In preparing to go to India, Andy and I cut out unnecessary spending. We stopped going out to eat just because we were tired/bored and didn’t want to cook. We only went to see movies on the discounted day (Tuesday) and cut back on our cell phone plan. This added up to a good amount of savings which allowed us to be able to spend a bit more in India and come back to a comfortable lifestyle. In fact, I didn’t really track what we spent.
Now that we are home and have gotten completely back in the groove, we are once again in that ‘Spend Less Live Richer’ mindset. Today I paid off half of what we owe on the car. I will pay the other half off next month. We only eat out about 3-4 times a month (if that) and most of it is take out which is cheaper since we don’t buy any beverages or dessert. If we go out, it’s to a cheaper place for burritos. Or we might get a take and bake pizza. A lot of times, we have a coupon or take advantage of a specials night.
After seeing our photos of our trip or hearing our stories, a lot of people expressed a desire to travel (not necessarily to India) but said they could never afford it. Or didn’t have the time. I believe that you will find a way if you really want to do something. Whether it is training for a marathon, going back to school or traveling. If you really want something, you have to make sacrifices and you will find a buy.
A lot of the people who said they couldn’t afford to travel drive brand new cars. Buying a brand new car is a poor investment. I would rather drive an older car and save the extra money to travel with. A lady I know said she couldn’t afford to travel but buys new clothes on a regular basis and gets regular manicures and pedicures. My nails look like crap because I save my extra money to put into my trip account. We have a specific savings account just for travel.Every month Andy and I save upwards of $400. Gifts, bonuses and any extra money goes into that account.
We don’t have new or even nice furniture for the most part. Our couches were the most inexpensive ones we could find at IKEA, our kitchen table and chairs cost us $100, and all of our appliances are over 8 years old. My parents bought me the microwave before Andy and I were together! The rugs on our floor don’t match as they were all acquired separately either from yard sales, friends giving them away or IKEA. Our bed was given to us about 12 years ago (or more) from Andy’s uncle Terry.
We all spend money on what’s important to us. I would rather have cool adventures in foreign countries than a house full of new stuff. But that’s me.