Author Topic: Spending Now vs Later  (Read 11354 times)

DCFrugal

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Spending Now vs Later
« on: December 05, 2012, 09:28:55 AM »
I feel like my wife and I are putting ourselves in a pretty good position financially. We keep rent as low as possible for our area. Save about 50-60% of our incomes. The one issue that I always seem to run into a dilemma with is travel.

My wife and I both love to travel, and we're trying to figure out our vacation planning for next year. How does everyone balance what to do with that now vs later? We are mid-20's. No kids, so part of us wants to travel and do as much as we can now while we are healthy/able bodied and no children to take along with us.

However, it gets to be a pretty expensive line item in the budget. Right now our travelling is our second biggest expense behind only rent. Obviously the more we spend travelling now the longer it will take to be financially independent.

Bottom line; How does everyone (who likes to travel or who has a more expensive hobby) tend to balance that with the monetary issues?


iamlindoro

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 09:41:04 AM »
We also love to travel.  I pick what I consider to be a low percentage of my overall savings per month (9% of the amount saved at the moment) and put it in the "travel" account.  If we want to travel or make a purchase on a not-strictly-necessary item, there's a hard line that the money must come from that savings.

Example, anonymized values:

Let's say my investment amount, AFTER all bills, 401k deductions, etc. are paid for the month, is $550.
$50 goes in the travel budget, $500 goes in the investments.
I want to take a trip costing $500.  I am "authorized" to do it in 10 months.

I don't think there is anything wrong with life experiences like travel (as long as it's not taken to extremes) so long as you are not compromising your whole retirement plan to do so.  As with all things, there are tradeoffs, but if you can make the sacrifice to your FI plan minimal or inconsequential by not going overboard, I think it's fine (IMO).

bogart

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 10:14:33 AM »
My personal approach when I was in your shoes was to take (what struck me as) wonderful trips on a shoestring budget that I knew wouldn't fit into my later life.  As a grad student I wandered around lots of Europe on a train, often solo and rarely with any sorts of reservations, ditto the US in my vehicle with a tent, Coleman stove, and cooler.  The only problem I ran into was noticing when my life had changed enough to make this sort of approach impractical; as I started building up obligations and responsibilities, I squeezed a few trips in at the end that were a bit grueling/exhausting because my non-travel life was acquiring more commitments, so squeezing them in was trickier.

Nowadays with a much higher-maintenance (than me) hubby, a small kid, a large extended family in assorted locations that we want to keep the little one connected with, a house, and aging parents, those kinds of trips just wouldn't be fun the way they were then, and their replacements (to the same sorts of destinations) are much more expensive (I was also doing this in an era when gas was under $1.50/gallon and airfares to Europe were pretty easy to find in the ... $600 range even in peak season, but that's not the only reason or even the major ones that costs have gone up).  So we've substituted in different sorts of trips (camping fairly close to home in a travel trailer, visits to extended family which don't necessarily save on airfare but do reduce or eliminate lodging costs).

Personally I think squeezing in exotic travel when you're young/carefree is brilliant planning, assuming you're not making majorly stupid financial moves (taking on debt, etc.) to make it possible.

meadow lark

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 10:21:10 AM »
I am starting to research travel hacks.  We already have paid for 5 round trips with credit card mileage points, and we started the credit cards in July.  We make a lot of 1100 mile trips to see family, and used to always drive.  Now that we are starting to figure this out we are flying, which is good because we sold our newer, nicer, better mpg car a month ago.  S I think there is a way to do it both! 

tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 10:43:07 AM »
Experiences are great and FIRE is to, but if give up one entirely for the other then what is the point so if you are saving 50-60% and still travelling then I say keep doing it.

JohnGalt

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 05:15:06 PM »
Experiences are great and FIRE is to, but if give up one entirely for the other then what is the point so if you are saving 50-60% and still travelling then I say keep doing it.

While I agree with the premise - that it's good to keep a balance between present enjoyment and future enjoyment - I still think it's worth asking the question and running the numbers.

