We’ve got Champagne travel dreams on a Miller Lite budget…anyone else?
As small business owners, for years now, we’ve been scheming and dreaming of how to travel on a budget…well, because budget is all we got.
But we are determined to not let our finances limit the amount we can adventure- and we want the same for you! Traveling on a budget IS possible, if you’re willing to make some sacrifices in other areas that aren’t as important to you.
Over the years we’ve definitely adopted some minimal living ways, so that we can spend our money on what really brings us LIFE. So here’s a few minimal living ideas for you- 5 things you might consider cutting out of your budget, so that you can travel MORE.
1. NEW CLOTHES ON THE REGULAR
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to get that new pair of New Balance sneakers I’ve been eying. And although I do love clothes and definitely have an appreciation for timeless, quality fashion…I definitely don’t love those sneakers more than a really good, soul-filling adventure.
So buying brand new clothes, just out of want not need, on a monthly basis is just not something we’ve made room for in our budget. Now don’t get me wrong, we definitely buy clothes here and there as needed. But when we do, we definitely stick to places where we can get the most bang for our buck or with the less is more approach (buying one really high quality shirt instead of 4 I like that were a fourth of the price)
What about the kids though you ask? Our go-to is resale shops! If you haven’t utilized these more- it’s a MUST in minimal living 101. The incredible barley-worn steals you can find there for less than $5 is unreal. And let’s be honest the kids grow out of clothes so fast, it makes me feel a lot better than I didn’t spend $50 on that new dress they will only wear 5 months.
So yes, although those swipe-ups are reallllyyy tempting, I know if I want to actually have the money to take all those trips I am dreaming about, I’ve got to keep my eye on the prize!
2. THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY/ELECTRONICS
To be honest, this one isn’t too hard for us. We’ve never been “gadget people”, so choosing to not buy the latest iPhone or snag that new Frame TV I’ve been eyeing for a while now isn’t incredibly painful.
We’ve had the same TV since we were gifted it for our wedding present over 10 years ago! It’s still working totally fine and we know all those technology upgrades just add up over time. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it right?!
If you do need to make a larger electronics purchase- our go-to’s are always, always FB Marketplace and Ebay. Why pay full price when you can get (sometimes even a brand new item) for 30% less or more. Every.dollar.counts. (at least in our world it does) and living minimally in this area really allows us to experience more, which is just the sweet nectar of life is it not?!
Traveling on a budget is absolutely possible- you’ve just got to put your money where your mouth is. Literally 🙂
3. EXTRA TOYS FOR THE KIDS
Nope, nope, nope….get it out of my house. Extra toys = extra clutter and more cleaning for Mom. We really do not purchase any additional toys, other than the very intentional gifts we choose for our girls on Christmas and their Birthdays. (and goodness knows the grandparents have this one covered for us and then some)
Less is so so much more.
We find in times that we are traveling and have only packed a small handful of toys, the kids always, always find a way to entertain themselves. And if anything it forces them to get more creative with the few toys they do have!
These are purchases we can easily forgo so that instead of that brand new Barbie dream house (and all the other endless list of toys they’d love), we can gift them a trip to a new National Park over their Fall Break or another epic month-long summer trip overseas.
When they are going off to college I am banking on them remembering that incredible beach town we stayed at on the Italian coast or that hike to the waterfall in the Smoky Mountains far more than a toy that probably will get donated in a years time anyway.
Investing in experience with our kids is our number one priority and we make sure our budget reflects that.
4. NEW CARS
I know we’ll have some mixed opinions here. But for us, because of our limited budget, we just don’t have room for regular adventures to new places AND hefty monthly car payments.
So our strategy has always been – buy older, solid cars and own them outright.
No we’re not getting the latest 2021 Toyota 4Runner (although that sounds fabulous)…but we are doing our research, and finding a reliable 2009 4Runner with some miles on that is still in great working condition so we can own it in full.
For us, minimal living is all about having only what we need, and getting rid of everything we don’t. So why not completely cut out those monthly car payments (if you’re able of course) so those funds can go directly to regular, life-giving trips as a family that really fill your cup for years to come. We will never ever let traveling on a budget, or lack there of, be our excuse not not traveling.
5. ALCOHOL WHILE OUT
Ok no one enjoys a margarita on the patio in peak early summer days more than me….but we try not to make buying drinks while out part of our regular routine. We all know how quickly that adds up and boom two Gin&Tonics later and you’ve doubled your dinner bill.
We do love eating out, visiting new restaurants, tryiiinnnggg to have a regular date night – so we have prioritized that in our budget. But we do feel like when not traveling alcohol is something we can easily (and far more economically) enjoy at home.
All the little sacrifices really do add up…traveling on a budget isn’t easy, but it’s always, always 100% worth it.
6. GIFTS FOR EACH OTHER
Alright, no no we’re not heartless spouses who hate each other. We just REALLY love traveling together. It is truly, truly our happiest place. We are our best selves when adventuring side by side…so we try to do so every chance time and budget allows.
And one way budget allows, is by not buying each other gifts for every single holiday (Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas…goodness it all adds up right?!).
Other than birthdays, we kind of have a standing rule that no gifts are expected. It totally takes the pressure off on both parities, and we both take so much more joy in knowing that money not spent is going towards our next getaway together.
Now 10 years and 2 (almost three!) kids later and living on a little more than a teacher’s salary we’ve been able to go just Luke and I to the California Coast, Vail, Napa, Santa Fe, Boston, New York, tons of local Texas weekends away and so many more – all because we prioritized EXPERIENCE together at the top of our budget.
I mean, there is NO greater gift in our books.
Living minimally in these ways allows us to traveling on a budget….but we’re TRAVELING! And you really can’t put a price on the value that adds to you and your kid’s lives!