Living Within Our Means

Recently I have noticed that when I tell people about our upcoming trip I get responses such as “Oh, I wish I could do something like that but I can’t afford it” or “I wish I could travel like that but I have too many bills.”  So, here is point number one: If you want to do fun things, then stop buying so much stuff.  Anyone can afford to travel if they live within their means and don’t put themselves in debt over their heads.  Society tells us that we need to go and put a new 50″ TV on our credit card and work the next 12 months paying it off.  Do you know that the average person in the USA spends upwards of 11 years of his or her life in front of a television?  Think twice about buying that TV and spend the same amount on a plane ticket to Thailand.  Don’t pay for the satellite dish for a year and you can buy a ticket to Costa Rica.  Quit worrying about what people think about you in your old car and you can wander through Africa for years instead of blowing your cash on a new status symbol.

Sit down and think about the money you spend on things and ask yourself if these things really make you happier or if they are just tying you down and keeping you from living the way you really want to live.  If you decide you still want the new car then go get it, but ditch the new TV and instead of watching the puffins on National Geographic, drive to Alaska and see them yourself.  Stop telling me that you wish you could, because you can.

3 thoughts on “Living Within Our Means

  • It’s all about priorities, I think. If you want to make travel a priority then you have to go without the superfluous American junk. It IS really frustrating to hear people talk about how much they “wish they could” do things. Half the time, the people who say this definitely COULD afford to pack up and leave if they would just sell some of their high-tech gadgets and stop eating out four times a week.
    The sacrifices we are making now are going to be SO WORTH IT for the amazing experiences we are about to have. And really, I don’t even consider not having a TV a sacrifice anymore. I haven’t had one for two years and I DO NOT miss it. 🙂

    • What exactly about that are you asking?
      What immediately pops into mind is the carbon footprint left by transportation and travel…we will be flying into Colombia which of course has a carbon footprint. But then we will be living for a year without driving personal cars. That’s 3 cars off the road in the US. And the methods of transport we’ll be using throughout South America–buses and hitchhiking–do leave much less of a carbon footprint then driving our own cars here in the states!

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