Funding My Travels: February 2014 Update

Apologies for the lateness of my February 2014 update.  I had a crazy busy month with work, housesitting and a trip to Montana (I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Big Sky, MT writing this blog post), so I am a wee bit behind in some posts I'll be sharing soon.

This month's update is another easy one. 

Long Term Travel Account Activity

Previous Long Term Travel Account Balance (January 2014):  $1,671.18

Current Long Term Travel Account Balance (February 2014):  $2,146.95

Total Deposit Towards Goal: $475.77 (A little under goal, but I was way over last month, so we are on track)

Short Term Travel Account Activity

My short term travel account is going to take a huge hit in the next month as I use my tax return to purchase my flight for the October Nepal trip.  I've used a small amount for my trip to Montana too.  More details on that in March's financial report.  This month, I received my Federal and State tax returns so I had a huge deposit.   For some reason my starting account balance is off a few dollars.  I need to go and figure that one out.  Either way, I have enough money to buy my Nepal plane ticket in the next week or so.

Previous Short Term Travel Account Balance (January 2014): $516.61

Current Short Term Travel Account Balance (February 2014): $1552.67

Total Deposit: $1015.04 (US & State Tax Returns plus dividend)

Overall, I am really proud of where I am at with my savings.  I have housesitting money I'll be receiving on my return from Montana which will go towards my short term travel.  I started my new side job teaching social media literacy this past month and any money I make from there will be going into my long term travel account.  I'd really like to teach some CPR classes in the next couple of months.  If you know anyone in Portland needing AHA BLS or lower, I am your woman!  Send them to me.  Thanks for checking this out.

Are you saving for a goal? What are you saving for?  What kinds of tips do you have to share about your saving strategy?

 

Funding My Travels: January 2014 Update

This month's update is pretty simple.  I worked some overtime and some holidays towards the end of December that showed up on my January paychecks, which led to me meeting my goal of saving a minimum of $500 this month.  I had three paychecks this month so I have exceeded my goal by quite a bit this month.  That's okay.  It'll all balance out eventually.

 

Long Term Travel Account Activity

Previous Long Term Travel Account Balance (December 2013):  $910.91

Current Long Term Travel Account Balance (January 2014):  $1,671.18

Total Deposit Towards Goal: $760.27 (WOW!  This is awesome.)

 

Short Term Travel Account Activity

I had mentioned in my previous post I had a trip to Chicago planned for January 2014.  I deducted $600 from my checking account for this trip.  This covered most of my expenses for the trip since I had already paid for my plane ticket back in 2013.  I am getting my tax refund soon, which will boost this account back up.  The next big trip I have planned is to Nepal in October 2014, so most of the money I will be saving in this account will be to fund this trip.  I am also looking at a short trip to Bozeman, MT in March or April 2014, and a trip to Southern California in May/Jun 2014 and money for those trips will come out of this fund.

Previous Short Term Travel Account Balance (December 2013): $1116.61

Current Short Term Travel Account Balance (January 2014): $516.61

Total Deduction: $600.00 (trip to Chicago)

Overall, I am really proud of where I am at with my savings.  I have some housesitting gigs coming up this month which will go towards my short term travel.  I am also hoping to get some CPR classes in the coming months.  I start my new side job teaching social media literacy this month and any money I make from there will be going into my long term travel account.  Thanks for checking this out.

Are you saving for a goal? What are you saving for?  What kinds of tips do you have to share about your saving strategy?

 

Funding My Travels: Saving For An Epic Adventure

I have been spending the past few months thinking a lot about what I want out of life, and where I would like to see myself in the next couple of years.  It's been three years and change since I returned from my almost five month trip around the world.  At the time, I was ready to come home, having almost run out of money and traveling too quickly.  I've managed to get three international trips in since my return, still feeding the fire within.  I've started spending an extreme amount of time in the outdoors with hiking and backpacking adventures galore.  You'll see some posts in the coming weeks about these adventures as I start to shift from not just travel but outdoor adventure on this site.  I will be combining two of my worlds and hopefully you'll come along for the ride.  To be honest, I think those of you who enjoy travel will enjoy some of the outdoor adventures I will be featuring.

As I have been reflecting on what I want out of life, I have decided to start saving for what I like to call "The Big Escape".  In October 2015, I am planning to set off on another worldwide adventure.  This trip will be different because I won't be funding it the same way I did my previous trip (insurance settlement money).  I'll have to save up my hard earned money and make it a priority.

Part of my planning with this trip is to share some of my finances.  One way to encourage and hold myself accountable to this goal is to share a monthly tally of where I am at for my goal.  Hopefully this will inspire others who think long-term travel is outside their grasp.

My basic goal is $12,000.  I will have to save $500/month.  Any extra I can squirrel away will go into this account too.  So, how am I doing this?  I'll try to explain.

First of all, I work in healthcare in Emergency Medicine.  I am not a doctor or a nurse.  I am an ED Technician.  I work 3, 12-hour shifts each week on the night shift.  I work nights because we get a nice shift differential.  I have recently picked up a second job which I am really looking forward to.  I hope it will bring in $200 extra each month.  The second job has not started yet, so I won't be able to know for sure until probably March 2014 what the actual earning potential is.  In addition to these two jobs, I also make money house/petsitting (yes, I know some people do this for free when they travel!), teaching CPR classes (AHA BLS Instructor), and less so, bidding for jobs on Task Rabbit and giving tours of Portland with Vayable (I'm also a city Ambassador for Portland!).

I get paid twice a month, every other Friday.  I have direct deposit, which works well for me.  I have set up three different bank accounts to manage my finances.  I know.  This is ridiculous.  However, it works for me, and helps keep me disciplined.  Bank account #1 gets 50% of each paycheck.  Bank account #1 is where I pay my rent, phone bill, and car/renters insurance.  My rent includes utilities so I have minimal bills to pay.  My student loan payment comes out of my paycheck (don't ask, I am working on this one).  This account has a checkbook, and no ATM card attached to it.  It is also where I have what I call my "Short Term Travel" savings.  I'll talk a little more about this in a bit.  Bank account #2 gets 25% of each paycheck.  Bank account #2 is what I use for groceries, gas, and basic living expenses.  This account has an ATM/debit card and no checkbook attached to it.  Bank account #3 gets the remaining 25% of each paycheck.  Bank account #3 is for what I call my "Long Term Travel" savings.  There is no ATM card or checkbook attached to this account.

Okay, so now I need to explain my "Short Term Travel" savings and my "Long Term Travel" savings.  Short Term Travel savings is where I will put left over money each month to finance shorter trips.  This is where I am putting money for an upcoming trip to Chicago, as well as a bigger trip to Nepal for October 2014.  Long Term Travel Savings is where I am putting a minimum of $500/month to fund my "Big Escape" in October 2015.  This money will NOT be touched until I am close to leaving.

I technically started this saving plan in mid-November, but I am going to start with December to share the details of my Short Term Travel fund and my Long Term Travel fund.  Each month, I'll list a new balance and you can follow along.

December 2013

Short Term Travel: $1116.61

Long Term Travel: $910.91

 

What questions do you have?  What kind of information are you looking for to help you save money for travels?