It wasn’t until well into my relationship with Chas that I really became financially responsible. Throughout college and my early twenties, I was laissez-faire about spending – taking far too much advantage of my credit card limits and never seriously looking at budgeting. On top of that, I racked up a hefty amount of grad school loans thanks to my decision to obtain two Masters degrees. I don’t regret school, of course, but I wish I had had a better understanding of what higher education cost and the impact that should have on my grad school selection.
But now I’m in a much better place. Though I know I still have a lot to learn, I’m comfortable with living entirely on my own income – sans credit cards. And I have a better handle on my debt as well as my long-term savings goals. Plus, my wiser-budgeting has helped me better afford the one thing I spend the most money on: travel.
Thanks in part to the nature of my work, I travel internationally roughly two weeks almost every month. In 2016, I was able to visit 17 countries and 31 cities, six of which were on my bucket list.
If you’ve followed along on my #LostOnPurpose blog series, you know that I recently spent 2 months in Europe – and now am currently doing the same in Southeast Asia. I’ve been able to do so because I’ve taken fuller advantage of my working remotely and became smarter about how I spend my money – both when I’m traveling and when I’m not.
I get asked a lot about how I afford to travel so much – and it’s something I also ask of my favorite travel bloggers. But no one ever seems to really give you a straight answer.
Why? Partly because talking about money can be taboo. And partly because maybe there are trade secrets that you just aren’t willing to share in today’s world of social influencer marketing where the amount you travel might equate to increased content, increased engagement and therefore increased revenue.
But in the name of breaking down walls and uplifting the broader travel community, I say FUCK THAT! Let’s remove the smoke screens and talk openly about money and travel. Because let’s face it – while traveling is a dream worth pursuing, it has some very real logistical and financial implications.
As a huge fan of Refinery29’s Money Diary series (I read them religiously), I decided to take inspiration and throw together my own series – travel edition!
The Free Passport is proud to introduce the Travel Money Diaries!
Each month travelers around the world will share how they spend (and save) their money during a 7-day period. Some will be when they’re traveling, some will be when they’re not, but all will give you some insight into how we each deal with travel and money!