[Photo: Across the street from my Bungalow in Lombok]
In my second year of college I’ll never forget the price-sheet my dad brought back from Utila, Honduras. To this very day you can still get a room on the water for $5 a night and a meal for $2.
Before leaving home I’d heard things like this but it’s hard to believe until you see it first-hand:Continue reading >>
Note: This post was partially inspired by reading my new #1 favorite book on money: I will teach you to be rich by Ramit Sethi. It’s the 4-Hour Workweek for your personal finances and highly recommended!
A friend of mine once used an ATM in Honduras, and 24 hours later found her entire travel savings had evaporated. That’s right, $15,000 disappeared from her checking account. She was stranded with a credit card, $200 cash, and a promise from her bank that they would ‘look into it in the next 45 days’.*
This post outlines a simple way to make sure that never happens to you.
Last Update (2/6/15):
Also check out my FAQ on the best frequent flyer credit card. It’s a quick read and will give the main points + show you where you can get one of these cards today.
Can you do the same thing? Absolutely, read on:
Budapest, Hungary—It’s a question I got more than once: “So, are you rich?” And, more specifically: “How can you afford to travel so much?”
These questions are upsetting because they highlight the dominant perception that travel is a luxury restricted to the wealthy. And I don’t like people thinking I can only afford to do this because I’m rich (far from it).
In fact, for the last 15 months I’ve been living on a stipend that most people would associate with the poverty line in the United States, or about $1200 a month (see 20 things I Learned While Traveling around the World).
But international flights are expensive, no matter how cheaply you decide to live once you get to your destination. I thought trans-oceanic flights would be the death of my RTW travel budget.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
And here’s the punchline: the only reason these flights cost me anything at all is that I opted to pay for the really cheap ones. That’s correct, I decided to pay actual money for them. You’ll understand why below.Continue reading >>
Photo: El Hombre, the most chilled out man in the world. Chicama, Peru.
After traveling through ‘less-developed’ countries around the world, returning to the US is a shock. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would need a Chevy Tahoe, the newest version of the iPhone, or any of the other nearly unlimited and arguably useless consumer products available to anyone with a credit card.
I used to be a part of this system, but I’ve been progressively weaning myself from it. Turns out there are some amazing benefits to be had from completely checking out.
Over one year ago I quit my job and decided to travel around the world. This was both a dream 10 years in the making and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made [photo: night train from Belgrade to Sofia].
In the last 12 months I learned a lot about long-term travel, what I need to be happy, and how to survive outside of the US. Many of these things can’t be learned at home or in a book, and while reading about them on the internet can only get you so far, a lot of people have asked me to explain how I’ve done it.
Well, here’s part of the answer.
“There’s no substitute for just going there.”
My trip hasn’t been about sightseeing (although I’ve done that) as much as just being somewhere. The simple challenges of daily routine can be overwhelming: trying to eat, drink, and sleep in a place where nothing makes sense, you don’t speak the language, and where none of the basic comforts of home are available. It’s not easy, but if you want a fast-track to personal development, get on a plane.Continue reading >>