We have had a couple posts about the fun stuff, now it is time for some money matters Any dollar I can save is something Isabella can spend later at LEGOLAND. For some reason, I showed the kids LEGOLAND clips on YouTube and now we have to fit that into the budget. So here are two ways we plan to stretch our dollar.
Let’s start with credit cards. From the beginning, we wanted two different branded cards on the trip (a Visa and an Amex). If one particular card was not accepted, or one got compromised then we would always have a backup. This never was a necessity in our daily life so we needed to go hunting for a new card. Where to begin? Fortunately, there are amazing sites out there that showed us the pros and cons of the different credit card offers. Type “best credit cards in Canada” into Google, and you’ll have enough reading material for weeks. During our research, we realized we should have cards we used BEFORE we travel (i.e. during the planning) and then cards we should use when we were ACTUALLY TRAVELLING. This was new for us and so far it has saved us a large bucket of money.
When we started planning, we had a lot of time to get things done. One thing that benefits from a large time horizon is selling “stuff”. It is far easier to maximize your return on any business transaction when you are not at the mercy of an aggressive deadline. Before we take off on our around-the-world journey, we plan to sell some of our possessions. We hope to use the proceeds to fund a portion of the trip but we know it will not be the main contributor. Still, any extra dollar we can squirrel away now is one less dollar we have to worry about when we are on the road. And since we won’t be working, the less stress on that front the better. I wanted to share a quick update on what I have been tackling and some new considerations I have taken into account.
I have to come clean. I love finance and budgeting. I “waste” hours a week on personal finance. I thought this part of the trip planning would be easy. It is in my wheelhouse. I have failed. Even with preliminary placeholders I just can’t get the left side to equal the right side.
When I started on this process, I threw out a nice round number that I “budgeted” for the trip. What I was really doing was putting down a number that I would be “comfortable” spending on the trip. Unfortunately, it seems like each week of research unlocks a new expense I had not considered.
I have always limited my loyalty program participation to a narrow range of companies. As I continue to research our upcoming trip it makes sense to expand the list of programs that the family is affiliated with. With still over 2 years of time until we travel, some might end up justifying the sign up effort now. When we eventually take off, I can not wait to see what cost offsets these loyalty programs will have helped deliver.
Let me call a spade a spade. I have not made any progress on the other elements of the trip planning in the last month. Even my attempts at a blog posts did not make it to fruition. However on the finance side things we have moved things along nicely. We are now about 1/3 of the way towards our goal and we did it just by changing our priorities a little bit. Essentially we decided on another way to allocate money towards the trip.
Yes I have been slacking with posting which is not a good thing. It has been about a month since I shared how we were going to start assembling the necessary money for the trip. After a couple weeks I have a quick update as to how we are going to start saving the money. Yes we have already made some mistakes.
With the new year upon us I have decided to share the ways we are going to save money for the upcoming trip. We have not yet decided the amount we need yet but we have aligned on where some of the $ will come from. The overall idea is that the trip will be funded through income from different sources and also from us making slight adjustments to our current lifestyle. One final caveat is the dollars will all be after tax dollars *i.e. real money, not paper money”