Optimizing Your Finances
This section we're going talk about optimizing your finances because let's face it, we all need money to travel with, and money is something we all want more of and never have enough up for to my right and not right. And so in this section, we're going talk about how to cut your expenses before you go and sort of say for that trip, you know, you want to go to paris for ten days, you want to go to thailand, you want to go to antarctica, where do you want to go bust one a great country love it there who want to go to zambia also a great place, eh? So how do you save the money to go to these destinations? We're going to talk about that, um, how to pick the right banks and atm cards because you've saved up all his money don't give it to the banks and the fees when my biggest mistakes was easing, you know, bankamerica when I traveled and we'll get into more of that, but so many eighteen fuse I paid, uh, it had so many great, more great meals and drinks so many more beers if I didn't give it...
to bankamerica and I had to get my tax dollars them to a couple of years ago, they're getting it all angles how to pick the right travel card occurred because you can use travel credit cards to get points and miles from the big points and miles guy and I'll refund that um in death but also to avoid fees because banks they love charging fees and every time you swipe that plastic get fees and so I want to really go over how to keep your hard earned money to you and how they leverage and utilize loyalty systems to get free travel because the best way to travel on the budget it's not pay for it. Um so you know, travel is the only thing that makes you you buy that makes you richard wright I've needed me spending money but it's not on stuff yeah it's on great things and up opportunities so it's really cute toe have the money to, you know, to go and take a safari and the buzz wanders india hangout with penguins and said that you know, buying tvs and stuff and we're going to get into how to cut your expenses before you leave so who are is well money and affording travel and staying on the road everybody great? Um you know what? What is your primary concerns about money and travel? Yes, baseball for me is just how much do I need initially to get out the door? Yeah, we're doing we're mike and draw the line you know that that is one like how much like how much does this ship cost? And I know we're in a book called how to travel the world on fifty dollars a day and quick math that's eighteen thousand two hundred fifty but you know, that's an average and you know, that's not a set number and we're going to talk about how you save money for your goal when you figure out ok to go to paris for ten days I need x dollars how do you get tax? Anyone else have any concerns? Fears relating to traveling money? Yes, for me, something that worries me and I guess because I've done the credit card travel is having economic stability when I come back like not overspending likes or having like, the appropriate amount saving, so when I return, I'm comfortable I'm not strapped, not stressed. Yeah, so we'll talk about how to save money and how do I have a little cushion for when you come back? Because yeah, I mean that that's a great line that you were saying is there any sort of subject line around money and there's actually one about spending it? You know, when you save money for around the world trip, do you go to zero at the end? D smith all or do you save it or do you spend it well good good thing we're going talk with this so when I went away I decided that I would need twenty grand I needed now they want the money because for the basic information I figured out online that seemed like a reasonable amount of money to last me eighteen months of course I was way off base um simply because I end up staying longer and currencies change and I didn't poor planning but I set this money and I realized I don't want to come home with ex with nothing you know you want to come home like having to like bus coming in on the side of the street and so I decided to save thirty grand because that would give me an extra question and it took a while and you know, I had a I was in a hospital administrator I had low, low low level job and you know, it took a lot to say, you know, I couldn't get extra hours I couldn't take a second job I was working full time so I had, you know, be a little bit financial ninja uh I feel like here we go um and find a way to lower my day today expenses and we sort of talkto briefly about this earlier about you skip the starbucks and do all, um know that money can go to travel right? Because there's a lot of low hanging fruit in our lives that we can cut and we don't often realize this because, you know, we just go get starbucks and, um, one of the creative live guys here was telling me he just, you know, needs a ride he calls an uber, right? Just punch a button, I swiped my starbucks it's not money, it's just, uh, there we go, but then you have set uber or starbucks or whatever half you have toe other refill and there's all this money going away that you're not consciously thinking about, and that adds up a lot over time. A coffee here, stack, they're buying a bottle of water. Oh, here. Starbucks was my vice. I don't drink coffee, but I love their iced tea. Um and it just adds up all the time. I used to work long shifts and we get so hungry and I would always snack. I love cheez its we go through like, three packs a day, but that adds up. So when I realized I had to do was I had to track my expenses. And this is something that I think is really important, that you do to start saving money because he we can have that goal of let's say, I need to start twenty thousand dollars for my trip, right? But if we don't know how much we're really spending and how much we can save, we're never gonna sort of attain it because we're always going to be fighting the tide so I think it's really important that for two weeks track how you spend money everything write it all down whether you know you break down your rent your bills, your starbucks, whatever it is you have break it down, put on a spreadsheet then categorize everything in tow wants and needs what I want sir box with the need my rent my electric bill um you know what you want what you need cable me love cable but we're going to get until you know that and then cut all your wants you cut that down, you're suddenly going to find that william and I was spending all this money a month but I didn't realize I was spending and uh once you do that, you