I meant to create a Saving for Travel post in August…then I realized that August was almost over so I may as well get a head start on September.
(Um, where did summer go? I am in denial that it’s already September.)
Below is an update of what I did in August as well as what I plan to do in September as far as saving and spending go.
August was the first full month I had to save after making the decision to spend next year traveling. It’s still a little (lot) nerve-wracking to look at my bank account and then realize how soon I’m leaving to travel so I knew I had to step-up my game in August (and even more so in September!).
Luckily, August was also the first month I began receiving paychecks from my new job and my hours finally straightened out. Unfortunately, hours at my other job were unsteady which was frustrating at best. However, I arranged my bank accounts so that I have 2 paychecks depositing directly into my travel savings account and the other into my general checking. This means that I don’t see nor do I ever touch two of my paychecks – they may have been small paychecks this month but I know that, at the very least, some money will be deposited every two weeks.
I also began the process of selling my stuff by having a garage sale – I made over $400 in 3 days, which I thought was impressive considering most of my stuff was priced under $10. After the sale I took several bags of clothing to a local consignment shop that splits profits 50/50 – I have no idea how much I’ll end up making but it’s nice to have some money collecting in the background now and potentially continue as I travel.
I also started going through my book collection and sold a few boxes to Powell’s – it wasn’t a lot but it was more than I’d get for having the books on my shelf.
September Goals – Saving
With only 4 months left until my trip I have absolutely no choice (nor do I particularly want one) than to save every penny possible.
In addition to continuing with the things mentioned above, I plan on implementing a few new things to make sure I’m saving every penny.
1.) Set up my pay check to deposit everything over a certain amount into my travel account. As I mentioned above, 2 of my 3 paychecks deposit directly into my travel account. However, the biggest one does not. Though this is used mostly for necessary expenses like gas and insurance I know myself well enough to know that see money = spend money. Now is not the time to buy things I “need” so I intend on figuring out exactly how much I need each week, allowing that much to deposit into my general account, and then having everything else go straight into my travel account. Once it’s there I won’t touch it – the thought of watching that number go down is horrifying.
2.) Ditch the debit, switch to cash. As mentioned above, see money = spend money. But let’s be real – dropping $1 or $2 on silly things is much easier when you’re using a debit/credit card. I constantly find myself making minor purchases on my debit card that I wouldn’t consider if I only had, say, a $20 bill. So I’ll be leaving enough money to for my bills that autopay in my bank account, purchasing gas cards ahead of time, and switching everything else to cash.
Bonus – I’ll actually have change to put in my change jar!
3.) Keep selling my stuff! I got rid of a ton of stuff in August but I still have a ton more to go. This month I will be focusing on selling my books on Ebay.
4.) Add more side work. I was able to pick up two on-going freelance assignments last month. Neither pay a large amount but it’s money straight into my travel fund. This month I’m hoping to add at least one more.
5.) Expand my Lilla Rose business. I am a Lilla Rose consultant and I want to expand my business to help fund the trip. This means advertising, spreading the word, and hosting parties. Even just one or two parties will easily pay for a month of expenses in Nicaragua.
September Spending Goals
I know, I know – I just told you all the ways I’m not going to spend this month. But, well, I like shopping and since there’s only 4 months until my trip, I figured it might be time to start buying some things.
My birthday is this month so, in honor of that, I’ll be making my first big purchases for my trip. Right now that looks like – a backpack, hiking shoes, and sandals, though maybe not all at once. My plan for my birthday is to head to REI and try out some backpacks and shoes – hopefully I find the perfect for me!
Other September Goals
September is really going to be about saving, saving, saving. But, there are a few other things I want to prioritize as well – my health being #1. I’m working insane hours and I’m sure that’s why I keep getting sick. So the goal is to bring the focus back to my health, even if it means shifting my schedule a bit.
Beyond that, my only other goal is to stay on top of everything and stay motivated in everything I do.
What are your goals for September?