Say you spend $10,000 / yr on travel, make $100,000 combined take home pay and currently save 60% of your income.  Starting from nothing - that puts you on a path to FI in 12.4 years.  If you, instead, save that $10,000 / yr and jump up to a 70% savings rate, you could retire in 8.8 years.  So - you would be sacrificing 8.8 years of travel in return for hitting FI 3.6 years sooner.  Depending on your preferences, goals, and  the like, this may or may not be a good trade off for you.  More likely - it's probably worth it to look for some sort of middle ground where maybe you still travel but either find a way to spend less or go every other year to cut it down to $5,000 to hit FI 2 years sooner. 

To me - this is basically the answer to every spending now vs later question.  Everyone has their own utility curve and it's worth spending some time considering different scenarios and the trade offs to understand what is important to them for any large and/or recurring expenses. 

mushroom

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 08:33:26 AM »
I agree with a lot of what other posters have already said. John Galt makes a lot of sense about running the numbers based on your particular goals and preferences. I think a big question would be if you're in a rush to hit early retirement as soon as possible.

My husband and I just came back from a year-long around the world trip and we feel like it was worth every penny (our travel blog is http://purplmarsh.wordpress.com if you're interested). We're in our early thirties and we also wanted to do something like this before kids and other obligations (although my husband is already talking about going on another trip like this...I guess that's the danger with these!).

Rationally, maybe it would have been better to be financially independent first before going on a trip like this, but we were both at a really good point in our lives to do this. And although the money we spent on this trip could have been invested instead, we think this experience also pays its own "dividends" - the earlier we do this trip, the more time we have for the rest of our lives to enjoy remembering it and reflecting on it and learning from it. Experiences like these are much more resistant to hedonic adaptation than material things. And hiking the Annapurna Circuit would have been a lot harder had we been older (or had a baby with us!). Don't forget too that travel changes you (arguably positively) and the future decisions you make and perhaps influences your spending habits as well when you realize that most of the world lives on a lot less than you.

I will also add that I still consider myself mustachian despite my love of travel. But I consider mustachianism not to be about spending the least money possible but just spending mindfully in a way that aligns with your values and provides you long-term happiness. Travel is a big expense for us, but we hardly ever buy clothes or gadgets or beauty/entertainment-related things, and we save the majority of our income. And we do try to keep our travel costs low with careful planning and credit card miles tricks and eschewing what we consider to be unnecessary travel luxuries. Long-term travel can be surprisingly cheap too when you don't have a home or car or a cell phone contract back home and take a lot fewer flights and spend a lot of time in developing countries where you can pretty much do whatever you want for less than $30 a day per person (our rent alone in Chicago used to be $46 a day).

I also recently read an interview that Nomadic Matt did with the NY Times Frugal Traveler that resonated with me and our travel style:

How do you define frugal travel?

Frugal to me means, at the very least, avoiding spending on unnecessary comforts Ė nice hotels, fancy restaurants, organized excursions. It probably includes giving up some niceties you enjoy at home Ė a comfy mattress, organic produce, a car.

But at its very essence is the belief that spending less almost inevitably leads to experiencing more, and that the best travel experiences are built on avoiding just about everything the travel industry wants you to do.


Oh, and there is a ridiculous amount of information on the internet on how to cut down on travel costs, plus I think there have been some threads on this board with travel tips and keeping costs low.

tomsang

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 09:51:03 AM »
Say you spend $10,000 / yr on travel, make $100,000 combined take home pay and currently save 60% of your income.  Starting from nothing - that puts you on a path to FI in 12.4 years.  If you, instead, save that $10,000 / yr and jump up to a 70% savings rate, you could retire in 8.8 years.  So - you would be sacrificing 8.8 years of travel in return for hitting FI 3.6 years sooner.  Depending on your preferences, goals, and  the like, this may or may not be a good trade off for you.  More likely - it's probably worth it to look for some sort of middle ground where maybe you still travel but either find a way to spend less or go every other year to cut it down to $5,000 to hit FI 2 years sooner. 

