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My mantra is “Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.” And BaldThoughts is the intersection of travel and personal finance. Most people don’t understand how closely these two concepts are related. But you can’t have one without the other. I’ll share my approach with you below.
Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.
Essentially, when you have your personal finances in order, you can afford to travel more because you don’t have debt crippling your budget. And without that debt, your credit score will be better, which will qualify you for the best credit card offers with the biggest bonuses.
By being smart with your choices, taking advantage of promotions, and integrating miles and points into your travel budget, you’ll save money on travel, which will allow you to accelerate the paydown of debt and invest for your future.
Finally, by addressing financial worries and traveling more (aka spending more time with friends and family), you’ll lead a happier, healthier life.
That Americans travel less than most other industrialized nations is a well-known fact. Of the 2 weeks of vacation that many workers receive, many of those days go unused. Such a shame! There is an amazing world out there waiting to be explored, and I’m a big believer in experiencing as much of it as I can.
I probably go overboard with travel (I think I’ll do about 30 trips in 2016), but I love meeting new people, staying at new resorts, and interacting with new cultures.
I don’t expect everyone to travel as much as I do, but my goal is to help you go on at least one additional vacation a year. Whether it be to see your family that lives too far away for regular visits, to go on that honeymoon or anniversary trip that you always seem to be too busy to plan, to see an old friend that you miss dearly, or to introduce your children to something new or something that you did as a child… it can happen!!!
And it can happen without breaking the bank or going into debt.
I make it a point to spend consciously on things that matter most to me. We are all constantly bombarded with messages about things we should buy… commercials on the radio and TV, magazine ads, our social media feeds. It all boils down to this quote from Ed Norton:
We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.
And my friend Paula Pant also sums it up so nicely:
You can afford anything, but not everything.
Traveling more and spending less seem to be contradictory approaches, right? Yes and no. If you were paying cash, not taking advantage of promotions, and not being strategic with how you spend for all of your trips, you would be right.
However, by using miles and points, being loyal to a select few airline and hotel brands, and maximizing lucrative promotions when they’re available, you can cut your travel budget down to pennies when the same trips would cost your friends full price. Here’s a couple of examples – family of 4 saves over $1500 flying to Orlando, trip to Hawaii for $262.
By taking this approach, not only have I visited more countries than ever before, I’ve also been able to pay down debt at an accelerated pace. For example, I just paid off my student loans 9 years early.
I use a web- and phone-based software called Personal Capital to keep track of my finances. It is an easy-to-use interface that incorporates all of my bank accounts, investments, loans, and credit cards so that I have a big picture view of my net worth. It is free to use when you sign up using my affiliate link. You are also entitled to a free 30-minute consultation with an investment advisor, if you choose to schedule that call.
It is amazing what happens to your health and your relationships when the burden of debt is lifted and you travel more. You’re not as stressed as you used to be. The tense feeling in your back and neck dissipate. You smile and laugh more. And you start having more conversations about future plans of travel and retirement, instead of talking about how you’re going to pay off money that was spent long ago.
I know that I have an even better appreciation of other cultures and how lucky we are in America after visiting other countries. Heck, I feel even more blessed after traveling to other parts of the US that don’t have it as good as it is where I live.
And there’s plenty of good as well. Although I’m a picky eater, there are so many places around the world that have amazing food and drinks that you just can’t find in your local area.
And I love exploring the architecture of buildings across the globe. They sure don’t build buildings like they used to… the character, the intricate details, the craftmanship required. It feels like you’re stepping into a time machine when you
When you travel the way our family does, you’re so less stressed because you know you’re not going into debt for the experiences you’re having. It allows you to be in the moment… and not be so worried about digging into your wallet.
Join me on this journey
Please join me on this path to “Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.” I’d love it if you signed up for my newsletter (upper right corner of this page) so that you can receive the latest updates in your email inbox.
If you’d like, I offer a free 30-minute travel advice session where we discuss your travel goals and help you create a plan get there.