Getting my finances in check

There’s a myth out there that preaches you need a hefty chunk of change to pursue travelling as a hobby. And after hearing from more than a few friends about their returning home in deep debt, I thought I’d take on the challenge myself.

I had 8 months to save up for my travel expenses. It cost just under $2300 for my flight and working visa, and $415 for a new laptop I’m bringing with me. I decided I want to leave with a $2000 financial cushion to cover any expenses while travelling (this may seem a tad prudent but keep in mind I’ll be working while travelling). All in all that comes out to $4715.

I paid off the $415 for my laptop by selling a crap load of stuff on Kijiji and Craigslist (guitar, exercise equipment, roller blades, food processor, skates…). Another $4300 to go!

Over the last 8 months I’ve set aside $135/wk into a separate savings account with automatically scheduled deposits (really takes the sting off making those payments myself). To cover rent, food, entertainment and any other miscellaneous expenses, I thought it more than fair to bring in a minimum of $1000/month while abroad.

I think I’ve prepared myself quite well so far… as best as I can anyway! The rest will have to depend on what happens when I get there! 🙂

If you don’t know how long you’ll be travelling, purchase a one-way ticket. Many people will tell you to buy round-trip because it’s cheaper… which is true. But if you think you’ll likely change your departure flight because you’ll want to stay longer, you’re looking at a minimum $250-$300 change fee.

If you end up needing to change your flight, compare flight change fees of the travel agency you booked with with the airline directly. I saved just under $100 CAD changing my flight through American Airlines, rather than with Flight Network.

 

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