I agree with John, but have one clarification. It isn't sacrificing 8.8 years of traveling at $10,000 a year. It is sacrificing this for life. The extra 3.6 years of work is the amount needed to fund $10,000 a year of spending for life. So you can't think that I will sacrifice travel for a finite period of time and then do it in 8.8 years. The math assumes you will never have that level of spending. John then goes into saying maybe there is a compromise, which is accurate.

travelbug

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 07:16:34 PM »
I also agree with John, it really depends on what sort of life you want to lead. If you are saving a high % or your income and are happy to sacrifice a couple of years to live on your own terms, that is OK.
It's your life and you need to decide on what is important. That is what mustachianism is to me.
It's about eschewing all that you do not need to focus and enjoy what you actually really love.
If that's travel then so be it.
Travel is our drug/weakness/life choice/love/obsession...it depends on your perspective.
We choose not to spend on so many things to afford our travel expenses. It makes life amazing for us and we are in fact going to sell everything we own by July 2013, including cars, stuff, house and go travel the world with our two small children in tow.
We are FI but have always travelled; some years were on the cheap, some were international adventures. We could have been FI sooner I suppose, but at what cost to ourselves?
Good luck.

chilliepepper

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 08:15:07 PM »
I am starting to research travel hacks.  We already have paid for 5 round trips with credit card mileage points, and we started the credit cards in July.  We make a lot of 1100 mile trips to see family, and used to always drive.  Now that we are starting to figure this out we are flying, which is good because we sold our newer, nicer, better mpg car a month ago.  S I think there is a way to do it both!

How much do you have to spend on credit cards to earn 5 round trips in 6 months?

tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 09:25:07 AM »
Experiences are great and FIRE is to, but if give up one entirely for the other then what is the point so if you are saving 50-60% and still travelling then I say keep doing it.

While I agree with the premise - that it's good to keep a balance between present enjoyment and future enjoyment - I still think it's worth asking the question and running the numbers.

Say you spend $10,000 / yr on travel, make $100,000 combined take home pay and currently save 60% of your income.  Starting from nothing - that puts you on a path to FI in 12.4 years.  If you, instead, save that $10,000 / yr and jump up to a 70% savings rate, you could retire in 8.8 years.  So - you would be sacrificing 8.8 years of travel in return for hitting FI 3.6 years sooner.  Depending on your preferences, goals, and  the like, this may or may not be a good trade off for you.  More likely - it's probably worth it to look for some sort of middle ground where maybe you still travel but either find a way to spend less or go every other year to cut it down to $5,000 to hit FI 2 years sooner. 

To me - this is basically the answer to every spending now vs later question.  Everyone has their own utility curve and it's worth spending some time considering different scenarios and the trade offs to understand what is important to them for any large and/or recurring expenses.

My comment was more general in nature, so I feel this way to - but the point was that if you like to travel (or whatever) - to me it is not worth giving it up for 10-15 years to save a few years to FIRE just like conversely it makes no sense to me to spend 100% of your income for the sake of experiences but resulting in never getting to FIRE.




tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 09:44:28 AM »
My husband and I just came back from a year-long around the world trip and we feel like it was worth every penny (our travel blog is http://purplmarsh.wordpress.com if you're interested). We're in our early thirties and we also wanted to do something like this before kids and other obligations (although my husband is already talking about going on another trip like this...I guess that's the danger with these!).

IMO - this takes it to a whole other level of curiosity. Very cool trip/experience - although to be honest I am not sure I have that sense of adventure in me.

Please expand on this - because you are not FIRE yet this plan kind of says that we looked at what is needed to get to FIRE and then said screw it we will focus on the experience first  - basically not only are you not increasing your stash, you are also spending a portion of it and to some extent risking your primary income producing asset (you and your job) to do it. Being out of work for a year plus in your 30's typically (not always) has a negative impact on your income.

