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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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How Can We Afford this Expedition?

Written by Raenelle on Thursday, March 13, 2008

Many people wonder how we can afford to undertake long expeditions … and proceed to tell us how they could never afford to do it. This is simply not true. There is no perfect time to do something … if you wait for the perfect timing, you will wait forever. Sometimes you just have to DO IT. But, getting into major debt is not smart.

We are able to afford a long expedition by setting some financial goals and working hard to achieve them. For us, there are three key components that allow us to afford a long expedition:

1. Keep ‘at-home’ costs to a minimum while travelling.

All of our belongings will go into cheap storage, or better yet, get stored in a friend’s basement. We will have no ‘at home’ costs other than monthly payments for our Provincial medical program, nominal student loan payment, and continued monthly contributions to our savings and investments.  For better or for worse, we don’t have a mortgage, and we don’t own a house.

2. Maintain our salaries for as much of the trip as possible.

We have been accruing our vacation time and have been banking lots of overtime hours so that we will continue to receive a salary for the first part of our trip. At this point, we will both be receiving our salaries for the first 1.5 to 2 months of our trip. Relative costs will be low, and relative income will be high for those two months, so our money will go alot further than if we were still at home.

3. Lower our standard of living while saving for our trip.

We did this to an extreme about a year ago, and spent about 6 months living as frugally as we could. This included not eating out at restaurants at all; uninsuring one of our vehicles and taking public transit; and eating rice, beans, and potatoes almost every night! We saved alot of money this way, and we continue to stick to a tight budget. Every dollar saved today will go alot further in South America than it will here at home. A little bit of sacrifice today is worth the rewards later …

And THAT is how we can afford to do this. We are not millionnaires … and we don’t need to be! All we need is a passion to pursue our dreams, and some hard work to get us there!

Further Reading on South America 2008:

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