Ok, when I said it out loud that we were going to quit our jobs and travel, it sounded INSANE! I thought what are we going to do with everything we owned, and the things going through my head were endless. We were both so overwhelmed with excitement.
There’s always been the talk about how travel is expensive. People who travel every year must be rich? Travel can cost whatever you’re willing to spend. You can have a luxurious vacation or you can save more of your money and travel smart.
I totally get it, I never knew people could just leave everything behind and travel. I always thought you needed a ton of money, but you actually don’t. A lot of people get confused over the words “travel and vacation. Vacation for the most part people tend to splurge and spend more money on everything related to their “vacation”. Traveling full-time means not a lot of stuff is going to be luxurious and perfect. (Depending how you want to travel anyways.) More budgeting is involved here.
Living in Toronto is soooooooo expensive. We were paying over $2000 a month for rent and monthly bills. After moving out of our apartment and into my in-laws, saving for our trip got serious very quickly. With knowing you will be jobless and not have an income, it makes you save like crazy. Here is what we did to prepare for this adventure. Anyone can do this, you just need to make sacrifices and just deal with it. If you want something so badly, you will find a way to make it work. You don’t need to be rich to do this.
Get Rid of Unwanted Costs
This one is HUGE!
First start off with a glass of wine and start an excel sheet, and figure out what you can do to cut most of the costs. Write everything down and figure out exactly what your finances are.
Tracking your expenses is always important to do. It’s a great way of learning how much you’re spending and how much you can cut back on. Have you tried tracking your expenses? I’m telling you it’s a powerful way to understand how much money you throw away every year or month.
There are so many monthly costs these days. If you pay rent, maybe consider living with a family member or friend. Sometimes living with someone that you know, you may not have to pay for rent or it would be cheaper than in a condo or apartment.
CANCEL all your subscriptions. Netflix, Spotify, cable, everything that don’t actually need. You really learn what is actually a “NEED” and a “WANT”
Track Your Spending
If you’re a huge foodie like us, then this is the biggest problem you will have. I’m talking about grocery shopping. We love to buy all the yummy healthy food, but we tend to do groceries every week back home. Making a menu helps SO MUCH! Use your calendar on your phone and plug in certain meals you want for that week, make the grocery list with what you only need for the meals you will be cooking that week. Of course you need snacks and you need to live, but making a menu and knowing exactly what you need is so helpful.
Also, collect points! We had a thing called PC Optimum (it’s free!) with our main grocery store Loblaws, and our points grew pretty fast, to the point that some days, we paid $2 for a huge haul because of our points we had collected and waited to spend for the right moment.
Now, for eating out. We probably only went out to eat 10-15 times throughout the whole year! Toronto restaurants are crazy expensive. 2 burgers and fries will run you $40CAD.. That’s without drinks. So we stuck to cheap eats when we wanted a “treat meal ” after the gym. Usually pizza! (which we also got for free sometimes because of Domino’s point system!) For birthday’s if we got money or gift cards, we would spend that on more expensive foods like sushi, burgers etc.
Do you really need to go buy coffee when you have coffee at home? No. I can only imagine how much money people spend on morning coffee or even lunch for that matter. The little things add up so quickly. Start bringing coffee in a mug or drinking what’s at work. Pack your lunches and I’m sure your bank account and body will thank you in the end.
I was never the one to spend tons of money on myself with cosmetic stuff. If you enjoy getting your nails done, spa days, shopping, etc, you will need to stop it, or cut it down! I know how expensive spa’s can be. Be as brutally honest as possible. Do I need a mani when I can paint my own nails? Do I need that new pair of heels?
Cut down your costs for going out drinking on the weekend, instead host a get together with friends or family at your place.
Sell Your Things
We packed some of our apartment stuff and was able to store it with family members. We sold all of the big stuff, since it was stuff that we didn’t care about. It was stuff from Ikea, and I knew once we find a house we wanted to upgrade anyways. We sold our side tables, tv, PS4, older camera, dresser, leggings, wedding dress, Aldo bag, and much more. I actually found out people go gaga over Lulu leggings. You can even sell gift cards that you haven’t used!
Facebook Market Place was where I sold my stuff. Kijiji gets sketchy.
Make Extra Money On The Side
Everyone wants extra money, but they don’t always want to work for it. Unfortunately money doesn’t grow in our backyards, so the only option is to go out and work for it! There are ways to make extra cash when you already have a job!
Find a “side-hustle” that you can work part-time. It could be a waitress, bartender, cashier at a local store. I was lucky and didn’t need to look around. I was a nanny and I was already working 10 hours a day, I would “babysit” for them on the side, if the parents went out. Also if they went on vacation, Jamie and I would sleep at their house. They were also very kind and generous and gave me a great Christmas bonus and summer bonus just because. I also did some babysitting for my boss’s friends.
Just understand that it doesn’t need to be the greatest job ever. It’s just for now to bring in a little more income.
Sell stuff on FB marketplace or Etsy, look after people’s pets or teach English online! ETC. Use your imagination!