Don't mean for it to sound negative, again just curious and would like more info on your position and thought process to do this.

CeciliaW

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 10:52:27 AM »
I'd say do it now.

We have friends dropping over dead on a regular basis. Didn't do them much good to save for another 10 years.

We have friends who had kids. Your entire life is no longer yours for at least 20 years.

Do it now and enjoy it. The memories may be the only thing that keeps you sane in the future.


mushroom

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 04:54:29 PM »
My husband and I just came back from a year-long around the world trip and we feel like it was worth every penny (our travel blog is http://purplmarsh.wordpress.com if you're interested). We're in our early thirties and we also wanted to do something like this before kids and other obligations (although my husband is already talking about going on another trip like this...I guess that's the danger with these!).

Please expand on this - because you are not FIRE yet this plan kind of says that we looked at what is needed to get to FIRE and then said screw it we will focus on the experience first  - basically not only are you not increasing your stash, you are also spending a portion of it and to some extent risking your primary income producing asset (you and your job) to do it. Being out of work for a year plus in your 30's typically (not always) has a negative impact on your income.

Don't mean for it to sound negative, again just curious and would like more info on your position and thought process to do this.

Hi Tooqk, no worries, I'm always surprised by how polite people are on this forum.

Short answer: We had already started our trip before I found MMM so we didn't think about how it might affect early retirement beforehand. :)

Long answer: However, I think it still did make sense for us even in retrospect. I'm a physician who finished residency and started the trip before joining a practice. My husband got a Ph.D. in the behavioral sciences, then worked in a top consulting firm, then did some freelance writing for the last couple years (some of which he continued on the trip). We also got married at the end of my residency and are planning on kids in a few years.

So from just a life situation perspective, the timing made a lot of sense to us since we were transitioning careers and didn't have kids yet.

From a financial perspective, we had no debt and plenty of savings for this. I feel like I have decent job prospects as a primary care physician, especially since Iím flexible on location. My husband was trying out writing for a while, so he would have had a break from full-time employment on his resume anyway. Heís looking for something full-time now and heís a smart, resourceful guy so I feel like he shouldnít have too much trouble finding something (perhaps this is terribly naÔve). We still have plenty of savings after the trip, and if need be, we could do just fine on my salary alone as a physician.

The total cost of the trip for the two of us was $36,000. If we had stayed in the U.S., Iíd guess we would have spent something like $30,000 instead so not a huge difference in expense. And even if we had decided to retire first, we still would have wanted to take a trip like this afterwards, so assuming roughly the same total amount of time worked in either scenario, the biggest difference would be the investment income from starting to save a year earlier. However, we also used the income-limited Saverís Credit in 2011 (since I only worked half the year in residency) to get an extra $2000 tax credit and be able to convert $6500 of a 401K into a Roth without any extra federal tax liability. We converted the rest of a 401K to a Roth in 2012, hopefully without any tax liability at all thanks to the Saverís Credit again, and we donít plan on touching the Roths for a long, long time.

If we do decide to retire pretty early, I think that my income and savings rate will be high enough that the trip wouldnít have delayed FIRE that much in terms of total working time, maybe just by a matter of months. And if we decide that we love our jobs and that we wonít retire until much later even if we could retire sooner, the cost of the trip causing a delay in FIRE is a moot point anyway.

I donít know if that novel makes any sense. To be honest, we werenít even thinking of FIRE beforehand. But we did feel financially comfortable taking the trip and I donít think it should affect possible FIRE plans too negatively. Oh, and you might be surprised just how common a trip like this is outside of the U.S. - "gap years" are very common among young Europeans and Australians. But it certainly isn't for everyone, and I'm looking forward to settling down for a while in a home.

grantmeaname

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 04:59:43 PM »
We have friends who had kids. Your entire life is no longer yours for at least 20 years.
Only if you resent your children.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2012, 08:10:55 AM »
mushroom - thanks for the reply. Sounds like the timing is right and I agree it helps to be in a profession that pretty much guarantees employment (income level and location may vary but there are always jobs) and no debt (good job getting through med school/residency debt free). 

