The Plunge

Upon recuperating from my recent life changes, I have come to the realization that I no longer have anchors holding me back from living the life I’ve always dreamed I would live! I realized that I’m quite good at saving money and finding smashing deals. Building a budget and sticking to it is no hard task for me. Personally I work best on a weekly basis, meeting these goals on a week by week basis gives me the motivation to keep going and succeed. It is helpful to watch things grow so rapidly week after week – I even downloaded this great app to build my goals – Money Box gives me the freedom to set a goal and time frame for the goal then track when I add money to that ‘box’. It even sends me a weekly reminder to make my contribution to my goals.

Since I have figured all this out and have been on a strong track, I bought a ticket to Europe for September. It gives me plenty of time to save all the money I will need – and with a round trip ticket for $460 how could I resist?!? I’ve been utilizing Airbnb to find places to stay at an affordable price and have been doing well so far.

I’ll be spending two weeks abroad visiting three major cities: Dublin (for a 21 hour layover), Amsterdam, and Paris. The only place I have been before is Amsterdam, I lived in The Netherlands for a while and thoroughly enjoyed my time there but feel I was in the wrong place to appreciate the cozy dutch culture. Now it is time to revisit this quaint country. Paris is a city I have been dreaming about my entire life – fueled by my love of classic literature and art. I’ve found a place to stay in the beautiful Montmartre district where the artists and writers throughout the ages have called home at various times including a few of my favorites including Fitzgerald and Hugo.

When I return to New York I’ll be moving into my own place so it is very important that I stick to my budget as best as possible and try every chance I get to exceed my savings goals each week. I’ve got a roommate lined up and a plan in action which is a wonderful thing – empowering in a way – but I’ll be starting from scratch. I’ll need to buy dishes and a bed and all the things that make four walls a home.

All of these decisions have made me feel a little overwhelmed but I’m grateful I have begun the planning process for this at such an early stage and with a steady income and money in the bank. There is a lot happening in my life but its a beautiful start to something wonderful and new.

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The Breakdown

At this point you are all probably wondering how the heck a trip of this capacity is going to work out. Never fear, I have worked out all of the logistics.

BEFORE THE TRIP I Will Need: $900

Backpack (45-50L) $100

Sleeping Bag $30

Other $70

Jacket $100

Walking Shoes   $100

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition (and Mount)    $500

Transportation

I broke down the travel transportation costs for two people as I plan to have a buddy for the trip for safety reasons as well as production reasons. I plan to be flying into Ireland and travel throughout the rest of my trip via bus, train (Eurail Global Pass for one months travel in a two month span), plane, and an occasional automobile while leaving from Israel by plane. I over shot the estimated spring price by $700 for inflation and other unforeseen costs. (You never know)

Transportation Budget: $9000

Day To Day Living

During the duration of my six month trip I plan to sleep cheap by camping and sleeping in hostels most of my time. I decided bringing about 5 euro a night each person or about $1000 would be a logical estimate. with an addition $1500 each as a buffer for unforeseen expenses.

Day To Day Budget: $5000

With these things in mind I have made my savings goal for the trip $7500 per person which means putting away about $312 dollars a month for 24 months or $78 a week with a $12 starting fund.

TOTAL BUDGET: $15000

2016, I can’t wait to conquer you.

****Side Note: Part of my intrigue in a trip like this is not to live extravagantly but learn how to live on a small scale and truly connect with the world around me. Although I have over-budgeted my savings, I plan on returning to America on time and under-budget!

So now for my readers, when you take a trip what are your top three components for creating your budget?

xxx Sam