One of the most common things we hear is travel is expensive. We will tackle the expensive travel challenge later but yes travel costs money. You probably already have quite a few things you have committed a part of your pay check to. Travel is undoubtedly going to add to those heads. Believe me it is possible you might end up saving more while travelling more.
There are a few people who have written books on the topic and have been travelling more than us. So why are we writing this section at all? Because, it doesn’t hurt to read this again. Also we are ones who have to be home for a major part of year and don’t have any other income on the road. In short we are more like you, so we think it might stick better.
Clear up your debt
Most of us have debts. It does not have to be only credit card debt it can be your student loans, home loans and others. I would personally put my mandatory bills in this category. Yup even our rent is a part of this debt. Before you think about travelling you have to clear the debt mess up. Start with the smaller ones and move onto bigger ones .
What we did
We don’t have any credit card debt whatever we use our credit card for we pay for full every month. This keeps us in check and also doesn’t cause debt building up. We do however have a home loan which is auto-debited so we can’t really eat into that. Basically we proofed our debt from our own greed and spending habits. Currently Ajay transfers rent but we are considering auto-debiting for it too. If you don’t think rent has to be a part of this, do it your way.
Managing the expenditures at home
For the example below let us assume that you are married and both of you contribute to monthly income. For this example we will keep individual earnings as Rs. 50000 per month. Your expenditure sheet may currently look like this
I don’t know what- 15000
Savings – 7000
Definitely it is not much to boast about. I would feel really bad telling you to spend a part of the savings on anything. It’s just 14% of your salary. Among all of the above what you can change is the cash flow into “I don’t know what”. This will automatically affect the savings you have.
Once you start looking into the head you will easily be able to circle out those movie nights that went beyond 1000/- per head. Can you see the 3000/- pair of jeans you bought this month or the last month. To put it into perspective you can easily eat a filling meal for less than 100/- per person in most of Indian cities and that includes metros.
What we did
I have not bought a pair of shoes since ages and the next ones on my list are the cheapest trekking shoes which can stand the Himalayan trek we have planned. Earlier it was a norm to have at-least two weekends where we would spend 1500 on one meal and it was usually more than two weekends in a month. Now we keep it to minimum. That plate of pasta for 300 can get you three meals in one of the local restaurants at the next place you are going to visit.
Question yourself before you buy.
I had not realized how much I have changed in last few months of travelling. When told that I have to go for a two week official trip to Malaysia my first reaction was -shopping. A day later standing in the mall I realized I might not want to buy something which I will not wear after the trip. I finally ended up with a bag full of clothes from my wardrobe that worked. When you question yourself before buying anything it will solve quite a few worries and a better bank balance hurts no one especially not you.
What we did
We started to keep the other person accountable. If I would think about spending something I would have to tell Ajay why I needed and assure him that this was the best price for the product. This resulted in us buying a lot of local products and that too online. Do remember a tee-shirt will just be a tee-shirt on the road and nobody is really impressed if it costs 2000 or 100.
This does not mean that you compromise on a technical gear or medical requirement. The biggest thing that you need to do is know whether you need it or you want it. Once you know the real cause of buying something you might end up not buying it at all.