I also agree on doing it before kids, a trip like that is virtually impossible with little ones in tow.

Again looks like an awesome trip, I am jealous.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2012, 08:13:33 AM »
We have friends who had kids. Your entire life is no longer yours for at least 20 years.
Only if you resent your children.

My kids are great and I don't resent them, but Cecelia is right your life is no longer yours when you have kids - it is all about them with a bit for sprinkled in from time to time. Doesn't make it bad, just different.

grantmeaname

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2012, 08:35:57 AM »
Doesn't saying that you feel like a stranger in your own existence seem a little melodramatic? I know kids take a lot of time, but it's not like people don't know that when they sign up for them...

tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2012, 08:53:36 AM »
Doesn't saying that you feel like a stranger in your own existence seem a little melodramatic? I know kids take a lot of time, but it's not like people don't know that when they sign up for them...

Grant - you know better than that, things in life are never that simple. Melodramatic, maybe so, but nevertheless is still true.  It is something that you know going in and it is a choice, but that is really not that relevant.  Prior to kids I was more active in various things, now not so much.....again it is a choice because I only have so much time left over after work hours. I choose to spend the time with kids and house stuff, but I have friends who work as much as I do and still play in leagues 3 nights a week, golf on saturday, and then go watch games on sunday - not sure they ever really see thier kids - to me these type of people are the ones that had kids because that was the next stage, "What you're supposed to do".

Just because I focus my time on the kids doesn't mean I don't miss or wouldn't still enjoy the stuff I did prior, and it doesn't mean I don't enjoy the kids - it is just different. Once in awhile a get into pickup game of some kind or get together with some friends, but not all the time. If I didn't work as much as I do, it might be different but for now they are the priority.  If you ever become a parent you will see realize this. 

grantmeaname

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2012, 09:34:03 AM »
I understand what you're saying and can empathize, but it doesn't equate to "your life is no longer yours for at least 20 years". Maybe you and I are just reading that differently?

tooqk4u22

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 09:47:44 AM »
I understand what you're saying and can empathize, but it doesn't equate to "your life is no longer yours for at least 20 years". Maybe you and I are just reading that differently?

Maybe so.  It seems you are taking the comment as a negative one, and to be honest maybe Cecelia meant it that way, I know plenty of people would. 

I don't look at it as negative, or positive for that matter, more as it just is.  It is still my life, just a different one than before, so when I think my life is not mine for another 20 years it is, it just means it is not the one I lived before kids and is my choice to do so - that's all, but I feel that if one chooses (or not by choice) has children then it is an obligation to put them first.

Focus on the "Its just different" part.  Not sure if that will make sense to everyone though.

EngGirl

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 10:35:54 AM »
My husband and I love to travel too. We are currently quickly paying off our emergency student debt and therefore staying local for the next 1.8 years or so, but after that we will be in the same position. I would tend to think in the number of working hours that each trip will prolong your retirement. If you have clearly looked at the financial impact of your decision and are gladly willing to work, say, another 2 months for a certain trip, then I think you should do it. Thatís how we are going to approach it when we finally get there. In your heart of hearts you will know if it is right or not.

Also, if you are going to do a lot of travelling, have you considered moving to a more appropriate location? For example, we live in Toronto, and it costs an arm and a leg to fly out of YYZ. Also, living in the middle of North America means you are SO far away from anywhere radically different.  We are considering a move to Scotland where my husband is from Ė cheaper airfare (flew to northern Africa from Scotland for 10 GBP each thanks to Ryanair), itís closer to many cooler destinations, and the Scottish highlands are pretty much the best place on earth. Have you read the MMM article on living where you love? Anyway, a change of locale might help you on your travel/early retirement journey.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2012, 10:38:14 AM »
Doesn't saying that you feel like a stranger in your own existence seem a little melodramatic? I know kids take a lot of time, but it's not like people don't know that when they sign up for them...
Actually it is like that. I would estimate that the vast majority of new parents wake up one day about a year in and say, "Oh, fuck. It's really NEVER going back to the way it was. Like, ever."

