If I had a dollar for each time someone asked me how I’m able to travel the way that I do, I would have enough money to buy a flight to Bermuda. That’s my not-so-subtle hint to my husband that I’m itching to go there next. Anyways, I usually have the same reply to everyone: we work our booties off to achieve financial freedom. I usually get one of two responses when I say the words “financial freedom.” I get some intense blank stares like I’m speaking Swahili. I also see some smiles like the person just got their big, fat juicy steak delivered to them after waiting an hour for it.
What the heck is this financial freedom thing you keep talking about, Disha? Well, financial freedom means different things to different people. You have to dig down deep to figure out what that means to you. For you, it might mean retiring fifteen years earlier or paying cash for that brand new Porsche you’ve been wanting. To me, financial freedom means that I’m able to do the things that I enjoy whenever I want to without any worries. If your goal is to travel the world without any limits, your definition of financial freedom is probably identical to mine.
For some of you reading this, this may seem like a far-fetched idea. I want you to stick with me though. I didn’t understand this whole “financial freedom” thing either and had not even the slightest clue as to what I should be doing in that aspect to help me travel. It’s okay to feel confused and overwhelmed by this. However, you should also know that it’s totally achievable!
My goal here is to give you some simple and actionable tips so you can skip down the path of financial freedom with a margarita in Mexico whenever you want. I could have given you more tips, but I wanted to stick to the basics and keep it short and simple so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I also want you to know that these are the same tips that I took to achieve financial freedom. If I can do it, so can you!
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1. Write down Your Travel Goals
This is the first step to achieving financial freedom. You’re more likely to chase after your goals if you have them written down. Write down twenty of your top travel goals. Do you want to visit the Bahamas? Do you want to see the Eiffel Tower in person? Let’s kick up a notch and write down dates that you want to achieve these goals by. Write it all down and be as detailed as possible. Put this note somewhere that is visible every day. Knowing what travel goals you want to accomplish will motivate you to achieve financial freedom. My husband’s goal is to visit 100 countries by the time he’s 28 and he’s ten countries away. He wrote down this travel goal when he was 16 and still looks at the note to this day.
2. Stop Using Credit Cards for a Little While
I’m always shocked at how so many people think that credit cards don’t have any repercussions if you’re irresponsible. In case you didn’t know, credit cards can have steep interest fees. Stop using credit cards until you’re a champ at sticking to your budget. (I’m not going to talk about creating a budget in this post because I want to give you more specific tips rather than basic tips). Pay off your credit card debt as fast as you possibly can to stop paying those pesky interest fees. You’re probably wondering why I would tell you to stop using credit cards if you’re using them to accumulate miles. If you’re racking up credit card debt and not paying it off, you’re probably not going anywhere.
3. Pay off Debt
Speaking of debt, start paying it off. It’s difficult to travel the world freely if you’re having to make payments on your student loans or medical bills while having travel expenses. That’s money that you could be spending on flights and accommodation. Set aside a portion of your monthly income to pay off your debts. You have to be strict about this and you have to commit to doing this. Another idea is to start a few side hustles and dedicate that income to paying off your debt. Check out my article on ways that you can save money to travel. There’s a section at the end of the post with easy side hustle ideas that will help you create additional income to pay off your debt faster.
4. Stop Doing What Your Friends Are Doing
We are so conditioned to do everything our peers are doing and want what they have. If you see your friend flaunting around her new Gucci purse, you’re tempted to go buy one too. If your friend just bought a new Chevy Camero, you’re tempted to get one too so you can vroom vroom down the streets too. This FOMO will seriously kill your travel dreams. Don’t buy unnecessary things just because everyone has them. When this temptation occurs, look at your travel goals and see if buying that item is going to get you one step closer to financial freedom. It’s probably not. Put it down and walk away.
“But, but all my friends have this and that. I need it too.” Odds are that Sarah probably had to throw those Louboutins on her card and can’t afford them anyway. Not only that but Sarah probably won’t have the financial freedom to travel the world as you do. You can thank me for being harsh when you’re getting massages on the beach in Thailand while Sarah is still scrambling to pay off her credit card debt from her unnecessary buys.
