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A greedy travel fund made me do it! It’s need for green is how I ended up saving over $4000 in 8 months. I have to be careful when I set up a savings account and give it a name and goals….
Truthfully, saving $4000 for travel in 8 months is way easier than so many other things! It’s easier than having a baby (not the starting part but I’m told the birthing part is….many painful things). It’s easier than learning how to fly a plane, planning a wedding, or being a champion llama shearer.
How to Save $4000? Build a Budget
As with any new endeavor, I start with a plan. A budget is a plan for my money.
At one point, I hated budgets. The necrotic tracking of spending didn’t feel right. But I am stubborn and I kept with it and I have enjoyed the results. Mostly, the part where my money is going where I want and I save so much more. Even Mr. BuLL is surprised by how much I can save.
Activating the Income Fund
Active income is work that entails significant amounts of energy and time, commonly referred to as the nine to five.
This income stream is where I get fancy benefits that can save me thousands like health, dental, and vision insurance. Plus, other soft benefits like paid professional development, gym access, and keeping me away from my Amazon cart.
A big portion of my $4,000 came from my active income which is more predictable than other forms of income. Plus, the skills I learn and develop as a Park Ranger I can use in other areas like passive income.
Don’t Pass the Income
Passive income is easier than active income but has more caveats. Passive income is usually less than my active income and more inconsistent.
My favorite type of passive income is when I get paid to do what I already do like walking, grocery shopping, or using a credit card to pay for, well, everything. I am that weirdo who uses it for less than a dollar, not because I don’t have cash but because I love cashback rewards!
I use many different types of passive income, however, I prefer cashback rewards. To date it has been my biggest and easiest passive income vehicle. It’s like being rewarded for adulting and everyone deserves that kind of award!
The Best Kind of Surprise
I get surprise income income in the form of birthday money, Christmas money, and refunds. Basically, any money that isn’t passive, active, or expected.
Just because it’s a surprise and unexpected that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a plan! The stopper to my money leak and opening my facet to “how to save $4000” story included having a plan and destination once unexpected money flowed my way.
Planning my destination, it helped to remind me why I was putting in this extra effort.
Eight months is a significant chunk of time, the chances were good that I would hit a rough patch where I wasn’t thrilled about this goal and would prefer to give up and try something easier.
During these dark moments, I remembered why I started this journey to begin with. I need an occasional reminder of why I am the “tough stuff” of saying no to all the pretty things.
The Travel Demands
As of this month, I saved $4,111. What made it easy had nothing to do with a high income. No, I make less than the average American, as in I have yet to make $30,000 a year. My success is largely due to a strict budget that places my spotty income on autopilot.
When my income filters down through active, passive, and surprise chutes, it gets factored into my budget and then is piloted away before the siren call of shopping coerces it into bad decisions. Now, 8 months later, I have a chunk of cheddar for a post-Corona adventure and a little story about how to save $4000.
What are you tips and tricks for saving cheddar?