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That’s So Money: Cheap Travel Edition

Nicole Ouellette and Alice Kaiserian are monthly contributors to the Wealth Gathering blog with a column we like to call ‘That’s So Money.’ Think of this blog as combining personal finance and social media in a fun frenzy of usefulness and entertainment.

bringitYou know the only thing that makes me sad when I read these inspiring posts of people getting out of debt, or paying off their mortgage by the time they’re 35, or other amazing accomplishments?

The part where they say they didn’t go on any vacations.

Beans and rice, not buying any clothes, making my own coffee. None of these things phase me but tell me I am stuck in a location for an indefinite period of time and I start pacing around like one of those tigers in a zoo. It’s not pretty.

Part of our two year plan (I say ‘our’ because I am technically half of a couple which involves some discussions and compromise) involves saving for a vacation, even though it means paying down the home equity loan slower than we thought. It’s not a decision many personal finance folks would agree with but it’s going to work for us. We only need to finalize the destination and target date so we can start saving, even if it means $100/month to go. (I did that for five years and went to London and Bosnia for three weeks last year).

Am I going to wait another five years? Heck no, even if it means a less ambitious vacation. Hence saving to go somewhere within two years.

If you’re in the mood to travel, personal finance blogs will not disappoint. It turns out besides foregoing vacations entirely, there are other options for us more restless types. Here are a few recent gems: Less about travel and more about being productive while you travel. Backup internet? Don’t mind if I do! How do you become the lucky person that gets to travel? Dumb Little Man reminds us that luck is made, not an entirely chance occurrence. (Though maybe sometimes it is a bit of chance, right?) Tips about lowering food budgets while traveling. Lump this in with advice about how to get cheap airfare and accommodations and that vacation is starting to cost a lot less money. If you want to watch a bunch of people get opinionated, go to this website. Extreme early retirement involves people who save 70% or more of their incomes for fiveish years so they can do cool things like bike around the world for 8 years (like the people in the link). Part extreme saving shock, part lusting after someone else’s amazing lifestyle, this site has something to inspire (and potentially piss off) anyone. It’s one thing to commute an hour to work but it’s another thing when your commute involves an airport. An interesting article about ‘supercommuters’ and why they do what they do.

So I am here to argue that yes, you can be a personal finance person and travel… at least that’s what I tell myself as I look at our very slowly growing vacation fund.