Prepping for Long Term Travel: Savings Breakdown for First Quarter

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From when I made the decision to start prepping for long term travel (August 2013) until I leave (tentatively October 2014) is roughly 14 months. So, I’m about a half a month late in posting a quarter breakdown on my savings, but to be fair that’s only because I just decided to do one.

Ever since I started selling items, I’ve kept a spreadsheet on where I sold the item, what I sold, how much I got for it and how much was accounted in for in the bank-you know, just in case I “forgot” to put that fifty dollars in the bank.  It’s a really basic spreadsheet, but it’s worked well for me.

When I realized I made far more selling things than I ever expected, I was extremely excited.  Except for about $350, the almost $5k I’ve saved is just from selling, not saving.  This is mostly due to the fact that while I was still living in my apartment, I didn’t have much that I could save.  It’s only now that I’m able to put substantial amount of money from each paycheck into the bank.

Craigslist was obviously my best friend despite my complaints about it.  Obviously this included my bigger items such as my iMac, bedroom furniture, dining room table, TV, couch, Vitamix, and so on.

The least being some DVDs I sold under the friends & family category.  I’m not complaining though-I got more than I would have selling them online or a garage sale.

Savings Breakdown

Savings Breakdown

What’s even more exciting is that I still have quite a bit that I haven’t sold yet-I decided to bring it with me to my mom’s instead of just dumping it.  I think I easily have close to another $1k in items I can sell.  I also will be upping my savings drastically through leftover money in paychecks, more work commissions, hopefully more Etsy sells (I don’t really try that hard here, but I could), some freelance work, and a second job once I get some other things taken care of.

My Stache

My Stache


How do you think I’ve done in the first 3.5 months (errr, 4 months)??  Any suggestions to maximize making extra money on the side?

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.


  1. Adam Rosenscruggs

    December 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    One thing we did to earn some extra money was sign up for focus groups. Find a market research company (Plaza Research is one of the ones we signed up for) and get on their list. They’ll ask you some basic demographic and lifestyle questions, and then will contact you when there’s a group that you might qualify for. Depending on the focus group/survey, you can earn $25-$100. Danielle and I each earned $100 for one that we did, and it took about an hour.

    One other thing we did was take advantage of bank offers of extra cash for opening an account. For example, right now if you open a new checking account at Chase, you will get $150. All you have to do is set up direct deposit into the account for a couple weeks and then you get your money. I had my work split my paycheck so a small portion went to the Chase account (which we ended up using as savings) in order to qualify for the offer. If you’re already a Chase customer this won’t work, but lots of other banks have similar offers.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Thanks Adam! I just started looking into focus groups. I figure if I can even do a couple that would be a good chunk of change I didn’t have. Thanks for the name of this one-I’m going to look into it.

      The bank offers is a great idea. I’m unfortunately already a Chase customer, but I’m going to keep an eye out for others. These are great tips 🙂

  2. Mrs. Chasing the Donkey

    December 27, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Girl you’ve smashed that out of the park! You really have made some serious headway for the savings. Props!!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 27, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Thanks! I really did way better than I ever expected to selling things. If I keep this up, I’ll have 20k by the time I leave-I don’t know that that’s possible though haha…

  3. Jo

    December 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Well done to date! Apart from moving back in with your Mum, do you have a tight saving strategy? Every trip to Starbucks and every magazine or cute T shirt you buy really add up!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 28, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      I can’t say I’m perfect, but I have drastically cut down my spending habits. I’ve allowed myself a $300 budget a month for gas, food, and miscellaneous spending which is pretty tight. I need to completely eliminate those little impulse purchases though 🙂

  4. Sharon @ Wheres Sharon

    December 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    I think that is great. You have done so well selling things. I usually find I make basically nothing and it wasn’t worth the effort of even trying! I went a bit mad selling stuff when we moved last time by all the unreliable people out there saying they were coming round, then not showing up etc.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 28, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      I had a lot of those issues as well with selling things, but I knew I needed the money from selling things. I’m just glad I stuck it out and didn’t just throw the stuff out haha

  5. Deia @ Nomad Wallet

    December 28, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    You’re doing great! Those sale proceeds are really something. For me, what works best is focusing the big-ticket expenses, ie. housing and transport. So instead of buying or renting an entire apartment or house, I rent a room and house-sit a few months out of the year. And I take public transport everywhere.

    Another area I obsess over is subscriptions because they can really add up. I no longer have landline and share one local number with my husband. Because I work from home, I can get by with just Skype.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      I really really wish Nashville actually had a public transport scene, but we don’t. I, unfortunately, have to drive most places. However, selling my vehicle is in my near future plans (and using a family member’s) which would eliminate a car payment, insurance and gas prices.

      I’ve thought about changing my phone plan to a really basic one, but I find I really use my iPhone a lot to stay connected with SM and my blog :/

  6. Greg

    December 30, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    Great Job….It looks like you are on your way. We sold just about everything before we moved to Costa Rica. It took us over a year. Craigslist was by far the best, but man are there some shady people out there. Good luck with your future savings.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Thanks Greg! Craigslist has both the crappiest individuals, but also the biggest payoffs haha…Oh well!

  7. Globalmouse

    December 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Wow that’s amazing…and really inspiring!! It’s definitely time I started shifting some of my stuff that I don’t use any more, and it’s so cathartic to get rid of stuff – and if you can make money at the same time and use it to travel, what’s not to love??! Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 30, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Thanks for reading! It really has been a lot easier to let things go than I imagined and it’s also been a lot more successful too. I’ll be curious to see how much I make selling things once everything’s been sold.

  8. Syd

    December 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I’m so impressed! I am about to start selling things and I leave in three weeks.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      December 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      haha I’m typically a procrastinator. If I had been moving out of my apartment later, trust me this much wouldn’t have gotten done already. Good luck with your selling! 🙂

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  10. NZ Muse

    January 27, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    We actually ended up leaving home with less $$ saved than I’d thought/anticipated, but made up for it by earning more on the road than I’d imagined 🙂

    Aside from cutting costs ways I bring in income, over the years, have included:

    blog advertising
    market research / focus groups
    mystery shopping

    All depends on your skillset and what works best for you!

    The last few months before we left I was spending all my free time doing freelance work (and trying to plan our wedding) it was all worth it in the end though.

    Second Deia on cutting big and recurring expenses as much as possible.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      January 28, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      That’s awesome. I really want to find ways to make decent money on the road so I don’t eat up all the money I saved.

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  12. Nomadic Boys

    April 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    We are under two months away from our big RTW trip after saving for years.

    One tip we found is that (in London) going out at weekends costs a lot, especially if you drink a wee bit too much and start using your card. So, we found, before going out, taking cash only (trying to pre plan how much we would need) and keeping that card behind locked up!

    Good luck with the savings plan. Where are you planning to head first in Nov/Dec?

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