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"If you want creativity, take a zero off your budget. If you want sustainability, take off two zeros." ~Jaime Lerner

As we mentioned in the post about how we got here in terms of finances, we aren't rich. As such, we don't have unlimited budget to do with as we please. With this in mind we knew we needed to set a budget and try to stick to it. In the past we have been notoriously bad at keeping on budget. Even though we kept our expenses fairly low, we've never found budgeting to work that well for us. The list of reasons for that could likely fill a novel so rather let's just stick to what the budget is and how we plan to stick to it. Additionally, as part of the blog and for our own accountability we are going to be releasing monthly budget and spending updates.

As you hopefully gleaned from the title of the post, our budget for June 2018 - June 2019 is $10,000. It might seem insane for two people to travel for a year on this amount of money, but as we discussed in the post detailing our plan for the year, we have some strategies to reduce or even eliminate some of the major expenses like food and lodging.

How and Why $10k

How did we come to decide on the $10k figure? As you will learn we have become fairly obsessed with tracking our finances. We use a combination of our spreadsheets and websites like Personal Capital to track our net worth growth and projections, spending habits, and credit card usage, etc. With all of this information and the information we have learned from some of our favorite travel resources and podcasts we felt that $10K would be a reasonable amount to allow us to have fun and not worry about every penny. At the same time it would allow us to return home in a year and not have to race out to get a job the next day so we could put food on the table because we spent all our money.

Rules and Breakdown of the $10K

With any good budget, you have to include some rules and guidelines so you can break them and make excuses for why you didn't stick to the budget. Here is how our budget breaks down roughly.

  • We did not include the expenses of things we bought in preparation for the trip (sunscreen, medicine, vaccinations, Bolivian Visas, etc). The exception here is our travel insurance. We found the best deal and coverage through World Nomads and it cost us $2,858.73. We'll talk more about travel insurance at a later date but a great resource on it is from Zero to Travel.

  • We're breaking down the budget into only a few categories. One of the flaws in budgets are that people try to analyze too deep at times and it defeats the purpose and also becomes a pain to track.

Our categories:

  1. Travel (bus/plane/train tickets, etc)

  2. Groceries

  3. Restaurants

  4. Lodging

  5. Misc. (Things like tours/souvenirs as well as our only two bills: our phones through Google Project FI and our health insurance)

That's pretty much it for self-imposed rules on our self-imposed budget. After deducting the travel insurance off top we are left with $7,141 for the year, or about $19.50 per day.

We'll share some more information on the details as we go and will be releasing monthly budget updates on the first of each month. Until then, here is a photo of Kim with a puppy.

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