And this is true even for people who are pretty eyes wide open. Having kids is kinda supposed to change your priorities and it is 20 years of your life that are no longer totally yours. That's not a negative to me, or melodramatic, that's just the reality of the gig. It's probably a lot like starting and growing a small business for 20 years and having other people depending on you for their paycheck. Are you still the same you when you work 80 hours a week+ taking care of 20 different roles and making sure your employees are taken care of too? Well, sure, you are you, but now you have bigger things than just you riding on your actions and behaviors, so your life isn't just yours because the consequences are no longer just yours. KWIM?

If having kids tends to mean a lot less freedom and maybe a lot more delayed gratification than people were used to before, it can also be the shakabuku that forces people to finally grow up and stop being self-absorbed twats. That problem is probably not as relevant for people on this forum, who already tend to be thinking ahead and taking on a lot of personal responsibility, but it's been my experience in the broader world that having something beyond oneself (baby) to focus on is generally pretty transformative for people.

And, since Grant is on this thread and since I'm talking about people growing up, I just want to be really f-ing clear that nothing in the previous is at all intended as a "Grant is too young to know about this" comment. Cause those suck.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 10:45:16 AM by Erica/NWEdible »

EngGirl

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2012, 10:44:24 AM »
Oh and mushroom makes a valid point on long term travel and how you can travel so cheap that your costs are barely more expensive than they are back home. My husband and I travelled (alternative) Europe for two months and spent LESS than we would have in two months in Canada. Travelling to places where your money is worth more than local currency is a great way to cut down on costs.

GuitarStv

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 11:21:50 AM »
Bicycle touring: http://sheldonbrown.com/euhansen.html

Seems like it's a pretty cheap way to travel, get exercise, and really enjoy the places you're going rather than just hitting the tourist traps and moving on.

zoltani

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2012, 11:59:32 AM »
Bicycle touring: http://sheldonbrown.com/euhansen.html

Seems like it's a pretty cheap way to travel, get exercise, and really enjoy the places you're going rather than just hitting the tourist traps and moving on.

Yes, bicycle touring can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.  You can camp every night and cook your own meals, or you could stay in B&Bs and eat out every day.....it is really up to the person. 

It the end, no matter how you do it, it is a nice way to spend a vacation, IMO


France, lived there and did a few longer tours and weekend trips


Mt. Rainier, weekend trip


Idaho, during long 40 day tour

zoltani

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2012, 12:00:04 PM »
See this website and let your imagination run wild

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=1

I especially enjoy reading through the world tour sections
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/categories/?o=1&category_id=207&doctype=journal

Gerard

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2012, 03:27:01 PM »
My personal approach when I was in your shoes was to take (what struck me as) wonderful trips on a shoestring budget that I knew wouldn't fit into my later life.

This... 'cause there are things you can/will put yourself through for a more rewarding/cheap travel experience mpw that you wouldn't want to impose on others (e.g., children) later. Also, when you're young and can sleep anywhere, your body and brain bounce back from the occasional rough bit a lot faster.

Another option is to take wonderful travel opportunities when you find them, but let go of the idea that you need/deserve a particular vacation at a particular time. If there happen to be cheap trips to (say) Spain when your vacation time comes up, and you want to go to Spain, go for it. If, on the other hand, there's nothing interesting available this year, stay home, cook and eat elaborate meals, and have lots of sex.


kiwichick

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Re: Spending Now vs Later
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2012, 10:23:21 PM »
Little late to the party with my comment, but wanted to say this is a very interesting topic. Especially when you do the math and figure you're 15 years or more from early retirement like moi. 15 years is a lot of time to scrimp and save. Having something big to look forward to halfway through, like a round-the-world trip, would make saving much easier. I think a lot of low-mid income workers might get discouraged seeing how long it would take them to retire.