It’s not about what
It’s not about what
It’s about how
What I need is all inside
I create my own HAPPINESS.
This is my mantra for the next few months. I have been presented with a wonderful opportunity. My main job as a nanny, has come to an end, and as they say, one door opens, another door closes. The doors that have opened for me, lead me to choose one of 3 things:
Find a new job
Make my petsitting “business” official
Take the summer off to travel.
Can you guess which one is calling me? The summer off, of course!
I have DREAMED of having a summer to completely relax, with minimal responsibility, ever since I started giving them up to work retail. And while I value everything I learned there, it’s time to get back to a slower, less stressful lifestyle. Day trips to the beach to surf and lounge in the sand, a week-long camping trip to reset my internal clock and reconnect with nature, and my higher self. A waterfall escapade in the North Carolina mountains, a weekend in Savannah, Georgia, and quartz mining in Arkansas! These are all on my Summer 2016 bucket list. And I’m making it happen!
I’m sharing this with you because I need to be held accountable. I’m still an “adult” with things like rent, bills, and of course the yoga classes I lead. Taking 2 months “off” (I will still teach yoga, babysit and petsit, as well as work my few hours at the Pinehurst Olive Oil Shop. ) will require lots of planning, and SAVING. Starting now (It’s February 24 as I type this), I will save every extra penny I receive, pay off any debts, (Not much, hallelujah!) and restrain from every unnecessary purchases. Skip the TJ Maxx trips, no buying excess crystals online, (*insert pouty face*) re-reading and studying the books I already own, and making my own meals.
To make up for any lost income before summer arrives, I will take on more yoga classes, *update, Nolan and I are going official with the petsitting business, and we will continue that all year* sell more of my clothes, possibly start selling Doterra Essential Oils, even craft things or bake dog treats and sell them at my local farmers market! Now is the time for me to be inventive and business-savvy. *Cue inner female entrepreneur*
So here is my plan! And hopefully, if you share a similar dream, this can help you pave the way there!
February – Budget and begin shopping detox!
- Add up every monthly expense I have, and add up my monthly income.
- Calculate the average of how much extra money I have at the end of each month, and multiply that by how many months you have to save. (I have 3)
- Calculate 2 months of living expenses. That includes (for me) rent, gas, food, savings, insurances, and bills.
- Write out a general idea of where I want to go/what I want to do and come up with a rough budget.
- Then I subtracted my 2 months bills from my 3 months of savings, and the leftover is what I had for the summer! I subtracted my travel budget from that and, to my surprise, still had some wiggle room!
If reading that seems confusing, here is an example:
- Monthly Bills $1000 ($2000 for 2 months of living)
- Monthly Income $2000 ($1000 extra each month)
- 3 month savings $3000
- Subtract travel budget $1500
- That’s $1500 of wiggle room! (Yeah, if only!)
I hope that is clear enough for you!
- March – Plan out a detailed itinerary for my summer. Where to, how long, where to stay, and alllllll of the expenses that go with it. Gas, food, my airbnb, entry fees to any activities I’ll be doing, and a teensy bit of shopping. I also need to decide on my supplemental income since nannying ends before summer starts! *Cue petsitting and the huge need for babysitters in my area*
- April – Start booking! Keep a folder of confirmations and things to do for your trips. Keep saving!
- May – One month out! Get pumped! KEEP SAVING!
If you are close to me, you know that I LOVE to shop, especially for clothes! Growing up I was such a fashionista. I would do my hair, nails, a full face of makeup, (I even had my own youtube channel! Don’t google me…) and matching outfits from head to toe. I was also going to be a fashion designer. However, as I grew up and evolved and got back in touch with my true self, some things have fallen away. I gave almost all of my makeup and hair products to my sister. And I sold/donated about 2/3 of my closet and belongings. (I used the Konmari method. If you have not yet heard of it, GOOGLE MARIE KONDO. Her book will change your life!)
Since then (about 4 months ago) It has been so much easier to say “No, I don’t need that. It will not bring me joy.” when shopping. I’ve saved tons of money so far, and walking into my apartment, it feels like I have arrived. It’s my space of love and positive energy.
To top that off, I’ve been initiating “Shopping Detoxes” in my life. Unless its a necessity, absolutely no shopping anywhere from 5-14 days. The challenge has become easier and easier each time. I ask for strength in my meditation, and I constantly go back to my above mantra. The next 3 months will be a big shopping detox for me, with the very few and far between purchases. Because lets be real, I’m Sophie. 3 months without shopping doesn’t exist in this lifetime. And I don’t need to put that pressure on myself!
If you believe a shopping detox is for you, so you can save for the summer off, (or for whatever reason!) here are my recommended steps before doing so. Do what you can! You don’t have to do it all.
- Buy Marie Kondos book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
- Read it.
- Start learning to make your own lunch and dinner. Don’t eat out! Restaurants are money VAMPIRES!
- Take 3 days off of work and put the Konmari method into action!
- If you are a social butterfly (like me) and those outings end up in a hefty alcohol tab, shopping spree, or even expensive mani/pedis, try something new! There are many ideas online to make your own drinks at home, host a potluck dinner weekly, have a spa day at home, plan a hike, etc…. In the end, I believe you will have more fun, and everyone will have enjoyed the creativity as well as saving $25-100!
- List on a sticky note the goal you want to achieve. Then ask the universe for strength, set it as your phone background, sticky note it to your wallet, on your fridge, and repeat your mantra several times a day. If the intention is there, you will succeed.
- And lastly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Set reasonable goals, and don’t sweat the small stuff. We are only human!
I’d love to hear about ya’lls summer plans and any tips you may have for myself and others trying to travel on a budget! I also want to direct anyone looking to travel overseas to efcollegebreak.com
This is a travel agency specifically for people ages 18-28, you don’t have to be in college to use it. You can select from amazing trips all over the world, spanning from 7 days in Costa Rica to 35 days exploring all of Europe! The best part? The prices include everything but shopping and extra food….airfare, accommodations, activities….and they let you go on monthly payment plans! That’s one heck of a way to save for a big trip.
Thanks for reading! ? Love to you all.