5. Be Proactive and Live Below Your Means
You’ve paid off all your debt and your savings account and travel fund are increasing. What now? Keep living below your means and keep being frugal. Just because you have that cheddar in your savings account doesn’t mean you should stop buckling down. Keep cutting out unnecessary expenses and keep your eyes on the prize—the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you want. Being frugal doesn’t mean you’re cheap. It means that you’re more committed to spending your money on things that truly matter to you than spending them on items that bring you only temporary joy. Before making a purchase, don’t forget to ask yourself if it aligns with your goal of traveling freely.
One thing that I find so interesting about some of the people who think they can’t achieve financial freedom usually all have something in common—they’re driving brand new cars and are making monthly payments on them. They tell me that they can’t afford to travel because they don’t have the money to do so. If they traded that brand new 2019 Lexus in for a used car, they could use those savings to travel. These people aren’t going to remember driving that brand new car when they’re 80 years old. Rather, they’re going to be sad about the experiences they weren’t able to have because they chose to spend their money on something that didn’t give them much happiness in the long run. Cars are only used for transportation. Does that 2008 Honda have four wheels and get you from Point A to Point B? Yes! Then, you don’t need to pay $60,000 plus interest for a brand new car that serves the same function. To be completely honest, people who use the “I can’t travel” excuse but drive brand new cars make me cry on the inside.
If there’s anything that you get from reading this post, I want it to be this: LIVING BELOW YOUR MEANS IS KEY IN REACHING FINANCIAL FREEDOM TO TRAVEL.
Resources That Will Help You on Your Path to Financial Freedom:
I remember when I was first introduced to the terms “financial freedom,” I felt like a lost puppy dog. I had several people explain what it meant, but struggled with truly grasping the concept of it. But, I was determined to not only understand it but to master it as well. Books are a wealth of knowledge. If there’s a topic I’m unsure about, I purchase a book about it to further study it. Here are some of the key books I read that have taught me an incredible amount of information in regards to financial freedom. Study them. Take notes. Find a group of people who want to travel the world without limitations and hold each other accountable. Implement what the authors are saying. Do this thang!!! I want to see you slaying your travel goals and living your best life! I believe in you!
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Children About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!– I’m going to completely honest with you. This is the only book of Robert Kiyosaki’s that I truly like. This book opened my eyes to the concept of financial freedom and I was able to define what that term meant to me. This book helped me change my mindset about money and helped me realize what I wanted from life in terms of freedom.
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth– This is one of my favorite books I have ever read. The author, Jen Sincero, makes it feel like she’s personally talking to you and that she’s your BFF. This book helped me get rid of the silly excuses I was making that were holding me back from living the life of my dreams.
Think and Grow Rich– When I first got this book, I put it down after reading two pages of it. I thought it was dry and boring. Don’t give up on it though. It’s well worth the read. This book taught me about goal setting and how important it is to master your mindset when it comes to achieving those goals.
MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom– This book will inspire you to take action now regardless of where you are with your finances. Tony Robbins will light a fire under your tush that makes you want to take action right away. This book shows you that it’s attainable to master financial freedom no matter where you’re at right now.
Say Yes to No Debt: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom– if you’re struggling with debt right now, know that you’re not the only one. There’s a sentence in this book that reads, “Debt is slavery.” My perception of debt changed when I read that sentence. I still remind myself of this when I try to make useless purchases. This book contains twelve steps that will help you to achieve financial freedom by getting out of debt.
You know what’s crazy and cool? I’m writing this post as I’m on my way to take tours of some wineries in Mendoza, Argentina. We turned down $700 flights to take a cheaper bus ride to Mendoza from Bariloche. We were on the bus for 18 hours, btw. Since we refused to pay that much for flights, we’re able to indulge and treat ourselves to a winery tour and enjoy ourselves here. This is a prime example of being proactive and living below your means.
Seriously, friend, if you need help with achieving financial freedom or have any questions please message me on Instagram and Facebook. I am here to help you make your travel dreams come true!
Which one of these steps are you going to start implementing today? What does your dream life look like? Let me know in the comments below!
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