Wednesday, 30 April 2008

File Note – We can go on our trip!!

Hurray!! Based on the latest version of our plan, we have saved enough to travel round the world. After years of thinking, this is a really achievement, and I personally feel great that we will be able to undertake this trip with no financial tension and no need to work as we go. A major personal achievement of mine has been delivered.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Getting your finances in shape

Interestingly, the first thing I noticed when Urvi and I started thinking and researching a Gap Year World tour was the amount of variation people were suggesting as a budget.

The books talk about setting some expectations regarding the type of traveling you want to do and the type of places you want to stay. Based on this you can get a feel of the amount you need to have in your World trip piggy bank. We have been basing our current thinking (more to do) on £20 GBP per person per day this gives us an ‘on-the-road’ budget of £14,600. In addition you need to budget for:

• Pre trip stuff – kit etc
• Major travel costs (round the world tickets etc)
• Insurance costs etc
• Contingency funds for costs at home (your mortgage etc etc etc!)
• Money for when you come back

All in all we are working on a budget of £35,000 for the year. This may change as our planning progresses (more later)

What this meant for us is Saving saving saving!!

Immediately, the fact we wanted to go debt free, and not work while on the road, determined our leaving date. So far we are talking about the 2nd of May 2009, which at the time of starting this project gave us plenty of time to start saving.

Lessons we learnt to enable us to do this were:

• Have a clear idea of the type of traveling and lodging you are planning for.
• What you save before you can go, you can enjoy when you are on the road.
• The small savings mount up - £40 is a day’s budget, so saving 1 “Dinner out” pays for a day on the road.
• It is difficult to gauge what the costs will be so allow for contingency.
• Open a dedicated savings account for your trip and don’t dip into it.
• Try and save regularly, each month – it is a good feeling to see your savings accumulate as the months pass!
• Ensure you record your pre trip spending against your World trip account, so you know that when you get on the plane on day 1, you know how much you have left.
• DON’T MAKE MONEY YOUR DRIVER! But if you sort this out before you go your whole trip does not turn into a budgeting challenge

Of course if all else fails approach rich relatives for a loan!

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