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Why I’m Not Staying In Town For My Cousin’s Wedding

“Your relationships are the heaviest components in your life.
We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move.
Make no mistake – moving is living.”
– Up in the Air

Life is full of special events. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, babies, holidays, and family reunions all fill my calendar throughout the year. I love celebrating these special moments with my family and friends.

My cousin – with whom I am close – is getting married in November 2016, approximately six weeks after my planned departure. She asked me to be a bridesmaid, to which I politely declined, reminding her about my plans (which were announced to the family just a few days before he popped the question). She knew it was unlikely I’d be able to attend and was very understanding. We actually talked about her & her husband-to-be going to Europe on their honeymoon and meeting up (fingers crossed!)

There have been a few others, however, who have almost recoiled in shock that I’m not willing to put off my plans for this wedding. “What do you mean you’re not waiting?! It’s only six weeks!” I get it, this lifestyle change may be difficult for folks to wrap their minds around, but I have my reasons. They may be selfish and offend some, but I’m okay with that.

The second I decided to sell all of my belongings, quit my job, and set out for solo travel around the world, I started living my life for me, focusing on my own quality of life, and doing what will make me happy.  My plans are set, and I have zero intention of changing them to work around anyone else’s schedule.

If I did change my plans and wait until after the wedding to go, the next thing just around the corner would be Thanksgiving.  Then Christmas, mine & my sister’s birthdays, New Year’s, and the list goes on. If I waited to leave until after every special event, I would never get out of here. Yikes! That is so not happening.

I have a pretty large family, and this wedding definitely will not be the only special event I’ll be missing. I have another cousin who just got engaged, several newlywed relatives who will be starting families, and one who is currently planning to have another baby. I also have ill & aging family members who I may not have a chance to see again after I go.

Am I happy about missing these special occasions? Of course not – but in the grand scheme of things, the world will keep turning and life at home will go on just fine without me. As Bebe Rexha says, “it’s just me, myself, and I.”

How I Plan To Save $15,000 In 7 Months

Saving up a large sum of money in a short period of time may seem impossible. I haven’t proven that it’s doable yet, but many others before me have. I have student loan debt and, although my salary is decent for non-profit, I don’t make a ton of money. However, I still plan on saving aggressively over the next several months to make my dream of living a nomadic lifestyle a reality. In this post I will explain how I plan – and hope – to achieve this goal.

My goal is to have at least $20,000 in savings by the end of September. I started saving mid-November 2015 and have just over $5,200 in my Adventure Fund. (And that’s not counting the $1,000 I have in a separate account in case of emergencies at home before I go).

Selling Stuff

One of the biggest thing I’m doing is selling all of my belongings. Of course I’ll have a few sentimental items that I’ll leave at my parents’ house, but otherwise everything goes! Read more about that process here.

I have also decided to sell my car sooner rather than later and buy a cheap junk car to get my by until I go. I love my car and giving it up will not be easy. But I can potentially save upwards of $1,500 on monthly payments, depending on when I sell, and hopefully put a couple thousand more in the bank after selling it paying off the loan.

Cutting Costs

I am drastically cutting down on everyday expenses. My biggest weakness before this all started was eating out for lunch during the week; I have a busy job and it is much more convenient than going home or making something ahead.

I also never buy coffee out anymore. This wasn’t a daily expense for me, but I would buy an overpriced latte at Starbucks a couple times a week, and that can burn a hole in your wallet in a quick hurry.

Just like any other 20-something I enjoy happy hour and hitting the bars on weekends I rarely go out to eat or go out drinking with friends anymore. Instead I invite friends over to make dinner, watch Netflix, and drink boxed wine.

Switching Phone Carriers

By switching from AT&T to T-Mobile I will be saving about $30 per month on my cell phone bill, totalling approximately $210. This plan also has unlimited talk, which I didn’t have before, and unlimited data. I get 2GB hi-speed data, which is what I had before. If I go over 2GB I don’t get slapped with an extra fee like I did with AT&T, and I still get data, just at a slower speed.

Mobile Apps & Websites That Make Me Money

I use a variety of mobile apps, and one website, to make extra cash. My top picks are listed first.

InboxDollars: This is the only money-making website I use. It also has a free app on the App Store & Google Play. I’ve checked out a few others but to me this one is the easiest and most efficient. I have been a member since the end of November 2015 and have earned about $60 so far. There are a variety of ways to earn with IBD – learn more about it here.

Field Agent App (App Store & Google Play): Field Agent is a secret shopper’s app. I have earned $35 in about two months. There is no fee for cashing out and it sends it straight to your PayPal account, which you can then transfer to your bank.

SlideJoy App (available on Google Play only): SlideJoy pays you to run ads on your phone’s lock screen. I wish this app was available on the Apple App Store, because after I turn in my Droid work phone I won’t be able to take advantage of this app. I’ve had it for about six weeks and I have earned 451 carats, or $4.51. You have to keep the app open, but it doesn’t seem to drain my battery or use up lots data. Cash out options are available through PayPal, various gift cards, or donate your earnings to charity.

 

Taking On More Responsibility at Work

I have to be vague here, to maintain anonymity, since my employer is unaware of my plans. I am taking on some more responsibility at work, possibly in a couple of ways.

One will allow me to earn up to an additional $300 per month after I complete the training process, for which I will earn a $250 bonus. So I am looking at approximately $1500-$1700 in extra income before taxes.

There are some additional job duties that may be changing, for which I could earn a $3000 annual salary increase. I’ll be in my job for another seven months, so if this change does occur I will earn about $1500 extra.

Second Job & Odd Jobs

I now have a second job some evenings and weekends. I make $9.25/hr and work about 10 hours per week, give or take, so I could earn approximately $2,500 in additional income over the next seven months.

I am considering driving for Uber. I signed up but I haven’t actually done it yet. I have no idea how much money I can make with this.

I made $400 house and pet sitting for the week after Thanksgiving. If those friends need a house or pet sitter again in the next seven months I’ll be the first to sign up.

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The above tips may not be for everyone, but this is what I hope works for me. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Have you saved up a large sum of money in a short time frame, for travel or other reasons? If so tell me about it in the comments!