Friday, December 7, 2012

saving 101

found this gem on this week. an article about a guy named michael who wanted to travel and got thrifty with his saving techniques in order to do so. it got me thinking about what techniques i'll have to start once i get settled in vancouver.
the following article snipit is courtesy of travel blogger matt kepnes from

How Michael Saved $14k in 6 Months Making $9 Per Hour

By Nomadic Matt | Published December 5th, 2012
michael traveling success story
A lot of people say you need to have a well-paying job in order to afford your trip. But Michael (age 27) never had one of those, yet he still managed to save $15k in 6 months on his trip while on making $9 USD per hour! When he told me his story, I knew he was perfect for this week’s success story. He epitomized the idea that anyone can find the money for travel. Without further ado, let’s meet Michael and find out how you save so much money while making so little!
Nomadic Matt: Tell everyone about yourself.
Michael: I was living in Austin, Texas before I became a citizen of the world. I had always wanted to take a year off and travel the world. I had taken small trips overseas in the past and would meet so many travelers who were taking months or years off to travel. Those people put the idea in my head that maybe I could travel for extended periods of time too. When I graduated from college I spent a year and a half looking for a teaching position but couldn’t find one. I started entertaining the idea of selling everything I own and taking a year off to travel, but still it didn’t really seem feasible. Since I couldn’t find a teaching position I got a job as a cook at a pizza place in Austin. I was only making $9 per hour plus tips.
How long were you planning on traveling? 
I was just planning to be gone for a year. Once I started researching how to travel the world, I came across several blogs of people offering words of encouragement and advice. I had looked up RTW tickets and thought that would be the best way to go. I had started organizing and planning the entire year; what cities I would go to, the cost of living in each country, etc. But then I thought “how the hell can someone plan for an entire year?” I was new to planning a trip but still knew there was just no way to plan anything for an entire year. Now, I’m just going to go with the flow and be gone as long as possible.
michael travelingOk, so tell us, how the heck did you save $15k in 6 months? 
I decided I wanted to save $15,000 for my trip, figuring that could last me for a year. I only had 6 months to save for my trip so I had to work my hardest to be able to get to $15,000. I say I only had six months because to keep myself from putting off the trip and keeping myself disciplined I booked my flight out of the U.S. the day I decided I was going to travel around the world.
At first I thought I would get a second part-time job, upping my total work hours to 60 a week. I was only making $9 USD per hour so it’s not like I was living the rich life. My boss ended up giving me the hours I wanted so there was no need for a second job. On top of the 60 hours he gave me, I would eat up others people’s hours if they called out of work. On average for 5 months I was working about 65 hours a week. Life was tough, but I kept my goal in sight and fought through it. In those 6 months, I put myself on a budget; I would limit myself to drinking once a week, eat food from work as much as I could, not use my air conditioner as much (that was the worst for I was living in Texas), and try to lower my electricity bill by not using as much light. Basically, I put my expenses into two columns, wants and needs (a friend of mine came up with this money saving technique). Every time I was to spend money I would ask myself if it was a want or a need. If it was a want I would usually come to the conclusion that it was a waste of money.
Aside from working I sold stuff to make money. I sold almost every electronic item I had, like my T.V., guitar amps and such. I figured I could always get those things again later in life if I wanted them. I also sold my car.

if he can do it, i can do it...again. although i have no car to sell, no air conditioning not to use, and actually no job to speak of at the moment, but i am confident that i will get creative just like michael did. it is hard sacrificing things in the present in order to save for something in the far off future. but reading stories like these helps to keep me on the right mindset. 

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