Author Topic: Staying Disciplined  (Read 4674 times)

msmo

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Staying Disciplined
« on: February 18, 2012, 02:28:33 AM »
I have a very unfrugal hobby: travel.

I'm trying to keep it in check, but does anyone have suggestions for when that urge to flee really digs in?

I get quite claustrophobic on the island, and must leave at least twice a year. And even if I were to move back to the Mainland, I still like to see and do new things, and would like to do so while I am younger and not too unnerved by the discomfort of my aging body. Experiencing different locales and cultures also helps me keep my reality in check, and I learn immensely about all sorts of things on my solo travels.

In a perfect world, I was smart enough to 'stache into IRAs, emergency funds, and Vanguard accounts in my twenties, and I would only travel once I had the entire costs in hand prior to skipping down that jetway. I am not perfect, however, and am where I am, and learning about money slowly. I think I have enough money, but then I get back from Cambodia or New Mexico or where ever, and then it turns out my car needs a new alternator or the condo maintenance fees go up for building repairs. The reality here and now is that I am miserable when I feel stuck and then I get all crazy and make slips in my financial goals.

How do you all stay so disciplined and motivated?

catalana

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Re: Staying Disciplined
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 04:09:46 AM »
Hi MsMo

Have you thought about a change of career for one that entails a lot of travelling?  If you are young and without family commitments now is the time to do it.

MEJG

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Re: Staying Disciplined
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 06:43:31 AM »
Hi MsMo,
       I think there are two mainways you could go about it.

1) Move off the Islands.  Move to the mainland where you can travel around the country for much much cheaper.  This will lessen your claustrophobia and allow for shorter/less expensive options.  HI also has a notoriously high cost of living  so you could be making the right financial choice in general by moving.  You could then keep large excursions to other countries to once every 2 years or so which will cut down expenses too. Of course this might not be an option for multiple reasons. - This is probably the way I would lean.

2) Build your frugality muscles.  Live as frugally as humanly possible to save more money.  You know what you should be doing (maxing out your IRA, efund and contributing to your taxable accounts) so get some baddasssity and do it.  If you can reduce your expenses you will have more to fund your 'Stash and more to travel with.  Also, travel more around HI and less off the Islands. Practice some Stoicism:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/22/what-is-hedonic-adaptation-and-how-can-it-turn-you-into-a-sukka/

I would suggest looking at your biggest costs and weighing up if you prefer them to travel.  For example: do you live alone?  if you do, why?  do you like living alone more than travel? if not get a roommate or roommates to decrease your costs. 

I loved this article: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/01/31/31-days-to-fix-your-finances-a-wrapup/  when I was starting to get my head around frugality.  It helped me try and prioritize.  Now I didn't have income (was a student) so I didn't actually do all the calculations, but you might find it helpful to prioritize your needs and wants.  It won't tell you not to travel!!

Good luck :-)

Mike Key

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Re: Staying Disciplined
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 08:56:28 AM »
As someone who travels regularly, it can actually be a very frugal hobby that doesn't cost much if you don't go around traveling like a tourist all the time.

Chris

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Re: Staying Disciplined
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 09:46:15 AM »
As someone who travels regularly, it can actually be a very frugal hobby that doesn't cost much if you don't go around traveling like a tourist all the time.

I agree. I have found that my daily expenditures while traveling are quite similar to my average daily expenditures while at home. That makes airfare the only unusually large expense.

Since you live in Hawaii, is it possible that you could rent out your condo while you travel to offset some cost?

msmo

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Re: Staying Disciplined
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 03:21:44 PM »
As someone who travels regularly, it can actually be a very frugal hobby that doesn't cost much if you don't go around traveling like a tourist all the time.

I agree. I have found that my daily expenditures while traveling are quite similar to my average daily expenditures while at home. That makes airfare the only unusually large expense.

Since you live in Hawaii, is it possible that you could rent out your condo while you travel to offset some cost?

Oh, I don't think my roommate would like that. As for my travel style, the only expenditure in travel are the airfare. As you imagine, the airfares FROM O'ahu are just as high as they are TO O'ahu. I try to go to new locales where I have friends and family. Or else I rent out a bunk from a hostel. I am by no means sipping cocktails at a resort (Friends and I mix up cocktails in thermoses and walk down to the beach instead.) 

Anyhow, thanks for the suggestions so far. I'm thinking it's a matter of prioritizing.  Moving is something I'm considering, but I'm also trying to build up my career-related skills and a new job would interrupt that. Moving would also not really affect my day-to-day expenses, as I prefer large cities for political and sustainability reasons.

Moneyisntlove

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Re: Staying Disciplined
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 05:24:17 PM »
Not sure what you do professionally, but are there any possibilities to go to conferences or training for work and tack a little vacation on to that?  I'm an academic and now that my kids are teens, I will occasionally take a child along to a professional conference and do some sightseeing.  Took my girls to Europe and my daughter to DC and California this year -= all for work.  My travel was free as was housing.