It is that time of year again—time for the RE-solutions, RE-starts, and RE-dos. It is also that time to RE-evaluate the things that are important to you, time to RE-visit your priorities, and perhaps a time to reWARD yourself for all that hard work (see what I did there?).
Many resolutions have to do with cutting back and developing discipline. Whether it is with our food choices, or our budgets, or our time, we sit there every year with our lists and plans hoping for a better You. I set out this year to have a few “RE-evaluations”, as I will call them (okay, I’ll stop with the REs, I think we all get it), since these are not new solutions to new problem. They are ever present, always being willing to be tackled by you no matter what time of year it is, yet we have to wait till 01/01! I digress.
For me, it included starting this blog. Many friends and acquaintances have encouraged me to share secrets, tips, and tricks for getting good deals on traveling the world, because that is what I love to do. So I have my coffee, brewed from my R2D2 french press (visual to the right), my warm fuzzy socks (because apparently, California decided to get cold), my new Wanderlust For Less business cards, and millions (okay, a few) ideas. I think we can start.
I am assuming you are at this blog for one of 3 reasons:
A) You want to travel more this year and somehow ran smack dab into Wanderlust for Less (unlikely, yet possible—welcome).
B) You are my Facebook/IRL friend and saw a shameless self promotion post (cheers, friend. Let’s get coffee soon, yeah?)
C) You are my Mom’s Facebook/IRL friend and saw her Proud Parent Moment (bless you, thanks for coming, I love my Mama).
No matter your reasons for being here, I think we can all pretty much agree on one thing: Saving money is good. Yes? Excellent. We can move on.
For me, I love saving money because it can fuel my unquenched desire to travel and explore the world. For you, it could be different, but the principles of saving money are the same.
- Plan: First of all, I revisited Bayless Budget (or maybe it is called a “spending plan” now, but it wouldn’t look as good without our cheeky alliteration) with my husband. It is time to see exactly where our money is going and reevaluate if we should stop spending as much money in one area and perhaps put it in another area.This. is. HUGE.
If you haven’t made a spending plan yet (aka sitting down and writing out where your money is going every month), this is step one: Google “Budget Template” and find a great budget for you. Set aside an hour for a Budget Date for yourself and get to work. Let it be fueled by your favorite warm beverage and your desire to spend your money wisely instead of it disappearing before you can say, “Who cares about student loans when a massive bag of only the marshmallows from Lucky Charms is only $19!” (it happens to the best of us, but a budget might help us to avoid that… maybe).
If you already have a budget, you may want to revisit it and see how you are doing. There is no time like the goal-charged month of January to redo your finances. In fact, maybe you should consider ringing in EVERY new month a spending plan date! It is important to take a look and see where your money is going. And in all transparency, I am doing this too. My husband and I have regular meetings to talk budget.
- Dream: This is probably a favorite part for most of us. What do you want to accomplish this year? Personally, apart from other goals, I would like to visit 6 countries this year (refer to the About page to see why). And I am planning that now (actually since last summer, but now is a good time to actually book the trips).A wonderful site to dream from is TravelZoo. I go there frequently looking at all the places I could go, and get an idea of how much they would be. Iceland is calling to me this year to see the Northern Lights. There are so many awesome options out there, I am looking for the right one.And remember that handy-dandy Spending Plan? Part of our paycheck goes into a “Travel Fund” every month. What does that look like? It can literally be a bank account called “Travel the World” or “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Fund”. what ever the name, it needs to exist and be a part of your budget.
- Save: My mom and I have somewhat of a battle going on of who can get the best deals on things we are already buying. It is a fun game where we can be competitive yet productive. We use apps like RetailMeNot, TravelZoo, Cartwheel, local grocery store apps, and other awesome sites to constantly save money and put said saved money towards our priorities. It seriously works. Stay tuned for my favorite ways to save money as I learn about more apps and deals out there.
- GO: And with that, welcome to the them of my blog. Come back each week for new ideas on how to save money every day, how to actually book the trip of a lifetime on a budget, and travel tips for when you are jet setting around the world. I am personally stoked to write about what I love, and share my adventures with you.
Until next time,