realize, wait, I can actually stay of a lot more than I think I can because you think you know, I'm making a thousand bucks a month, but you know I'm only I can only save a couple hundred but then you see all these low hanging fruit phantom expenses and you realize, wait actually maybe I can say four hundred a month we're talking, we're going talk a little bit about some more ninja ways to save money and one thing I have learned to do is think of it, the thing is an opportunity cost. We have some people who have traveled to four, right? How often is it that you go to restore and thank god I would really love that awesome new mac retina, but twelve hundred bucks? I could get a plane ticket for that? Who else thinks that right? Yeah, so we have a lot of people in our studio audience who think that I'm sure a lot of you at home think that to view everything is sort of an opportunity cost an opportunity cost as defined by the dictionary, is the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen opportunity cost of the key concepts in economics and blah, blah, blah, but it's basically the choice you make to get something when you could get something else. And if you make trav your goal like we talked about in the first section and you really have that goal of going to paris, think of everything in terms you buy and spend that keeps you from your trip or gets you to your goal quicker. If you want to go to botswana and you go get your starbucks, you're hooked on starbucks. Every time you go to starbucks be like I'm giving up my trip to botswana and suddenly you will find that maybe that starbucks is so important maybe my new mac isn't so important because what's more important going away and so these air sort of my top suggestions for cutting your expensive uh some of these will be you make to try or obvious but sometimes the obvious is the thing we overlooked the most um and one cut the coffee if you think of starbucks has five bucks day I started to hate on starbucks because I really do love starbucks I have healthy friends are available other copies available um pete's coffee and folders and dunkin donuts coffee all these wherever you have uh that up five dollars a coffee day is one hundred fifteen month eight hundred dollars a year for eight hundred dollars you could go toe southeast asia or two months two months and felt is asia you could have been really nice full book a bunch of flights for for that and we think like, you know, two dollars here it's only two bucks you know, whatever is only two blocks well, two bucks every day someone becomes a lot of money and when they try to get people to quit smoking right I mean that's one of the things they talk about, you know t show the financial impact of it and coffee like that daily cop is sort of the epitome of this phantom uh phantom expense that sort of every day little expense that sort of adds up so think of everything in these opportunity cots terms and I know I'm harping on coffee I mean I know everybody loves her daily cup but this is just a prime example off you know expenses that you consider and get rid of I mean what are what are some expenses like you have like think thinking about this now in terms of of this like what you're sort of dated a thing you always seem to get that's only a couple of bucks and you want anyone drink sir box yes. Ok so how often do you get starbucks uh whenever I have to really of the morning today was one of them okay yes, we all had an early morning today. Um yes taxis and lift right this convenient you know, I could take transit I could walk and then instead I pay ten or thirteen dollars you know just have some things going up and make it go yeah community type of happy punching your happen off you go um and I mean, that was like especially with the surge pricing that uber does where it's like five times whatever it is anyone else and you would have you know instead of just buying growth he's cooking for yourself awkward time. So it's right when the taco bell happy hours so I always get like a two dollar griller because if I don't eat them by the time I get home it's like almost dinnertime uh, teo world going on my walkabout and I have two foodie, three friends, diehard foodies like they we go travel, they will hunt out the local cuisine and all of it but then they also love taco bell there's there's something about running for the board are that you can't help but love addictive it's totally addictive and so talking about learning to cook um I was a really bad cook and I want to travel made me a better cook because eating out there's always the most convenient thing to do I got off work. I wanted to go to the gym, get go to jim now I'm really hungry and then I have to go home and cook and I gotta wait. But hey, there's a mcdonald's taco bell that is my local sub shop. I just ordered some food. Um restaurants are expensive and I tried to. Then I limit myself to two meals out weak and I cooked the rest and I ate leftovers for lunch and that really helped me cut expenses and now you have all these great websites for food but what else? I also helped me dio was learned to cook because when you're traveling I mean we'll talk about this also tomorrow when you talk about davide expenses, you don't need to eat out every meal because that's just going to destroy your budget uh so I learned to cook I learned howto you know, make meals I could eat on the road thus save money before and on my trip and I think you know, people get really intimidated by the kitchen and I was never any good at in the kitchen uh, but I found through online there's so many like twenty minute meals and thirty minute meals rachel, raise your whole life cooking me on thirty minutes and you know that you know, meeting less intimidating process and veggies a state that's all you need but definitely bringing in leftovers I always make too much food because then you're stuck with this food and you're like, well, now I have to eat it right because you I feel guilty about wasting that certainly you're that one meal has become two or three and you're just incrementally cutting cost out uh bulk is really important. I got rid of my car and I know this is not possible for everybody you know, if you live in a place where you need a car, you live and I hope you're not too money no public public transit I happen to be fortunate I lived in boston so I could get my car because you have car insurance gasoline you know repairs that really sort of ad so this cost plus you're paying off your car and so I learned to love the bus I would walk to the subway