First hint: I don’t budget. Like I am the absolute worst person at budgeting in the entire world. Once upon a time I was pretty good at it – but that was back in the days where I worked my hideous nine to five jobs – a nightmare to me. Back then all that mattered was saving up for the next backpacking trip. I would budget exactly how much I needed for rent, minimal food, cigarettes, and weed (as I was a giant pot head back then, partially to numb the pain of my mundane existence as a sedentary human, which I was never meant to be). That’s all I got. Maybe a few bucks for some drinks every month, but primarily my money went to saving.
I was a bad ass budgeter because all that I cared about was getting the fuck back out.
Now, however, those days are long gone. Oh sure, you see me flying around the world, hopping from Hawaii to Vegas to Aruba to Mexico in the span of a month. I haven’t had a “real” person job in years, and live solely off my blog and freelance writing. Come on, I must have some awesome budgeting tips… right?
So, so wrong. When money comes in, I spend, spend, spend. Maybe I’ll splurge on a private room for a week instead of camping, or change out my entire wardrobe to clothes that aren’t so used and make me feel pretty while still being functional (okay, I may have just dropped $300 on Etsy for this very purpose… maybe… not saying…) I love spending when I have money, because it’s such a rarity in my existence.
And then the money runs dry, and I’m left with $20. Here’s my trick: I find a way to survive no matter my current financial state. I skip the whole budgeting thing, and enjoy the times when I have money, and use my resourcefulness when I don’t.
For example, when I was in Iceland I had barely any money to my name. Iceland. Do you know how bloody expensive Iceland is?! Not for me; I hitchhiked, wild camped, and ate food from the grocery store. As I was travelling for a week with a friend who dumpster dived often, I tried it out as well, gaining us a huge supply of pastries that we eventually gave part of away to fellow hitchhikers. Sharing is caring, yo. Oddly, even when I have almost no money to my name, I always have cigarettes. It’s my magic trick. Don’t even ask me how that one works out, because I haven’t the slightest clue. I am a cigarette fairy, for better or worse.
So find a guide to budgeting elsewhere, in the plethora of travel blogs out there, or wing it. I find my way of doing things works out excellently for me; it proves to me that I am a powerful, resourceful human being, who can manage no matter what. It causes me to go out of my shell and find new ways to live on the cheap (or on the broke, as the case may be). Is it right for you? Maybe not. But rest assured: should you find yourself on the road without a penny, one way or another, you’ll find a way. Just remember you’re a strong ass human being, and you’ve got this shit.