1. We paid off our Debt
We are very conscious that every dollar we spend is a dollar we had to work for. As you will see in upcoming points, that doesn't mean we hoard our money or are super frugal, but we do think about where the money goes, and we certainly don't want money we worked hard for going to random creditors as interest. For our house note, we have to swallow it for a bit, but intend to pay it off early to keep more of that interest money for ourselves. I acknowledge that the older you get, the harder this becomes, and some people have WAYY more debt than we did, but if anyone were to ask me how to have extra money for anything they wanted to do, this would be the first thing I would tell them to do.
2. We MadE the Decision to Travel
After getting out of debt, we made a conscious decision to spend money on what we wanted and what we needed and nothing more. I truly believe more people should do that instead of trying to have what everyone else does just because it seems like they should have it too. If it makes you happy and you can afford it, go for it, whether it is a $3000 sofa or that Yukon or, in our case, a $7000 trip to Europe. My husband and I have always loved to travel, even when it meant a day trip to the state park down the road. We still do things like that on a regular basis; now we just have the resources to do it on a bigger scale. To some, it may seem like flushing money down the toilet, but we come back with knowledge, a passion for new things, memories and more. (Enough to fill up another post, which I have done here.) The bottom line is that, for us, it is worth it.
3. We never take "the trip of a lifetime"
We firmly feel that being as frugal as possible each time we go, allows us to go back, hopefully again and again.
Stay tuned to this blog for the next couple of weeks. Kaleigh will be live blogging from Dublin, Paris, Italy and Edinburgh.