station I was hitch rides his friends think of that also sell your car and just buy a cheaper one um that's that's always another option you know this may not be realistic for a lot of people but there are alternatives out there and I think one of the best alternative is getting a junker car because you know it's nice to have a nice car but if you're going away or you know you just want a road trip for you need something that just sort of get you from point a to b and why spend all this money on a really expensive car when you could save that money to buy a nice plane ticket to go overseas is like allison don they sold all their stuff and carr being one of them and I got rid of my car and that really helped you know get me to my travel goal earlier I interviewed this guy last year who was making forty four nine dollars an hour and you say fourteen thousand dollars in six months one of the reasons he did it decides working a lot of overtime and eating at his work sold his car and we you know we think like oh I quoted by going through with this car but bills when you quit your job or when you go to travel suddenly you cancel all your bills and they disappear and this is another one of them find a roommate and the sharing economy has made this so much easier I wish airbnb existed when I was saving to travel if you can move to a smaller apartment or get a roommate everyone does this in new york I live in new york now and it would be like a one bedroom with my five people would be like well you know we can just put dividers up right um you turn that living room into a spare room and get get a roommate housing costs or a lot and you know reducing them is great I three months before I went away I moved in with my parents which was an awful three months because I love my parents of death but you know they were trying to get me to knock out and no I would have was home every day and they were like, you know there's a job here you could stay you can stay plus when you're twenty five living with mom and dad is less than ideal but it does save money on what's mom's just popped into the chat room yes getting all the well informed yes be careful yes uh luckily I know he's joking because I have to help my mom everything technology why? So it was just an impulse to get out of this um but another option nowadays using sites like airbnb dramarama when dio home away to rent out your spare space when I'm away on vacation keeping an apartment in new york city can be quite expensive but but so I find some letters and I use services like this in order to lower the cost because I'm not going to move out of my apartment every couple of months because that increases cost so using these house rental web sites to sort of take use your free space and make making some money on it can help you lower your costs while making some money and get you to your savings goal quicker get rid of table who is free? There are other methods to download stuff online for free too who will being who lou being the legal one uh but I wanted to get time warner cable and it was like fifty bucks not including the internet was like who louis netflix or like that box netflix itunes I cut out movies I love movies I watched a ton of movies but every time you were in a movie in fifteen bucks fifteen dollars a dorm room or a guesthouse rum in southeast asia one night a place to stay in thailand or a movie I can you know, get online for a couple of bucks they give everything in opportunity costs sell your stuff I got rid of everything we'll talk next about gear in how like the the stuff I have which is not a lot but you realize that you don't really need a lot of stuff and this makes it a lot better when you come back because you like now I really got by without without all that junk I had and suddenly you're saving more money he's not re buying everything and that keeps you traveling more but selling your stuff is a good one um build a called surfing network now this isn't the previous tapes or sort of low canyou for no brainer ways to save money they're easy they can dio you probably have thought about this before I just want to reiterate all this I mean, selling yourself and get rid of cable is not, you know, revolutionary uh but this one is good because couch surfing how many of you have heard of couch surfing? Everybody great culture thing is the network that lets you stay with locals for free when you travel but it's also a networking website so there are culture thing need ups in groups and hang out said happening that you don't have to, you know how host somebody for you can just show up in new york city they have every week there's a thursday couch surfing event posters come and hang out they bring their guests these people know people around the world right? This is whole hospitality network kind of thing if you are worried about I don't know how I'm gonna be able to afford all those hostiles in europe or nights in australia or you know hotels and whatever country but I don't know anybody overseas these people know people and so go to the you go to these media you make friends with them, you get to know them they sort of vote for you on their profile and then you can say, hey, hey bob, uh, you know, anybody in france you know, anybody in china? Oh well, you know, I don't, but this guy might have this guy might and suddenly you've created this network of friends and locals that you can meet overseas without ever having to actually host anybody or do anything special. And I mean, you know, knowing a friend of a friend of a friend who likes to stay somewhere and then takes you to that crazy, you know, carrie okey place and taiwan's like that's pretty fun right is a great way to save some money and you know, I'm going to say this and the same again, when we talk about food tomorrow, alcohol is where budgets going to die okay, cut down on your drinking you know, I mean this is especially important when you're on the road and we'll talk about that more, especially when you're making trade off but I'll call is really expensive drink before you go to a bar, stick to beer don't have those martinis any longer cut down I mean it was it was tough, you know, spending my whole entire week like living like a hermit, you know, to go out like maybe once with my friends and had like to change earnings to be like, no, I'm saving for my trip and they're all I don't be lane, you know? But those beers were if I had more drinks with my friends, I could have gone away longer and you know when you have that goal and you bought that ticket, suddenly there is no going back there is you have to have money like sam has bought his ticket, so if he doesn't have money when he's going he's coming home really soon so he has to make those decisions he has to make those trade offs and I mean that's really important and while I don't have a slide for it way question yeah, thank you so this this couch surfing network the question coming in is is there older generation of couch surfing network that you can create or is this for younger people so culturally, demographically what is the democratic demographic culture thing? It does skew younger but there are people of all ages on it you can stay with families you can go with your kids there are older couples while it does key twenties or thirties typically they have search parameters and you can sort of find where you want but at the meet ups I mean there's all ages alternatives are hospitality network in service as e r the which skew much older there they've been around for forty, fifty years and they tend to skew older couchsurfing does skew younger but I've favors families uh I got invited to a sunday dinner in denmark and that was quite interesting yes visit me in my hometown in vancouver so sometimes I've gone to those meet ups where even if I don't have a place for somebody to stay I know where I like to take people when they come to visit me so when I have friends and family coming to town you know that's something that I could do to provide value even if I don't have a couch or someplace for somebody to stay with me at that time I still wanna be able to go and meet those people and say, you know what? I love going to granville island or I love going to this mountain I love going to granville island to I start a great musician there once, but I think that's an excellent point a lot of people think these hot hospitality networks are like you have to host somebody but you're young you can there really meant to connect travels with locals, staying with people that's sort of a bonus I'm you know I had two german girls take me to where german punk rock show in munich wasn't staying with them uh we had a message and they took me I had no idea what these germans were saying it was a lot there was some kind of angry but I had a ton of fun and I had this guy like taking around kiev once when I was staying there so you can definitely use it as a way to get the local ins in places and find um people who are like I can't host you but I'll take you to this rock show yes I thinking is as travelers get older there are more older people on couchsurfing yeah you're about ten years no not ten years six or seven six or seven I mean it's for all ages I hosted young people older people that's great is great and I mean it's a wonderful sight to lower your cost you we'll talk more about that when we get to accommodation options but using it to build your net it is one thing you can do now to save money later so before we move on just really quickly is there anything you can do as a couch surfer tio in good good measure we're getting a lot of comments about gifting teo the host or you know something in exchange you need to budget for things like that so um when I say that host and we're going to talk in depth the bell culture thing next section but I usually you know we'll take him out to dinner once I need to get a bottle of wine or take him out for drinks I mean, I don't budget for specifically because, you know, it's it's a lower cost compared to the money I'm saving like, so if I stayed with, you know, stay with you for five days, you're saving me one hundred bucks, right? Assuming a dorm rooms twenty bucks, we'll take you out to dinner for twenty I'm so up eighty dollars out of the hole deal, so I don't really like budget by, you know have a special section in my budget of, like, gets her coat surfers twenty bucks you know, much what I enjoyed the most hosting people is when they offered a cook dinner yes, because then I get to try foods from all over the world, and that is saving them many they go to the grocery store, we go together but they actually come and cook dinner and then I always offer breakfast I introduced three danish girls to mac and cheese and never had mac and cheese I was like what? I guess I come on so I went to the grocery store and I got mac and cheese and we made it and I introduced the austrian couple to the b l t they have never had that like you have to have a guilty guy was like a hole that is delicious so simple but so delicious and like right right? So that's another great part is the cultural exchange literally is it always going to be a couch or is it just you know we'll talk about in that in that but I understand he's forty nine and he los couched it is for all ages is we'll save all the culture from goodness for the couch surfing section one thing I do want to talk about we've talked about airbnb and how you can use that to, you know earn some extra money well, there are sites like task rabbit dot com and the land's dot com that allow you to do virtual task for people you know you could do administrative were research work taskrabbit you can really do anything. I hired two people to move my furniture from apartment department in new york city I heard some of the help me research stuff. I hired the guy to clean my apartment. He went to amherst. Cause I was, like, good use of a degree, but these small things, right, you can utilize your time as a way to make some extra spending cash, you know, on your own time away from your other job and, you know, while maybe you don't have time to do it, but that's always an option. And so one of the best parts of about this whole new sharing economy is that allows ways for you to earn some extra money on the side. You were talking about using lift. Well, if you have a car, uh, you know, this guy right here, um, before you sell it drives some people around, you know, you've become a lift driver and earn some extra cash. You know, for a couple of hours on the weekend. It's not like you have to do a full time one of the best parts about these jobs it's done at your leisure and you can, you know, get her spare sunday. Wanna make some money, be a lift driver right for sidecar so this becomes a lifestyle change, and this helps to becoming budget butter better budget traveler say that three times fast because when you're on the road, you learned tio spot out deals and think of things. Enough opportunity cost. Certainly, saving money is always on your brain, and I write travel. I'm always like I could, maybe there's, a cheaper alternative out there. Let me look.